Many business owners send greeting cards and corporate gifts to show gratitude to clients and business partners. These gifts are often useless and end up being thrown away or regifted. The purpose of the gift is to standout and remind the individual about you or your brand long after the holidays.
Here are eight tips, from Entrepreneur. to help you select a gift that will leave an impression:
1. Make it useful. Give people something they can use throughout the year. Desk calendars, pens, small flashlights and letter openers are great examples of items every business person could use.
2. Give your product. Skip the shopping and extra spending, and give your product as a gift. It allows you to show gratitude while promoting your business.
3. Make a donation. Create goodwill by making charitable donations in the names of your business partners. An added bonus is the tax writeoff.
4. Look for exchanges. Ask other businesses about exchanging products and services. This will reduce costs, result in better gifts and serve as a marketing tool. Some companies you may want to talk to include movie theaters, restaurants, coffee shops and entertainment venues.
5. Personalize it. Include your business name on the corporate gifts you give. There is nothing wrong with branding the items you give to your business partners.
6. Spread it around. Give a gift that employees can benefit from. They are often left out while the owners and managers get all the corporate gifts.
7. Keep it simple. While it can be tempting, it is best not to go overboard. Remember that gift giving is a marketing strategy and does not need to cost you a lot of money. Be sincere and tactful in your gift choices.
8. Keep it healthy. Everyone loves treats, but too many sweet snacks go around during the holidays. There is no need to add to the cookies and chocolates your business partners are already receiving. The fall from a sugar rush can negatively impact businesses. If you want to send something edible, make sure it’s healthy.
Gift giving during the holiday season is a great gesture for business partners. Be sure to be reasonable, choosing items that are useful, cost-effective and serve to market your business.
#unsecured business loans
Unsecured Business Loans for Collateral-Free Cash
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An unsecured business loan has an attractive advantage over a secured loan: You don’t have to put up collateral, such as your home, your business equipment or inventory. So if your small business goes south and you can’t repay the loan, the lender cannot seize your personal or business assets.
Unsecured loans, however, will likely carry a higher APR than secured business loans, but they typically come with higher approval rates and faster funding. Although you don’t need collateral to qualify, you may still need strong business revenue, several years of operating history and fair or better personal credit — though this will depend on the individual lender’s requirements.
Here are five alternative lenders offering unsecured business loans or lines of credit of up to $100,000.
JUMP TO OUR RECOMMENDATIONS:
Lending Club: Lowest borrowing costs among online lenders for unsecured term loans and lines of credit.
OnDeck: Solid choice for an unsecured line of credit for working capital needs and handling unexpected expenses.
StreetShares: Good choice if you have strong credit and need working capital at a competitive APR.
Kabbage: Can be a smart option if you have bad credit and need working capital fast.
Fundbox: Sound choice if you have unpaid customer invoices and want to avoid a credit check.
Unsecured business loans: Summary of funding options.
If you want a term loan or line of credit with low rates: Lending Club
Lending Club’s APR ranges from 8% to 32%, making its loans and lines of credit slightly more expensive than SBA loans but the lowest among unsecured funding options online.
Lending Club also has less stringent requirements than banks, which typically require excellent personal credit and collateral to back loans. The lender requires a minimum 600 credit score, but collateral is only needed on loans and lines of greater than $100,000.
Before you apply for a Lending Club line of credit, find out whether you meet the minimum qualifications.
- 600+ personal credit score.
- 2+ years in business.
- $75,000+ in annual revenue.
- Own at least 20% of the business.
- No recent bankruptcies or tax liens.
- Provide collateral for loans and lines of credit of more than $100,000.
Lending Club is currently unavailable to borrowers in Iowa and Idaho.
If you need cash for working capital or unexpected expenses: OnDeck
OnDeck’s unsecured business line of credit is a good option for business owners who need working capital to manage cash flow or handle unexpected expenses. OnDeck’s APR is slightly higher than Lending Club’s borrowing costs, but requirements are less stringent. To qualify, you need at least a 600 personal credit score, nine months in business and $75,000 in annual revenue.
Each draw on the line of credit is repaid weekly over a period of six months, and borrowers can choose to repay sooner to save on interest with no prepayment penalties.
OnDeck’s line of credit doesn’t require a lien on your business’s assets, although you still have to sign a personal guarantee, which makes you personally liable for repaying the debt if your business fails to.
Before you apply for a OnDeck line of credit, find out whether you meet the lender s minimum qualifications.
- 600+ personal credit score.
- 9+ months in business.
- $75,000+ in annual revenue.
- No bankruptcies in the last two years.
- Personal guarantee required.
If you need working capital and have good credit: StreetShares
When you have strong credit and need working capital at a competitive rate, StreetShares is a good option but the maximum loan or line of credit you can qualify for is 20% of your annual revenue. To qualify for StreetShares, you need a personal credit score of 600 or more, a year in business and $25,000 in revenue. The lender offers term loans and lines of credit of up to $100,000, with no collateral required. The possible drawback is the 20% cap: For example, if your business makes $300,000 per year, you can qualify for a loan of up to $60,000.
Before you apply for a StreetShares loan, find out whether you meet the lender s minimum qualifications.
- 600+ personal credit score.
- 1+ year in business.
- $25,000+ in annual revenue.*
- No bankruptcies in the past three years.
- No current tax liens or collections (unless you have proper documentation).
You only need 6 months in business if you have $100,000+ in revenue.
StreetShares is currently unavailable to borrowers in North Dakota or South Dakota.
If you need working capital and have bad credit: Kabbage
Kabbage is a good option for borrowers with bad credit who need fast cash for short-term expenses; the company does not have a minimum credit score to qualify.
Funding is fast: Once approved, you can get access to funds immediately or, at most, within a few days. You’ll pay more for it, however, as Kabbage’s loan ranges from 32% to 108% APR. With a short repayment time frame and a higher APR, it’s likely not your best option for a large expense, such a new piece of expensive equipment for your company. Keep in mind that each new draw from the line starts its own six- or 12-month term with its own fee structure, so the cost of borrowing will increase.
Before you apply for a Kabbage loan, find out whether you meet the minimum qualifications.
- No minimum personal credit score required.
- 1+ year in business.
- $50,000+ in annual revenue.
- A business checking or online payment platform required.
If you have unpaid invoices and want to avoid a credit check: Fundbox
Fundbox is a good option if your business has unpaid customer invoices up to $100,000. The lender provides an unsecured cash advance (no collateral or personal guarantee required) for up to 100% of the value of your invoices, starting at $500. The company provides instant approval, with funding typically in one to three business days.
After receiving the cash advance, you’ll repay it in 12 equal weekly installments, plus a fee. If your customer ends up paying you before then, you can repay the advance in full to save on fees, with no penalties.
Before you apply for Fundbox’s invoice financing, find out whether you meet the lender s minimum qualifications.
- No minimum personal credit score required.
- No minimum annual revenue required.
- Must use online accounting software that can link to Fundbox (such as Quickbooks, FreshBooks, Harvest).
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See how different lenders stack up in NerdWallet’s expert reviews
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#free business website
Free Websites for Small Businesses
If you’re a small business owner, it’s easier than you may have heard to establish a web presence.
Google will help you get your small business up online
After launching the Get Your Business Online program several years ago, Google has now rebranded the effort and is calling it Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map. By logging on and selecting your state, you can have access to the following:
- Free, easy-to-build website
- Free customized domain name
- Free web hosting for one year
- Free online tools and training
- Learn how to put more information about your business into Google
- Get your company verified for Google searches
- Add information such as location, hours of operation
- Add photos to enhance the listing
- Get a diagnostic tool to see how you can improve yourlisting and visibility
After the first year, you’ll have to pay $16 annually for your domain name and $6 a month for hosting. Additional email support is available after 12 months for a fee.
So the easy part is getting your site up and running. The hard part is getting traffic to your site and updating your info online all the time. Google is hosting free seminars across the country to help you with that part.
For example, if you’re a restaurant owner, you might want to post your daily special each day. If you’re a retail storefront, you’d probably want to post at least a weekly special. A static website that doesn’t get updated won’t engage people. They’ll visit once or twice online and never come back again.
Other options to get your small business online
While I like the Google options, my new favorite choice for small business websites is a pay service called SquareSpace.com. My second favorite choice is SmallBusiness.Yahoo.com. Check them out!
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About the author: Clark Howard
Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles
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Global Business Coalition for Education
Call to Action: Business Leads in Emergencies
With the education of over 75 million youth disrupted by conflict and emergency last year, the economic growth critical to business operations in our globalized world is increasingly impacted. To address this crisis, the Education Cannot Wait Fund was created, which aims to provide 13.6 million children and youth living in emergencies and protracted crises with quality education over the course of the next five years. The Fund presents a critical opportunity for business to do their part and capitalize on the growing political will to take action. Through a coordinated and targeted approach, the Fund will help the private sector to engage, contribute, and prioritize investments, create shared value, and promote sustainable development and growth.
How Business Can Help Solve the Lake Chad Basin Crisis
The violent insurgency of Boko Haram in northern Nigeria has led to the destruction of over 1,500 schools and left 600,000 children without access to education. Another 800,000 children are at risk of losing out on their education and chance to build a strong foundation for their future. Businesses and the private sector, however, can help to solve this crisis, as they have capacity beyond merely funding to engage in the provision of education in emergencies. GBC-Education is developing an Emergency Database through which companies can register the resources they would be able to deploy to support education in an emergency and where they would be able to deploy those resources.
SNAPSHOT REVEALS HUGE INEQUALITIES IN EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT IN EAST AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
A new snapshot released by Theirworld reveals that millions of children in East and Southern Africa are missing out on vital components of healthy early childhood development (ECD), in particular access to adequate nutrition and quality early learning opportunities. Business can play an instrumental role in ensuring that children around the world have access not only to good nutrition, but also to comprehensive ECD programs. Business can leverage its core assets, services, voice, expertise, funds, leadership or innovative solutions to provide children with quality nutrition resources and ECD programs.
International Youth Day 2016: How Intel Continues to Empower Youth
Today marks the 16th year of the UN’s International Youth Day, passed by the UN General Assembly in 1999 to emphasize young people’s views and initiatives from around the world. GBC-Education founding member Intel demonstrates how businesses are engaging with youth to ensure that they have the necessary platform to act, such as program encouraging girls to develop apps; tinkering labs for youth in India; and others.
Latest News Activities
Report Release: No Lost Generation — Holding on to the Promise of Education for All Syrian Refugees
A report released August 3rd, commissioned by Theirworld and the Global Business Coalition for Education and written by Kevin Watkins, Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), highlights the current gap in funding that may leave hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugee children out of school when classes resume in 60 days.
How Business Can Change a Girl’s Trajectory
Coalition member Standard Chartered is celebrating its 10-year anniversary of Goal, an initiative designed to equip girls with financial education and critical life skills for future success in their communities as leaders. Goal has reached 217,000 girls between the ages of 12-18, and aims to reach 600,000 girls through its comprehensive programming by 2018. Over the course of its program, Goal has expanded its operations to more than 25 countries, including Gambia, India, Pakistan, China, Nigeria, and Jordan. Standard Chartered’s work to empower girls illustrates the ways in which business can facilitate girls’ learning and growth into leaders.
Celebrating a year of impact, Educate Girls on track to deliver promising results in Rajasthan
Results from the world’s first ever Development Impact Bond (DIB) for education in Rajasthan, India have been released. One year into the three year pilot, the results indicate that the bond is working. Educate Girls, an NGO and the service provider in this bond, has enrolled 44% of its total targeted out of school girls and has accelerated learning gains by 30%.
World Youth Skills Day 2016: Skills Development to Improve Youth Employment
Established as a UN designated day in 2014, World Youth Skills Day recognizes and brings awareness of the importance of training, technical and vocational skills, and other formal and informal methods of education for youth that are relevant to local and global economies. Today, the UN held an event attended by world leaders to discuss how we can effectively provide skills development for the approximately 1.8 billion youth between the ages of 10-24 — the largest ever. Representatives from the private, public, and civil sector all shared the importance of skills development of youth and current efforts to support young people in the workforce.
263 Million Children and Youth are Out of School: How Business Can Help
UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) has released figures indicating that the number of children and adolescents out of school is growing, now totaling 263 million primary, lower, and upper secondary age youth. Tremendous efforts are underway to address the issue, but without the private sector in the fight to provide every child with quality education, we will not achieve SDG4 of getting all children into school. Investing in education is not only smart for society, it benefits business, too. Investing in education leads to a skilled workforce, one that has critical 21st skills, is healthier, and promotes more stable, conflict-free communities; all of which helps to drive business growth and productivity.
Pearson Aligns Sustainability Plan with the SDGs
GBC-Education founding member Pearson has released its 2015 Sustainability Report illustrating how it is addressing education inequality on a global scale, and aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Pearson s report is reflective of a larger conversation on how the private sector can align their social responsibility practices and strategy with the SDGs, thereby supporting the UN’s work to end global poverty, combat inequality and injustice, protect human rights, and create a peaceful world.
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#best bank for small business
Best Checking Accounts for Small Businesses in 2016