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Every Company, Whether Big or Small, Needs to Obtain a Business Credit Card

As a business person working in a competitive environment, owning a business credit card is crucial, especially in today’s world where every credit card company is fighting for your business.

If you are like many business owners that think that there is no difference between a regular credit card and a business credit card – think again. All you need is a small business credit card to get you where you need to go. In fact, there are so many reasons why you should consider securing a business credit card for your company. The best credit deals are now available but won’t last forever.

There are many different types of cards that cater specifically to the way your business operates. For example, if you’re starting a business you may want to consider applying for a business credit card such as the Business Gold card. Your first year is free with no annual fee when you join which is an absolutely incredible offer your business just cannot refuse! Your card also includes any additional cards you may order for your employees.

Even more, there is no spending limit so you can purchase all your office furniture on your small business credit card with ease! And if you think it can’t get better than this, think again because it does! Due to the best credit deals now available for small businesses, receive superior discounts on your everyday office purchases from companies like FedEx, Staples, and Kinko’s!

Frequent business travellers will also absolutely love using their small business credit card for rewards to be redeemed for discounted prices on flights, car rentals and accommodations. You can even receive cash back on every purchase you make! In time, you will see how much money a business credit card can save you! Avoid using cards that give you nothing back in return! Every small business has access to the best credit deals to be had so don’t hesitate! Sign up for a business credit card today and find out what it feels like to spend wisely. Your business will thank you for it later!

Having a small business means investing a lot of time and energy to make your business work and grow. For those important purchases that need to be made by small businesses, why not look at getting a small business credit card? It’s the perfect option for businesses on a tight budget but need to get things done in a timely manner. It’ll give your business an edge and a one up other businesses. Even more, it’ll give your small business exactly what you need, because these types of credit cards cater to you.

Small businesses, especially within their first few years, can incur a lot of debt as part of its initial start up cost. Unfortunately, the costs don’t stop there. To get started, you’ll also need office furniture and equipment to allow your business to run smoothly and efficiently. If you’re carrying a balance on your existing credit card, there’s no need to worry.

Many credit card companies that offer small business cards will give you a low balance transfer, which will end up saving you money. Consider using the Citi Platinum Select Advantage Business Card. It helps small businesses take off by giving 10,000 bonus miles when you make your first purchase. In addition, you’ll also receive 1 advantage mile for every dollar you spend when you use your small business card. Redeem your miles whenever you want. There are no restrictions. It’s simply wonderful what these types of cards can do for your small business and it’s easier than ever to sign up right now. In fact, this easy to use online credit card is all you need to get your business where it needs to go! Get yours today.

Rebuilding a Small Business in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina

Five Fiducial franchisees were right in the thick of things when Hurricane Katrina devastated the U.S. Gulf Coast and are experiencing first hand what it takes to rebuild a small business that has lost everything.

As the nearest Fiducial franchisee in the path of Katrina, Richard Drexel of La Place, LA, says he’s doing “as well as can be expected” in the aftermath of the recent destruction considering he’s lost about “50% to 75%” of his small business clients.

La Place is located 25 miles west of New Orleans in St. John Parish where Drexel has operated his office for the last 10 years. Since communications have been severely disrupted, he doesn’t know when he’ll be able to contact his clients.

“Communications are so bad that I cannot call out of my own area,” said Drexel. “I can’t even call someone on the cell phone next door and I have not heard from any of my clients.”

A friend working for FedEx told him that “there are no businesses to deliver to and you cannot get supplies in” due to the flooding.

Taking stock of his business, Drexel says his office suffered only minor damage in its building and all his records are intact. His home also had minimal damage and his family is all healthy.

“I’ve ridden out some hurricanes that have brushed us but this one was different,” he said. “The official wind gust at my house was 84 miles per hour but my parents in Slidell were right in the eye with winds at 145 miles per hour. That area was pretty much totaled. Where they live there was nothing left to see. If we got hit by the eye we wouldn’t be talking.”

Reinventing the business

Drexel is concerned about his clients especially the ones who had direct business connections to New Orleans. After the storm he got together with those in his community and found out that one of his neighbors does porcelain tile repair on such antiques as claw foot bathtubs.

“He’s been in business since 1958 and 90% of his clients are in New Orleans,” Drexel said. “I’ve told him that he needs to reinvent himself. Porcelain repair is a niche business so I gave him some ideas of what to do.”

During the brainstorming session, the neighbor admitted he will probably scale back to do porcelain chip repair instead of taking on larger projects. The neighbor wants to sign up as a client but revealed that right now he doesn’t have any money to pay Drexel.

Offering additional advice, Drexel suggested the porcelain repairman call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to file a claim. For other small business owners that were decimated by Katrina, he says if they had a place of business with a store front that was damaged that they can take the loss on their taxes but if they operate out of their house as a 100% service industry “you’re out of luck.” (See accompanying sidebar for more tax information).

It’s unknown just how many small businesses will be able to fight back from these tremendous losses. Even if their operations remain intact, other companies that they do business with are reeling and that’s a major dilemma.

One of Drexel’s clients, for example, has a janitorial supply company that now will have nobody to deliver to because all his clients are in New Orleans. Another client is in the plastics business but his store is under eight feet of water and all the inventory is probably ruined.

Location is everything

In Houma, LA, 60 miles southwest of New Orleans, Fiducial franchisee Terri Dockery says she and her clients had a little shingle damage but the businesses managed to weather the storm. She believes many clients should safeguard their business records by having vital information scanned onto compact discs that can easily be taken with them if they have to evacuate quickly due to an approaching storm. This will prove invaluable when filing insurance claims after a natural disaster.

“You should save all of your personal asset information on CDs now,” said Dockery who has operated her business for 20 years. “That way all the important papers are there so when a catastrophe strikes just grab those CDs.”

Eddie McFearin and Cheryl Millin both own Fiducial franchises in Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s state capital. Location is everything in business and when it comes to hurricanes, these franchisees benefited from their geographic proximity when the winds and rains swept through the state.

“Being on the western side of the hurricane helped a lot because that’s the calmer side,” said McFearin. Aside from losing power at his house and having some downed phone lines near his office which he’s run since 1997, his business experienced no real damage. Dealing with the influx of refugees from New Orleans, however, has been another matter for local residents. Gasoline and certain food items are in short supply.

“My wife went to the grocery store and all the meat was spoiled,” he said. “There was a lot of panic buying.”

For those businesses that will have to rebuild, McFearin made the distinction that depending on the type of business, some will have an easier time than others.

“If they’re a physical plant that was heavily damaged that’s one thing but if they are a lawyer all they have to do is rent another building,” he said.

When it comes time to rebuild businesses, McFearin says local banks and financial institutions are willing to help. If the business was strong before the hurricane arrived and they were properly insured, they should be in good shape. But if they are under insured or not insured, “they will have a taller hill to climb.”

Rising from the wreckage

Millin is no stranger to disasters as evidenced by the fire that burned down her office last year. In fact, coping with the hurricane was easier than sifting through the ashes of her charred office last May. Her business, located in an office complex, was moved four weeks later to a permanent location.

She bought the operation in 1999 after working in the office for 25 years. The biggest crisis for her service station and convenience store clients in the wake of Katrina has been getting gas for customers.

“One of my clients, a Shell convenience store owner, just called me this morning and has been told by the jobber that they’ve been put on allocation,” said Millin. This limits the amount of gas that the dealer receives.

For those small business owners that have lost everything, she advised that they should contact their state sales tax department as well as the Internal Revenue Service to get copies of important business records. Millin remembers how difficult it was to resurrect her business after the blaze.

“For the first week after the fire I was doing live payroll at my kitchen table at home,” she said.

When she first sifted through the ashes of her fire-damaged office, Millin recalled looking for the checkbooks and the bank ledger. Fortunately, the records were salvageable and key data was scanned into the computer system but not every entrepreneur has that capability.

“He average business owner doesn’t have that kind of stuff,” she said. “Hopefully their tax preparer has it.”

Perhaps the biggest problem for small business owners who evacuated the region, Millin says, was they thought they were going to leave for a few days and come back home. But in their rush to leave they left critical business documents behind such as insurance policies and tax returns.

“They’re in denial because they did not pack those papers,” she said.

Up in Jackson, MS, Fiducial franchisee James Vlach indicated that small businesses in this locale, 200 miles north of New Orleans, fared pretty well overall after losing power for several days.

“We had about 12 hours of 50 to 80 miles per hour winds, tons of trees down and there still are people without power,” said Vlach.

A number of convenience store owners lost sales because they did not have enough gas available for customers. “That affects inside sales too,” he said.

Find the Probability of Success for Any Online Home Based Business Opportunity

There are about three big opportunities per lifetime. Like baseball, if you miss all three, you are out. Do you remember the last online homebased business opportunity you missed? Did you miss Microsoft? Did you miss Yahoo? Did you miss Google?

Couda, shouda, wouda

Why did you miss out? Was it lack of knowledge? Was it indecision? If it was lack of knowledge, you can forgive yourself. You can not know what you do not know. There was nothing you could do about it. If it was indecision, there was something you could have done.

Oportunity is the fruit of Convergence. Peter Drucker defines opportunity this way:

“Opportunity in the market place is because of a process of convergence of forces that were previously not together.”

The idea of forces coming together, converging, is stronger than the business itself. The essential forces Peter Drucker did not individually identify as converging will be enumerated and discussed in this article.

There are five essential forces that must be present for any successful online homebased business opportunity. This article will describe these five essential forces that must be in place for any online homebased business opportunity to be successful. These five essential forces apply to any online homebased business opportunity. They are universal, abstract, and independent of business type. They apply from academia to zymology.

A simple analytical method to evaluate these essential elements and arrive at a numerical figure of merit will be presented. The method is strong, impersonal, and reliable. You will arrive at a numerical rating for the relative strength for the Probability of Success (S) for any online homebased business opportunity you care to evaluate. Reducing the evaluation to a number between zero and 100 gives you a powerful, impartial method to evaluate or compare any online homebased business opportunity. This will remove emotion from the decision process.

Convergence of these five essential ingredients is absolutely essential for success. All five forces must be present simultaneously. In other words, they must all converge at the same point in time for the same business venture. They must all be in the right place at the right time to create a successful online homebased business opportunity.

These forces are the essence of all businesses, regardless of product. They are like the spokes in a wagon wheel. If one spoke is missing, the wheel breaks down. Each factor dramatically affects the success of any online homebased business opportunity.

Without the convergence of these five forces there is no online homebased business opportunity. If there is no convergence, there is nothing you can do to make the business a success. No amount of hard work and no amount of money will yield success.

Opportunity presents itself only when all these forces are in simultaneous alignment. One force is not considered more important than the others. The order in which they are presented is no indication of their relative values. They will be discussed in random order.

This method is not buried in concrete. Feel free to make your own assessments of relative importance. When you finally establish a value, stick with it. Be consistent so comparisons can be made between one online homebased business opportunity and another. For example, if you decide leadership has a maximum value of 2 or 5, stick with it on any online homebased business opportunity you wish to evaluate.

It will be convenient if the sum of the maximum values allowed always equals 100. In this case, Leadership has been arbitrarily assigned a maximum value of 2. All you need to do is decide if the leadership of your proposed online homebased business opportunity deserves a zero, 1, or 2.

1. Company (C ) (Maximum = 20)

Company Management (Maximum = 10)

Leadership (2)

Confidence or trust (2)

Experience (2)

Honesty (2)

Influence (2)

Company Financial Stability (Maximum = 10)

Assets (2)

Cash (2)

Credit Rating (2)

Visibility (2)

Technology (2)

Many start-up online homebased business opportunities do not have the financial assets to sustain their own growth. A viable online homebased business opportunity must have very deep pockets or be owned by a company with very deep pockets, preferably a parent company that has already gone through the growth cycle and has the funds to support the new growth.

2. ProDucts (D) (Maximum = 20)

Leading Edge Product Technology (Maximum = 5)

R&D

Proprietary (No other place to get it)

Competitive

Product Quality (Maximum = 5)

Quality, like Reliability, must be built into the design and process. It cannot be “tested” or “worked” into the products.

Product Fills a Recognizable Need (Maximum = 5)

There should be a clear need for your product or service. If there is no need, there is no demand, and there is no opportunity. There may be very little demand for 78 rpm vinyl records.

Consumable (Maximum = 5)

If the product is not consumable, there is no additional market after the initial sales and there is no opportunity.

Trends (R) (Maximum = 20)

Demographic Trends (Maximum = 10)

As individuals, we can not create a demographic trend. We can only recognize it and take advantage of it. The “Baby Boomers” are the largest market in history. Starting immediately after WWII, 76 million babies were born during the period between1945 to 1964. When the first of these babies were born, a powerful demand for baby products materialized. Companies like Johnson & Johnson and Gerber’s made huge profits. As these babies started shaving, Gillette started making huge profits. As they learned to drive, the Ford Mustang was in demand. As these babies began to have babies, the Mini-Van became desirable. If your online homebased business opportunity is positioned in front of the Baby Boomers, assign Demographic Trends a maximum value.

Economic Trends (Maximum = 10)

Individuals do not create an economic trend. Individuals have no control over economic trends; however certain businesses are sensitive to economic trends. Real estate is sensitive to interest rates. In times of economic downtrends a low number would be assigned. Cosmetics, on the other hand, are virtually immune to economic downtrends and would be assigned a high number. People will give up eating to look good and feel good. If your online homebased business opportunity is immune to economic trends assign a high number.

Timing (T) (Maximum = 20)

You have no doubt heard the expression that in real estate the three most important factors are Location, Location, and Location. In an online homebased business opportunity, the mantra is Timing, Timing, and Timing.

If one force is more important than the others, perhaps timing is the most important element of success. Timing, like trends, is also beyond your control. Like trends, you can only recognize timing and take advantage of it. There is nothing you can do to improve timing. It is either there or it is not. If timing is present assign a high number based upon the following criteria.

A. Formulation Phase: (Maximum = 20)

This is the phase where research and development are just completed. Production and initial marketing efforts begin. This region is characterized by slow, deliberate growth. As an agricultural example, this is the time for planting. It is defined as the region of the growth curve where income from sales is less than $50 million per year.

This is the time to get into any business. It requires forethought and knowledge. It does not require speculation. It requires due diligence on your part to study the online homebased business opportunity and arrive at your estimate of the strength of the five essential force ingredients of a successful online business venture. If you identify that your online homebased business opportunity is in the formulation phase, assign timing a value of 20.

B. Critical Mass Point

he critical mass point is defined as sales of $50 million per year. This is the point which will determine ” When”. This is the point when your labors will begin to yield fruit at such a great rate you will be unable to contain them. From this point onward, the curve rises ever so steeply. This is the time to act quickly and decisively. If you are not on board at this time, your online homebased business opportunity will quickly leave you behind. If you identify that your online homebased business opportunity is at the critical point, assign timing a value of 20.

C. Momentum

Momentum is defined as sales greater than $50 million per year and increasing very rapidly. If you have exercised your desire, ability, and motivation, you have already become a participant before your online homebased business opportunity reaches momentum. You have exercised your choice and are now in position to enjoy the fruits of your labor. There is nothing you can do to stop the momentum which is now building beneath you. It is beyond your control. It is like a giant wave that carries you to the pinnacle of success. There may be some who grab onto an online homebased business opportunity as it speeds by them, but the exponential growth eventually decays exponentially as the wave crest rises higher and higher until the opportunity diminishes. For example, you could buy Microsoft stock now, but the big opportunity is already over and it will never come back again. If you find your online homebased business opportunity is just starting into momentum, assign timing a value closer to 20. If you find your online homebased business opportunity near the top of the curve, near stabilization (defined below), assign timing a number closer to one.

D. Stabilization

This is the area where the exponential growth has died out. Momentum has dissipated. Sales are good, but sales are not increasing exponentially. The business is mature, stable, and secure. The curve is relatively flat, and growth has slowed to a value similar to the development phase. The online homebased business opportunity has gone. It is passed. It is over. There is no online homebased business opportunity. If you find that your online homebased business opportunity is in stabilization, assign timing a value near zero and start looking for another online homebased business opportunity.

Compensation (K) (Maximum = 20)

Leverage (Maximum = 10)

If you trade time for money, you will never get ahead by investing one increment of your time for one increment of income. You will remain in the very treadmill you are trying to escape. You will get by, but you will never get ahead. If you want to get ahead, you must find a way to multiply your efforts. That is done by leveraging yourself. J. Paul Getty stated this clearly when he said:

“I had rather have one percent of a hundred people’s efforts than 100% of my own efforts”.

If you have no way to leverage yourself (e.g. fixed salary) assign leverage a number near zero. If you can leverage yourself, assign a number closer to 10.

Multiple ways to earn income (Maximum = 10)

Sales Profits (1)

When you can profit from your own sales efforts, assign a value of 1, otherwise zero.

Override (1)

If you receive override compensation on the efforts of others, assign a value of 1, otherwise zero.

Matching (5)

If you can receive matching compensation on the efforts of others, assign a full value of 5.

Residual (2)

If you can build your equity to the point that you have residual compensation from your previous efforts, assign a value of 2.

Perpetuity (1)

If your equity is yours to sell or will to your survivors, assign a value of 1, otherwise zero.

Define the Possibility for Success (P) as being totally dependent upon the sum of the five prime forces required for a successful business (above). Notice that it has nothing to do with you. The only thing you will do is evaluate each ingredient and assign it a strength value. This will depend upon the research you conduct to gain information about the five essentials for the particular online homebased business opportunity. Assign each one of the five ingredients a value from zero to 20 according to the instructions presented above. (Naturally, 20 is the ideal, strongest value.) You have determined all the values for C, D, R, T, and K.
Repeating, you have evaluated each force ingredient separately and arrived at your evaluation of its relative strength.

Add up all five of your separate evaluations.

P = C + D + R + T + K

For example, if all five ingredients are present in your online homebased business opportunity and each is individually evaluated as being 20, then:

P = 20 + 20 + 20 + 20 + 20

P = 100

Let us further define a Multiplier (M), as a figure of merit derived from your desire, motivation, and ability to succeed. Let M be limited to a number between zero and one with zero being the worst case and one being the best case. Note that this multiplier is entirely dependent upon you, not the online homebased business opportunity. Determine this multiplier number by self-evaluating your desire, ability, and motivation. Notice that the multiplier number does not depend on your time. Too many people say “I don’t have the time.” That means you are “too busy chopping wood to stop and sharpen the axe”. Successful people do not have time—they make time. Ideally, you want to rate yourself as a “1″, not a zero. But unto thine ownself be true.

Define Success (S) as:

S = M(P)

If you are a “one” and not a “zero”, and all five ingredients of your online homebased business opportunity are present at their full value, there is no gamble since:

S = 1(100)

S = 100

Having completed your “due diligence”, failure is no longer an option or possibility. The probability for success is 100 percent. Your success is assured. It is no longer a question of “If”. It is simply a question of “When”.

Get on board this online homebased business opportunity fast

Use this procedure one each online homebased business opportunity that you wish to evaluate and compare.