Tag: How

My Paycheck – How Do Small Business Loans Work, how do business loans work.#How

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How Do Small Business Loans Work, Bizfluent, how do business loans work.#How #do #business

How Do Small Business Loans Work?

How do business loans work

Obtaining financing helps build your business, but it’s not always easy to do. Securing a business loan takes time and patience, whether you need $5,000 or $5 million, since banks are not in the position to grant every business a loan. Because small businesses are considered risky ventures by lenders, starting your application early and effectively navigating the process is critical..

Description

A business loan is based on your business needs, and your own qualifications to start and run your company. But that’s just the start. The bank also looks closely at your personal finances, since you’ll be liable for repaying the loan if your business goes under or you’re otherwise unable to make the payments. Banks usually require small business owners to use personal assets, such as your home or car, to secure the loan. Lenders often work with the Small Business Administration, a government agency that backs many of the commercial loans underwritten by banks.

Financing Available

Banks may give loans through their internal lending programs, or they may choose to guarantee the loan through the SBA. SBA-backed loans include the 7(a) primary loan program that covers a variety of small business financing, and the CDC/504 Program that helps businesses obtain new facility or modernize their facilities. The CDC program is ideal if you have an established business with a proven track record.

Documentation

The bank will require you to provide a business plan that includes financial statements and projections about future revenue. The plan must indicate what you intend to do with the money, such as increasing your marketing efforts or paying for supplies to meet demand. To improve your chances of getting a loan, the SBA provides counseling through a volunteer program, known as SCORE, to help you create a business plan that meets the lender’s requirements.

Think Twice

Before you begin the tedious process of obtaining a loan, note the disadvantages. A small business loan is based on your personal ability to pay, so you’re liable for making the payments until the loan is paid off no matter what happens to your business. You may go through all the work to satisfy the bank’s requirements only to find out you still don’t qualify, or the bank may only give you a small portion of the money you need. This would require you to act quickly to secure additional financing.


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How to write a perfect professional email in English in 5 steps – Global

#business emails

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How to write a perfect professional email in English in 5 steps

For most of us, email is the most common form of business communication so it s important to get it right. Although emails usually aren t as formal as letters, they still need to be professional to present a good image of you and your company.

How to write a formal email

Follow these five simple steps to make sure your English emails are perfectly professional.

  1. Begin with a greeting
  2. Thank the recipient
  3. State your purpose
  4. Add your closing remarks
  5. End with a closing

Download our free ebook: Everyday English Vocabulary 38 pages which points useful words and English phrases to help you have a better understanding of what’s going on around you.

Begin with a greeting

Always open your email with a greeting, such as Dear Lillian . If your relationship with the reader is formal, use their family name (eg. Dear Mrs. Price ). If the relationship is more casual, you can simply say, Hi Kelly . If you don t know the name of the person you are writing to, use: To whom it may concern or Dear Sir/Madam .

  • Thank the recipient

    If you are replying to a client s inquiry, you should begin with a line of thanks. For example, if someone has a question about your company, you can say, Thank you for contacting ABC Company . If someone has replied to one of your emails, be sure to say, Thank you for your prompt reply or Thanks for getting back to me . Thanking the reader puts him or her at ease, and it will make you appear more polite.

  • State your purpose

    If you are starting the email communication, it may be impossible to include a line of thanks. Instead, begin by stating your purpose. For example, I am writing to enquire about … or I am writing in reference to … .

    Make your purpose clear early on in the email, and then move into the main text of your email. Remember, people want to read emails quickly, so keep your sentences short and clear. You ll also need to pay careful attention to grammar, spelling and punctuation so that you present a professional image of yourself and your company.

  • Add your closing remarks

    Before you end your email, it s polite to thank your reader one more time and add some polite closing remarks. You might start with Thank you for your patience and cooperation or Thank you for your consideration and then follow up with, If you have any questions or concerns, don t hesitate to let me know and I look forward to hearing from you .

  • End with a closing

    The last step is to include an appropriate closing with your name. Best regards . Sincerely . and Thank you are all professional. Avoid closings such as Best wishes or Cheers unless you are good friends with the reader. Finally, before you hit the send button, review and spell check your email one more time to make sure it s truly perfect!

  • Aren t you an EF English Live student yet? See the general and business English course in action by requesting a one month for only one dollar* trial. Find more information about essential professional English tips here .

    Wil is a writer, teacher, learning technologist and keen language learner. He’s taught English in classrooms and online for nearly 10 years, trained teachers in using classroom and web technology, and written e-learning materials for several major websites. He speaks four languages and is currently looking for another one to start learning.

    Wil


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    Cupcake Business, How to Start a Cupcake Business, Sell Cupcakes #business #startup #loans


    #cupcake business

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    Cupcake Business

    • Does everyone rave about your cupcakes when you bake for family and friends?
    • Are you known as the Cucpake King or Cupcake Queen amongst your friends?
    • Have you ever thought you could start your own cupcake business?

    If you answered YES to at least two of these questions then this page is specially written to answer all your questions.

    I am often asked how to sell cupcakes and how to start a cupcake business.

    Bake for family and friends

    My first suggestion would be to make cupcakes for family and friends at every possible opportunity. Wherever you go, take cupcakes. It won’t take long before your friends and family will start asking you to make cupcakes for them. Then their friends will ask and so on and so on.

    It may take a while to build up orders but you can have lots of fun trying new recipes and deciding the easiest way for you to frost the cupcakes.

    Choose reliable recipes

    Choose recipes that are fool-proof and always please your customers. In the beginning it is probably best to concentrate on two or three favorite recipes that you know are crowd-pleasers.

    I love my Chocolate Obsession recipe as it keeps really well. This is important if you have to bake an order a day before it is due so that you have plenty of time to frost without the cupcakes going stale.

    Distribute flyers and sell at local malls and swap meets

    You can put up notices at local shopping malls advertising your cupcakes. Going to local swap meets, car boot sales or taking a stall at a fete are other ways to advertise and start selling cupcakes.

    Print up some flyers and do a letterbox delivery in your local area. These are all relatively cheap ways to get started but they also bring good results.

    Give out free samples

    I know you don’t want to give away your profits but make mini cupcakes and give them away at local shopping areas. Attach a small flyer or business card to each cupcake that contains all your contact details.

    Give cupcakes away at local charity events so that your name can be listed amongst the sponsors. Nobody knocks back free cupcakes.

    Price cupcakes properly for your market

    A cupcake business can be started with very limited funds if you are able to work from home. If you price your cupcakes properly you should see profits very quickly.

    Don’t try to undercut your competitors with your pricing. Even if you are working from home make sure that you include all your overheads. You have to think big and realise that if this business venture takes off and you need staff or bigger premises (or both) you can’t double prices overnight to take extra costs into consideration.

    Is it a hobby or full-time business?

    You need to decide if you want to sell cupcakes as a hobby or past-time or whether you can see yourself making cupcakes 6 or 7 days a week. Do you want this to be a full-time occupation and can you make arrangements if you are sick or need holidays?

    Note: The ability to work from home is dependent on local laws as some countries do not allow goods to be sold commercially from a home kitchen so you will have to research your local by-laws.

    If you are unable to bake from home and need to operate from a commercial kitchen your cost of production immediately skyrockets. This is not, however, an insurmountable problem. Just look around at all the cupcake bakeries that are succeeding and know that you too can be successful.

    There are lots of great resources available if you are interested in starting your own cupcake business. Because I have been asked so many times about the best way to start a business I have prepared an ebook which will help you from the beginning stages of thinking about starting your own business through to checklists for completing orders on time.

    Some of the chapters include:
    – Getting Started;
    – Marketing your Business;
    – Tools of the Trade;
    – Pricing your Cupcakes; and
    – Time Management Secrets.

    And don’t forget to come back and let us know how your business is going. We would love to hear from you.

    Have you started your own Cupcake Business?

    Have you started your own cupcake business and have some great tips or suggestions for other readers?

    Do you bake from home or from a commercial kitchen and have some great selling techniques to share with us?

    Do you work for yourself or have you joined a franchise?

    We would love to hear your stories.

    What Other Visitors Have Said

    Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page.

    Start my own cupcake business
    I made oreo cupcakes and gave them out to friends and family and they told me to start my own cupcake business because there were delicious. I made

    Home Business Insurance
    I have started to bake cupcakes from home. At what stage do you think I need to get home business insurance and is it really necessary? Currently I

    Starting a Bakery?
    I’d like to start my own cupcake business but Initially I will be doing it from home as a hobby. I intend to make some flyers etc and go to local fetes

    Sell Cupcakes
    I have met a friend of mine when studying at University, she can bake cakes and muffins. We decided to open a business for our Saturday classes at University

    Best Cupcake Recipes
    I am really interested in starting my own cupcake business from home and bought your book. This has made me even more determined to start my business.

    Start a cupcake business
    Hello! My name is Shelbi. My two sisters and I want to start a cupcake business, but we dont have alot of time with school and jobs. Our mother


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    How to Get Funding from Angel Investors – Small Business #business #website


    #small business investors

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    How to Get Funding from Angel Investors

    Tips

    • Angel investors can be an option for start-ups with the potential to earn high profits.
    • Expect close scrutiny. Many angels are former entrepreneurs and like to be involved and give business advice.
    • Angel investors tend to specialize, so look into their investing history to ensure there’s a good match.
    • Related How-Tos

      Feedback

      Small businesses looking for financial help from an angel often turn to individuals willing to invest in promising, start-up opportunities. Angel investors can be a good funding source to consider after you ve tapped your friends and relatives. But angels usually don t write blank checks. They ll want to see progress and a way to exit the deal down the line with meaningful profits. So expect angel investors to do a lot of research and careful investigation into your business plan.

      Be thoughtful in approaching potential investors. Biotech investors, for example, don t want to hear about a clothing manufacturer. A scattershot approach is likely to turn them off. Industry associations, local trade groups or, in some states, business-incubator centers can help point to potential angels.

      Angel investors often invest through groups or networks. These provide due diligence, extra research, access to potential deals and shared expertise that one person operating alone generally doesn t have. For instance, one member of an angel group might have background in a particular industry or the know-how to set up deal terms, sharing that knowledge with the other investors.

      Angel investors are usually thorough, so don t expect to get your money quickly. It could take several months to meet with different individuals or groups and answer all of their questions. (There are exceptions, including the case of Google, which got funding from an angel before its cofounders finished their presentation to him.)

      Because they ll own a part of your company, they ll likely want a say in major decisions, and they ll watch to see whether you listen to them. Don t expect them to write a check and walk away. Many angel investors are former business owners who want to help people like themselves. They may be able to provide good advice based on their previous experiences.

      Getting funding from angel investors isn t easy, but it can be done if you take the right approach and are a good match with their interests. And the benefits can beyond the money for your business, but their expertise in both in business operations and your industry niche.

      Related WSJ Articles and Blog Posts:

      Online Tools:

      • Bplans’ Free Sample Business Plans — Dozens of example business plans from Palo Alto Software, a seller of business-planning software.
      • Finance Primer: A Guide to SBA’s Loan Guaranty Programs — An online training course on financing for a small business and loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, a federal agency.

    Additional Resources:

    • Angel Capital Foundation’s Listing of Angel Groups — Links to dozens of angel networks, capital databases and matching services, and other resources, from an organization founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a promoter of entrepreneurship.
    • National Business Incubator Association — A directory of business incubators.

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    How to Form a Corporation or LLC – Start Incorporating a Company #business #stationery


    #incorporating a business

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    How to Incorporate or Form an LLC

    incorporate.com makes it easy for you to form a corporation or Limited Liability Company (LLC ) in any state. Most small business owners decide to incorporate to protect personal assets, gain credibility, and save on taxes.

    How Do I Incorporate?

    To get started incorporating a company, follow these simple steps below:

    1. Decide to incorporate. Before you set up a corporation, it’s important to understand the benefits of incorporating or forming an LLC. Knowing just what incorporating entails for you as a business owner – including financial and administrative expectations which may need to be reported periodically – can help you decide if incorporating is the right move for your company right now.
  • Select incorporate.com. It’s simple to form a corporation online. Rather than sift through endless piles of complicated paperwork and confusing terminology, we have helped countless businesses through the process of incorporation. Our thorough understanding of incorporation practices nationwide can assist you with making the process of forming a corporation as painless as possible.Learn why we think you will benefit from our services.
  • Choose a business structure. If you’re wondering, “Just how do I incorporate my business,” we will help guide you through the process and let you know what sort of business structure may best suit your needs of your corporation start up. C Corps, S Corps, and LLCs all provide different benefits. We can describe the differences which may help you choose the best structure for your company’s current needs and anything that arises in the future. Need more information about the differences between business structures? Check out our Business Comparison Chart .
  • Choose a state. Once you’ve decided that it’s time to start your own corporation, depending upon your company’s needs, you may want to incorporate in a state other than the one where your business currently resides. Additionally, some states have strict guidelines around unique names for corporations. When registering your corporation, we can help with naming that follows state guidelines. Get more information about choosing a state in which to start a corporation.
  • Choose a package. With a firm grasp of the options various company structures and states provide when forming or setting up a corporation, you’re well on your way to carving out a well-planned future for your new business. View our package options and begin incorporating a business online today.
  • Place your order. You can incorporate or form an LLC online or by phone with a Business Specialist at 800-818-6082 (toll-free) or 302-636-5440.
  • What Happens After You Place an Incorporation Order?

    Once you submit an order to start a corporation, we take care of the paperwork for you:

    • We assign your order to a Business Specialist, who will contact you if there are any problems with the preliminary name search.
    • We complete Articles of Incorporation (for a corporation) or Articles of Organization (for an LLC) on your behalf. A few states require us to get your signature on the completed documents before submission. Normally, we submit documents directly to the state.
    • We file your documents with the state in which you wish to start a corporation or an LLC.
    • We forward the state approval notice to you (generally within 5-10 business days, although turnaround times vary by state).

    Ready to Incorporate or Form an LLC? Check Pricing


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    How to Name Your Business: 10 Things You Need to Know #business #leads


    #naming a business

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    Picking a killer name for your business is harder than it might seem.

    One of the things to think about when choosing a company name is how it will look in the subject line of an email, according to cloud-based analytics company DataHero. Then there’s how it will sound when it’s said aloud. A number of leading companies in recent history have chosen names with between five and 10 letters and at least one hard consonant: Google. Starbucks, Verizon.

    Before naming your company. check out these tips from entrepreneurs who have been through the process, some of whom have even named the same company more than once.

    1. Don’t rush the process.

    There’s no set amount of time it should take for you to settle on a name for your company, but know that it could take six months of iterating before you make a final decision. An important thing to remember is to continue working on other aspects of the business as you get closer to picking a name, says Charlie Miner, founder of furniture and lighting e-commerce company WorkOf. “You don’t want the process of naming to prevent you from moving the business forward,” he says.

    2. Think about your audience.

    Venture capital database CB Insights was initially founded under the name Chubby Brain, something co-founder Anand Sanwal says represented his attempt to come up with a name that was cool, funky, and “startup-sounding.” Sanwal’s philosophy changed after he heard from the investment banks and other institutional clients that would be citing his startup’s data in their marketing materials. “Nobody wanted to put ‘Source: Chubby Brain’ at the bottom of a deck, because it’s not a real big credibility builder,” Sanwal says.

    3. Make it easy to spell.

    It’s okay to use unique spelling, a la Chick-fil-A, but don’t make your company’s name so unconventional that it’s hard to remember. “I’ve seen some startup names where I’ll think, was that four ‘E’s’ or three?” CB Insights’s Sanwal says.

    4. Short is better than long.

    Not every company can have a short, simple, one-syllable name like Box, Dell, or Lyft, but if you come up with a great long name and a great short name, you should probably go with the short one. Acquiring the rights to short web domain names, however, can be pricey, if not impossible, so make sure to check the availability of your desired URL first.

    5. Factor in search engine optimization.

    Making your company easy to find in search engines is an important consideration when picking a name. If you’re going to use a proper noun for your name, you should think about how that decision will impact SEO. Choosing a common term like “Bell,” for example, would make it hard to place your company on the first (or second) page of search results on Google.

    6. Enlist a focus group (or groups).

    Once you have a shortlist of names you like, it’s a good idea to see how other people respond to each one. “Survey as many people as you can,” says Bridie Loverro, co-founder of QuadJobs, an online marketplace connecting college and grad students to local employers. “The name to choose may not necessarily be the one people like best, but the one they remember most.”

    7. Keep your options open.

    Having to change your name after pivoting from one business model to another isn’t the end of the world, but if you can pivot and still retain the brand identity you’ve already built up, that’s ideal. Picking a name that doesn’t pigeonhole your company to one specific service will help. “The goal is to create something that is broad enough to intuitively answer who you are and that speaks to your core customer base, but also gives you room to grow into other areas,” says Logan Sugarman, co-founder of wellness concierge service Refresh Body.

    8. Keep mobile in mind.

    If customers can buy your products through a mobile app, you might want to factor in how your company name will look on a mobile app icon. A friendly sounding name like Shopify might also lend itself better to mobile users compared a three-letter acronym that doesn’t convey anything about your brand.

    9. Don’t obsess over a descriptive name.

    The name of your company doesn’t have to make it clear what your business is. While it helps to reference the spirit of your brand in some way (think: food delivery company Seamless), avoid a name that sounds specific to an entirely different industry. As Neil Patel, co-founder of web analytics company Crazy Egg writes, the name NomNom suggests food, and therefore doesn’t work if you’re starting a financial services software-as-a-service company.

    10. Make the name visually distinctive.

    After you pick your name, you should consider adding a custom feature that makes the brand more than just the word or words in the title. Some examples include unconventional capitalization, combining two words into one, or adding a unique design touch, like the curled “C” in the first letter of the bedding startup Casper. “It’s about developing a more fully fleshed out visual identity,” says WorkOf’s Miner.


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    How to Make a Professional Letterhead #business #online


    #business letterhead

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    How to Make a Professional Letterhead

    A professional-looking letterhead can make all the difference in how your business is perceived. If you do a lot of work with clients, branded stationery will streamline your communication and help your business look all the more professional.

    Your letterhead should be simple and uncluttered. Your business’s logo (or perhaps a modified version of your logo) will probably play a large role in the design.

    The rest of the design should be simple–don’t muddle it with too much contact information. One piece of contact information (phone number or email address if it’s a letterhead; physical address if it’s an envelope) should be all you need.

    If you’re looking for inspiration, check out these 83 creative letterhead and logo designs from YouTheDesigner.

    Microsoft Word offers many letterhead designs you can customize. (Click to zoom.) HP’s Creative Studio website features several free “business kits ,” which include templates for matching business cards, letterheads, and mailing labels. If you can’t find anything there, Epson’s CreativeZone also has matching sets, as does StockLayouts –though the latter’s sets will cost you $39 per design.

    You can also create your own letterhead template in Microsoft Word using your company’s logo. In Word 2010, go to Insert, then Header and Footer. Insert your logo into the header section and align it in the middle. Put additional text (contact info, slogan, and the like) in this section, and put additional info, such as your physical address or Web address, in the footer section.

    Printing your own stationery is pretty straightforward, as no special paper or printer settings are needed. Printing on envelopes is a little trickier, however. Still, most modern printers can handle different-sized paper–including envelopes and notecards–with ease, thanks to straighter paper paths and manual-feed slots.

    HP’s Creative Studio offers free Business Kits with letterheads. If you’re looking for a whole stationery package–letter-size paper, envelopes, and notecards–you may want to consider checking out your local print shop. Not only can they help you design your stationery (for a nominal fee, of course), they may be able to give a discount if you order sets in bulk. Local print shops are best for people who have a rough idea of what they want–being able to describe your vision to another human being (instead of an online service) will certainly come in handy.

    You can also outsource letterhead printing–Vistaprint offers letterhead printing — $110 for 250 sheets, and envelope printing at $1 per envelope.

    If you’re just looking for envelope printing, EconoEnvelope offers single-color, custom-design envelope printing starting at $38 for 500 envelopes, and the site also offers features such as windowed envelopes ($40 for 500) and envelopes with security tinting ($43 for 500).

    Make Essential Business Print Materials

    How to Make a Professional Letterhead


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    How finance companies differ from credit cards, banks #business #loan #application


    #finance companies

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    How finance companies differ from credit cards, banks

    Whether it’s buying a car, paying medical bills or purchasing furniture, if you’ve had to finance one of life’s big-ticket items, you’ve probably been offered the chance to take out a loan from a finance company.

    They’re the less-regulated alternative to getting a loan from your bank or putting the charge on your credit card. Usually, a finance company offers a secured or unsecured personal loan. Before signing on the dotted line with a finance company, understand exactly what you are getting into.

    What finance company loans are (and aren’t)
    Sometimes these products are marketed as credit cards, when they really aren’t.

    Medical credit cards, in particular, can be very loosey-goosey about the term, says Linda Sherry, spokeswoman for Consumer Action, which in 2014 released a survey of medical cards.

    Such products are not subject to the same regulations as credit cards.

    Borrowing money from a finance company isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but you should first learn what these companies are, how they operate, who regulates them, and what protections you have if you run into problems.

    What are consumer finance companies?
    Unlike a bank or credit union, finance companies do not accept deposits. They just loan money, sometimes with fixed terms and sometimes not. Some offer a big range of products, some specialize, says Chris Kukla, senior counsel for government affairs with the Center for Responsible Lending.

    The most well-known issuers of these products are automobile finance companies, such as Toyota Financial Services or Ford Credit. These are owned by auto manufacturers and make loans to consumers purchasing vehicles from those particular brands.

    If you have strong credit, you have a good chance of getting a low-interest auto loan through an auto finance company.

    If your credit is not stellar, an auto finance company that specializes in the subprime market may offer you a loan, but at a much higher interest rate.

    CarePayment of Lake Oswego, Oregon — which works with health care providers nationwide and provides a way for people to pay medical bills — is another example of a finance company. It offers consumers a revolving line of credit at a 0 percent annual percentage rate.

    Furniture and appliance stores, such as Seffner, Florida-based Rooms to Go, also offer consumers a line of credit through a finance company.

    Who regulates finance companies?
    Consumer finance companies are licensed and regulated by the state in which they operate. Depending on the size of the company, it may be licensed in one state or dozens of states, says Danielle Fagre Arlowe, senior vice president of the American Financial Services Association, a trade association for the consumer credit industry that represents traditional installment lenders, such as the big auto finance companies.

    That is different from credit card issuers, which generally are regulated by federal authorities. The Office of the Comptroller and the Currency (OCC), a division of the U.S. Treasury Department, regulates national banks that issue credit cards, while the National Credit Union Administration supervises federal credit unions.

    Meanwhile, state banking regulators oversee state-chartered banks or credit unions.

    Finance companies have to adhere to the laws in the states in which they are licensed, Kukla says

    That means a finance company can do things that are not expressly prohibited by law in the state in which it operates, Kukla says: It may be abusive, but if it’s not prohibited by law, there’s nothing the state can do.

    Because of variations in state laws, a finance company may have different loan terms in different states, Arlowe says. So a consumer in Georgia may be charged a different interest rate or have a different loan payoff schedule than a consumer in Texas.

    One big segment of finance companies has a new regulator. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) — which supervises and enforces federal consumer financial protection laws, including those surrounding credit cards — is taking over the supervision of major auto finance companies.

    Under a rule issued June 10, 2015, the CFPB will have authority over companies that make, acquire or refinance at least 10,000 auto loans or leases per year. The bureau estimates that 34 auto finance companies would fall under that regulation, and these account for about 90 percent of all auto loans and leases not made by banks. Together, these companies provided auto financing to nearly 7 million consumers in 2013.

    The rules mean auto finance companies will be not be allowed to use deceptive practices to market loans or leases, or mislead consumers about the loan benefits or terms. The companies also must provide accurate information to credit bureaus.

    Auto finance companies also will be prohibited from discriminating against consumers when lending based on factors such as someone’s race, gender, and age, or based on whether the person receives public assistance. Illegal debt collection practices are banned, and the CFPB will review automobile repossession processes.

    The new rule is scheduled to take effect in August 2015.

    What are typical finance company practices?
    Unlike credit card companies, finance companies are not required to give consumers the same payment due date each month. While many require you to pay your bill by the same date, in other cases it is a moving target. So your bill may be due on the 22nd one month and the 21st the following month.

    If you don’t pay on the proper date, you might be charged a late fee or required to pay a higher interest rate, Kukla says.

    There also might be other risks. For example, imagine you are shopping at an appliance store offering 0 percent financing for 24 months. It may sound like a good deal, but if you read the fine print, you may see that it is a deferred interest deal. If you miss a payment or fail to pay the loan off in 24 months, you could end up paying a steep interest rate, and have interest added in from the time you took out the loan, Kukla says.

    Many finance companies report your payment record to the three main credit bureaus, helping you build a credit history, Arlowe says. However, they are not required to report such payments.

    Complaints are the only real way to tell what kind of lender they are.


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    How to Come Up With an Idea for a Business #business #internships


    #start up business

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    How to Come Up With an Idea for a Business

    In their book, Start Your Own Business , the staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc. guides you through the critical steps to starting a business, then supports you in surviving the first three years as a business owner. In this edited excerpt, the authors offer suggestions for figuring out just what kind of business you d like to start.

    How do you start the business idea process? First, take out a sheet of paper, and across the top, write Things About Me. List five to seven things about you things you like to do or that you re really good at, personal things (we ll get to your work life in a minute). Your list might include: I m really good with people, I love kids, I love to read, I love computers, I love numbers, I m a problem solver. Just write down whatever comes to your mind; it doesn t need to make sense.

    On the other side of the paper, list things you don t think you re good at or you don t like to do. Maybe you don t like to meet new people or you re really not that fond of kids or you don t like public speaking or you don t want to travel. Don t overthink it.

    When you re finished, ask yourself: If there were three to five products or services that would make my personal life better, what would they be? Determine what products or services would make your life easier or happier, make you more productive or efficient, or simply give you more time.

    Next, ask yourself the same set of questions about your business life. Also examine what you like and dislike about your work life as well as what traits people like and dislike about you.

    Finally, ask yourself why you re seeking to start a business in the first place. Then, when you re done, look for a pattern (i.e. whether there s a need for a business doing one of the things you like or are good at).

    Inspiring moments

    Inspiration can be found anywhere. Getting an idea can be as simple as keeping your eyes peeled for the latest hot businesses; they crop up all the time. Many local entrepreneurs made tons of money bringing the Starbucks coffeehouse concept to their hometowns and then expanding from there. Take Minneapolis-based Caribou Coffee. The founders had what they describe as an aha moment in 1990 and, two years later, launched what is now the nation s second-largest corporate-owned gourmet coffeehouse chain. Other coffee entrepreneurs have chosen to stay local.

    And don t overlook the tried and true. Hot businesses often go through cycles. Take gardening. For the past few years, gardening products and supplies have been all the rage, but you wouldn t consider gardening a 21st century business. The same goes for shoe cobblers and seamstress businesses with people wanting shoes and clothes to last longer or fit just-so, these businesses are in demand, and supply is short.

    In other words, you can take any idea and customize it to the times and your community. Add your own creativity to any concept. In fact, customizing a concept isn t a choice; it s a necessity if you want your business to be successful. You can t just take an idea, plop it down and say, OK, this is it. Outside of a McDonald s, Subway or other major franchise concept, there are very few businesses that work with a one-size-fits-all approach.

    One of the best ways to determine whether your idea will succeed in your community is to talk to people you know. If it s a business idea, talk to co-workers and colleagues. Run personal ideas by your family or neighbors. Don t be afraid of people stealing your idea. It s just not likely. Just discuss the general concept; you don t need to spill all the details.

    Hopefully by now, the process of determining what business is right for you has at least been somewhat demystified. Understand that business startup isn t rocket science. No, it isn t easy to begin a business, but it s not as complicated or as scary as many people think, either. It s a step-by-step, common-sense procedure. So take it a step at a time. First step: Figure out what you want to do. Once you have the idea, talk to people to find out what they think. Ask, Would you buy and/or use this, and how much would you pay?

    Determining what you want to do is only the first step. You ve still got a lot of homework to do, a lot of research in front of you. Most important: Do something. Don t sit back year after year and say, This is the year I m going to start my business. Make this the year you really do it!


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