August’s Perfectly Fine Jobs Report
The U.S. economy added 151,000 jobs last month—growth that’s favorable enough to keep an interest-rate hike in 2016 a possibility.
How Ransomware Became a Billion-Dollar Nightmare for Businesses
One cybersecurity firm estimates that extortive attacks now cost small and medium companies at least $75 billion in expenses and lost productivity each year.
Was It a Mistake for Trump to Focus on the Economy?
Jobs Day in 2016 has become an anti-climax, thanks to an improving climate that aids Hillary Clinton. So why is the Republican still painting a bleak picture?
The company announced that in some instances the battery in the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone exploded.
72 Hours on the Fire Line, Every Week
Armando Alvarez has been fighting some of California’s worst fires for 15 years, working shifts that can go well beyond his regular hours and last up to 18 days.
At Work in Two Genders
Observations from accomplished trans women about power and leadership in the office
Being the Person Behind the Badge
Officer Cabria Davis talks about rebuilding community trust with the police in Camden, New Jersey.
The Dangerous Life of a Trash Collector
Angel Veloz talks about his work ethic and why he dropped out of college to drive trucks.
The Real Reason Peña Nieto Fears a Trump Presidency
If Donald Trump follows through with some of his campaign promises, he could wreak economic havoc on Mexico.
Apple Pushes Back
Tim Cook, its CEO, described as “maddening” the European Commission’s finding that Ireland should recoup 13 billion euros in back taxes from the tech giant.
Minimum-Wage Hikes Go Straight to the Ballot Box
Blocked by lawmakers, voters in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Washington state will decide for themselves this November whether workers get a raise.
The Pill, the Condom, and the American Dream
Poor kids are finally narrowing the achievement gap with rich kids. Is contraception the cause?
August’s Best Reads: Flint, the Fed, and the Business of Game Shows
The month’s most interesting stories about money and business from around the web
The Rise and Fall of Black Wall Street
Richmond was once the epicenter of black finance. What happened there explains the decline of black-owned banks across the country.
The Mail-Order Brides of Jamestown, Virginia
In its early days, the first English settlement in America had lots of men, tobacco, and land. All it needed was women.
How Alumni Are Reading the University of Chicago Letter
Over the past week, my alma mater has been all over my (and probably your) news feed. The general dramatic…
Who Wouldn’t Want Apple to Pay Its Taxes?
The Irish finance minister and … the U.S. Treasury?
Someone to Talk to Upon Returning From War
After serving in Vietnam, John Cowart spent three decades helping soldiers who were struggling with the effects of military service.
California’s Smart New Retirement Plan and the Industry That Opposes It
Many asset-management companies fear a program that would reduce something they depend on: consumers’ confusion.
Why the EC Ruled Against Apple
The European Commission ordered Ireland to recover up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) from the tech giant over what it called “illegal tax benefits.”
Fewer Unions, Lower Pay for Everybody
If organized labor were as strong today as it was in the late 1970s, nonunion men without a high-school diploma would be earning 9 percent more, according to a new study.
#best business phone
The 4 Best Business Internet Service Providers
When searching for the best business Internet service provider, there are several factors about your Internet usage that you must consider. Price, availability, and speeds are the most obvious factors to think about, but it is also a good idea to determine how many people use the Internet at once and what they use it for on a daily basis. The number of web users and different types of web activity have an impact on your actual Internet speeds. If you re also interested in getting phone service at your business, it may be smart to look for an Internet company that offers discounts when you bundle phone with your Internet.
Verizon FiOS Internet is ideal for businesses that require extremely fast Internet solutions. Their 300 Mbps download speed is far and away the best in the industry at the moment, and their 65 Mbps upload rates should be more than enough for most businesses. Prices are slightly higher than what competitors offer, but the speeds available at Verizon are unmatched anywhere and can be highly desirable for some businesses. However, if price is a major concern, you can often save money by signing a two-year contract with Verizon Wireless, or by purchasing phone service in a bundled deal. An Internet subscription with Verizon also gives you access to Wi-Fi hotspots all over the country, which could be extremely useful if you travel frequently for work. If any of these services match your business needs, it would be smart to look into Verizon FiOS Internet.
AT T s U-verse® Internet rounds out the list of best business Internet providers for their fair pricing. Their speeds are considerably slower than the other companies on this list, and they require a one-year commitment with all of their plans. However, their prices are also far more affordable than many other Internet providers, and if your business is smaller, their 24 Mbps top download speed could be all that you need. They also offer some excellent choices for bundle deals, as they offer several different solutions tailored to different kinds of businesses. Most of their plans include both phone and Internet services, while some also throw in data backup, remote tech support, or even a smartphone. If any of these solutions sound like a match for your business, take a closer look at AT T s business Internet services.
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The Sunday Times Best 100 Companies
Welcome to The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For. This is the 16th annual survey and ranking of the cream of Britain’s employers, and its appearance each year is a high-profile event in the nation’s business calendar.
The data-gathering and analysis used across all sectors are extensive. It’s the staff themselves who fill in the anonymous surveys from which the scores are compiled — a total of 241,361 people filled out questionnaires for this year’s lists — so we’re getting opinions about their bosses, their working conditions and their employer’s values direct from the people whose hard work builds the success of their business, whether they’re lawyers, mechanics or shop assistants.
And once a company is on the list, they have to work to stay there. In all 925, firms registered to take part in this year’s surveys and there are 79 new entries, displacing those who didn’t make the grade this time.
Our lists honour:
■ The 100 Best Companies to Work For in the mid-size category, (250-3,000 employees).
■ The 25 Best Big Companies to Work For (3,000-plus).
■ SMEs (50-250 staff) are assessed in The Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For.
■ Public-sector bodies, charities and housing associations are recognised in 100 Best Not-for-Profit Organisations to Work For.
All these lists can be found any time online at thesundaytimes.co.uk/best100companies
Congratulations to all the organisations on this year’s lists.
The Sunday Times
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Sale of sports business, a positive for Zee: The Hindu Business Line – Mobile
Zee Entertainment Enterprises has decided to sell its sports business (TEN Sports channels) to Sony Pictures Networks India and its affiliates for $385 million.
The sale will help Zee exit its loss-making sports broadcasting business, which contributed ₹631 crore (about 11 per cent) to its consolidated revenue in 2015-16.
The sports business incurred a net loss of ₹37 crore, against a profit of ₹1,027 crore from consolidated operations during the year.
It was in 2006 that Zee acquired a 50 per cent stake (raised subsequently) each in Taj TV, Mauritius, which owns TEN Sports channels, and in Taj Television India, the distribution arm of TEN Sports in India.
A report from Ambit Capital shows that the sports business has incurred losses at the operating level in all years except one since 2005-06.
This is in sharp contrast to the company’s profitable general entertainment channel (GEC) broadcasting business.
Zee has a strong foothold in the Hindi and regional languages GEC space, which forms a chunk of the TV viewership base. Even as it is exiting the sports genre, it is looking at expanding its presence in the regional GEC space (Tamil Nadu, for instance). In January, it acquired Sarthak TV, a leading GEC in Odisha.
TEN Sports has the broadcast rights to the events organised by the cricketing boards of five countries, including South Africa, West Indies and Pakistan, as also to other non-cricket events such as wrestling, football and tennis.
But, it does not have the broadcasting rights for some lucrative events such as the cricket matches organised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, thereby impacting the company’s subscription revenue from this business.
The 5 Components of a Turnkey Business
Here is the script of this video blog on how to create a turnkey business!
Hi, I m Glenn Smith, the Growth Coach in Houston, Texas, and I want to talk to you today about how to create a turn key business, and specifically, I want to talk about the 5 Components of a Turn Key Business.
Great business leaders build great businesses that can run without them. That s what I encourage all the business owners I work with to work toward. To create a business that can function and perform consistantly and predictably, without their constant presence and their constant attention.
The 5 Components of a Turn Key Business are these that I have listed here: Marketing, Selling, Fulfillment, Admin, and HR.
Every business has to have these 5 basic systems. You might call them the 5 major systems of a turn key business.
If you re a soloprenuer or a small business owner with just 1 or 2 employees, you may want to take HR and make it a sub-component of Admin and only have 4. But if you have multiple employees, and you re going to grow to even more, you definitely want to have a separate component that s HR.
This area covers things like talent acquisition, training and development, coaching and correction, conflict resolution, performance management. All of those things are key pieces of your HR system.
Admin is typically the back office type things like bookkeeping, accounts payable, accounts receivable, inventory control, data management, compliance issues related to taxes, personnel law, and issues like that. They come under the Admin system, and you want all of that documented and running very well.
But the 3 core systems of a business are these first 3: Fulfillment, Selling, and Marketing.
Marketing is lead generation. You want to generate a certain number of qualified leads for your business. So you build a marketing engine or marketing system to do just that. This will include all of your major marketing mediums:
All of those systems make up your marketing system. You want to document them all and make sure it s measurable so that it s producing the number of quality leads that you want.
Then we move to selling. This is lead conversion. Marketing is lead generation, selling is lead conversion. In your business, your selling system may be a transactional system like in a retail business, or it may be a consultative selling system like in professional services, or it may be a bidding or quoting system. Whatever it is, you want to define it, document it, and refine it. Build it out as your selling system.
The third core system is fulfillment. This is where you deliver your product or service. And you document here exactly how you do this to ensure that every time it s done with excellence and quality.
These are the five major systems of a turnkey business. I want to encourage you as a business owner to build it, document it, and train people to operate it. IF you document it well with checklists and measurable outcomes, you can train people to do it with excellence every single time.
As a business coach. this is what I help people do. This is what business owners hire me to help them with. In fact, we have a two-year program that we take business owners systematically through to help them create turnkey businesses.
I hope you found this to be helpful and hope it elevates your vision and mindset about what your business can be. Thanks for watching.
#small business administration loans
How to Find the Right SBA Loan for Your Small Business
Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy: According to data from the 2010 U.S. Census, there are 27.9 million small businesses registered in the United States, employing 120 million people almost half of the nation s workforce.
Part of what the Small Business Administration (SBA) does is help America s small businesses secure the funding they need to operate and grow. As a federal government agency, the SBA does not lend small businesses money directly. Instead, it sets guidelines for loans that are made by its partners, which include banks, credit unions, community development organizations and microlending institutions. The SBA guarantees a portion of these loans granted by these institutions will be repaid, eliminating some of the risk for lenders.
Kale Gaston, head of the SBA Lending Group for TD Bank in Greenville, S.C. said SBA loans do a great job of helping lenders say yes to borrowers. He also noted that SBA programs provide better access to capital and credit enhancement for small business owners. For example, since the SBA guaranty lowers the risk in case of a loan default, lenders are able to provide funding when the down payment available is too low or the business s cash flow is not high enough for traditional options.
SBA lenders can provide longer terms as well. Instead of five or 10 years for a real estate purchase with a balloon payment at the end, the lender can give terms for 25 years, eliminating the balloon (i.e. final payment) or need to refinance every few years, Gaston said. For shorter-term assets, like equipment, terms could go to 10 years instead of the usual three to five years.
SBA loan programs
The SBA s loan programs are designed specifically for small business owners who don t have access to other reasonably termed financing. There are four main types of loan programs:
7(a) loan program: This is the SBA s primary program to help startups and existing small businesses obtain financing. 7(a) loans are the most basic and most commonly used type of loan, as well as the most flexible. The money can be used for a variety of general business purposes, including working capital, machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, purchasing or renovating land and buildings, leasehold improvements and debt refinancing. Loan maturity is up to 10 years for working capital and generally up to 25 years for fixed assets. Borrowers can apply through a participating lender institution.
CDC/504 loan program: This program provides businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing for major assets, such as land and buildings. The loans are typically structured with the SBA providing 40 percent of the total project costs, a participating lender covering up to 50 percent and the borrower putting up the remaining 10 percent. Funds from a 504 loan can be used to purchase existing buildings, land or machinery, and to construct or renovate facilities. These loans cannot be used for working capital or inventory. Under the 504 program, a business qualifies if it has a tangible net worth of less than $15 million and an average net income of $5 million or less after federal income taxes for the two years before application. The maximum amount of a 504 loan is $5 million.
Microloan program: This program offers very small loans to startups, or newly established or growing small businesses. The loans can be used for working capital or the purchase of inventory, supplies, furniture, fixtures, machinery or equipment. The SBA makes funds available to specially designated intermediary lenders, which are nonprofit organizations with experience in lending and technical assistance. Those intermediaries then make loans of up to $50,000, with the average loan being about $13,000. The loan cannot be used to pay existing debts or to purchase real estate.
Disaster loans: The SBA offers this option to businesses that have been affected by a declared disaster. These low-interest loans can be used to repair or replace damaged real estate, personal property, machinery, equipment, inventory and business assets.
Further details on each type of loan program can be found on the SBA s website .
What you ll need to apply
When applying for an SBA loan, you ll need to fill out forms and documents for the specific loan you re trying to get. The SBA also encourages borrowers to gather some basic information that all lenders will ask for, regardless of the loan type. The following items are usually required:
- Personal background and financial statements
- Business financial statements
- Profit-and-loss statement (three years)
- Current within the last six months
- List of debts
- Projected financial statements
- Business certificate/license
- Income tax returns
- R sum s for key team members
- Business overview and history
- Business lease
The SBA also advises small businesses applying for a loan to be prepared to answer several questions:
- Why are you applying for this loan?
- How will the loan proceeds be used?
- What assets need to be purchased, and who are your suppliers?
- What other business debt do you have, and who are your creditors?
- Who are the members of your management team?
Why your business plan matters
Whether you re a new startup or an established company, the key to a successful application is a well-written business plan .
The business plan not only is the road map that will guide the business from planning to startup to (hopefully) success, but also will show any potential lender that the potential business owner does have a clear view and understanding of the business, how to run it and, most importantly, how the loan will be repaid, David Hall, a public affairs specialist with the SBA in Washington, D.C. said in an email interview with Business News Daily.
Gaston agreed, noting that lenders want to know how knowledgeable you are about your business and the competitive market.
The concept may be great, but what the lender is looking for is that the individual is driven, capable and determined, Gaston said. You really need to understand what you are doing every step of the way and be able to convey that to the lender during the application process.
Hall also recommended that business owners take full advantage of the business planning resources offered by the SBA and its partners, such as SCORE. SBDCs (Small Business Development Centers) and WBCs (Women Business Centers).
Finding a lender
While Gaston acknowledged that applying for an SBA loan is a process, she said working with a lender that has experience can make that process a lot easier. To find experienced SBA lenders in your area, he suggested talking to folks locally in the market and looking for a lender that is part of the SBA s Preferred Lender program. This program gives thousands of lenders per year delegated authority to approve loans based on certain criteria, shortening the time period between application and approval.
You can find SBA lenders by going online at sba.gov. contacting local accountants and attorneys, and looking for lenders with a large local presence. SBDCs also provide document support and lender referrals.
The SBA program drives a tremendous amount of value in the economy, lending approximately $30 billion to small businesses annually, Gaston said. It takes businesses to the next level, is appropriately structured and enables them to be successful.
Additional reporting by Business News Daily contributor Elizabeth Palermo.
With an Associate s Degree in Business Management and nearly twenty years in senior management positions, Marci brings a real life perspective to her articles about business and leadership. She began freelancing in 2012 and became a contributing writer for Business News Daily in 2015.
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#small business grant
Small Business Grants: The Facts and the Fiction
I say for the most part because government grants for small businesses do exist, but the opportunity to secure one is limited to a narrow field of candidates.
Here’s what you need to know about government grants for small businesses, who is eligible to receive them, and how to go about getting them.
What grants are available?
Before diving into the types of government grants available to small businesses, let’s start by establishing what the government does not provide grants for.
The federal government doesn’t provide grants for any of the following activities:
- Starting and expanding a business
- Paying off debt
- Covering operational expenses
However—and here’s the twist—the federal government does award grants to small businesses in certain fields and industries (for example, scientific, environmental, and medical research). The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, for example, is one of the most lucrative sources of federal grants for high-tech startups or high-growth firms (more on SBIR below).
The reason why federal grants are largely off-limits to small businesses is that they are funded by our tax dollars and appropriated through Congress and The White House. Fund allocations are tightly controlled and only awarded to business endeavors that are closely tied to the agenda of a particular government agency, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Department of Energy.
Outside Washington, things don’t get much better. Although some state and local government agencies do award small business grants—which they often call discretionary inventive grants —these state grants are also closely aligned to agency objectives and tend to be limited to larger companies.
How to find and apply for small business grants
If you think your business may qualify for a grant, the resources below can help you with your search:
Grants.gov is Uncle Sam’s central repository and searchable database of over 1,000 different grant programs. To narrow down your search to small business grants, navigate to the “Browse Eligibilities” tab and select “Small Businesses”.
State and local grants
Contact your state economic development agency for information about discretionary incentive grants.
Corporate and nonprofit grants
Small business grants are also available from select nonprofits (WomensNet. for example) and corporations, such as the Intuit “Love our Local Business ” campaign.
SBIR grants for R D businesses
As mentioned above, if your small business is engaged in research and development (R D), you may be eligible for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant. SBIR is a federal program, overseen by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), that awards grants and government contracts to stimulate high-tech innovation and grow the economy by supporting the R D necessary to develop and commercialize innovative technological products. In 2010, SBIR awarded approximately $2 billion in research funds, with more than half the awards going to businesses that employed fewer than 25 people.
While the eligibility criteria for an SBIR grant is pretty straightforward—businesses need to be more than 50 percent American-owned, located in the U.S. and have fewer than 500 employees—securing a grant requires some effort. First, you’ll need to prove that your efforts are aligned with federal R D goals by searching advertised agency solicitations on the SBIR website. Next, submit a proposal outlining the technical merits and benefits of your venture. If you are successful, you’ll then enter a phased R D process. You can read more about this phased approach on SBIR.gov .
The bottom line
Hopefully this information cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about small business government grants.
If you need an injection of capital, don’t waste your time falling for the promises of late-night “free government money” infomercials, and instead use your energies to investigate other sources of financing.
If you don’t qualify for a bank loan, consider an SBA loan, which can be easier to secure than a standard bank loan. An SBA loan is funded with money that comes indirectly from the SBA—first the SBA makes a guaranteed loan to your bank, which then makes a small business loan to you, the business owner. This approach allows the bank to take on a little more risk than they otherwise might be able to afford.
This article is part of our Business Funding Guide. fund your business today, with Bplans.
How LivePlan makes your business more successful
If you re writing a business plan you’re in luck. Online business planning software makes it easier than ever before to put together a business plan for your business.
As you ll see in a moment LivePlan is more than just business plan software though. It s a knowledgable guide combined with a professional designer coupled with a financial wizard. It ll help you get over the three most common business hurdles with ease.
Let s take a look at those common hurdles and see how producing a top notch business plan sets your business up for success.