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Make Money Online or Build a Business?

With more and more of us using computers across an even broader age range, it’s obvious to consider ways for our new piece of technology to earn its keep. Whether it’s a popular online auction site or any number of sites promising quick riches, it’s easy to see why making money online has such appeal:

it can be quite anonymous – you can set up relatively cheaply and promote other people’s products (you don’t even have to produce your own products or hold stock)

there are no age restrictions – so the internet has massive appeal to those in-between jobs, those with a family or people looking to supplement their income, to name but a few

there are no 9-5 restrictions, so you can work the hours to suit your lifestyle and commitments

with the right tools, you can even turn your hobby into a lucrative online business

the internet truly has a global audience, although not everyone will want what you have to offer

Internet marketing is a process, so it can be learned at your pace in your spare time

the Internet is not gender specific – in fact women have a better eye for relationships which is key to any sort of relationship marketing, and essential online

there’s a lot of free information available, meaning anyone who takes the time, can learn anything they need to succeed.
I’m sure you can think of many more.What does Google think?I just typed ‘make money online’ into Google and it returned 2,430,000,000 results!That’s a helluva lot of interest and competition there. But this in itself creates an even bigger problem. With those numbers, where do you start?Good question.It’s at this point most folks start looking for short cuts. This is where the get-rich-quick crowd enter because there are so many people looking for solutions. And we expect instant gratification – of course! But this can be dangerous because those looking to make money online rarely have any internet marketing experience.And the professionally written sales letters are ready and willing to help with this dilemma with their ‘cut and paste’ solutions and ‘overnight formulas’ promising quick riches.Any business takes time to put together and the internet is no exception. Many of the top earners online these days have been honing their skills for over a decade. It’s unlikely then that folks with practically zero experience are going to make a killing overnight! Presumably you want to build an online business not a one time payment? So why then do we fall for the promises of overnight riches knowing we have to do some work?The only people who provide turnkey businesses usually charge fortunes for it; they’re called franchises (think McDonald’s).You wouldn’t buy a car without a test driveLike any medium of exchange, an exchange of value has to take place. In the case of the get rich quick product, you exchange your money for something of value supposedly, right? But in most cases, the seller doesn’t tell you anything about what you’re buying! You pay your money upfront BEFORE you receive their secret ‘rags to riches’ formula!Why do we keep falling for this type of enterprise?I suspect it’s because, with our limited experience of internet marketing and online business, we think the hard work has already been done for us. We just plug in their secret formula and the money will roll into our bank accounts. If you think that’s true, I have some real estate to sell you!This ‘thinking all the hard work has been done for you’ kind of attitude leads to a kind of not taking this ‘make money online’ thing seriously. And for the newbie, making money online is seldom regarded as a business.Sound silly? It’s not.Why having no business experience mattersMany people who embark on the trail of internet success for the first time, rarely have any real business experience. Any successful business person will quickly tell you that success depends on systems. Think Franchises like our McDonald’s example again – the same systems that work wherever. The sole trader who does the work himself rarely has the know-how to look beyond their own way of doing things. Think of your business as a system of ways of doing things then scale the systems. This is important.To make matters worse, the internet takes a lot of commitment to succeed, especially if you’re planning to do-it-alone. You can just quietly walk away if things don’t work out, especially as there’s no-one watching.Don’t mistake movement for achievementIt’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: busy doing what? If you’ve succumbed to some of the ‘make money products’ you’re likely to discover that most don’t deliver the riches they promise. The next question is how long are you going to keep trying this approach before taking the time to build a proper business people can trust?Indeed, this might be a good time to ask yourself why you want to make money online in the first place. You do want to create an income don’t you? Only you can decide.If you’ve read this far, it’s likely you’re already doing the work, so why not start doing it the correct way? Turn your hobby, passion or skill into a viable online business. What you probably don’t realise is that almost any topic can earn money with a website (the get-rich-quick sites don’t tell you that do they?)

Is it Better to Buy or Lease a Car After Bankruptcy?

If you want to get approved at the best possible terms when buying a car, it’s important you know a car lender’s credit guidelines before you apply for credit…especially if you’re bankrupt.It will save you time and frustration–but more importantly, it will help you avoid credit inquiries that may lower your FICO credit scores up to 12 points per inquiry.Step 1 in making a lease or buy decision is to determine a lender’s credit guidelines. You start by asking if they lend to people with a bankruptcy. If so, on what terms?That’s right. You have to be upfront that you’ve filed bankruptcy. Don’t hide it. We have to face the fact that some dealers just won’t work with people who’ve filed bankruptcy. So our job is to find the ones that do.Some lenders will only lease to people with a bankruptcy. Others will only offer purchase financing. Yet still others will only lend using a hybrid of the two–this is especially common in Texas.Ask the finance director at the dealership to direct you as to what structure the manufacturer prefers.And here’s a quick tip for you: if your bankruptcy doesn’t appear on the credit report your lender pulls–then, in the eyes of the lender, you’re not bankrupt.The only lenders I would consider using are:- First choice: Captive lenders (car manufacturers)- Second choice: Banks (not finance companies)- Third choice: Credit unionsNinety-nine percent of the cars I’ve leased over the years have been with captive lenders. Just one was leased by a bank.That particular deal came from a conversation I had with Amy, the finance manager at the local Land Rover dealership here in Indianapolis. I told her I was open to her financing recommendations, but I preferred financing through the car manufacturer.I told her my current FICO scores. She immediately said that with my scores she could do better through a local bank. I signed a credit application and told her to go for it.The next day I signed a lease agreement with that local bank. Being open to her advice literally saved me hundreds of dollars a month on that car.So be flexible…but be careful. It seems most car dealers call all of their funding sources banks. When in reality some are banks, some are credit unions, and most are sub-prime finance companies.Here is a list of some of the most commonly used sub-prime auto finance companies:1. HSBC Automotive2. Capital One3. AmeriCredit4. WFS FinancialYou want to pass on the sub-prime finance companies–unless you have exhausted all other options. Sub-prime lenders should be your last resort.And only use credit unions if they report to all three national credit reporting agencies. How do you find out if a credit union reports to all three credit reporting agencies?Simple–you ask. Ask the branch manager at the credit union if they report. And after you get the loan, check all three of your credit reports and make sure their trade line appears on each one.The three worst luxury captive lenders to lease or purchase from after bankruptcy are:1. BMW2. Mercedes3. PorscheThe three worst mainstream captive lenders are:1. Honda2. Kia/Subaru3. ToyotaWhat makes these the worst?Once these lenders see that you’ve filed bankruptcy, they are less likely to work with you. However, if they are willing to work with you, they’ll want you to be at least several years from discharge and have perfect credit during that time.Now that I told you how bad the above six lenders are–there are times where they may offer you good deals. For example, if one of the above happens to be the biggest dealer in your area, they may be able to offer you special deals that a smaller dealer can’t.Of course, things change all the time with captive auto lenders. They change their credit guidelines on a whim to meet their own financial goals. So, it’s always a good idea to at least research these dealerships–just don’t get your hopes up too high.OK, so you’ve done your research and narrowed down your choice to one or two car manufacturers.Step 2 in making a lease or buy decision is to purchase your FICO credit scores.It’s important you have your most recent scores when you talk to car dealers (just like I did with Amy). It puts you in charge.When you enter a dealership with your FICO scores, the dealer will know you’re a more informed consumer and cannot be taken advantage of. Just know that the FICO credit scores auto dealers use are a little different than what we see as consumers. The scores the dealers review are called FICO Auto Industry Option Scores. The good news…these FICO scores may be higher than your normal FICO scores if you paid all previous auto loans as agreed.Some car dealers have told me that if your FICO scores are higher than the scores the dealer reviews–they may even use your scores to get a better deal.You can buy your scores from myFICO.com.Step 3 is to interview the remaining car dealers on a deeper level.Start by asking them these questions:- Which credit reporting agency do you use to make a lending decision?- What is your minimum credit score requirement to get approved?- What credit score is needed to get the best interest rate?- Do your lenders prefer offering lease or purchase financing to a bankrupt debtor?- What incentives are there to lease or purchase right now?At this point it’s important to remain open to either leasing or purchasing. Evaluate your options and incentives. Remember, you’re buying the financing. In other words, the most important factor is the willingness of the lender to loan you money.I personally view the lease versus buy decision in three ways:1. If you’re recently recovering from bankruptcy, the only thing that matters is if you can get approved at an interest rate you can afford through a lender that reports to all three national credit reporting agencies. So you should only consider lenders that are bankruptcy friendly.2. Once your credit scores begin to increase, you can start selecting cars based on which credit reporting agency the lender uses to determine if you qualify. Obviously, you should choose the lender who uses your highest FICO credit score to make a lending decision.3. When your scores are high enough…or two years have passed after your bankruptcy…or your bankruptcy doesn’t appear on the credit report the lender uses, then you can choose almost any car you like. But make sure you still do your research and use your credit scores to help you compare interest rates, terms and incentives.

What Asset Based Finance Could Do For Your Company

Your company is facing a variety of challenges – many of them tend to be business financing related. The challenges can be positive in nature, and some might pose serious threats to your business growth or even existence. How asset can based finance aid your firm in allowing you to generate the working capital and cash flow you need to prosper and grow, let alone survive?Asset based financed helps your firm in both good time and challenging times. The reality is that most business owners and financial managers in Canada currently don’t think we are in ‘good times ‘and business financing continues to be a huge challenge.Asset based finance comes in a variety of forms – it is commonly in the industry itself referred to as ‘ ABL ‘ financing, and typically your firm would negotiate what is simply or commonly known as an asset based line of credit. The facility provides you with a revolving line of credit very similar to a chartered bank facility – it might also include a significant inventory financing component, and usually address what we could best call special needs or special situations re: turnarounds, growth, distress, etc.The best candidate for an asset based finance line of credit is a firm that is experiencing strong growth but can’t attract the traditional capital that is used to finance receivables, inventory, plant and equipment, and even in some cases real estate.An asset based line of credit can best be described as a ‘creative’ financing solution – that is because it takes your balance sheet and finances it to the desired ‘max’ based upon your different asset components. In some cases even intellectual property or patents might be included in the overall financing, although that clearly is not the norm.Pricing in Canada on asset based lines of credit is all over the map – We tell clients they can expect to pay anywhere near a point or two over prime up to an including 1.5-2% per month. What defines that huge difference in pricing is what our clients are always asking. The answer is that that there are different what we will call ‘ tiers ‘ in ABL lending in Canada, and the overall size and deal quality of your firm will ultimately drive you to an asset based finance partner that more closely matches your needs and your overall ‘ risk profile ‘.The reality is that asset based finance has somewhat changed the overall face of business financing in Canada and more and more firms, both large and small are gravitating to this form of finance. Deal sizes in Canada vary greatly – we do not encourage clients who have an under 250k/mo need to explore asset based finance because at a certain point the reporting, costs, etc done make sense for neither your firm or the ABL lender.Asset based lending margins your assets to the extend of their current market value. Inventory financing is a major component of your facility if you require that, and inventory financing in Canada, from traditional sources, is difficult to arrange.Is there any downside in asset based lending and an ABL working capital facility? Our clients ask. With relative certainty we can say any downside is significantly offset by upside. The facility gives you almost unlimited working capital, and margins assets that might otherwise not be finance able. And don;t forget, this type of facility does not add debt to your balance sheet, you are simply monetizing your hard and in some cases soft assets.Speak to a trusted, credible and experience advisor in asset based lending who can highlight financing options that make sense for your firm’s survival and growth.