business

If you are considering starting any new business venture, or getting into MLM/Network Marketing in particular, you owe it to yourself to read this article — particularly if you are a newbie.

These days, most people are familiar with MLM/Network Marketing. However, most have never heard of Cooperative Marketing. Those that aren’t may find the content herein to be shocking and amazing, if not revelatory and potentially life-changing.

Cooperative Marketing has been around for a long time in the mainstream business world, but it is relatively new to the “home-based business” world. The term can mean many things, but in general it means that the retailer is receiving marketing assistance from the manufacturer, supplier or other large-scale enterprise. Such advertising “co-ops” are common in many brick-and-mortar industries, including the grocery, insurance and publishing businesses.

In the case of a home based business, it means the company you are working with is taking on a major burden that normally would fall to you: the marketing of the product. In fact, the better Cooperative Marketing companies do much more than this, including actual selling, distribution and customer service. To date, only a relative handful of companies use this business model (compared to the hundreds of MLMs out there).

More’s the pity, because a growing number of “work at home” authorities consider it the far superior business model — both for the companies in question and for their individual representatives. Though the two business models have many similarities, they are more clearly defined by their differences, which are explored in this article.

MLM (MULTILEVEL MARKETING)/NETWORK MARKETING

As you probably know, the MLM/Network Marketing business is a huge industry. Many household names (Amway, Avon, Mary Kay, Herbalife, Shaklee, etc.) have had tremendous success using this business model, and many thousands of representatives (also called associates or distributors) have built profitable businesses in the industry. A smaller but still sizable number have built successful enough businesses to live very, very well indeed.

The MLM/Network Marketing business is based on the idea that reps are responsible for just about everything in their business, other than producing the product and handling commissions and bonuses. The company does these last chores, while the representative must undertake tasks which many find difficult and even onerous.

First, reps must find their own customers. Second, they must find new people to join their businesses with them. This is known as building a downline, and great success in the industry is predicated on having a large and thriving one. Specific business plans vary from company to company, but generally speaking you will not reach the top of the leader boards by selling alone. Third, reps may be required to order certain minimal levels of product every month, warehouse those products, distribute them, handle returns, etc.

While it is true many people have had great success in MLM/Network Marketing, it is also true that a far greater number have had little or no success. The plain truth is, not everyone is cut out …

Keeping good records of the status of each of your vending machines when you service them is both a critical and very easy practice. Even for those who strongly dislike record keeping and struggle with the practice, the process is not overly taxing. The benefits, after all, far outweigh the small inconvenience that it presents. After all, by keeping records, you will be able to see how you are doing over time so you will know exactly which machines are offering the best performance, how many of what product is being sold, and what profits you can anticipate in the weeks and months to come.

As a business owner, this is information that you need. With even the most basic record keeping, you will have a much more thorough understanding of your business and how it is doing from one machine to the next. This allows you to continue what you are doing right with some machines, and consider the relocation of other machines that just aren’t performing as they should be.

That being said, you will also greatly appreciate your efforts to keep accurate records when tax time comes around. Nothing is more painful than trying to scrounge together exact numbers from records that are either sketchy or non-existent.

The two kinds of records that you will want to consistently maintain within your vending machine business are a basic ledger and a report of all of the locations on your route. The basic ledger is essentially your general bookkeeping. It should document all of the income and expenses totaled from all of the locations on your route. You can do this on paper, but it is much easier and faster if you use a simple bookkeeping program on your computer. If you save all of your receipts and keep a good route report, you will be able to update your ledger quickly and easily each time you complete a service route.

While on your service route, you should keep a record of the status of all of your machines at each location. Each machine should have its own page where you take notes from each servicing. This way, you will be able to flip to the page for any given machine to observe its performance including expenses, income, the placement of products, and the popularity of each of the products.

When your business is still small enough for you to do all of the routes yourself, you will be responsible for all of the record keeping for both the ledger and the route. However, once your business gets large enough that you need to hire someone to run some or all of your routes for you, you will need to make sure that that individual is also keeping the detailed, accurate records that you need to make all the difference in understanding the success of your business.

The same thing goes if you wish to hire a bookkeeper to keep track of all of the income, expenses, and other …

Debt financing means to borrow funds or to arrange for investments from external sources. Large scale businesses and organizations are not able to run all their affairs from their own capital so it is usual for them to take loans. The most prevalent example of this type of finance is the loans taken from banks. The amount of the loan is to be repaid in agreed installments along with interest at a specified rate.

Merits of Debt Finance:

Following are the merits of debt finance:

(i) Scope for Expansion: Debt financing allows business to expand its operations. New branches can be opened in other cities and countries. New lines of business can be adopted to increase revenues. The easy availability of credit encourages entrepreneur to take new risks and float new products. It also enables businessmen to increase the scale of their operations and to upgrade their products in time.

(ii) Research and Development: Debt financing allows the process of research and development. Loans taken from banks can be used to accelerate R & D activities. Earning potential of the company increases when the research hard products are floated in the market. The new innovation, besides increasing companies reputation, also reduces its cost of production.

(iii) High Profit: Due to expansion of business and use of new techniques the revenues and profits of the business also grow. Huge revenues means that there will be a room for further expansion of the business. Higher profit can also be used to repay the bank loans. Thus increasing the solvency of business.

(iv) Ease of Working Capital: Debt financing helps in maintaining adequate working capital of the business. It also provides a room for making regular payments easily.

(v) Revival of Sick Units: Debt financing may be used to give a breathe to the sick industrial units. The organization’s loans can be rescheduled and new credit can be taken for such units so that they can start their production. Besides providing finance, proper supervision and guidance should also be given. All this will rehabilitate the sick units and can help them to be successful and profitable units.

(v) Saving from Insolvency: Debt financing may be used to save the business from insolvency. In case any essential payment is to be made and there are not enough equity funds then a loan can be taken to make payments and to save the business from insolvency.

(vi) Tax Advantage: As the interest charge is subtracted from net income before applying tax rate, so this leads to lower tax liability.

Demerits of Debt Finance:

Following are the demerits of debt financing:

(i) Interest Payments: Very huge amount out of net profit of the business have to be paid on account of interest on borrowed capital.

(ii) Depression: If a business comes under depression and losses occur, then the payments of interest could become a great problem due to inadequacy of funds.

(iii) Suit Against Business: Creditor can file suits against business if business fails to make …

Starting a check cashing business in Florida is a process that requires several steps that must be planned before filing for the license, and risking a loss of money and time.

The check cashing business in Florida is profitable but at the same time it is a risky business which must be minimized through the adoption of special measures and procedures.

It is important to obtain proper advice from experienced and qualified professionals to avoid expenses and delays to obtain a check cashing license.

Obtaining a check cashing license in Florida, also known as FT3 license, requires several steps:

The first step is to register with the federal government as a Money Service Business (MSB). This process is done electronically, and in order to file said registration any new applicant must set up an account with the US Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, commonly known as FinCEN. The registration is done through form FinCEN 107.

Registration with FinCEN places the company under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) laws and regulations. Those regulations imposes several requirements on the company. One of those requirements is to develop and implement an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) program which must contain policies and procedures that the company will implement as part of their check cashing operation. Some companies tend to use AML programs devised for other type of financial services such as money order sales or money transfer services. However those programs are inadequate for check cashing and they do not meet the requirement of the BSA for a check cashing operation. Another requirement is to design a compliance officer. This person is liable to ensure that the AML program is being thoroughly implemented. There are other BSA requirements which must be met, and therefore the compliance officer and employees of the company must be aware of said regulations.

After the FinCEN registration has been confirmed, an application with the Florida Department of Financial Services, Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) must be filed. This application contains several parts, and must be filed electronically. As with the FinCEN registration, the applicant must set up an account with the OFR's Real System for thie purpose. It is extremely important that all information requested will be provided in a complete and accurate manner to avoid delays in the process. In our experience the vast majority of delays in obtaining such a license come from errors in the original application form. Several documents must be attached to the application, among which is the anti-money laundering program which must be previously drafted. Another form that must be submitted is a fingerprint card for each of the individuals included in the application, which will be used for a background verified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Once the license is obtained it is important to keep present that the State of Florida has multiple requirements that must be met by check cashers. Also the check casher is subject to audit examinations to verify that the company is operating with the parameters …

Military families, just like traditional families, have needs that are sometimes unmet by the pay that an officer or soldier receives from serving his or her country. If you are serving or have served in the military, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, or Army Reserves, you can qualify for a military personal loan to meet your financial needs now.

Money For Any Purpose

A military personal loan can be used for any purpose. Perhaps you need to make a major purchase, such as furniture, appliances, or home improvement. Or maybe you need to buy a car, truck, SUV or other vehicle, take a vacation, pay for education for you or your children, or many other needs. Whatever reason you have for needing money, the fastest and easiest way to get the cash you need is through the military personal loan, and military personnel of all ranks qualify.

Borrow Up To $20,000

Military personal loans are available in amounts as small as $2,000 and as much as $20,000. Determine the amount that you need to borrow in advance of applying for your military loan, and borrow only the amount that you need. Remember that this is a loan and must be repaid, so never agree to a repayment amount that is more than you can meet with your current budget and other financial obligations. Military personal loans, just like other loans, will report either monthly or quarterly to the three major credit reporting bureaus – Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian.

Your military personal loan can be either unsecured or secured. The unsecured military personal loan does not require that you pledge security assets in the form of collateral to secure your cash, although you will be assessed a higher interest rate and usually have to repay your lender sooner. The unsecured version is perfect for the borrower who does not wish to risk their assets, or has nothing to use for collateral. The secured version requires that you pledge collateral, usually your home or automobile, and poses a lesser risk to the lender. Therefore, the secured military personal loan costs less in interest, can be repaid over a longer period of time, and features lower monthly payments.

Bad Credit Welcome

If your credit history is less than ideal, you might want to go for the secured military personal loan to improve your chances of approval. Borrowers with bad credit can also apply for their unsecured military personal loan with the help of a creditworthy cosigner. A cosigner should be someone who has established good credit, is willing to sign with you on your loan application, and agrees to repay the lender on your behalf if you fail to do so.

There are many lenders doing business online that write military personal loans for borrowers with all types of credit histories. These online lenders can typically save you money on both secured and unsecured military personal loans in terms of interest because of the increased level …

Having good negotiation skills can be the difference between success and failure in the business world. Those that know how to negotiate tend to rise to the top of whatever industry they are in. At the same time, those that do not know how to negotiate tend to stay where they are or fall backwards.

If you want to be successful in the industry, a study of developing negotiation skills should be at the forefront of your mind. Here are a few things to consider about the importance of good negotiation skills to your business success.

One of the primary benefits of having good negotiation skills is that you will be able to save money. If you represent your business or if you are negotiating for yourself, you will be able to negotiate a cheaper price when buying something. When making large purchases, you need to be able to negotiate with the sales representative and get a better price. If you simply take the price that is being offered to you, it is very possible that will get taken advantage of. Learning how to negotiate will allow you to save substantial amounts of money over a period of time.

Another important reason for developing good negotiation skills is that you will be able to make more money for your business as well. If you are trying to sell a product or secure a contract, you need to be able to negotiate in order to make it happen. By doing this, you will be able to secure a larger selling price and increase your profit margins. Increasing profit margins is one of the biggest objectives for most businesses. If you can learn how to do this, you will be invaluable to your employer and this will be directly related to your business success.

In addition to being a better negotiator, you will also develop several other traits that are essential in business. Many of the same skills that you use in negotiation will translate over to other areas of the business.

For example, when learning good negotiation skills, you will learn how to be an effective listener. In order to be successful in negotiation, you have to be able to listen to the other person to see what they want. This skill will be very valuable to you in other areas of the business. If you are a manager, you will need to be able to listen to your employees to see what motivates them. If you are dealing with customers, you need to be able to listen to what they are telling you so that you can find a product or service that matches their needs.

When you are aiming to achieve business success, developing good negotiation skills should be at the top of your priority list. This is by far one of the most important skills that you can develop as a businessperson. It can easily take you from where you currently are to where you eventually want to …

A common question in the repo industry is, “How much money do repo men make?”

If someone told you that you could make over $100,000 a year in a bad economy without a college degree, you’d think they were crazy.  But some auto repo business owners are not only doing well – they’re making six-figures a year.  When the economy does bad, they do better!

How Much Do Repo Men Make?

If you start your own auto repossession business, you can expect to earn $250 (or more) per repo’ed car.  If you repossess two cars a night, five days a week, that’s $130,000 a year.  It certainly requires hard work and determination, but it’s possible.

Repossession agents make the most money when lenders hire them to track down hard-to-find debtors – which is called “skip-tracing.”  If a debtor voluntarily gives up their car (or if they’re easy to track-down,) an agent may only make $100 for the recovery.

Repo men who work for someone else typically earn 40% of the repo fee – or $70 to $100 per recovered vehicle (on average.)

What Are The Pros and Cons of Owning Your Own Repo Business?

While it’s true repo business owners make the most money, they have to pay for gas and overhead expenses before they get paid.  And, as the motto in the repo industry goes, “no recovery, no pay.” 

Fortunately, you don’t need to invest in expensive equipment to start a repo business.  In fact, you usually don’t need a tow-truck!

That’s because many lenders keep key codes on file for every vehicle they own.  Sometimes they even keep a spare set of keys!  All you have to do is get a key made, find the car and drive it away.

You can invest in a minimal amount of equipment to get started, and reinvest your profits as your business grows.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Becoming a Repo Man for Someone Else?

Although there are advantages to owning your own business, many repo agents find it easier to get started working with an established repossession company.  That’s because in some states, there are many hoops to jump through to become a licensed repossession business, including:

  1. Getting bonded and insured
  2. Competing a required amount of training (not all states require this)
  3. Familiarizing yourself with repossession, investigation and collection laws
  4. Investing in adequate equipment, computers and software for your business

In fact, many repo businesses owners got their start working for someone else!

While the repo business isn’t for everyone, if you have a tough skin, a hard work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit, it can be lucrative whether you work for someone else or yourself.  The key is getting adequate training before you head out into the field, so you can avoid common (and costly) mistakes!…

The oil change business is hard. I am not going to sugar coat it. I have been in the business for five years and I am telling you from first hand experience. I have done more research on the topic that several people put together. I am an authority. I know what I am talking about. There is no profits, at least one can actually build a business on, in oil changes.

This is coming from someone who is in the business. Whoever, no matter who he is, tells you that you can make a decent profit off oil changes, regardless of what kind, he is lying. He is either purposefully lying to you to make money or really does not know. The profit from oil changes cannot, and I do repeat for emphasis cannot, sustain a viable business. The whole quick lube model is so flawed its almost comical. And the typical mobile quick lube model is even more flawed at its core. I have met only one guy who has what I consider made a real profit from mobile oil changes and his name is Lance Winslow. I have spoken to the guy and he is very smart but in one of his posts he stated that he makes very little from his oil change company. It had just been one of many companies he has started that has allowed him to achieve wealth in this country.

Every quick lube, including Jiffy Lube, makes no money from oil changes. Mobile oil change businesses will quickly realize this. The cost for your typical oil change in the United States, using the cheapest oil you can find, is $15.00 with oil and filter. The going rate for an oil change in the US is $20-$30 per five quart oil oil change. That means that in most states the most one can profit from an oil change is $15.00. And that is being liberal with the numbers and not including fuel. Fifteen dollars per oil change is not going to sustain a viable business. Some vehicles are absolutely terrible to work on like certain Chevrolet Cavaliers and Land Rovers and will take you more than an hour minimum to do one oil change. What do you get for all this trouble? Maybe twenty dollars. Its the biggest joke going.

The only way most quick lube places can make money is buying really pushing add-ons. If you work at any quick lube and do not sell the customer on additional services they may or may not need than you will be terminated very fast. The quick lubes cannot make money any other way. They have to push unnecessary air filter, fuel filters, coolant flushes, transmission flushes, power steering flushes, rear end flushes, cabin air filters, wiper blade replacement, fuel injection cleaners, and many others to even make a meager profit. The mobile oil change businesses have to do this a lot less because they have lower overhead but their profit margin still …

What is the “Right of Offset”?

The “Right of Offset” gives a lending institution (i.e. Bank or Credit Union) a legal right to seize funds that a debtor may have in a deposit or asset account at that particular banking or financial institution, to cover a loan in default. It is also known as the “Right of Set-Off”.

What are the dangers of the “Right of Offset”?

If an individual, couple, or other entity has a checking, savings, or other form of deposit account at the same financial institution where they have a credit card, auto loan, mortgage, other debt account, that individual or entity has what can be considered a “banking conflict”. In other words, anytime an asset account is kept at the same banking institution as a liability account, a potential “banking conflict” occurs due to that banking institutions “Right of Offset”. What this means is, if an individual for whatever reason fails to make payments on a liability account, the financial institution has the legal right to not only freeze that individuals asset/deposit account, but to also seize any funds available to offset the debt due to that financial institution.

What types of liability accounts or debts does the “Right to Offset” pertain too?

A financial institutions freedom to utilize the “Right of Offset” is determined primarily by how they are chartered.

State chartered and regulated credit unions and banks, along with federal credit unions chartered and regulated by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) have the freedom and authority to exercise their “Right of Offset” on both secured accounts or asset backed (i.e. mortgage loan, auto loan), and unsecured accounts (not backed by collateral) or open-ended revolving accounts (i.e. certain credit cards and credit extensions).

Federally chartered and regulated banks (i.e. Bank of America, Wachovia Bank, Wells Fargo) have the freedom and authority to exercise their “Right of Offset” on secured, but not unsecured accounts. A bank/financial institutions rights and authority as it pertains to its use of “Right to Offset” may vary between institutions. To find the specifics of a particular institution research the following areas:

  • The institutions regulatory authority.
  • The institutions member agreement received when establishing an account.
  • The institutions loan/debt documents or agreements received when establishing a loan.

Who regulates state chartered and federally chartered banks and/or financial institutions?

State chartered banks and financial institutions are regulated by the particular state Department of Banking, Department of Financial Institutions, or Department of Finance from which the bank or financial institution conducts business.

Federal credit unions are regulated by The National Credit Union Association (NCUA).

Federally chartered National banks are regulated by The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

How can I protect my assets?

Never assume that it will not happen to you. The present difficulties present in the current economy have created unexpected lay-offs and job losses. Expensive medical emergencies happen every day. Take the following steps to protect …

Firms can choose whatever mix of debt and equity they desire to finance their assets, subject to the willingness of investors to provide such funds. And, as we shall see, there exist many different mixes of debt and equity, or capital structures – in some firms, such as Chrysler Corporation, debt accounts for more than 70 percent of the financing, while other firms, such as Microsoft, have little or no debt.

In the next few sections, we discuss factors that affect a firm’s capital structure, and we conclude a firm should attempt to determine what its optimal, or best, mix of financing should be. But, you will find that determining the exact optimal capital structure is not a science, so after analyzing a number of factors, a firm establishes a target capital structure it believes is optimal, which is then used as a guide for raising funds in the future. This target might change over time as conditions vary, but at any given moment the firm’s management has a specific capital structure in mind, and individual financing decisions should be consistent with this target. If the actual proportion of debt is below the target level, new funds will probably be raised by issuing debt, whereas if the proportion of debt is above the target, stock will probably be sold to bring the firm back in line with the target debt/assets ratio.

Capital structure policy involves a trade-off between risk and return. Using more debt raises the riskiness of the firm’s earnings stream, but a higher propor- tion of debt generally leads to a higher expected rate of return; and, we know that the higher risk associated with greater debt tends to lower the stock’s price. At the same time, however, the higher expected rate of return makes the stock more attractive to investors, which, in turn, ultimately increases the stock’s price. Therefore, the optimal capital structure is the one that strikes a balance between risk and return to achieve our ultimate goal of maximizing the price of the stock.

Four primary factors influence capital structure decisions:

1. The first is the firm’s business risk, or the riskiness that would be inherent in the firm’s operations if it used no debt. The greater the firm’s business risk, the lower the amount of debt that is optimal.

2. The second key factor is the firm’s tax position. A major reason for using debt is that interest is tax deductible, which lowers the effective cost of debt. However, if much of a firm’s income is already sheltered from taxes by accelerated depreciation or tax loss carryforwards, its tax rate will be low, and debt will not be as advantageous as it would be to a firm with a higher effective tax rate.

3. The third important consideration is financial flexibility, or the ability to raise capital on reasonable terms under adverse conditions. Corporate treasurers know that a steady supply of capital is necessary for stable operations, which, in turn, are vital for long-run …