How You Can Save, Pay Down Debt, Retire And Spend

Every individual is bound to retire sometime, which makes retirement planning an essential attribute right from when you start to earn. This makes it vital to understand the few basics that can help to plan ahead in order to save, clear debt and spend as you wish.

It’s hard enough to stay on top of your finances when you are employed full time, and have an employee savings plan, automatic tax deductions, employee health insurance, a 401(k), etc. As an individual with irregular income, you have to handle everything on your own, and hence, you need to pay even greater attention to your financial matters.
These involve better managing your irregular income for future retirement savings, emergencies and probable expenditures, as well as avoiding late tax payments.
Here are some important tips and retirement savings options to consider as you manage your finances.

Emergency Savings for a Rainy Day
If you are someone with irregular income, chances are you might run out just when you really need funds, unless of course you’ve managed to save for future emergencies. It goes without saying that emergencies include all basic living expenses from utilities, groceries, rent and transport, as well as medical expenses.
It’s ideal to have easily accessible savings that can accommodate all possible emergency expenses for at least a year. Start with saving for six months of expenses, and put anything over that into an investment account. You must also have health and disability insurance to avoid running out of funds, especially considering the soaring costs of medical aid.

A Curveball Fund (Separate from Your Emergency Fund)
Ok, so you have saved up for emergencies, but what about the small hiccups that keep coming around? These could range from car trouble or a hole in the drainage pipe, to a sudden, once-in-a-lifetime travel opportunity with friends or family — you get the general drift, right?
A curveball fund acts as a reserve, for which you simply need to open up a savings account that can help you subdivide your funds for various goals, whether they’re curveballs or basics.

Retirement Savings Options
All financial experts advise that you start saving for retirement as early as possible. Individuals with irregular income must in general save at least a minimum of 10 percent (if not 20 percent) of their income as their future retirement savings. There are plenty of retirement savings options available, the most reliable of which are the IRA and 401(k).

Contributing the maximum of $5500 to an IRA ($6500 if you are above the age of 50) can help a great deal, for your investment is taxable in the now and not once the money is withdrawn post-retirement. As for those of you who earn fairly well and wish to invest more than $5500, a 401(k) is a better retirement savings option.

Debt Management
Even though it’s every individual’s dream to be debt-free at some point, it’s very likely that your debt will catch up with you. In the midst of a money crunch and piling-up debt, it is paramount that a large part of your income goes towards savings, to avoid further debt at higher interest rates.

No matter how much you hate having debt, think twice before using up all your income to pay it off. The best way to go about this is by making a list of debt with higher interest rates as compared to lower ones, and doing away with those first, since you can afford to hang on to the lower interest rate debt for longer periods of time.

Personal Expenditure
When it comes to irregular income, there is pretty much little to no room for lavish personal expenditure (unless you are bringing in the big bucks). Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t spend at all, just that you must prioritize your personal spending.

For some, travel is important and for others shopping, but remember to consider whether there’s something more important that can be done with the funds instead. Still, save a little pleasure reserve every month, so it doesn’t seem like mission impossible when you want to pamper yourself!

Ease Small Business Tax Season

Are you stressed about tax season? It certainly breeds its own intense levels of anxiety for many business owners. Whether you outsource your tax preparation to an accounting professional or handle your taxes in-house, it pays to be prepared. Preparing for tax season in the right way can save you valuable time and arm you with useful information that can enhance your business’s efficiency and success.

As you embark on this annual business exercise, here are some steps you can take to streamline tax-related jitters:

Take stock of your financial situation.
Make sure the information you have about your employees and contractors is current and correct. Did anyone move, get married or have children? For employees, double-check items, such as employee name, address, social security number, lived-in and worked-in jurisdictions, paid time-off information (to determine whether appropriate withholdings or deductions were applied), status (active, terminated or on leave of absence), filing status (exempt or non-exempt), number of exemptions, year-to-date wages and taxes, and pre-tax year-to-date amounts, such as contributions to 401(k) and benefits plans.

Confirm independent contractor classifications.
The misclassification of employees as independent contractors is a major area of enforcement for government agencies. If you already work with independent contractors, evaluate current relationships since they may have changed over time (You may want to refer to the Internal Revenue Service common law requirements). Double check contractors’ names, Taxpayer’s Identification Numbers (TIN) (which is either their social security number or Employer Identification Number), addresses, state and local work locations, and earnings totals for each jurisdiction. Double check wages paid to employees and contractors (Form W-2, Form W-3, and Form 1099) and compile rent or property documents, income and expenses. Finally, examine reimbursements to employees and contractors.

Organize your paperwork.
Keep your records organized so the preparation process can be more efficient. Should you be audited, you may not have to scramble to assemble your documentation. For your reference, this list includes forms that must be filed. It’s a good idea to check the websites for your applicable state or local guidelines:

Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return (Form 944); only file Form 944 annually if you do not file Form 941 quarterly
Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return (Form 940)
Federal Wage and Tax Statements (Form W-2)
Transmittal of Income and Tax Statements (Form W-3)
Federal 1099-MISC form
Federal 1096 form
Employer information about health care coverage enrollment for their employees, such as Forms 1095-C and 1094-C if you are an applicable large employer
One form for each employee to report health care coverage; provide Form 1095-C if you are an applicable large employer, or if you are self-insured, you will need to give your employee(s) Form 1095-B
Some states require income tax returns
Some states require unemployment tax returns
Form 943 if you are in the agriculture industry


Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return (Form 941)
Some states require income tax returns
Some states require unemployment tax returns
Most local income tax returns need to be filed quarterly
Clarify exemptions, deductions, and rebates.
View your employees’ 2016 earnings and deductions in your books. Bonuses are generally considered supplemental wages and are subject to federal taxes, as well as certain state taxes. In addition, you must account for certain fringe benefits, retirement plans and any other necessary adjustments to employee wage and tax amounts.

Think long term.
Make it a habit to follow these tips and remain organized. Understand your long-term business goals and make sure tax preparation reflects these goals by consistently updating your paperwork, tracking your employee and contractor base, and looking ahead to the next major milestone in business reporting. You may also want to consider including future leaders in the tax preparation process so they can familiarize themselves with exemptions, deductions and rebates when they take on a leadership role.

Don’t go it alone.
The regulations and paperwork surrounding tax preparation can be daunting. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or use additional resources to inform your decisions. Outside consultation can often be the easiest quickest option, and at the risk of misclassifying workers and incurring a penalty, sometimes more cost effective.

Devoting the time and resources necessary for tax preparation can help you start 2017 on the right foot. Organizing and evaluating the status of your business early will ensure that tax preparation runs smoothly and accurately.

Make Your Business Become More Profitable

Every business has a different set of goals. But increasing profits is a pretty universal objective for businesses of all sizes. There are plenty of different ways to go about working toward that goal. Members of our small business community shared some simple steps you can take in the list below.

Test Your Financial Literacy
To make sure that your business is on the right track financially, you’ll need to make sure that you’re financially literate enough to make that determination. This Sageworks post includes a quiz made to test out your financial literacy so that you’ll be better equipped to make those tough decisions.

Focus on Managing Your Payroll
Payroll management is part of running a business that can sometimes get neglected. But it’s incredibly important for you to have people dedicated to managing your payroll operations and transactions, even if you have set processes in place. Hmd Ali explains more in this post for The Raymond Solutions.

Form Habits That Lead to Long Term Success
Making a quick dollar is nice. But you’ll need to think differently if you want your business to actually succeed over the long run. That means you have to form habits that can actually lead to long term success, as Martin Zwilling shares here in the Startup Professionals Musings blog. You can also see conversation surrounding the post over on BizSugar.

Avoid These Usability Mistakes That Destroy Mobile Conversion Rates
If you want your business to make money in 2016, you need to be able to convert mobile customers. That means that your site or platform needs to actually be usable for people on mobile devices. So you need to avoid the usability mistakes outlined in this post by Jeremy Smith in the Jeremy Said blog.

Convert Blog Visitors Into Customers
Having a lot of blog readers or visitors can be great for your business. But that alone won’t necessarily make you any more profitable. Instead, you can check out this post by Neil Patel and work on converting all of those blog visitors into actual paying customers.

Understand That Your Products Are Commodities
No longer are products just products. In this Kexino post, Gee Ranasinha explains why businesses now create products that are also seen as commodities to consumers. And the BizSugar community also share thoughts on the post too.
Consider Changing Your Legal Structure for Tax Year 2016
If you got hit hard by taxes this year, you might want to consider changing your business’s tax structure for the coming year. In this CorpNet post, Nellie Akalp discusses some ways you might be able to change your business’s structure so that you could benefit come tax time.

Keep Track of Your Online Reputation
You already know that your reputation is important. But it can also have an impact on your business’s bottom line. This post by Rachel Strella of Strella Social Media includes some tips for tracking and managing your online reputation. And BizSugar members comment on the post here.

Follow These Investment Tips for Beginners
Investing can be a tricky game, whether you’re personally investing what you’ve made from your business or making investments specifically to help your business grow. But this Noobpreneur post by Ivan Widjaya includes some investment tips specifically aimed at beginners.

Use These CRM Tools to Skyrocket Your Success
Any business that wants to make money needs customers — and more specifically, loyal customers. If you want to keep your customers happy and engaged with your business, you’ll need some kind of CRM system. Apple Pineda shares some options in this post on the RightMix Marketing blog.

Tips to Get Cash Fast

If you experience an emergency and need cash fast for your business, you won’t have the leisure to apply for an SBA loan or seek out new investors. You may not have personal savings to help you out.
There are options for obtaining a quick infusion of cash for your company. Review all of the options and determine which is best for you after taking costs and other factors into account. Here are five ways you can get money within a day or so.

How to Get Cash Fast

1. Use Online Lenders
With some sites, you can complete an application in minutes and obtain cash in as short as 24 hours if you provide all required financial paperwork immediately. Usually, however, it takes a few days for approval. Some sources to consider:
Check out the borrowing limits for which you can qualify. Keep in mind the cost of this borrowing, which may not be cheap.

2. Factor Your Receivables
Usually you have to wait 30 days, 45 days, 60 days, or more to collect on your invoices. However, you can factor them for quick cash. You’ll receive a discounted amount for the invoices you factor, so the cash you receive reflects the factor’s fee (typically 2 percent or more, depending on your industry, your customers, etc.).
It usually takes several days to set up an account with a factor. Once this has been done, you can submit invoices at any time and typically receive cash within 24 hours.

3. Use Your Business Line of Credit
If you have a line of credit in place, you can take cash from it at any time up to the extent of your line. You pay interest only on the portion of the line that you use.
The size of your line of credit depends on the typical loan criteria. These include capital or what your company is worth, capacity to carry debt, collateral that can be sold if you don’t repay the loan, and character, including the number of years in business, whether there’s been any prior bankruptcy, and other factors.
Caution: Some online lenders advertise 24-hour approval for a line of credit, but it’s really only a factoring variation, based on your invoices.

4. Cash Advance from Your Credit Card
Use your business credit card’s cash advance amount if you need money quickly. You can tap into your limit through an ATM or obtain more than the ATM’s limit in the bank.
The cost of money through a cash advance is steep, so use this option only as a last resort and only for a small amount of cash.

5. Borrow from Your 401(k)
If your company has a 401(k) plan in which you participate and the plan lets participants take loans, then this may be a good source of quick money. The maximum amount you can borrow is 50 percent of your vested account balance or $50,000, whichever is less. If your vested account balance is less than $10,000, you can borrow up to $10,000.
The loan takes only as long as the administrator needs to process it. If you’re the administrator, this can be very quick.

The good news about his type of loan is that interest can be very low and the repayment can be spread over five years, with no prepayment penalty if you want to pay it off sooner. The bad news is a reduction in your retirement savings while the funds are out of the plan, and you can’t deduct the interest.

Know More How Small Business Owners Saving for Retirement

Retirement no longer means relegating to a restful armchair. Today retirement is the biggest risk facing entrepreneurs who are already struggling with the challenges of running a small business in a fiercely competitive market. Here are six simple steps to help you tackle the retirement planning process right from the start:

Getting The Retirement Planning Process Started
Set Up an Investment Plan
The challenges of maintaining a profitable business often take a toll on retirement savings. As entrepreneurs are not a part of any 401(k) plan, creating a retirement reserve often takes a back seat. Small business owners can set up retirement accounts that act as a buffer if your business does not churn out the results you expected from it down the line.

Know What Your Monthly Payments Will Be Like When You Retire
Busy entrepreneurs can easily access their social security statement from anywhere online. A social security statement should give you a fair idea of what you are likely to receive during the retirement period and this will put you in a better position to take a judicious decision regarding tax planning.

Make a Major Contribution Every Month
Financial advisors have always recommended small business owners to start saving early on and make a major contribution following a lucrative business deal or a windfall. Always take some chips off the table and transfer them to your retirement reserve.

Be Sure To Pick A Profitable Savings Vehicle
Financial experts are of the opinion that SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs and solo 401(k)s make excellent investment options for small business owners. You may consult a financial advisor to determine which plan is well-suited to your unique situation.
A solo 401(k) makes a perfect plan for those who have no employees.

The savings incentive match plan for employees is another popular option where the overhead cost is much lower and employer is required to make a contribution of 3% of the compensation for every eligible employee.

SEP or Simplified Employee Pension Plan comes with a much higher contribution limit which goes up to 25% of each employee’s compensation.

While most small business owners typically prefer a simple IRA as it lightens the upfront cost; they eventually roll it over to a 401(k) when expenses become easy to manage. SEP IRAs are recommended for partnership firms or businesses running with fewer employees.

Diversify the Financial Portfolio
Age and risk tolerance play a crucial role in the investment portfolio when allocating funds to equities and bonds. It is advisable to consult a financial advisor on tax planning when investing in REITs and gold.

Consider the Critical Aspects That Affect Retirement Planning
65 is no longer the magical number for many as a variety of factors come into play when you are about to retire.
Many societal, personal and government issues can influence your decision to retire early. Government programs and policies, inflation and your existing business situation play a vital role in determining a financially viable age to retire. Another critical factor that has a profound impact on your retirement planning is life expectancy. Given the recent increase in longevity, you cannot afford to ignore the probability of outliving your savings.

It is never too early to start the retirement planning process especially if you are running your own business. With a solid savings plan in place, every entrepreneur can enjoy financial freedom during retirement and continue to build the business over time. All you need to do is follow these six tips and make smarter investment choices using your workable wealth.

Some Lending Options for Small Business Capital

Getting financing for a new business venture or a new product is always a challenge for the small business owners.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), about half to two-thirds of small businesses seek financing from a number of sources, including non-banking institutions.

In recent years, a number of alternative lending options have become popular for small businesses interested in accessing extra capital. Check out this list of cash advance small business loan sources.

Small Business Capital Options

Kabbage: Lines of Credit
Kabbage provides working capital online. It offers working capital or small loans payable over six months. The average line of credit is between $2000 and $100,000. Unlike traditional lenders, Kabbage approves loans by looking at real-life data, not just the credit score. It’s worth mentioning that the approval process is quite transparent and takes only a few minutes.
On the flip side, however, you need to pay back your loans within six months.
To be eligible, you need to be in business for one year or more, and make over $50,000 a year in revenue. To date, Kabbage has funded over $1 billion to help small businesses grow.

OnDeck: Short- and Long-Term Loans
Launched in 2007, OnDeck offers short-term loans of up to $250,000 and long-term loans of up to $500,000. The company also provides lines of up to $100,000 in flexible cash.
OnDeck doesn’t require high credit scores and its application process can be completed in about 10 minutes. More importantly, you can receive funding in just 24 hours. Another big plus is the transparency of the loan terms.

On the flipside, however, OnDeck doesn’t offer unsecured loans. So, when a business takes a term loan from OnDeck, a general lien is placed on the business’ assets until the loan is paid off. The business owner also needs to give a personal guarantee for the loan.
To qualify, you must be in business for at least a year, have a 500+ credit score, and annual revenue of more than $100,000 in the past 12 months.

SnapCap: Unsecured Business Loans
SnapCap offers unsecured loans of between $5,000 and $600,000 to small businesses. Unlike traditional lending that requires collateral to obtain financing, an unsecured loan — also known as a merchant loan — uses other factors to judge a loan application. These may include your credit score and sales performance.

SnapCap has a simplified lending process and a turnaround time of 48 hours. The company also offers some of the most competitive short-term loan options available today.
To qualify, you will have to share some information about you and your business. Some of the questions that you should expect to answer include:
• When did you start your business?
• What industry are you in?
• How much revenue did the business generate last year?
Fundation: Working Capital Loans
Fundation offers conventional business loans of up to $500,000. The online application process takes about 10 minutes, followed by an immediate initial credit analysis. The analysis ascertains whether or not you are a good fit for the loan. Once your application is approved, it takes three business days for the funds to reach your account.
The biggest challenge with Fundation is its eligibility criteria. If your business has not been operational for at least two years and doesn’t generate at least $100,000 a year, your application will be automatically rejected.
Your financials will play a major role in determining whether or not your application is approved. In addition to other criteria mentioned above, you should have at least three employees and good personal credit.

RapidAdvance: Merchant Cash Advance
RapidAdvance offers a merchant cash advance program best-suited for businesses that may not want, or cannot qualify for a traditional loan. The funds can be used to expand, renovate or reduce debt.

The company has a simple and short application process. Once you contact them, you will be required to provide some basic information about your business. Based on your inputs, you will receive a preliminary funding amount. If you are fine with the estimate, you will be required to provide more details about your business. The approval process takes about 24 hours and funds are made available within just three days.
The biggest limitation is that RapidAdvance does not work with online businesses. Moreover, it doesn’t offer prepayment discounts, unlike other lenders.
To qualify, your business should have a physical location. You must also be in business for at least three months and process at least $2,500 a month in Visa and MasterCard receivables. It is necessary to have at least one year left on your lease.

Accion: Microloans
Accion has been in the business of lending funds to small business for over 20 years. For businesses that need funds to grow, Accion offers loans in the range of $500-$100,000. The microloans can be used to purchase inventory, upgrade equipment or as operating capital.
It takes about 15 minutes to apply for the small business loan. You just need to provide basic information about your business to get started.

The biggest downside is that you need to provide collateral and equity to be eligible for the loan. Collateral could include real estate, if free and clear.
To qualify, you have to show your ability to repay the debt as well as proof of your income and revenue. You should also be in good standing with creditors and have a credit score of 500 or higher.

Biz2Credit: Online Loan
Biz2Credit is an online marketplace for small business funding. Its proprietary platform, serving more than 1.6 million users, connects borrowers to sources of capital based on each company’s unique profile.
Biz2Credit enables businesses to secure loans from $5,000 to $1 million. The application process is fairly simple. You have to complete a single application to get the best financing options available for your business.
A key highlight of the Biz2Credit platform is that it provides customizable financing programs for businesses that do not have a great credit score.
The only downside is that the funding process may take up to four weeks.

To be eligible, you should be in business for at least two years, be profitable and have a solid credit history. Startup loans are also available to entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of their ventures.

How to Know These Key Financial Terms

There’s no shortage of small business advice about marketing, social media and inspiration to not give up, However, the small business owner must pay attention to the financial nuts and bolts of business operations. It’s the best way to make the wisest business decisions. You may encounter terms on business websites or when working with an accountant with which you are unfamiliar. Don’t skip over them. They can be crucial in your thinking as a business owner. Here is a core glossary of financial terms every small business owner should know.

Key Financial Terms You Should Know

P and L — or “profit and loss” sheet is a report statement on how much profit (or loss) your business has made over a given period. Calculate P and L at the end of every month so you can spot trends early on.

Flash Report — in effect, an executive summary of your business fiances, or a daily P and L report.

Balance Sheet — this shows the balance between your company’s assets and its liability. A balance sheet is a valuable financial snapshot that can assist in meaningful decision-making, especially if it is regularly tracked.

Assets — are all those things your small business owns in order to support operations. Assets include cash, real estate, land, equipment, tools, computers and furniture.

Liabilities — are all those debts your small business owes. Examples of liabilities include loans outstanding, bonds, and even the monthly bills your business owes.

Equity — is the money you (and any other owners) have invested into your business. In a sole proprietorship, equity is recorded in a capital account. If your company is incorporated, equity is expressed in terms of what percentage of the shares of stock are owned and their total value.

Bottom Line — may refer to net earnings or net income, depending on context. This term got its name from the typical location of the net earnings or income figure at the bottom of a company’s income statement.
Markup — is how much is added onto a business’s cost price of goods in order to cover overhead expenses and generate a profit.

Gross Margin — also known as “total cost of sales,” gross margin is the difference between total sales revenues and total cost of goods sold. It may be expressed on a per-unit basis, in dollars, or as a percentage. Higher gross margin means a company keeps more of each dollar generated by sales.

Gross Profit — is your sales figure minus your cost of sales. “Cost of sales” comprises the costs directly attributable to sales, such as materials, labor, and delivery.

Net Profit — is your total profit after all costs (e.g., including overhead, materials, wages) have been considered, but before dividends and taxation are calculated. Net profit is how much actual profit is being generated.

COGS — stands for “cost of goods sold.” It is the cost of the material and production of the goods a business sells. For manufacturers, COGS comprises materials, labor and overhead. For retailers, it is the cost to purchase inventory sold to customers.

CAPEX — stands for “capital expenditures,” which is the expense incurred to acquire any assets (e.g., machinery, office equipment) your business purchases to create future benefits. It is the expense of purchased assets that will be useful to the business beyond the tax year they’re purchased.

EBIT — means “earnings before interest and taxes,” and is self-defining.

EBITDA — means earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. To calculate, take the gross margin and subtract total operating expenses, plus depreciation and amortization. While EBITDA subtracts all expenses, EBIT subtracts everything except depreciation and amortization.

GAAP — means “generally accepted accounting principles” and refers to rules and conventions for how financial information should be reported. It is a standardization of financial statements to ensure consistent reporting.

Revenue — refers to all the money your business collects from selling goods and services. A business may also amass revenue in other ways, like selling assets or interest and returns on investments.

Cost of Sales — is analogous to COGS for companies that sell services rather than goods. For a consulting company, the cost of sales includes compensation to consultants, research and administrative expenses, and costs for producing presentations and reports.

Retained Earnings — are company profits that are reinvested rather than paid out to the company owners.

ROI — is “return on investment,” represents a measure of profitability in relation to the money you have invested elsewhere. The calculation is (profits – investment) / investment.

ROA — “return on assets” is profit gained from a capital investment divided by the CAPEX cost. If you invested $1,000 on a piece of equipment, and it resulted in $1,250 in additional profits, you have an ROA of (1,250 – 1,000) ÷ 1,000 = 0.25, or 25%.

ROE — is “return on equity,” which is similar to the ROA and ROI calculations, except that your equity is the denominator.
Few things are as satisfying to the entrepreneurial spirit as thinking over small business ideas. For those ideas to come to fruition, attention must also be paid to the many finances to make sure your small business in not just an expensive hobby.

Protect You and Clients from Financial Fraud

The predicament unfolding at Wells Fargo where 5,300 employees were fired due to phony bank accounts opened to “boost their sales figures and make more money” is not new in the financial world.
Unscrupulous practices have occurred for years in varying degrees.
In 1985, a just-fired employee at a New York-based commercial bank stood in front of his former co-workers to explain how he siphoned money from several bank accounts to which he had access.

The explanation was not to teach other employees how to do the same, but rather, done while the former employee was flanked on either side by his former supervisor and a security guard, it was a warning to workers that such theft would not go unpunished.

Working alongside those employees as a management assistant gave me front-seat access to a situation I did not know was possible until hearing the details.
Wells Fargo’s dilemma provides small business owners with vital lessons to keep financial accounts secure and relationships with clients strong.
Financial Fraud Protection Tips and Tricks

For You
1. Make time each month to reconcile your financial accounts. Even if an accountant is privy to your records, it’s imperative that you personally review statements in a timely manner.
2. Access your credit report every year through the free service, or through another preference. Such review won’t help you detect fraud that occurs between yearly audits. However, you will still see details that may negatively impact finances.
3. Set up alerts through mobile banking, and that includes a password on your cellphone that prohibits access to financial records if your phone is lost, misplaced or scanned.
4. Install apps such as Dasheroo and PowerWallet on your cellphone to know what’s coming in and going out of your bank accounts. Most apps are accessible on your computer and tablet so there’s no excuse for not taking action at a moment’s notice.

For Clients
1. Send a letter of assurance by mail and email whenever mismanagement occurs in your industry. You’ll receive praise for reaching out in times of crisis whether it’s stated verbally or acknowledged silently. Send the notice in both formats to ensure notification.
2. Call clients by phone to back up mail and email notices as additional security to strengthen client trust and value in your service.
3. Save notifications that you receive from other industries to re-structure alerts sent to clients. This is helpful if you have difficulty writing copy and do not have staff or an on-call writer to create the content.
4. Become an ally by notifying clients each time disruptions come to light in industries that impact them. For example, if you are not in the financial industry, notification about Wells Fargo and pointing clients to an online article that helps them detect fraud positions you as a valuable and reliable connection.

Some Resources for Women Entrepreneursto looking for funding

The number of women-owned businesses has risen dramatically in recent years, a healthy sign for those who value greater diversity in the nation’s economy.
Between 2002 and 2012, the number of women-owned firms increased at a rate 2½ times the national average (52 percent vs. 20 percent) and employment at women-owned firms grew at a rate 4½ times that of all firms (18 percent vs. 4 percent). In 2015, for the first time, the government met its goal of awarding five percent of federal contracts to women-owned small businesses.

But such gains must be put in perspective. For example:
Women-owned firms make up about one-third of all businesses in the U.S., but they receive less than five percent of all available loan dollars, according to a 2014 report by members of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Women-owned businesses are smaller than average, employing only seven percent of the private-sector workforce. More than 9 out of 10 women-owned firms have no employees other than the owner.
You know the outrage you feel when you hear that women earn 83 cents for every dollar that men earn? Well, women business owners make only 25 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn.

Tips for Women Entrepreneurs
Here are some places female business owners can turn to for capital:
U.S. Small Business Administration
Loans for women from the U.S. Small Business Administration were up 18 percent in fiscal 2015 over the previous year. Some experts consider SBA loans the best option, as they come with flexible terms and low rates. The downside is the application process can be exhausting and frustrating and take weeks, even months, to complete.
The SBA doesn’t issue the loans itself, but backs loans issued by participating lenders, usually banks. The agency can guarantee up to 85 percent of loans under $150,000 and 75 percent of loans for more than $150,000.
The agency also recently set up a tool to match borrowers with approved lenders. The banks follow SBA guidelines but use their own underwriting criteria.

Money won is sweeter than money borrowed, and so before taking out a small business loan, female entrepreneurs should look into available grants. There aren’t many of these, but they are worth investigating. is a database of all federally sponsored grants. In addition, economic development agencies at the state level, as well as many local governments, offer services to help new and established businesses succeed.
Funds may be available, too, from private groups. Here are two to get started with:
– The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program awards 10 grants annually to women-owned businesses committed to social consciousness, sustainability and innovation.
– The Amber Grant Foundation each month gives $500 to a different woman-owned business, and at the end of the year one of the dozen winners is awarded a further $1,000.

Business Credit Cards or Your Bank
Often, a woman-owned business in need of financing will have to turn to business credit cards or or a small-business loan. Choices will depend on your creditworthiness and situation. Take your time and check out your options.
The data show women-owned businesses making significant strides, which is cause for optimism. But there’s still plenty of opportunity for growth.

Right Funding Can be Daunting

Vendedy is the first social network designed to connect global travelers to street markets. Founded by Forbes30Under30 Entrepreneur Christine Souffrant Ntim, the small business’s goal is to digitize the $10 trillion dollar street market economy and make it accessible to anyone and everyone.
But when Ntim started out, she had an incredibly difficult time getting the funding she needed.

When you’re an entrepreneur attempting to start a small business, getting funding can be tough. That’s especially true if you’re like Ntim and trying to launch something bold and new. So its important to explore all both traditional and newer funding options and pick the one that best fits you and your business best.
For example, you might be able to get a traditional small business loan, just beware of prepayment and other penalties that are part of the agreement. Newer types of options to consider include crowdfunding, online lenders and non-profit lenders. You might also consider applying for a loan from the U.S. Small Business Association.