12 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Moving to a Small Town

Every year, thousands of city dwellers give up their frenetic lives and move to small towns in search of affordable housing and a more relaxed pace. They certainly find less hustle and bustle, but they soon discover that their quieter new life involves some trade-offs. We chatted with former big-city dwellers who learned that small-town living can come with a few surprises.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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Grubhub fees hurting small businesses, claims NYC council member

A New York City politician is pooh-poohing claims by food-delivery apps that they help mom-and-pop restaurants more than they hurt them. City Council Member Mark Gjonaj on Monday pushed back against a key claim by Grubhub, the parent company of Seamless, to justify the stiff fees it charges restaurants — namely, that customers who order…
Business | New York Post

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3 dead in small plane crash, authorities say

Three people were killed after a small plane crashed in Central Florida.
ABC News: Top Stories

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

No Emergency Fund? A Small Personal Loan May Be the Answer

An unexpected expense can be a major hurdle for many Americans. According to the Federal Reserve Bank, 40% of adults would not be able to cover an unexpected $ 400 expense without having to sell something or borrow money. And, over 25% of adults have skipped necessary medical care because they wouldn’t be able to afford the bill.

When it comes to relatively smaller expenses (i.e. not a mortgage, new car, or student loans), a small personal loan can make expensive surprises more manageable. Is a small personal loan the right option for you, or is there a better choice?

Who Can Benefit from Small Personal Loans?

If you don’t have emergency savings ready in the event of a car breakdown or some other costly event, then borrowing money may be the only way to cover your costs. A COUNTRY Financial® Security Index survey found a quarter of women, a quarter of African Americans, and over 35% of participants making under $ 30,000 per year were not confident they could pay their monthly bills within one month of losing their job. This means many people are living without emergency savings.

A small personal loan can cover a sick pet, a new washing machine, or even a major dental procedure for those without the extra cash on hand. It can also be a more cost-effective way to consolidate credit card debt.

How Much Money Can You Secure with a Small Personal Loan?

Lenders typically offer small personal loans of $ 5,000 or less. These loans are meant to be paid off within two or three years.

Since banks make money from interest, they would rather offer a loan to a person who wants to borrow much larger amounts of money. However, you can still find lenders willing to offer smaller loans.

Secured vs. Unsecured Personal Loans

What is the difference between a secured and unsecured personal loan? The answer is a lien. A lien is collateral, or an asset, such as a house or car, that the lender can take possession of if the loan can’t be paid. Many small personal loans are unsecured, so they don’t require collateral.

Fixed-Rate Loans

Most small personal loans have fixed interest rates, so the interest rate won’t change over the course of the loan. This keeps your payments predictable, though rates may be higher.

With variable-rate loans, you’ll only pay interest on what you borrow if you don’t borrow the full amount in your line of credit.

financial emergency

(Photo by Rob on stock.adobe.com)

Where Can You Find Small Personal Loan Lenders?

You can secure small personal loans through a number of institutions and organizations.

  • A national bank or “black bank” that serves African American communities
  • Your local credit union
  • Your employer (some employers offer employee loans)
  • Online lenders
  • Your local, nonprofit Community Loan Center

It’s best to use caution when searching online lenders since you’re more likely to find predatory lenders online than at your local credit union. In fact, online lenders are reported to charge higher interest rates on minorities, making 11 to 17% more in profits off minority borrowers. Companies like LendingTree or Lending Club are popular, but picking a lender requires much more due diligence.

While more banks are starting to offer small loans, a credit union is often the best option for access to small loans. Why credit unions? Unlike banks, credit unions are not-for-profit organizations owned by the members who use their services. Banks may ask for larger collateral to ensure loan repayments (e.g., your home or car), but credit unions make loans more accessible. Because they are not-for-profit, you’ll often find more reasonable interest rates. In addition, credit unions may be more likely to lend to individuals with lower credit scores.

However, not everyone is a member of a credit union, and you must be a member to qualify for a loan. Your research should include all available options to find the best loan.

Can You Get a Small Personal Loan If You Have Bad Credit? 

One of the biggest barriers to securing a loan is a bad credit score. Without good credit, a bank can’t be confident the borrower will repay the loan in full, if at all. Is it impossible to get a small personal loan with bad credit?

Not necessarily. A bank won’t be the easiest place to secure a personal loan with bad credit, but you can find online lenders who market to borrowers with a credit score of say, 550. Companies like MoneyMutual and CreditLoan.com offer short-term, small personal loans to borrowers with bad credit.

It’s important to remember the worse your credit score, the higher your interest rate may be on the loan. Before we speak to good payment habits, let’s first make sure you pick the right loan.

What to Look For in a Loan

When you shop for a loan, you should look for the following features:

  • Low-interest rates
  • Low origination fees (i.e., processing fees for a new loan)
  • Low monthly payments or longer repayment terms
  • Loans unsecured by collateral (if your credit is good)
  • Warning signs of predatory behavior
  • No hidden fees

What Are the Warning Signs of Predatory Lenders?

As you do a Google search for online lenders, you may find companies that guarantee a loan in return for a fee to be paid in advance. These advance fee loans are scams that should be avoided at all costs. No loan is absolutely guaranteed, and knowing this can help you avoid falling prey to bad practices.

How to Qualify for a Small Personal Loan 

Lenders will need specific information about your financial situation to determine if you are a “safe” borrower. As you apply for loans, you may be asked to provide:

  • Credit score
  • Employment information
  • Possible collateral
  • Bank account information
  • Proof of income or your last pay stub
  • A driver’s license or another form of identification
  • Credit union membership if applying through a credit union

If you meet the criteria set by the lender, you should prepare the documentation and send an application. Once your application is sent and approved, you can begin your repayments.

Best Practices for Repaying Your Loan

Repaying your small personal loan on time will not only keep missed payments from compounding, but it will also help your credit score. Healthy financial choices will help you pay off your loan faster.

  • Keep a Calendar—The best way to make sure you don’t miss a payment is to keep a calendar or set payment alerts to your phone. When life happens, it’s easy to forget about due dates.
  • Pay Online—If you have a checking account, then it’s more convenient to make payments and check your balance online.
  • Pay Extra—No, not more than your loan amount. Pay a bit more than your minimum payment each month (if possible) to pay off your loan faster and avoid more interest.
  • Make Payments More Frequently—Instead of paying one large sum each month, use a percentage of your bi-weekly salary payments to make smaller payments more frequently.
  • Ask for Help—A debt counselor can help you manage your debt and pay off your debts faster. If you need more time to pay off your loan, ask your creditor if a longer repayment term is possible. There’s always help available.
small personal loans

(Photo by DragonImages on stock.adobe.com)

Alternatives to Small Personal Loans

The Pew Research Center reports African Americans are more likely to borrow and lend money from/to family and friends than white and Hispanic Americans. Whether it’s less access to loans or trust in community over banks, African Americans are more likely to find alternative ways to secure capital.

Though, are all alternative options reliable? Is financing in the form of a payday loan a better option than a small personal loan? Are credit cards a better option? And what other options exist?

What Are Payday Loans?

Payday loans are very small, high-interest loans that assume the borrower will repay the loan at the time of their next paycheck. Nearly anyone can get a payday loan, including borrowers with bad credit.

These loans are commonly maxed at $ 500, and full repayment is typically due within two to four weeks. They can be repaid using regular income or your social security or pension payments.

When you get a payday loan, you can authorize an electronic debit or write a post-dated check up front for the amount of the loan (and any fees) and give it to the creditor to be withdrawn or cashed on the loan’s due date.

However, this type of loan is not legal in every state, and there are many reasons why you shouldn’t consider one.

Payday loans generally ask for a $ 15 to 30 fee per $ 100 borrowed. In addition, if you opt for the check or electronic authorization not to go through on payday, then that amount will roll over to the next month and grow interest. It’s not hard to see why this is seen as a predatory loan, since many people who need small personal loans are already tight on cash each month. Add growing interest each month, and you could end up with an even larger amount of debt.

Small Personal Loan or Credit Card?

The two may not seem so different at first; both borrow money or credit and pay it off on a certain date with corresponding interest rates. However, there are very important differences to consider.

Credit cards are extremely convenient, and secured credit cards can help those with poor or little credit build their credit score. However, credit cards typically have higher interest rates than personal loans.

You should also consider that your credit card is still available even after you have repaid the debt. A small personal loan goes away. Depending on your financial goals and spending habits, that can be a good or bad thing. However, credit card accounts that are open and age over time help your credit score. And, many credit cards can give you helpful cash back rewards on certain purchases.

Other Ways to Secure Money

If you don’t want to borrow money and have debt in the back of your mind (especially if you already have student loan debt and other monthly payments), then you should consider finding assistance in other organizations. Nonprofits and religious organizations may be willing to help with certain finances depending on your circumstances. Speak to your employer, family, friends, and even the mechanic fixing your car to see if there is alternative financing, discounts, or flexible options for securing funds.

Shop Responsibly

If $ 1,000 or $ 3,000 is all you need to avoid a broken appliance or a worsening medical condition, then think about small personal loans you can repay in small increments over the course of a few years. While you shop, remember to look for the best rates and avoid offers that seem too good to be true.

Money | Black Enterprise

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I.R.S. Offers Deal to Small Insurance Companies Under Scrutiny

The offer pertains to captive insurance, a way to insure against risks not covered by traditional means. But it has created an incentive for tax avoidance.
NYT > Your Money

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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

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Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Corporations can follow different rules in small claims court

Dear John: Corporations no longer have to hire an attorney in small claims court. Any officer of the corporation can represent them. I doubt if the officers of large corporations would bother. They would use an attorney, but they do not have to. Love your column. S.A. Dear S.A.: Thanks for the update. I haven’t…
Business | New York Post

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International investors take a small step back from US commercial real estate

International investors became net sellers of commercial real estate this year for the first time since 2012. There was no one country accounting for the change, instead a small pullback in purchases that changed the investment equation.
Real Estate

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America’s Most Colorful Small Towns

While some small towns are termed “colorful” by virtue of their eclectic residents and lively local scene, others earn the label from their eye-popping residential and commercial buildings that inject visual verve into everyday life. If you’re a traveler in search of many-colored marvels, click through for our picks for the most vibrant small towns from coast to coast.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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NYC condo owner allegedly converted small apartment into 11 tiny units

A New York City condominium owner illegally converted his one-unit apartment into a duplex with 11 cramped sub-units, some of which had ceilings just 4 1/2 feet high, forcing his tenants to crouch or walk on their knees, officials alleged. 
FOX News

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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

‘Plight’ of small businesses felt across New York City

New York City has many small businesses, but a business expert says city government often hasn’t a clue about their problems. According to Thomas Grech, executive director of the Queens County Chamber of Commerce, “The city doesn’t get the challenges of small businesses, such as paying a minimum $ 15-an-hour wage. It just thinks of small…
Business | New York Post

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Alibaba will allow US small businesses to sell

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings will now allow small businesses in the United States to sell on Alibaba the company said on Tuesday, an effort to tap into the business-to-business e-commerce market and fend off fierce competition from rivals like Amazon. Roughly one-third of buyers on Alibaba are US-based. More than 95 percent of…
Business | New York Post

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Nifty to Be Thrifty! Stars Who Can Be Small Spenders

Saving money is popular among celebs like Chrissy Teigen and Kourtney Kardashian. The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star is a fan of sustainable fashion, while the Cravings author loves indulging in treats from budget-friendly grocery stores like Trader Joe’s.

The Lip Sync Battle host has been open about her money saving hacks — including a trick she used while dating now-husband, John Legend. “On one of our earliest dates, I took him to Daniel (four dollar signs on Yelp, ahhh!),” she wrote in Glamour. “I drank a $ 40 margarita, ate salmon rillettes (fancy salmon spread), and prayed my card wouldn’t be declined.”

She continued by explaining how she learned to save money on meals. “I couldn’t afford to take him out to more dinners like that, so I started cooking more and more at home for us. I started with my own version of that salmon spread, then roasted whole branzino, osso buco, chipotle BBQ chicken.”

And she’s not the only star who’s been candid about saving money. Ashley Greene admitted to Marie Claire in 2012 that she still flies economy — even after Twilight’s success.

“It is just not worth it to buy a first-class ticket because of the cost,” she said at the time, adding that she learned how to stick to a budget from her parents. “I’m lucky because my dad taught me to be frugal and save. And that’s important because I want to know that I don’t have to take an acting job for two or three years if I don’t want to and that I’ll still be able to make my house and car payments and buy food for my dogs.”

Keep scrolling to see how big-name stars save money!

Us Weekly

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New program to strengthen diverse small businesses

PORTLAND, Ore. — Today, Kaiser Permanente introduced the Portland metro area’s first Inner City Capital Connections program. ICCC is an initiative designed to support small businesses and promote inclusive economic prosperity.

Kaiser Permanente is funding local businesses’ participation in this tuition-free, 40-hour mini-MBA program that combines executive education, webinars, coaching and connection to capital. Starting today, businesses can apply using the online application form, or anyone wishing to nominate a small business can use the online nomination form.

“Economic vitality is a key contributor to good health, yet not everyone has access to the same opportunities,” said Ruth Williams-Brinkley, regional president for Kaiser Permanente in the Northwest. “We know life expectancy can differ by as much as 20 years in neighborhoods only about five miles apart from one another, and income is one of the major contributors to that gap in health. In driving small-business growth, ICCC improves not only the health prospects of the business owners and their employees, but of their entire communities.”

ICCC was created by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, a national nonprofit research and advisory organization. ICCC has a demonstrated record of success across the country. For example, since 2005, 2,221 ICCC alumni have averaged 160% growth in revenue, created 19,907 jobs, and raised $ 1.92 billion in capital.

The program starts with an opening seminar taught by professors from leading business schools such as Dartmouth College, Harvard University, and Northwestern University. After completing the opening seminar, business owners will continue their learning for three to six months through online training courses and business advising from banking and consulting firms.

The program culminates in a national conference, where ICCC participants can pitch for capital in “kinder, gentler shark tank sessions” and get immediate feedback from a panel of experienced capital providers.

“Access to capital is a key component to economic vitality, and increasing opportunities for underrepresented business owners puts us on a path to economic vitality and economic equity,” said Jarvez Hall, executive director of East Metro Economic Alliance. “Programs like this help to revitalize communities and create growth from the inside, with businesses that hire people in their local communities. The economic multiplier effect is tremendous, and we are not only investing in business, but we are investing in communities.”  

Nominations and applications

Program qualifications

A business must meet the following criteria to be eligible for participation in ICCC:

  • Be an independent, for-profit or nonprofit corporation, partnership or proprietorship.
  • Have its headquarters or more than 51% of its physical operations located in an economically distressed area, or have more than 40% of employees residing in an economically distressed area.
  • Be past the survival stage — Initiative for a Competitive Inner City typically works with businesses with annual revenues of at least $ 500,000.
  • Have been in operation for two years or more, and past the proof-of-concept stage — start-up companies are not eligible for this program.

On a case-by-case basis, ICCC will consider businesses that do not meet all the specified criteria on the recommendation of a nominator.

About Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC)

ICIC is a national, nonprofit research and advisory organization founded in 1994. ICIC’s mission is to drive economic prosperity in America’s inner cities through private sector investment to create jobs, income and wealth for local residents. www.icic.org

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 12.3 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.

For more information, contact:
debbie.a.karman@kp.org
p: 503-813-4060

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Small business confidence remains high, Main Street sees more good times ahead: CNBC survey

Small business confidence remains high, according to the latest CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey. Main Street sees more good times ahead, but a tight job market is among business conditions keeping optimism below a 2018 record level.
Small Business

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Black-Owned Businesses You Can Support During Small Business Week

It’s National Small Business Week! That’s right, there’s a whole week dedicated to supporting small businesses. There are a ton of events around the week, including a free 2-day online seminar to help small business, Twitter chats, hackathons and more.

According to NIelsen, the Black community has a combined $ 1.2 trillion in buying power which is more than enough to support a lot of #buyingblack. Also, according to a national small business survey, Black-owned businesses are among the fastest-growing in the nation, with a 400% increase in new Black businesses from 2017 to 2018.

Here are some small Black businesses you can support this week:

DETROIT, MI:

Detroit Vegan Soul 

Business: Food

Owned by Chef Erika Boyd and Kirsten Ussery

About: “Detroit Vegan Soul was born out of our desire to make good, healthy food accessible to everyone, and to break the cycle of diet related diseases in our families and community. We started our journey in February 2012 with a meal delivery and catering company which served the greater Downtown Detroit area. The response was overwhelming!” (via their website)

ATLANTA, GA:

Abielle Creations

Business: Apparel

Owned by Melissa Mitchell

Mitchell is self-taught artist who has created over 500 art pieces including 40 murals. In 2016, she turned her art into wearable creations and has since been featured in Vogue and worked with Lupita N’yong’o and reality star Yandy Smith.

BROOKLYN, N.Y. 

Lit Brooklyn 

Business: Home Decor

Owner: Denequa Williams

“Smartest decision I ever made for myself was surrounding myself with goal chasers, hard workers, and people who continue to shock themselves with the accolades and accomplishments that they receive. All of my friends are killing it, in some shape and form, and that encourages me and pushes me to be the best version of myself daily.” (Essence.com)

 

BROOKLYN, N.Y. 

Scotch Porter 

Business: Personal Grooming

Owner: Calvin Quallis

“Transformation is a powerful concept. It’s the feeling you get when the barber finishes a fresh cut, removes the cape, brushes you off and hands you the mirror to reveal the cleanest version of you. Like magic, your swagger soars to 100, and you’re ready to take on the world.

“That feeling is what inspired me to quit my cushy corporate job to follow my passion for making people feel their best. I started small, opening a barber shop in my neighborhood just as my mother had done when I was a kid. From my kitchen, I began experimenting with botanicals and other ingredients that have NOT been clinically shown to be toxic or carcinogenic, creating products to solve the problems our customers talked about.

We’re married to the idea that men should be able to take care of themselves and not have to break the bank. That they shouldn’t have to use products packed with harmful chemicals just to look and feel like a boss,” – Calvin Quallis.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN

Breakfast Bar

Business: Food

Owners: Lamont Bowens, Nijm Boyd

Open since March 2019

“Minnesota has a lot of opportunity for Black entreprenuers, from non-profits to city and state programs. We’ve inspired a lot of people by what we’ve done,” Lamont Bowles, interview.

PHILADELPHIA, PA

Waisted Society

Business: Apparel

Owner: Sharonda Frazier, @WaistedSociety

“I started Waisted Society on July 20th 2018! I never imagined the success I only prayed for it! As we are nearing our first year, I’m feeling an immense amount of gratitude! I have reached people in 10 states including my own Pennsylvania. I have lifted and encouraged complete strangers! I have received countless gifts and blessings along this journey and God keep surprising me! I’m so dedicated to this brand and its growth it comforts me! – Sharonda Frazier via @crownthyselfllc

 

 

LOS ANGELES, CA 

Marathon Clothing Company 

Business: Apparel

Owners:  Ermias Ashegedom, Samiel Ashegedom (and other partners)

If you were angered, saddened, moved, or all three by the murder of Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle, you can still support his mission and his family via his Marathon Clothing Store.

“The best thing you can do for a person is to inspire them. That’s the best currency you can offer: inspiration. So, when a person can rely on you for that, that empowers them in every realm of their life. Being inspired. It empowers them in their relationships, in their business, in their art, in their creativity. It empowers them because without inspiration, you’re dry.” – Nipsey Hussle

NOTE: Understandably, Marathon is currently experiencing a backlog, so if you want to support, please be patient.

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NATIONWIDE:

Hammer and Nails; 10 locations, 7 on the way

Owner: Mike Eliot

Business: Personal Services

While it may now be a growing success story, Hammer and Nails did begin with one Hollywood location. Owner Mike Eliot envisioned a manicure/pedicure experience for men in an atmosphere they would relate to. They did, and now it’s a nationwide business with franchising options for other potential owners. Eliot started the company in 2013. After appearing on Shark Tank and being rejected, former screenwriter Eliot was able to raise 175K from investors who saw him on the show.

“Part of the motivation is to create opportunities for people like me. I wanted to create a business that could be replicated, and empower other African-Americans and other people to go into business for themselves and devote my time to helping them succeed. You can grow quickly through franchising, but it is also a way to impact other people’s lives.” Mike Eliot, Forbes.com

Click here for a more comprehensive directory of Black-owned businesses nationwide.

PHOTO: Sharonda Frazier for Waisted Society


HEAD BACK TO THE BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM HOMEPAGE

Life & Style – Black America Web

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How to Advertise Your Small Business

With the influx of businesses
competing in the same market and large companies broadcasting inspiring and
memorable advertisements every other week, creating a marketing strategy that
allows your business to stand out can be difficult. Whether you have a new
business and are looking to create your marketing strategy for the first time
or you have an existing business and you want to try a new strategy to increase
profits, it’s worthwhile to explore the best ways to get noticed by your target
market.

In this post, we lay out some of the ways businesses can
market their products or services to customers and cover a few important
factors you should consider when choosing how to advertise a business.

Preparing to Advertise Your Business

From the expert accountant who relies solely on
word-of-mouth to the e-commerce company that uses a wide range of digital
marketing tactics to reach its customers, nearly all businesses use some form
of advertising and promotion to attract new customers and earn a profit.

Choosing the proper advertising method for your business can
come down to a number of factors, including:

  • Your business needs. Determining what your business needs are will help you choose the right advertising strategy. For instance, an experienced attorney with a long list of potential clients to call back may not need a detailed marketing strategy, but a new startup likely will.
  • Your budget. You may be interested in setting up several methods for promoting your business, but if you don’t have the budget to afford them, you may be out of luck. From radio ads and TV commercials to paid Google ads or billboards, it typically costs money to promote your business, which is why it’s important to review your advertising budget and consider it when forming your marketing strategy.
  • Your target market. This could also be described as your target audience, and it includes knowing details about your customers, such as their age, level of education, relationship status, and more, and how these details impact their shopping practices. It can also include the methods your target audience uses to find information (such as online, by newspaper, word-of-mouth, etc.) or how your product or service may be perceived by your potential customers (like whether it would be considered a necessity or novelty, expensive or cheap, and more). Building your advertising strategy (as well as your branding strategy) around a specific target audience is a common and useful marketing strategy.

For many, it may be ideal to evaluate your marketing strategy by starting with a Business Plan. A Business Plan is a planning document that new or established business owners use to outline their company goals, objectives, internal structure, marketing plan, and more. It helps owners map out their business’ needs and profit strategy in a clear, easy-to-read format, so they can make changes or decisions, secure investor funding, or create a well-rounded marketing strategy.

How Do I Advertise My Business?

There are several methods a business can use to advertise,
for example:

  • Word-of-mouth. When someone tells their mom to try a new detergent or their friend to buy a certain facial moisturizer, this is word-of-mouth marketing (sometimes called WOMM). WOMM is sometimes disregarded or forgotten because of how informal it can seem, but it is still an effective way of publicizing your products to potential consumers. In fact, studies show that nearly 85% of individuals trust recommendations for products from friends and, even more surprising, over 90% of individuals trust endorsements from strangers.
  • Print ads. This can include ads found in a newspaper, brochures or handouts provided at an event, direct mail flyers, and more. The costs for these ads can vary depending on the type of ad you want (visual, text-based, or both) and how you plan on disseminating it to customers (in person, by mail, etc.).
  • Outside ads. This includes billboards, bus shelters, and other advertisements found offline and out in the real world. Although consumers aren’t viewing billboards and bus ads the same as they did before the internet, there are ways (such as using short, impactful phrases and evocative, unobtrusive imagery) to have your outdoor advertisement stand out and be successful.
  • Radio and television commercials. Radio and television advertisements are an effective way of communicating to potential customers at certain times of the day, like on their ride to or from work or while potential consumers are watching an evening news program. However, online (and sometimes ad-free) digital music services and TV and movie streaming sites may mean this form of advertising doesn’t have the reach it once did, and it may be best if business owners supplement radio and television ads with other marketing methods.
  • Social media marketing. Social media marketing involves advertising on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms. It can take the shape of a general post or tweet about a product, an overview of your company, or a specific promotion, like a contest, free giveaway, or an event. Keep in mind, engagement on social media posts has dropped over recent years, so using social media marketing as the sole way to promote your business is not recommended. 
  • Paid ads on a search engine platform. CPC (sometimes called PPC) stands for cost-per-click and this refers to a type of advertising provided by search engines like Google and Bing. It involves websites paying for keywords so that their ads will show to users when they search for those words in a search engine. Although CPC is good method for finding new leads, businesses using CPC can end up paying hefty amounts to secure quality, related keywords for their advertisements, and it may not be a good method for those with a smaller budget.
  • Search engine optimization. Search engine optimization (SEO) is similar to CPC in that it uses keywords to appear on search engines like Google and Bing and to attract customers. The difference is that SEO is free to those who take the time to learn how to do it. This is a great strategy for many businesses who need to advertise at a lower cost. However, it can be challenging to implement without some understanding of digital marketing best practices.

Choosing a Marketing Strategy for Your Business

Depending on the type of business you own, current market
trends, your target audience, and more, some advertising methods may be more
suitable at promoting your business than others. Choosing the right marketing
and advertising strategy for your business is a delicate balance between
considering your business’ needs, goals, target market, and budget to find the
best combination of methods that work for your business.

The post How to Advertise Your Small Business appeared first on LawDepot Blog.

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Living Large in a Small Condo

Photo by Larry Arnal

UNDERSTAND HOW YOU LIVE and how you will utilize your space. If you always eat at the kitchen island, maybe you don’t need a kitchen table. Work from home? Then maybe a desk is more important than a kitchen table.

BUY FURNITURE that is the right scale for your space. That means measuring every room. Hiring a designer or decorator will help you with space planning to ensure every inch is properly utilized.

MULTI-FUNCTIONAL FURNISHINGS are key. Look for beds with additional storage underneath or sofas that convert to a guest bed.

CONSIDER A LUCITE or glass coffee table that give off the illusion of space.

BRIGHT LIGHTING will open up the space. Conserve floor space by adding sconces instead of floor lamps.

INCORPORATE PRETTY STORAGE baskets and bins to hide magazines, throws, cushions and any seasonal items to reduce clutter.

Tip by Designer Christine Da Costa, www.decorbychristine.com

The post Living Large in a Small Condo appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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Scouted: QuickBooks Is Essential for Any Small Business Owner, and This $19 Master Class Can Help Get the Most Out of It

Quickbooks has quickly become one of the most popular programs to keep small businesses’ expenses and budgets in check, but it can get pretty overwhelming pretty quickly. This 7-hour class can help you and your business find your footing during this tax season and for the rest of 2019.

Using Quickbook’s data, business owners can easily create reports, summaries, and analyses to keep track of customer data, vendor information, and employee progress. This class can help make all of that data more easily digestible and can even help you make sense of the financial reports and bank statements that are logged in Quickbook’s program. It’ll even help you unlock some of the newest powerful features in the 2019 version of the software.

You’ll be able to create and access important information easily, which will make the process of understanding your business’s profits, tracking loans, and staying ahead of the curve for tax season a piece of cake. Let this course untangle that web of spreadsheets for you.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

WATCH: World News 02/04/19: 5 Killed When Small Plane Crashes Into California Home

Top US general: Political talks with Taliban are ‘positive’; Liam Neeson shares story about looking for a black person to kill
ABC News: World News Tonight

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Small plane crashes into residential neighborhood in Southern California

ABC News

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

1.25.19 Small business tax law changes; Clark Stinks

Clark talks about how the new(ish) tax law will affect small business owners; Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a “Clark Stinks” to share you can leave it here

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Watch the video

The post 1.25.19 Small business tax law changes; Clark Stinks appeared first on Clark Howard.

clark.com

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Back To School Sale – Get up to 40% OFF stylish footwear at Payless.com

Higher Health Insurance Costs for Small Businesses Coming in 2019?

A recent ruling by a Texas federal judge insisting the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—otherwise known as Obamacare—is unconstitutional is potentially bad news for millions of small businesses, the national advocacy group Small Business Majority maintains. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor agreed with an alliance of 20 states that a change in tax law last year eliminating a penalty for not having health insurance nullified the overall ACA.

‘Obamacare’ will continue to remain in effect for now. The case could be appealed and possibly reach the U.S. Supreme Court, observers say. They say that process could take months or even years.

The ruling occurred a day before the deadline for Americans to sign up for coverage in the federal insurance exchange created under the ACA. Roughly 11.8 million U.S. consumers enrolled in 2018 healthcare exchange plans, the federal agency Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported.

The ruling has “no impact to current coverage or coverage in a 2019 plan,” Seema Verma, the administrator for the Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that oversees ACA, tweeted.

Former President Barack Obama posted on Facebook that Obamacare will “likely”  survive the judge’s ruling. He urged people to proceed with open enrollment and get coverage.



President Donald Trump saluted the decision as “great news for America,” boasting that Congress will now create a “great” healthcare plan, though that will likely be difficult if large numbers of the pool of uninsured Americans opt not to pay for insurance.


However, the Small Business Majority says the ruling’s impact could hit entrepreneurs, including black small businesses owners soon.

“While this federal court decision does not change the status of the ACA right now, it injects a degree of uncertainty into the ACA marketplaces that many entrepreneurs depend on for quality, affordable health insurance,” Simon Brown, a spokesman at Small Business Majority, told Black Enterprise.

“That uncertainty could cause consumers to leave the marketplaces, meaning prices could rise for those who continue to buy insurance through ACA marketplaces.”

John Arensmeyer, Small Business Majority founder & CEO, added through the ACA’s individual mandate penalty was previously repealed, its remaining components must be upheld in full because the law is absolutely critical to the success of small businesses, their employees and solo entrepreneurs.

Before Obamacare became law in 2010, the Small Business Majority says small businesses and their employees represented a disproportionate share of uninsured workers, and small business owners paid 18% more on average for coverage than larger companies.

Yet, the growth in small business healthcare costs slowed dramatically since 2010, occurring after regular double-digit gains before the law’s enactment. The law made health insurance more affordable for smaller firms, resulting in many entrepreneurs launching their own businesses.

More than 5.7 million small business employees or self-employed workers are enrolled in the ACA marketplaces, and more than half of all ACA marketplace enrollees nationwide are small business owners, self-employed individuals or small business employees, the Small Business Majority states.

Plus, the advocacy group says the law has enabled most states to expand their Medicaid programs, allowing low-income small business employees and entrepreneurs to obtain health coverage.

Arensmeyer says ending the ACA would be an unmitigated disaster for America’s entrepreneurs.

“For the good of America’s job creators, the constitutionality of the ACA must be upheld, and we hope this decision is immediately appealed.”

 

The post Higher Health Insurance Costs for Small Businesses Coming in 2019? appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

12.28.18 Foster kids at risk; Warning for small biz owners; Car leasing costs going up

As foster care kids reach adulthood, difficulties mount; A warning to small business owners about expired URL’s and how they can be commandeered; Leasing a car is getting even more costly than it has been.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Watch the video
clark.com

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Back To School Sale – Get up to 40% OFF stylish footwear at Payless.com

How To Shop Small Business Saturday

If Black Friday and Cyber Monday’s emphasis on consumerism is just too much for you, there is a viable option to search for unique Christmas gifts while supporting local, small and Black businesses. The less popular Small Business Saturday option encourages shoppers to patronize small businesses, whether in person or online. Here are a few tips to make the best of the day.

Stay local:

Small businesses tend to depend on foot traffic as opposed to the big advertising budgets that big box stores and department stores can command. Seek out the stores in your city or are that are part of the main street or shopping area instead of the mall.

These stores are often either run by craftsmen and women local to the area, or they buy from them. Jewelry, personal care gifts and clothing are usually what they have to offer, so focus your shopping for those items on those stores instead of the big retailers.

Buy Black:

Black-owned retailers often struggle to get the attention of consumers in a crowded marketplace. With super sales going on through the holiday weekend, it’s hard for smaller businesses to find their audience.

If you can, this is a great time to support them, whether in person or online, as many of these smaller businesses don’t have brick and mortar stores. Also, don’t forget Instagram, where a number of online retailers have handmade crafts, jewelry, fitness, clothing and food businesses. Try the hashtag #blackowned to see what might be available.

Here’s one list of Black-owned businesses. 

Eat at a local restaurant, not a chain.

All this holiday shopping can work up quite an appetite. But instead of going to your local Applebee’s, check out a local small restaurant instead. Most folks know the Black-owned restaurant in their area, and if you don’t, you can usually find them via the city’s visitor’s center. Philadelphia, for example, has a listing of the city’s Black-owned businesses, including restaurants. If you call the local visitor’s center in most cities, they can identify the local Black-owned businesses as well.

Give to charity, business or support a cause.

Although it’s technically not small business, there are local and national charities that could use your help. As it’s getting close to the end of the year, it makes fiscal sense to give. You can choose to give to a small business by using Kiva, a micro-lending service that helps small businesses directly.

You can look through a bunch of pitches both locally and around the world and find a business you want to support, with as little as $ 15. You can also support a GoFundMe – recent ones have included money for Jamel Roberson’s family and Aisha Fraser’s daughters,

You can also give to deserving causes like the Tom Joyner Foundation, which supports HBCU’s, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Urban League, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or The Innocence Project, which helps wrongfully convicted prisoners get new trials.


HEAD BACK TO THE BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM HOMEPAGE

 

 

Life & Style – Black America Web

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The best towns and small cities in the US: Ithaca, New York state

This progressive lakeside town has gone its own way since the hippy years: we showcase its best bars, live music venues and restaurants

In this series: Eugene, Oregon | Chapel Hill, North Carolina | Portland, Maine | Ventura, California | Missoula, Montana

Outside City Hall is Ithaca’s smallest park. It’s the size of a parking space: the mayor’s parking space, to be precise. When the 24-year-old Svante Myrick was elected five years ago, he gave up his car, decorated the spot with benches and plants and welcomed all and sundry to use it as they pleased.

Continue reading…
Travel | The Guardian

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How to Make Small Windows Appear Larger

If your home has multiple high egress or small windows, it can be difficult to leverage natural sunlight and distract from your interior design. Many homeowners have this struggle. Small windows are a frequent feature of homes built in the ’60s and ’70s. But like shag carpet, this trend is no longer stylish.

There are multiple options to disguise, reframe, and dress windows that can dramatically impact your home. Color, trim, and cleverly hung treatments can all improve a room with small windows.

Ditch the Dark Curtains and Shades

If you have a room with less-than-luxurious windows, you need to maximize the natural light available. Avoid dark curtains and shades, which can block out or absorb light. This can make your windows appear even smaller. Opt for sheer or light-colored curtains to let the light shine through.  

Manipulate Height and Width  

There is no hard rule about hanging curtains three inches above the frame. Create a floor-to-ceiling effect by installing long drapes just below the junction where the ceiling meets the wall. You can also add more width using a longer curtain rod, and hang the drapes at each end. Both effects play tricks on the eyes, making it difficult to decipher where the window starts and ends.

This tactic can also be used with blinds. Look for blinds that measure three to four inches longer than the window on each side. This technique is a great choice for odd-sized windows, especially if you want a material that can’t easily fit custom spaces, like woven blinds.

Add Embellishments to Moldings and Trim

Decorative window moldings, like an entablature and side casing, help add gravity to diminutive window styles. If Victorian is not your style, consider a wide Craftsman molding or flat, ranch-style casing. Both provide a more subtle and minimalist look that still allows your windows to pop.

Install Plantation Shutters Over the Window

Installing a set of tall, wooden interior shutters over a small opening fools the eye into thinking there is actually more space. Try this trick on very small windows where other window treatments wouldn’t work— like a basement access window or a small privacy window in a bathroom.

Play With Patterns

Horizontal stripes in clothing are not ideal if you’re trying to appear extra svelte, and the same principle applies to your window treatments. If you want a window to look taller, opt for long, vertically-oriented patterns that will draw the eye upward.

Want to make a window appear wider? Select horizontal patterns that will give that extra-wide, luxurious appearance.

Harness the Power of Mirrors

One of the biggest disadvantages to tiny windows is that they can put a damper on your room’s light. Reflect the sunlight you do receive by installing a large mirror beneath or across from the window. The glass reflecting the light tricks the eye into thinking that there’s more, creating a lighter and airier space than before.

Place Furniture Wisely

A small, high window can appear out of place without the proper furniture surrounding it. Placing a desk, hallway table, or bureau just below the window helps frames it and makes it look like the window is exactly where it belongs.

Paint Trim the Same Color as the Walls

Contrasting trim is a staple in most homes, but with smaller windows, painted trim can shrink the appearance of windows. Instead, choose a color that matches the wall. This will give your wall a more fluid, integrated feel. Without multiple elements breaking up the space, it will seem larger overall.

Purchase New Windows

You don’t need to settle for teensy windows in your home. Window openings can usually be expanded to accommodate larger models that will provide a wider, more expansive feel. Large picture or casement windows will add more sunlight to your home, and improve the overall value of your home as well.

The post How to Make Small </br> Windows Appear Larger appeared first on Modernize.

Modernize

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Small Business Owners Ready to Hit Ballot Box Big Time in Midterm Elections

When it comes to the midterm elections in November, small business owners will be more registered to vote than the overall population.

That, at least, is among the findings of a new survey by Thumbtack, an online service for small businesses. The survey indicated 85% of small business owners surveyed report being registered to vote, versus 70% of all Americans signed up to vote.

Further, 93% of small business owners who are registered to vote say they “definitely” or “probably” will do so, while only 88% of registered voters nationwide say the same, a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll shows.

The survey showed 17.1% of small business owner respondents reported the No. 1 issue in determining their vote this November is the economy and taxes. Some 5.8% named healthcare as their top issue, making those the most important issues for nearly one-third of small business owners. There are roughly 30 million small businesses in the nation.

“Small business owners continue to tell us they want their representatives to focus on the issues that impact their businesses and their families like the economy and healthcare,” said Thumbtack Head of Public Policy, Kellyn Blossom stated in a press release.

“Small business owners are going to be a crucial constituency for every campaign this November. They care deeply about what affects their communities and plan to turn out in large numbers to vote.”

Thumbtack surveyed 980 small business owners from late August and early September nationally in hundreds of categories, including electricians, music teachers, wedding planners, and wellness professionals to name few. Entrepreneurs were asked about their voter registration status, plans to vote in the upcoming election, and the issues guiding their political preferences.

Additionally, Thumbtack and the Small Business Roundtable are partnering to make sure business owners’ voices will be heard this election.

The Small Business Roundtable is a membership-based group comprised of the Small Business Entrepreneurship Council, National Association of Women Business Owners, National Association for the Self Employed, U.S. Black Chambers Inc., National Small Business Association, and Asian / Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship.

 

The post Small Business Owners Ready to Hit Ballot Box Big Time in Midterm Elections appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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