Running a business is all about juggling costs against profit. The lower your costs, the greater your profit margins. One of the biggest drains on a business’s financial resources can be their telecommunications bill. Conventional landline technology may be tried and tested, but it’s expensive and frankly, starting to look a little bit outdated in an age of computers, the Internet and fibre optic broadband capacity. Which is why if you’re running a business and are in the fortunate position of expanding your enterprise, considering switching your telephony to business VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) could be one of the best business decisions you make this year. How can VoIP help my business? If your company is growing, eventually having just one phone line is going to prove detrimental to the smooth running of your daily business. Rather than installing a second phone line that uses ordinary landline technology, a business phone line that operates on a business VoIP system can cut your costs substantially – and you don’t even have to change your hand sets to use it. Modern business VoIP uses your Internet connection and broadband to connect calls all over the world. The real beauty of VoIP is that it can cut your call costs to the bare minimum with no loss of quality or voice clarity. Business VoIP providers offer companies looking to install a new phone line flexible packages that could mean your international calls cost no more than the price of a local call, and, in some cases, can be free. For businesses with satellite offices in other countries or who do business with international clientele, this option makes sense. If you make a lot of international calls, having a dedicated VoIP business phone line that can provide you for both local and international calls at the same rate makes sound financial sense. No need to buy new handsets Because of the advances in VoIP technology, you don’t even have to buy a specially adapted handset to be able to take advantage of a VoIP business phone line. A small adapter can be fitted to an existing hand set, instantly turning it into a VoIP phone. And particularly for small businesses in the process of growing their operation, every penny counts. Call plans designed for business users give you a complete package of national and international calls at cheap rates, all for a single monthly fee, making your accounting records for your telecommunications costs easier to keep and saving you time. Switching to VoIP can also make your business look more professional. By showing that you are actively embracing the latest technology, international clients will see that you are ready for the world stage and have future-proofed your business for growth on a global scale. VoIP is the new business tool for telephony. A natural product of the fusion between old ideas and new technology, business VoIP offers any company looking to expand their range but keep costs to a minimum the perfect solution.
A B2B business or Business to business marketplace is a platform that helps international buyers to get in touch with global suppliers and the other way around. For example, a plastic manufacturer company supplies plastic bags in bulk to a garment factory so that they can pack their final goods. The platform through which the plastic manufacturing company and the garment factory meets is the example of a business to business marketplace. Through a business to business marketplace, new buyers and suppliers can discover their potential prospects and can even cross all national as well as international boundaries in order to achieve success for their business. Use of B2B marketplace by the suppliers, buyers, sellers, exporters and importers is not new. This is because a B2B marketplace empowers any business community that is interested in B2B business no matter how small or large the community is, to market their goods and services beyond any geographical limits. Furthermore, a B2B portal or website gives you access to a wide range of goods and services from local and international manufacturers, agents, wholesalers, suppliers, buyers, retailers, etc. This lets you compare prices, packages and products from different suppliers to make a well-informed buying decision. In addition, almost all reputable business to business marketplaces offer community forum or a discussion board that helps their registered traders, buyers and sellers to interact with each other on a wide range of topics. A B2B web portal offers many benefits especially to small businesses that do not have huge marketing budget to advertise their goods and services on the international market. A business to business marketplace not only saves loads of time but also does not require much efforts to produce the desired results. Everything is available at just the click of your mouse. You can find a huge range of products, suppliers, manufacturers, buyers, sellers, wholesalers, etc. You can even find the suppliers and manufacturers from a specific country. For example; you can search a specific supplier from China or United States, and if somehow you are not able to find your desired information then you can always contact the support department and can even post your queries to their forum or discussion board and talk about it. From the buyers and sellers perspective, a B2B website also is of great importance. This is because it empowers the users (buyers and sellers) to locate their required traders (importers and exporters) locally as well internationally. Apart from that, a B2B portal lets you approach your desired trader right from the convenience of your PC or Laptop. Similarly, international traders can also find out their potential prospects and communicate with them without spending huge fortune on marketing campaigns. Imagine, how easy and effortless business would it be? You can offer your goods and services to local as well as international buyers, and can increase your brand awareness in the international market. Buyers, suppliers, manufacturers, sellers, etc can contact with each other in order to increase their business opportunities. A B2B website maintains a database with the latest and up-to-date information about all the traders that you can access there so that you do not have to worry about the contact details of any trader you wish to contact. The main thing is, if you want to improve your visibility in the international market and trim down your marketing expenses then joining a business to business marketplace for marketing your goods and services is the ultimate solution for you.
For someone thinking about a home based business, there are numerous concerns to deal with. Perhaps the most pertinent one, and the one that should be asked first, is what type of home business to choose.
Obviously, the benefits to working at home are having a flexible schedule and making money for yourself – maybe even becoming a multi-millionaire on your own! But which business venue will get you there? Here are some tips for choosing a profitable home based business.
1. Scout out your options: With the rapid influx of people starting their own businesses on the Internet, there has been a steady rise in the amount of content online about home based businesses. If you are patient enough to sift through the junk, there are some gems out there. Also, check out these titles in your local bookstore: The Best Home Businesses for the 21st Century, 101 Internet Businesses You Can Start From Home, and Getting Rich in Your Underwear: How to Start and Run a Profitable Home-Based Business.
2. Be introspective: When attempting to decide which home based business option is for you, think about your past work-related experiences. Make a list of what you enjoyed, what you definitely don’t want to do again, and what you are good at. Practically any job can be turned into a work at home job – for instance, many secretaries and administrative assistants have taken on the opportunity to work from home by becoming “virtual assistants” who perform freelance administrative tasks from home.
3. Be realistic: Take into consideration the amount of space that is in your home, and whether or not it is a practical area from which to run your specific business. Also, be realistic about startup costs, and get in touch with a local agent to review insurance plans that will protect you and your bourgeoning business.
When starting a business, there’s that one big wall that block your way, and that’s your startup money. Without money to fund your business, there will be no business at all. So how and where can you get money? Read on to get some ideas on where you can find funding sources for your vending business:
Home Equity Loan
Most people immediately think of getting a standard business loan when thinking of financing a home business or business startup. While this may be appropriate, do not fail to consider using your home as a bank.
Small Business Administration Loan
Banks administer this loan and are more favorable to this type than a standard bank loan because they are only liable for 15% of what they loan (the government carries the other 85%). There are a number of types of documentation required with this loan, but it is certainly worth the trouble if you are willing to follow the process.
Standard Bank Financing
This financial source is probably the most difficult, yet not impossible with good credit and some net worth. Banks typically do not look favorably at vending machine loans and consider them risky because they are not considered a “fixed asset”.
Invest Your Tax Return Money
For a lot of people, April 15th is bonus time every year as they receive tax returns with earned income credit and deductions for kids. You can use this to slowly build your vending business. It’s a great, safer way to build your business.
In some cases, a family member may be favorable to loaning you the money for starting your home-based business. While there may be relationship risks to this setup, it needs to be considered as an alternative to standard business financing. Some family members would rather invest in your business vision and draw a little interest rather than lending it to a bank at 2-3%.
Sell Items You Don’t Need
If you badly need to create an income steam, opt for this least popular fund source. How about downsizing your car and investing the money in machines? Why not have a huge yard sale to raise $500-$1000? Why don’t you downsize your home and invest your profits in the business? All of us have some money around us in our life that we could put to work.
An option to getting into the vending business is to make an offer to buy an established vending route by lease-purchasing. You agree to lease the route from the seller with an option to buy at the end of the lease period. You invest your profits from the lease period into the purchase of the business or you can continue leasing for the cash flow you are receiving. Remember to get legal help in setting up any contractual agreement like this.
Not that always easy to find but don’t let it stop your from asking the seller of a vending route for it, especially if you have some money to put down.
Business travel to the US isn’t all about procuring your VISA (or ESTA–for people from visa waiver program countries, like Ireland).If you want a smooth trip you have to consider other little things that can happen on the way. Other things which, if ignored, can hamper your meeting up with your arrangements.The United States can be a frustrating place to travel. The earlier you realise that the better you will plan, and the easier your business trips will be.
One area of planning many business travellers neglect is their flight route. It’s possible that your business arrangements in the US require that you to move from one state to another, and it’s very likely you will be using domestic flights in the country to achieve your movements. The bad news is that flight delays in US airports are worsening. To help you with your planning in this crucial area here are five airports to watch out for, so that your flights don’t get delayed and thus ruin your business plans.
If you ever find yourself in Chicago, avoid Midway International airport. It is notorious as US’s slowest airport. It is said that one in every three planes that leave the airport experiences a delay.
However, if you can’t help it and feel you must travel via Midway, then aim for flights leaving around noon when the airport sees fewer delays.
Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area
Of the three airports serving the Baltimore-Washington Area in the US, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport commands the highest traffic. In fact, about 71% of flights leaving Baltimore between 8pm and 11pm experience one sort of delay or another.
The best time to depart from the airport without much delay is between 10am and noon.
North-eastern Denver, Colorado
Denver International airport, with its tent-like roofs, is another airport in the US known for leaving behind schedule. About 33% of flights from the airport leave later than planned from 2pm upwards. Hence, it might do you some good to avoid the airport entirely. Otherwise, travel around 9am and hope for the best.
If you can stay away from Chicago completely during your business travel, by all means do so. It seems the State has a flair for flight delays and would only mess up your calendar.
O’Hare International Airport, like her sister, Midway International, is racked with flight delays. Although more than 80% of morning flights depart from the airport without any hiccups, the reverse is almost the case from 10pm—far more than half of late night flights leave behind schedule.
Las Vegas, Nevada
McCarran International Airport, the main airport in the Las Vegas Valley, is another departure option that can work against you. So if you plan on taking a quick detour to Las Vegas on your business trip, think twice and remove casinos from your mind.
A little over a third of flights departing from this airport are delayed in the afternoon and evening. So if something happens and you find yourself in Las Vegas, you should save yourself some headaches and board a morning flight.
Planning flights can save you a lot of stress. Get to know which airports are the best to fly into and out of, and leave plenty of time in your schedule if you are using some of the worst airports for delays.
Small businesses operating in the U.S. currently number at 29 million; and a major portion of these require financial solutions such as cash and credit management, trade financing, payroll processing, and treasury services. Banks that successfully targeted the small business segment have earned higher net interest margin (NIM) and return on assets (ROA).
Banks trying to gain a competitive edge and a bigger share of the small business markets have to be cognizant of various behavioral, economic, regulatory, and technological challenges. Banks also need to design their product portfolio to match the specific requirements of small businesses and also determine the best channel to deliver their products.
Bankers are focusing on direct marketing t o meet the high financial challenges, i.e. the cost of serving small business owners. Acknowledging that the cost of serving new customers is almost 10 times the cost of serving existing customers, most small business bankers are now involved in up-selling and cross-selling of services to existing customers. The current economic environment has changed the landscape for small businesses. Banks also need to provide them the right product at attractive cost, and learn how to evolve their risk profile to accommodate a wider audience.
‘U.S. Small Business Banking Trends’ is a study of small businesses using banking products and the changing trends in small business banking. The study is designed to provide insights on the behavioral aspects of the small businesses towards the banking products offered by large as well as small banks.
Scope of the report
This section seeks to provide a schematic of the marketplace under study; and to enable t he report user to determine their competitiveness and positioning in the market. Through our in-depth understanding of the financial services industry, we size the market, identify the trends and drivers, and develop the right framework for strategy formulation to help users maintain or enhance their market position.
This section seeks to identify the already existing business models; and to optimize these models in order to help FIs enter new and lucrative markets.
This section seeks to profile the companies supporting the market under study. We profile the top vendors and analyze user perspectives to help you make the best decision for your financial institution. Every report includes in- depth reviews of the top vendors.
What makes our report unique?
A strong heritage of providing cutting- edge research:
MarketsandMarkets provides clients with ground breaking marketing research. M&M’s unique research methodology and expert analytical capabilities will provide you the tools to apply the best marketing practices to your Financial Institution.
Ensure that your strategy is viable:
Our study will help you examine the breadth of possibilities you may encounter when planning future strategies and product launches. It will help you create plans that are resilient enough to meet the full range of unanticipated events.
Discover new opportunities:
This market research study will forecast the future roles, uses, and acceptances of new products, services, and applications emerging in the marketplace. It will identify opportunities where companies can get a leg up on the competition.
Key questions answered
1. How is the landscape of small business banking industry changing?
2. What is the right channel or mix of channels that will drive conversion?
3. Can the message position your offer better than your competition? How can the message help you keep existing customers and acquire new customers?
4. Is there a vertical, demographic, or workflow benefit trait that identifies the small business owner as a potential customer? For example, one such construct may be on customer value and financial value.
5. What process does the small business owner go through for selecting a banking product? Our unique process determines the trigger points to help you close every sale.
6. Who are the industry leaders and what are they doing to retain their position?
7. What are the major drivers and opportunities in the market?
8. What is the competitive outlook, what are the major tools and services, who are the major players in the market segments?
Powerful Research and analysis
The analysts working with MarketsandMarkets come from renowned publishers and market research firms globally, adding their expertise and domain understanding. We get the facts from over 22,000 news and information sources, a huge database of key industry participants and draw on our relationships with more than 900 market research companies.
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