Specific numbers are coming out and the spin doctors are now explaining to us who the winners and losers are from the bill. But we only need look at two numbers and compare them to know we have all lost again. The annual tax increase is projected to be $62 billion. Last year’s budget deficit was $1.1 trillion (or $1,100 billion). This leaves our politicians with only two choices. Government can take a massive pay-cut, essentially bankrupting itself. Or it can arbitrarily raise the debt ceiling one more time.
The truth is, America has been on this losing streak for a century. Ninety-nine years ago, the powers that be created the fiscal cliff. In December of 1913, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that gave away control of America’s money supply to the largest privately owned banks in the world. We call it the Federal Reserve System but there is nothing federal or reservist about it. Created to eliminate recessions and depressions, the exact opposite has occurred over and over again. Instead, the Federal Reserve marked the beginning of fiscal cliff policy—the monetization of debt.
This is how fiscal cliff monetary policy works. When the government needs more money (and when does it not?) it must raise taxes. But raising taxes is usually not politically expedient. So instead, the government goes to the Federal Reserve, hat in hand. In the hat are treasury debt certificates, or T-bills. The Federal Reserve purchases these notes of indebtedness. They create money out of nothing, pass it on to the government, and then proceeds to charge the government interest on this money that does not exist. The government uses the counterfeit dollars to buy votes. This counterfeit money makes its way into the money supply and the government’s back-door tax increases begin to take effect. We call it inflation. The American people get higher prices, higher interest rates, higher unemployment, economic slow-down—a recession. This creates a boom-bust cycle that intensifies in pain on a regular cycle or is delayed by more debt purchasing. This cannot go on forever. The real cliff will eventually be reached and Biblical laws of cause and effect that exist in the realm of finance MUST push us over.
Our fiscal cliff monetary policy violates biblical principles concerning debt, just weights and measures, stealing, coveting, partiality, rules on collateral, multiple indebtedness and the insanity of fractional reserve banking to name a few. All of these will be dealt with in more detail in future articles. Needless to say, it will take massive national repentance from the top down to avoid our coming fiscal cliff. I’m talking the kind we read about in the book of Jonah. But I don’t see our president sitting in sack-cloth and ashes and that goes for your neighbors too.
I can’t help but be reminded from a scene in the movie, Dumb and Dumber every time I think or write about debt monetization. Lloyd and Harry recover a million dollars that was supposed to be used as ransom money to recover a kidnapped man. While working their way to the rightful owner of the money, they decide it would be okay to spend some of the money along the way. When the kidnapper finally catches up with Lloyd and Harry, pistol in hand, he demands they open the case. What falls out of the case are dozens of slips of paper. The kidnapper is furious but Lloyd confidently assures him that, ‘the slips of paper are better than cash…they are IOU’s.’ Needless to say, the guy with the gun wasn’t buying it.
Marketing is all about targeting the right people and saying the right things to convince them to buy, sign up, or follow whatever call to action is desired by the company. Trade show exhibits require the same amount of precision, if not more so, than regular marketing in order to quickly attract and convince attendees. Here are a few hints and tips to help target the right audience and maximize profits:
Know Their Biggest Fears And Problems
Nothing motivates human beings more than fear. They will leap tall buildings, pay millions of dollars, and trip over themselves and others to avoid something they fear. So, if a business has the product or service to eliminate these fears or solve these problems, people should be running to the business' trade show exhibit and lining up by the masses to make a purchase. Unfortunately, attendees don't always make the connection between their needs and the various products and services offered at trade show exhibits.
One of the best ways to help make this connection is to identify their fears and problems and show them how the business can help. And, the more specific the problems and solutions get, the more targeted the campaign becomes.
Identify With The Target Audience, Don't Preach
Anyone who has ever had their mother tell them to eat their vegetables or make their bed, knows being told what to do isn't pleasant. And, chances are pretty good that when you tell someone what to do, they'll ignore you or do the complete opposite. A target audience for a trade show exhibit will work in much the same way. Therefore, use displays that the ideal customer can identify with; show them that your company understands where they're coming from.
For example, a business selling a pacifier might identify with new parents by recognizing the frustrations of being a new parent and dealing with an inconsolable baby. If inspiration is lacking, look at television and magazines for the best audience and make note of which feelings they identify with.
Be Observant And Flexible
No matter how closely a particular type of attendee is targeted, every person has different needs and feelings than the next person. Therefore, to be as effective as possible, every team member working in the exhibit needs to be able to read people and react accordingly.
Trade show exhibits shouldn't 'go live' without a comprehensive plan for dealing with leads, but it's on the staff member to identify which route to take and when to change the strategy. And, the faster the individual can recognize irritation, disbelief, mistrust, or boredom, the faster he or she will be able to make the switch and convert a cold lead into a hot one.
Targeting attendees for trade show exhibits always requires careful observation and evaluation. Once businesses know what makes their customers tick and can act accordingly, however, the ROI of the show will improve exponentially.
A ubiquitous concern among architects who wish to start their own practice is "How much will my professional liability insurance cost?" Coverage costs vary by:
· State in which the practice is located,
· The limits of coverage purchased,
· Project types being designed, and
· The experience loss history of the Architect applying for coverage.
The cost of insurance also varies annually as the insurance market hardens or softens.
What should an architect expect upon applying for PLI (professional liability insurance) for the first time? Professional liability insurance protects firms against claims and/or allegations of negligence, errors or omissions in delivery of professional services. In order for an insurance company to evaluate and price their risk in insuring a firm, they require completion of an application. The application captures information about business locale, annual revenue, the discipline and project mix of the firm, and the risk management protocols implemented to help minimize exposure to claims. They will also inquire regarding claims history.
When in the process of starting a new firm, the underwriter will expect estimates of anticipated business. A solid business plan goes a long way in terms of providing underwriters comfort, so submitting a brief narrative stating goals and direction for the new firm is crucial. Previous project experience will also be highly relevant. In order to qualify for Architects Professional Liability insurance, you must hold a registered and/or licensed architectural license.
To get a quote, one must submit:
· A complete application. Be judicious, as submissions compiled hastily tend to be priced higher or declined by underwriters.
· A resume showing representative projects, education and any Society/Association affiliations held. Associations convey professional commitment to the insurer. Engagement in continuing education has a similar effect.
· A mission statement including the direction intended for the business goals for growth.
Once committed to purchasing a policy, annual renewal will be necessary to maintain coverage on work performed under the new firm. Professional liability insurance is written on a "claims-made" basis. This means a policy must be in force at the time a claim is made in order for coverage to apply. Also all policies contain a "retroactive date", which is the inception date of the initial professional liability insurance policy.
It is not possible to get coverage for work that you performed before applying for professional liability insurance. In essence, the key to covering architectural professional liability is to purchase from a trustworthy provider, and to do so immediately upon inception of a practice.
Participating in a trade show is a worthy investment for your business. If you make an effort and properly showcase your business, you will reap financial rewards. Exhibiting your business in a trade show is one of the fastest and most effective methods to showcase your business to a lot of potential clients and build confidence in the customers you already have. Certain marketing strategies will help you maximize the success of your exhibit.
A trade show provides you with the opportunity to market your products and services directly to consumers and give you a chance to make a lasting first impression. In order to introduce your business to the public at a trade show and fully take advantage of the experience, there are certain guidelines that you should follow in order to maximize your business' exposure.
Remember the KISS acronym. You probably invoked it during grade school and you should follow the same motto now: Keep It Simple, Stupid. You do not want to overwhelm an audience with too much text on your trade show displays; the more words you have on them, the fewer times they will be read. The colors you use for your company's exhibit should reflect the colors of your brand or the latest design trends, or some combination of thereof. You need to draw a large initial crowd; people will be lured to your booth by seeing other people already there. Additionally, remember that the more fun attendees have at your booth, the more serious business you will do with them after the show.
At a trade show, you are able to immediately interact and connect with potential consumers, who will appreciate that they are getting personal attention. And, if you offer them fun, interactive freebies such as flashlight pens or glow-in-the-dark Frisbees, they will have a stronger positive association with your business. They will appreciate that you gave them something more proactive than a sticker. And, current clients' faith in your business will reaffirmed with these interactions.
Your employees will also be more inspired to make an effort, if they witness you pitching in and making an effort. When selecting staff to work at the booth, you want individuals have demonstrated that they listen well and are not overly chatty. These expos are satisfying for both attendees and participants; the former get the satisfaction of instant gratification and the latter has a forum to appeal to a new audience. Trade shows are the best way to strengthen old relationships and foster new ones with consumers.
Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance is associated with providing protection for professionals who sell their skill or knowledge. At times, in course of professional work, errors are prone to occur which attract a liability. PI insurance is meant to protect you against such liabilities.
Professionals like architects, chartered accountants, software consultants and the like are at risk. Some of the causes which can lead to liability are inadvertent disclosure/loss of data, malfeasance, infringement of copy rights and professional negligence. Howsoever expert you are in the area of specialization, you are at risk because of the reasons just stated. It is for this reason that you, as a professional, should buy PI insurance of appropriate cover.
Things covered under the policy
• Professional negligence: PI insurance offers you protection against law suits because of your professional negligence which entails some loss to your client. It covers problems arising from accidental mistakes, which are not within the purview of your personal control; say, your employee inadvertently deletes data from the database while in course of work, which leads to the loss of crucial data. The insurance provides the needed financial indemnity that ensues in the event of a legal liability.
• Circumstances unforeseen: Many of the faults that take place are not done by the professional intentionally. They are very much unexpected, but may lead to huge financial loss. As one is not prepared to face this unforeseen financial burden, having professional indemnity insurance can be of great help.
Apart from the financial compensation that you have to pay in case of litigation, professional indemnity insurance will also take care of precautionary advice which you, as a professional, deserve. These differ widely across professions. It will point to the remotest possible error on your part that may cause you to suffer a lawsuit.
• Lawsuits with malicious intent: At times, businesses or people with a malicious intent might drop you in trouble by suing you. In such cases, you can neither ignore the severity of the case, nor do you have the competency given the manoeuvring tactics at court of law. PI insurance would play the role of a lifebuoy at such predicament.
Who needs PI insurance?
PI insurance is meant for professionals who offer their knowledge, experience or skills as a paid service. Architects, engineers, brokers, solicitor, financial advisers, accountants are a few professionals who can take advantage of PI insurance. Above all, self-employed professionals should buy it at any cost, as they are solely responsible for their profession.
The clients can sue you because of your professional negligence of any sort.
Other benefits offered by the policy
Note that the law suits raised because of negligence on your part are difficult to handle in terms of time, resources and professional expertise. Sometimes, these legal claims might be too big to pay yourself, unless you have enough financial strength. Further, it may go to the extent to bring disrepute to you as also to your profession.
PI insurance is hence advisable for you, as it covers all the accidental mistakes which are potential enough to give rise to legal suits and claims for compensation. It avoids financial crippling in case of claims, saves reputation and enables smooth run of business.
Professional indemnity insurance may prevent you from having needless strain and your business from having a debilitating effect. Buying this insurance might cost a little, but the benefits thereof are manifold which you take into account.
Roughly 75% of the business owners I speak with in any given town or city see little, if any, need for an online presence. They believe in doing business the way it's always been done, with local advertising, foot traffic, telephone book listing or advertisement, special promotions, and word-of-mouth marketing, and assume that local residents will find out about their business in these same ways.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with these promotional methods, but it does create a tunnel vision view of marketing in this day and age. In September 2004, a Kelsey Group-BizRate.com study found that more than 74% of respondents said they had conducted local searches and confirmed that 20% of all searches among respondents was local. Whether business owners acknowledge it or not, the Internet is here to stay, and using the Internet to find local businesses has now become mainstream, and will only continue to grow as today's children and teens, who have been online almost all of their lives, become adults.
I know that when I do a search for local businesses, I am often taken to one of the local city directories, where I am given the address and phone number of the business, and if I'm lucky, the website URL, if they have a website. Most days, I search out the website of a local business to "check them out" before deciding to do business with them.
One of my most frustrating times comes when I want to place a takeout order at a local restaurant and don't have a takeout menu handy. I'll go online to find the menu of the restaurant, and unfortunately, unless it's a local chain with multiple locations, I don't typically find what I'm seeking. That restaurant usually ends up losing my business to one in which I can scope out the menu online and call in a takeout order.
If you have a brick-and-mortar business, how much business are you losing because you don't have an online presence, or your website doesn't contain enough information to help someone decide to do business with you? Or, if you have a virtual company, what if no one can find you when they conduct a local search of businesses in your industry?
I do no marketing locally, as there is little demand for the type of services I provide in this area. However, I began to wonder if I were losing out on what little local business might exist for my virtual company, so I did some research to find what websites would help my company website show up in any local searches.
1. Local Portal Sites: Search Google, Yahoo, and MSN for your city name and see what comes up. Are there any sites on the list with which you can exchange links, buy advertising, purchase a membership, submit articles, etc.? If you live in a small city, as I do, you might also search for larger cities that are close to your location, or search for a regional name that your area might have. For example, I found more portal sites by using "Southeast Texas" as a search term, rather than an individual city name.
2. Search Engine Directories: Search Google Directory, http://directory.google.com for your city name and look for a category that ends with "Guides and Directories". When you click on that, you'll see the directories listed by importance, as determined by Google's Page Rank feature (you'll need to download Google's toolbar to see this info. The toolbar can be found at http://toolbar.google.com. The higher the rank (10 is high), the more traffic the site has. Or, you can manually search Google as follows: Regional Directories (by continent/country): http://www.google.com/Top/Regional/ By state in the US: http://www.google.com/Top/Regional/North_America/United_States/
You can also search Yahoo Directories, http://dir.yahoo.com. To suggest your business for inclusion, see Yahoo's guidelines here: http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/dir/suggest/index.html Yahoo's regional directory listing can be found here: http://dir.yahoo.com/Regional/ and listing for the US states is found here: http://dir.yahoo.com/Regional/U_S__States/
3. Yellow Pages Sites: There are a number of bigger city options here: YellowPages.com (SBC and BellSouth): http://www.yellowpages.com/guide/cityguides/ Super Pages (Verizon): http://www.superpages.com
4. Nationally-Based City Guides: The largest of these services, CitySearch, http://www.citysearch.com/, drives content to many other city guides. Other city guides include AOL CityGuide, http://www.digitalcity.com, Area Guides, http://www.areaguides.net, Online City Guide, http://www.onlinecityguide.com, and Associated Cities, http://www.associatedcities.com/
5. Newspaper-Based Local Sites: If you live in a larger urban area, your local newspaper may sponsor a site for your city, like Charlotte.com, sponsored by the Charlotte Observer) or Boston.com, sponsored by the Boston Globe.
6. Locally-Based City Guides: Again, in larger urban areas, your local chamber of commerce, convention and visitor's bureau, or a private business may operate a local portal for your city. Here in Southeast Texas, our locally based site is SoutheastTexas.com, owned by a private business. Others, like FortWorth.org, is sponsored by the Ft. Worth Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
7. Association Guides: Your membership to your local chamber of commerce, convention and visitor's bureau, professional association (by industry), general business groups (networking groups, men's or women's business associations, civic groups) may pay off if the association has an online membership directory where your listing might be found. Make sure that the listing includes both your contact info and a link to your website.
I've only scratched the surface of the local possibilities available for both virtual and brick-and-mortal companies. In doing the research for this article, I discovered there are thousands of businesses who aren't listed in these directories. Don't let yours be one of them. Get your business listed locally so you local customers can find you!
Copyright 2006 Donna Gunter
Professional Indemnity Insurance is designed to protect you when a problem arises with any professional work you have done. In today's litigation culture, this form of insurance is becoming increasingly relevant for a range of professions. Are you thinking about Professional Indemnity Insurance? Before you buy, it pays to consider the crucial 5 questions:
What exactly is Professional Indemnity Insurance?
Professional Indemnity (PI) Insurance is designed to protect you in the case of professional error. In the course of your working life an instance may occur where unfortunately, the professional skill you exhibit is deemed inadequate. In this situation, a dissatisfied client may seek some form of compensation, resulting in financial implications for you and your business. This is where PI Insurance comes in: it provides financial support for defense costs, withheld fees and any compensation which may be awarded against you. In simple terms, Professional Indemnity Insurance is financial protection against professional error.
Why do I require PI Insurance?
This type of insurance is typically relevant for professionals who regularly give advice to their customers, and/or who are responsible for customers' data and other intellectual property. It can loosely be regarded as protection against non-physical but nonetheless detectable damages. PI Insurance can be voluntary, but it is mandatory for some professions, such as Architecture, Accountancy and some IT Consultancy.
How does PI Insurance benefit me?
If you are at all liable to be challenged in the competency of your work, or there is scope for your services failing to meet the expectations of your client, then PI Insurance will certainly benefit you. PI Insurance will provide you with financial support if you are accused of professional negligence, misuse of intellectual property, loss of data, dishonesty and defamation incurred by your business. Despite best intentions, no one is immune to mistakes or accusations of mistakes - PI Insurance tackles the consequences of these errors.
When does the cover come into action?
Most forms of PI Insurance work on a claims-made basis. This means that the insurance only covers the claims made during the policy period. If an incident occurs whilst you hold the policy, but the claim is made after you have discontinued the insurance, then the claim will not be covered. On the flip-side, if an incident occurred before the time of holding the policy, but the claim is made once you have the insurance, then you can be protected. Each claim is treated individually - as the policyholder, you can usually select your own limit of indemnity.
Where are there exemptions and conditions?
To ensure the most comprehensive insurance, it is advisable to thoroughly research the policy options available. Many providers of PI Insurance offer industry-specific policies. Requirements are different for each sector: for some, cover is restricted to business carried out within the EU, for example. The policyholder will usually be required to pay an excess for each claim, and the amount varies according to policy. Suitability of Professional Indemnity Insurance can be achieved by the varying levels of cover available. This suitability can be further tightened by bespoke policies which can be continually amended.
It is important to tailor Professional Indemnity Insurance to the requirements of your individual business. The insurance is ultimately designed to protect you in the case of professional mistakes - choosing the right Professional Indemnity policy is the first step towards annulling these errors.
Long before then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told her colleagues that they needed to vote for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy”, we were given Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required To Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001. You know it as the USA Patriot Act. A reaction to 9/11, it was signed into law by President Bush on October 26, 2001. It wasn’t until years later that the American people and the Congressmen who voted for it learned about the government’s new ability to legally spy on US citizens and the provisions concerning torture. And for the financial services industry – AML, the anti-money laundering rules.
Section 352 of the USA Patriot Act includes the requirement that financial institutions establish anti-money laundering internal enforcement. Each company must:
The insurance industry regulations went into effect on December 5, 2005, over four years after the law’s passage. Some of the rules make sense. Some are the result of regulators gone amok. Let’s be serious. Prudential is not worried that I am going to take three non-sequentialed numbered money orders, each for $5,000, and open up a life insurance policy for some drug kingpin. Pru is petrified that a federal regulator would find an agent operating without an up-to-date AML certificate.
Rome is burning and we are too busy inspecting the fire extinguishers to have time to use them.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is a complex law. It has to be. You can’t rework a sixth of our economy with a short paragraph and an emoticon. The new fees (taxes) to give this a chance to succeed are just about to begin. Rules and regulations are being written and promulgated. The exchanges are to be up and running in less than a year. Everyday brings something new.
One of the new taxes, creatively named the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) is designed to raise $100 billion over the next ten years. This is a tax on health insurance companies levied, in part, on market share. A study conducted by Oliver Wyman for the industry group America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) predicts that this excise style tax will result in significantly higher premiums. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention.
Other new taxes and fees debut next month.
The major insurers are trying to learn not just what the new rules will be, but when these rules will begin. Does your current policy, purchased under a different set of regulations, end on December 31, 2013? Or, will you be allowed to keep your current policy till its annual renewal or even longer? Do you care? YES!
If you are young. If you are healthy. If you don’t need any of the new benefits required of all future individual (self-pay) policies such as maternity or habilitative care, you will want to hold on to your current health insurance with both hands. Will you be allowed to retain your current policy? For most of you the logical answer is “Not for long.” These are the issues I’m asked about daily.
Over the next ten months we will get a clearer picture of the new health insurance market, the policies, the distribution system, and eventually, the pricing. This has always been, first and foremost, about paying for medical services, not about the practice of medicine. But the delivery of health care will change as the money changes.
Look around you. It would be very crowded here in Greater Cleveland if our population grew at the same rate as our hospitals and clinics expanded. Kaiser Permanente, The Cleveland Clinic, and University Hospital must believe that they know how to make the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act pay off for them.
The potential to build health care empires must be buried deep within the law. We, however, are probably just working the mine.
The origin of options actually comes from producers who wanted to achieve greater financial certainty so that they could better plan their activities throughout the financial year. In order to do this, they had to fix the prices of the materials that they required for production. A manufacturer that required iron, for example, might estimate the amount of iron necessary for production over the entire year and the times at which that iron would have to be purchased. Based on market predictions, it would then estimate what the cost of iron should be at those times. The manufacturer would then enter into an agreement with an iron supplier to buy iron from them at that particular price on a particular date. This agreement came to be known as an options contract.
Binary options, however, function in a different manner from simpler options mentioned above. Instead of being an option to purchase a particular product, binary options have two outcomes. The first outcome is a win for the trader, and involves a payout of a certain percentage of the value of an underlying asset. The second outcome is a lose for the trader and simply means that he or she gets nothing back. Some brokers offer a certain percentage of your money back on losing trades, but that is a feature of the particular broker rather than of the binary options themselves.
Getting Money Back
As with most online service providers, brokers require that you sign up for an account and pay a fee in order to trade in binary options. With the sheer number of binary options brokers operating online, however, some brokers have had to market their services aggressively in order to attract customers. One way that they have done so is through partnerships with broker databases that offer rebates for sign-ups. This way, the brokers are able to attract more customers while customers feel greater satisfaction at having gotten some of their sign-up fee back.
It was common practice for database websites to receive a commission in return for each sign-up that they successfully referred to a broker. As more database websites were created, the databases themselves encountered heavy competition. Some of the better databases then started to share their commissions with their customers in order to attract more customers. When you sign up with Traderxp or Bbinary through the right database website, you will get your brokerage membership and enjoy Traderxp rebates or Bbinary rebates at the same time.
As a disclaimer, the online chat room for adults that this article refers to is not the ones some might think about. I am talking specifically about a useful website utility that especially targets the adult segment of the market.
Sure, webmasters have tons of ways to target the adult niche. One can always rely on the awesome power of conventional search engine optimization and search engine marketing, and on the ubiquity of social media marketing. These are tried and tested means of getting the word out about a product, brand and service and thousands of businesses have already established their presence via these tools.
These days, though, online chat room for adults also proves to be a powerful means of strategically targeting the adult consumers, and there are quite a number of chat tools that can be easily installed to any website that zeroes in on the adult demographics.
How does a chat room tool work so you can specifically target the adult segment?
You may not realize it, but on-site chat tools can be an excellent customer service platform for your website. With it, you can track your customer's conversation in real-time. Every now and then you'll read how some of your visitors may like your products or services. Other times you'll read from the conversations how others don't like how slow your site loads. And then there are times when you'll read a question being raised about how your particular product or service works.
Chatting tools have been already explored by thousands of websites and e-commerce. These tools are highly customizable so you can name your chat room as "Daddy's Garage" or "Mother-in-Law Channel" for example to simply let users know who these chat rooms are for. What's great with some of the newer chat programs, apart from they are free and easy to install, is that sites with the same theme that use the same chatting service get linked via categories, so that visitors can find all sites specifically targeting adults upon visiting the chatting service's main site.
Also, with an online chat room for adults, visitors can get a whole new interactive experience, connect with like-minded individuals and can talk freely about products and services that they find useful elsewhere. With chat rooms, website owners will also have the great opportunity to reach out to adult visitors in real-time and get first-hand information on user experience and preference. This type of service will also allow website owners to resolve quickly any issues adult visitors and customers may have.
It has been no secret that this solution is one of the most popular, but it is worth noting too that it is not a matter of erasing all debts – as some people think. Rather, it is a matter of clearing debts quickly by buying out the balances with a more affordable loan at a more flexible repayment structure.
What this means is that the crippling debt is replaced by a single debt consolidation loan, which must be repaid. This in turn means that applicants need to prepare their applications properly, so there are some issues that should be considered before submission.
When Clearing Credit Cards
One of the chief debts cleared through consolidation is credit card debt. But getting a debt consolidation loan for bad credit management means all debts can be cleared at the same time. This means a wide variety of interest rate structures need to be considered.
For example, a credit card may charge 22% APR on their balance, with the result that very quickly the sum owed becomes significant. When 4 or 5 cards are involved, then the debt can become huge. But it is important to consider the other debts too before agreeing consolidation terms, so when clearing debts quickly, everything can be managed effectively from the start.
What makes a debt consolidation loan so effective is that the whole financial mess can be wiped clean in favor of a more manageable situation. And it can only remove the financial headache if the monthly repayments are less than the combined repayments already being made.
Compare With Other Fast Loans
There are other options out there that might be considered too. Admittedly, it is hard to find any that offer the same kind of breaks, so getting a debt consolidation loan for bad credit repair is arguably the one everyone prefers to turn to.
But what is the main alternative? A payday loan is the key one, and is almost certain to be approved if the applicant has a large enough monthly income. The loan is granted on the back of an upcoming paycheck, and can be approved and deposited into an account in a matter of hours. So, it is ideal when clearing debts quickly is a must.
But it only suits small debt sums, with most payday loans maxing at $1,500. Anything more than that will need a more detailed loan agreement, with repayments over 90 days or so. Interest is also huge, as much as 500% APR, so a debt consolidation loan is clearly more affordable.
What Out For Unnecessary Charges
A third key point is the fee that debt consolidation companies charge. While it is always possible to get a debt consolidation loan for bad credit management independently, when the debt is very high, a professional service might be needed.
As service providers, the consolidation company will charge a fee, but remember that nothing should ever be paid in advance. If a company suggests that this be done, then it is best to walk away. The correct process is for the company to deduct the fee from the sum borrowed as it is deposited into your account.
Clearing debts quickly is always desirable, but remember there is always the risk of unscrupulous operators. So, check out the background of any prospective company before agreeing any debt consolidation loan with them. The Better Business Bureau website is the best option.
Personal bankruptcy can help you if you are mired in debt as a result of medical bills and credit cards. Once your bankruptcy is complete, your credit report will show a zero balance on all of your unsecured debt accounts. This is usually a huge relief to know you will no longer have to worry about how you are going to make those payments. You do not have to fear bankruptcy. While it may have some stigma connected with it, the truth is that it's nothing that you need to be ashamed about. Aside from helping you to get out of debt, experiencing a bankruptcy has other benefits, too.
As soon as you start your bankruptcy proceedings, credit collectors can no longer harass you. This is often a welcome relief for someone who has been dealing with creditors and collection agencies for an extended time. You'll get to start over and have a brand-new chance at building good credit. Of course it's true that Cleveland bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for several years, but in the meantime, you can get yourself back on track to becoming more responsible and wise about how you spend your money. You can start building your credit back again more quickly thanks to the elimination of all the debt that you tried to pay on, but couldn't keep up with. You won't need to struggle to purchase the basic things you truly need in order to get by in life, thanks to not having debt hanging over your head that kept you from affording even basic necessities.
If you've been thinking about a bankruptcy filing, it's essential that you speak with a knowledgeable attorney who will walk you through all of the steps needed and enable you to understand which type of bankruptcy fits your specific situation. Filing for bankruptcy is not a simple thing to do by yourself, and there are many steps that have to be taken to get the filing done correctly. That is why having someone who is experienced in filing for Cleveland bankruptcy help you start the process is a good idea. The legal representation you have will be in command over organizing the only hearing you will need to attend if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and that is called the "meeting of creditors." This hearing will typically be a speedy one. Creditors may show up at and ask you questions.
A bankruptcy case often takes anywhere from four to six months to finalize but with the assistance of a legal professional, you may be able to have it done quicker than that. It's important to find legal representation that you feel safe working with. They should be professional, friendly and definitely happy to help you. There really isn't any reason to work with an attorney who passes negative judgment or is rude to you. A good attorney will understand that bankruptcy is not a simple thing and that it can affect people in a big way emotionally. As soon as you hire one who knows this, it will make the process easier.
As soon as your bankruptcy has been filed, it might be wise to get credit counseling so that you can learn to make new and better financial choices. If you're searching for a fresh new start to controlling your finances, Cleveland bankruptcy may be the answer. Be sure to perform a little research to make sure you know it is right for you. An attorney or legal professional can discuss your options with you and assist you to understand more about filing for bankruptcy.
Trade Shows are a great way to capture leads for your business. Remember that getting the lead is the most important part of any marketing plan. You are building a list of hot prospects that are interested in your product. The best kind of lead out there.
1. Don't sit behind the booth!
This is one of the biggest mistakes I see people at trade shows do. You spent a lot of money to be there. Don't waste it by sitting behind your booth like a bump on a log. Stand in front of your booth and be interactive with the people walking by. Catch their attention. Talk to them and invite them over to look at your materials. Answer questions related to your products. Don't just let them look and walk away.
Ask people that do come up to your booth if they have any questions. Ask them if they are familiar with your services or products. Engage the audience. Think about the carnies at the fair midway. You are similar to them. You don't get paid if people don't play. Now you don't have to as annoying or pushy as them but you do need to stand out and engage people so they don't just walk past your booth without talking to you. They may not even know they need your product but after you talk to them they might see a whole new light and really be interested in talking more. Guess what... That's a lead!
2. Get their name and phone number!
So what are you really at the trade show for? To get leads. If anyone tells you trade shows are just great name awareness, walk away and try not to laugh at them. Yes, that is one reason to be there but it's not the main reason. Just because they saw your booth, doesn't mean they will remember you once they've gone through two more rows of booths. You need to collect their information. If it's a Business to Business trade show, collect business cards from everyone you meet. If it's Business to consumer, have a simple form to fill out so you can follow up with them after the show.
One of the best things you can do it have a Free Report or Consumer Awareness Guide that you can mail or email to them after the show. Offer to send it to them the next day if they give you their name, email address and physical address. Now you are building your list. You now have someone specific to market to!
Offer a free giveaway item. Everyone has seen the fishbowl drawings at trade show booths. They don't do this just to get you to stop by their booth. They do it because you now have given them your contact information so they can follow up and market to you in the future. You should be doing the same. It doesn't have to be something big like a free vacation if that's not in your budget. It can be for a gift basket of your products or even as simple as a gift card to your local coffee shop. People always like the opportunity to get something for free. They will go out of their way and fill out your registration form in order to get something for free!
3. Stay to the end
It always amazes me how many vendors at trade shows stay for an hour or so and then pack up because they're bored or tired. Guess what! You paid to be there. Stick it out to the end. I've personally made more connections in the last 30 minutes of trade shows I've attended than in the entire three or four hours I've been there. This is especially important if you are in a Business to Business trade show. You can make more connections with the other vendors than the walk through traffic so don't discard the value of visiting the other vendors there also. It might be the best connection you make. You will never know if you leave after the first hour.
4. Follow up after the show
So many people I see at trade shows collect business cards or names on a list and never do anything with them. They expect that just because someone saw them at the trade show that they will call the vendor to buy something. It's your responsibility to follow up and get the sale. Not their's. This is your chance to make a great impression on them and follow up as soon as you can to set up a meeting, send them more information about you or just to ask them if they are ready to buy. Offer them a free estimate.
You just need to follow up as soon as you can and keep them in your database for future promotions.
This is how you can build a list quickly and use trade shows to build your list of prospects quickly and get the most out of any trade show you are part of.
The reality is that even a decade after graduation many people are still repaying their college loans, so the ability to take control the debt is a huge attraction to students. Getting onto a loan consolidation program, even while at college, is seen as a practical way to accomplish this.
Of course, getting the best terms possible is very important, with a range of benefits to be enjoyed if the right deal can be found. But the aim is to pay off the student loans once and for all. A consolidation program offers the chance to clear them in one fell swoop, then repay a single loan on more affordable terms.
Key Advantages: Recent Graduates
Graduates should take a look at the options available before consolidating private student loans. In fact, there are two forms of graduates: recent graduates and long-term graduates. Recent graduates have the maximum debt before them, but because they have not yet had a chance to build a career and are still low earners, it remains difficult to make repayments.
The best option for them is to agree a long-term consolidation deal, extending the repayment term to perhaps 20 or even 25 years. With fixed interest rates, they are easy to budget for, and over such a long length of time, payments on the loan consolidation program are very small.
It is not considered advisable to choose a variable interest rate because the repayments can fluctuate, making them more difficult to manage. In order to consolidate student loans effectively, it is necessary to have a reliable repayment structure.
Key Advantages: Long-Term Graduates
Long-term graduates are those who have been out of college for at least 5 years, though some might still be repaying college debts after 10. They differ from the alternative category in that they usually have a larger income and are on a definite career path. But they look to consolidating private student loans to allow them to finally control of the debt.
The structure of the loan consolidation program may be short or long, and since these graduates have a larger available income, accepting a variable rate may be a good choice. Although rates will fluctuate, they may go down and, over a number of decades, that could lead to significant savings.
Of course, even if the interest increases and the repayments along with it, a full-time employed graduate should be able to shoulder the rise. It is a useful option when the student loan balances are still quite high, and the available income is not so big.
Find the Best Program
Effectively consolidating private student loans is as much about finding the best deal as getting the best loan is. With the wrong terms, the program can turn out to be quite expensive. With the development of comparison websites, the task of finding the best program is made easier.
Online lenders tend to offer the best deals in almost every category of financing, but sifting through the hundreds of deal, offering specific terms and conditions, to find the one that matches the needs of the applicant, is simplified too.
Remember, a loan consolidation program should make repaying debts much easier, so before choosing a program know your current debt, calculate the affordable monthly repayments, and ensure the repayments of the new loan beat the old ones hands down. Then student loans can be gotten rid of in confidence.
What is Forex trading and how did the name originate?
The Forex trading name derived from Foreign Exchange. The first three letters of Foreign and the first two letters of Exchange are added together.
Forex trading is about dealing in international currencies to make money. When trading in the stock market we sell the currency of one country to buy that of another, hoping to make a good profit.
Before the onset of the internet, Forex trading was open only to multinational corporations and banks. Now, many people work from home with their Forex trading money business.
The Forex trader deals in Foreign Exchange at the most appropriate time to profit from the transaction. Dealing in the stock market requires a good ability to forecast the outcome of all currency transactions.
Trading in the currency market is popular because although there are frequent fluctuations in currencies, in percentage terms they may be small.
You may then wonder how trading in currencies can be such a lucrative earning opportunity since fluctuations in exchange can be so little. However, when trading in large volumes, a small change can mean a lot.
You can make a lot of money Forex trading online in the stock market. But there are certain conditions to follow before trading in foreign currencies.
A thorough knowledge about the trends in the stock market is required. You should also know the basics of this type of trading and risk taking. Alternatively, you can use a robot for attaining these conditions. Especially a robot that does all the currency trading work for you!
You gain if the fluctuation favors you and the reverse holds true as well. No one can accurately predict the trend of the currencies. Liquidity is another reason why Foreign Exchange is so popular.
You can make lots of money trading in currencies, even if your initial investment is quite low. So remember that even with a nominal investment, your earning ability is certainly very large.
Most of the great businesses are connected to the internet today, and Forex is no exception. It is now easy for you to work from home and start trading in foreign currencies. In fact, it is fully conducted online. You are at liberty to choose when to start trading, without having to meet any deadlines.
You can quickly start your own work from home Forex trading business. The process of trading online in the currency market is fairly simple for anyone to understand. Especially with a currency robot that does all the trading work for you.
The new legislation requires firms to be able to find the information described in the resolution pack as soon as possible and in any event within the period of 48 hours. To sum up what is required the pack must include the following:
• the place where copies of executed agreements can be found.
• details of any third party that have been used to perform CASS operational functions as well as a document which provides specific instructions about how to access relevant information that is held by a third party.
• the means to process a transfer of any client money or assets;
• copies of the organisation’s processes for the management, recording and transfer of the client money and safe custody assets that it holds.
Find out more specific information about the exact credentials that are required under the new FSA regulations by referring to the article that we published back in May.
The FSA has selected CASS compliance as of its core regulatory risks in its 2012/13 Business Plan. The requirement for each company to prepare and maintain a resolution pack means that it will be much easier for the FSA to carry out inspections and assess a firm’s compliance with these regulations.
Firms should be aware that there will be a higher frequency of thematic reviews that will specifically focus on the existence and usability of these resolution packs. Firms that do not prepare or maintain them will be in breach of the new regulations.
If you are affected by this new FSA legislation, IMS has put together a navigation pack that clearly states all the requirements and provides a basis for collecting the information required by the new rules in a transparent and consistent manner.
Do you know that 95% of people who try to start a business online fail to make any money, or make losses?? There are a lot of questions you need to ask yourself when considering setting up an online business, because if you don't treat it like a business and take it seriously, then the inevitable will happen. It sounds quite daunting, but all you need to have is the drive to succeed and you won't have a problem!
If you are the type of person who would just buy a system and wait for the money to roll in, then you're dreaming! So many people fall into this trap, and then they think they have been scammed, but the truth of the matter is that no system out there will just make you money when you buy it, you need to put in some work to get it to that stage! Also if you give up easily, then it really isn't for you! You need to persevere with what you're doing to make it work, it doesn't just happen overnight! If you are under any of these illusions then it might not be the greatest idea for you to start an online business!
So then there is the other category of person. If you are the type of person who is willing to do exactly what it takes to succeed and become a success, then an online business will be just what you're looking for!
Online businesses are booming, and there really is no better time to start a business online. Whether you know exactly what you're doing or absolutely nothing, it really doesn't matter. It can be as inexpensive or as expensive as you want it to be and could change your life. Everyone out there has the potential to make money online, but you choose whether you want the success and what you're prepared to do for that success. Remember, you determine your future and the path you take, whether it be to succeed or to fail, make sure you choose the right one!
Internet marketing is rapidly becoming the biggest venture on the Internet. To get the help and support you need to make your internet business a success, then join me [http://makeonlinemoneyeasy.com] and make your online career exceed the boundaries!
Only a Market Maker can submit a Form 211 to obtain a ticker symbol assignment. An issuer cannot submit the form itself. As such, the sponsoring market maker plays an important role in the going public process.
What is a Market Maker?
A market maker is a FINRA registered broker-dealer firm that accepts the risk of holding a certain number of shares of a particular security in order to facilitate trading in that security. Broker-dealers must register with FINRA to act as a market maker of a security.
Market Maker Regulation
Market Maker activities are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) as well as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”). FINRA oversees registration, education and testing of market makers, broker-dealers and registered representatives. FINRA rules governing market makers in going public transactions involve a variety of criteria.
Market Maker Compliance with SEC Rule 15c2-11 in Going Public Transactions
SEC Rule 15c2-11 requires that current public information be made available to investors. This information is initially provided in going public transaction by the market maker when it submits a Form 211 and 15c2-11 application with FINRA for a ticker symbol assignment. FINRA and SEC Rule 15c2-11 require that the market maker has a reasonable basis for believing that the information provided by the company in its Form 211 is accurate and from reliable sources.
FINRA Comment Process in Going Public Transactions
SEC Rule 15c2-11 l Form 211 Application
In a going public transaction, a market maker must submit a Form 211 application to FINRA to apply for the company’s trading symbol. FINRA may render comments to the application which the sponsoring market maker and company must respond to. Once FINRA is satisfied that the disclosures satisfy the requirements of SEC Rule 15c2-11, a trading symbol is assigned and the Market Maker can quote the company’s securities. Once this occurs, the securities of the private company going public can be quoted by the OTCMarkets on the OTCPink Sheets and investors can purchase the company’s securities through their broker.
Form 211 Exclusivity Period for Sponsoring Market Maker
For the first 30 days after a ticker symbol assignment in a going public transaction, only the sponsoring market maker filing the Form 211 can publish quotes of the company’s securities. After the sponsoring market maker has published quotations for the security for at least 30 days, then other market makers can publish quotations.
Market Maker Fees For 211 Filings
Market Makers generally earn money by buying stock at a lower price than the price at which they sell it, or selling the stock at a higher price than they purchase it back. FINRA prohibits market makers from charging issuers fees for filing a Form 211 including in going public transactions. Despite the foregoing, unscrupulous market makers frequently find ways to circumvent FINRA’s requirements including by funneling fees for 211 filings through transfer agents they control or sham consulting agreements. Engaging in such activities compromise the entire going public transaction and place the company as well as the sponsoring market maker at risk for enforcement action.
FINRA l Market Maker l Shareholder Requirements
The private company seeking to go public must have enough shareholders to demonstrate an active trading market can be established. This means that prior to filing a Form 211 the company should have at least 30 or more non-affiliate shareholders that paid cash consideration for their shares, and have owned those shares for at least 12 months. The private company seeking to go public should have at least 1 million shares outstanding, of which at least 250,000 are free trading shares.
What would you do? That is the real question. It is incredibly easy to shoot down everyone else’s ideas. All ideas, born from the minds of imperfect humans, have flaws. And the more complicated the ideas, the more potential there is for mistakes. All of our plans have big, gaping holes. So designing a solution to any problem opens you up to derision. It is easy to do nothing. It is even easier to do nothing but snipe at those flawed ideas and the people who created them.
This blog has consistently held that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is a poorly written law that lacks both transparency and logical goals. Either the eventual plan is to have us in a national health plan or our guys in Congress are getting directions from Moses’s map maker. Flaws? We got ’em. But most of the people fighting the PPACA have spent their time picking the low hanging fruit and defending the status quo.
This blog has contended that the PPACA is not only the law of the land, but that it was never going to be overturned. Deal with it. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, is busily churning out new rules and regulations. Some of these edicts from on high will help the American people. Some are patently absurd and will, hopefully, be changed. No matter, we need to start to prepare for a future that will soon be upon us whether or not we want it or are prepared.
My August 2009 post, seven months prior to the passage of the PPACA, laid out a program where health insurance would be guaranteed issue, would cover all preexisting conditions, and would be mandatory. My off-the-cuff solution also included the concept of creating a limited number of uniform plans that would be easier for the consumer to understand, easier to compare, and would include preventive care.
The President’s plan includes many of these ideas. I may quibble with what is included in the standardized plans and what all was thrown in to the preventive care catch-all, but THEY DIDN’T ASK ME. And you might not be a huge fan of the specifics had I been the author of the plan.
The Exchanges are currently designed to offer four levels of coverage – Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. We are still getting information on plan design and specifics. My last post covered the Essential Health Benefits that each plan must include. The difference will simply be the percent of coverage paid by the insurer and you.
The Cunix option included the idea of Medicaid being opened up to people earning up to 300% of the poverty level, paid on a sliding scale. The PPACA provides premium support and/or tax credits through the exchanges for people who earn up to 400% of the poverty level. That would mean a family of four may receive a tax credit for purchasing a policy through the exchange even though they have a family income of $92,200 (2012). By pushing individuals to the exchanges and making the premium support federal money, Washington has eliminated any potential problems or fights with recalcitrant Republican governors.
My program included a number of starting places to create cost controls. The PPACA is eerily silent when it comes to controlling costs. But then again, there is a lot of wishful thinking built into the PPACA.
The HHS has been dropping new rules on an almost daily basis. Last week it was announced that the federal government will be charging user fees to the insurers who market policies through the exchanges. These (premium taxes) fees, approximately 3.5%, will be on top of the new taxes imposed on a national basis to all health insurers as determined by their market share, and any state and local insurance tax. Some of this makes sense. This is how the Obama administration expects to pay for this transition and the ongoing process.
Here is the fun part as it appeared in the New York Times:
Erin Shields Britt, a spokeswoman for Ms. Sebelius, predicted that insurers would not raise prices. “Exchanges will provide already profitable insurance companies with access to 30 million new customers while cutting down insurers’ marketing and advertising expenses,” Ms. Shields Britt said. “Exchanges force insurance companies to compete and drive down costs for consumers. The congressional Budget Office has estimated consumers will save up to 20 percent on their premiums.
And J. R. R. Tolkien wrote non-fiction.
But sniping on the sidelines isn’t going to help. Jumping up and down and threatening to repeal the PPACA (attn: Republican run House of Representatives) only made things worse. Now is the time to talk to your Congressional Representative. The course can’t be reversed, but it can be modified. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is an open-ended medical spending spree guaranteed to make private insurance untenable. Will our elected officials, Democrats and Republicans, work together to create effective cost controls, common sense limitations, and robust fraud enforcement? Those are just for starters.
Now, before we’re stuck.
If you are a small information technology (IT) business and finding it hard to get contractors to work with your company, maybe you are overlooking the importance of verified liability insurance. Having business insurance can really add a level of professionalism and ease tension when getting work from outside contractors.
Let Them Know You Trust Their Abilities
Let's face it, no one wants to work for a small IT company if they don't respect their workers and offer coverage in dangerous or risky situations. Professional liability insurance makes contractors more comfortable because their skills are backed up by your company's coverage. You basically instill confidence in contractors when you offer professional liability insurance.
Have Control of Any Detrimental Situation
In addition, if you hire a contractor, you both want to make sure things run smoothly. If something goes wrong, though, you want things to be under control. If the contractor looses client information or data, doesn't show up, or there's a system failure, your professional liability insurance will put all three parties (you, the contractor, and the client) at ease. It's the perfect solution.
Verified Liability Insurance Eases Contractors By:
o Instilling confidence in their work
o Protecting them and you from injury or unsatisfactory service/product
o Adding comfort for all parties involved
o Building stronger trust between you and the contractor
o Ensuring the project will run smoothly
o Proving that your business is professional
Overview of General Liability Insurance
Most companies will find a general liability insurance package that lines up with their business operations. If you are a small IT business without many risky scenarios, general liability insurance is probably a great money-saving option. It will cover most accidents and, most importantly, cover destruction or theft to your computer's software and hardware. General liability insurance covers almost everything related to bodily injury, property damage, products-completed operations, fire or explosion damage, and legal defense costs. There are also a ton of other options that usually come with general liability insurance.
Add Professional Liability Insurance to the Mix
While general liability insurance covers mostly physical damage or injury, professional liability insurance will cover you if a client claims financial loss due to your service or product. This is extremely important for your business if you are contracting work out. You never know when a little slip up will cause a catastrophe for your client. Get assistance from a professional broker to find a good insurance rate for your specific business. There are a wide range of options, so invest your time and money in finding the appropriate professional liability insurance to suit your specific needs.
Show Off Your Business's Professionalism
A sense of professionalism really adds trust and will make your relationship with the contractor much stronger. Business insurance really proves that you are an honest business owner. If you can prove to contractors that you mean business and want to make sure all parties are covered in messy situations, they will be much more willing to work with you.
Make Negotiations Run Smoothly
Negotiations will also move along much quicker without conflict. There's nothing worse than getting close to an agreement and then it falling through at the last minute, leaving you without a contractor. With liability insurance backing you up, it's much more likely that you will reach an easy agreement with the contractor.
So start building your contractor relationships today and find insurance that will suit you and your company.
I love shopping online. It is so convenient to sit in front of my computer and order just about anything I can think of without ever leaving my chair. No more changing out of my grungies into clothes more suited for shopping in person, no more planning my shopping trip around other duties or engagements, no more wasting gas driving to several stores to find exactly what I am looking for and no more parking tickets for not getting back to plug the parking meter of my car before my allotted time expires.
That makes shopping online sound like the perfect substitute for shopping locally, doesn't it?
Unfortunately, there are several drawbacks to shopping online that should be taken into consideration, before you make a permanent switch. But, as with most drawbacks, those associated with shopping online can be lessened, if not entirely avoided, by taking a few simple precautions.
Most online businesses are run by honest people, just as most local businesses are. However, there are exceptions no matter where you shop. About a year ago, I began to wonder what would happen if I made the mistake of giving out my credit card number online to an unscrupulous person. Could they wipe out my whole bank account? Would I have any recourse to recover damages from them, or would I just end up swallowing my losses and going on, hoping the next person I dealt with was an honest one?
This bothered me of and on to the point where I made a special trip to our bank and asked some questions. Verbally, they assured me that if I lost my card (which was a debit card, not a credit card), I would only be responsible for the first $50 of fraudulent charges, assuming that I reported my loss promptly.
The assurances didn't leave me as assured as I would like to have been so I asked them to open a new checking account for me in addition to my regular account. I deposited only a few dollars into it and began to use that account for my online purchases only. Since it was at the same bank as my regular account, I could transfer money into it whenever necessary to cover an online purchase. Since my accounts were online, I could do this from home. All very convenient.
This has worked very well, giving me confidence that even if someone did try to make fraudulent charges to my account, they would be limited to the small balance in the account.
Not long ago, I transferred a little over a hundred dollars into the account as I intended to shop for a more expensive item than usual online. I hadn't made my final decision yet and got busy doing other things so it kind of slipped my mind for a while.
A little over two weeks ago, I saw an offer online that interested me. You were supposed to receive a CD disc by mail and examine it for 7 days before letting the company know whether or not you wanted to become a regular customer of theirs. You only had to pay $2.50 for shipping the disc. I thought that sounded reasonable and smugly typed in the number of my special debit card to cover the cost.
When two weeks passed with no sign of the CD arriving, I went into my account only to find that they had charged $2.50 for shipping the disc, but also a 2.5 percent fee for international handling. Then, to my dismay, they had charged my account $39.95 for a one-month membership. Oh yes, and another 39 cents for an international handling fee. It seems that this company was located overseas somewhere.
Needless to say, I signed in online and transferred the rest of my balance out of that account to my regular account, and then headed to the bank to talk it over in person.
I told the teller that I had not received the CD I was supposed to be able to use for 7 days before making up my mind about the service, and that I had never authorized anything beyond the first $2.50 to be taken from my account. She sympathized with me and gave me a toll-free number to call to dispute the charges. Unfortunately, since the company was doing business from overseas, she doubted that I would recover the funds that had already been taken from the account, but was kind enough to commend me for removing the remainder of my money from the account. She cut up the debit card in question before giving me a new one with a different number.
She also gave me another tip which I also plan to share with you. So, to keep unscrupulous people from cleaning out your online bank account here are two things you can do:
1. Set up a small account like I did, (avoiding my mistake, of course).
Keep only enough money in this account to cover whatever you are purchasing online. Actually, this wouldn't be a bad idea for all of your shopping, except that you would probably be spending a lot of time transferring cash from one account to another. My mistake was in letting too much money accumulate in the account, and in not checking it frequently enough to catch the fraudulent charges earlier.
Actually, I think I was pretty lucky to get away with a loss of less than $50, and since the bank is investigating my claim, I may end up getting my money back. I suppose though that I might as well give up on ever receiving that CD disc they promised me.
2. Check into purchasing a limited amount credit card. (This is the tip the teller provided to me.)
You've seen gift cards and phone cards you can purchase at places like Target, or Wal-Mart. They also have limited credit cards which can be purchased in different amounts like $30 or $50. When you use them online, the amount of your purchase is deducted from the card's value immediately. If you order some books for $25 online and used your pre-paid $30 credit card to pay for them, it would be impossible for the company to charge more than an additional $5 to your account. If you should lose your card, you would never lose more than the value remaining on it. This kind of card might be worth considering for teens who are notorious for losing their debit cards.
My experience hasn't dampened my enthusiasm for shopping online. I am just a lot more cautious these days, and hope that my suggestions may help you be less likely to become a victim yourself.
Why Go With Cash Advance Loan
Cash advance loans are a perfect solution for immediate financial needs. They are very simple to find, since most lenders offer them online. They are extremely easy to obtain, since they feature no credit check and easy approval with minimum documents needed, if any. They boast fast funding: the funds are available either immediately or within 24 hours. They are as close as an ATM machine, since, once approved, funds are typically wired to your bank account. No matter what your situation is, they are for you to help. Cash advance loans are especially helpful to people with bad credit, when traditional lenders are within no reach.
Getting a Cash Advance Loan Has Never Been Easier
You can say good-bye to your local check cashing vendors and pawn shops. There is no need to get from the couch, put your coat on, and step out the door. Internet technology has made it simple to apply and obtain a cash advance loan. In fact, the money is only few clicks away. Application process is done entirely online, at any hour of the day. Approvals are usually lightning fast and hassle-free. Once approved, however, there may be some verification needed. You will have to have documented proof of identity, income, and banking information.
Therefore, make sure to get your ID, paystubs, and checkbook ready. Once all the paperwork is in place, the loan proceeds are typically wired to the borrower’s bank account. Some lenders also offer alternative funds delivery options, such as money transfers and local cash pickups. Paying loan back is also worry-free, since the loan payments are usually withdrawn from the borrower’s checking or savings account.
Cash Advance Loans Are Great When Used Right
While lenders usually do not ask borrowers what the loan proceeds are going to be used for, it is important to understand that cash advance loans are designed for emergency uses, when no other financial help is available, or when it is within a long reach. They are an excellent tool to help with late bills, medical issues, and bank overdrafts. They are not designed, though, for purchasing a car, funding a wedding, or remodeling a house. Due to higher rates and shorter terms, cash advance loans are not suitable for long-term borrowing needs. Should such need arise, alternative financing options should be researched, such as personal loans, home improvement loans, or car loans.
Operating a successful business is largely about building and maintaining relationships. Sure, your customers are concerned about price, quality, service, etc., but the most successful businesses are those that work to develop a relationship with their customers. Look at Wal-Mart, for example. Do you really need someone handing you a shopping cart on your way in the store? No, but they always hire a nice, elderly type people who smile and says hello to you as you walk in. That's relationship building!
Truth is people will often pay more for something if they have established some kind of personal connection with the person or persons within the business. Certainly, such relationships lead to repeat business, whether you run a grocery store, a restaurant, a sporting goods store, or a movie theater.
For most of us, it's not often that we develop substantial relationships with people at the places we frequent. This is due to a number of reasons; maybe the store is large and has many employees and therefore you never really see the same people with each visit, sometimes it's just a quick stop or perhaps you don't visit all that frequently. But if you think about it, there are probably places you go often, where you have established some kind of relational bond with someone who works there. It's that kind of familiarity that keeps bringing you back. And of course, not every place of business can develop an intimate relationship with every customer, but those that try are often more successful than those that don't.
Building Business Relationships Online
While online businesses lack the ability to build relationships face-to-face, this does not negate the importance of building relationships with your customers--you just have to go about it a bit differently. In part, this is accomplished through your website itself, sometimes through email communications, and occasionally over the phone. Since the website is usually your first point of contact, and therefore the point where you establish your first impression, it's vital that your website do all that it can to set the groundwork for building a strong relationship. The website can't do everything for you, but if your visitors come and leave without ever having made even a superficial contact with a person or a persona worked into the site copy, they will leave without having established any sort of intimacy, and therefore no sense of "connection," with you or your business.
I found the following quote the other day in regard to building relationships with people in a personal sense, but I felt it also applies to building relationships for business as well:
People are insecure; give them confidence.
People want to feel special; compliment them.
People desire a better tomorrow; show them hope.
People need to be understood; listen to them.
People are selfish; speak to their needs first.
People are emotionally low; encourage them.
People want to be associated with success; help them win.
While all of the above are generalities, they do largely apply to most people, regardless of how successful, "important" or how well-known they are. And of course, it also applies to the average Joe and Jane Doe web surfer looking for a place where they feel comfortable handing over their money. So how do you go about building relationships with your potential customers online? Glad you asked.
People are Insecure; Give Them Confidence
It's easy to buy from a brick and mortar store where you see real faces involved. Even if it's some 16-year old kid, with numerous body-piercings standing behind the counter, you have confidence that when he takes your credit card he won't be stealing the numbers. This kind of confidence in the buying process is lost online. My biggest issue with buying products online is the return process if, for whatever reason, something goes wrong. It's easy to drive back to Target and return something you don't want. But online, once the purchase is made, the return process is more cumbersome and often results in extra shipping fees.
You need to give your visitors confidence, not only in the security of the purchase process, but also in the quality of your products, their expectations and your policies and procedures in case something doesn't go as expected. This is most easily accomplished through making sure you have pages on your site that address each of these issues, and clear and obvious links in the places where the customer will be most looking for them. For example, your product pages might need an obvious link to your return policies page--even if that link is already available through the main navigation.
People Want to Feel Special; Compliment Them
Who doesn't want to feel special? A compliment goes a long, long way in helping to establish that mental relationship. How do you compliment someone you don't know? Some simply ways are to write these compliments into your content, "You're obviously looking for quality baby clothing, you've made a wise decision visiting our store." It might sound a bit cheesy, but it works, as long as you don't go overboard. These types of compliments can also be worked into your email and phone communications.
People Desire a Better Tomorrow; Show Them Hope
Will your products or services make their lives better or easier? You must already believe that otherwise you wouldn't be selling what you do. So use this opportunity to explain how your products are going to be good for them. Explain how life will be better once your customer purchases what you are selling. Illustrate to them the benefits, not just the features. If you can give your customers hope--convince them--that your product or service will improve their lives; you've got a sale in hand without the cost being a significant factor.
People Need to be Understood; Listen to Them
Even before you have a chance to communicate with your clients verbally or via email, are you listening to their needs? Whether or not you listen to your website visitors can easily be determined by your USP, Unique Selling Proposition. What? You don't have one? Then you may not be listening to your customers needs. Your USP is what makes you stand out from the thousands of other stores online peddling the same wares as you. Why should they buy from you as opposed to someone else? Price alone is rarely the determining factor.
You need to offer your visitors something unique that tells them that you have listened and responded to their needs. Even if you sell the same product or service as others, your unique approach is one developed out of conversations with your customers and seeking ways to find solutions to problems even before those problems existed.
People are Selfish; Speak to Their Needs First
More than anything, people want you to meet their wants and needs. They're not shopping on your site for your benefit; they are there because they are in need of a solution for X. Your first order of business on your website is to tell the customers how you can meet those needs and what your products or services will achieve for them.
People are Emotionally Low; Encourage Them
For some sites, shopping cart abandonment is astronomically high. Why is that? Primarily because people need to be encouraged to proceed with their purchase. I'll often start shopping for a book or DVD, have it in my basket, go through much of the checkout process, but just before I finalize the payment I hesitate. In my mind I'm thinking, "should I buy this now?", or "Will my frivolous spending upset the wife?", or for larger purchases, "Can I afford this?" Most of these questions surface on an emotional level; sometimes rooted in fact, sometimes not. The bottom line is that a little extra encouragement can help persuade visitors through the selling process.
In fact this very thing happened to me just the other day. I threw a couple of books into my Amazon shopping cart but since I've purchased quite a few books lately so I began to think twice about buying a couple more now. Amazon provided the encouragement I needed. By filling out an application for an Amazon Visa card I got something like $30 off my purchase. I was sold and so were the books. You don't have to give away money to encourage your visitors to make a purchase, but you can re-iterate the benefits of their purchase one more time.
People Want to be Associated with Success; Help Them Win
Everybody wants to feel successful. The funny thing is that people don't even have to be successful in the larger financial/business sense in order to feel successful in every day life. Success often comes from the little victories achieved here and there. Your product or service may not be able to change your customer's destiny, but you can help him or her feel that their decision to purchase from you will help them be successful at something.
Selling baby diapers? Your diapers can successfully prevent leakage. Selling batteries? Your batteries can successfully start the car each morning. Selling cleaning supplies? Your supplies can help them successfully clean their house better. Let your visitors know what they will be successful at with their purchase.
The other side of this is that people also want to see that you are successful. Your success--or lack thereof--is inferred by how your website looks, the number of employees that work for your organization, or possibly even the number of clients you have. A business' success is determined mostly by superficial perceptions. If visitors perceive that you are successful they will gravitate to you based on that alone. After all, you must obviously know what you're doing if you can afford a great site, X number of employees, to charge outrageous fees, etc. But be careful here as well, success can often create a negative perception of you or your business. You might be considered too successful to be able to give them the time or quality your visitors expect.
If you are able to build strong relationships with your website visitors, even perceptually, this will give you a significant sales and marketing advantage over many of your competitors. Building these relationships alone won't make your business the most successful in your industry--there are many other factors involved--but relationships are a crucial factor in being able to establish and maintain long-term customers. Every marketing dollar saved by not having to seek a replacement for a former customer that now shops elsewhere is an additional dollar (plus additional sales profits) that can be spent in obtaining and maintaining new customers.