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Getting Out of Debt: A Guide

Getting Out of Debt: A Guide
Debt can be an incredibly destructive force in your life – ravaging your finances, your investments, your family and your reputation, and threatening to eclipse all the hard work you’ve done in your life. In recognition of just how difficult debt can be for ordinary consumers, this guide I have designed will help you to find your way out of debt by whichever means possible. By using some of the tips outlined below, you’ll be able to take control of your financial situation, bringing to your life a sense of stability that debt can often destroy. Loans If your debt is only small, and easy to manage for a week or a month, then you may wish to look to a loan to bolster your finances for the period ahead of you until the next paycheck you receive. These loans can be incredibly helpful, but you need to remember that not all loan providers are ethical, and many are hoping that you slip into further debt as a result of your exchange with them. As such, be very careful to vet any loans company that you interact with in order to know which you can trust. Cashing In Your second option is to cash in on some of your wealth and your assets in order to service your debt. Depending on the size of your investment portfolio, you may well have a choice of what you can sell to make the biggest impact on your debt while also not losing valuable possessions or investments. So, whether you choose to divest in your car and stocks, or release some equity from your home, you can make use of your assets in order to avoid larger spells of serious debt in your family finances. Lawyers Another option, if you find yourself in a predicament in which you feel injustice is being practiced, you may wish to find a lawyer to represent your interests in court. If you choose to go down this route, be sure to pick lawyers that you can trust, and those with a track record of successful comparable cases. You can seek great help with a debt lawsuit by searching for representatives online. Only turn to lawyers if you feel you have a decent chance of winning your case – otherwise, your loss will only result in further debt for your family. Making Sacrifices Finally, debt is usually the result of financial mismanagement. Sometimes it’s just bad luck, and often it’s related to socio-economic class – but most working families should be able to avoid debt in the modern era. If you do fall into debt, you will have to realize that sacrifices need to be made. These might include cutting down the food and drink that you love the most, selling some of your possessions, downsizing your home, turning to public transport, not personal transport, and dipping into the savings you’ve accrued for other purposes. Sacrifices, too, can get you out of debt. These four tips are crucial to help you get out of debt, whatever your particular financial scenario and however much you find yourself in...
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How To Advance Your Business Career

How To Advance Your Business Career
  Working in business is a promising career path because there are a lot of different directions you can go. The opportunities are endless if you continue to work hard and are dedicated to improving your skills over time. Be glad to know there are a few actions in particular that you can take if you want to quickly advance your business career. This way you can get on the right path to becoming a successful and productive employee with the potential to grow and learn over the years. It’s going to take time to get ahead because of all the competition, so be patient with yourself as you develop into the leader you know you can be. Further Your Education A good first step in the process of advancing your business career is to focus on furthering your education. For example, take advantage of your down time by studying for a Suffolk University Online MBA and earning your advanced degree. In this program, you’ll learn the skills and abilities you’ll need to solve complex problems at a global level and how to better analyze data. It’s a great way to polish up your resume and make sure you’re keeping up to speed with the ever changing landscape of the business world. Find A Mentor You may also find it useful to secure a mentor to help you advance your business career. You can bounce ideas off of this person about your performance and ask questions that will help you become a more desirable employee. Pinpoint someone who’s been in your shoes before and has been able to work their way up the corporate ladder. This way you can follow in their footsteps and also hopefully avoid any same mishaps or mistakes they made along the way. Set Goals & Track Your Progress You’ll get a lot further in your business career when you set goals for yourself and what it is you want to achieve in your profession. Not only write down your objectives, but then construct a timeline for how quickly you want to meet each goal. Monitor your progress as you go and don’t be afraid to make adjustments based on your results. For example, aim to go after a promotion at work or complete an online class in an area where you find you struggle the most. Having goals in place will help you to move forward in a promising direction instead of getting stuck in one place and lacking the motivation to advance in your career. Speak to Your Boss In addition, be open and honest with your boss about how you feel about your job and career. Let them know if you’re bored and how you feel they can help better support you and succeed. Discuss chances for you to showcase your skills and abilities in your performance reviews by setting goals together that you want to meet in the upcoming year. Talk about what they feel your strengths and weaknesses are so that you can apply this information while going after the next big promotion opportunity. Always be Networking It’s also in your best interests to always be networking and meeting new people inside and outside of work. Be proactive and use your network for support whenever you’re feeling lost or confused about how you should proceed. It’s possible someone you meet will have good career advice for you or know of a job opening that will be a better fit. Advance your business’ career by staying in touch with those you meet and helping each other out as you each work on getting ahead professionally. Take on More Responsibility at Work...
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How to File a Patent for Your Invention

How to File a Patent for Your Invention
How to File a Patent for Your Invention Inventors are highly prized in any market, since their work is often the focal point that other infrastructure, marketing, and production coalesce around. But as an inventor, whether in a startup or independently, it is important to make the most of any invention you create. This means protecting your original work legally. In this article, we look at one of the primary tools at the disposal of any inventor: the patent, and how to file one.     Why File a Patent? Patents provide a level of economic security and market edge for their holders. They are specifically designed to incentivize invention and innovation, offering an avenue to significant potential profits for an invention that is patented quickly and correctly. Patents fall under the category of intellectual property (IP) law, and are one of four kinds of IP protection, the others being copyrights, trade secrets, and trademarks. Copyrights cover original creative work, trade secrets involve confidential information that benefits a company competitively, and trademarks protect branding and brand identity. However, patents may be the most powerful intellectual property tool. Holding a patent grants a twenty-year monopoly (in the United States) for the development, production, and sale of the invention in question. This means that no other companies can compete via imitation for this time period, allowing the best possible version of the invention to be produced and sold, gaining more profits by being a unique entity in the market. Filing a patent can make the difference between being swallowed by competitors who have the infrastructure to take your idea and produce it more cheaply or more quickly, and having the time and resources to perfect your invention and get rewarded for its genesis. Sure, the patent filing process is time consuming and costs money, but the potential benefits are immense. Is Your Invention Eligible? The United States Patent & Trademark Office, or USPTO, outlines what is and is not eligible for patenting according to the patent statute codified in federal law. Eligible areas include a process, machine, “article of manufacture” (manufactured product), composition of matter, or “improvement of any of the above,” as well as specific designations for unique plant patents and design patents that govern the nonfunctional design and aesthetic components of a product. So, if your invention happens to be a machine or a composition of matter, is it automatically eligible for a patent? In short, no. There are additional requirements that must be met for patent eligibility. These boil down to usefulness, novelty, and non-obviousness. To have any chance of being granted a patent, the invention in question must be useful. Usefulness here can be very broad and does not only encompass crucial or definitive needs and benefits. Things like entertainment and enjoyment can also qualify as uses. Novelty refers to being sufficiently unique and new in order to deserve a patent. This can often be an issue of contention, with gray areas existing between what constitutes a slight tweak or variation upon an existing idea versus a truly novel improvement. Lastly, being non-obvious may seem quite easy, but this determination usually helps to weed out inventions that are not really inventions but obvious combinations of previously existing factors. Before delving into the patent search and filing process, it may be a good idea to seek out a qualified patent attorney or law firm to determine what the best course of action is, as a professional will better know how your invention might fare.   Picture Courtesy: Taylorip The Patent Search Now that you’ve determined your invention may be patent eligible, it’s time to hone in on the...
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Small Business Finance

Small Business Finance
Small Business Finance: What You Need To Know   Happy to associate with SeekCapital that provides consulting services and funding procurement to small businesses in a quick and efficient manner. This article originally appeared on seekcapital.com by Jon Zacharias.    Starting and running a small business without having some form of credit is nearly impossible. Many small businesses do not make it simply because they’re under-capitalized. One month where sales and expenses budgets cannot be met could signal the end for business that could otherwise have succeeded. Others find themselves unable to grow their operations owing to insufficient access to the necessary funds. The answer may appear to be simple: get a loan and grow your business. However, getting a small business loan isn’t always easy.   Tips for Super Organized Small Finances   Pic Courtesy: Solopreneurdiaries Getting a Bank Loan Since the recession, the FIDC has ensured that small businesses who apply for loans are subjected to very close scrutiny. The Dodd-Frank act of 2010 has effectively limited the possible sources of funding for small business. Many analysts feel that in doing so, economic recovery was slowed. Whether this is true or not, small businesses in need of additional capital often find themselves unable to secure conventional bank loans. But is a conventional loan best for your business? The convoluted application process takes a great deal of time and effort and few loans are granted. In addition, repayment terms are highly inflexible. Small businesses are increasingly turning towards alternative lenders in order to get the business finance they need quickly, successfully and under less onerous repayment terms than banks allow.   The SBA 7A Program   Pic Courtesy: Fundera   Getting the Small Business Administration to guarantee all or part of a bank loan might sound like a great idea in theory, but the program has been widely criticized for its limitations. Once again the application process is complex and lengthy and not all businesses can afford to wait up to three months to get finance approved — if it’s approved at all. Then too, the SBA isn’t actually offering the finance itself. The small business entrepreneur still has to work through a conventional bank and banks remain reluctant to supply credit to small businesses. By 2011 a Gallup survey found that although 88% of businesses had access to credit, only 29% were lending from banks despite the SBA program.   What Banks Don’t Take Into Account The main problem with getting bank loans is that banks want to see guarantees that you’ll be able to pay back the money. That’s fair enough, but instead of looking at how good your business’ chances of success are, they look at financial history. That makes things difficult for a newer business that doesn’t have the track record banks are looking for.     Remember, banks aren’t investors, they’re lenders. If the business or its owners don’t have the kind of credit history they’re looking for, they won’t issue the loan. Nowadays, financiers can use algorithms to project business income, but banks don’t use these tools when deciding whether you’ll get a loan.   Other Financing Options Getting finance fast, especially startup business loans, can be crucial to the survival and growth of small businesses, especially startup business loans. Since the banking sector isn’t making things easy for them, small business owners are increasingly turning to alternative sources of finance that offer them faster turnaround time, rate their creditworthiness based on the business itself and offer plans with flexible repayment options.   Merchant Cash Advances Businesses that handle a volume of over $5000 in monthly credit card transactions often choose the merchant cash...
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How to Choose the Right Digital Marketing Company

How to Choose the Right Digital Marketing Company
Here Is How Small Businesses Should Choose Digital Marketing Company!    Pic Courtesy: Pixabay   Digital marketing costs a fraction of what traditional marketing can cost your business; yet, it has the potential of bringing you big returns. That is a good enough reason to believe that digital marketing is indeed small business friendly. Think about it: An email is virtually free to send and it has one of the highest conversion rate among all digital and traditional marketing channels. Social media marketing has almost similar stats. Traditional marketing options can cost you hundreds and thousands of dollars. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on digital marketing – but you need to spend on a solid strategy. Businesses that spend on digital marketing strategy get bigger returns. For a small business, however, choosing a digital agency isn’t easy. While most won’t cater to your budget, others won’t understand your requirements. One wrong choice can turn your entire digital experience in to a disaster. So, here is a game plan that can help small businesses make the right choice. Digital Marketing Mastery: The Complete Beginners Course 1. Look for an Agency that Focuses on Small Business As a small business, the worst mistake you can make is aiming for the big fish. Don’t get it wrong. It is good to have bigger goals, but just because an agency has worked for successful international brands doesn’t mean it will take you to the same height. You need to find an agency that has worked with businesses just as small as yours and helped them evolve in to kind of brand you aim to become. In other words, go for a digital marketing agency that has written a success story for a business just like yours.     Keep in mind that bigger agencies go for bigger stunts and take bigger risks all because their clients i.e. bigger brands can afford it all. Their entire team has a different mindset and they may not be able to fully understand the implications of their ideas on your business. So, be realistic about your own business and find an agency that is a perfect fit for your budget. Ask for referrals and read reviews. Sit down with their team for consultation and ask questions about their clients and previous experience. Go with a team that focuses more on the management than money. Pic Courtesy: Reboot Online Marketing   2. An Agency with a Focus on Quality Would you rather go for an agency that promises every possible digital marketing service for dirt cheap rates or choose an agency that offers a refined set of services for a reasonable rate? For small businesses, it isn’t unusual to fall prey to the quantity over quality dilemma. Of course, you want to try every avenue to maximize your revenue. Don’t act on that impulse. More importantly, don’t choose an agency that feeds that impulse. Instead, try to seek help from professionals who understand what you need at any given time. For instance, it may be too early for your business to invest in paid marketing. May be your business doesn’t needs thousands of tweets before you reach a certain number of followers. And then it is about the quality of tweets and posts. It is better to go for a lower number of high quality posts rather than too many posts with no real value. Too many posts may actually annoy your followers and you will end up being blocked or flagged as spam. So, quality over quantity is more important for small businesses both in terms of digital channels you choose and the...
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