Thursday, April 8th, 2021

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Source: Fields gets 2nd pro day; 49ers expected

Ohio State is slated to have a second pro day on April 14, giving teams such as the San Francisco 49ers another chance to see quarterback Justin Fields in person, a source told ESPN.

The post Source: Fields gets 2nd pro day; 49ers expected appeared first on Buy It At A Bargain – Deals And Reviews.

What is IaaS? How Does it Affect Your e-Commerce Site?

Cloud computing has taken over in recent years, and it offers many opportunities for businesses and users. The terminology can be a little complex though, and like with many IT-related things, there are lots of acronyms that get thrown around. 

IaaS is one acronym you might have seen, but what does it mean, and how can it affect your e-commerce store? 

Along with PaaS and SaaS, these acronyms describe the different ways businesses can use cloud technology, and choosing the right one for your e-commerce store can make a big difference.

What IaaS Means for Your Website

If you’re creating a website today, there’s a good chance it’s going to be hosted in the cloud. Very few companies maintain their own servers; instead, they rely on third-party companies to take care of many elements of their online presence. 

The distinction between IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), and SaaS (Software as a Service) is crucial because it dictates what level of control you have over your website. 

For some businesses, particularly those with large, complex e-commerce sites, infrastructure as a service will likely be the best option because it allows for greater flexibility and control. 

Every day, more and more businesses move their infrastructure to the cloud, and it’s important they understand how best to use it to get the best results. IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS are simply ways of describing how you use the cloud—and each business will do this slightly differently. 

Today, 90% of businesses use the cloud. According to some estimates, cloud data centers will soon process 94% of workloads.

This means it’s vitally crucial for businesses to understand what they’re investing in and how they can make the most of cloud computing. 

Cloud Computing: IaaS Vs. SaaS Vs. PaaS Vs. Serverless Computing

When it comes to cloud computing, it can seem like you’re constantly being bombarded by acronyms. Actually, IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS are useful distinctions that can help you run your e-commerce store more efficiently

Cloud computing is all about allowing you to take care of the bits you’re good at and leaving the rest to professionals. Each business has different skill sets, so they’re going to use the cloud in different ways

For example, in a bootstrapped business, the owner might be building the entire website with limited funds. In this case, they might only want to focus on the basics of creating a functional, appealing store and leave aspects such as runtime, servers, and storage to an external company. 

On the other hand, a big multinational business may have a host of developers and IT professionals capable of handling more complex functions. 

IaaS, SaaS, PaaS, and Serverless Computing give businesses the flexibility to control different parts of the cloud. 

IaaS

IaaS is the cloud-based alternative to maintaining on-site infrastructure. Whereas in the past, businesses would have had their own data centers. Today, it can be much more efficient to utilize the cloud.

Maintaining your own IT infrastructure can be costly, and most businesses don’t have the skills to do this without an external company’s help. With IaaS, businesses don’t need to maintain their infrastructure. Instead, they pay to use a third-party’s servers, networking technology, storage, and data center space.

For businesses running e-commerce sites, this means they don’t have to worry about the highly technical aspects of running a web application and they don’t have to invest in expensive infrastructure. Instead, they pay for access to infrastructure through the cloud through companies like AWS, IBM, and Rackspace.

IaaS provider Rackspace

While things like storage and networking are taken care of by the third party, this option still leaves you in charge of the following aspects:

  • applications 
  • data
  • runtime
  • middleware 
  • O/S

This is important for larger businesses because it gives them much more control over how they run their site, while still offering a scalable, cost-effective solution. 

PaaS

Like IaaS, PaaS leaves key components such as physical compute, network, storage, and virtualization to the provider. However, with PaaS, you also outsource runtime, middleware, and O/S. 

As the name suggests, PaaS gives you the platform to develop, run, and manage applications without having to take care of the infrastructure behind it. 

While this means you have less to worry about, and need fewer technical skills, it also means you have less control over how you run your e-commerce site than with IaaS.

Whichever service you choose, there is a tradeoff between convenience and control. With PaaS, you’re getting something of a middle ground between IaaS and SaaS. While much of the service is managed, you’re still in control of applications and data, which can be valuable for certain businesses. 

This makes PaaS providers such as Magento Commerce Cloud and Bluehost particularly popular with developers, as it provides everything they need to create new applications without having to invest in expensive infrastructure and operating platforms. 

Instead, they pay for what they need, allowing them to focus more on building the applications. 

As an alternative to IaaS, PaaS providers such as Magento also offer ecommerce stores good options.

Serverless Computing

Businesses are constantly searching for the most efficient ways to use the cloud, and another option is serverless computing. 

Serverless computing is very similar to PaaS, but has a few slight differences. 

One of the main differences between serverless computing and PaaS is that serverless is event-driven. You pay only for what you use, whereas with PaaS, you pay a monthly fee and have a limit to what you can use. 

Serverless computing automatically scales with your business, but you’ll give up some control. It does allow you to be extremely flexible though, saving on costs while still getting excellent performance. 

This is an ideal option for fast-growing e-commerce sites or those creating viral content that may cause a massive traffic spike. 

SaaS

For many people, SaaS is the quickest and easiest way to set up an e-commerce store. Using providers like Shopify, you use third-party platforms and apps to quickly create a functional store. 

SaaS alternative to IaaS - Shopify

Everything is taken care of for you, and all you need to do is upload your own products and create your marketing content

The obvious benefit of this is convenience. Not everybody who wants to create an e-commerce store has IT expertise and SaaS means they don’t have to. Rather than focusing on networking and hosting, they simply have to focus on building out their website and creating the content that’s going to help them sell

SaaS applications are very common across the internet. Not only are there lots of SaaS applications that help people run their e-commerce stores but software such as Microsoft 365, Google Cloud, and HubSpot are all examples of SaaS.

The downside for e-commerce stores that run on SaaS is that they’re limited in what they can do. If you have a Shopify store, then you have to work within the limitations set by that third party. When you run your store through IaaS or PaaS, there are fewer limitations, giving you greater control over your store. 

How Can IaaS Affect Your E-commerce Site?

Cloud computing has made it much more accessible to create an e-commerce site. No longer do you have to invest in expensive hardware and instead, you can pay for access to infrastructure as and when you need it. 

This has opened up e-commerce to a wide variety of people. With SaaS, it’s not necessary to have IT skills to create a competitive store. However, with the ease of creating and managing a store through SaaS comes limitations. 

Many businesses possess the skills to handle the more technical aspects of running an e-commerce site, and they want to be able to make the most of those skills without building their infrastructure. IaaS is the perfect option for these businesses as it allows them to strike a profitable balance. 

These businesses can use infrastructure as and when they need it, scaling as their business grows and shrinks. 

With IaaS, you have maximum control over your e-commerce store, allowing you to make the most of your creative and IT skills without building the infrastructure yourself. 

How to Use IaaS for Your E-commerce Company 

One of the most important things when choosing between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS is understanding the skills and resources available to you. If you don’t have people with experience in building and developing web applications, then IaaS isn’t going to be the best option for you, and it might be better to look at a SaaS option. 

If you’re confident you can create and maintain a high-level store through IaaS, then the next step is understanding your needs. There are lots of different IaaS providers out there, and many different packages to choose from. 

Each business is different, and will have different requirements. When choosing a provider, consider the following questions: 

  • What level of access and customization do you need?
  • How flexible can the provider be?
  • How will the provider deal with changing regulations?
  • How much is it going to cost you?
  • What level of security is offered?

The whole idea of “as a service” is that you pay for the parts you need, freeing you up to take care of the bits you can handle. To get the most out of this concept, you need to have a clear picture of where your skills lie, and how your provider can take care of the rest.

IaaS Tools

When choosing an IaaS package, you must take the time to get the one that best fits your business needs. There are lots of different options out there, and choosing the right tools can make all the difference to your business:

  • Amazon EC2
  • Google Compute Engine
  • Digital Ocean Droplets
  • Hostwinds
  • Alibaba Elastic Compute Service
  • IBM Cloud Private
  • IONOS Cloud
  • Azure Linux Virtual Machines
  • Rackspace Technology
  • Openstack

As you can see, there are lots of different options out there, and this is just a small sample. The important thing is making sure you get the services your business needs without paying for resources you don’t. 

It might take a little extra research to unlock the true power of IaaS for your business, but it’s certainly worth it in the long run.

Conclusion

There are many different ways to run an e-commerce store, and how you use the cloud is a key consideration when setting up or expanding your store. 

Maintaining onsite infrastructure can be expensive and time-consuming, and with modern cloud products, there isn’t much need for it. 

The bigger question is: what do you need from the cloud? 

For large-scale e-commerce sites, with tons of resources at their disposal, infrastructure as a service is often the best way to go. This provides greater control over your site than PaaS or SaaS options and is a cost-effective way to scale your business.

When you utilize the cloud well, it can help you maximize your store’s profitability, so it’s essential to make the right choice. 

How does your e-commerce store use the cloud?

The PPP Loan Extension Offers the Gift of Time: Use it Wisely

On March 30, 2021 President Biden extended  the PPP loan application deadline for the Paycheck Protection Program.  The extension pushes the deadline from March 31, 2021 to May 31, 2021.  It includes PPP loans for nonprofits as well. In addition to the PPP loan extension, this also allows for an extension of the SBA PPP processing time to June 30, 2021. 

This is a major win for small businesses, as the program’s PPP loan forgiveness provides businesses a way to keep going despite the ongoing economic fallout from the pandemic. 

The PPP Loan Extension is a Major Win For Small Businesses in More Ways than One

This serves two purposes. First, it allows more small businesses time to get their PPP loan application completed and turned in. At the same time, it gives the Small Business Administration more time to deal with any technical issues that may pop up with SBA PPP loans funding and processing. 

Why Is a PPP Loan Extension Needed?  

An extension is necessary to provide more support for businesses while the U.S. population is getting vaccinated for COVID-19 over the coming months.

It will give businesses more time to apply loans.  This includes both first-time loans, and even a second draw PPP loan if applicable.  The second draw is a second PPP loan available to some businesses that have already received one Paycheck Protection Program loan.  Those who have issues with the application process will also be able to spend more time working through those problems.

Other PPP Loan Changes

Other recent changes will help even more applicants.  This includes the smallest of small businesses, as well as minority-owned businesses and those located in rural communities. A two-week period in March was set aside only for businesses with fewer than 20 employees to apply.

That time is over, but still helpful is the fact that the administration is also now calculating the loan formula for sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed individuals differently.  Furthermore,  gone are the restrictions that prevent business owners with prior felony convictions not related to fraud, or those who have been delinquent on federal student loans, from receiving assistance. 

Learn more here and get started with building business credit with your company’s EIN and not your SSN.

What Can You Do In the Meantime? 

There is no question that the PPP loan program is a savior for many small businesses.  Still, the money doesn’t come automatically. What if you need money right now? What if you can’t wait for the sometimes long PPP loan application process? Maybe the PPP loan won’t be enough. How can you supplement it? 

Here are some ideas to either bridge the gap or take the place of a PPP loan.  

Credit Line Hybrid

The credit line hybrid is business financing that does not require security.  It is available to pretty much anyone for any type of business expense. You can use it for real estate, equipment, working capital, and even startup expenses.  Furthermore, there is no down payment, and you do not have to provide income documentation. It is completely no-doc financing. 

You need to have personal credit of 680 or above, but keep reading if you don’t because there are still options. .  Also, there cannot be any late payments in the past 12 months, there can be no open collections or bankruptcies, and there should be less than 4 inquiries in the past 6 months on your consumer credit report.  There also have to be at least 2 open credit cards with a $2,000 limit or higher with 2 years of good payment history. 

If you do not meet these requirements, including the minimum credit score, you can take on a credit partner who does meet them. 

You can get up to $150,000, and often interest rates are as low as 0% for the first 6 to 18 months.

401(k) Financing 

The 401K financing program offered by Credit Suite is a flexible and powerful way for a new or existing business or franchise  to leverage assets that are in a 401(k) plan or IRA. These are assets which are tied up in stocks. 

It doesn’t take long either.  In as little as 3 weeks you can actually invest a portion of these funds into your own business. Then, you not only have more control over the performance of your retirement plan assets, but you also have the working capital you need.

This type of program even has the blessing of the IRS. In fact, they  have their own name for it. It’s called a Rollover for Business Startups (ROBS). 

Do You Qualify for a ROBS? 

Surprisingly, this type of financing is pretty easy to get. You do not have to submit financials or have good credit to get approval. In fact, all the lender will ask for is a copy of your two most recent 401(k) statements.

If the plan has a value of more than $35,000,  you can get approval. This is true even if you have really bad personal credit. You can get however much of your 401(k) is “rollable.” Sometimes, you can secure a low-interest credit line or loan for 100% of your current 401(k) value.

The plan you use cannot be from a business where you currently work. It will have to be from previous employment. Also, you can’t still be contributing to it. 

Learn more here and get started with building business credit with your company’s EIN and not your SSN.

Business Revenue Lending

If your business has consistent revenue of $120,000 per year or more, you may qualify for business revenue lending. Lenders verify revenue using bank statements.  There can be no recent bankruptcies, but the minimum credit score to qualify is as low as 500.  

A business must also be in operation for a year or more, and they must do more than 5 small transactions each month to get business revenue financing. 

Merchant Cash Advance

If your business accepts credit card payments and you have at least a 500 FICO, you could get up to $750,000 in a merchant cash advance. Credit rates are usually lower compared to traditional financing as well.  

There must be $100,000 or more per year in credit card sales, and typically you can get approval equal to one months credit card financing volume. 

Account Receivable Financing

Outstanding account receivables can also be a source of funding for your business. Get as much as 80% of receivables advanced in less than 24 hours. You get the rest of the accounts receivable amount once you collect full payment for the invoice. Closing takes 2 weeks or less. 

Receivables should be with the government or another business. Getting financing with receivables from individuals is not as easy. If you also have purchase orders, then you can get financing to have those filled. You won’t need to use your cash flow to do so.

Enterprise SBA Loans

For these loans you have to have collateral worth up to at least 50% of the loan amount, but you only need a FICO of 620.  There also can be no bankruptcies in the past 4 years.  Only for profit companies qualify, and they must have positive trends in sales growth. Generally amounts are available of up to $12 million with terms up to 25-years. 

Credit Suite can help you get funding with these options and show some other possibilities.

Use the Time Allowed By the PPP Loan Extension Wisely

Getting funding for your business is not always easy.  There is more to it than just applying for a loan. Business credit can get sticky.  Having expert help can save you a lot of time and money.  While you are waiting for your Paycheck Protection Program loan, consider working with a business credit expert to help you better position your business to access the funding it needs quicker and easier in the future.  

A business credit expert can help make the most of the PPP loan extension time.  They can work with you to evaluate the fundability of your business. The stronger your fundability, the more likely you are to get funding with the best rates and terms available. You can get a free consultation to help ensure your business is set up properly to build fundability

An expert can help you evaluate the many factors that affect fundability.  There are over 100.  With so many factors, it can be hard to figure out where you stand without an expert. They can work with you to figure out where your business falls short and help you improve.  Fundability is a tangled web affected by many things, and the time and money saved having an expert walk you through it is extremely valuable. 

Learn more here and get started with building business credit with your company’s EIN and not your SSN.

What Else Can a Business Credit Expert Help With?

They can also walk you through the steps to establishing a business credit profile separate from your personal credit profile. Once that is done, they can help you find accounts that will report to that business credit profile.  

This is key, because many vendors do not report.  Those that do report, do not make it easy to find out that they do.  A business credit expert has relationships with a number of vendors.  They can help you find the ones that will successfully help you build your business credit score. 

PPP Loan Extension: You Still Have Time

Thanks to the PPP Loan extension that President Biden signed, you still have time to get your PPP loan application in.  No matter how fast you act however, some things never change. Especially with the PPP extension on the SBA side, you will likely be waiting a bit for your approval and to actually receive PPP funds.  

If you need money right now, try one of these funding options.  Then, put to good use the time the Paycheck Protection Program extension allows you.  Use it to get in touch with a business credit expert.  It’s a great time to start the process of building strong business fundability. The stronger your fundability, the easier it is to fund your business whatever the world throws your way, even a global pandemic. 

The post The PPP Loan Extension Offers the Gift of Time: Use it Wisely appeared first on Credit Suite.

Make the Benefits of Working From Home Outweigh the Disadvantages

There are some obvious benefits of working from home.  There are also some not so obvious disadvantages.  The key is make the most of the benefits of working from home and figure out how to work around the disadvantages. 

How to Ensure the Benefits of Working from Home Outweigh the Disadvantages

Many do not realize there are ways to fund your work at home business without using your personal credit.  In fact, many would consider difficulty finding funding a formidable disadvantage of working from home running a business.

The truth is, you most definitely can enjoy the benefits of working from home and not have to fund the whole endeavor using your personal credit. You can build business credit even while running a home-based business.

Credit Line Hybrid Financing: Get up to $150,000 in financing so your business can thrive.

Advantages of Working from Home

What are the advantages of running your business out of your home? It’s a hard question to answer.  The problem is, what is a benefit to some is a disadvantage for others.  Some love the isolation, others miss working with people.  Production increases for some people for various reasons. Others struggle to stay focused when working from home. 

The close proximity of food is fabulous for some. You can save money and time by simply eating what is in your fridge. Others find it hard to stop eating when working from home. This makes it hard to maintain a healthy weight. Along the same lines, some find it easier to exercise working from home, while others need the commute to or from the office to encourage them to stop by the gym.

That said, one clear advantage of running your business from your house is that you save money.  Overhead costs are much lower. You save on building costs. Time and money spent commuting is almost nonexistent. Clothing costs are significantly less as well. Even so, business funding is always a necessity.

Disadvantages of Working from Home

Aside from those already mentioned above that are actually an advantage for some, there are some other clear disadvantages of working from home. First and foremost, it can be difficult to get home based business loans, or even home based business grants.  That doesn’t mean funding a home-based business is impossible. You just have to know what to do to make even a home based business  more fundable. 

How to Increase the Fundability of a Home-Based Business

The number one best way to increase the fundability of your home-based business is to talk to a business credit expert. A consultation like this can be priceless. It’s true, you can take the work from home tips about funding that we are about to offer and execute many of them yourself. However, it will take you twice as long.  Furthermore, you may very well miss something.

A business credit expert can help you assess the current fundability of your business. Then, they can walk you through the steps to help you fill in any fundability gaps. Finally, they have relationships with lenders to help ensure you get the best funding possible for your business now.

Credit Line Hybrid Financing: Get up to $150,000 in financing so your business can thrive.

They not only help you start the processes necessary to ensure you are eligible for funding in the future, but also help you find the best funding for your home based business right now. 

Is Your Home Based Business Set Up to Be Fundable? 

This is likely the number one issue with the fundability of a business run out of your home.  Most home business owners set their business up as a sole proprietorship. They use their personal contact information. Typically they do not incorporate, and some do not even open a business bank account. 

This seems like the easiest, fastest way to do things.  It’s no wonder it is the standard. Still, it is probably the number one reason for the work at home disadvantage of having trouble getting funding.  Setting up as a sole proprietor can be detrimental to fundability.  For a lender to see your business as a separate, fundability entity apart from you as the owner, you need to do things differently. 

  • Separate contact information, including a business phone number and a business address that are different from your personal phone number and address.  

  • An EIN, to use in place of  your SSN on business documents and funding applications. You can get one for free from the IRS.

  • Incorporate and an LLC, S-corp, or C-corporation.  It is necessary to fundability.  Also, it lends credence to your business as one that is legitimate. Not to mention it offers some protection from liability. 
  • Open a separate business bank account. Among other things, it will help you keep track of business finances.  It will also help you keep them separate from personal finances for tax purposes. 

Best Home Based Business Loans 

Fundability, in the simplest terms, is the ability of your business to get funding.  If your business is not seen as fundable, then lenders will not help you fund it. Home based business loans will be out of the question. 

Not all loans are created equal when it comes to getting money for your home based business however.  Some work better than others. Here are some of our top picks for work from home business loans. 

Credit Line Hybrid

With the Credit Line Hybrid, you can usually get a loan of 5x the amount of your highest revolving credit limit account, up to $150,000. Honestly, this is more than what you could get on your own when applying for credit cards. Furthermore, you can get cash out on this program.

Also, there is no impact on your personal credit with this type of financing. You need a 680+ credit score, but if you don’t meet that you can take on a credit partner who does. A lot of business owners use the good credit of friends or family to help them get the funding they need. 

The best part is, not only does this not affect your personal credit score, it can help build your business credit score if your business is set up properly as mentioned above.

Credit Line Hybrid Financing: Get up to $150,000 in financing so your business can thrive.

401K Financing

Your existing 401(k) or IRA can help fund your business as well. The funds work as collateral for business financing. As a result, your personal credit score isn’t really an issue. This program uses IRS proven strategies. You will pay no tax penalties, and you still earn interest on your 401(k).  Even better, rates are low, and this option usually has a quick closing and funding process.  

SBA 7 (a) Loan

This is the SBA’s most popular program. The SBA offers federally funded term loans up to $5 million. The funds can be used for expansion, purchasing equipment, working capital and more. Banks, credit unions, and other specialized institutions in partnership with the SBA process these loans and disburse the funds.

Credit Suite business credit experts can help you with these types of funding and more! 

Funding Doesn’t Have to Be a Disadvantage of Working from Home

Arguably, business funding is one of the greatest work from home challenges.  It can be such a challenge in fact, that it can seem to overshadow many, if not all, of the work from home benefits.  With the right expert to walk you through the process, you can be sure that at least this one challenge can be overcome, and the benefits of working from home can tip the scale.  You’ll have to keep yourself out of the refrigerator though.

The post Make the Benefits of Working From Home Outweigh the Disadvantages appeared first on Credit Suite.

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