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The 5 Best PPC Companies of 2020

Paid advertising offers a 200% ROI. So for every dollar you spend, you get two dollars in return. It’s no surprise that nearly 80% of marketers consider PPC profitable and beneficial for their businesses. 

But it’s not as easy as throwing ads up, seeing what sticks, and hoping people buy from you. 

There’s a reason PPC agencies exist — managing countless moving parts, and continuous algorithm updates take time. Plus… none of those things are easy to stay on top of, either. 

To make matters worse, choosing the best PPC company for your business presents a new set of challenges. So in this article, I cover my top recommendations, characteristics to look for, and what to expect working with an agency. 

Let’s get started!

The 5 top PPC companies in the world

PPC is an exciting type of digital marketing because you can quickly and directly evaluate your investment return. 

But whether you’re an excellent PPC manager looking to outsource or have no experience running pay per click advertising campaigns, choosing the right PPC agency isn’t always straightforward.

So to help you out, I put together this list of my top recommendations for different types of businesses. 

Let’s dive in!

1. Neil Patel Digital — Best data-driven multi-channel PPC agency

Ads in search engine results aren’t the only type of PPC advertising. 

Other examples include social media, programmatic, and Amazon, each with their own set of quirks and best practices. 

At Neil Patel Digital, we specialize in running multi-channel PPC campaigns using first-party data from our partners. Furthermore, we take this information and use it to create strategic, high-profit campaigns that meet your audience where they are. 

All while helping those in your audience make an informed decision to buy. 

We’ve helped companies like Intuit, GM, and Facebook make more money authentically, using our data-driven approach to digital marketing. 

2. Directive Consulting — Best for B2B, SaaS, and enterprise businesses

If you’re a B2B, SaaS, or enterprise business looking for consulting services or a dedicated PPC management partner, Directive Consulting is an excellent option. 

They specialize in helping software companies around the world run high-ROI campaigns with a dedicated team running and optimizing things behind the scenes. 

Directive Consulting says one of their key differentiators is the predictability of their results. 

They prove it by showcasing numerous case studies outlining their results. In one example, they facilitated a 91.1% increase in lead generation in the first three months on top of decreasing their client’s cost-per-lead by 21.8%. 

So you can rest assured that you’re in good hands.

3. Stryde — Best for B2C and eCommerce businesses

B2C pay per click campaigns are vastly different from B2B campaigns. With different markets and trends, it’s essential to understand your industry’s specific ins and outs. 

And who better to do that than an agency specializing in eCommerce? 

Stryde is an eCommerce-specific digital marketing agency working with small and large companies all over the world. 

While they focus on other aspects of digital marketing like SEO and email marketing, PPC is a huge part of what they do. 

They helped Lime Ricke, a swimwear brand, achieve a 5.2x ROI. Furthermore, they helped  Lucy Ave, a women’s clothing company, obtain a 4.3 ROI. 

With repeatable and impressive results like these (and others outlined in their extensive portfolio), you know you’re making a smart choice.

4. Loud Mouth Media — Best small agency producing big results

If you’re looking for an expert partner in search advertising or paid social, Loud Mouth Media has your back. They’re a small agency based in the UK specializing in PPC (specifically paid search and social) campaigns for businesses of all sizes. 

Loud Mouth Media is partnered with Google, Bing, and Facebook as well. So you know they’re always up-to-date with the latest trends and research across those platforms. 

They’re a small team of 23 expert marketers, creatives, and strategists producing impressive results for companies of all sizes around the world. 

And with numerous digital marketing awards under their belt and past clients like Volvo and BBC, their credentials and portfolio make them stand out as the best small PPC agency producing massive results.

5. KlientBoost — Best for PPC management + landing page design

Strong PPC campaigns go beyond excellent ad copy, design, and targeting. Where you send your targeted traffic matters.  

Which… is why it’s crucial to have well-designed landing pages optimized to convert visitors into leads or customers. At KlientBoost, they understand the importance of conversion-focused landing pages. 

Their in-house team of developers, conversion designers, and top-notch marketers gives them the power to design excellent customer experiences from start to finish. 

They’ve produced repeatable results like:

  • 300% conversion rate increase for Juniper Networks
  • 315% increase in click-through rates for Lemon Stand
  • 97% decrease in cost-per-acquisition for Caresync

So, if you’re looking for a bit of help optimizing your landing pages and a dedicated PPC advertising team to target the right people and turn them into buyers, KlientBoost is for you. 

7 characteristics that make a great PPC company

Now you know my top PPC recommendations based on what you need. 

Let’s move on to what makes these PPC companies the best at what they do. We’ll also walk through what to look for on your hunt for the best option for your business. 

1. Extensive industry knowledge

The best PPC campaigns focus on the right audiences and the right keywords. But not all audience segments or keywords are equal. 

Understanding what works and what doesn’t comes from experience and in-depth industry knowledge. Without the two of those, you’re banking on intuition. 

Which… works sometimes, but that’s not what you should expect from a top PPC agency. 

Take a look at who’s a part of the agency’s team and take some time to evaluate their experience level and expertise in your specific industry. 

You can also look at their published case studies in different industries to see the types of results they produce for their clients. 

If you’re not confident in their knowledge in your industry, move on to an agency that feels like a better fit. 

2. Advanced analytics and reporting

Analytics and reporting are essential aspects of any PPC campaign. 

They help you get a better understanding of what segments and copy work well to shift your budget toward high-profit ads while reducing ad spend on those that don’t work. 

So your PPC agency must provide accurate and transparent reporting, so you always know where every dollar goes and the ROI it produces. 

Furthermore, top PPC agencies aim to collect as much information as possible regarding everything about your campaign. 

This insight helps them to adapt and produce higher ROI campaigns with first-party data directly from your business. 

You may not be able to find out much about this from an agency’s website. So it’s important to ask questions regarding the data and metrics they measure to influence their suggestions and future campaign strategies. 

3. Intent-driven keyword selection

The top PPC marketers know the best way to improve ROIs and reduce wasted ad spend is by focusing on transactional keywords rather than informational keywords for paid search marketing. 

Why? Because people searching for transactional terms are more likely to spend money. 

And good PPC strategists know this is the best way to get your business in front of the right people at the right time without wasting ad spend on irrelevant terms that aren’t going to turn into purchases. 

You may have a hard time learning about this from their website. So be sure to ask questions and gauge their knowledge around intent-based search queries before moving forward. 

4. First-party data sources and strategic partnerships

Search engines and social media platforms are continually updating their algorithms to be as human as possible to provide the best experience for their users. 

So the best PPC companies to partner with are on top of these continuous changes. 

Search and social partnerships provide those deep insights and industry trends non-partners don’t have. 

Furthermore, agencies with a pool of first-party data sources have a first-hand look at your audience’s attributes and behavior to make strategic decisions regarding your campaign before using your ad spend to test the market. 

Look for partnership badges for major search engines and social media platforms on their website. You can also look for an indication of first-party data sources. 

5. Mobile optimization

Fifteen years ago, mobile browsing and searching weren’t around. But today, mobile devices account for more than 50% of all searches made around the world.

But there’s something else a bit more interesting. Mobile devices account for 53% of paid clicks, which means there’s a huge opportunity (and need) to optimize your paid search strategy for mobile.

On top of that, there are nearly 3.5 million mobile social media users across the globe. So the opportunity for mobile-optimized paid social media campaigns is massive as well.

This makes an excellent case for mobile PPC campaigns. And the best PPC companies know this. So make sure the company you choose is prepared to strategize and optimize your campaigns for mobile devices

You may have to ask questions if you can’t find this information on their website. 

And if you’re not confident in their mobile capabilities, move on to a different PPC agency. 

6. Local PPC capabilities

90% of shoppers turn to search engines when looking for information on local businesses, and 33% perform these types of searches every day.

Pair that with the fact that 40% of total clicks go to the top three ad spots for transactional keywords, and you have a strong argument for local paid search marketing

So if your business operates in specific areas or you have a physical location to sell products or meet with potential customers, local paid search experience and capabilities are must-haves. 

Some PPC agencies specialize in local PPC, but that doesn’t mean those that don’t can’t produce impressive results. 

So be sure to ask questions to ensure you’re a good fit for each other. 

7. Multi-channel PPC services

If you’re looking for a specific type of PPC marketing, this isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. 

But if you’re interested in cross-channel marketing, it’s easier to run all your campaigns through a single agency. 

And the more you work with them, the more in-tune they become with your business, industry, and specific campaign goals. Plus, you have the benefit of communicating and coordinating with one agency rather than managing several at the same time. 

Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about misaligned messaging from one platform to the next. 

So carefully consider where your target audience hangs out. Don’t forget to consider search engines, social media, paid shopping, and programmatic advertising on sites they frequently visit. 

Then, choose a PPC agency experienced in those areas.

What to expect from a great PPC company

If you’ve never worked with a PPC company before, it’s hard to know what to expect. So now that you know what to look for let’s talk about what working with one of the best PPC companies looks like. 

The details of each phase look different depending on the company you’re working with, but the general approach is typically the same. 

Phase 1: Discovery

The best PPC companies do everything they can to learn everything there is to know about your business and what you’re looking for. So, the first step to any new PPC project is discovery and onboarding. 

During this phase, you and your agency should hash out:

  • Your budget (including monthly ad spend)
  • The goals for your PPC campaign
  • What makes your business different from your competitors
  • How to improve your landing pages to increase conversions
  • Specific details about your business and target audience like where they hang out online, when they tend to shop, and where they live
  • What happens next

This is your chance to share everything you can possibly think of with your PPC agency. Even if it doesn’t feel relevant, it may be crucial to your success. So come into this phase as an open book with an open mind. 

Phase 2: Planning and testing

Once the agency understands your business, target audience, and marketing goals, it’s time to plan your upcoming campaign. This includes defining critical metrics and KPIs as well. 

This phase may also include running a small, low-budget pilot campaign to test different audience segments, copy, and overall execution. 

So, the more information you know about your target audience, the easier this will be. 

By the end of this stage, you’ll have a plan in place for full-scale execution and a deeper understanding of how you’re going to work together moving forward. 

Phase 3: Full-scale execution

Now it’s time to launch the full campaign. The specifics of this depend on the type of advertising and the agency you’re working with. 

Your project could be short-term, long-term, or ongoing. But during this time, you should get regular feedback and thorough reporting outlining everything about your campaign. 

And when your campaign comes to a close, you should have a clear picture of your results. 

Phase 4: Next steps

Lastly, your agency will walk you through the data they collected and explain what everything means. They’ll also probably provide suggestions and feedback on what they can improve if you want to continue working together. 

This stage should also cover what happens next. 

Strategy + creative + the right audience segments = high ROI

Hiring a top PPC company is a smart choice if you’re looking to save time, strategize with experts in your industry, and enjoy short-term results (when compared to something like SEO). 

But choosing a PPC agency you can trust is harder than it sounds. 

So whether you’re looking for advice or someone to take over and manage your campaigns, use these tips and recommendations when making your decision. 

Do you have any experience vetting and hiring a PPC agency? What criteria did you consider when making your decision?

The post The 5 Best PPC Companies of 2020 appeared first on Neil Patel.

The Fastest (and Cheapest) Way to Beat Your Competition

If you want to outrank your competition, what do you do?

First off, you need to keep track of everything they are doing. From their rankings to the content they are writing to even the links they are building and the keywords they are targeting, understanding what they are up to is key.

And after you figure out their strategy, you need to write more content, build more links, and optimize your site. Or you can hire an SEO agency, but most of us can’t afford that.

There must be a better way, right?

Well, over the next 60 days, I am going to make life easier for you with a major upgrade to Ubersuggest.

Here’s what I am thinking of doing and it will make it easier for you to outrank your competition.

Competitor analysis

First off, I’ve learned that many people don’t know who their competition really is when it comes to SEO.

Because of that, I’m going to create a competitor analysis report that shows you your competition.

Here’s a rough sketch of what that will look like:

You’ll be able to see who your competitors are based on common keywords you both rank for.

You’ll also be able to see how your rankings compare to theirs over time as well as their SEO traffic, backlinks, domain scores, and, best of all, keyword opportunities (or keyword gap).

What the keyword opportunities will break down is all of the keywords your competition ranks for that you don’t.

This way, you’ll be able to dive in and see everyone one of the keywords they are targeting and the ones you aren’t (but should be).

Again, the key to the report above (although the design needs to be tweaked) is that it will show you all of the keywords your competition ranks for that you aren’t targeting or ranking for… yet. The ones at the top will be the most lucrative keywords and the ones at the bottom will be the least lucrative.

Competitor rank tracking

On top of showing you new keyword opportunities without you having to do any work or searching, we are also going to start tracking your competitors’ rankings for you. 😉

So, in your rank tracking dashboard, you’ll see your rankings as well as your competitors’ rankings.

Currently, we show you if your rankings are going up or down each day (if you aren’t tracking this, go and set up a project).

We’ll be modifying that report to also show your competitors’ rankings… we are still working on the design.

That way if things are going bad for you, you can see if you were the only one who got affected or if your competition did as well.

But there is more

I know 60 days is a long time to wait, but I am also releasing something in the next week to also make your life easier when it comes to competitor analysis.

I will be releasing version 2.0 of the Ubersuggest Chrome Extension. If you haven’t already installed it, go here and do that now. It’s free!

Currently, you get data whenever you do a search. But it doesn’t provide enough data, especially on your competition, so I’m about to go and fix that.

First off, you’ll get data on traffic. Not only on your site but your competition as well.

So, whenever you perform a search, you will quickly be able to see how much SEO traffic any given domain gets.

And if you want more details, on the right-hand side of the Google search results you will see a graph containing an overview of how your competition stacks up against you.

You’ll also have a similar overview with backlink data.

And of course, I’m not stopping there.

The most popular e-commerce site on the web is Amazon. So, wouldn’t it be great to get data on keywords on Amazon?

Anytime you perform a search on Amazon, you’ll see data on all of the suggested keywords that they are providing you.

And then when you head to the second most popular search engine, YouTube, I’ll give you keyword data and competition data.

For example, whenever you search for a keyword, you’ll see data on all of the suggestions.

And if you click the “view all” button, you’ll see historical data on that keyword as well.

On a YouTube search listings page, you’ll start to get recommendations on other keywords that you could be targeting with your YouTube SEO.

And if you click on a video (even a competitor’s video!) you’ll start to see more data on their performance as well as keywords that they are targeting.

So, if you haven’t already, make sure you go and install the Chrome extension before the release next week.

Conclusion

I hope you are looking forward to the new release to Ubersuggest in the upcoming months.

I am really excited about the competitive analysis features within the application because it should make it a lot easier to see which keywords your competition ranks for that you don’t.

On top of that, the extension is making a lot of progress. My goal is to release a new version of the extension each month with new features that will make SEO easier and more convenient for you. 🙂

So, what do you think of the changes?

The post The Fastest (and Cheapest) Way to Beat Your Competition appeared first on Neil Patel.

Standard Industry Classification Codes in a Recession – Which Get You Denied?

Standard Industry Classification Codes in a Recession – Which Will Get a Business Funding Denial?

Do you know which Standard Industry Classification codes in a recession will get you denied?

A Standard Industry Classification – SIC Code – may or may not be vital for SBA Paycheck Protection Program funding. Yet it is certainly important when it comes to other types of funding.

But before we go any further, just what is a Standard Industry Classification code, anyway?

Standard Industry Classification Codes in a Recession: SIC Codes

The SIC Code (Standard Industrial Classification) is a part of a business classification system.

A Standard Industry Classification code, or SIC is a four digit numerical code which is assigned by the U.S. government to businesses, to make it easier to identify the primary activity of the business. It is an indicator of the kind of business a company is in.

The Securities and Exchange Commission developed this system. For example, if your company makes tires and/or inner tubes, then your SIC code would be 3011. The numbers are somewhat intelligent. There are ranges of industry groups which correspond to the first of the four digits Such as manufacturing corresponds to four-digit SIC codes which start with either a 2 or a 3.

Details

The combination of the first and second digits then defines the major industry group. In our example, 30 will designate ‘Rubber and Miscellaneous Plastic Products’.

The SIC code’s digits are grouped to identify the industry and industry group. The first two digits in the SIC code identify the major industry group. And the third digit identifies the industry group. Finally, the fourth digit identifies the industry.

In fact, the Internal Revenue Service will use the SIC code that you select. This is in order to determine if your business tax returns are comparable to the other businesses in your industry. Hence, if your tax deductions do not reasonably resemble the other businesses in your industry, your business could be audited.

Furthermore, some companies may be labeled high-risk when they do not select the right SIC codes to classify their company. However, if you understand how the business classification system works, then you can choose the correct code on your first try.

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Standard Industry Classification Codes in a Recession: NAICS Codes

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is another business classification code.

This code classifies business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. economy. NAICS industry codes define establishments based on the activities in which they are primarily engaged.

The NAICS puts out its own list of high-risk and high-cash industries. Higher risk industries on the list include casinos, pawn shops, and liquor stores, but also automotive dealers and restaurants.

OSHA requires injury and illness reports from certain high-risk industries.

Restricted industries (automatic decline) include:

  • Ammunition or Weapons Manufacturing; wholesale and retail.
  • Bail Bonds
  • Check Cashing Agencies
  • Energy, oil trading, or petroleum extraction or production
  • Finance: (Federal Reserve Banks, foreign banks, banks, bank holding companies,
    loan brokers, commodity brokers, security brokers, mortgage brokers, mortgage bankers, mortgage companies, bail bond companies, or mutual fund managers).
  • Gaming or Gambling Activities
  • Loans for the speculative purchases of securities or goods.
  • Pawn shops
  • Political campaigns, candidates, or committees
  • Public administration (e.g., city, county, state, and federal governmental agencies).
  • X-rated products or entertainment

High-Risk Industries (subject to stricter underwriting guidelines):

  • Agriculture or forest products
  • Auto, recreational vehicle or boat sales.
  • Courier services
  • Computer and software related services.
  • Dry cleaners
  • Entertainment (adult entertainment is to be considered restricted).
  • General contractors
  • Gasoline stations or convenience stores (also known as c-stores)
  • Healthcare; specifically nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and continuing care retirement centers.
  • Special trade contractors
  • Hotels or motels
  • Jewelry, precious stones and metals; wholesale and retail.
  • Limousine services
  • Long distance or “over-the-road” trucking.
  • Mobile or manufactured home sales.
  • Phone sales and direct selling establishments
  • Real estate agents/brokers
  • Real estate developers or land sub-dividers
  • Restaurants or drinking establishments.
  • Software or programming companies
  • Taxi cabs (including the purchase of cab medallions) .
  • Travel agencies

Standard Industry Classification Codes in a Recession: Which Code is in Use?

They both are. However, the SIC code system is phasing out and NAICS will replace it. But for the moment, assume they are both in play, as the transition has not yet finished. These coding systems are similar but not identical.

Lenders, banks, insurance companies and business CRAs use both business classification systems. So this is to determine if your business is in a high-risk industry classification. Hence you could get a denial for a loan or a business credit card based on your business classification. Some SIC codes can trigger automatic turn-downs, higher premiums, and reducing credit limits for your business.

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Standard Industry Classification Codes in a Recession: Risks

When considering any aspects of a business, risk has to be a major factor. There are inherent issues in every single industry. Crops fail, or lease terms go up too high so a company has to move. Or tariffs or even a war make importing less reliable.

But some businesses are considered to be risky by their very nature. And this is the case even if everything else goes off like a hitch and the business is prospering. Risk is inherent within these business types. Therefore, even if your business doesn’t feel risky, it just might be anyway.

Why Risk Matters

The biggest reason why risk matters has to do with funding. There are several industries where lending institutions are hesitant to do business. In those particular cases, there are stricter underwriting guidelines. But at least a company can get funding.

Not so with other industries. In some industries, no funding is available at all. As a result, those businesses will need to find other solutions for financing. These solutions can include, potentially, crowdfunding, angel investors, venture capital, business credit building and more.

Still, a lot of businesses would rather work with lenders. But where are lenders’ ideas of the magnitude of risk coming from?

Standard Industry Classification Codes in a Recession: Real Injury Risks According to the CDC

In 1999, the Centers for Disease Control published an article on risks in small businesses. This article contains information on SIC codes. And it gives information on injuries associated with the codes. While this is not the true means by which lending institutions decide on risk, it is still of interest. And it can demonstrate what may be behind some of the reasoning.

Part of the calculation of risk comes from occupational injuries.  These are such as those noted in the CDC report. But the other side of the risk coin is occupations which are high in cash transactions. After all, a pawn shop might not have much of a specific risk of injury at all. But the large amounts of cash normally associated with one mean that it can be a tempting target for thieves.

Standard Industry Classification Codes in a Recession: Choosing Better SIC Codes

The choice of SIC code is yours. For automotive sales, for example, you would normally select 5511, ‘Motor Vehicle Dealers (New and Used)’. But most lenders will automatically turn your business down because of the high-risk factor within the business classification name. Of course you want to be honest with your SIC coding classification. But if more than one SIC code could apply, try this. There is nothing wrong with choosing the SIC code which will not get you denied by lenders.

Ideas

Therefore, if you want to have your automobile sales company, do this. You need a business code with auto and home supply stores, motor vehicle parts and accessories, or car washes written in the actual business code. That way, you can still operate your real business of “automotive sales” without actually being considered a risk factor.

There is nothing deceptive or dishonest about doing this.

Check the SIC code database for more information on these codes.

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Standard Industry Classification Codes in a Recession: Choosing Lower-Risk Business Names

It goes beyond coming up with the perfect memorable name which is easy to spell and say. Even beyond evoking your company’s mission statement, there’s more. There’s also the matter of risk. Adding a risky business type into your business name will trigger financing denials.

For example, bail bonds are a restricted industry. So are many types of financing business types, and check cashing agencies. Hence naming your venture Chico’s Bail Bonds is a recipe for a delay if not an outright denial.

But it is the same as with choosing a lower-risk SIC code when two apply. There is nothing deceptive, illegal, or unethical in naming your company Chico’s.

Will this more generalized name guarantee funding for your business venture? Of course it won’t. But at least your business will not be automatically turned down before you can make your case for funding.

Standard Industry Classification Codes in a Recession: Takeaways

Choosing the incorrect Standard Industry Classification codes in a recession could end up costing your business. And it could get you labeled as high-risk. And this could directly impact your insurance premiums, your financing ability, and even your credit limit recommendations.

This small error of choosing the wrong SIC codes could cost your business in the future. Therefore, be sure to do your research before you select any SIC codes for your business. Because you might just end up choosing which SIC codes get you denied. And it does not have to be that way.

 

 

 

The post Standard Industry Classification Codes in a Recession – Which Get You Denied? appeared first on Credit Suite.

Coronavirus and SBA Business Loans: The Urgent News You Need to Know Now

The world is changing around us, and businesses are more on edge than ever before.  Making matters worse is the fact that things are changing by the minute. States are issuing new mandates constantly based on the most recent recommendations.  Stores are having trouble keeping necessities in stock because items fly off the shelves as soon as they are put there. Understandably, customers and prospects are getting nervous. 

How SBA Business Loans Can Help Your Business Survive and Even Thrive Despite the Coronavirus

As a result, steps are being taken to try and stop, or at least slow, ever sharpening decline of the economy. If you are wondering how to get capital to keep your business running or start a new business, there’s never been a better time.  Interest rates area at an all time low. Currently, banks are still lending. That means loans are available at dirt cheap rates, but not for long. Act now to get the best rates on SBA business loans.

Get the funding you need to keep your business running. 

SBA Business Loans are Actually a Great Option During this Time

Here’s the thing.  The federal government recently poured $50 billion into SBA loan programs for coronavirus relief. They are also waiving upfront fees on loans to veterans up to $1 million when it comes to the SBA Express program. 

As for the SBA Disaster relief fund, the SBA can now exercise available authority.  They will use funds to provide loans to businesses that are affected by coronavirus.  Funds can be used to help overcome disruptions caused by pandemic.  

Additionally, the President is asking Congress to increase funding for this program, with an intent to make 30 million small businesses more resilient to the economic impact of the coronavirus. These funds could be used to pay debts that would not be able to be paid otherwise due to the COVID-19 economic impact.  Bills such as payroll, accounts payment, and any others could be covered by these funds. 

However, you have to act fast.  There is a limited window to access money, and the money itself isn’t infinite.  Already, lenders are reviewing weekly statements rather than monthly statements. This is because when revenue starts to fall, business owners will lose the ability to get funding. 

What Exactly Does the SBA do? 

Their mission is to help U.S. small businesses not only survive, but thrive.  They offer a broad range of products through their programs. Yet, for the most part, the SBA does not lend money directly. They work through partner financial institutions to guarantee loans. In this way, they are able to leave the administration of the loans and disbursement of funds to those who do it on a regular basis. 

How Do SBA Business Loans Work? 

SBA business loans are small-business loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration and issued by participating lenders, mostly banks. They can guarantee up to 85% of loans of $150,000 or less.  In addition, loans that are more than $150,000 will guarantee up to 75%. The maximum loan amount they offer is $5 million. 

Due to the fact that these are government loans, meaning that they have a government guarantee, financial institutions are able to offer them at lower interest rates than they would be otherwise even before the rate cut. 

Who Qualifies for SBA Government Loans? 

To be eligible for SBA Government Loans, you must meet certain qualifications. These include:

  • Your business must be for profit.
  • Your business must be inside the US.
  • Business owners must invest equity.
  • You must have exhausted all other financing options.
  • Your business must qualify as a small business.
  • Your business must be in an eligible industry.

Keep in mind these can change given the current situation with the coronavirus.

Get the funding you need to keep your business running.

Repaying SBA Government Loans

One perk of SBA loans is that you get more time to pay them back than you would otherwise. According to the SBA, the terms depend on how you intend to use the funds. 

For example, working capital loans, or funds you intend to use for daily operation, have a repayment term of seven years. However, funds for new equipment purchase have a term of 10 years.  On the other hand, real estate loan terms extend even longer to 25 years. Of course, the longer the term the lower the interest, which means lower regular payments.

How Does the SBA Loan Guarantee Actually Work?

With little exception, the SBA does not actually provide the funds for the loans they guarantee. The lenders that partner with them provide the funds, but the agency guarantees a portion. Currently, they will guarantee up to $3.75 million. 

The SBA guarantee reduces the risk to the bank.  As a result, lenders are able to offer better interest rates and terms than they would be able to otherwise. If the borrower defaults on the loan, the Small Business Administration will pay out their guarantee amount. 

How to Apply for an SBA Government Loan

One of the downsides to SBA loans is that they have a lengthy and somewhat complicated application process. There is a lot of red tape involved, but understandably so considering it is the federal government and they are guaranteeing a huge chunk of the loan. This may be adjusted somewhat during the coronavirus outbreak.

Gather the Information

The first thing you have to do is gather the information you will need. This includes:

  • The SBA borrower loan information form
  • Statement of personal history
  • Personal financial statement
  • Personal income tax returns for the previous 3 years
  • Tax returns for the business for the previous 3 years
  • Business certificate or license
  • Business lease
  • Loan application history

This list along with links to forms and templates is available at SBA.gov. Once you have this information, you can start looking for a lender.

Get the funding you need to keep your business running.

Realize that once you and the lender determine which loan program will work best for your needs, there may be additional paperwork, as each loan has its own set of requirements.  This is a general list for beginning the application process for all loans.

To apply for SBA business loans because your business has suffered due to the coronavirus phenomenon, go here first.

Types of SBA Business Loans

In addition to those loan programs already mentioned that are receiving extra funding to help businesses during this time, the other SBA business loans are still available.  Due to the rate cut by the Federal Reserve, these should be available at super low rates.  

7(a) Loans

This is the Small Business Administration’s flagship loan program. It 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. 

The minimum credit score to qualify is 680, and there is also a required down payment of at least 10% for the purchase of a business, commercial real estate, or equipment. The minimum time in business is 2 years. In the case of startups, business experience equivalent to two years will suffice. 

This is by far the most popular loan program the SBA offers.  Funds are available for a broad range of projects, from working capital to refinancing debt, and even buying a new business or real estate.

SBA biz loans Credit Suite

SBA business loans

504 Loans

These SBA business loans are also available up to $5 million.  Funds can pay for machinery, facilities, or land. Generally, they are for expansion.  Private sector lenders or nonprofits process and disburse the funds. They work especially well for commercial real estate purchases. 

Terms for 504 Loans range from 10 to 20 years, and funding can take from 30 to 90 days. They require a minimum credit score of 680.  The asset that is being financed has to be used as collateral. There is also a down payment requirement of 10%, which can increase to 15% for a new business. 

Furthermore, to qualify you be in business at least 2 years, or management must have equivalent experience if the business is a startup. 

Microloans

Microloans are SBA business loans available in amounts up to $50,000. They work for starting a business, purchasing equipment, buying inventory, or for working capital. Community based non-profits administer microloan programs as intermediaries, with financing coming directly from the Small Business Administration. 

Interest rates on these loans are 7.75% to 8% above the lender’s cost to fund.  Terms go up to 6 years. They can take upwards of 90 days to fund. The minimum credit score is 640, and the collateral and down payment requirements vary by lender. 

SBA Express Loans

These SBA business loans max out at $350,000.  They have a maximum interest rate of 11.50%. Also, terms range from 5 to 25 years, and the SBA guarantee is less than with their other loan programs at 50%. To qualify, your credit score must be above 680, and you must have a debt to service ratio of 1.1 or higher. If the loan is greater than $25,000, collateral may be necessary depending on the lender. 

The turnaround for express loans is much faster.  In fact, the SBA takes 36 hours or less to give a decision. Necessary paperwork for application is less also.  Consequently, express loans are a great option for working capital, among other things, if you qualify. 

SBA CAPLine

There are 4 distinct CAPLine programs that differ mostly in the expenses they can fund. Each of them carries a maximum amount of $5 million and an interest rate that ranges from 7% to 10%. Funding can take 45 to 90 days. 

The four different programs are: 

  • Seasonal CAPLines -Financing for businesses preparing for a seasonal increase in sales.
  • Contract CAPLines -Financing for businesses that need funding to fill a contract.
  • Builder’s CAPLines -Financing for businesses taking on a real estate or construction project.
  • Working capital CAPLines -Financing for businesses that are struggling with a short-term slump in sales.

Credit score must be at least 680 to qualify.  There is no minimum time in business requirement unless you are getting a seasonal CAPLine. That one carries a one year business requirement. 

SBA Community Advantage Loans

This program is a pilot set to either expire or extend in 2020. Its purpose is to promote economic growth in underserved areas and markets. Credit decision makers overlook factors such as poor credit or low revenue if the business has the potential to stimulate the economy or create jobs in underserved areas. 

Loan amounts range from $50,000 to $250,000 with a maximum interest rate of 11%, while terms range up to 25 years.

 Other Programs

In addition to these loan programs, the SBA offers additional programs for certain groups. These include:

  • Veterans Advantage- General-use business loans with no guarantee fee for majority veteran-owned small businesses.
  • International Trade- General-use financing for businesses actively involved in international trade or hurt by competition from imports.
  • Export Working Capital Program- Short-term working capital for exporters backed by invoices or other business assets.

These are Scary Times, but SBA Business Loans are Here to Help

There’s no doubt about it.  These are unchartered waters.  No one knows what’s going to happen.  All we can do is act on what we do know right now.  Still, when it comes to applying for loans, you have to act fast before more changes happen and the window disappears.  For now, it is the perfect time to get SBA business loans.  

They can help your business not only survive, but even thrive in these troubled economic times.  However, there is limited time and limited funds available. Run, don’t walk. Even if you aren’t feeling the effects of the coronavirus on your business now, you likely will soon.  

Furthermore, if you don’t foresee a need for extra funds, you can still apply and take advantage of lower rates.  You may end up needing money and not be able to get it. If you don’t, you can always pay it back without ever using it.  No harm no foul is a good rule of thumb here. Better yet, you can use the funds to pivot and adapt your business to the changing economic scene and actually end up seeing more success.

The post Coronavirus and SBA Business Loans: The Urgent News You Need to Know Now appeared first on Credit Suite.

Try Some Warmer Cold Calling and More –10 Brilliant Business Tips of the Week

The Hottest and Most Brilliant Business Tips for YOU – Try Some Warmer Cold Calling and More

Our research ninjas at Credit Suite smuggled out ten amazing business tips for you! Be fierce and score in business with the best tips around the web. You can use them today and see fast results. You can take that to the bank – these are foolproof! Summer’s about over – it’s time for warmer cold calling!

Stop making stupid decisions and start powering up your business. Demolish your business nightmares and start celebrating as your business fulfills its promise.

And these brilliant business tips are all here for free! So settle in and scoop up these tantalizing goodies before your competition does!

#10. Upsell Like a Champ

Our first jaw-dropping tip is all about upselling. Small Biz Trends says there are some techniques out there which are more effective than not. It’s a bit like warmer cold calling.

25 Percenters

So, here’s an interesting one. Did you know that an offered upsell shouldn’t add more than 25% onto the initial price? But why?

Because otherwise it can feel overwhelming to the customer. This one is truly brilliant. And you see it in practice all the time.

“You want fries with that?”

“For an extra $2, we’ll throw in a pack of pens with your notebook purchase.”

“If you get the sport package, you get a spoiler and a sunroof.”

“Add a salad and we’ll call it a dinner. Then you can get free dessert!”

“Now that you got a new pair of running shoes, wouldn’t you love a new pair of running shorts?”

“Ever notice how when you paint a room, a lot of other things look dull? Buy six gallons of our matte finish latex paint and we’ll throw in a new picture frame.”

You get the idea. It doesn’t work if you offer a second Big Mac (usually). And if you’re already getting an entrée, you probably don’t want a second. But you might be tempted to have a salad. In fact, having a salad translate into a free dessert also takes advantage of people wanting to be virtuous by eating a salad – and then decadent by capping their meal with a hot fudge sundae.

Unbundling

By the way, unbundling can feel weird! Your intrepid blog writer owns a pretty basic car but it’s got a sun roof. And it was quite the chore to get the extra – it had to be specially added. Because sun roofs tend to go with sporty packages, not basic sedans.

Still, I got my sun roof. It was a lot like warmer cold calling in that I was already there and buying. The dealer just had to make sure I was 100% happy so I wouldn’t run off to a dealer down the street.

So try this rule of 25% the next time you’re putting together upselling ideas. And can I have some of your fries?

#9. Scratch ‘Create an Email List’ Off Your To-Do List in an Hour

The next awesome tip is about creating an email list from scratch – fast. Sumo notes it’s easy to get email lists wrong. No argument here.

Now, keep in mind, the article isn’t much more than a long ad for Sumo. But Sumo is free, so we’re okay with that. And it does make one point which we would like to showcase.

Not all of your contacts are alike.

As a result of this insight – which we will be the first to admit isn’t much of an insight – you should be segmenting your email list. We tend to do this intuitively, and we don’t even know we’re doing it.

As in, if your grandmother is in your address book, you probably won’t invite her to go out clubbing with you (or maybe you will…). But your pals from college? You’re a lot more likely to invite them. And you’ll even go more granular. Your quiet roommate might not make the invitation list, but your clubbing partner from back in the day is more likely to.

So the moral of the story is – don’t treat your customers and prospects as one big monolith.

Gee, where have we heard that before?

Warmer Cold Calling Credit Suite

If you are as passionate about succeeding in business as we are, please help us spread the word about how to take the plunge and save time and money – and your sanity! Leave the sales freezer behind with warmer cold calling and more.

#8. A Lot Better Than Vacation Slides

Our following life-changing tip concerns using Facebook slideshow ads to their fullest potential. Wordstream lays it all out for us.

You’ve probably seen these. In fact, you may not have seen these on Facebook (or been aware that they were what you were seeing). Slideshows.

For example, have you ever been on a site for a clothing retailer and been served both the front and back versions of an outfit? Not separate images – more that the front images change to the back on occasion, and then back again. That’s a slideshow.

For Facebook, one great idea is to showcase variety. If you’re a residential real estate agent, why not show one-family and two-family houses? Or big apartments and studios? Or both the east and west sides of town?

We highly recommend reading the entire article. Yes, it’s that helpful. It’s as good as warmer cold calling – and may even be better.

#7. Great Business Leaders – Are They Born or Made?

For our next sensational tip, we looked at what a new business leader should really be like. Startup Professionals notes a charismatic, innovative leader has certain characteristics.

They looked at people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, but also Elon Musk. And the one characteristic we preferred was doing good works. But our second chance characteristic was lifelong learning.

Hey, you don’t need to be a big time innovator to do either, or both.

#6. Being a Great Boss – An Argument for Nurture Versus Nature

This tip is so cool, and it works! Work It Daily tells us all about developing leadership skills. They note there are some great methods for learning leadership skills. Perhaps our two favorites were all about enthusiasm and knowing yourself.

True Story

Over 20 years ago, your intrepid blog writer worked in the insurance industry. Often, these jobs were dull and repetitious. And that attitude came straight from the top. When management acted uninterested in being there, so did everyone else. Talk about your downers!

Then in 2004, I worked for Dictaphone, in voice recognition (this late lamented company no longer exists). And there things were waaaaaay different. The boss was not just friendly and approachable. She loved her job. And everyone under her caught her fever. We loved working there, and we loved working for her. It all came from her enthusiastic, whole-hearted embrace of our projects.

Want to build voice recognition for lawyers? Awesome! For police officers? Let’s help them catch some criminals. For firefighters? Cool, let’s make their lives easier so they can go back to saving people. For doctors? Terrific – let’s make this chore simple so they can cure cancer and hangnails.

And it goes on.

Want to be a good leader? Then be excited about what you and your team do. And if you aren’t, then maybe you should be considering a new line of work.

#5. Get Out of the Sales Ice Box With Warmer Cold Calling

Grab this mind-blowing tip while it’s hot!

Warmer cold calling is where it’s at. LinkedIn says there are a number of things you can do which aren’t cold calling!

We loved these. Now, keep in mind, we are research fans here, so the first tip was a great one. And it’s LinkedIn! Egad, if you’re going to find out stuff about a prospect, then the prospect’s company website (and maybe blog) plus LinkedIn are THE places to go.

The Times, They Are A-Changin’

Be An Innovator Credit SuiteSo here’s a question. When was the last time you saw someone selling door to door? Not people talking religion – real-live salespeople. For your intrepid blog writer, it was maybe eight to ten years ago, possibly more.

I was sitting on the front porch steps, eating ice cream. And this guy was walking past and he said something from the sidewalk. Now, keep in mind, this is a secondary access road, so there’s traffic on it, and it can be loud.

My “What?” was, to him, an invitation to walk up my front walk and try to hand me literature on buying a satellite dish. And here I was thinking he wanted to know how to get to the Thai place on the corner.

So he hands me papers. I had them back. He hands them to me again. And I give them back again. We do this little dance a couple of times. The big recycling bin is nearby, so the next time I get the papers, I toss them in there.

Oh, I got an earful then. Well, guess what, dude? You weren’t welcome. You slid in under false pretenses. And you didn’t listen to me, not one bit.

What the heck did you honestly expect was going to happen?

C’mon Already!

Don’t be that guy. Do your research and know your prospects. Because if this guy had, he would’ve known that my house is over 100 years old and there is no way I am ever putting a dish anywhere near it.

Please don’t write to us about the merits of satellite dishes. Thank you in advance.

Warmer Cold Calling Credit Suite

If you are as passionate about succeeding in business as we are, please help us spread the word about how to take the plunge and save time and money – and your sanity! Leave the sales freezer behind with warmer cold calling and more.

#4. Time is Running Out to Write Scarcity Emails!

Check out this spectacular tip, all about scarcity marketing techniques to boost email conversions. Sleek Note informs us that you can tap into customer fear of missing out in any number of ingenious ways. Talk about creating what is essentially a form of warmer cold calling!

There’s More Than Way to be Scarce

So the first thing we noticed was there’s more than one way to convey scarcity. Sometimes it’s the scarcity of the product. You know the drill – they tell you they’re about to sell out of something or other. But did you know that adding a number makes the claim more believable?

But there’s another way to show scarcity – it’s a scarcity of time. “Time is running out!” “You’ve got just two hours left to get …”

Yet another way is via exclusivity. This also appeals to customer desires to be and feel special. And they feel they can be seen as special by others. Social currency is absolutely a thing – and for many people, it feels scarce. A lot of folks will do just about anything to have more of it.

NOW.

#3. You Oughta Be in Pictures

It’s not your imagination: this winning tip can help you grow your YouTube channel. Noobpreneur tells us going with a niche is a great strategy. We agree!

Consider this. Do you listen to the radio? It can be in the car or at home or via satellite. Doesn’t matter. But what does matter is the radio doesn’t play just anything. You’re highly unlikely to hear gangsta rap right after a classical piece. And that’s true even if you, personally, like both pieces of music.

This is because the radio is segmented, big time. And maybe a little too much these days. You can get more than one version of 80s music, for example.

So consider such a strategy for YouTube, and don’t try to be all things to all people. Not even Casey Kasem was.

#2. Tapping into Influence

Our second to last unbeatable tip can give you a new perspective on how influencers can promote their platforms. Young Upstarts reveals all about it.

The biggest insight we got was to adapt messaging depending on which platform you’re on. And that works for us. In particular, it matters in terms of platforms you’re trying to break into.

If you’re awesome on Facebook, guess what? You need a whole new approach for Snapchat.

Another great idea was to provide something in return for following. Truth is, we do that here.

That’s kinda what this blog is all about, folks.

#1. Dear Sir or Madam: Please Buy Ad Space On My Blog kthxbai

We saved the best for last. For our favorite remarkable tip, we focused on getting companies to buy advertising space on your blog. The Work At Home Woman says you, too, can grab this blogging Holy Grail.

One thing the article goes into is working directly with an advertiser versus an ad network. To our eyes, it looks like an ad network is a great way to get started. The network will do the legwork in terms of finding advertisers. But be aware – for most of the ones mentioned, you need 25,000 or more clicks per month on your blog.

Yeah. About that.

Affiliate Marketing

So there’s another way to monetize things, and it doesn’t hinge on clicks. It’s affiliate marketing. That’s where bloggers add (for example) a link to Amazon for selling a book. The link is particular to the blogger so, if you click through and buy the book, the blogger will get a cut of the proceeds. Because you’re there voluntarily, it’s better than warmer cold calling – you’re actually a hot prospect!

But…

Just like for ads, though, recognize one thing. If your blog isn’t uber-popular, you’re not going to make a lot of money. The number of people who do isn’t very large. Still, you can make some mad money with ads and affiliate marketing. After all, there are some ad networks which aren’t looking for such huge blogs with so much traffic (although shop around and do your homework, to make sure the ad network is reputable and will pay you).

Just don’t quit your day job.

So which one of our brilliant business tips was your favorite? And which one will you be implementing now?

Warmer Cold Calling Credit Suite

If you are as passionate about succeeding in business as we are, please help us spread the word about how to take the plunge and save time and money – and your sanity! Leave the sales freezer behind with warmer cold calling and more.

The post Try Some Warmer Cold Calling and More –10 Brilliant Business Tips of the Week appeared first on Credit Suite.

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