8 Alternative Crowdfunders To Fund Your Business

Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships. Learn more.

alternative crowdfunders

When we survey the socio-economic landscape for entrepreneurs, two seemingly incongruous things stick out. First, recent economic data indicates that the rate of startup business creation in the US is near its 40-year low. Second, over this past decade — the very decade that has seen a nadir in entrepreneurship — young companies have raised billions of dollars from (mostly) ordinary people through crowdfunding campaigns. In fact, Kickstarter (the biggest rewards crowdfunding platform) has facilitated the raising of $3.4 billion since its birth in 2009.

From these facts, we can deduce that entrepreneurship is widely popular among Americans in 2017, if only as a spectator sport and not a participatory one. What also becomes clear is that people can be readily persuaded to financially support new businesses if they stand to benefit from that support!

If you’re building a new business at this moment in history, you may well be considering giving crowdfunding a go. You’ve probably heard of the “big three” crowdfunding giants: Kickstarter (see our review), Indiegogo (see our review), and GoFundMe (see our review). However, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to seek out an alternative crowdfunder. Maybe you’ve read accounts of how the process of crowdfunding on Kickstarter has become unduly influenced by investor-backed campaigns and crowdfunding agencies. Or perhaps you want to be able to offer rewards to your backers in a different way than the Big Three allow. Maybe you want to give people rewards on a continuing basis and not just once. Maybe you want to give donors equity in your company instead of a mere gadget or trinket.

The point is, there’s no one right way to do crowdfunding. Different crowdfunding platforms may have more to offer you than others, depending on your particular business type. The following alternative crowdfunders may help you tap the coffers of The Crowd in a different manner than the more established platforms.

Table of Contents

patreon

Perhaps it’s a bit of a stretch to refer to Patreon (see our review) as an “alternative” crowdfunder, considering their rising popularity and outsized public profile in the creative industries. However, their approach to crowdfunding still stands as unique. Patreon was founded in 2013 by a musician who was frustrated by the lack of ways for up-and-coming artists to effectively monetize their work. He saw his friends set up Kickstarter campaigns for support with one artistic project, then struggle to come up with a rationale to launch a second Kickstarter campaign for their next endeavor. Seeing an opportunity to offer a more rational crowdfunding model for creatives who release content continuously, he started Patreon.

Unlike Kickstarter and just about every other rewards crowdfunding platform, Patreon operates almost like a subscription service for artists and other content creators. People who like your work can sign up to financially support you on either a per-month or per-creation basis. In exchange, they get access to exclusive content that you make available only to your paying followers, whether it be an LP, drawings, videos, podcast episodes, or just about anything else under the sun.

Patreon takes 5% of the money you raise in fees, which is pretty much the standard rate in rewards crowdfunding. Unfortunately, an additional ~5% goes to the payment processor, which is more than Kickstarter’s payment processing fee rate of approximately 3%. For most creatives on the site, however, the convenience of not having to launch a whole new campaign for their every endeavor makes Patreon quite the cost-efficient prospect nonetheless. What’s more, Patreon is more relaxed than many crowdfunders when it comes to permitted content, allowing for a wider spectrum of expression than the competition. From the political irreverence of Chapo Trap House to the various hentai artists using the platform (not gonna include any links here, sorry), Patreon supports content creators other crowdfunders might shy away from.

Read my Patreon review if the idea of long-term crowdfunding sounds appealing.

fundrazr

You may not have heard of Fundrazr (see our review), but, as it happens, it is Canada’s largest crowdfunding platform. It might not have the name recognition of some of its larger competitors south of the 49th parallel, but this rewards crowdfunder has some distinct advantages for certain kinds of businesses.

First off, FundRazr doesn’t pre-screen campaigns before allowing them to fundraise, nor does it limit the duration of your campaigns. It also permits you to keep whatever you raise even if you don’t reach your funding goal. These are three things Kickstarter doesn’t allow. What’s more, FundRazr’s fees match those of most of the crowdfunding industry (5% to the platform with an additional ~3% for the payment processor), so you’re not paying extra for this flexibility.

Another unique feature offered by FundRazr is Crowdfunding As A Service. If you choose to use this, you can host funding campaigns on your own website, under your brand, not that of FundRazr. Essentially, this turns FundRazr into a white label crowdfunder. Hosting crowdfunding campaigns for people in your community under your business’s name can provide your brand with a nice image boost.

Check out our FundRazr review to see if what’s good enough for Canada is good enough for your business.

kiva logo

What if there were a way to get crowdfunded support for your business in the form of a loan instead of a gift premised on future rewards? What if I were to tell you that these loans come with 0% interest? Does this sound too good to be true? Well, Kiva U.S. (see our review) shows that this concept is indeed a reality.

Kiva U.S. is a nonprofit P2P (peer-to-peer) small business microlender whose funding campaigns resemble those of other crowdfunding sites, except in this case, your backers are lenders who chip in to offer you a loan. Kiva U.S. operates on the principle of “social underwriting,” meaning that your loan-worthiness depends not on your credit score (Kiva U.S. doesn’t even check your credit score) but on the trust of the community. The hope is that you’ll be motivated to stay in the good graces of the community, which is especially important if you decide to seek a second loan from said community!

Of course, you’re getting a loan, not a gift, so you’ll have to pay the money back if you don’t want Kiva telling the business credit agencies of your misdeeds. However, these loans carry no interest whatsoever. Neither are there any origination fees. You are only responsible for paying back the principal. You can raise as little as $25 to as much as $10K. For the right type of business, it’s a remarkable funding deal.

Read our Kiva U.S. review if the idea of interest-free loans for your business appeals to you.

crowdfunder

With the most generic name in the crowdfunding industry, Crowdfunder (see our review) is far from a generic crowdfunder. In fact, Crowdfunder is a pioneer in the field of equity crowdfunding. Equity crowdfunding is a form of investment in which your backers are investors who fund you in exchange for equity in your company, not gadgets or other exclusive content. Equity crowdfunding has only recently become legal thanks to the passage of the JOBS Act in 2012.

Crowdfunder lets you raise money from accredited investors (this term refers to people with high incomes and/or significant wealth and doesn’t necessarily denote any particular skill in investing). This is a crowd that likes to keep a pulse on the next big thing, so if your new business is one of the rare startups with exponential growth potential, Crowdfunder’s investors may well want to get in on the action.

Crowdfunder is unique in other ways as well. Crowdfunder doesn’t collect the funds pledged to your venture — you have to collect the funds offline from the investors themselves. Accordingly, neither Crowdfunder nor any payment processor takes a cut of what you raise. However, you will need to purchase a subscription package in order to fundraise on the platform. Crowdfunder’s monthly subscription packages start at $449 per month.

It’s not for everybody, but Crowdfunder’s unique flavor of equity crowdfunding holds great potential for the right kind of business. Read our Crowdfunder review for more information.

Ulele bills itself as the “the 1st European crowdfunding site” though they host campaigns from North America and Australia as well. Ulele strives to lend a human touch to rewards crowdfunding, offering personalized coaching to all Ulele project creators, which (according to Ulele) has produced a 68% funding success rate for projects on the site. Ulele claims that this is a “record rate among international mainstream crowdfunding platforms.”

Ulele maintains a consistently bright and cheerful feel throughout the site, and its focus is on fashion, design, games, music, and art. Ulele is worth considering as a crowdfunding platform if you have items of value to offer as rewards that might have a particular appeal to the European market, as Ulele is more of a known entity there. As for fees, Ulele charges 6.67% of all funds received by credit card and 4.17% of all funds collected via check or PayPal.

fundable

Fundable (see our review) is a hybrid crowdfunding platform in that its hosts both rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns. Not just anyone can start a campaign on this site — as with Kickstarter, Fundable pre-screens all campaigns to determine their suitability for crowdfunding. Another trait it shares with Kickstarter is the fact that the funding campaigns are all-or-nothing. If you don’t reach your funding goal, you collect $0, and you do not pass Go.

Instead of charging a platform fee on what you raise, Fundable charges a flat monthly fee of $179. Unfortunately, this means that you can end up in the red if your campaign doesn’t hit its marks. And while Fundable charges a fee of about 3.5% for payment processing for rewards campaigns, it does not do so for equity campaigns, because all payments are made offline from the investor to the campaigner in a Fundable equity campaign.

There’s something of an air of exclusivity around Fundable, but certain businesses may stand to benefit from this unique platform. For instance, you can start off with a Fundable rewards campaign, and if you’re successful, you can use your success to demonstrate the appeal of your product to investors and pivot to an Equity campaign without having to go to another service.

Check out our Fundable review if you’re intrigued.

wefunder

The other equity crowdfunding platforms I’ve covered thus far have been for accredited investors (i.e. rich investors) only. Wefunder (see our review) is different. It is, by a significant margin, the largest equity crowdfunding platform that lets non-accredited investors (everyone) invest in your business. Sometimes referred to as Regulation Crowdfunding, Wefunder is the one company that has figured out how to do it right.

Regulation Crowdfunding has only existed since May 2016, when the provision of the JOBS Act authorizing it finally took effect. It’s fair to say that the kinks are still being worked out. However, if you want to get in on this new field and feel like a pioneer, Wefunder is the platform to go with. It does charge $195 to launch your campaign, however. Wefunder also takes 7% of what you raise in fees. However, all payment processing fees are paid by the investors.

Read our Wefunder review if you want to get in on Regulation Crowdfunding.

kickfurther

So far, we’ve covered rewards crowdfunders, debt crowdfunders, and equity crowdfunders. However, Kickfurther (see our review) is difficult to even classify! Truly an alternative crowdfunder, Kickfurther is entirely unique in that instead of raising money in exchange for rewards or equity shares, you offer your backers the chance to purchase inventory on consignment. Your backers also get their own Kickfurther-branded online store in which they can sell your products.

It’s an odd arrangement, so I’ll try to explain it using an example. Perhaps the most prominent project on Kickfurther was the Vaportini, a weird alcohol vaporizing system. If you backed the project, you were offered a 16% return on your investment in the event that 88% of the inventory is sold. To be sure, it’s an odd system, but if you like the idea of having your backers help finance your inventory purchases and having some of them sell your product online, you might want to look into Kickfurther.

One caveat for backers: Kickfurther doesn’t appear to do a good enough job ensuring that backers get paid what they’re due. In fact, a comment was left on my review from one of the backers of the Vaportini, claiming that the company took their money and defaulted on the payback “with no enforcement, follow up, or communication from Kickfurther.” I found other reports from backers of Kickfurther projects with similar stories. Bottom line: Kickfurther may be an interesting prospect for businesses with unique products to sell, but backers have ample reason to be wary of the platform.

Read our Kickfurther review if you’re interested in crowdfunded inventory purchases and/or alcohol vaporizers.

Final Thoughts

I wanted to take you beyond the Kickstarters and Indiegogos of the crowdfunding world to show you some of the innovative — and sometimes downright bizarre — crowdfunders out there doing it their own way. There’s no “right” way to conduct a crowdfunding campaign. It all depends on the type of business you own and the sort of product, service or experience you have to offer. Know your options, then dive in and give it a shot!

Jason Vissers

Jason Vissers is a writer, cereal chef and Netflix aficionado from San Diego. A native Californian who enjoys the beach, Jason nonetheless prefers to do his surfing on the World Wide Web, the raddest wave of them all. Jason can’t eat raisins.

Jason Vissers

“”

404 Page Best Practices, Ideas, & Examples

It’s an annoyance for site owners and visitors alike – the 404 page. A visitor types in a URL or clicks a link and expects to land on a certain page, but they get this instead…

404 error

It’s frustrating, but it’s also a part of life on the web. Mistakes will be made, and error messages will be seen.

But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. In fact, you can turn your website’s error page (also known as a 404 or Page Not Found error) into a positive experience for your visitors.

But before we get there, let’s cover a few of the basics.

What is a 404 Error?

A 404 is the error page your server shows when it cannot find the page someone is looking for on your site. It is also known as a Page Not Found error, because it is shown when a specific page within a live website cannot be found (if the entire website were down, a different error would show).

4o4 pages are usually shown when someone mistypes a web address, or if a page has been taken down and a redirect to a different page has not been set up.

Why does it matter?

A 404 error page is actually a necessity, because it lets a user know that whatever they’re looking for cannot be found.

And while a 404 page isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it shouldn’t be caused by your own internal links. This means that whenever you link to another page on your site, you should always be pointing to an actual page — not a “page not found” error code.

To make sure none of your internal links are rendering a 404 page, use Screaming Frog to do a scan of your site’s pages. You can also use the Chrome browser extension, Check My Links, to do a quick scan of the page you’re currently on. If you are specifically looking for Googlebot 404s, you can check your Search Console report.

link checker

But even if you have all of your ducks in a row when it comes to internal links, your website visitors are human. There’s always a chance of a URL typo that will bring up your 404 page. There’s also the possibility that others who link to your site may link to an outdated page that does not have a redirect, or may type the URL incorrectly, which will also render a 404 error.

As such, it’s important to have a page that clearly communicates the error and provides a good user experience (more on that in a minute).

When to Redirect vs. When to 404

Like anything on your website, the decision to implement a redirect (when you automatically send a user to a new page when they type in an old URL) or to show a 404 error page isn’t black and white. It all depends on user experience.

Let’s say you have a page that ranks high in search engines and includes a ton of external links to it. For some reason, you take it down. In this case, you’d probably want to create a redirect to something similar and reach out to the external linkers to get the links replaced with the new content.

In other cases, it may be better to use a 404 page because it clearly shows users the information that they’re expecting to see doesn’t exist. For example, if you expect to land on a blog post about the best dog toys for large dogs, but end up on the brand’s product page for dog toys instead, you’d probably be a bit confused (and maybe even frustrated).

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into some 404 page best practices that you should be using on your own site.

Explain What’s Happening

Have you ever landed on an error page full of technical jargon like “Internal server error” or “File or directory not found”?

It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

Don’t make the same mistake on your 404 page. While a lot of error pages come with standard 404 messaging like “page not found” or “there’s been an error”, take the extra step to make sure the copy on the page is rid of technical website jargon and explains what went wrong.

REI

Ex: REI

Remember that a lot of searches aren’t even aware of what a 404 error is, which means it’s on you to break down what’s happening when they hit the error page.

Be Consistent with Your Brand

Out of the box 404 pages are rarely a thing of beauty. And while your page doesn’t need to be masterfully designed, it should fit in with your overall website design and brand voice.

To make sure it does, put some sort of branding on the page (or at least make sure your site navigation and logo appear at the top). You’ll also want to be sure that any additional elements on the page (like photos, colors, and fonts) fit with your site’s color palette.

Reddit

Ex: Reddit

When it comes to the actual copy on the page, keep it warm and welcoming. A 404 error shouldn’t be a disaster, and your copy should make that clear. You’ll also want the copy to match with your overall vibe (i.e. if you’re cheeky on the rest of your site, be cheeky here).

Give Them Somewhere to Go

The last thing you want someone to do when they land on your 404 page is hit the back button. Unfortunately, this happens all the time.

Why? Because there’s nowhere to go! Take this error from Bank of America. There’s no action to take but to reload the page or head back to wherever you were before this page.

Bank of America

Don’t fall into this trap. Make sure your 404 page invites people to go somewhere else on your site. A standard practice is to leave a link to the homepage at the very least, so users can navigate to the start of your site. It can also be good to include a search bar so users can search for exactly what they were looking for when they initially landed here.

MailChimp

Ex: MailChimp

But Don’t Overwhelm

You want to give users an option of where to go from your 404 page — but this doesn’t mean dump every link you have on them and make them choose without any context.

To ensure your 404 page provides a good user experience, limit the links on the page to a few key ones, like your homepage and contact page. No matter which links you choose, make sure you include the homepage for those users who aren’t totally sure what they’re looking for yet.

Litmus

Ex: Litmus

Get Creative

A great 404 page can be the opportunity to change a visitor’s feeling about their whole experience with you. You can take a user from frustrated to satisfied just by using a bit of creativity on your page.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to weave a bit of humor into it. Take this clever 404 page from LEGO, which uses Legos to convey the error.

LEGO

Keep in mind that however you represent the error on your page, it needs to fit with your overall brand. For example, if you’re an attorney, you may not want to make jokes on your 404 page. But this doesn’t mean you can’t get creative! Take Chase as an example:

CHASE

They do a great job of adding a touch of creativity with their copy while still keeping things professional.

Looking for extra inspiration for your 404 page? Here are a few more that we love:

Bloomberg

This 404 page from Bloomberg animates a businessman destroying his computer and then combusting. The clever use of animation and humor make landing on this error page actually worth it!

LinkedIn

LinkedIn

You don’t have to be a creative genius to have a good 404 page. Sometimes simple is better. We like LinkedIn’s because it’s straightforward. The moving telescope is a nice touch, too.

NPR

NPR

NPR does a great job of giving the user the right number of options for a next step and adding a bit of humor with their stories about lost people, places, and things. Bonus points for adding a place to report the page as missing . This is a great way to make sure they’re accounting for non-user errors.

There’s always a chance of someone getting a 404 error on your website — it’s up to you to make the experience a good one.

Remember that your 404 page has the opportunity to change a user’s experience with you. It’s an excellent opportunity to take a frustrated visitor and turn them into a fan of your business.

At the very least, a good 404 page clearly explains the error, why it might be happening, and gives visitors a path to follow to continue interacting with the rest of the website.

To take your page up a notch, try weaving in some of your brand personality a bit more. Play with creativity and humor (if appropriate). You never know when a good 404 page can turn someone into a brand advocate or loyal customer.

“”

Homepage Best Practices, Ideas, & Examples

Ah, the homepage. If you’re like most website owners, you’ve put massive thought into making your front page look amazing.

But there’s a rhyme and reason behind homepage design… at least, there should be. Your homepage likely attracts the most visitors of any page on your site. It’s the front door to the rest of your content — and the rest of your business online.

Think about your own browsing habits. What happens when you have a bad homepage experience on someone’s website? You likely hit the back button ASAP.

So let’s talk about getting your homepage where it needs to be. Here are five homepage best practices you should follow, from how your copy should be written to how to give visitors next steps (with examples)!

Your homepage should…

Highlight Who You Are and What You Do

For many (but certainly not most) visitors, your homepage is their very first interaction with you. This means it needs to answer these two questions immediately: Who are you and what do you do?

There should be no doubt in a visitor’s mind that they’re in the right place when they hit your homepage. If they can’t identify who you are and what you have to offer in a matter of seconds, they’re going to bounce (and probably head to your competitors).

Dropbox

Who does it well: Dropbox

Vibe with Your Audience

There’s no point in dropping tons of bucks to design a homepage if it doesn’t resonate with your target audience — no matter how beautiful it is.

Your homepage should be all about your users, which means it needs to read the way they speak and have a design that gives off the right perceptions about your brand.

Keep your copy clean, straightforward, and rid of jargon that could confuse your audience. You’ll also want to make sure your design is clean, offers a great user experience, and gives off the emotions you want associated with your business.

For example, a bank may want to have a more professional feel and use colors that portray trust and reliability (like blue). In contrast, a doggy daycare may want to be more playful and fun and use bright colors, creative fonts, and animations.

Ellevest

Who does it well: Ellevest

Help Users Find What They’re Looking For

While your homepage is a huge source of new traffic, most of the time your homepage visitors come to your site knowing what they’re looking for. Why not give it to them in as simple a way as possible?

Your website’s navigation should be clearly visible at the top of your homepage and have logical paths to guide users to the next step. You can also include a website search, which gives users direct access to exactly what they’re looking for without having to click through multiple pages (this can be especially handy for ecommerce businesses who have tons of products).

Au Lit Fine Linens

Who does it well: Au Lit Fine Linens

Be Responsive

It’s not enough to have a homepage that looks great on a desktop. In today’s day and age, your website must be optimized for every type of device. A 2016 study by Hitwise saw mobile search made up approximately 58% of search queries — which means a significant portion of your traffic is coming from mobile devices.

But optimizing your homepage for mobile means more than just making sure your design fits the screen dimensions — it means the entire experience needs to be user-friendly for mobile users.

Your mobile homepage should be rid of anything that makes it cumbersome to navigate and use your site (like annoying pop-ups that are hard to close on a small screen). It should also load quickly and feature clear and simple navigation.

Kong

Who does it well: Kong Company

Tell People What to Do Next

If users get stuck on your homepage, it’s not doing its job. The page should be logical — which means it should have primary and secondary calls-to-action (CTAs) that help your users take the best next step depending on what they came to do.

Your primary CTA (the main action you want users to take) should be “above the fold”, which is designer jargon for “above where the page cuts off and a user has to scroll down”. Your secondary CTAs can sit lower on the page.

Keep in mind that while you don’t want users hanging out on your homepage forever, that doesn’t mean you should go into CTA overload. Stick to a few actions that your audience may want to take and make sure you cover all stages of someone’s “journey” with you (i.e. have an action for those who are ready to convert, and one for those who are simply looking to learn more about you).

HupSpot

HubSpot2

Who does it well: HubSpot

Need extra inspiration? Here are three more examples of homepages that hit it out of the park:

Design and User Experience

Milwaukee Ballet

The Milwaukee Ballet homepage immediately catches the eye with a beautiful video of dancers performing. The entire homepage hero slideshow is video, but it doesn’t overwhelm. In fact, it hits just the right vibe a ballet-lover would love: elegant, sophisticated, and fluid.

But perhaps the best part of this homepage is that the user experience doesn’t take a backseat to the design. The navigation is easy to find and use (search bar included), and the CTAs over the video slideshow are logical and clear.

Clear Value Proposition

KIND Snacks

KIND Snacks gets full marks for its amazing tagline and value proposition. A visitor immediately understands what sets KIND apart as soon as they land on the homepage. Plus, the use of contrasting colors makes the whole page pop and immediately draws your eye to the product photo and tagline. Speaking of product photos… the KIND bar photo and secondary CTA photos are the level of quality homepage designers should be looking for. They do a great job of making the snacks look ultra-appealing.

Less is More

Lululemon

Remember that your homepage doesn’t need to be all things for your website. In fact, it needs to be one thing — the gateway to the rest of your site. Sometimes this means less is more, as is the case with Lululemon.

This minimalist homepage balances bold photos and colors with a clean design and straightforward navigation. There’s no doubt about what actions a user with a specific goal should take. Lululemon covers everything from trends, to different clothing categories, to gifts. They also do a great job of throwing in a value proposition at the top of their site to help reassure uncertain buyers: free shipping and free returns.

A great homepage draws in visitors and then keeps them on your site. This means the focus of your homepage shouldn’t be just a cool design — it should be on clearly communicating your value and next steps to your audience.

But keep in mind your homepage isn’t set in stone. In fact, it shouldn’t be! Your homepage should always be fresh to keep users engaged.

To be sure your homepage is delivering, keep an eye on how your it performs in Analytics. Look especially at the Bounce Rate to determine if people are leaving immediately after landing there. If the bounce rate is high, it could mean visitors can’t find what they’re looking for, or you haven’t sold them on your value proposition.

Most importantly, be flexible! If you think something isn’t working, hop in there and fix it. In fact, try that now. Head over to your homepage and identify one thing you could change, and do it.

“”

Team Bio Series – Chris Motola (Gamer Extraordinaire)

Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships. Learn more.

Chris Motola: Merchant Maverick’s own little piece of Brooklyn. When he’s not writing about, erm, extremely dubious financial products, he’s playing table games, hiking, or geeking-out, Tarantino-style. (What is a Tarantino-style nerd? Do they perform Kill Bill cosplay? Or meet for table reads of Jackie Brown? Chris isn’t telling.) Let’s find out more about how the East Coast’s number one writer of MCA reviews rolls…

Name: Chris Motola

Title: Writer – Loans and MCAs

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Current city: Middletown, NY

Education and background: BA in English Writing from SUNY Oswego; MS in Interactive Media from University of Central Florida. I’ve worked a variety of jobs over the years–banking, warehouse, social services–but I keep coming back to writing in some form. I started off in print working for a small business and healthcare publisher in Upstate New York. I’m just old enough to have worked both sides of the digital transition.

Merchant Maverick department/specialty: I mainly cover merchant cash advances, but I also write about equipment financing, loans, and credit cards. Previously I was covering scheduling software and email marketing as a freelancer.

How did you discover Merchant Maverick?: Through the grapevine, really. My friend is friends with my editor’s brother. He told me Merchant Maverick was looking for writers. It was a happy coincidence.

Proudest professional moment: It’s hard to pin it down to any one thing. I enjoy the feeling of producing something, whether it’s a tangible product like a sandwich or something more abstract like an article. If you put a gun to my head, though, it would probably be the first time I saw my name in print. It felt like I’d managed to finally make it through the gate.

Favorite Merchant Maverick post/moment/opportunity: It would definitely be the invitation to join the staff. I had some experience covering finance from back in the day, so it turned out to be a good fit. As for content, I like knowing I’m helping readers make informed decisions about risky financial products.

What do you do when you’re not working for Merchant Maverick?: In my other life, I’m a game designer who dabbles in web development. I enjoy learning as a hobby, which might sound pretentious, but it’s more masochism than idealism. I like powering through frustration until the moment where something clicks. I’m into a lot of geek stuff: movies, tabletop games, video games, shows, though my geekdom probably aligns more with Tarantino or John Carpenter than Marvel. When I step away from glowing screens, I enjoy cooking, eating out, climbing mountains, and exploring towns and cities in the region.

You’re a new addition to the Marvel Universe. Who are you and why?: In spirit, I’d probably have more in common with Squirrel Girl than Doctor Doom or Captain America. I’d be Oblivion, a Walter Mitty type who discovers that I can create dimensional holes when I zone out or daydream. At first everyone, myself included, would think portals lead to pocket universes born of my imagination. In truth, they just deposit my victims into random Yum Brands (KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut) franchise restaurants throughout the world.

Favorite ‘90s song: Soundgarden’s Outshined

Favorite breakfast food? I usually skip breakfast, but I’ll be a basic New Yorker and say bagel with cream cheese.

What are three items on your bucket list?: 

  • Travel to Asia
  • Complete and publish a work of fiction, either a game or a novel
  • Be functionally literate in another language, probably Spanish

If you could travel back in time and live in a different era, which would you choose and why?: Hmm. Most of them were objectively pretty bad. I’d probably be self-serving, go back to the 90s and set myself straight.

Mac or Windows?: Mac’s alright, but I prefer Windows.

If you could have lunch with a famous person, past or present, who would it be and why?: I’d be really curious about what Karl Marx was like in a casual context. After a drink or two, would he be talking about revolution or soccer?

We’re not sure if we’d enjoy a summer blockbuster about a superhero like Oblivion, but we do give a big kudos to Chris for working a Walter Mitty reference into his interview. We love having Chris on the team, and wish him a future filled with Spanish-speaking and Thai adventures.

Julie Titterington

Julie Titterington is a writer, editor, and native Oregonian who lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley with her husband and two small children. When she’s not writing or testing software, she spends her time reading early 20th century mystery novels, staring blankly at her iPhone, and attempting to keep her kids fed, clothed, and relatively uninjured.

Julie Titterington

Julie Titterington

“”

A General Guide To Filing For Bankruptcy For Small Businesses

Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships. Learn more.

Inability to meet your expenses is one of the most frightening things you can experience as a business owner. When you have no reasonable hope of getting your head above your water, it may be time to consider filing for bankruptcy.

Table of Contents

What Is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy comes in a variety of forms that we’ll cover below, but broadly speaking, bankruptcy is a formal, legal declaration that you’re unable to pay debts. In the U.S., there are several different types of bankruptcy, all of which have their own rules and processes. Of those, the ones most likely to apply to you (as a small business owner) are Chapter 7 and 13 (and more rarely Chapter 11).

There are, of course, drawbacks to declaring bankruptcy. You stand to lose assets, and you’ll probably have a harder time accessing credit for years.

Types Of Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy law is outlined in the United States Code under Title 11. The different types of bankruptcies, referred to as “chapters” after their location in the document, are as follows:

  • Chapter 7 – The most common form of bankruptcy. With Chapter 7, a trustee is appointed to examine your finances. As Chapter 7 is more of a liquidation process than a reorganization process, the trustee will, in most cases, liquidate your assets. Creditors are paid in priority according to the amount of risk they assumed. Creditors who took on less risk get paid first. You can also file Chapter 7 as an individual, in which case some of your property may be exempt from liquidation.
  • Chapter 9 – Governs municipal debts. You probably won’t be filing Chapter 9.
  • Chapter 11 – You remain in control of business operations, but are subject to the oversight of the court. Chapter 11 can be used for either liquidation or reorganization. Creditors are kept at bay until their claims can be resolved in bankruptcy court. Note that the restructuring process can still result in the entire business being liquidated. Anyone can file Chapter 11, but most filers are large corporations or wealthy individuals.
  • Chapter 12 – Covers only family farms and fishermen but is otherwise similar to Chapter 13.
  • Chapter 13 – Allows you to propose a reorganization plan for your finances that will unfold over the course of three to five years. Rather than discharging debt, Chapter 13 functions as a more comprehensive form of debt consolidation that can even cover secured debt, liens, and taxes.

Rationales For Filing A Bankruptcy

Debt might be one of the most poorly understood financial topics. Conventional wisdom dictates that paying back your debts (plus all accumulated interest) is a moral–if not civilizational–imperative. As reasonable as that sounds at first, it’s actually a pretty absurd idea. The system only works because both the borrower and the lender take on risk when they agree to the terms of a loan.

If there are no risks to the borrower, the borrower is incentivized to take out as much money as possible. If there are no risks to the lender, the lender is incentivized to recklessly load up as many suckers as possible with debt.

Lenders have options for damage control when it comes to bad debt. For example, they can write debt off in their taxes and sell it to collections agencies. You, as a borrower, have bankruptcy protections. In short, you’re doing something so common it’s almost banal.

Filing Options

Strictly speaking, you don’t need to have a lawyer to file bankruptcy, and there are numerous resources online that can walk you through the process of navigating your state’s bankruptcy system step-by-step. Costs vary depending on where you’re located, but filing without a lawyer can save you a lot of cash. Expect to put a lot of research time in if you decide to file on your own. If you’re filing Chapter 7 as an individual, for example, you’ll want to know which of your assets are exempt from liquidation. Due to its greater complexity, it’s much harder to successfully file Chapter 13 without a lawyer than it is to file Chapter 7. You can find the forms on the United States Courts government site.

While you can file on your own, your chances of success rise substantially if you hire a bankruptcy lawyer. A lawyer can walk you through important questions—such as what debts are dischargeable— help you determine what “chapter” bankruptcy to file, advise you how to fill out forms, and even tell you whether or not it’s a good idea to file in the first place. Lawyer fees vary greatly, but on average will range between the mid $100s to the mid $1,000s.

Legal and filing costs may vary depending on the type of bankruptcy you file for. Expect higher costs filing for Chapter 13 than Chapter 7, for example.

If you find yourself in a Catch-22 where you’re so cash-limited that you can’t afford these fees, you can qualify for pro bono counsel if your income is less than 150% of the poverty line.

Chapter 7 vs Chapter 13

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy:

Chapter 7 Chapter 13
Eligibility: Individuals and businesses. Must meet means test Individuals and sole proprietors. Unsecured debts < $394,725. Secured debts under $1,184,200
Length: Up to 6 months 3 – 5 years
Assets: Nonexempt property is liquidated Assets are retained
Debts: Most debts are discharged Debtor must pay unsecured creditors an agreed upon amount, usually the value of nonexempt assets. Grants time to pay mortgages, taxes, etc.
Stays on record for: 10 years 7 years

Final Thoughts

Bankruptcy is probably one of the last things you want to think about. But as unpleasant a prospect as it can be, businesses regularly fail. If that happens, don’t be afraid to look into bankruptcy and give yourself a fresh start.

Chris Motola

Chris Motola is an independent writer, journalist, programmer, and game designer who has mastered the art of using his laptop in no fewer than 541 positions, most of them unergonomic. When he’s not pushing keys or swiping screens, he’s probably out exploring urban or natural environs, experimenting in the kitchen, or delighting/annoying his friends with his ideas and theories.

Chris Motola

“”

USPS, UPS, or FedEx: Which Shipping Carrier Is Best?

Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships. Learn more.

With the holidays quickly approaching, online sellers and postal workers alike are bracing for the sudden rush of packages from the holiday buying frenzy.

USPS, UPS, and FedEx workers everywhere are pulling out their gloves and strapping on their lumbar support. Winter is coming, and they are prepared!

Merchants, on the other hand, may feel a little less ready for the holiday rush. Not only do they have to maintain inventory and process orders, but they have to navigate the complex role of fulfillment.

With three major shipping carriers to choose from, it can be difficult to know which service you should use for your shipments.

Never fear! We’ve researched the advantages and disadvantages of each of the three major shipping services, and we’ve asked merchants to tell us their own experiences with each carrier. Keep reading to learn what each shipping carrier does well and where they can improve. We hope you’ll keep this information in mind as you explore your fulfillment options.

Table of Contents

USPS

The United States Postal Service is a public shipping carrier, subsidized by taxpayers. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night” will keep the postal service from delivering letters and packages to Americans’ mailboxes (though in my experience, freezing rain does the trick).

The USPS is the #1 shipping option for many merchants, especially those who ship small and light products. However, USPS is not perfect by any means. Here’s what you should keep in mind as you consider USPS for your business:

Pros

There are a lot of praises to sing about USPS. Here’s what merchants love most about the postal service:

It’s The Most Inexpensive Option For Small Packages

The USPS is, hands down, the most affordable option for merchants who ship small items. Because taxpayers subsidize much of USPS’s expenses, it is able to ship small objects (letters and bubble mailers) for incredibly low rates.

The USPS provides the cheapest shipping for many packages under two pounds, and USPS simply can’t be beat for packages under 13 ounces. Let me state it clearly:

If you’re shipping products under 13 ounces, you should use USPS.

In addition, many merchants benefit from USPS’s flat rate options through Priority Mail. For one price, you can ship products of any weight across any distance; it just has to fit into USPS’s box.

Merchants also save by utilizing USPS’s free packaging material. Priority Mail boxes are available for free, and you can even arrange to have them delivered to your place of business.

If you’re trying to cut costs, USPS may be the way to go.

It’s More Reliable Than In The Past

While in the past, USPS was infamous for misplacing packages or delaying shipments, in recent years, they have greatly improved their reliability. Here’s what Allen Walton of SpyGuy.com had to say about the USPS’s improved delivery rates:

Deliverability is pretty solid. We very rarely have lost packages. Occasionally there are hiccups in their system that make it seem like a package hasn’t moved in days, and that can sometimes cause annoying issues, but getting better tracking means way more money using UPS or FedEx, and those guys have their own tracking issues.

Dr. Eugene Emmer from RehaDesign uses USPS to ship from his store in Europe into the United States. He reports:

In 10 years, only 2 parcels have been lost. Both times, all costs were fully refunded.

If your concern is lost packages, it seems that concern is now unfounded. Merchants often state that their savings from using USPS more than covers the very few packages that go missing.

It Delivers To Mailboxes and PO Boxes

The USPS has a monopoly on mailboxes and PO boxes. They’re the only shipping service that does not have to drop off packages at customers’ doorsteps.

Zondra Wilson of Blu Skin Care lists these perks well. She says:

By far the best option when it comes to price, USPS also offers insures overnight delivery. USPS also delivers to most locations such as post office boxes, has pick-up options, a wide array of packaging (some free), and offers insurance for Priority Express mail and Priority Mail as well as tracking for various services.

Because the USPS routinely delivers across the country, it excels in getting packages to out-of-the-way destinations. According to Jim Milan of Auto Accessories Garage:

They’re definitely the king of the lightweight package, and since they try to prioritize every address equally, they’ll occasionally surprise us with how quickly they can ship something to “the middle of nowhere,” so to speak.

If you’re looking for a service that will allow you to deliver your packages along with customers’ daily mail, USPS is the only way to go.

Cons

While USPS is great for many purposes, it is by no means a perfect solution. Here are a few of the downfalls you’ll have to look out for:

There’s No Guaranteed Delivery

It’s common wisdom that if a service is cheap and good, it cannot also be fast. This holds true for USPS.

The USPS will not guarantee delivery for express shipping. Kristin Anthony, CEO of Anthony’s Ladies Apparel, shared her experience with me:

We do use UPS for all of our express packages (Next Day, 2-Day or 3-Day shipping options) because UPS guarantees delivery within those time frames and USPS will not guarantee it.

If you absolutely need a package to arrive within a brief window, you’re better off going with UPS or FedEx.

Tracking Is Not Great

While USPS has improved their reliability in recent years, packages still go missing from time to time. The USPS’s less-than-perfect tracking system does not help matters when deliveries are delayed or lost.

Although Milan from the Auto Accessories Garage emphasized that pricing is an important consideration for his company, he still has a few complaints regarding the USPS’s tracking methods:

…while USPS may often be the cheapest choice, they can never guarantee a delivery date, and rarely if ever provide accurate tracking. This can be very frustrating to our customers, and frustrating for us when we can’t provide more information about a shipment.

For better tracking capabilities, you’ll have to look into more expensive alternatives.

Poor Customer Service

Merchants report that when packages do inevitably go missing, it can be difficult to have them located and to get the refund you’ve been assured. Here’s what SpyGuy.com’s Walton has to say to that:

Their customer service is garbage. Impossible to find lost packages, and they don’t make it easy for the customer to do the legwork themselves – it’s always on the business that shipped it out. When they put you on hold, it’s just a dead silence for like 30 minutes and you never know if someone will get on the line….Getting refunds is not easy. Sometimes they don’t deliver on time and the process for requesting refunds is antiquated. Really wish they would make it easy.

In order to get the affordable shipping rates USPS offers, it appears you’ll have to sacrifice a bit in terms of customer service.

The Low-Down

While the USPS is not the ideal option for every merchant (or every shipment!), it still is well worth considering as a part of your fulfillment strategy. Those super low rates for light shipments are impossible to beat.

UPS

UPS is a private shipping carrier specializing in secure, speedy delivery. eCommerce merchants love UPS for its reliability and comprehensive tracking system. However, UPS’s services tend to come at a higher price. Here are the top pros and cons of the brown van shipping service:

Pros

There’s a lot to love about this service, but here are the primary reasons online sellers choose UPS:

It Offers Guaranteed Express Shipping

If you need a package delivered ASAP, UPS is the way to go. UPS provides services like same-day delivery and next-day delivery.

Guaranteed delivery gives you the peace of mind that your packages will arrive on time, keeping your customers happy and your business moving.

It’s Affordably Priced (At Times) For Heavy Shipments

While the USPS is the cheapest option for light shipments, pricing increases dramatically for heavier shipments. If you’re shipping packages heavier than two pounds, you should take a look at UPS’s shipping rates. They may be able to deliver your packages more quickly (and securely) at a lower price.

What’s more, if you ship large volumes through UPS, you should be able to lower your rates through negotiation. You’ll have to have proof of your previous shipments, but the discounts are worth the effort.

It Provides Unbeatable Tracking

UPS offers comprehensive tracking services. Customers will be able to see where their packages are from start to finish. UPS’s detailed tracking gives your customers a sense of security, and it’s also great for you! The UPS will be able to tell you at any point exactly where packages are. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll lose a package while shipping through UPS.

Cons

While UPS is a great service in many ways, it isn’t perfect. Here are a few areas in which you’ll have to sacrifice if you ship with UPS:

It’s More Expensive

While this is not true in every case, UPS’s services can cost a bit more.  There are a few reasons for this, but two of the main culprits are the fees and surcharges that UPS adds to their base rates. These include residential surcharges, extended area surcharges, and more.

You’ll want to consider these surcharges, especially if you’re shipping internationally. as they can be rather steep.

There’s No Free Package Pickup Service

Although the USPS offers scheduled pickups free of charge, you’ll have to pay a flat rate for the same service from UPS.

One of our contributing merchants, Mark Aselstine from Uncorked Ventures, explains how this affects his business:

…our packages are pretty heavy-a standard 2 bottle shipment of wine runs about 7 pounds. Since we often have dozens to ship, we prefer to have them picked up. Fedex charges some extra amount per pound for a pickup in our area whereas UPS charges a flat fee.

In this case, UPS is actually the best option as it offers the lower pickup fee when compared to FedEx. It’s just a bummer that UPS doesn’t offer this service for free like USPS.

There Is No Free Saturday Delivery

UPS is the only carrier on this list to not offer Saturday delivery as a part of their basic services. This can slow down your shipments by up to two days. Instead, Saturday delivery is offered as a “value-added service.” You’ll have to use qualifying shipping services and pay extra to extend your delivery window one more day.

The Low-Down

UPS is a great carrier for larger shipments. While it isn’t as inexpensive as USPS, UPS tends to be a bit faster and its tracking capabilities are much better.

FedEx

I’m going to be honest: From what I’ve seen and heard from online sellers, FedEx isn’t too different from UPS. I know I’m going to get loads of protests about this in the comment section below, but in my opinion, the two are pretty similar.

Merchants often cite location as their main reason for choosing FedEx over UPS. However, your experience may prove quite different. Regardless, here’s our list of what FedEx does well and where it could improve:

Pros

As a private shipping carrier, FedEx has many of the same advantages that UPS does, including a great tracking system and speedier delivery. Here’s what you can expect from FedEx:

A Precise Tracking System

FedEx offers customers a robust tracking system. You can view your shipment’s progress every step of the way. You can also use FedEx’s delivery manager to hold packages at a FedEx office or schedule delivery for a specific time. Watch FedEx’s Ways to Track video to learn more.

Saturday Delivery

Unlike UPS, FedEx offers Saturday delivery as a part of their basic shipping packages. Mark Tyrol, president of Battic Door Energy Conservation Products, names Saturday delivery as one of the reasons he chooses FedEx for shipments:

For most other orders we use FedEx. FedEx delivers on Saturdays so some items shipped mid-week that would arrive on Mondays via UPS arrive the Saturday before via FedEx. So we use FedEx for these shipments.

Delivering products just two days earlier through FedEx can make a huge impact on customer satisfaction.

Negotiable Pricing

If you’re shipping large volumes of packages through FedEx, you may be able to negotiate for lower shipping rates. You may find that FedEx offers competitive rates for packages up to 50 pounds.

Cons

Of course, as you consider FedEx, you’ll have to also keep in mind its downsides. Here are a few of the most notable:

Higher Shipping Rates

Due to the highly variable nature of shipping costs, it’s impossible to label one carrier as definitely more expensive than another. However, from what I’ve seen with sample calculations, it appears that FedEx often charges more than its competitors. Of course, this won’t be true in every case (especially for merchants who negotiate their rates), but it does appear to be a trend.

No Free Package Pickup Service

Like UPS, FedEx does not offer a free package pickup service. That does not mean, however, that you cannot schedule a package pickup. You’ll just have to pay a fee.

Fewer Offices

There are over 1,900 FedEx Offices worldwide. In comparison, UPS provides over 5,000 UPS Stores. Merchants should be able to find a FedEx Office nearby; however, it’s probable that office won’t be quite as convenient as UPS.

The Low-Down

FedEx is an excellent option for merchants who are looking for fast, dependable shipping. As always, you should compare shipping rates with UPS and USPS to make sure you’re getting the best service for your money.

Finding The Perfect Balance

As you choose shipping carriers for you business, it’s important that you don’t limit yourself to just one shipping provider. Most merchants use a mix of two or even three services to offer customers the fastest, cheapest shipping every time.

You may, for example, choose to ship light packages with the USPS and heavy packages with UPS. Or you may ship everything through the USPS, with the exception of expedited shipments, which you send through FedEx. It all depends on your business model, your average order weight, and your shipping destinations.

Are you already successfully shipping with one or more of these carriers? Let us know in the comments which carriers you prefer and why. We love to hear from you!

Liz Hull

Liz is a recent college graduate living in Washington state. As of late, she can often be found haunting eCommerce forums and waiting on hold with customer service representatives. When she’s free, Liz loves to rock climb, watch Spanish dramas, and read poorly-written young adult novels.

Liz Hull

“”

How To Setup A QuickBooks Pro Account

Our impartial reviews and content are supported partly by affiliate partnerships. Find out more.

How To Set Up A QuickBooks Pro Account

QuickBooks Desktop Pro generally is one of typically the most popular accounting solutions available, but it isn’t always probably the most intuitive. That is why we’ve produced a QuickBooks Desktop Pro 101 Series which walks you thru all you need to know. From establishing your account to adding contacts to delivering the first invoice, we’re here to assist all the way.

To start this series, we’re going for a leaf from Julie Andrews’ book and beginning in the beginning (it’s an excellent starting point). In the following paragraphs, not simply will we take you step-by-step through creating your bank account, we’ll also explain the important thing preliminary steps you need to consider before you begin while using software to operate your company.

This primary article is extended, but we promise it’s worthwhile. Lounging a powerful foundation is integral for your business’s success lower the street.

Table of Contents

Install QuickBooks Pro On Your Pc

Firstly, you’ll need to download QuickBooks Pro on your computer. Before you decide to do that, consider the QuickBooks Pro hardware needs to make sure your pc helps make the grade.

Should you haven’t done this yet, it’s important to buy a QuickBooks Pro license. There’s two methods to purchase the software:

  1. From the QuickBooks Pro website (for $299.95, cost usually discounted)
  2. From the local office supplies store like Staples (cost varies by store)

Step One: Begin The Download

Should you purchased your QuickBooks Pro license from Intuit’s website, you will be provided permission number and product number. It’s important to have these figures handy to create your bank account.

After you have these figures, see your order confirmation and then click the “Start using Quickbooks Pro now” button or visit this download connect to install QuickBooks Pro on your computer. Make certain you’ve selected the best form of QuickBooks Pro prior to starting the download.

Should you purchased your license inside a store like Staples, you’ll discover the license and product number on the rear of your QuickBooks Pro box. After you have these figures, open the package and insert the disc to your computer to start the download. Following this point, cellular phone and setup processes are identical, whichever way you purchased the program.

Note: The download will require quite a while.

Step Two: Accept The License Agreement

When the download is finished, you’ll automatically get to a screen that appears such as this (except it’ll say 2018):

How to Set Up A QuickBooks Pro Account

Click “Next” then accept the QuickBooks Pro License Agreement.

Step Three: Enter Your License & Product Figures

Next, go into the license and product figures we pointed out earlier.

How to Set Up A QuickBooks Pro Account

Step Four: Select Your Setup Process

Finally, select your setup process. Choose either “Express” or “Custom and Network Options.”

How to Set Up A QuickBooks Pro Account

QuickBooks Pro recommends Express, that is what we should chose for the sample company, however, you can click on the question mark icon towards the bottom left-hands corner from the screen to learn which method fits your needs.

Once you’ve selected the proper setup option, QuickBooks Pro will finish installing.

Make Your Account

Once you’ve installed the program, you can start creating your QuickBooks Pro account.

How to Setup A QuickBooks Pro Account

You may either begin with scratch or convert your overall software data. With this publish, we will produce a completely new account so we’ll select “Start Setup.” But if you wish to convert data, click on the “Other Options” drop-lower menu and make reference to QuickBooks’ Getting Began Help guide to learn to convert software files.

Step One: Incorperate Your Company Name

Key in your company’s company name.

How to Set Up A QuickBooks Pro Account

Step Two: Select Your Industry

Select your organization industry. Click on the “Help me choose” link for any drop-lower menu of choices.

How to Set Up A QuickBooks Pro Account

How to Set Up A QuickBooks Pro Account

Step Three: Select Your Company Type

Pick the appropriate business type in the drop-lower menu. You need to know this, but you may use the “Help me choose” link for further help.

How to Set Up A QuickBooks Pro Account

Step Four: Incorperate Your EIN

Key in your Worker Identification Number. Click the question mark icon to acquire more information relating to this step.

How to Set Up A QuickBooks Pro Account

Step Five: Enter Your Company Address

Incorperate your business address such as the proper city, condition, zipcode, and country.

How to Set Up A QuickBooks Pro Account

Step Six: Incorperate Your Company Telephone Number

Finally, incorperate your company telephone number.

How to Set Up A QuickBooks Pro Account

Once all this information continues to be completed, click on the “Create Company” button towards the bottom right-hands corner. You’ll know your organization file was effectively produced because you’ll automatically get to a screen that appears such as this:

How to Set Up A QuickBooks Pro Account

Familiarize Yourself With QuickBooks Pro’s Organization

When you initially open QuickBooks Pro, it’s really a little overwhelming. Within this section, we’ll break lower the fundamental organization so that you can be navigating the program very quickly.

First, you will see a home screen.

How to Set Up A QuickBooks Pro Account

After I saw the house page initially, it appeared as if a lot of random icons. There’s a rhyme and need to the madness, however. Each icon represents a vital feature in QuickBooks Pro. These icons are sorted into five sections:

  • Vendors
  • Customers
  • Employees
  • Company
  • Banking

Additionally towards the Desltop, there’s a menu around the left-hands side from the screen that reads Home, My Opportunity, Earnings Tracker, Bill Tracker, Calendar, Snapshots, Customers Vendors, Employees, Bank Feeds, Docs Reports, Order Checks, Add Payroll, Charge Cards, Services, User Licenses, and Feedback.

How to Set Up A QuickBooks Pro Account

These menu options (or ‘shortcuts,’ as QuickBooks calls them) are totally customizable. Clicking one of these simple shortcuts will give you right to the correlating feature.

Underneath, you will see My Shortcuts, View Balances, Run Favorite Reports, and Open Home windows.

While both Desltop and shortcut menu will give you to features in QuickBooks Pro, the region you’ll wish to understand probably the most may be the Fast Access Toolbar towards the top of the screen. The toolbar reads File, Edit, View, Lists, Favorites, Company, Customers, Vendors, Employees, Banking, Reports, Window, which help.

How to Set Up A QuickBooks Pro Account

You’ll make use of this toolbar similar to you would employ the toolbar in Ms Word or Google Docs. Each toolbar tab goes to some drop-lower menu having a comprehensive listing of features connected with this tab.

How to Set Up A QuickBooks Pro Account

I understand it’s a great deal to consume, but take it easy. There’s an opportune search bar within the top left-hands corner which you can use to get where you’re going around.

Edit Preferences

The Preferences section is QuickBooks Pro’s form of Settings. You’ll wish to spend a significant chunk of your energy filtering through settings and editing the countless preferences options in QuickBooks Pro.

How to Set Up A QuickBooks Pro Account

The preferences you need to choose will be different considerably from business to business, therefore we won’t take you step-by-step through each step this time around, but we can provide you with a concept of a few of the settings you are able to alternation in your organization preferences:

  • Accept multiple currencies
  • Let the inventory feature
  • Let the time tracking feature
  • Add integrations
  • Accept online payments
  • Edit bill defaults
  • Set automatic invoice reminders
  • Add florida sales tax
  • Select a default shipping method
  • Switch on 1099 filing

Make sure to always click on the blue “Okay” button within the top right-hands corner of the screen in order to save your requirements. You have access to Preferences by visiting Edit > Preferences, then choosing the category you need to edit in the menu around the left-hands side from the screen.

Incorperate Your Company Information

Once you’ve edited your requirements, there’s some critical company data it’s important to add before you begin while using software.

Gather and go into the following data into QuickBooks Pro:

  • Your contacts
  • Your vendors
  • Your products (or services)
  • The employees

You can include these details by hand or import existing files into QuickBooks Pro directly. We cover how you can Import A Chart of Accounts, Import Customers, Import Vendors, and Import Products step-by-step.

Make Your Chart Of Accounts

Establishing a chart of accounts is among the greatest secrets of having your finances so as. Based on Merchant Maverick’s How To Setup A Chart Of Accounts publish:

A chart of accounts provides a method to organize financial information. It is almost always split into five groups: assets, liabilities, equity, earnings, and expenses.

There’s two methods to make your chart of accounts in QuickBooks Pro. You may either export an existing chart of accounts or produce a completely new chart of accounts.

For those who have a current chart of accounts, you are able to import it by visiting Lists>Chart of Accounts>Accounts>Import from Stand out. Then stick to the stages in our How You Can Import A Chart of Accounts Into QuickBooks Pro publish.

If you’re developing a chart of accounts the very first time, take it easy. QuickBooks Pro has your back. Remember long ago whenever you were establishing your bank account coupled with to pick a business type?

QuickBooks Pro makes use of this industry to produce a default chart of makes up about your organization. For the sample landscaping company, Gaffer Gardening, the default chart appears like this:

How to Set Up A QuickBooks Pro Account

Now, this doesn’t mean your work is performed. It’s important to delete unnecessary accounts, edit existing accounts to higher match your business, and add accounts that aren’t present.

You’ll find choices to delete, edit, or add accounts under List>Chart of Accounts>Accounts.

To find out which kind of accounts you’ll need, or to understand more about developing a chart of accounts generally, read How to setup A Chart of Accounts.

Connect With Your Accounts

You’re so near to having the ability to move ahead out of this lengthy publish and start running your company, but there’s yet another factor you must do. Finally, you’ll wish to connect your QuickBooks Pro account and your money. (You may choose to by hand import your banking information rather of choosing live bank feeds, but live bank feeds seriously make existence simpler).

To connect with your money, visit Banking>Bank Feeds>Set up bank Feed to have an Account.

Step One: Select Your Bank

Find your banking provider.

How to Set Up A QuickBooks Pro Account

Step Two: Sign In To Your Money

Next, you will be requested to sign in for your requirements making use of your banking password.

How to Set Up A QuickBooks Pro Account

Step Three: Connect To Your Bank

Each bank handles this method just a little differently, so stick to the directions in your screen for instructions.

You’re Ready For Business!

Congratulations! You’ve formally setup your QuickBooks Pro account. Since you’ve produced your bank account, learned how you can navigate the program, and added all your company information, you can begin using QuickBooks Pro to effectively run your company.

For those who have any question on the way, don’t overlook the Help tab in your QuickBooks toolbar. You may also look into the QuickBooks community for added help or leave us a remark below. We’re always here to assist.

Talking about help, still follow our QuickBooks Desktop Pro 101 Series to learn to handle fundamental features like delivering invoices, tracking time, and managing projects.

Chelsea Krause

Chelsea Krause is really a author, enthusiastic readers, and investigator. Additionally to loving writing, she grew to become thinking about accounting software due to her constant need to learn something totally new and know how things work. When she’s no longer working or daydreaming about her newest story, she are available consuming obscene levels of coffee, studying anything compiled by C.S. Lewis or Ray Bradbury, kayaking and hiking, or watching The X-Files together with her husband.

Chelsea Krause

“”

How You Can Import Products Into QuickBooks Pro

Our impartial reviews and content are supported partly by affiliate partnerships. Find out more.

How To Import Items Into QuickBooks Pro

Services and products would be the bread and butter of small companies. However, you can’t start delivering invoices for products til you have actual products to invoice. That is why we’re likely to educate you the way to rapidly and simply import your products into QuickBooks Pro.

If you were following our QuickBooks Desktop Pro 101 Series, then importing your products will probably be very simple. Otherwise, take it easy.

We’ve damaged the procedure lower into 7 simple steps.

Table of Contents

Import Your Products

To import your products, begin by visiting Find>Utilities>Import>Excel Files…

Note: QuickBooks Pro recommends creating a backup company file before importing your products or products.

Step One: Select “Products I Sell”

You’ll automatically get to screen that asks if you are importing “Customers,” “Vendors,” or “Products I sell.”

How to Import Itemss into QuickBooks Pro

Click “Products I Sell.”

Next automatically get to a screen that appears such as this:

How To Import Items Into QuickBooks Pro

Note: In case your Stand out file has already been formatted like QuickBooks Pro’s Customer Import template, skip this task and click on the “Advanced Import” section around the right-hands side from the screen to complete your import.

If this sounds like the first import (or you haven’t disabled this message), you will see a popup box warning that you simply can’t undo imported information. Take it easy. Just click “yes” to carry on importing your product or service.

How to Import Items Into QuickBooks Pro

Step Two: Copy & Paste Your Customer Data

Next, it’s important to copy the information out of your existing Stand out file (ours is around the right) and paste it in to the QuickBooks Stand out template file (around the left).

How To Import Items Into QuickBooks Pro

Should you hover more than a cell, QuickBooks Pro provides you with instructions on which kind of information ought to be incorporated there. You’ll also find a good example of how you can format each cell over the column headings.

How To Add Items Into QuickBooks Pro

It can save you the next customer information in QuickBooks:

  • Product Name
  • Description
  • Sales Cost
  • Manufacturing Part Number
  • Tracked as Inventory

If you’re tracking inventory, it’s vital that you realize that QuickBooks Pro instantly puts “No” within the Tracked Inventory Stand out column. You’ll need to by hand change this to “Yes” for inventory products.

Step Three: Resolve Any Issues

Before you decide to complete the import process, make certain there aren’t any errors inside your file. If there’s a problem, QuickBooks Pro will place a message within the error box on top left-hands side from the file along with a red warning triangular on the problematic cell.

How To Import Items Into QuickBooks Pro

Even when there’s a mistake, QuickBooks will explain what’s wrong and the way to repair it.

Step Four: Click “Add my Data Now”

Once all your information is joined properly, click on the “Add My Data Now” Button.

How to Import Items Into QuickBooks Pro

Step Five: Save Changes

Because we haven’t saved the alterations we designed to our QuickBooks Stand out template, we’ll have to save them now. Click “Save & Add My Data Now.” (Should you click “I’ll Add My Data Later” you’ll lose how well you’re progressing.)

How To Import Items Into QuickBooks Pro

You will need in order to save the file on your pc.

Step Six: Choose the Appropriate File

Once you save the document, the saved document should instantly come in this area below. Otherwise, click “Browse” and choose the right file.

How To Import Items Into QuickBooks Pro

Step 7: Import Your File

Click on the blue “Add My Data Now” button at the base from the screen.

How to Import Customers Into QuickBooks Pro

You should then automatically get to a screen that appears such as this:

How To Import Items Into QuickBooks Pro

Now your products happen to be effectively imported! You will see your item list to determine the proof on your own.

If you were following our QuickBooks Desktop Pro 101 series then you’ve already imported your contacts, vendors, and products, and that means you can proceed to the enjoyment stuff! Keep watching our QuickBooks Desktop Pro 101 Series for that latest installments.

For those who have any troubleshooting issues, take a look at the QuickBooks Community or call QuickBooks directly. For those who have any more questions, leave a remark below and we’ll do our very best that will help you.

Chelsea Krause

Chelsea Krause is really a author, enthusiastic readers, and investigator. Additionally to loving writing, she grew to become thinking about accounting software due to her constant need to learn something totally new and know how things work. When she’s no longer working or daydreaming about her newest story, she are available consuming obscene levels of coffee, studying anything compiled by C.S. Lewis or Ray Bradbury, kayaking and hiking, or watching The X-Files together with her husband.

Chelsea Krause

“”

Using Amazon . com and eBay Integrations With Shopify

Our impartial reviews and content are supported partly by affiliate partnerships. Find out more.

Omnichannel and multichannel are two greatest words in eCommerce. Even though I frequently roll my eyes at these buzzwords, I must admit that multichannel selling is indeed a, lucrative trend.

Research has shown that adding a sales funnel for your online shop can considerably increase revenue. Actually, stores that sell on only one marketplace additionally for their online shop notice a 38% rise in revenue. And retailers who sell on two marketplaces generate 120% greater than individuals without any marketplaces.

Shopify is among the dominant platforms for online sellers, and they’ve lately introduced new methods for retailers to include marketplaces for their system. The Shopify Application collection now includes integrations with Amazon . com, eBay, Facebook, Pinterest, and Messenger. With the addition of these integrations, sellers can manage their marketplace and website sales within the Shopify dashboard.

In the following paragraphs, we’ll be discussing two most lately integrated marketplaces: Amazon . com and eBay. We’ll discuss how these integrations work, discuss their merits and flaws, and assess how you can (or might not) assist you to sell more.

Table of Contents

Shopify & Amazon . com

Amazon . com is definitely an apparent first-step with regards to marketplace selling. Boasting over 95 million unique visitors each month, Amazon . com offers retailers huge possibility of expanding their customer bases.

In The month of january of the year, Shopify introduced their house-grown Amazon . com integration. Retailers are now able to connect Shopify accounts to Amazon . com with only a couple of clicks. This connection gives retailers the opportunity to monitor inventory, sales, and customer interactions in one comprehensive dashboard.

Exactly What Does It Decide To Try Integrate?

To be able to integrate Amazon . com together with your Shopify account, you simply need a couple of things:

  • A Shopify Account
  • An Amazon . com Sellers Account ($39.99/ month + additional selling charges)

Making the bond between Amazon . com and Shopify is simple. Once you’ve subscribed to your Amazon . com Sellers Account, you are able to sign in to your Shopify account, visit the “Sales Channels” panel, and click on to set up the combination. Then you’ll need to consume a couple of prompts to permit the bond to talk about information across platforms and ensure developer access for Shopify.

Once that’s accomplished, you can sync your product or service and inventory across both platforms. Having a built-in integration such as this, it simply doesn’t take much for connecting your Shopify and Amazon . com accounts.

So How Exactly Does This Integration Work?

Not every integrations work exactly the same way. Some only sync inventory or relay order information others do a lot more. Here’s exactly what a Shopify-Amazon . com integration will help you to do:

  • Create New Amazon . com Listings In Shopify’s Dashboard: This selection presently is only for select groups. These groups are:
    • Clothing, Footwear & Jewellery
    • Health insurance and Household
    • Beauty and private Care
    • Home and Kitchen
    • Patio and Garden
    • Sewing, Arts, and Crafts
    • Sports and out of doors
    • Games and toys
  • Incorperate Your Shopify Products To Existing Amazon . com Listings: In case your goods are already on Amazon . com, it is simple to incorperate your own purports to the listings. This works best for all groups.
  • Sync Product Information: Send your products details, variants, and pictures from Shopify to Amazon . com.
  • Set Cost And Inventory For Amazon . com: Try listing unique prices for items that show up on Amazon . com. Which means that marketing exactly the same product for $15 in your site and $20 on Amazon . com. You may also keep the inventory separate in situation you fulfill individuals orders using different ways.
  • View Revenue In Shopify Reports: Use Shopify’s reporting features to trace selling on Amazon . com.
  • Sync Inventory To Your Shopify Dashboard: Shopify could keep a tally of all of the products you sell on channels.
  • Fulfill Amazon . com Orders From Shopify: Have your orders import to your Shopify dashboard.
  • Receive Notifications In Shopify About Amazon . com Orders: Manage customer interactions on Shopify’s platform.

User Response

Within my initial research from the Shopify-Amazon . com integration, I had been hopeful that this is an easy solution for a lot of retailers. However, when i investigated current reading user reviews, I began to feel more reluctant.

The Amazon . com integration, because it is indexed by the Shopify Application Marketplace, has received 77 reviews in the last year by having an average rating of twoOr5 stars. To be able to comprehend the causes of that relatively low overall rating, I just read a number of of individuals 77 reviews. Generally, here’s what users are saying concerning the integration:

  • Tiresome To Produce Listings By hand: Customers say that it requires a lot of time to upload products to Amazon . com and enter details.
  • Poor Customer Support: I have seen numerous complaints regarding customer support, although it is unclear whether clients are complaining about Amazon . com or Shopify.
  • Doesn’t Work: I have seen plenty of reviews proclaiming that the combination simply doesn’t work. They are saying the systems don’t sync correctly, and also the application appears like it’s still in beta testing.
  • Useful After Setup: Some state that after you’ve set everything up (and become beyond the initial learning curve), the combination could be a helpful tool. You are able to eventually utilize it to simplify day-to-day operations.

Even if I checked out the couple of five-star reviews, there have been indications of trouble. One positive review stated the integration might seem to be damaged because changes may take a complete 24 hrs to update. Good golly! In my experience, this type of lengthy update time is the effect of a damaged integration.

In A Nutshell

I believe, these overwhelmingly negative reviews hold lots of weight. It’s disheartening to determine that so couple of have experienced success using the platform. However, basically would sell on Amazon . com and Shopify, I’d consider this integration a choice. It’s not even close to ideal but still in need of assistance of a lot work, however it may solve a couple of problems a minimum of. Here’s wishing Shopify revisits the combination soon and resolves these problems.

Shopify & eBay

Amazon . com is clearly probably the most popular marketplaces for all of us-based retailers, however it isn’t the best platform for everybody. Retailers who sell used or collectible products would possibly benefit more from your integration with eBay. Using more than 169 million active eBay buyers, eBay comes complete with possibility of expansion.

Fortunately, Shopify and eBay have sellers’ backs. Just recently, eBay released their new, built-in integration for Shopify with the objective of simplifying the mix-funnel selling experience.

By using this integration, you can sync inventory information and process orders on a single platform. Keep studying to uncover much more about this application and discover if you’re able to make money from it.

Exactly What Does It Decide To Try Integrate?

It doesn’t take much to integrate eBay and Shopify. Unsurprisingly, you’ll need:

  • A Shopify Account
  • An eBay Account
    • Dues from $24.95/month to $349.95/month

Once more, if you have these two accounts setup, making the bond is straightforward. You just need to add some marketplace beneath your “Sales Channels” tab after which select “Add sales channel” around the following page. You will subsequently be in a position to click on the “Connect” button, that will redirect you to definitely your eBay account where one can complete the bond.

So How Exactly Does This Integration Work?

eBay’s integration is comparable to Amazon’s in lots of ways, although it appears eBay’s application includes less features. Here’s the things they promote concerning the connection:

  • Immediately Sync Inventory Information: Send information like product title, description, item specifics, cost, and quantity from Shopify to eBay.
  • Import eBay Orders To Shopify: Process all of your orders on Shopify’s dashboard.
  • View eBay Messages From Shopify: Manage customer interactions out of your Shopify workspace.

User Response

Since its release in October, eBay’s integration has gotten 39 reading user reviews in Shopify’s marketplace. A lot of individuals comments are negative, producing a 2.5/five star average.

Confusingly, these reviews incorporate a healthy mixture of both 5-star reviews and 1-star reviews. It’s baffling the way the users list is really so divided about this one application. Listed here are a couple of from the comments I have seen recur in individuals reviews:

  • Plenty Of Bugs And Kinks: Users report glitches and hiccups within the integration. It seems that one was launched just a little prematurely.
  • Easy To Setup: In comparison, plenty of users are absolutely loving how easy it’s to set up the applying.
  • Mixed Overview Of Support: Customer care seems to become a mixed bag. Quite a few users have experienced positive encounters with eBay support representatives (especially, it appears, one repetition named Matt), yet others have experienced difficulty contacting anybody.

In A Nutshell

The eBay-Shopify integration isn’t perfect. I truly really wish i could say otherwise, however it appears that Shopify must put more work to their marketplace integrations. However, once more, if you want to connect eBay and Shopify, it may be worth a go. An undesirable connection is preferable to no connection, right?

Final Ideas

Shopify has excellent intentions in connecting marketplaces for their platform. Regrettably, execution of the goal continues to be somewhat missing to date.

We’re likely to keep our eyes on these integrations within the coming several weeks. Hopefully Shopify as well as their partners continuously enhance the functionality and dependability of those connections.

Have you ever used a Shopify marketplace integration? Tell us about this within the comments below.

Liz Hull

Liz is really a recent college graduate residing in Washington condition. As recently, she will frequently be located haunting eCommerce forums and securing with customer support representatives. When she’s free, Liz likes to rock climb, watch Spanish dramas, and browse poorly-written youthful adult novels.

Liz Hull

“”

Tips To Get A Loan For The Start Up Business

Our impartial reviews and content are supported partly by affiliate partnerships. Find out more.

loans for business

It’s the central conundrum of beginning a company. It appears that everybody, from politicians on lower, ritualistically extols the benefits from the American small business operator. Those are the ur-icons of star-spangled capitalism and also the sturdy first step toward our national exceptionalism, sitting square alongside mother, apple cake, and also the ghostly visage of Dale Earnhardt. We can’t praise them enough within the abstract.

But, at any given time when corporate earnings are reaching all-time highs and firms like Apple are located on more money compared to what they get sound advice with, it remains very hard for ambitious entrepreneurs to get the capital they have to launch and also be a brand new business. Indeed, despite our valorization of startup culture, the speed of recent business creation within the U.S. is near its 40-year low. When the ability for anybody to produce a start up business is the reason why America special, the forces-that-be possess a funny method of demonstrating their reverence for the putative ideals.

On the floor level, there’s an indisputable logic towards the reluctance of lenders to loan money to start up business proprietors. In the end, most new companies fail. Entrepreneurship is inherently dangerous. In addition, many small company proprietors do not have great credit. Add the truth that if you are just beginning out, obviously, your business won’t have 2+ many years of existence within the books — a financial institution requirement of most loans. Just how can start up business proprietors navigate this atmosphere to get hold of some capital?

Continue reading to uncover the strategies by which you’ll give legs for your startup business.

Table of Contents

Buddies & Family

I recognize this suggestion reeks of privilege. Most us citizens — individuals from in the past disadvantaged communities particularly — simply don’t have the same sources inside their personal and family systems just like individuals from wealthier precincts. But when wealth does exist in your family or perhaps your circle of buddies and you aren’t too squeamish concerning the apparent challenges of blending business with your own personal existence, you might like to try it out. Just make certain to speak your company plans making them conscious of the potential risks. Things could easily get awkward in case your business goes south, but a minimum of Aunt Dorothy is not as likely than the usual bank to repossess your vehicle!

(Clearly, I’m making assumptions regarding your aunt. For those I understand, Dorothy’s a genuine hard-ass)

Unsecured Loans For Business

If your company is under 2 yrs old, best of luck obtaining a business loan. However, have you thought about getting an unsecured loan and taking advantage of it to pay for business expenses?

Eligibility for an unsecured loan is dependant on your individual credit-worthiness and never those of your company. This really is clearly good if your company is just getting began, but you will have to have a good credit score along with a decent earnings, and you will be restricted to borrowing $35K-$50K. Around the plus side, unsecured loans are usually unsecured, meaning you won’t be required to set up collateral. The loan provider can continue to file suit you should you not repay the borrowed funds, however, you won’t go outdoors to locate your vehicle being towed out of your front yard by a few goon.

If the option suits your conditions, take a look at our help guide to using unsecured loans for business purposes. And when you’re searching to have an online personal bank loan vendor, here are a few options that you should consider.

P2P Loans

Let’s say I were to let you know that it is possible to acquire a loan online even when your credit rating isn’t so hot? Enter P2P, or peer-to-peer, lending. It’s considered a kind of crowdfunding, though in contrast to Kickstarter, you spend back your contributors. While there’s some overlap between this type of loan and also the kind I described within the last section, P2P lenders are usually more generous in who they’ll give loan to than “traditional” online lenders. Let’s take particular notice at a couple of them.

Kiva U.S.

Kiva U.S. (see our review), a nonprofit P2P microlender, offers crowdfunded microloans with % interest! Actually — Kiva U.S. offers loans where the loan provider doesn’t are in position to profit whatsoever. In addition to this, it normally won’t even check your credit rating. Kiva U.S. is dependant on “social underwriting,” and therefore rather of your credit reportOrearnings/etc. figuring out your credit-worthiness, the “crowd” items you financing making use of your status as leverage. It’s an amazing deal for individuals whose credit score is incorporated in the crapper. A few of the drawbacks: you are able to only borrow as much as $10K through Kiva, and also the application can require two several weeks.

Accion

Accion (see our review) is yet another nonprofit P2P loan provider to think about — one we at Merchant Maverick are particular fans of. Unlike Kiva, Accion’s loans aren’t “free,” however with much greater borrowing amounts (as much as $50K), terms and charges that rival nearly anybody’s, complete transparency, a readiness to give loan to startups, along with a dedication to financial education, Accion is a superb choice for jump-beginning your brand-new business.

Other P2P lenders include:

Small business administration Loans

Small business administration loans are loans supported by the us government by means of the Sba. The company doesn’t offer loans themselves but instead guarantees some of the loan from a lender. Should you default around the loan, the Small business administration covers part of the loss. This will make the borrowed funds a lesser dangerous prospect for that issuing bank (or any other lenders).

While you might have trouble qualifying to have an Small business administration loan if you were running a business for under 2 yrs, it’s still worth a go. Some online lenders streamline the entire process of trying to get this type of loan, thus hastening the best decision in your approval. Here are the online services offering Small business administration loans:

Short-Term Loans

Short-term loans really are a relatively recent product provided by many lenders. Are they all attractive to start up business proprietors is they typically require 3 months’ price of business history to acquire.

Short-term loans differ in certain fundamental ways from traditional loans. Charges aren’t calculated using rates of interest, but instead are fixed, i.e. calculated once to ensure that you’ll be aware of exact amount it’s important to pay back. Furthermore, as you may have suspected, they have… watch for it… temporary lengths.

Short-term loans have low customer qualifications, no use needs, along with a rapid application and funding process, so it’s easy to understand their attract start up business proprietors. However, they most likely should not be the first resort, because the charges are usually extremely high and also the loan + fee should be paid back relatively rapidly.

Read our piece on short-term loans to find out more.

Grants

It might be nice to obtain a loan that you simply didn’t need to pay back, wouldn’t it?

Business grants are awarded through the government (federal, condition, and native) in addition to certain NGOs and companies. Obviously, whether it were easy to obtain a grant, everybody could be providing them with — and I’m guessing you most likely have no idea lots of business grant recipients.

Most grant programs are very specific regarding the type of companies they plan to benefit, so it might take you a while before you decide to uncover a grant program that the business aligns with. You’ll should also detail your company plans having a high amount of precision. In addition, many grant programs need a compelling, well-written pitch promoting our prime-mindedness of the vision. Grants might be free money, but, ironically enough, you’ll need to actually work on their behalf.

It could be a job tracking lower the various entities available offering grants to small companies, and that’s why this Fundera article detailing 106 organizations offering small company grants is really an opportune resource.

Crowdfunding

I discussed P2P lending earlier, that is a type of debt crowdfunding. However, when many people consider crowdfunding, they’re considering rewards crowdfunding. Let’s explore rewards crowdfunding and it is more youthful brother or sister, equity crowdfunding. Both hold significant possibility of the budding businessperson.

Rewards Crowdfunding

Vast amounts of dollars happen to be elevated on rewards crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter (see our review) and Indiegogo (see our review). Using these platforms, you employ social networking to get the word out regarding your business and to inquire about financial support. In exchange, you provide rewards for your backers. Most such platforms allow you to host campaigns that you attempt to achieve a particular funding goal inside a defined period of time. However, Patreon (see our review) works differently for the reason that backers join give you support on the ongoing basis — monthly or per creation — in return for use of a steady flow of exclusive content. Rewards crowdfunding is especially well-suitable for individuals in the industry of manufacturing products of singular value, like innovative gizmos, tabletop games, and art of varieties.

Equity Crowdfunding

With equity crowdfunding, rather of offering rewards for your backers by means of gadgets or graphic novels, you are offering equity inside your company. Thus, the backer becomes a trader. Equity crowdfunding was just lately legalized by federal legislation, therefore the market is still experiencing growing pains, but it’s likely to grow because the relevant rules are further streamlined. Equity crowdfunding generally is a more complicated prospect than rewards crowdfunding — you need to accept the truth that you’re ceding partial charge of your organization to investors (with whom you’ll be accountable).

Crowdfunder (see our review) is one particualr pure equity crowdfunding platform, while Fundable (see our review) hosts both equity and rewards crowdfunding campaigns. A effective rewards crowdfunding campaign can set you up nicely to have an equity raise, because it tells investors the viability of the product available on the market.

Read this article on crowdfunding to obtain a more in-depth explanation of the best way to use various kinds of crowdfunding to finance your company.

Final Ideas

There’s never been a far more challenging time to launch your personal business. Society is flush with pockets of obscene opulence, yet so very little of this wealth makes its method to the burgeoning companies where it might perform the most good. Thankfully, we’re here that will help you inside your mission to fund your dreams. Here are a few more useful articles for proprietors of emerging companies seeking funding:

Not too you’ll require it, because you’re awesome, but: Best of luck!

Jason Vissers

Jason Vissers is really a author, cereal chef and Netflix aficionado from North Park. A local Californian who enjoys the shore, Jason nevertheless would rather do his surfing on the internet, the raddest wave of all of them. Jason can’t eat raisins.

Jason Vissers

“”