How To Manage Credit Cards When You're Unemployed

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

51 comments

I recommend calling your credit card companies as soon as you become unemployed and tell them you want to cancel your credit card. This will send a red flag in the department and you will be transferred to a specialized sales agent who's job is to talk you back into keeping the credit card. They will ask you why you're canceling. At this point, you can choose three options based on your particular situation:

1) You can ask them to waive your annual fees (say, "The annual fee is too high.")
2) You can ask them to lower the interest rate (say, "The interest rate is too high on the account.")
3) You can ask them to raise your credit limit (say, "The credit limit is too low on the acount.")

I do NOT recommend telling them you've recently become unemployed because it puts you in a weak bargaining position. However, if you position yourself as an unhappy customer who wants to switch companies, the credit card company will bend over backwards to keep you as a happy customer. It's a bit of reverse pyschology!


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How To Get 100,000 Page Views Per Month On Your Blog or Website

Monday, October 8, 2012

37 comments
I just wrote an awesome guest post for Think Entrepreneurship about how to get tons of traffic to your blog or website without paying a dime for SEO, ads or anything else. Totally free traffic!

Check it out here:

How To Get 100,000 Page Views Per Month On Your Blog or Website - Guest Post

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Awesome Motivational Video! There Are No Limitations!

Friday, September 14, 2012

1 comments
This video is amazing! Well worth the watch.



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How To Get A Canada Payday Loan

Thursday, September 6, 2012

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People who are short on funds should consider getting a Canada payday loan. These loans are easy to qualify for and paid out quickly. Discussed below are the steps that borrowers must take in order to get a payday advance loan.

1. Decide if One Really Needs to Get a Canada Payday Loan

Payday loans were invented to service a specific need. These loans are designed for people who need cash in a hurry. They are not suitable for big purchases. This is because most lenders require borrowers to pay them off within a month.

A few examples of situations where a payday loan may be suitable include buying food, paying an overdue bill or repairing a car. Those who need more than $1,500 will be better off going to their bank. As the interest rates on these loans are high, consumers should only take these loans once in awhile.

People who get cash advance loans on a regular basis often find it difficult to make payments. This is because they start relying on this form of finance for everyday expenses.

2. Find a Canada Payday Loan Lender

Finding the best payday lender is often the hardest aspect of getting a payday loan. There are many lenders that offer this type of lending to their customers. There are 2 types of lender, direct payday lender and broker. However, some of them are better than others. The last thing consumers need is to involved with a disreputable company that charges high fees and interest rates.

The best way to find a lender is to do an online search for Canadian loan companies. Once a consumer has the details of four or five companies, he or she can go to their websites. The company websites will be able to tell the consumer what their interest rates and fees are.

When a consumer finds a company they wish to deal with, they should look for online reviews of the company. Any company that has a number of negative reviews should be avoided.

3. Apply for a Canada Payday Loan

Borrowers can apply for a cash advance loans online. All they need to do is go to the website of the lender that they have chosen. The application should be relatively easy to fill out. Lenders will ask for the personal details of the applicant. This will include their date of birth, address and income. If applicants are employed and over the age of 18, it is very likely that the loan will be approved.

4. Send in Loan Documents for a Canada Payday Loan

When the loan has been approved, the lender will ask to see a copy of the applicant's ID and payslip. Lenders do this so that they can ensure the details in the application are true and correct. If the documents are okay, the lender will finalize the loan.

Most applicants will find that their loan is approved and paid out within a few hours. The only reason that it may take longer than a few hours is if the applicant takes their time sending their documents to their Canada payday loan company.

Author: This article is written by http://www.bestpayday.us

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The Best Motivational Video Ever For Entrepreneurs And Business owners

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

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Motivation and inspiration are key to being a successful entrepreneur. In fact, I don't know any entrepreneur who's been successful without constantly and deliberately "fueling their fire" with regular motivation and inspiration.

I found this video truly touching personally and wanted to share it with you.

We are entrepreneurs. We can make a difference!

Are you willing to believe?



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Will Your Business Survive In Today’s Economic Jungle?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

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Will Your Business Survive In Today’s Economic Jungle?


7-Step Survival Guide

Survival Preparation
If you are a small business owner today, or are planning to start your own business soon, you are facing the most unpredictable– and perhaps perilous– economic environment in recent history. Operating a small business during these times has certainly created a lot of anxiety as   business owners face:
·         Finding new customers in a digital world
·         Increasing revenues while reducing costs
·         Improving profitability with declining margins
·         Spending fewer hours in the business
·         Improving customer & employee loyalty
·         Creating consistent (+)cash flow for the business
·         Adapting to changing federal, state, and local regulations
And the biggest challenge- keeping the dream of business ownership alive!

Historically statistics1,2 indicate that 56% of small businesses will fail within 5 years of startup, for many reasons3 including economic conditions, capital financing, tax issues, and poor cash flow……but it doesn’t have to be this way!  Like in life there are no guarantees in business, but without a clear vision of your destination, a survival plan, and a map (with GPS) to help get you there, your journey on the path of business ownership will be marked with wrong turns, detours, and ultimately failure. It’s challenging to own a small business– if it was easy then everybody would own one– but it doesn’t have to be a constant struggle either.
A holistic, well-organized and implemented marketing, fulfillment, and cash management strategy will help you to navigate the jungle “hazards” along your way, and improve your odds of survival, but without them you will most likely find yourself in the wrong place.  A survival plan is not all “science” (no magic formulas exist), but developing, implementing, and tracking your progress WILL pay enormous dividends on your journey to successful business ownership, even in these hazardous times.


The 7 “Way Points” Of Business Survival4
2.      Implementing a Marketing System that automatically generates new customer leads,
3.      A Sales Process that converts leads into buyers of your products and/or services,
4.      Executing an Operations & Delivery System that delivers “on time” and within budget,
5.      A Financial “Report Card” that tracks the company’s financial progress in real-time,
6.      Utilizing a Cash Management System that ensures positive cash flow and profit, and
7.      A well-defined Customer Management Process that ensures you say what you do and do what you say that exceeds your customers’ expectations, and responds timely when you don’t.
As part of your survival plan you will also need a navigation (GPS) system that tracks your progress in “real-time” so corrections can be made quickly. Tracking your Key Business Indicators (KBI) weekly and monthly vs. your survival plan will help to ensure that you maintain momentum, stay on track, reach your destination, and fulfill your dream of successful business ownership with fewer problems along the way.

The Survival Plan- The Key Pieces
1. Annual business and personal goals form the basis of your survival plan as a business should be seen as “an end to a means” that supports the particular lifestyle that you want to achieve in your personal life, which may include more time with your family, the ability to travel, pursuit of hobbies, or maybe even retirement. Your goals may also include the eventual sale of the business in which case a strong “survival” plan will help to provide a solid foundation for a successful sale. And be sure to ask yourself, “if I don’t know where I’m going, how will I know when I get there?”
Elements to include:

What/where is your desired “destination” in the next 1-2 years? 
What is your retirement horizon (if applicable)– be specific.
How many hours in/out of the business do you want/need?
Who is going to run the business if/when you are unavailable?
Set annual revenue, expense, cash flow, and profit goals– use spreadsheet models; track weekly and monthly (dashboard).

2. A successful business must have a marketing system (and a passion for the customer) at its core, as a well-designed marketing system will provide the business with a steady stream of (potential) new customers. There are a variety of marketing channels through which a business can promote and brand itself including company website(s), social media (Facebook, etc.), direct mail, print advertising, radio, and TV. Your marketing message needs to be clear and engage your potential customers and answer the question “why should I buy from you?” What price do you need to sell it for to make a profit? In most cases your marketing efforts are best outsourced so that you can focus ON the business as opposed to being IN the business.
Elements to include:
A thorough market, customer, and competitor analysis.
Develop your “brand” – What makes you unique? What is your message?
Test market your product(s) before making major investments in infrastructure to determine if your customers want it enough to actually pay you for it.
Which marketing channel(s) provide the best ROI for your money (not all are equal), be sure to have a consistent message.
Develop mechanism(s) to stay in touch with your customers (autoresponders).

  3. The sales (conversion) process takes those potential customers identified through your marketing system and turns them into buyers. Once your business has identified potential customers by giving away a free report, sample, or video for example, it now needs to establish an ongoing relationship with them, either directly (via phone contact or email) or indirectly (using an autoresponder series5) in order to eventually convert them into paying customers. Also be sure to keep track of how many quotes are provided to potential customers and how many of them actually become paying customers to ensure that sales meet your company’s financial objectives. Consider a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to track your customer interactions.
Elements to include:
Set sales targets by product line to meet your overall revenue goals.
Determine how the business will sell its products, i.e. company website, phone calls, direct/indirect sales force, call center, etc.
How will you provide (custom) quotes to customers? How many quotes become actual sales (conversion ratio)?
How/when will you introduce new products (walk before you run)?

4. Operations and delivery (fulfillment) is where the rubber meets the road, where businesses often fail to “deliver the goods” as advertised. A well-developed fulfillment process delivers (raw) materials only when needed (just-in-time), minimizes inventory, scrap, and rework, and utilizes a (production) scheduling system that meets the delivery time promised to the customer. Other factors include balancing the workforce to maximize production while controlling your (variable) costs, and inserting new products and services as they are developed.
Elements to include:
Determine optimum staffing levels within the budget forecast; be sure to include your total cost/employee (wages, benefits, and taxes).
Outline your product workflow, identify opportunities to streamline the process to reduce cycle-time, rework, and scrap (these cost you money).
Optimize an inventory management plan (raw materials, finished goods); can the business utilize a JIT (just-in-time) inventory system to increase cash flow?
Create a production management system that links to your accounting system for job cost tracking so that you can review your price assumptions.

Consider using a mix of permanent and temporary workers to “flex” your staff as business levels increase and decrease?


                    5. A correctly structured (and utilized) financial accounting system is critical (and often overlooked) in knowing how your business is performing at any point in time.  Analyzing an accurate P&L (profit & loss) report can quickly identify issues your business is having with its pricing structure, accounts receivable, job costing, and profitability. Each year a business operates it should develop a new operating budget forecast based on the marketing and sales assumptions that are made. It is also important to perform periodic audits on the accounting system to ensure its accuracy.
Elements to include:
Select and structure an accounting system that provides a real-time status on the financial (P&L) health of the company; review results weekly.
Link the system to the production management system to track individual job costs and update cost assumptions as needed.
Develop a pricing methodology process that captures all variable and fixed costs, and a net profit that meets your financial goals.
Forecast a budget based on sales and expense goals.
Design an accounts receivable & payable review process to ensure the timely collection and payment of accounts (this significantly improves cash flow).

6. Often ignored, and probably the most critical step, is a cash management system that forecasts the money “in” (receivables) vs. the money “out” (payables) in real-time. This step takes some effort but the benefits are significant. It is better to know ahead of time when both bills and monies are due so that proactive steps can be taken to mitigate (negative) situations- like paying taxes or vendors late. Use of multiple bank accounts and accruals can help you navigate the rough jungle river waters where the piranhas are relentless, especially if they bear the name of the IRS!
Elements to include:
Establish at least 2 bank accounts; operations and liability, plan to accrue future liabilities (sales taxes, payroll taxes, etc.) in the liability account to pay when obligations become due to eliminate the impact to operational cash flow.
Utilize a cash management system that forecasts bills due (incl. wages, vendors, taxes, debt, etc.) and monies due from your customers; identify the gaps so that proactive steps can be taken.
Establish/review company policy on customer credit, payment terms and discounts- should credit cards be accepted? Factoring?

7. The customer is THE cornerstone piece of your business– they pay the bills– and if you take care of your customers you are on the path to success. The true character of a business is not revealed when things go right, but when things go wrong, and responding quickly is critical. Dissatisfied customers are far more likely to tell others about your company when things go bad than when they go right, so remember to ALWAYS be responsive to your customers and their needs. Measure your customer’s satisfaction (surveys, calls, etc.) frequently, don’t be afraid to admit when you could have done better, and continually strive to improve the customer experience.
Elements to include:
Design a customer escalation/resolution process; remember comments (good and bad) can be posted online in social media really fast!
Plan to survey your customers to determine how the business is doing to meet their needs; adjust the business accordingly (there is always opportunity for improvement).
Are there follow-up services that your customers need?
ALWAYS remember to listen to your customer and find ways to make your products or services better!

Navigation (GPS) System: Your Co-pilot for Success
A survival plan by itself doesn’t do you a lot of good unless you track your progress in “real-time,” making the necessary course corrections as events unfold. Develop a KBI (Key Business Indicator) dashboard that tracks the key metrics for your business success:
  1. Marketing analytics (how many calls, requests, website landings, time on page, etc.)
  2. Sales conversions (how many new/repeat sales, order size, revenue/sale, etc.)
  3. Fulfillment (how many new/completed orders, order cycle-time, rework and scrap rates)
  4. Financial report card (week/month/year-to-date P&L, actual vs. quoted costs, etc.)
  5. Cash management (receivables and payables schedule, money in vs. money out, etc.)
  6. Customer satisfaction (surveys completed, good vs. bad comments, escalations, etc.)
A properly constructed and utilized dashboard acts as your GPS as you navigate the jungle and will help you to build a successful and prosperous business! 

Survival of The Fittest
If your business is failing to achieve the success and prosperity you expect it is most likely missing a survival plan and navigation system. Building a business survival plan takes some time and thought to put together (after all, Christopher Columbus didn’t sail halfway around the world without a lot of planning) and will not guarantee success by itself, BUT it will significantly improve the odds, and with an estimated 56% (a rather conservative number) of small businesses failing within 5 years, why wouldn’t you take the time to build your survival plan?
A failing business is faced with the painful process of:
·         Closing the business and declaring bankruptcy
·         Laying off loyal employees
·         Sacrificing the entrepreneurial dream
·         Returning to corporate America
Taking the time to plan your business’ success by establishing goals, implementing an automatic marketing system for your products and services and converting them into actual sales, tracking how well they sell, delivering them, collecting payment, managing cash, tracking profitability, and measuring the customer’s experience are the key pieces for survival and success. 
To help you get started with your survival plan please visit www.mycashflowoctor.com and watch the video, then schedule your one hour 1-on-1 personal consultation with the Cash Flow Doctor!
LG Biz Advisors and the Cash Flow Doctor provide businesses with proven survival steps by establishing the goals, strategies, processes, and systems that significantly improve business performance and enable owners to achieve the goals and dreams that they have for their family and business. That’s our only business. We understand the unique challenges that owners of small and mid-size businesses face, and unlike most consulting firms we work with you over the short and long term by understanding your goals and designing and implementing an integrated survival plan and navigation system to achieve them. We also consult with you to ensure your plan is continually tracked, and recommend changes when needed. Check out our blog for an ongoing discussion about these successful business “survival” practices.
We are your GPS and your survival is our goal!
1US Census Bureau- Business Dynamic Statistics  “What Matters More: Business Exit Rates or Business Survival Rates?”– Authors Brian Headd, Alfred Nucci, and Richard Boden; view the full report at: http://www.ces.census.gov/index.php/bds/bds_news_releases
2U.S. Small business Administration Office of Advocacy, September 2009 Survival and Longevity in the Business Employment Dynamics Database, Monthly Labor Review, May 2005.  Redefining Business Success: Distinguishing Between Closure and Failure, Small Business Economics, August 2003.
3Small Business Administration report 95-0403 “Financial Difficulties of Small Businesses and Reasons for Their Failure” - Authors Teresa A. Sullivan, The University of Texas; Elizabeth Warren, Harvard University; and Jay Westbrook, The University of Texas.  Data is based on a study of 3,377 non-farm business bankruptcies filed in the United States in calendar year 1994.  The full report can be found at: http://archive.sba.gov/advo/research/rs188tot.pdf
4The concepts presented here apply to all (small) businesses and are intended for internal use only; businesses seeking to raise capital or funding is beyond the current scope of this paper.
5Autoresponders, such as those from Aweber and ConstantContact, provide a way to stay in touch with both prospective and current customers through periodic automated email messages.

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How To Get More Traffic On Facebook

Friday, August 3, 2012

1 comments
If you have a Facebook Fan Page and you're struggling to get traffic, there's still hope for you!

After taking my Fan Page from 0 to over 10,000 fans in a year, I've learned a thing or two about how to grow a following on Facebook and drive traffic and sales using it.

Here are my top 5 tips for growing your Facebook fan page and growing your business online using Facebook.


1. Be Consistent With Your Facebook Marketing


Fans can't engage with you if you don't engage with them. But despite this obvious fact, many Fan page owners and small businesses fail to regularly update their Fan Page! Why is that?

Well, maybe you got busy. Maybe you didn't see the results as quickly as you thought you would. Maybe you forgot. Whatever it is, don't let it continue!

If you don't post regular updates on Facebook, NO ONE will interact with you on Facebook. Who wants to be a fan of something that's not doing anything?

I recommend posting at least 2-3 times a day. I usually post at least 3 times a day myself and try to follow this simple formula:


  • At least 1 engaging/fun/interesting photo (photos engage interaction on Facebook more than any other kind of post).
  • One link to an educational/interesting post on my blog
  • One question that engages my fans


2. Use Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads is by far the most effective form of PPC advertising online - if you use it correctly. The reason Facebook Fans are so effective is that they are so HIGHLY TARGETED. I mean, if you wan to advertise only to women who are married with children age 33-41 who love quilting but hate football, Facebook is the ONLY place in the world you can get target that audience so quickly, cheaply, and effectively - just with simple Facebook Ads.

3. Post Photos & Engaging Content


As I said before, photos get more comments, likes and shares than any other kind of status update on Facebook (more than links, videos or text posts). So post lots of engaging photos for your fans to share! This helps increase your EdgeRank, the algorithm Facebook uses to decide how many people will actually see your status updates - meaning by posting a funny photo, you're increasing your marketing reach of all future posts.

4. Ask Questions


Social Media is social after all - it's cliche, I know, but it's true. Ask your fans questions. What do they want? What do they like? What don't they like? How can you serve them better? Don't be afraid to ask!!

5. Have Fun!


Lastly, have fun with your Facebook marketing and your Fan page. The reason over 1 billion people use Facebook is because IT IS FUN! Never forget that. If your fans have fun engaging with you and seeing your posts, they will share your message to more people and your business will grow. If you're boring, your fans won't be able to help you.

Thanks To Quicky Smog from Glendora, CA for the inspiration for this article. Want more articles like this? Subscribe in a reader