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Comments Off on VIDEO BLAST: Great new offering from BGAmedia and Bob’s Computer Service

VIDEO BLAST: Great new offering from BGAmedia and Bob’s Computer Service

by Robert B. Gelman

You’ve seen the videos. They are on YouTube. They are on Facebook, MySpace, and web sites all over the Net. They show customers offering testimonials. Or product demonstrations.  Or simply a background piece on the owners of a small business.  There is no limit to the way you can use video today to promote your business or venture. But most small business owners think, “That is just too expensive for me to invest in.”

That would be a mistaken impression now.

There is a solution available and we are offering it, at an amazing price. Instead of paying a videographer $500-$1500 to shoot and edit a video, then paying a similar amount to a web developer or marketing agency to post the video online, you can buy a package from BGAmedia that includes all of that, at only $200 (for a limited time).  Have a video and just need it put online? That’s just $100.  Same low introductory price if you want a short video shot and do not want it put online.

This article details the principles involved in succeeding with online video.  The good news here is that you don’t need to worry about most of that.  We’ll guide you all the way and you are guaranteed a professionally shot and edited piece, presented in the best possible way on your web site and if desired, YouTube, Facebook, or other social network that accommodates video. Also, we recommend a content strategy, as described in this article.

What are you waiting for?

Act now to find more or get started.  Call 209-588-8055 today, no obligation. Ready to start now?

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Comments Off on 12 Ways to Fuel Business Growth in 2012

12 Ways to Fuel Business Growth in 2012

Dan Bischoff, Lendio

Whether you want to expand operations, hire more employees or grow your business, it usually requires an influx of capital. But a majority of American business owners say they can’t get the credit they need. And almost half of small business owners cannot obtain financing. Yet, the funds are out there. In many ways, there is more funding available than ever. Business owners just need to know where to find it. Here is a comparison of 12 different forms of capital that business owners can seek to help take their business to the next level:

1. Friends, Family, Fools

What better way to get money than a loan from someone you know and trust, right? Sometimes, it might work out, but borrowing money from friends and family can be tricky if it’s not done right. Make sure to set everything up clearly from the beginning—that means having agreements in writing to protect all parties. While this may seem too formal, in the long run, you’ll be glad you did. Also, be careful of any guarantees when it comes to making a return on the investment.

2. Large SBA Loans – Up to $5 million

In 2011, the Small Business Administration (SBA) approved a record number and record amount of lending to small businesses. Small SBA loans are generally unsecured or lightly secured loans that provide the lender with government guarantees of up to 90%. Generally speaking, a borrower must have good credit, an accurate business plan, 2+ years in business, up-to-date financial projections, revenue, collateral, and not fall under restricted business industries.

3. Peer-to-Peer Loans

A peer-2-peer loan is an alternative to traditional lending, in which the borrower receives a loan from another individual rather than a lending institution. Lenders compete with each other to make loans in an almost eBay-style bidding manner. It often results in lower interest rates for borrowers than are available on unsecured loans from financing institutions.

4. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a term used to describe individuals coming together to support—and directly fund—projects by other individuals and organizations. There are two kinds of crowdfunding: equity-based and reward-based. Equity-based is trading funds for ownership in your company. Rewards-based is trading funds for various types of rewards. Crowdfunding is only looking to get more popular in the future. Congress passed The Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act in November 2011, which will allow equity capital raises of up to $1 million annually for an unlimited number of nonaccredited investors.

5. Business-to-Business Lending – Up to $150,000

For some lenders, credit doesn’t matter. Hard to believe, right? On Deck Capital is one such lender—called a business-to-business lender—that looks at risk differently than a bank. Credit isn’t an issue. Cash flow is. On Deck will still pull your credit report, but will give a loan for $100,000 to someone with a 550 credit score, which a bank wouldn’t touch. On Deck gauges risk based on things like the past six months of deposits into the checking account and credit card swipes.

6. Startup Funding – Up to $0–$25,000

In recent years, startups have had the most difficult time getting financing—especially for loans of $25,000 or less. Superior is one company that has been leading the way for those looking smaller amounts of financing. It offers SBA-backed loans and in 2012 will offer a new product that takes data from 25 questions and offers immediate approval. In 2010, they were the leading SBA lender in the nation in terms of total number of loans funded.

7. Equipment Financing – No Limit

Equipment Financing is used exclusively to acquire business-use equipment, but can also be used to obtain cash on paid-off equipment. Approvals are typically based on credit score, collateral, financial history and value of the equipment.

8. AR and PO Financing – Minimum of $50,000

Account Receivable Factoring and/or Purchase Order Financing can be an ideal option to receive capital. These two categories serve as collateral for short-term working capital loans that you can obtain quickly and cost-effectively. Credit rating is key in determining eligibility for this loan category. Lenders will often look at your margins more than personal credit when determining approval.

9. Business Credit – $0–$20,000

Business credit usually comes in the form of business credit cards or bank account overdrafts, ranging from a few thousand dollars up to $100,000. Approvals are typically driven by credit score, debt ratios and credit inquiries. Small lines of credit generally refer to overdraft credit lines or business credit cards. Rates vary depending on the type of financing and a client’s profile.

10. Debt Consolidation

While it’s not exactly a way to get financing, debt consolidation is a way for businesses to save more money and, in some ways, could be better than getting a loan. One company, Corporate Turnaround, helps businesses get out of debt, mainly through debt consolidation and restructuring. They take what you can afford monthly and use that to negotiate with your creditors.

11. Acquisition Loan – Up to $5 million

If you need funds to buy another business, an acquisition loan may be a good option. Acquisition loans can be used to acquire, refinance, or purchase a business or franchise. There are several eligibility factors, which can include the value of the business, experience of the owner, and the past performance of the business.

12. Merchant Cash Advance – $0–$100,000

This type of financing allows a business to borrow against future earnings. Requirements for this type of financing are extremely lenient due to the nature and terms of the loan. Cash advances purely borrow against credit card swipes from your business. While this type of financing is innovative, unique and easy to qualify for, it must be used in the right situations.

How do you decide which type of financing is best for you?

Many business owners think of only two ways to get business financing today: get an angel investor or go to the local bank and apply for a loan. That thinking is partly why so many small businesses are not getting the capital they need. Today, there are many ways to pursue financing. But to secure the right financing, each individual and each individual business needs to pursue the types of financing that will best fit their own unique situation.

Adapted from the white paper: “12 Best Ways to Get Business Financing in 2012” by Lendio, which you can download for free here. Lendio works directly with lending partners to connect business owners to the best lender for them. For more information and to use their free online service, click here.

Comments Off on Getting Results From Twitter

Getting Results From Twitter

Twitter is one of the many social networking services that have taken the web by storm. With this particular social site you only get 140 characters to type your message and let the world know what you are thinking. This is actually a fantastic tool to add to your small business marketing plan; the key is in knowing how to make your tweets the best tweets they can be.

Whether you’ve been tweeting for awhile or just getting started, chances are you just aren’t sure how to effectively incorporate Twitter into your small business marketing. Maybe you aren’t getting enough responses, or any retweets, or your number of followers has stagnated.

Regardless of where you are at in your Twitter campaign, here are some tips to make your tweeting a more effective piece of your small business marketing plan.

1. Getting it All In

The thing about 140 characters is that it is direct; it is short enough that even skimmers are going to read it. So it is great way to get your message out there. The bad thing about 140 characters is that as a small business owner you have to pack as much information in those 140 characters as possible in order to get the maximum benefit from this marketing technique.

One of your goals is to keep people retweeting your message. This gets your message out there over and over again in a viral way and this is really what makes Twitter a valuable small business marketing technique.

One of the best ways that small business owners use this site is to gain publicity and traffic for their website by linking to recent articles, blog posts or reader comments. Unfortunately, the URL for your blog post or web page will probably take up a good portion of those 140 characters. But there is a solution.

2. URL Shortening

There are a variety of websites that will turn your long URL into a short one: bit.ly, tiny.cc, ow.ly, goo.gl, (to name just a few). These sites are known as URL shortener sites and most of them are free. They take your long address and create a tiny one, generally around 20 characters. You’ll no longer have to devote half of your tweet to a URL; using a shortened URL leaves you with 120 characters left to dedicate to your message.

3. Retweet Code

Once you have your long URL shortened, you’ll need to keep in mind that you’re trying to get retweets. In order to allow other users to retweet your message without having to edit or fuss over it you will need to leave enough space in your original message for the retweet code. That means other Tweeters need enough space to add RT @YourNameHere. So, if you want to encourage retweeting, make sure there are enough character spaces left in your original message. And, if you haven’t yet created your Twitter account, keep retweeting in mind when you register at the site and make your username as short as you can.

4. Creating Your Tweet

So now where does that leave us? You are dedicating about 36 characters to the shortened URL and retweet space (depending on how long your username is). You still have a little over 100 characters to get your message across. Believe it or not, a 100-character message can actually say a lot. For example, “The House is on Fire” can be said in only 20 characters. So imagine what you can get across with 5 times that much space.

There’s more! Read the full post by Karen Scharf on the Vertical Response Marketing Blog