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Traditional advertising is not sufficient anymore. Thanks to ad-block software and the fact that telemarketing is more of a nuisance nowadays, startup companies have to be resourceful when it comes to spreading the word. Luckily, there is something that consumers do not get tired of - content. Whether it’s social media-based, a blog post, or another avenue, content marketing is the strategic art of distributing valuable content to relevant audiences with the goal of converting them into customers. Any startup that wants to put itself on the map needs to invest in content marketing early in the game.

Why is content marketing necessary?

Neil Patel notes that content marketing costs 62 percent less than typical methods, generating approximately three times as many leads. Even if you are a startup owner with no experience, any form of content is better than none at all, and it does not cost much to write a relevant article or execute a social media campaign. Content is also the perfect channel for shaping your voice: what is your mission statement? What do you, as a company, offer that your competitors don’t? Don’t think just money-wise; the customer experience is everything. Are you an impersonal overseer, or are you engaged with your customers on their level?

You know the importance of establishing an online presence, but content marketing will affect all aspects of it. Audience Ops says that content can increase the number of people signing up for your email list, steer your search engine optimization, inspire your social media posts (many people get their news from outlets like Twitter and Facebook, so sharing links to articles is a good idea), and increase your chances of connecting with influencers.

Due to content marketing’s nature, it presents an opportunity, as well as a necessity, to be consistent. Marketing Insider Group reports that 33 percent of blog users acquired at least one customer when they posted less than monthly. However, 72 percent of blogs that posted once a week garnered a customer— and 89 percent converted at least one person when they posted multiple times each day. People like to see companies being active, so the more information or entertainment you share, the more likely you are to find someone interested in doing business with you.

Working with a marketing service

Content marketing is indeed cheaper than traditional avenues—but what if you are on a tight budget, or short on time? If you do not have the funds to pay a full-time writer or time to do it yourself, you may feel like you are at a loss. Content marketing is still worth the investment, though, so there are experienced outside parties you can turn to.

According to Eucalypt Media, content marketing can not only boost your sales; it can establish you as a thought leader in your field worthy of facing off with large-scale competitors:

“A content marketing agency can support you by collaborating with you on quick phone interviews to get a sense of the topics you want to cover, then developing thorough think pieces written from your point of view, which can be published on your own blog and in industry-leading websites and media publications. This will help you quickly improve your reputation, and pave the way for interviews, speaking invitations, and other opportunities that will grow both your personal and business brands.”

There are numerous marketing firms to choose from, so how do you know which is right for you? Look at what potential partners offer and testimonials from their past clients: remember, you are not just investing in advertising, you are building a community and telling a compelling narrative.

180fusion, for example, aims to help clients accumulate traffic in practical ways, optimizing your SEO, PPC, social media, and other strategies that will increase your reach both locally and internationally. Ulku Logistics will also assist you with navigating an increasingly complicated technological space, offering hands-on guidance for launching campaigns and achieving higher Google search rankings.

Executing your content strategy

When you are ready to begin marketing with content—and it’s never too early to do so—research what existing pieces are performing well. Depending on what field your business operates in, blogs, infographics, videos, tweets, articles, or other media may see different results. We advise that you take advantage of whatever automated processes you can when it comes to social media (reminder: consistency is essential).

Your goal is not to provide an overwhelming amount of information or insight. People search the Internet for solutions to their problems, so your content needs to be the answers they are looking for. If you hope to reach as many customers as possible from the moment you open your doors (digital or otherwise), the time to participate in the content marketing game is now.

If you have any questions regarding growth strategies for your small business, don’t hesitate to reach out to our specialists at Currency. We’re always available for a call at 877-358-4595, and would love to answer your questions and guide you toward the best option for your business.

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Seeking financing for your business can be tricky. While there are multiple avenues you could go down to find funding, that’s not to say all of them are the best option for your business. If you’re not careful, many could lead to you shutting your doors. That’s why we’re offering a few helpful tips on what to avoid.

Personal Credit

A huge mistake a lot of entrepreneurs make when financing their business is using personal credit. Not only will this leave you footing a pretty significant bill if things go south, but you’ll also have to pay steep interest rates. According to the SBA, 46 percent of small businesses use personal credit cards for funding, which can be a slippery slope.

With credit cards, the biggest thing you need to worry about is your ability to pay the card off every month. Responsible use of a personal credit card for business would be reimbursing yourself for gas or lodging if you travel for work; those are easily itemized and come with little to no interest (assuming you pay on time). Business owners accrue an average of around $195,000 in debt, and taking the risk of paying high interest on personal lines of credit is not worth it.

A Lack of Collateral or Liquidation

A lot of businesses need a significant amount of capital. Even novice business owners can obtain significant funding, but a key consideration when seeking it is just how much collateral or liquidation you can put against it. For example, the average restaurant startup cost for equipment is around $115,655, which if the restaurant fails, then the equipment can be resold to get back some of the money.

When creating a list of items requiring financing, it’s smart to itemize the total amount of each item/equipment, as well as possibly the shelf-life. Furthermore, if you’re looking to take out a loan, then putting forth something valuable as collateral can be a smart move, just as long as you pay everything back to avoid the item being repossessed. The more clearly defined value an asset has, the better chances you’ll have in receiving funding.

Predatory Lenders

We’ve all seen loans come in the mail telling us we’ve been pre-approved for thousands of dollars, and many of those are predatory lending traps. These are lenders that target people with poor credit and coax them into signing loans with high-interest rates and fees. Predatory lending is notorious for tanking businesses, which is why you need to be careful about your resources and how much you’re borrowing.

Poor Cash Flow

A big reason people don’t get approved for financing is that they don’t have the cash flow necessary to get approved. Not only is this a big reason entrepreneurs don’t get loans, but it’s also why  82 percent  of businesses fail. A lot of people think business financing is for when you’re performing poorly, but that’s not the case. In fact, lenders prefer deals with a strongly performing business.

Let’s say that you’re a cafe looking to buy a new espresso machine to handle more volume. An espresso machine is a pretty expensive piece of equipment, but the resale value is stable, so lenders may be willing to invest even though your cash flow has been limited. While you may be able to get the loan by highlighting the spike in sales you’ve had for espresso drinks, you would’ve gotten a more favorable rate if there was more cash flow. The general rule of thumb is the more you can showcase your ability to pay, the more likely it is that you’ll be approved.

Not Proving Market Value

Finally, lenders want to believe in the long-term life of your business. A significant part of doing this is proving your market value. Not having adequate market value is a big reason nearly 42 percent of businesses fail, so you need to establish market value quickly.

The ideal situation for financing is for expansion. Try to avoid situations in which you’re recovering from or compensating for bad decisions, as those won’t lead to favorable lending terms.

What are some business financing obstacles you’ve had to confront?

If you have any questions regarding growth strategies for your small business, don’t hesitate to reach out to our specialists at Currency. We’re always available for a call at 877-358-4595, and would love to answer your questions and guide you toward the best option for your business.

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The startup fairytale sure is alluring. The hopeful entrepreneur comes up with brilliant world-changing idea, pitches the product to investors, receives a blank check, leaves desk job, starts company, and becomes the most powerful entrepreneur in the world.

Every year, thousands of individuals strive to make that fairytale into a reality. But here’s the thing, there’s no singular path to business success. Sure, many startups have achieved incredible growth and success after receiving significant angel and Venture Capitalist (VC) backing, but others have also gone on to failure. For every Facebook, there’s 50 Friendsters.

Additionally, as the startup world has matured over the past decade, investors have gotten savvier, or at least, more realistic. Contrary to popular beliefs, Silicon Valley VC’s are not throwing checks at every entrepreneur who pitches them a product. In fact, fewer than 6.5% of high-growth companies raised money from VC’s. When VC’s do invest in a company with potential, they don’t just offer money and walk away. They ingratiate themselves into the growth process and become major decision makers as the company scales.

Similarly, angels - individual investors who offer smaller amounts of capital at earlier stages in the lifecycle of a company – will also not invest their funds and energy into every idea. Like their VC counterpart, angels also require equity and a place at the decision-making table. While their industry guidance can be helpful to many beginner entrepreneurs, new personalities calling the shots during the fragile growing stages can be off-putting to many entrepreneurs who want the opportunity to build their product or service their own way.

So, without VC’s and angels, what other options do emerging startup founders have? While they can feasibly bootstrap the early stages of their ventures, it’s unlikely they’ll have saved enough capital to pull them through product development, testing, and launching. Luckily for new entrepreneurs there’s another way to grow a business without sacrificing vision: financing.

No one really wants to accrue loans at the beginning of a venture, especially if it's going to take months, or possibly even years, to see any revenue, but financing is a viable option for startups in need of significant capital to see their ideas to fruition.

Debt Financing 101

Debt financing is essentially borrowed money. Lenders give businesses loans to help them launch or run their businesses, and in return, business owners adhere to repayment schedules. Options include both long and short term loans. Long-term loans are typically offered for higher funds to cover the costs of equipment and real estate, while short-term loans are often used to cover operational costs, including workers’ salaries and inventory purchases. While long-term loans are typically requested as a new company prepares to launch or conduct a brand overhaul, short-term loans are often used throughout a business’ lifecycle. When companies run into cash-flow problems, short-term loans are often the go-to solution to pull the business through until sales and revenue pick up again.

How do you know if you need financing?

• Do you need to hire employees? • Buy equipment? • Rent or pay mortgage on real estate? • Maintain cash flow for operational purposes?

If the answer is yes to all of the above (and you have not procured angel/VC investments), then you likely need financing to survive. But before you start applying, there are a few things to consider, such as APR. APR, or annual percentage rate, is the total cost of accruing a loan, including interest rates and fees. Some loans come with massive APRs, so it's in your best interest to pay attention to fees. You should also be mindful of the repayment schedule. The downside to using debt financing to fuel startup growth is that startup success can be unpredictable. Sometimes even the most promising ideas fall flat. But if you believe enough in the potential value of your product and service offering, then taking on debt can be worth it.

Many entrepreneurs are turning to financing right now because of the freedom that it offers. This way, they won’t have to answer to investors’ ideas and suggestions. Instead, they have the power to build a company on their terms. Furthermore, many entrepreneurs believe now is the time to take on debt through financing because interest rates are low. If you’re an entrepreneur looking for guidance on loans and financing options to grow your next business venture, reach out to the Currency  team to learn more about the unique Currency API platform.

" ["post_title"]=> string(65) "No Strings Attached: How Financing Can Help You Grow Your Startup" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(66) "no-strings-attached-how-financing-can-help-you-grow-your-startup-2" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:00:55" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:00:55" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(54) "https://www.gocurrency.com/?post_type=blog&p=2085" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "blog" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#2029 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2144) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "6" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-11-06 01:30:34" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-11-06 01:30:34" ["post_content"]=> string(13369) " Immediacy is the new currency in today’s business climate. Business owners no longer have the luxury of waiting for the perfect moment to launch their ideations. In today’s competitive market, business leaders have to act swiftly on ideas or they risk losing out to a like-minded competitor. Luckily for today’s hopeful business owners, financing no longer has to be a months-long process. Before the advent of online finance, the customary method for securing a business loan was through traditional bank lending applications, which, as many business owners can attest, is a process that requires strong credit, mountains of paperwork, and lots of time. Today, however, business owners are no longer relegated to suffering through the traditional application process. There has been a recent surge in online lending platforms designed to meet the needs of today’s business owners. Unlike more traditional loan providers, these financing services can significantly cut the time to fund. Whether a business owner is looking to launch for the first time, needs to update operations, or expand human resources to meet a surge in customer demands, online platforms ensure that there is no waiting period. The advent of online applications has overhauled the business-loan landscape. A decade ago, small-business owners were relegated to paper based mountainous bank-loan applications and weeks, possibly even months, of waiting for approval. The complexity and length of the business-loan process was archaic in comparison to the rate at which small businesses were launching and advancing. Entrepreneurs were forced to take a step back in time to secure the necessary funding. The headache of the overall loan-application process was further compounded by the fact that banks were cutting back on their loan offerings. In fact, just 1 in 4 businesses that apply for a loan from a big bank are approved. Investing so much time with very little hope of success simply makes no sense, as such, most business owners simply avoid pursuing the funds they require. Something had to give. Luckily, as big-bank lending diminished, the industry saw a rise in alternative lending options. These streamlined solutions filled a void in the marketplace, serving the entrepreneurs and small businesses that traditional banks likely would have deemed unworthy. Today there is an array of solutions available for individuals and small businesses seeking financial support. From applications that specialize in loans for small online businesses to P2P lending applications, individuals of all backgrounds and with a variety of financial needs can find a service that supports their demands.

How Online Financing is Transforming Loan Approvals

For decades, the loan-application process went something like this: individuals and businesses would fill out tedious application forms requesting loans to finance their ventures. The banks would then assess the application and study the applicant’s credit score to determine whether the entity was worthy of a loan (i.e., whether the individual could be trusted to make repayments). Fast-forward to 2018 and there is a new school of thought beginning to dominate the disruptive business-financing industry: individuals are more than their credit scores, and their potential to build promising companies and innovations should not be relegated to a single piece of data. Today’s entrepreneurs and lenders want to look beyond FICO scores to determine loan worthiness, and new startup technologies are emerging to make this a reality. Firms, including Currency, are leveraging  internet to assess an individual applicant’s readiness and potential. These game-changing companies operate on the principle that lowering the barriers to approval, both in terms of information sharing and credit risk assessment, are critical enhancements to business financing. This radical approach to streamlining the application process and grading individuals could have long-term implications on diversifying the business landscape. These online financiers are forging partnerships, further underlining their belief in expediting funding as the future of financing. Before this industry shake-up, financing a business was incredibly difficult for anyone without a strong credit history or ample collateral. The landscape thus favored middle- and upper-class professionals and mature organizations with lots of equity. But innovation and dedication are not just qualities of those demographics; the opportunity to grow a venture should be available to every business, and disruptive lending services like Currency are making that a reality. While the introduction of new financing options makes it easier for applicants to secure funding, this does not mean that entrepreneurs or small-business owners should begin tapping these resources with reckless abandon. If a loan is secured without a solid repayment plan, the consequences could be disastrous for a business’s long-term financial health. There are four prominent considerations every small-business owner should think about when applying for a loan: Credit History - While strides have been made across some lending providers and tools to shift the focus of financing away from credit, for many options in the marketplace, credit remains a significant component. Revenue - Some loans require proof of revenue, which means that your business must already be in existence in order to qualify. If a lender requires revenue and you are launching a business from scratch, you’ll need to find a start-up loan in the marketplace. Loan Repayment - Will the loan be put to immediate use and help your business increase revenue? Even if you do obtain a long-term loan, will you be able to pay it off on time, or (preferably) before the terms of the repayment schedule? APR - One of the often-discussed downsides of securing financing through small business lenders is the high annual percentage rates associated with the loan. Too often, business leaders overlook APR (Annual Percentage Rate) and focus solely on interest rates. But unlike interest rates, APRs incorporate every fee that accompanies the loan, including origination fees and ongoing maintenance charges. APRs can be difficult to understand, because on some loans more payment is required in the first two months than in the last months of the term. Often APRs also have huge ranges. Before agreeing to a loan from a lender, it’s imperative that small-business owners understand what each aspect of the loan, including APR, really means and how it will affect their bottom line in the long run.

Navigating the Financing Options Field

One of the upsides to being a business owner at this point in time, in addition to having more access to loans, is that there are various types of loans available to individuals. Online lenders know that starting and running a small business is a dynamic process and not every entrepreneur requires the same kind of financing. Furthermore, many entrepreneurs will require different kinds of financing at separate stages of their businesses. Before applying for a loan, it’s a good idea to understand the basics of financing offers and how they might benefit a business. Equipment Loans - No company can function without the help of equipment. From computers and printers to landscaping vehicles and construction machinery, properly functioning equipment is what fuels every business. Unfortunately for business owners, equipment often comes with a short shelf life. Many machines that are used in heavy rotation may require regular maintenance. Additionally, as technology advances at a rapid rate, equipment becomes obsolete fairly quickly. Businesses across verticals cannot expect to remain competitive if they are utilizing equipment that is not as fast or adept as their competitors’. Luckily, through online lenders, small-business owners can apply for equipment financing. Some lenders may also provide the option to apply for equipment leasing. Both financing to lease and taking out a loan on equipment with a down payment have advantages and disadvantages. Entrepreneurs must evaluate their business needs, as well as the typical life cycles of their required machines, to determine the best option. Term Loans - The typical maximum rate of term loans from online lenders is $500,000. Whether the actual term is short or long depends on the predetermined repayment schedule established by the lender. Short-term loan recipients are generally given a repayment period of between 6 and 12 months, while long-term loan recipients are able to spread their repayments out over years. Business term loans are excellent options for companies needing to make a significant investment to put themselves on the map or revamp their service offerings. Line of Credit - Business line of credit is good for managing cash flow, handling unexpected expenses, financing short-term business needs, or taking out business term loans (short or long) for one-time investments.

The Value of Swift Financing

When small-business owners need cash, they need it fast. Small-business owners have the added challenge of managing multiple business functions. In addition to being their company’s leader, they often have to wear the hats of marketing, human resources and sales rep. They simply do not have enough time to spend hours filling out forms and liaising with bank representatives to obtain loan approval. With access to financing through online lending services, entrepreneurs don’t have to table key functions of their business, including developing product, operations strategy, marketing initiatives and overall company management. Online Financing Ensures Expedited Technology Acquisitions - Imagine you are the owner of a new inn and are launching just in time for peak tourist season. However, just days into your launch, your computer system shuts down. As you were preparing to open your venture you tried to save on money by purchasing refurbished equipment and now have to shell out extra dollars to replace the existing machines. Now, without a steady flow of revenue. Rather than shutting your doors for weeks (or even months), securing an online equipment loan can ensure the arrival of new, up-to-date machinery immediately. Increased Customer Service and Fulfillment - Sometimes you cannot predict the behavior of customers. New startup owners may give themselves a ramp-up timetable to perfect operations. But now, thanks to the immediacy of social media, one influencer post or successful PR hit could send a wave of customers to your business’s website or doorstep. Rather than halting customer purchases due to lack of financing for raw materials, employee resources or third-party vendors, securing a business line of credit or short-term loan through a mobile app lender can help your business fulfill customer needs and demands and make a strong first impression. Build Your Business’s Credit - Too often, entrepreneurs are terrified of amassing debt. But every business needs credit, and the only way to obtain credit is through financing. As entrepreneurs scale their business from humble, one-store beginnings to nationwide chains, they often need to take out larger loans to cover the cost of real estate, construction and distributed resources. But no bank will approve a large-scale loan if a business hasn’t proven it has the ability to pay smaller loans on time. Obtaining loans early and often gives new ventures the opportunity to build up strong financial foundations upon which their future expansions can thrive. Seasoned entrepreneurs even apply for credit before their newly established business needs it, because they know that they’ll likely need a significant bank loan somewhere down the line if they want to build out their company’s potential. Online lending options are expanding the world of business. They offer increased flexibility and immediacy, enabling business owners to pursue new ventures and projects swiftly without waiting for the rest of the market to catch up. They are also on the cutting edge of modernizing financial lending based on behaviors and fiscal activity, rather than just credit. Disruptors in the mobile lending space are determined to open up the world of financing for all innovators, regardless of background or credit history, and today’s small-business leaders have the opportunity to capitalize on these advancements. If you have any questions about online or mobile lending, contact us now." ["post_title"]=> string(72) "How Mobile/Internet Access Is Expediting and Streamlining Business Loans" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(73) "how-mobileinternet-access-is-expediting-and-streamlining-business-loans-2" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:01:00" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:01:00" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(54) "https://www.gocurrency.com/?post_type=blog&p=2144" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "blog" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [4]=> object(WP_Post)#2028 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2162) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "6" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-10-30 16:38:37" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-10-30 16:38:37" ["post_content"]=> string(5174) "There are a lot of things to consider when taking out a business loan. How much should you borrow? Who should you borrow from? Will you be able to pay it all off if something goes wrong? One of the biggest factors to consider is the term length of the loan. Depending on the type of business you own, how much funding you need, and other factors, you may only need a short-term loan. It’s important to understand that, generally speaking, the longer the term, the more money you’ll ultimately pay back since you’ll be paying interest. On the flip side, a short-term loan may be too much for you to pay back, or it may not allow you to borrow enough.

Different Loan Term Length Options

In general, there are three different term lengths available to business owners: short, intermediate, and long-term loans. Depending on what your cash needs are and the type of business you own, one may be better for you than the others. Short-Term Loans – The length of a short-term loan is only about a year. Short-term loans are a great option for businesses that need cash in the moment and who expect to make back the loan and more in profits in the coming months. Short-term loans don’t usually require collateral and are also a great way for businesses to build credit. As you pay off the loan, you’ll build trust with your lender and will be able to qualify for bigger, longer-term loans if (and when) you need them. Intermediate-Term Loans – The length of an intermediate-term loan is between one and three years. Most businesses use intermediate-term loans to cover the costs of computer systems, equipment, and other expenses that last a few years rather than decades. Intermediate-term loans are not the best option for everyday expenses. While short-term loans are fairly easy to qualify for, the approval process for intermediate-term loans is stricter and will typically require collateral and a guarantee. Long-Term Loans – The length of a long-term loan is somewhere between three and ten years. Because the amount you can borrow is typically much larger, require collateral, and are subject to limiting restrictions, most businesses use them for purchasing a building, durable and expensive equipment, inventory,  or similar long-term investments. It’s important to note that long-term loans require a down-payment, and throughout the term of the loan, many lenders will require you submit financial statements to ensure everything remains in order.

Determining the Best Term Length for Your Business Loan

The type of loan that will be best for your business will depend on how much you need, what you need it for, and the type of business you own and operate. For example, certain industries do best with specific term lengths because the needs in those industries typically serve one time frame better than the others. Here are some common industries and the best loan term lengths for each: Seasonal, construction, retail, startups – These businesses do best with a short-term loan because their income varies throughout the year and may need extra materials or inventory on short notice. For them, going through the process of securing a long-term loan, putting up the collateral, making a down payment, then paying back the loan for an extended amount of time wouldn’t be worth it. Typically, these businesses only need cash to get them through the slow season or to hold them over for a short amount of time. Dental, medical, restaurants – These types of businesses do best with an intermediate-term loan. Because it’s important to have up-to-date, durable equipment in these industries, it may require more than just a short-term loan, but the amount needed to get the equipment may not justify a long-term loan. Manufacturing – These businesses do best with a long-term loan. Manufacturers require state-of-the-art facilities and often need special equipment to fulfill the orders placed by customers. They also need to ensure that buildings are furnished with the equipment needed for employees. Because all of that can cost quite a bit and may take a while to pay off, a long-term loan would be a good option for those in the manufacturing industry.

Final Thoughts

The term length for a business loan can have a major impact on your business. It’s important to make sure you carefully consider your options and choose the right term length for you. It’s also important to make sure you choose the right lender when taking out a loan since the lender you choose can affect your business as well. Which term length do you think is best for your business? If you have any questions about different loan term lengths or lenders, contact us now." ["post_title"]=> string(61) "How to Determine the Right Term Length for Your Business Loan" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(61) "how-to-determine-the-right-term-length-for-your-business-loan" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:01:06" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:01:06" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(54) "https://www.gocurrency.com/?post_type=blog&p=2162" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "blog" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [5]=> object(WP_Post)#2027 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2181) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "6" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-10-23 22:00:05" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-10-23 22:00:05" ["post_content"]=> string(7877) "The shipping industry is an essential element of the American economy. Approximately 70% of all cargo shipped in 2017 in America was transported by truck, generating $700.1 billion in annual revenue. Trucks shipped 10.77 billion tons of cargo, driven by 3.5 million drivers, just under half the total Americans employed by the trucking industry. Whenever a consumer buys something from a shop, a manufacturer orders a new container of components, or a grocery store gets a new shipment of produce, chances are high that the products spent part of their journey on a truck. Trucking’s importance to the economy is only growing. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) predict that goods hauled by truck will increase about 3% annually for the next five years. As the U.S.’s population and economy continue to grow, trucking will grow with it. Transparency Market Research estimates that the trucking industry could be worth $15.5 trillion by 2023. But the trucking industry is also facing some significant challenges. Inefficiency and a talent shortage are both threats to its long term growth, and shipping industry members everywhere will have to find appropriate technological tools to overcome those obstacles. Fr8 Network, a startup founded by seasoned logistics veteran Jon Fox, thinks they’ve found the solution: blockchain.

The Trucking Industry Today

The trucking industry is fragmented; 90% of carriers have fewer than six trucks in their fleet, and 50% of carriers are owner-operators. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing - in some ways, the trucking industry represents one of the most significant bastions of small business in the U.S. - but it does cause problems when communications in the complex world of product shippers, receivers, and carriers are done inefficiently. Arrangements between shippers (the groups sending out products) and carriers (the trucking companies) used to be mostly handled by brokers, who employed their Rolodexes of contacts to facilitate shipping arrangements in return for a fee. Because the system was paper-based and only as extensive as the size of any one broker’s Rolodex, it resulted in plenty of empty miles. Empty miles are driven whenever a trucker goes from one place to another without carrying a load, usually when they drop-off a load somewhere and then have to go somewhere else to pick up their next shipment. Empty miles are inefficient on multiple levels. They waste time and fuel without the economic productivity of moving cargo. They increase the industry’s carbon footprint and its wear on national infrastructure. They make truck driving, already a dangerous profession, less safe: studies show that empty trucks are more likely to get involved in accidents. For owner-operators and drivers who are part of companies that pay different rates for empty miles, they’re economically wasteful, demanding drivers’ resources and time away from home while doing little, if anything, to boost their yearly revenue. Unlike some other industries which used to rely on central brokers, trucking has been slow to move away from brokers and other outdated logistics tools. TechCrunch reports, for example, that 67% of shippers rely on paper records instead of software. The empty miles problem is only going to be compounded by a growing talent shortage. ATA estimated that the trucking industry is short by approximately 60,000 drivers, and that number could increase to 174,000 by 2026 without aggressive recruiting strategies. Improving the efficiency of freight logistics could address this shortage on two fronts: by helping existing truck drivers handle the high demand for cargo transport more efficiently, and by making the economic conditions of truck driving more attractive to potential recruits.

Fr8 Network’s Blockchain Solution

Fr8 Network has created a multi-element blockchain-based solution to counter empty miles. They’ve launched Fr8 Board, an online platform in which shippers and carriers can create profiles and input their capacity or shipping needs. With the help of Fr8 Network’s bi-directional matching engine, carriers can use the board to eliminate empty miles, matching a shipment heading one direction with a separate shipment to carry back home. Fr8 Board is capable of holding far more potential shipping contracts than the average broker, without charging broker fees. Of course, online platforms are only as good as the trust fostered on them. Brokers created trust-based agreements because they could vouch for their clients even if shippers and carriers hadn’t worked with each other before. Fr8 Network achieves similar levels of trust by requiring blockchain buy-in. Fr8 Network Board users must buy Ethereum-based Fr8 tokens. When carriers and shippers make an agreement, a blockchain smart contract is triggered that places a set amount of Fr8 tokens in escrow. When the agreement is completed, settlement can be made either through Fr8 tokens (which can be re-used on the platform or sold on public coin exchanges) or through fiat payments. Users also give each other reviews that become part of their Fr8 board profiles, incentivizing good behavior even when temporary partners never meet. Fr8 Network is also creating value-added tools such as federally compliant electronic logging technology and credit services. Fr8 Network exemplifies what can be accomplished when industry experts join forces with top-quality blockchain talent. However, platforms like these can only take off and spark progress if they are supported by the right mix of talent. Many blockchain applications are coming to the table and promising to revolutionize industries, but these revolutions (like the one that could take place in shipping) will only come to fruition if the right mix of development talent is found and added to existing teams. Luckily, the rise of decentralized job marketplaces are coinciding with the rise of decentralized application talent demands. Smart hiring platforms like Boontech are built on the blockchain to support instant transactions between companies and job-seekers. Even with a philosophy steeped in decentralization, people will still be at the heart of blockchain applications’ successes or, in some cases, shortcomings. As an essential component of the American economy, we need the shipping industry to thrive, but we also need it to evolve to keep up with today’s demands for more sustainable and efficient delivering systems, and it looks like blockchain may very well be the answer on both counts. If you're interested in a small business loan as an owner-operator, or any other business, contact the Currency team." ["post_title"]=> string(41) "Is Shipping the Next Big Blockchain Boom?" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(40) "is-shipping-the-next-big-blockchain-boom" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:01:12" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:01:12" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(54) "https://www.gocurrency.com/?post_type=blog&p=2181" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "blog" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [6]=> object(WP_Post)#2026 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2183) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "6" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-10-16 22:04:52" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-10-16 22:04:52" ["post_content"]=> string(5273) "Americans have long been self-proclaimed gym rats. However, the past several years have welcomed a new trend in working out: boutique fitness studios. While mega-gyms may have ruled the nineties and early 2000’s, specialty fitness classes are dominating today’s fitness landscape. Small, specialty studios are responsible for driving much of the growth that the health industry has realized. From barre classes to Barry’s and, of course, CrossFit and Soul Cycle, there are studios catering to everyone and every fitness level. This fitness revolution has definitely helped more people carve out healthier habits. However, it is also creating a generation of new fitness leaders who are not just content to teach classes, but driven to open and run studios of their own. If you are a fitness enthusiast and eager to open the doors of your own endorphin-boosting boutiques, here are a few expenses you should keep in mind.

Franchise a Location

One of the best ways to get into the fitness scene is through franchising. This enables independent entrepreneurs to capitalize on the brand name of mega-studio brands. Some of the biggest current fitness franchise options include PureBarre, CorePower, and Orangetheory. The beauty of franchising is that, often, a new location will market itself. As awareness for cult fitness followings in one city easily spreads (thanks to social media), new consumers are often eager to try the workouts their out-of-state friends have been raving about. On the other hand, opening a franchised location can also increase the overhead costs, as there will be additional overhead fees plus weekly sales cuts. For example, anyone wanting to open a new Orangetheory location must pay the brand an initial fee of $49,500. Subsequently, the studio chain also requires 7% of gross weekly sales. PureBarre’s franchise fee falls at $46,500 with overall initial startup costs (excluding New York City locations) approximately $168,100-$300,700. Some corporations do provide loan options to franchise applicants, but these options often do not cover the entire scope of the demanded fees.

Launch Your Own Venture

If you don’t like paying for another business’s branding, you can always build a studio from scratch. While launching a new brand or type of fitness offering means that you escape some of the giant franchise costs, it also means that you may end up spending more on marketing down the road. It may also take longer for your business to grow a following and generate profit. Like franchised locations, starting your own boutique from the ground up will still require a significant capital investment. In addition to securing real estate large enough to hold classes and locker rooms, you’ll also need to purchase the correct equipment. Depending on the type of fitness studio you’re looking to start, equipment purchasing will vary wildly; after all, there’s a big difference between purchasing 30 yoga mats and 30 treadmills. In the world of fitness, the type of equipment you use to fill your studio will be one of your most significant decisions. Old or faulty equipment is an extreme liability. The potential damages and injuries from one piece of bad machinery may be enough to crush your entrepreneurial dreams. Location, type of workout, and brand all shape the initial costs of launching a new fitness studio. Health club consultants estimate that new ventures can cost entrepreneurs anywhere between $30,000-$500,000, with many clubs on the higher end investing in both location and sleek interiors to build an exciting brand around the workout. Regardless of which door to the fitness world you choose, new studios tend to demand fairly steep overhead costs. Rather than bootstrapping the business all on your own or liquefying your existing assets, there are several mobile equipment finance options that support new ventures. Unlike traditional bank loans, these options offer fast financing and typically do not require specific credit minimums or business history rates, making them the best option for first-time business owners. Before you begin the application process, map out all of the potential costs that will go into your new studio - as well as sales projection models to help you establish a feasible timeline for loan repayment plans. ProjectionHub offers a comprehensive modeling system for startup gyms that can be adapted based on your location, equipment needs and brand goals. Once you’re ready to look for a small business lender, contact the Currency  team." ["post_title"]=> string(71) "Join the Boutique Fitness Wave: How to Finance Your Own Fitness Startup" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(70) "join-the-boutique-fitness-wave-how-to-finance-your-own-fitness-startup" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:01:19" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:01:19" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(54) "https://www.gocurrency.com/?post_type=blog&p=2183" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "blog" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [7]=> object(WP_Post)#2025 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2228) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "6" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-10-09 23:56:25" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-10-09 23:56:25" ["post_content"]=> string(6905) "Whether you’re just getting started, have hit a rough patch, or are planning for expansion and need some capital for your business, there are a lot of different options available. While there are a number of common loans, like personal loans, business loans, and loans from investors, you may not qualify or feel like those loans are the best choice for you. So, if that’s the case, what options do you have? One lesser-known loan alternative is a 401(k) loan. Most 401(k) plans have a provision that allows participants to take out a loan, which may be a great option for you. Keep in mind, though, that while there are some great benefits, there are some risks to be aware of as well.

What is a 401(k) Loan?

If your 401(k) has a provision that allows you to take out a loan, you have the option to “borrow” the money you have invested into your 401(k). Although you are borrowing money from yourself, there are certain restrictions that apply to the loan. If you haven’t already taken a loan against your 401(k) and haven’t had an outstanding balance in the last year, you can borrow 50 percent of your vested investment, up to $10,000 if the vested amount is less than $10,000, or $50,000 maximum. The amount you will be allowed to borrow if you have had an outstanding balance on a previous 401(k) loan in the past year will vary depending on the outstanding balance. As with any other loan, there are specific terms and conditions for repayment, which include that the money be paid back with interest. The interest rate may vary from loan to loan, so you should discuss those details with your 401(k) representative. Depending on what you use the money for, the amount of time allotted to pay back the loan will vary, but typically borrowers can expect to repay within a five-year period. Although there may be specific terms and conditions for repayment, there are typically no restrictions on what you can use the money for, making it a solid option as a business loan alternative.

What are the Benefits of a 401(k) Loan?

A 401(k) loan could be the best option for you if you find yourself unable to take out other loans and have no other capital options. 401(k) loans have a number of benefits:
  1. No minimum credit score requirementCredit score requirements can be one of the biggest issues when it comes to getting approved for a loan. If you have a low credit score, even if it’s due to circumstances outside your control, getting a loan with a good interest rate, or even getting a loan in general, can be difficult. Because a 401(k) loan doesn’t require a minimum credit score, you almost automatically qualify.
  2. No loan application requirement. Because you don’t have to apply for a 401(k) loan, you can save yourself the time and hassle of shopping around before finding the right place to take out a loan, including the time spent waiting to hear back about whether or not you are approved.
  3. The loan is repaid automatically through paycheck deductions. Rather than having to remember to pay a bill each month, repayment for a 401(k) loan is automatically deducted from your paychecks. This makes payment simpler and a little less frustrating than other types of loans, since you don’t have to see the monthly balance pulled from your bank account.

What are the Drawbacks of a 401(k) Loan?

It’s important to understand all the terms and conditions before taking out the loan to ensure it’s something you can feasibly handle. A 401(k) loan should be considered very carefully. While there are a number of benefits associated with the loan, there can be some serious drawbacks and consequences as well:
  1. Your retirement nest egg is depleted and vulnerable. If you take out a loan from your 401(k) and aren’t able to pay it back or have an outstanding balance on the loan, you could be putting your retirement at risk, especially if your 401(k) is the only retirement savings plan you have invested in.
  2. The interest is subject to taxation, and you may have to pay fees. Although only the interest is subject to taxation, that interest and tax is extra money that could have been saved in the 401(k). Additionally, there are often fees associated with taking out any loan, including a 401(k) loan, and although the fees may be relatively small, they can add up if you’re already pressed for money.
  3. The market could shift between the loan and repaymentIf the market is at a lowwhen you take out a 401(k) loan, but up as you repay the loan, you could be costing yourself extra money as you work toward buying back in at a higher rate. It also costs you the opportunity to earn interest on the full amount had it been in the 401(k) as the market improved.

Should You Consider a 401(k) Loan for Your Business?

When considering a 401(k) loan for your business, keep in mind the drawbacks. If it hurts your retirement, will it be worth it? If something goes wrong, will you be able to pay it back? If you feel as though it is the best option for you and the drawbacks are worth the risk, then contact your 401(k) representative for more information. When taken out carefully, 401(k) loans can be a great alternative to other types of loans. Do you think a 401(k) loan is the best option for your business? If you’re interested in learning more about 401(k) loans or other funding options, contact the team at Currency today!" ["post_title"]=> string(68) "What is a 401(k) Loan and Should You Consider One for Your Business?" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(65) "what-is-a-401k-loan-and-should-you-consider-one-for-your-business" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:01:26" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:01:26" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(54) "https://www.gocurrency.com/?post_type=blog&p=2228" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "blog" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [8]=> object(WP_Post)#2024 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2130) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "6" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-10-07 01:00:37" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-10-07 01:00:37" ["post_content"]=> string(4958) " Equipment financing is a great alternative to a traditional loan for businesses whose biggest costs lie in the equipment they need to run. Physicians, for example, may find that equipment financing is the best option for them.

What is Equipment Financing?

Equipment financing is a loan option that provides business owners with the funds they need to purchase the necessary equipment to launch their ventures or practices. The loan is secured with the equipment and the lender may take possession of the equipment if payment agreements are not met by the borrower. Many businesses that require expensive equipment to operate find equipment financing is the best option for them. A couple industries that can benefit from equipment financing include restaurants, bakeries, farms, hospitals, and physicians. Not only is equipment financing a great way for new businesses to purchase equipment needed to get started, it can also help growing businesses get the latest, up-to-date equipment to help with operations and keep up with demands.

What are the Benefits of Equipment Financing for Physicians?

As a physician, the biggest expenses of running an office are related to the equipment required to test samples, perform checkups, and complete other services you offer. Although you may have to pay monthly rent for the office space, cover utilities, etc., the medical equipment you need costs much more up-front, and if you don’t have the cash, it can be a serious issue and concern. Equipment financing takes care of this issue and offers other benefits for physicians including: You don’t have to pay for the equipment up-front and all at once. Medical equipment is expensive, and you likely need at least a few pieces of equipment to get your new office running or replace old equipment that is outdated and can no longer be used. Paying for it up-front, though, is usually out of the question since even just one piece of equipment can cost much more than you have available to spend. Equipment financing makes it possible for you to get the equipment you need without having to pay for it all up-front. It allows you to make monthly payments within your budget and own all the equipment you need instead of spending everything on only some of the equipment that you need. You can keep more cash in your pocket. Equipment financing doesn’t require you to pay for equipment up-front, and because it’s one of the loan options that doesn’t require this, you find extra money. You can take out the loan and get the equipment you need without having to empty your pockets. Having that extra cash on hand could come in handy on a rainy day. You can get new equipment and have peace of mind knowing it will work and function as intended. If you were purchasing equipment outright, you might have to wrestle with the decision to spend all your money on one of a few pieces of equipment you need in order to buy new or to purchase used equipment that is within your budget. Used equipment may save you money now, but the problem with used equipment is that you don’t always know if it will work as intended or when it’s going to break down for good. It can also be an issue if it’s not current enough since it won’t be compatible with other equipment or programs that you use. Equipment financing makes it possible for you to get new equipment so that you can have the peace of mind knowing it will work as needed and will be compatible with the other equipment and programs you use. You may even be able to get the latest technology and enjoy the many benefits that new tech offers. You may get tax benefits. When you go the route of equipment financing, you may potentially qualify to receive tax benefits. The government offers an annual tax deductionfor financed equipment of up to $500,000. If you qualify for a deduction, think about how much money your office could save, which could be used in other areas that need it. You can get the money easily and quickly. When you go through other lenders, the approval and funding process can take weeks, leaving you in a tight spot until you’re able to get the money and buy the equipment you need. With us, though, it’s fast and easy. Thanks to our streamlined technology and express decision engine, you can get the money you need easily and quickly. If you want more information about equipment financing for your medical office, contact us now." ["post_title"]=> string(97) "Equipment Check-Up: Why Equipment Financing May be the Best Option for Your Practice and Patients" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(96) "equipment-check-up-why-equipment-financing-may-be-the-best-option-for-your-practice-and-patients" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:02:02" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:02:02" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(54) "https://www.gocurrency.com/?post_type=blog&p=2130" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "blog" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [9]=> object(WP_Post)#2023 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2138) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "6" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-10-02 01:17:04" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-10-02 01:17:04" ["post_content"]=> string(5571) " It seems like everyone is starting a business these days. Entrepreneurs everywhere are coming up with the next big thing or making an already great thing even better. If you’re looking to start a business, but are having trouble getting the capital and financing you need, you’re not alone. Entrepreneurs’ requests for a loan can be rejected for a number of reasons. Luckily, there is more than one way to get the financing necessary to get your business up and running. One fairly simple way to get a loan to start your business is by using collateral. Financing with collateral can help you get the loan you need, even if you might not have qualified without it.

How It Works

Collateral is used as a way to assure lenders they will be able to recoup at least some of the money they are lending you if you can’t pay back the loan. Collateral is used as a safeguard to protect lenders from losing all their money and to protect you from being sued if you miss a few payments or default on the loan. When you take out a loan, you can offer an asset as collateral to back the loan you are requesting. If your lender agrees to the collateral, your asset(s) will be appraised and the terms of your loan will be determined based on what you need, what you have to offer, and any other relevant details you may have discussed with your lender.

What You Can Use

There are a number of different things that can be used as collateral when getting financing. Some of the types of collateral that can be used include: Vehicles - Whether it be a boat, car, RV, motorcycle, or other type of vehicle, you can often use it as collateral to back your loan. Keep in mind, though, that old “A to B” cars don’t appraise as high as newer cars, so you may not be able to use your vehicle as collateral for the loan. If you have a classic car you’ve restored, it may appraise much higher than a regular commuter vehicle, but you may not want to part with it in the case anything goes awry. Be sure to consider the consequences carefully before deciding what, if any, vehicle to use for collateral. Machinery – Similar to vehicles, machinery like backhoes, Bobcats, and many other different types of equipment can be used as collateral for a loan. If it’s something you don’t use much anymore with a fairly high value, it may be the perfect item to use as your collateral. If it’s something you’ll be needing in order to run your business, it may not be the best option you put up for financial collateral. Real estate - Whether it’s your personal home or a piece of property you own in another state or country, real estate can be used as financial collateral to secure your loan. If you have more than one piece of real estate, you may want to consider putting up an empty lot or rental home as collateral instead of the home you live in to ensure you can keep a roof over your head, in case there is any trouble and you can’t make payments on your loan. Collectibles and valuables - Different collectibles and valuables hold different meaning to different people, so while you might think a collectible lunchbox is the most valuable possession you have, the lender will likely prefer any silver and gold jewelry instead. Your collateral options aren’t just limited to silver and gold, though. Things like guitars, antique pottery, and paintings may also be used as collateral if they are appraised at a high enough price. Payments from customers - Interestingly enough, another form of collateral you can use is future payments from customers. Although hypothetical future payments from (hopeful) future customers may not be acceptable to your lender, if you already have orders on the books, it may be good enough for your lender to use as collateral to back your loan.

The Benefits

Financing with collateral can be beneficial in many ways. It may help with loan approval and help you build your credit. It could also allow you to get a lower interest rate, which would save you money in the long-run and make your monthly payments lower.

Things to Be Aware of

Although financing with collateral can be beneficial, it’s also important to keep in mind the downfalls and dangers collateral loans present. Although collateral loans may have a lower interest rate and help with approval, putting up your home, car, or collectibles as collateral means you could lose them entirely if something were to happen. Be careful about what you choose to use as collateral and consider whether or not you could part with it if the loan fell through. Do you think the benefits outweigh the risks? If you’ve taken out a collateral loan in the past, what advice do you have for those looking into it? If you’re looking for loan collateral options for a new business, contact the team at Currency Capital for guidance today." ["post_title"]=> string(55) "Here's What You Need to Know About Financial Collateral" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(54) "heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-financial-collateral" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:02:08" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:02:08" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(54) "https://www.gocurrency.com/?post_type=blog&p=2138" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "blog" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [10]=> object(WP_Post)#2022 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2191) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "6" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-09-25 22:29:57" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-09-25 22:29:57" ["post_content"]=> string(6191) "Starting your own business is exciting. Whether you’ve always dreamed of opening a bakery or feel driven to run an office supplies store, finally getting to the point where you’re ready to open a store of your own is a big and proud step in the startup process. There are still obstacles to be faced, even after a business plan is drafted up and first steps are initiated. One of the biggest issues entrepreneurs run into is financing. There are a number of reasons entrepreneurs sometimes struggle to get the financing they need. Whether it be because they have no collateral, poor or no credit, or nothing to use as a down payment for the loan, any number of issues could get in the way of opening your business. Financing issues don’t mean you have to give up on your dream, though. Some options for financing your business include:
  1. Short-term loans
  2. SBA loans (small business loans)
  3. Business credit cards
  4. Merchant cash advances
  5. Crowdfunding
If you’re having trouble financing your business, one other way to get the financing you need is by bringing on a co-signer. The purpose of a co-signer is to assure the bank that if, for any reason, you don’t pay your loan, your co-signer will take on the legal responsibility. Although the loan does not belong to the co-signer, they are responsible for paying it back if you can’t or don’t. Having a co-signer can help you secure the financing you need to get your business running, but there are some things to consider before bringing one on. Here are the pros and cons you should be thinking about before asking someone to cosign on your business loan.

Pros

You can get qualified for your loan. Having a co-signer sign with you on a loan for your business will help you qualify if you couldn’t on your own. Lenders will look into the credit score, debt to income ratio, and other financial details of your cosignatory to determine whether your co-signer is someone they would lend to. Because having a co-signer means both you and the other person signing the loan promise to pay it back, as long as your co-signer is qualified, you can usually get approval for the loan you need (even if you are a less than perfect candidate). You will build credit. If the main reason you’re having trouble getting approved for a loan is bad or no credit, having a co-signer can qualify you for the loan. Once you have the loan and start to pay down the balance, you will build credit of your own. This can help not only with your current business expenses, but it can also help if you find yourself in need of a different type of loan, like a mortgage, or someday starting another business requiring financing. You may qualify for a lower interest rate. When a co-signer signs a loan with you, the lender takes their credit into consideration. If your co-signer has great credit, this may qualify you for a lower interest rate on your loan. The lower the interest rate, the less money you have to pay back and the lower your monthly payments will be, which may just be your saving grace during any lean months.

Cons

You could damage your co-signer’s credit. When you have a co-signer on your loan, if you stop making the payments or consistently pay the bill late, it doesn’t only affect you. Your credit will be damaged, but so will your co-signer’s, which could prevent them from co-signing on other loans or even obtaining loans of their own. Your co-signer could be sued. When you default on a loan with a co-signer, the lender doesn’t necessarily come after you first. Lenders will often sue co-signers because they agreed to take on the responsibility and are frequently the more financially secure piece of the equation. You could strain your relationship with your co-signer. Life happens, and things don’t always go as planned. If you default on your loan and stop making the payments, leaving your co-signer with the financial burden and responsibility to pay the loan back in full, you could strain or even ruin any relationship you had with them. If you’re considering asking a family member or close friend to sign a loan with you, it’s important to consider it very carefully and decide whether or not it’s worth potentially damaging your relationship. Your co-signer may not be able to get a loan they need. If your co-signer has too much debt associated with them, they may not be able to get a loan for something like a car, should they need one. Although you may be making the payments, if they’ve agreed to pay for more than the lender thinks they can afford, they may deny your co-signer’s application completely.

Should You Finance with a Co-Signer?

Having a co-signer can be very helpful if you’re having trouble getting the financing you need. You should be very careful when considering a co-signer, though, because although you may not intend for things to go wrong, there could be a permanent impact on your relationship if they do. Consider this: Would you co-sign a loan with yourself? What is your opinion on co-signing/having a cosignatory? If you’re interested in learning more about using a co-signer to secure a business loan, contact the team at Currency today!" ["post_title"]=> string(56) "Should You Finance Your Small Business with a Co-Signer?" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(55) "should-you-finance-your-small-business-with-a-co-signer" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:02:14" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:02:14" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(54) "https://www.gocurrency.com/?post_type=blog&p=2191" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "blog" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [11]=> object(WP_Post)#2021 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2134) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "6" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-09-18 01:10:16" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-09-18 01:10:16" ["post_content"]=> string(17867) "For every small business success story, there are twice as many abandoned entrepreneurial dreams. Many hopeful small business owners assume that ideating an innovative product or fresh business angle is the most difficult part of striking it out on one’s own. But in actuality, what comes after the excitement of devising a plan is the make or break point. Ideas are free, but turning ideas into realities requires substantial investments. As any small business owner can attest, to make money, you have to spend money - and, subsequently, to spend money, you have to have money. Starting a company from scratch requires more than just brains and sheer determination. Investing in real estate, human capital, and equipment is a necessity. While some entrepreneurs are lucky enough to bootstrap their way into the market or find angel investors who believe in their idea, most small business owners must find alternate means to breathe life into their ideas. Creating a comprehensive finance plan is one of the most important steps to success for any budding venture. Luckily for today’s entrepreneurs, there are several available routes to obtaining the finances necessary to launch a business from the ground up.

20% of Small Businesses have considered shutting down.

The Small Business American Dream Gap Report found nearly 30% of small businesses find it difficult to reduce operating costs. Additionally, 20% have considered shutting down as a result of slow growth and cash-flow issues. To combat these financial troubles, small business owners are applying for loans in droves, but attempting to convince banks to back their ventures is a frustrating cycle. Often, this vicious cycle is a result of businesses not understanding their credit scores. Banks are not willing to extend loans on good faith - their practices are steeped in credit history, and both new and serial entrepreneurs who experience repeated difficulty in finding funding often don’t come to the table with stellar credit histories. While this process is frustrating, it has also opened entrepreneurs’ eyes to options beyond traditional loans. Before we jump into financing options for entrepreneurs in today’s business landscape, let’s take a moment to explore the need for loans in the first place. First and foremost, you need to ask yourself the following questions: Taking the time to answer these questions in depth will point you to the best financing option for your business.

Building Your Workforce

Most business require a workforce to meet the demands of consumers; the value of employees cannot be overstated. They are the faces of your company and the entities that facilitate the overarching customer experience. Whether your company sells a product or service, your employees play a major role in forging relationships with customers. Finding employees, onboarding them, and paying them, though, is no small task. Human capital is the most valuable asset of any business, but in order to maintain a strong team, financial investments must be made on a consistent basis. Ask any business owner what the most challenging aspect of launching a business is and they’ll likely say talent acquisition and retention. Sure you can put up local ads and ask friends and family members for referrals, but finding employees who possess an interest in your business, a dedication to the position, and a desire to grow with your company is not easy. Recruiting takes time and money, but this investment is well worth it if it means finding a steady employee base that won’t turn over every few months.

$4,000 is the average cost to fill an open position.

From equipment and compliance training to customer service workshops, if you want your business to thrive, you must invest your employees through ongoing education and support. The good news is that human resources are a scalable component of your business. Often as your demand and revenue grows, you’ll have the financial means to increase your workforce. Unlike equipment purchasing, which is required up front in any business venture, your human resources are highly dependent on your current revenue and overarching growth goals. Too often, business owners attempt to skimp on recruiting and training, but this only costs them more in the long run. According to a 2014 Deloitte Study, it costs nearly $4,000 on average to fill an open position. Of course this number scales significantly depending on the type of position, but if investment is not placed on human resources at the beginning of a venture, business owners will only open themselves up to greater long term costs - and headaches.

Gathering Resources

No business across any industry can thrive without equipment. While some businesses inherently require more machinery to bring a product or service to market, no entrepreneur can expect to enter the race without investing in tools and resources. Machines fuel businesses. However, some business owners fear potential sunk costs when it comes to investing in equipment. Equipment loans can also be granted for smaller amounts, making them easier for loan providers to fulfill. Once you’ve determined how critical your purchase is, you may also factor in a tax write off of up to $25,000 (if you’re in your first year) in addition to the interest on the financing you take out to cover the purchase. Be mindful that equipment loan interest rates tend to vary between 8% and 30%. If you’re still not open to the idea of accruing more debt through equipment purchases - or if you’re in an industry where equipment evolution occurs at a fast pace, then equipment leasing may be your best option. Leasing payments tend to come in at a significantly lower price point than a full loan. Plus, not having to commit to one model for an elongated duration may help your company stay on the cutting edge of your industry. Furthermore, equipment depreciates in value the moment it is purchased, and as leasing is a 100% tax deductible expense, this is often the stronger option for businesses looking to save.

Finding A Place to Call Home

Luckily, in today’s business environment, business real estate has become an increasingly flexible component of entrepreneurship. Since the advent of the Internet, more small business owners have been able to facilitate operations on the web, and subsequently, take up less space. Many entrepreneurs today, including those capitalizing on the shared economy and on-demand movements (i.e. ridesharing and food delivery), don’t necessarily need a physical office space to meet the demands of their customers. Furthermore, many entrepreneurs are also opting to start small in co-working rental spaces and prove the viability of their businesses before investing in independent spaces. However, remote coordination and co-working are not feasible options for every business. For those business owners launching a customer service business, storefronts are imperative to connecting with potential consumers. Real estate costs are highly dependent on your business’s location. In some areas it is smarter to make an investment rather than leasing a space. If your business is located in an area with high growth potential, it may be in your best interest to buy a property. This, however, costs more up front as a down payment plus monthly mortgage payments are required.

Seed Investments vs. Equity Crowdfunding vs. Financing: What is the Right Choice for Your Business?

Finding an Angel

Every entrepreneur dreams of walking into a pitch meeting with VC’s or seed funders and walking out with a check to turn their pitch into a product. Unfortunately, the process is slightly more complicated. It’s true that finding investors can be a strong financial option to boost your business. But finding the right investors is no small feat. Seed or angel investors are accustomed to seeing impassioned company pitches and it takes more than enthusiasm to convince them to sign a check. Entrepreneurs must have a clearly defined business plan, market understanding, and value proposition to procure funding. Additionally, entrepreneurs must be willing to meet investors halfway. Seed investments are only successful if both sides can benefit from the growth of the company in the long term. Even more challenging than selling a potential investor on why you and your company are worth their dollars, is finding an investor you can work with. Investors do not sign checks and hope for the best. Their financial commitment means that they have signed on to your company and have a say in future business decisions.

Calling on Crowd Support

Recently, more entrepreneurs have begun experimenting with equity crowdfunding. Why? Well, first and foremost, crowdfunding offers immediacy. Equity crowdfunding is defined as a process wherein a group of people offer money to entrepreneurial ventures in return for company shares. People who partake in this type of crowdfunding become shareholders, and if the startup achieves success, each shareholder will see a return. Secondly, crowdfunding also enables entrepreneurs to share their ideas and venture goals with consumers and ignite interest and excitement. Crowdfunding can be as valuable of a marketing ploy as a fundraising option. However, it requires business owners to relinquish control. Often, new entrepreneurs rush into a crowdfunding model because they are desperate for cash in the short term and may not consider the long term implications of relinquishing full control over their company and idea. The beauty of both seed investments and equity crowdfunding is an influx of immediate capital, but that immediacy comes at a long term price. It’s easy to be blinded by dollar signs, but if you feel strongly about your company’s potential (which, if you're in the business of procuring funds, you probably do), it is wiser to focus on your venture’s potential lifetime profit. When you agree to equity terms, you’re essentially trading future profits for immediate cash.

Financing

Alternatively, financing is a viable option for business owners who want to exercise agency in the future of their business. Financing allows business owners to attain necessary finances without opening up the decision-making floor to investors. However, assuming a financing plan also guarantees debt. Most first-time business owners view debt as a dirty four-letter word. Racking up debt is made out to be akin to digging a business grave, but with careful planning, the opportunity cost for assuming debt from a loan is well worth it. Often times the opportunity cost for taking out a loan ends up being so minimal it’s insignificant. Consider, for example, you’re a business that has just started up and is still acquiring the tools and supplies. You’ve just received your first big order, in which your business will gain $50,000 in revenue. However, to meet the demands of this order, you must first invest in $20,000 worth of inventory. Taking on a loan with an APR of 20% will amount in an opportunity cost of just $4,000. Although $4,000 may seem like a substantial amount at the beginning of a business’ life span, when it is put into context of potential earnings over the course of a business, it is a highly reasonable cost. On the other hand, if you choose to meet your initial production and fulfillment demands through equity fundraising, you could lose far more than $4,000 down the line.

The Loan Landscape

For years, business lines of credit and bank term loans were the standard options most entrepreneurs sought. While these financing plans remain viable, they don’t necessarily support the immediate and dynamic nature of today’s business cultures. These more traditional options require strong personal credit and have long application processes. Entrepreneurs no longer have the luxury of time to sit idly by for months as banks work through loan applications. The startup is not only highly competitive, but also constantly moving, and entrepreneurs with original ideas or fresh perspectives on defined industries must act fast if they want to make an impression on consumers. Alternatively, online lending market options deliver fast-paced results based on the unique needs of a business. Long-term online business loans can gain approval in as little time as five days; short-term online business loan approval can occur as quickly as one day.

Pick Your Race: Sprint or Marathon

As you attempt to distinguish which loans to apply for and which offers to accept, you need to be honest with yourself about your financial needs. Choosing between short and long-term loans often comes down to timeline and financial needs. Short-term loans are optimal for quick cash fixes. For example, if your business experiences an unexpected surge in customer interest and requires more resources to fulfill the order, a short-term loan may suffice. These loans tend to be granted for smaller amounts and the repayment timetable is expedited. Long-term loans are optimal for business resources and investments, including employees, essential equipment, or product development. These loans are often given in larger quantities with an extended repayment timeline.

Proof of Profitability

Many lenders require some proof of profitability, which means your business needs to have already generate revenue before beginning the application process. If you are a new entrepreneur in need of a loan just to get your business off the ground, you likely won’t be able to secure a line of credit or a traditional bank loan. However, without proof of profitability, you may still be eligible to procure a short-term loan, equipment loan, or startup loan.

Not All Lenders Are Created Equal

It’s tempting to accept the terms of the loan without really understanding what it’s asking. After all, your business needs money to survive and this lender is making you an offer - can you really refuse? Well, yes. If a lender is not transparent about the repayment terms, structure, or timeline, it is often a red flag that they are not your best option. For you to succeed in meeting your loan terms and building your credit, you have to possess a comprehensive understanding of the value of your loan offer. Once you’ve applied for loans, you should take another pause before accepting a lender’s offer to ask yourself:

Build Credit Today

Even if you don’t necessarily need financing at the moment, if you foresee needing to take out a significant line of credit in the next few years, it’s a good idea to take out smaller loans to improve your business credit in preparation. The beauty of procuring loans through alternative lenders is that you don’t necessarily need a strong credit history to receive approval. Additionally, these loans will help you build up your credit if you diligently adhere to the loan structure. Taking out small, short-term loans and paying them back on time, will slowly and steadily help you build your business's credit score. If you project a national expansion within five years that will require manpower, machinery, and real estate, you’ll need strong credit to win the support of banks. Additionally, facing the fear of debt and beginning the financing process early enables you to build up a relationship with a specific lender. This  is especially effective when you work with smaller lenders, such as the partners of Currency Capital, who specialize in business financing and understand what it takes for businesses to succeed. Regardless of your business or industry, exploring financing options is an imperative step to building a healthy and sustainable business operation. Currency Capital was created with the goal of helping entrepreneurs of all backgrounds see their dreams to fruition. We pride ourselves on helping small businesses succeed by providing the resources they need to match with the best lender available. Our technology streamlines your application and approval, and our support team is always here to help you figure out what the best option for you business’s needs are. We’re invested in your business’s success - and we’re here as a resource to answer your questions and concerns. Reach out to the team at Currency Capital any day, any time." ["post_title"]=> string(92) "Financing For Your Future: How to Choose a Financing Plan to Support Your Company’s Growth" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(88) "financing-for-your-future-how-to-choose-a-financing-plan-to-support-your-companys-growth" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:02:19" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:02:19" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(54) "https://www.gocurrency.com/?post_type=blog&p=2134" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "blog" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [12]=> object(WP_Post)#2164 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2203) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "6" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-09-11 23:10:21" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-09-11 23:10:21" ["post_content"]=> string(5907) "If you own a business, you know how expensive it can be to get the supplies and equipment you need to operate. Leases are a great way to get the supplies and equipment your business needs without having to pay for everything up front and all at once. With options from traditional leases to lease-to-own, you can choose the method that works best for you and your situation.

The Benefits of Leasing

There are a number of benefits when it comes to leasing equipment: You can get up-to-date equipmentBuying used equipment is a good way to get a great deal, but sometimes used equipment doesn’t work as well as it once did, and it can be too outdated to perform some of the functions you need. Leasing equipment gives you the opportunity to get up-to-date equipment without the hefty cost of buying something new. You can upgrade to new equipment. If you buy equipment, the cost can make it difficult to upgrade to new equipment until it’s absolutely necessary. If you’ve been leasing older equipment, though, you can switch to new equipment for less than it would cost to go purchase the new equipment on your own dime. You have more options. If you buy your equipment, you might be limited to a specific budget, which could mean you have to settle for a piece of equipment that will work instead of one that does everything you need and want. If you lease, you have a wider variety of options, ranging from older equipment to brand-new equipment and everything in between. You may get training and support specific to the equipment. When you buy equipment, you are given a user manual and left to figure things out yourself. Although you can use resources like the internet, it may take you quite a while to get everything figured out. When you lease, many companies also offer expert support and even training so your staff can operate the equipment effectively and efficiently. You can get financed more easily. It can be difficult to secure financing to purchase some types of equipment. If you don’t have the best credit score or the collateral needed to get financing, you may be out of luck. When you choose to lease equipment, it’s easier to get the green light and pay for the things you need. You may not have to make a down payment. When you purchase a costly piece of equipment, you may be required to make a fairly large down payment, which takes cash out of your pocket. When leasing, you don’t always have to make a down payment, which helps you stay up and running and keeps more cash available to your business. You can “try before you buy.” When you purchase equipment and it doesn’t work out, you’re stuck trying to either sell it or trade it in. If you lease equipment, you have the opportunity to test it out and see if it works for your company. After a while, if you decide it isn’t the right fit for you, you can simply switch to another piece of equipment without the hassle of getting rid of the one that didn’t work. You can write the equipment off when you file your taxes. Whether you buy or lease equipment, there are tax breaks available. Business owners can take advantage of Section 179 Tax Deductions, which could get them up to $500,000 in deductions, in some cases. You may not have to pay for maintenance. When you purchase equipment, any maintenance or breakdowns have to be paid for out of your own pocket. When you lease equipment, on the other hand, some leasing companies will schedule regular maintenance and have someone on call for any necessary repairs. You can take on more work. If you buy equipment and someone asks for a custom job which requires equipment you don’t already have, it may be too costly for you to purchase what you need, and you won’t be able to take on the job. When you lease, you have the opportunity to lease additional equipment, which allows you to offer the requested service and expand your business without the risk of paying for new equipment and not having enough work to support the purchase.

The Benefits of Combining Your Leases 

There are a lot of benefits to leasing, but it can be difficult to keep track of all the agreements for different pieces of equipment if you have multiple leases. Combining your leases so they are all under one roof is a great way to stay better organized, know the policies, terms, and conditions of the leases, and simplify your monthly payments. While there are many benefits to both buying and leasing equipment, leasing seems to offer more flexibility and opportunity overall. In your experience, have you found buying or leasing to be a better fit for your business? If you’re looking to add equipment for your business, contact the team at Currency today!" ["post_title"]=> string(49) "The Benefits of Leasing and Combining Your Leases" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(49) "the-benefits-of-leasing-and-combining-your-leases" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:02:24" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-05-16 01:02:24" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(54) "https://www.gocurrency.com/?post_type=blog&p=2203" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "blog" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } } ["post_count"]=> int(13) ["current_post"]=> int(-1) ["in_the_loop"]=> bool(false) ["post"]=> object(WP_Post)#2032 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(903) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "6" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-12-04 00:21:18" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-12-04 00:21:18" ["post_content"]=> string(6961) "

Traditional advertising is not sufficient anymore. Thanks to ad-block software and the fact that telemarketing is more of a nuisance nowadays, startup companies have to be resourceful when it comes to spreading the word. Luckily, there is something that consumers do not get tired of - content. Whether it’s social media-based, a blog post, or another avenue, content marketing is the strategic art of distributing valuable content to relevant audiences with the goal of converting them into customers. Any startup that wants to put itself on the map needs to invest in content marketing early in the game.

Why is content marketing necessary?

Neil Patel notes that content marketing costs 62 percent less than typical methods, generating approximately three times as many leads. Even if you are a startup owner with no experience, any form of content is better than none at all, and it does not cost much to write a relevant article or execute a social media campaign. Content is also the perfect channel for shaping your voice: what is your mission statement? What do you, as a company, offer that your competitors don’t? Don’t think just money-wise; the customer experience is everything. Are you an impersonal overseer, or are you engaged with your customers on their level?

You know the importance of establishing an online presence, but content marketing will affect all aspects of it. Audience Ops says that content can increase the number of people signing up for your email list, steer your search engine optimization, inspire your social media posts (many people get their news from outlets like Twitter and Facebook, so sharing links to articles is a good idea), and increase your chances of connecting with influencers.

Due to content marketing’s nature, it presents an opportunity, as well as a necessity, to be consistent. Marketing Insider Group reports that 33 percent of blog users acquired at least one customer when they posted less than monthly. However, 72 percent of blogs that posted once a week garnered a customer— and 89 percent converted at least one person when they posted multiple times each day. People like to see companies being active, so the more information or entertainment you share, the more likely you are to find someone interested in doing business with you.

Working with a marketing service

Content marketing is indeed cheaper than traditional avenues—but what if you are on a tight budget, or short on time? If you do not have the funds to pay a full-time writer or time to do it yourself, you may feel like you are at a loss. Content marketing is still worth the investment, though, so there are experienced outside parties you can turn to.

According to Eucalypt Media, content marketing can not only boost your sales; it can establish you as a thought leader in your field worthy of facing off with large-scale competitors:

“A content marketing agency can support you by collaborating with you on quick phone interviews to get a sense of the topics you want to cover, then developing thorough think pieces written from your point of view, which can be published on your own blog and in industry-leading websites and media publications. This will help you quickly improve your reputation, and pave the way for interviews, speaking invitations, and other opportunities that will grow both your personal and business brands.”

There are numerous marketing firms to choose from, so how do you know which is right for you? Look at what potential partners offer and testimonials from their past clients: remember, you are not just investing in advertising, you are building a community and telling a compelling narrative.

180fusion, for example, aims to help clients accumulate traffic in practical ways, optimizing your SEO, PPC, social media, and other strategies that will increase your reach both locally and internationally. Ulku Logistics will also assist you with navigating an increasingly complicated technological space, offering hands-on guidance for launching campaigns and achieving higher Google search rankings.

Executing your content strategy

When you are ready to begin marketing with content—and it’s never too early to do so—research what existing pieces are performing well. Depending on what field your business operates in, blogs, infographics, videos, tweets, articles, or other media may see different results. We advise that you take advantage of whatever automated processes you can when it comes to social media (reminder: consistency is essential).

Your goal is not to provide an overwhelming amount of information or insight. People search the Internet for solutions to their problems, so your content needs to be the answers they are looking for. If you hope to reach as many customers as possible from the moment you open your doors (digital or otherwise), the time to participate in the content marketing game is now.

If you have any questions regarding growth strategies for your small business, don’t hesitate to reach out to our specialists at Currency. We’re always available for a call at 877-358-4595, and would love to answer your questions and guide you toward the best option for your business.

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