5 Tips to Help You Qualify for a Business Loan

5 Tips to Help You Qualify for a Business Loan

If you are looking to get a business loan, it can seem overwhelming at first. After all, it can be confusing to know what you need to do in order to qualify in the first place. However, if you use the five tips below, you can vastly increase the chances that a lender will extend a loan to you for your business.

Show Capacity

One of the first things lenders want to see is your capacity to pay back a loan. This typically means that you need to raise your credit score. If you are wondering how to do that, the first thing you should do is pay down your credit card balances. As a general rule, consumers should only ever use up to 30% of their available credit; if you have more than that, pay down your debt below 30% to improve your credit and your standing before a potential lender. This will help you improve your chances.

Character as a Business Owner

The bank or lender is going to want to see that you have great character as a business owner. This shows them that you are the type of person they would want to do business with. Be sure to have plenty of testimonials and references from customers, friends, and business partners on hand.

Capital You Will Need

According to Inc, your chances of succeeding with your business are helped by anticipating future needs, spending, profits, and cash flow. The amount of capital you are asking for will affect your chances of getting the loan on the first try. Furthermore, how much money you will need going forward after the first loan is another factor. Be sure you can communicate what you will need and why so that your plan of action sounds solid. Back it up with a well-thought-out business budget.

The Condition of Your Business

The condition of your current business has a lot to do with your chances. If you are walking in with a failing business, the lenders might see your loan as just another thing that you will waste. Be sure to have a great vision or results to show the investors so they can be fully supportive.

Collateral

It helps to have some form of collateral with your loan. This could be your house, your car, or the business assets. Anything to reduce the lender’s risk will help you in securing the loan you want.

When it comes to business, there is nothing more important than capital. Without the right funds, you can’t get the right investments in your business to grow at the rate you want. That is why it is crucial to know how to get a business loan. Use the tips above and secure a loan that will help you get where you want to go sooner rather than later.

If you find this article helpful, check out some other relevant content from our blog:

Ep. 1 – The Dare to Dream Podcast

Ep. 1 – The Dare to Dream Podcast

 

Transcription

K: Kolten

A: Amber

 

K: Thank you for listening to the “Dare to Dream” podcast located here in Colorado Springs, Colorado and sponsored by Reticence Marketing, a full-service marketing, web design, and SEO company doing both local and national business through a variety of clients and a variety of industries. My name is Kolten; I’m the founder of the company, as well as your host, and I do have a guest here with me today. Her name is Amber; she has a variety of companies and entrepreneurial endeavors. Amber, if you just wanted to elaborate a little bit on who you are and what you do.

 

A: Sure! Thank you for having me! I’m excited to be here! Well, my name is Amber Turner and I’m the owner of Polish at Home and at Polish at Home we’re bringing beauty to you and so we’re in the stages of launching our own skin care line which I’m so excited for! And I’m also the owner of Deluxe Productions which is an event production company here in Colorado Springs. And we do a variety of events, including workshops, training, seminars, live events, and we’re excited to also be doing the modern American Miss Pageant which I’m really excited about because I’m excited to be a part of this system and what it can do for young women in our society. So, I’m really, really, excited to be here, and share with all of you what we’re doing here in Colorado Springs.

 

K: Awesome! Definitely glad to have you on the show and obviously Colorado Springs is an interesting area for business; definitely a thriving area and a thriving community, so I know that you’re pretty popular on Instagram as well, so if you could just explain maybe how social media and marketing has helped improve your business.

 

A: Absolutely! Well, social media is king almost [laughs]. Social media is pretty much how you are going to brand yourself and so it’s a way to reach people and so social media has helped me so much in my business where I’ve absolutely met amazing people. I actually obtained business off of social media, so I definitely know the power of social media and what it can do for your brand and your business.

 

K: Perfect! And yeah, definitely being a marketer myself and working for a marketing company, doing social media is probably one of our most popular areas.  I would say mostly because a lot of business owners just don’t understand it and Amber obviously you’re younger, so you’re in kind of a different demographic with me, we understand social media, we understand a lot of marketing, but for the older business crowd which you know, probably makes up a large majority of business owners here in the country besides you know, startups, just understanding social media and understanding marketing is probably pretty confusing for them, I would say.

 

A: Absolutely I agree. And even though I kind of grew up with social media, I can say that I know a lot about it because it’s forever changing so I’ve gotten to a point where I’m finding that, you know, outsourcing that to the expert that actually study it is actually beneficial to me as a business because like I said it’s forever changing. I mean, one thing can be working one day and the next, not so much.

 

K: Oh yeah, definitely. I mean being a marketer that’s probably the most annoying thing to work with is that we’re always having to adapt our strategies, and what we’re doing, and the systems we’re using, but at the same time that’s good because we’re doing it for you, and I guess that’s why a lot of business owners could definitely benefit from using a marketing company or just understanding more about marketing themselves and doing it themselves you know whatever way works. Uh, so I know that you kind of elaborated on this when you introduced yourself, but I know that your starting your own skincare line through one of your companies, if you wanted to maybe talk a little bit about that.

A: Sure, well I’ve always loved skincare. I mean I’m just like very passionate about skincare and one of the things I was doing with Polish at Home is I was selling other brands and products and so with myself being so passionate about skincare I just thought one day, why don’t I just start my own skincare line where I can sell my own things that I believe in and that I’m passionate about and that I know works. So that’s what we’re in line, I’m starting, and I’m really excited about it and it’s just going to be amazing!

 

K: That is awesome and obviously you’re a Colorado Springs entrepreneur. We have a lot of entrepreneurs strangely in this community. I guess not necessarily strangely, we’re a thriving, vibrant community, but we seem to have a lot of startups, a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of people really trying to make their dream a reality. And you know just kind of moving on from the conversation we were in, the motto of our company Reticence Marketing is “Dare to Dream: and our goal as a company is to make business owners’ dreams a reality and making their businesses exceed and grow in their revenue and their clients, etc. So, I mean being a business owner and entrepreneur yourself, what does that statement mean to you, you know when we say, “Dare to Dream” and what would you say to business owners that currently own a business or people who are just maybe younger? Or even older, and they just want to start a business, they kind of want to escape that daily 9 to 5 grind, I guess you would call it.

 

A: Absolutely, I think it’s so important. I think especially in our lives, we go through our life thinking that we have to live our lives a certain way. That we have to get a certain job and we have to have a certain lifestyle. But I think that it’s important to, and I love that “Dare to Dream” because it’s about living fearlessly. It’s about going after your dreams and believing in them and I think that belief is so important. For a long time in my life, especially in the beginning, especially when I was still trying to find myself and trying to find my footing, I felt like I had to fit a certain mold, I had to talk a certain way, I had to be a certain way, I had to portray myself a certain way. And at the end of the day I wasn’t so happy. Until I started daring, I started to live fearlessly, and I started to live boldly. And I think that’s so important because you’re going to be so much happier on your life when you are going after your dream, you’re seeing the vision you have for your life. And you’re making it come true. And I think that we oftentimes get so bogged down with life and what others think that we just need to dream ourselves and believe in ourselves and I think it’s important to, especially when it comes to entrepreneurship and starting your own business, because people are going to tell you all the time that you can’t do this, and you can’t do that and that’s never been done. But the most successful people and the most famous entrepreneurs there are out there they dared to dream and it’s possible for everyone.

 

K: Certainly, I couldn’t agree more and that’s definitely why we picked that statement because it’s a very profound statement I guess you could say about our company and I know we’ve gotten several clients who are just people who are kind of browsing the industry looking for tips on marketing. You know, interested in our podcast or the articles we write just trying to make life a little bit easier for them because being an entrepreneur, being a business owner is definitely not an easy experience. But I’m sure that you would agree in the end that it’s a very worthwhile life experience to have, you know, being your own boss and not having to live in kind of that day to day corporate grind, as people call it the 9 – 5 terror. I’m only 20 years old and being an entrepreneur myself, I’ve been told several times that’s impossible, that you can’t do, you know there’s no way that you can go to school, own a company and work a full-time job, and there’s no way that you can break into an industry that’s already so highly competitive. But I think that it’s, actually I know that it’s 100% possible and there’s a lot of young people out there, as well as a lot of people who are maybe middle age, you know, they already have families, they’ve been living the same way for most of their life and there’s just ready to kind of escape from that and be their own boss and really make their dreams a reality you know whether they have a skill that they can promote in a business or a product that they think is just ingenious that they want to come up with and deliver to the consumers. I think that “Daring to Dream” is really something that society has really lost a hold of. But at the same time, it’s really the way forward I guess you could say.

 

A: Oh, absolutely! And that’s actually one of the events that we are creating at under Deluxe Productions is “Vibing like a boss” which I’m really, really excited about. It’s for like young females and it’s about going after your dreams and finding the path of self-discovery, finding the path of your purpose.  You will be so much happier when you live in your purpose. I mean that is so important, is when you find that path and you know, okay this is the path that I’m supposed to be on and it might be hard, I’m telling you the road to entrepreneurship is bumpy and it has so many challenges, but it’s so worth it because every day I wake up and I’m happy. I love what I do even though it is frustrating sometimes. [laughs] I have a lot of frustrating days and a lot of ups and downs. But at the end of the day I feel like I’m so blessed to be able to do what I’m doing, and I love what I’m doing because I know that this is my path that this is my purpose and I’m truly happy inside. I mean I used to work for the Federal Government. I worked a 9 to 5 and I you know, the typical corporate office-type of environment. And I was just like this is not right and it used to not feel right, and I was like this is not where I’m supposed to be. I didn’t know where I was supposed to be, but I knew it wasn’t there[laughs]. And so, once I started the journey of self-discovery and actually like on the path of entrepreneurship I just kind of learned a lot about myself too. In addition, I mean in entrepreneurship you learn a lot about yourself. Most definitely, but I would go to bed just happy though even though I might’ve had a really frustrating day, nothing worked out right, or nothing was working out, it’s just like when you’re living in your purpose and your path and you know this is the life I’m supposed to be living, money can’t buy that.

 

K: Definitely, I think it’s been some doubt in the modern day by the statement living life according to your own terms.

 

A: Uhmm.

 

K: And that’s, what were you saying? Sorry.

 

A: I just said, “Absolutely.” I was agreeing.

 

K: Oh perfect. [laughs] But yeah, I mean when you’re a business owner and you’re an entrepreneur you really are living life on your own terms, you really are daring to dream. Like we were kind of talking about earlier, it’s something that maybe this generation really doesn’t understand as much as they could you know I guess in the way that we raise people nowadays through the education system and all that it’s really not with an entrepreneurial focus. You know? It’s more like what is life in the 21st modern century? You know you go to high school, you graduate, you go to college, you get a career, and then, you know you have a family, buy a house, you know this is what we refer to as the American Dream nowadays. And then you die, you know whether happy or not but at the end of the day, what you were talking about with the corporate grind, the 9 to 5 workday, it’s a nightmare to some of us. You know there’s people out there who are 100% okay with living that way and that’s awesome for them. There are people out there who just absolutely love working for other people because they don’t want to be their own boss and that’s fine. You know everyone is their own person, but for the people out there who I feel like a lot of the time kind of feel lost and forgotten, those people who are real dreamers who really want to make an impact on the world around them and whatever we may be, that’s what this podcast is for, that’s what our company is for, it sounds like that’s what your company is for, as well. You know? And we’re all here trying to coach people mentor them and bring them up into becoming, you know not just necessarily business owners, but just successful people in general who are daring to dream and living life on their own terms and you know, just being happy, like you were saying.

 

A: Uhmm. I think just to piggy back what you said, I think a lot of times too, people don’t really realize that they can do it. They think that’s for everyone else, that they can’t do it themselves. I had a conversation with someone before and I was creating a previous event called [inaudible: 13:40] and it was an amazing event. I mean, it was just, I still get chills thinking about how everyone came together. It was to benefit Autism and it was just an amazing event. But how it came together we had Dr. [inaudible: 13:57] speak, we had Mark Randall, former Denver Nuggets coach and player, and we had all sorts of people involved. And she was like how did you manage this? And I said I acted. And she’s like, “I could never do that!” I’m like, “Yes you could!” [laughs]. I mean you have the opportunity just like I do to pick up the phone and call. I also like, when I moved to Colorado I had nothing. My family and I, we didn’t have a place to stay. Like we had nowhere to live, we had no jobs, we had nothing. And I wanted to create an event called “Painting with the Heart” which was to benefit the impatient children at the local hospital here. And I still want to do it even though I had nothing, I had no resources, I didn’t have any friends, I was not well-networked or anything, but I wanted to create this event because I had the vision of this event. And, so what I did is I just picked up the phone and started calling people. And I received so many no’s, people hung up the phone [laughs]. And they were like who is this crazy girl calling me? You know? Like it was tough, but you know I persevered until I got a yes. And you know what they say about that? All you need is one yes.

 

K: All you need is one yes.

 

A: All you need is one yes and from that one yes it was “Painting with a Twist” from that one yes, we created an amazing event that we supported the impatient children of the hospital it was just amazing to see the local children and this community support the children that were not as well as they were in the community. That was amazing, and I had nothing. I started from nothing and we all have the opportunity to pick up the phone, and act, or just call, or whatever vision you have for yourself there’s an opportunity there. You just have to act.

 

K: I couldn’t agree more with you, it’s all about action. It’s all about taking the next step and a lot of people nowadays just don’t really want to focus on that, they don’t want to, they really don’t want to challenge themselves anymore. But business owners, you know they do, they challenge themselves each and every day, especially being entrepreneurs, you know, you and I are both young entrepreneurs and just trying to succeed like you were saying. You start from nothing; you build a company from nothing. You make your dreams a reality and you help other people while you’re doing that and that’s really, I mean for me and it sounds like for you as well that’s why I got I got into the business I’m in, and that’s why you know we’re doing this podcast and trying to reach out to business owners and I feel like a lot of people, it’s all about conformity, I guess you could say. People throw that word around a lot nowadays. I’ve personally written about it a few times just in terms of everyone just wants to follow everyone else I guess you could say. That’s what the vast majority, you know, 80 or 90% of the population just wants to get in line and follow everyone else and there’s nothing wrong with that, you know like I was saying earlier. If you just want to conform and that’s what makes you happy that’s fine because that’s what makes you happy. Kind of like what you were talking about. But there are always going to be those people who are just naturally intended almost by the laws of nature itself to break the mold. And those are the dreamers and those are the people that make the difference in the world around us and that’s really the way I guess you have to look at it. Kind of like what you were saying it only takes one yes; you just have to pick up the phone I get that all the time being a young business owner and entrepreneur myself. Like, “How did you do that?” I’m like one day I decided I wanted to do it, so I did it and now here I am and we’re growing, and people are like, “No I could never do that!” Well, “Yes you could.” It’s actually not that hard, you know, you just focus on yourself and like you were saying you learn so much about yourself when you’re building a company because it takes work and it’s going to beat you down but then you’re going to beat it back.

 

A: And you can’t stop at the first failure because you’re going to experience a lot of failure. I’ve experienced so much and if I stopped at the first failure that I experienced, I would’ve stopped a long, long, long time ago. Because it’s all about perseverance, and it’s not even about, I don’t even like to look at it as failure, it’s like what is this teaching me? And how do I need to pivot and modify, or maybe go in a different direction. What is this teaching me about myself and I always tell people it’s about expiration. I’ve tried so many things. My family thinks I’m crazy [laughs].

 

K: Mine too. Mine too.

 

A: What is Amber doing now? I feel like life is about expiration, it should be fun. I mean I’ve tried so many different things but that’s what makes life fun. I’ve learned like okay I don’t like that too much. Or this I’m good at this, but I’m not good at this. And so, once you learn those lessons it’s like it all comes together and then you start to focus and like “I’m good at this and this is what I like to do. I don’t like to do this and so I should go in this direction.” And then I experience another failure and that direction and [inaudible 19:36] have to go another way. I mean it’s just like, but that’s not just business though, that’s like life in general.

 

K: Right.

 

A: And so, if you look at it in that way it’s not as crazy as it sounds like my family thinks I am. [laughs].  But, yeah, it’s all about perseverance.

 

K: I completely agree with you. My family thinks I’m mentally insane as well, so there’s no… I got you there! And just people in general, all my friends think I’m insane. I think that’s something that bothers a lot of us as young entrepreneurs and business owners is the work. Everyone needs reassurance everyone needs to be told, “Hey that’s a really good idea, you’re able to do that, just keep going”. But a lot of times when you’re first getting started out, especially as an entrepreneur you have to do all that to yourself like you have to be your own motivational life coach because nobody else is going to do it for you. Like my family every day you know I’ll walk in the door and they’re just like, “Why’d you quit your full-time job?” “You know you need that paycheck.” Or, “Why’d you do this or why are you doing that?” You know. “How much money are you putting into your company right now? It’s just like well you know.. and I’m only 20 years old so it’s a little bit different for me but I’m just like, “Hey we’re building something here and when your building something you want to build something great.” Don’t build something that’s just average. Build something great and make it mean something to you first, and if it means something to you then it’s going to mean something to other people.

 

A: Mm. And that’s where the belief and faith and having a strong “Why?” is going to get you through those times because like you said you have to be your own self-motivator like a lot of the times because a lot of people ae going to tell you, “Okay that didn’t work out now you need to stop.” And you know, I mean I can’t give up on this and so, having that strong “Why?” and having the belief and knowing that this is where I’m supposed to be, and this is what I’m supposed to be doing, and it’s tough. It definitely is tough because there are days where I’m like uhgggh [laughs].

 

K: I have the same days you know some days you’re just like well, I don’t really feel like doing it. I need a day off. I need a day off like everyone else gets, you know? If you’re in that corporate life at least you get two days off a week. And here’s just a fair warning to everyone if you’re an entrepreneur just getting started out that doesn’t exist.  Your work schedule is literally 24 hours a day. But eventually we hope, we pray that we’ll get to that point that we can do whatever we want. [laughs].

 

A: Absolutely, like I work all the time. I mean, I like the flexibility of being able to work wherever. But I am literally usually working all the time. And working on something and sending an email or working on the website or something.

 

K: Right! Half of the time you know I’ll be watching a movie or maybe you know just relaxing to some Netflix but I’m still working you know I have my phone open and I’m responding to someone’s email or making an edit here on the website or posting some status on Facebook or Twitter just to keep all our followers engaged you know you’re never going to have any time off because first off, someone  always needs something and second off, you’re trying to build  that brand, and if you’re going to build a brand you have to do it by yourself.

 

A: Uhmm.

 

K: But yeah, other than that we’re actually near the end the end, well we are at the end because we went over time. We’re at the end of our podcast here so Amber do you have any last words, business tips, or any inspiration for the audience?

 

A: Absolutely! I would say definitely in the beginning, branding is very important even though I don’t do that well with it sometimes [laughs]. But it is important to actually establish the foundation of the business and what your mission is, and what your vision is, and though like as things happen, and the business grows or change the vision and mission might change as well. But like having a stable foundation is always important and definitely marketing is so key because you can build an amazing business, but if no one knows about it, then what good it is doing? And so, marketing is very important and so I would say yeah, those two things, branding and marketing are very important when it comes to business. Yeah! [laugh].

 

K: Perfect! And it just so happens that we are a marketing company. Weird how that works? Right? [laughs] I completely agree with what you said though. If you can have the best service in the market you can have the absolute best product in the market and if people don’t know about it, it’s not going to sell and nothing’s going to happen with it and that’s why we’re here at Reticence Marketing and that’s why we do podcasts like this and why we write the content on our website and on our social media, not only just to help business owners out by giving them practical  tips every day on you know if you want to do your marketing we want to help you out with as well. Even if you know we’re not making money from it because our motto is “Dare to Dream” and we want to help make your dreams a reality.  But at the same time we are a full service marketing company and we have a variety of services to offer so if anyone who’s listening or reading in the transcripts want any help with their marketing or just some free advice, tips and tricks then just go to reticencemarketing.com and we will help you out! And with that I’d like to thank you for being on our show Amber and did you want to.  I know you’re on Instagram and all that did you want to throw any of that information out there?

 

A: Oh sure, absolutely! I’m on Instagram at: amberthesassyentrenpreneur and [laughs].

K: It’s a fitting description!

 

A: [laughs] And the polishathome is on Instagram as well. And Deluxe Productions with our events we’re under impactuconference on Instagram. So yeah.

 

K: Perfect! And obviously Reticence Marketing is on all of these social media networks as well, just under Reticence Marketing. If we weren’t we wouldn’t be a very good marketing company. Um so with that I’m going to go ahead and conclude this show. I’d like to thank you again Amber for being on the show and wish everyone a good rest of their day!

 

Small Business Week 2018

Small Business Week 2018

 

Small Business Week 2018 goes from April 29th to May 5th. Here is why the event matters for entrepreneurs today.

 

On Sunday, April 29th, Small Business Week 2018 kicked off, and if you are not already celebrating the festivities, you may want to begin to plan to join in now.

 

Led by the United States SBA (Small Business Administration), (#SmallBusinessWeek on social media) Small Business Week recognizes exceptional entrepreneurs and owners of small businesses all throughout the U.S. and in United States territories. From Sun., April 29th through Sat., May 5th, the Small Business Administration is going to be livestreaming award ceremonies in conjunction with presenting the Person of the Year. Additional activities scheduled include a 3-day virtual conference that runs from May 1 – May 3 that is co-hosted by SCORE and Twitter chat on Fri., May 4th about ideas for growing and starting a business.

 

National Small Business week, now more than ever before, matters for entrepreneurs, as well as small businesses of all sizes. Here is a look into the effect the event has upon the community of entrepreneurs.

 

Startups are the backbone of the United States economy

 

Over 50% of Americans work for or own a small business, according to the SBA. In addition, entrepreneurs help to create 2 out of every 3 new jobs within the U.S., annually. As the week-long occasion first was issued in the year 1963, the amount of startups created has continually risen. In addition, fewer businesses are failing. Even though it’s popular to cite small business failure stats — especially in the first year — the reality is that half of all small businesses survive 5 years or more.

 

National Small Business Week 2018 sets the pace and tone for future events

 

Besides the virtual conference, livestreamed event ceremonies, and Twitter chat, the Small Business Administration is set to host events to get entrepreneurs from every walk of life involved within the festivities offline and on.

 

The #SmallBusinessWeek Hackathon was held inside Washington, D.C. the weekend of April 27th through 29th and included a $24,000 prize pool that was awarded to winning submissions. In addition, the SBA hit the road with a bus tour around multiple cities from May 1st – May 3rd as they highlighted some of the brightest and best entrepreneurs around the country.

 

Small Business Week 2018 assists in fostering a business-friendly atmosphere

 

Recently, the Kauffman Foundation included the results of their entrepreneurial survey in their State of Entrepreneurship Address of 2018. When it comes to the future of their startups, respondents have a positive outlook, yet are less optimistic about the U.S. as a whole. One main reason cited for that feeling was the belief that the U.S. government ought to prioritize an environment fostering small business support and friendliness.

 

While it might take a little more than a week-long occasion every year to successfully build upon and create that type of environment, it is key to keep celebrations such as National Small Business Week thriving and growing. For a look at National Small Business Week all through the years, the Small Business Administration provides video highlights to view on their site.

 

Tips for Small Business Week 2018 PR

 

The yearly Small Business Week 2018 is an excellent time to boost awareness of America’s almost 30 million startups, which employ nearly 50% of workers in the United States. It also is the perfect chance for creative public relations. If you have not yet leveraged this opportunity, it is not too late. Below are some ideas to use within the coming week and beyond.

 

Consider Food Truck Cook-Off

 

The BBB of Southern Colorado and Pikes Peak Region kicked off one week’s worth of startup festivities with a gathering of the smallest startups of all—food trucks, inside a community cook-off to offer business education and awareness about the neighborhood’s small vendors in one swoop.

 

Share Stories Behind the Startup Stories

 

While Small Business Week is going on or maybe as an expansion of Small Business Saturday, one mixed-use property complex has plans to feature the story behind its retail providers on each day of the week. The former trucker who opened a coffee shop up. That couple who came out of retirement to open a regional franchise. The opportunity to feature one of this project’s startup owners on each day, leading to more appreciation and foot traffic for everyone involved.

 

Provide a special deal

 

Have a one-week-long promo or buy-one-get-one-free discount to gain new customers or boost your brand’s exposure. Or provide the discount upon a popular product as a way to present to the community all you offer. In order to make the most of the idea, have enough service reps available to answer inquiries and teach consumers a bit more about what you would be doing for them.

 

Provide a Free Online Resource

Empire Dynamic Solutions, and IT company, is taking advantage of this event by creating a complimentary IT checklist for startups, in support of the small businesses who cannot afford to outsource their Information Technology.

 

Thank Employees

 

You should consider centering your week around your staff. Social media features might center on the excellent contributions of one of your best workers each day of the week and create outstanding PR for your startup as well as an amazing appreciation opportunity for the deserving people on your team. Beyond the public relations, you might purchase a little something extra for your team each day. Consider cupcakes, gift cards, catered lunch or maybe an opportunity to leave early on Friday as the perfect complement to your Small Business Week public relations.

 

If you get going now, it isn’t too late to take advantage of Small Business Week 2018 for your own public relations. However, if you missed the window, do not despair. Any time is an excellent time to celebrate and acknowledge your startup. With the above ideas in hand, you’ll have an adequate amount of time to also get ready for Small Business Saturday that is coming in November. Now’s the time to allow your imagination to run wild!

 

To support our small business for Small Business Week 2018, contact Reticence Marketing today!

 

Tracking Business Expenses: Why It’s Important

Tracking Business Expenses: Why It’s Important

Most people today understand the importance of tracking their business expenses at a personal level. However, when it comes to their businesses they often lose track of their expenditure. Tracking expenses is one of the most important aspects of running a business and should never be overlooked. Many people put off tracking their expenses because they feel that it would be adding on to their already full plates.

Regardless of how you want to handle this exercise, below are a few reasons to start tracking your money.

1. Financial awareness

Do you know where your money goes every month? Is your business as healthy as you might think? These are some questions that you might not have answers to if you do not track your expenses. Tracking expenses, even the smallest daily expenses, will warn you of serious spending issues before you blow your budget. By understanding your spending habits you can make necessary changes to better manage money within your business. With this information, you are equipped to make better decisions which save money that could be invested elsewhere.

2. You are better prepared for the tax season

Tracking expenses can come in handy during the least favorite time of the year: tax season. It helps you keep better records which in turn helps the proper filing of business tax returns. The easiest way to reduce the amount of tax you pay is by deducting valid business expenses. How can you do this if you are not aware of the expenses and do not have proof of where the money has gone? It is therefore wise to keep track of business expenses and keep recording them as they occur. By doing so you will not forget them when preparing tax returns.

3. Easy determination of how profitable the business is

Business expenses directly affect how much profit the business makes. When expenses are high profits will definitely be low and vice versa. If you do not keep track of your expenses, you can not be sure what percentage of the revenue goes to paying expenses. Given the fact that business expenses eat directly into the business profits, staying on top of the going out cannot be stressed enough. Many business owners are not able to give the exact figure of their profit simply because they have no idea how much their expenses are. This could lead to over or underestimating the amount of profit the business brings in.

4. Keep stakeholders happy

Your business has many stakeholders including employees, suppliers, creditors, and even the government. Your employees will send receipts for their business travel expenses. Unless you stay on top of your expenses, you will not be in a position to reimburse them on time or in full. This alone can kill employees’ morale which negatively affects your business. By tracking your business expenses you are in a position to come up with a cash flow management plan that can enable you to pay your suppliers and creditors on time, keeping them happy.

With all the benefits of tracking expenses, you can not afford to overlook your cash flow. However, if you do not have the time to track expenses, consider having a smart software handle it for you.

Featured images:
  • Piggy Bank License: Image author owned
  • Credit Cards License: Image author owned

 

Guest Post Courtesy of David Brown. David Brown is a geek at heart. He’s worked and consulted on some major online projects over the years. David has a passion for helping people learn the benefits of steam lining their business through computer technology, thereby saving them time and money. His expertise in the computer world has helped companies time and time again, manage their businesses, employees, and clientele more efficiently.

Are you looking to grow your business by focusing on client growth, revenue generation, and the implementation of effective marketing techniques? Let us know by clicking here; we’d love to help.

22 Website Design & Development Best Practices

22 Website Design & Development Best Practices

In the present global marketplace, it isn’t enough to merely have a digital presence. In order to capitalize on opportunity, as well as captivate human, live, real readers, an interactive, functional, optimized website should be a must. The Internet, unfortunately, swarms with poor site designs which miss both the content and technical mark. Even worse, clients continually contribute to the present outbreak of design delinquency.

 

It is time to end poor websites, for once and for all. Let us look into how clients perpetrate this low-quality website trend and pinpoint new development and design standards for 2018 which will assist in ending this vicious pattern of “all-surface-no-substance” websites.

 

Clients

 

The client’s unrealistic expectations may doom a site to fail before the process of design even starts.

 

Unfortunately, most clients have restricted know-how of what a site should be, and most importantly, what an intentional, functional website may deliver. Clients underestimate the value of going above and beyond esthetics with their websites, assuming that build success solely relies on an attractive interface. Clients think that, so long as their website “appears good,” it’ll float in cyberspace, efficiently extending brand reach, all while magically appealing to millions of intrigued users and then converting them into paying customers.

 

The fact is, that isn’t how website magic operates.

 

To generate digital results, a site has to provide a dynamic, engaging user experience. Graphics are crucial to the process of design. But, to optimize success, a website has to offer more than compelling graphics. A developer should be working hard behind the scenes for you, crafting a sophisticated infrastructure of SEO and site functionality which has to be tested and developed before they go live. That’s where the magic really starts.

 

A client’s expectations for the budget also can play a big part in launching an inferior site. As it’ll come to promoting a brand, it is vital that you keep in mind that you eventually receive what you pay for. Intuitive, effective design is complicated. However, the return is worth your investment. Trust your developer’s experience, talent, and insight as you navigate through the design process to an end design which does not just look fantastic, yet also accomplishes all your crucial goals for online marketing.

 

Website Feature Checklist for 2018

 

Are you ready to put an actionable strategy into place so you redefine the new normal for 2018 websites? Below are 22 non-negotiable standards you should implement on your website, according to research studies:

 

  1. Logo should be placed in the upper left

 

According to research 100 percent of the sites had a clickable logo within the top left corner of each page on the website.

 

  1. Contact in upper right

 

44 percent have a contact link or button in the upper right-hand corner of each page. Even though this placement is common, as well as considered best practices, it can’t be considered standard.

 

  1. Main navigation that goes across the top

 

88 percent of the sites had their main navigation situated inside the header at the upper part of each page, which makes horizontal top-level navigation a design standard.

 

  1. Slideshow on the home page

 

32 percent of the sites feature a home page slideshow (or carousel) that has a rotating series of messages and images.

 

It’s one that Reticence Marketing designers are carefully watching, as more websites tend to be favoring static featured images, instead of a rotating image series.

 

Studies have been mixed on each option’s effectiveness. Select the best solution for your website, your visitors and your message.

 

  1. Value proposition is high up on a website’s home page

 

80 percent of marketing websites feature an explicit value proposition situated high on their home page.  Any website designer will let you know that there isn’t any standard pixel height for browsers. Thereby, there isn’t any fold. However of course, some elements of design appear high on web pages and generally are visible to most visitors without having to scroll.

 

  1. Call to Action is high up on a website’s home page

 

78 percent of the sites featured visually prominent CTAs. That percentage fell below our standard threshold, it certainly is a convention.

 

  1. Search feature within the header

 

54 percent of sites possess a search feature within the header. Around 50% of all marketing websites don’t have a search feature which appears “globally” on each page either as a search box, icon, or link. That is not a surprise to us. Search tools are not necessary unless a site has a massive amount of content. Search tools often are “crutches” for poorly organized websites.

 

  1. Signup box inside the footer

 

24 percent of sites permit visitors to sign up and then subscribe to email updates within the footer. Therefore, it’s commonplace to collect email addresses, yet not a standard or convention. The most typical footer content is privacy, copyright, sitemap, contact links, and legal. Users expect to see contact information within the bottom center or bottom right of sites.

 

  1. Social media icons within the footer

 

72 percent of the sites feature icons for social media sites within the footer. That almost makes them a standard element of design. 26 percent of the sites prominently included social media icons inside the header.

 

Like in the footer, clicking on any of those icons will take the user to the social media website. For that reason, it’s an element of design which may cost you traffic, and increase bounce rates, as well as hurt results.

 

We suggest that you add social media icons within the footer. In order to further decrease visual prominence, their full-color version might only appear after the user moves his or her mouse cursor over the social icon.

 

  1. Responsive design

 

68 percent of sites are mobile-friendly and use responsive web design. That provides visitors an excellent experience irrespective of the device – desktop, tablet, or phone.

 

It is a combination of programming and design that’s challenging to add after a website is built. Oftentimes, it is part of a redesign, which might explain why it is a convention, and not a standard.

 

  1. Fast Loading

 

Visitors don’t want to wait for your website to load. Design websites that prompt loading times for all visitors on all devices. It’s possible to use Pagespeed Insights by Google or Pingdom to check the speed of your website and check how it can be improved.

 

  1. Tracking Enabled

 

Analytics will matter – it is the best method of determining that your site is really doing its duty. The end design ought to include functionality that gauges key indicators like conversions, goals, and traffic.

 

  1. Search Engine Optimization Savvy

 

Do not underestimate the power of website optimization for both humans and browsers. Create readable, compelling content for your followers. For search engines, always feature on-page search engine optimization tags and elements, which include schema, as well as XML sitemaps

 

  1. Enabled Content Management System

 

We are not quite finished with the power of the written word yet. Steadily publishing original, fresh content not just captivates an audience, it may produce long-term, invaluable digital marketing momentum. Have a back-end CMS in the design in order for clients to edit and post content as necessary.

 

  1. Conversion Optimized

 

If you have a conversion-centric client, you can implement tools for crafting campaign landing pages within your design. Those designated pages may keep your audience moving through your website and direct them to book an appointment, ask for a product demonstration, and perhaps buy a service or product.

 

  1. Email Marketing

 

Email marketing is still relevant. A website’s email capture forms must sync with a client’s email marketing system for smooth connection and access.

 

  1. Social Media

 

You should never miss a chance to leverage social media’s power. Integrate every relevant social media platform in your web design. Permitting users to rapidly have access to social media pages from your site immediately broadens a company’s reach and assists in increasing traffic and visibility.

 

  1. Strong Security

 

You should never compromise on-site security. All designs must include fundamental privacy security protocols, like basic security checks that protect user and client data.

 

  1. Progressive Web Applications

 

Savvy website designers who are intrigued by the impact applications have on mobile media platforms, successfully have combined the best app and web features into a hybrid referred to as Progressive Web Apps. You can expect that you’ll see Progressive Web Apps all through 2018.

 

  1. Machine Learning & AI

 

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is no longer a high-tech, futuristic term and successfully has worked its way into our daily online experience and vernacular. Adobe’s Sensei is delivering artificial intelligence tools to a variety of website design platforms around the world, which makes it a more available, accessible resource.

 

  1. Terms of Use

 

“Terms of use” discuss what a visitor agrees to by going onto your website. Similar to a disclaimer, they’ll state that by using your website, the user agrees to specific things. For sites in highly regulated sectors, you might want to place the text directly in the footer. If legal text is crucial, adding it to the footer ensures that there’s maximum coverage. You have the fine print on each page.

 

  1. Privacy Policy

 

Typically, it links to a page that explains what details the site collects, how it is stored and how it may be used. For the majority of websites, it is about tracking, email signups, and form submissions.

 

Is Your Company’s Site Up To 2018 Standards?

 

If it isn’t, it is time for an instant renovation. Keep in mind that it isn’t about overhauls and grand gestures. Instead, 2018 will concentrate on a shift towards futuristic, functional, and simple designs. Implementing these standards as a non-negotiable web design baseline may have a substantial impact on the way we conduct business and connect with prospective customers on the internet for optimal return on investment with each user engagement.

 

To find out how Reticence Marketing can get your website up to date, contact our web design in Colorado Springs company at (719) 355-9128.