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January 14, 2019

5 Finance Management Tips for New Entrepreneurs

manage your moneyThe reason most entrepreneurs set up in business is, at least partly, to make money so financial management is a crucial skill which all new business owners or would-be entrepreneurs need to learn if they want to be successful.

However, managing finances isn’t always a skill which comes naturally to many. Entrepreneurs tend to be focussed on their big idea and making it a reality, but the money side isn’t necessarily where there energies are naturally directed.

While you can always outsource your finances to a professional accountant to a certain extent, you still need to know and understand your numbers to enable you to spot any issues or trends which you might need to address within your business.

Here are five tips for new entrepreneurs to help with financial management:

1. Record and organise your finances

Whether you are managing your finances yourself or supplying all of your information to an accountant to deal with, it’s important to be organised and keep records of all of your income, outgoings and expenses.

This includes keeping copies of all your receipts, invoices, and any other paperwork related to financial issues, in an orderly fashion. Just putting them all into a shoe box won’t cut it when you are an entrepreneur.

Just using a simple spreadsheet to record income and outgoings can be enough to start with, when setting up a new business, or as the business grows you might need to invest in accounting software to help record all of the financial transactions.

2. Keep track of your credit score

As an entrepreneur you might well need to seek funding for your business either to start it up at the beginning or further down the line to help with an expansion of your services so make you’re your credit is up to scratch.

The last thing you want to do is start a business only to find your credit score or existing level of debt means you can’t get the funding you need to grow the company a few years down the line. Take action to improve your credit score ideally before you start out.

3. Have an emergency fund

While setting up a new business often involves expense rather than profit initially it’s still important to make sure you have money put aside for an emergency – you might need to suddenly buy new equipment or replace a computer for example, so try saving an emergency pot to help take the pressure off.

You can create the fund easily by putting a small amount aside every week so it needn’t be too taxing to save enough to help keep as a buffer. You never know when a client might not be able to pay you or a supplier might go bust so an emergency fund can be the difference between success and failure.

4. Seek professional advice

If you are brand new to business then don’t get daunted or overwhelmed by all of the financial obligations or requirements. If the finance side is beyond your knowledge then don’t bury your head in the sand but seek professional help.

Whether you hire a full-time professional accountant or use the services of a part-time book keeper they can both help and provide expert advice to guide you as you take your business forward as well as looking after the books. You can even make it easier for you by signing up for accounting services offered by companies like Crunch. You can find out how they help small businesses here.

5. Set short-term and long-term financial goals

As well as knowing and understanding your business numbers you should set financial goals for the business to achieve as well. Have short term goals for what you want the business to achieve in the next month, the next quarter and the next year.

You should also have a longer term forecasting tool to predict the income you expect to bring in over the next year to five years, to help make sure you keep your business on track and meet all of your income goals.

As well as your business goals you should also set savings goals which allow you to have enough put aside to pay your tax contributions every year so you don’t get caught out with a big bill at the end of the tax year and nothing to pay it with.


Financial management is a key element to running a business and is a skill which every new entrepreneur needs to learn if they are to be successful in the corporate world. No business can survive if it’s not financially viable.

There are few tips here to help make financial management easier to cope with but if financial management really is beyond your skill set then you should always seek professional guidance and advice to make sure your business can still thrive, leaving you free to focus on the aspects of entrepreneurship where you are strongest.

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June 19, 2018

5 Things to note before taking your first personal loan

obtain personal loansIf you’re taking out your first online personal loan, it probably means you don’t have a credit history or a credit score. This doesn’t however hold true if you’ve had or currently have a credit card (if you’ve had a credit card in the past, you’ll have a credit score). Lenders use your credit score obtained from your credit report to understand how good you’ve been at managing credit in the past. Personal loans are unsecured loans that don’t involve collateral, and usually come with a higher interest rate in comparison to secured loans. This is precisely the reason why having a good credit score is important for your application to get approved.

Let’s forget the credit score part for now. If you’re a first timer, here are some things you should note before taking your first unsecured personal loan:

Know the various charges involved

Personal loans come with a list of charges that include late payment charges, EMI bounce charges, processing charges, pre-closure charges, and part-payment charges. When you’re taking out your personal loan for the first time, make sure you are aware of the various charges. It is of course, always good to be aware about how much lenders are charging you.

Choose a short repayment period

Choosing a short repayment period helps reduce the interest payment over the course of your loan tenure. Longer tenures attract higher interest payments, but lower monthly repayment amounts. As your first loan, you wouldn’t want to pay too much interest, do you? However, if lower monthly repayments suit you, you should go ahead and choose a longer tenure, for you can always pre-close your loan after a certain period. Note that most lenders require you to complete a minimum of 6 months or 12 months of your tenure before you can pre-close.

Don’t borrow more than you need

Your approved amount might be higher than what you asked for – lenders use this tactic to make you borrow more. Don’t fall for it thought. Borrow only how much you need. Borrowing more than you need is just setting the platform for unnecessary debt accumulation.

Negotiate the interest rate

Negotiating the rate with the bank will help you get a lower interest rate on your loan. Moreover, if you don’t have a credit history, there’d be multiple lenders in the market willing to offer you a loan. Going by this logic, it is advised that you negotiate the interest rate on your loan to get a reduced rate.

Don’t apply with multiple lenders

Applying with multiple lenders negatively affects your credit score. Too many credit inquiries reflect credit-hungry behavior, and lenders can reject you on the basis of this – rejections bring down your credit score as well. So for starters, make sure you apply with only one lender.

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July 17, 2017

8 Common Misconceptions About Setting Up a Merchant Account

merchant account set upWhen you run your own business, staying in touch with the times isn’t just a good idea. It’s a necessity if you’re serious about succeeding. This is especially the case when it comes to the payment options you offer your customers. Cash and checks are becoming less and less common by the day. In fact, many consumers don’t even carry them anymore. They simply assume they’ll be able to use their credit or debit card wherever their day happens to take them.
In other words, you need a merchant account if you want to stay relevant. If you’re not willing or able to offer your customers the convenience they’re looking for, you can bet your competitors will be. The good news is getting a merchant account isn’t nearly as complicated or difficult as you may think it is. Let’s go over a few of the most commonly held misconceptions about the process and address the truth behind each one.

1. Merchant accounts are too difficult for certain types of businesses to get.

Back in the early 2000’s, ecommerce was a relatively new concept. Not only were consumers not yet used to doing the bulk of their shopping online, but the entities in charge of granting merchant accounts weren’t sure what to make of it either. It didn’t exactly help that the only real way to set up a merchant account was to go through a traditional brick and mortar bank. There were certainly a lot of hoops to jump through if you were in ecommerce or ran any other business that could be considered high risk.

These days, that’s no longer the case. To begin with, there are lots of different merchant account providers to choose from when you’re ready to open yours. Many of these specialize in setting up accounts for small businesses or ecommerce companies.

Also, the requirements attached to the process are relatively easy to satisfy. For instance, registering your business as a sole proprietorship instead of incorporating is a great option for self-employed service providers. Modern business bank accounts can be obtained with little hassle and at a very low cost. Even registering a business name is pretty simple and inexpensive. You don’t need much else to qualify for a merchant account here in 2017!

2. You can’t get a merchant account if your business is a start-up.

Traditionally speaking, a bank sees a start-up business similarly to the way they’d see a person with no credit history. Although there’s no tangible reason to think that business isn’t a good risk, there’s no positive track record to definitively prove it is one either. In the past, this made getting a merchant account notoriously difficult if your business was still just getting started.

Today, people are more entrepreneurial than ever and many merchant account providers recognize this is a chance to connect with an emerging market. Some of those providers actually specialize in working with smaller, newer, or independent entities. They pride themselves on their ability to provide personalized service, strong client relationships, and unique solutions designed to help start-ups succeed.

3. The application process is always difficult and confusing.

In actuality, the application process could be difficult if the criteria attached to your unique business are very complicated. However, in most cases and for most businesses, the application process itself really isn’t that daunting or complicated. The key to success lies in making sure you select the right service provider.

A good merchant account provider that’s right for your business will pride itself on simplifying the application process for its would-be clients. Many allow you to begin the process online by entering basic information about your business via a web form. They then use what you’ve told them to prepare the correct documents for you. All you need to do is read them, sign them, and return them along with anything else you’re asked to send (i.e. a void check).

4. Merchant accounts are expensive, both to set up and to maintain.

Here we have another myth rooted in a distant past when ecommerce businesses still weren’t understood or accepted as a valid concepts. This meant they were almost always considered high risk ventures by default and high risk often also means high cost.

These days, all sorts of people are in business for themselves and the fees associated with having a merchant account often reflect that. Many account providers provide options that don’t call for set-up charges or continuing monthly fees. Instead, you pay a small fee each time you actually process an associated transaction – perfect for very small businesses or sole proprietors that only process credit card transactions occasionally.

In other words, there are options out there that were designed with your business and budget in mind. You no longer have to be a big corporation or a large company doing lots of volume when it comes to credit cards to benefit from having a merchant account.

5. It takes forever to receive funds attached to a credit card transaction.

Back in the day, it wasn’t uncommon for credit card processing agencies to deliver a merchant’s deposits once a week or even once every other week. The perceived risk attached to a given transaction was a lot higher then. Holding onto funds a little longer gave that processing company a bigger buffer against possibilities like chargebacks, fraud, or merchants that closed their accounts while still owing service fees.

The more common credit cards, debit cards, and the like become as payment options, the lower the perceived risk of such transactions. Here in a day and age that finds most consumers using credit or debit cards to complete their everyday transactions, processing companies are often on a daily (or near daily) deposit schedule. Depending on where you bank and who you work with as far as credit processing, you’ll probably see funds hit your account within 48-72 hours of the original transaction.

If you choose the right merchant account provider, you’ll have some choice as to when and how often you receive your deposits though. Most business owners do prefer to receive daily deposits, but if you actually prefer weekly deposits instead, that can be arranged.

6. Establishing PCI compliance is also difficult and expensive.

If you’re exploring the possibility of opening a merchant account, you may already be familiar with the concept of PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance. The term refers to the standard every merchant needs to meet in regards to data security if they’re going to accept credit cards as payment options.

The cost and effort required to continuously meet that standard can be complicated or costly… for some businesses. For others, this is hardly the case. For instance, you’d expect a really big retail company like Macy’s or Wal-Mart to have more different tech requirements to meet than an independently owned dress boutique across town. You’d also be right to expect that. What is often super involved for a large business is usually pretty simple for a small one.
Again, your choice in merchant account providers can really help you here. Look for companies that go out of their way to educate clients about how to achieve PCI compliance and make the process simple. Many are happy to provide individual clients with additional help or advice if needed or desired as well.

7. Processing rates are the only factors that are important.

Ask a business owner that still isn’t accepting credit or debit cards as payment why they do things that way and they’ll probably tell you they don’t want to waste money on processing fees. They assume they’re being smart and saving while money is actually walking right out the door in the form of dropped sales and lost business. It’s not uncommon for such business owners to assume processing rates are all that matter when it comes to a given merchant account option.

As you would when opening any other kind of financial account, it’s important to look at the big picture which includes monthly minimums (if there are any), possible cancellation fees, and setup fees. Sometimes additional fees are charged for online access or changes made to your account as well, so make sure you’re looking at your final tally when evaluating options.

8. One merchant service provider is as good as another.

Just as there are lots of different ways to price merchant services attached to an account, there are lots of different providers out there. Some will be better fits for you than others. Some specialize in working with specific types of merchants like non-profits or businesses in a certain industry. Some focus on customer service as a selling point while others may offer clients free equipment, flexible rates, or other incentives.

Just take the time to carefully evaluate each of your options from top to bottom. No matter what business you’re in or what your needs are, there’s a merchant account provider that’s just right for you. Explore the possibilities today!

MobiusPay specializes in high-risk merchant activation, domestic and international processing. MobiusPay helps online businesses with payment processing, high risk merchant accounts, chargeback & fraud prevention, online check ACH processing and with maintaining PCI compliance. Please visit https://mobiuspay.com/ to learn more.

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February 25, 2014

Easy Steps to Apply for a Small Business Loan

All about Small business loansBusiness loans are leverage to help your company grow. You can expand in ways otherwise not possible. Business lines of credit improve your cash flow to meet expenses and pounce on opportunities. Meanwhile, equipment financing boosts productivity to meet customer demand.

There are common questions to ask before applying for any business loan. Your chances of approval and ROI will improve with a basic checklist. Being realistic and organized also saves time, which is your most precious asset.
Here is a business loan checklist to consider:

Have Documentation Ready:

Organizing your financials is important for loans or otherwise. A periodic review of your statements gives insight to make informed decisions.

Assume that business lenders will ask for the following:

  • Previous 2 years of Business and Personal Tax Returns
  • 6 months of Bank Statements
  • Current Income Statement
  • Balance Sheet
  • Business and Personal Credit Checks

Best Practice: Ask upfront what paperwork is needed. Providing excess paperwork can slow turnarounds and raise questions. However, having docs ready often has the opposite effect.

Connection between loan and financial review: A restaurant may notice that capital equipment no longer has useful life, in accounting terms. The loss of a write-off (depreciation expense) plus the need to make more food may show the need for equipment loans.

Similarly, youmay notice that a single company accounts for most of A/R. To improve cash flow, you may apply for a business line of credit and renegotiate terms with the client.

Understand the Lending Criteria Upfront:

You can spare time, fees and frustration by knowing what is needed to qualify.At minimum, get a sense of how likely it is your loan will be approved. If you’re a startup and 2 years of business tax returns are required, simply ask about alternatives. A good loan officer will refer you to other lenders who can help.

Be Realistic and Know Your Strengths:

What makes your business a strong loan candidate? Think in tangible terms of what can be documented and proved.
How profitable is your company? Banks like lending money to leverage as growth, rather than last ditch efforts to stay afloat. Businesses have different strengths. A manufacturer may have collateral in terms of equipment, or you may have stellar personal credit to get a business loan.

Know Your Alternatives:

As small business lending expands, loan options for those with challenged credit or unique needs has become more available.

If you were denied, determine the reasons for this. Was it lack of business credit? Your industry? (Bars or nightclubs can be difficult to finance) Not enough business history or income? You can find suitable alternatives based on the answers.


Business Credit Cards: A business credit card is often easier to qualify for than a LOC. The credit limit is likely smaller, but you establish business credit history for future line of credit needs. Your strong personal credit may qualify for a business credit card. The card will be under your business Tax ID, but backed by a personal guaranty.

Equipment Loans: Capital equipment loans reduce concerns over collateral, which makes qualifying easier. Restaurants, manufacturers and offices may all turn to equipment financing.

Business Cash Advances:An alternative if you don’t qualify for lines of credit or credit cards.

Industry Specific Financing: Lenders who specialize in specific industries may offer options. Bar and Nightclub loans or medical financing are examples.

Best Practice: Ask if there are prepayment penalties, in case the loan is no longer needed or refinancing options become available. It is important to understand fees, interest rates and terms for all loans.

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February 27, 2013

The Good News About Your Bad Credit Score

credit-problems-orange-county-300x200Although your bad credit score can sometimes feel like a rain cloud looming over your chances for financial freedom, there are opportunities for the sun to shine through. It’s not all bad news when it comes to your poor credit score, because despite common misconceptions, you can receive a credit card, apply for student loans, and access emergency cash. And the best part of all is that it is always possible to repair your credit score.

Credit Card Options

Applying for a credit card is a great way to build your credit, but unfortunately your bad credit score can limit your credit card options. Don’t be discouraged though, because there are multiple ways in which you can still receive a credit card despite your low score.

People with bad credit often take the secured credit card route. A secured credit card functions much like an unsecured credit, but you pay a security deposit and a monthly fee. You also will most likely experience a lower credit line, which reflects the value of your cash deposit. Only consider this option though if you can pay your monthly dues, otherwise you will very quickly rack up late charges and high interest.

You can also apply for a credit card with a cosigner who has a good credit score. It’s important however that both you and your cosigner understand that if you fall behind on payments, your delinquency will affect not only your credit score, but also your cosigner’s credit score. You won’t want to jeopardize your cosigner’s score on top of your own, so refrain from involving a cosigner if you are unable to make timely payments.

Students Loan Opportunities

Fortunately, you’re not out of luck when it comes to financial aid for higher education. Although you may not qualify for all loans, you do have options.

One option you can turn to is a private student loan through lenders such as Chase, Citibank, and Wells Fargo. In the same way that you can apply for a credit card with a cosigner, most of these lending houses will require a cosigner with an upstanding credit score. In this case, the cosigner agrees to pay for the loan if you fail to make payments. These loans are often associated with higher interest rates though, so only sign on if you understand all of the terms and conditions.

You could also apply for scholarships and grants to receive funds for school. Institutions will award you scholarships based on your athletic or academic performance, while they link grants to your financial situation and need. Scholarships and grants are more attractive options because they are monetary gifts, which you do not repay.

Emergency Loans Access

While your bad credit score will make it difficult to take out traditional loans from banks and lenders, there are bad credit loans, which can help cover life’s unexpected emergencies. Payday Loan lenders usually do not review your credit report, but they do generally expect you to repay the loan by the following payday. Failing to meet payment deadlines will result in expensive fees and high interest, so it is best to only take out this loan if it’s a one time situation, if you understand the terms of the loan, and if you are able to repay the loan.

You Can Always Improve Your Score

It’s never too late to start building your score, and because it can take years to recover from financial delinquency, it’s best to start fixing it now. Begin by repaying any debt that you owe. This may mean contacting your creditors to establish repayment plans, but be sure to demonstrate your willingness to pay back the money.

While you will want to continue using your credit cards to build your credit, use them sparingly and only for small purchases that you are capable of paying on time. In addition to paying your credit card bills on time, you should strive to pay your rent, utilities, and any other bills on or before their due dates as well.

Make a conscious effort to cut back on spending, save money, and consider consulting financial advice if your finances seem unmanageable. Bad credit is not a permanent situation, so take the time to improve it so that you can experience a brighter financial future.

Chloe Mulliner is a writer and editor for several consumer websites related to credit and personal loan options.

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