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I Mart —

A Small Business Owner’s Alternatives to Declaring Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy should always be the last resort for a business. Before filing for bankruptcy, consider these alternatives. Decide whether or not the business can be turned around before making your determination, because some of the options will dissolve the business completely. If the current situation is difficult, but the future looks bright, try to save the business. If not, it may be time to cut your losses and call it a day.

Working Out Debt Solutions Out of Court

Often, small businesses are able to negotiate a settlement with their creditors without having to go to bankruptcy court. This is a cheaper, easier solution for both the small business and the creditors. Sometimes these agreements allow the business to make smaller payments, reduce the total amount they owe or delay payments for a period of time. The business can often get a fair settlement by working directly with their creditors, especially if the business can show that profits will soon turn the situation around.

Assignment for Benefit of Creditors

This is also known as liquidation. With this option, all of the assets of the business are sold to pay off the creditors. It is only done when there is no hope or intention of salvaging the business. State law governs how this process works, but it is not handled under bankruptcy courts or laws. If there is money left over after the assets are sold and creditors are fully paid, the rest of the money belongs to the owner of the small business. Often, this solution is cheaper than filing for bankruptcy, but not always. A qualified attorney can discuss your options and the best route to take.

When All Else Fails

Even if you try one of these solutions and it doesn’t work, bankruptcy is still an alternative. One way to limit your losses when you own and operate a small business is by incorporation. Though you can still lose all the money you invest in the small business, incorporation can protect your private assets if the business ends up in more debt than the assets of the business are worth. However, the time to consider incorporation is before the business is in financial difficulty, not afterwards. Small businesses can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in which the debts are erased and nothing more is owed, or Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in which some or most of the debt is repaid through the courts. Businesses must meet certain federal regulations in order to qualify for either type of bankruptcy. A qualified attorney can help you make the determination and walk you through the necessary steps.

The Different Job Options Available in the Oil Field

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Finding a job can be taxing, especially if one is uncertain of the juxtaposition to the career qualifications he needs. While there are occasions where guaranteed levity cannot be part of the equation, it’s often said that we should choose an occupation that we’d most enjoy. Working for an oil company can be repetitive, but nonetheless, the industry has the potential to be lucrative. This is also true among entry-level workers lacking extensive experience. What kinds of jobs exist?

Seismic Drilling

Drilling with an oil rig is considered an arduous process, but applicants searching for available positions will likely have more continuous opportunities. Geologists have to find the oil’s location in order to convey the information to the drillers. Drilling can take several hours or several days depending on size needed to access the Earth’s crust. Boreholes are created to produce water, and in this case, oil wells. Acid and sand are both used for extraction.

Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

Many people have pondered the general meaning of engineering. It’s been thought that the IT industry is one of few areas for basic engineering expertise. Chemical engineering is required for retrieving oil for mass usage. Most places expect two or more years of implementing reasonable working knowledge about petroleum.

Additionally, chemical engineers need a strong research and development background. This is helpful when conducting experimental oil and sediment studies. Product safety is imperative.

Project Management and Planning

The different job options available in an oil field are vast and infinite. Drilling and engineering jobs can require the most effort and involvement, but it’s possible to explore opportunities in project management, project planning, or accounting. As with many industries, people are needed to oversee the progression and completion of each job. Therefore, project management and planning are especially crucial. Accounting is important for handling all business agendas related to accounts receivable and payable.

What is the Long-term Projected Job Availability?

As long as there is a need for crude oil supply within the petroleum industry, jobs shouldn’t be exceedingly difficult to find. In the state of North Dakota for example, The Bakken Shale estimates the availability of approximately 20,000 jobs in the area. This of course is the least number of jobs proposed and doesn’t encompass every possibility. The estimation of oil produced upon the conclusion of 2011 was about 150 million barrels.

The job market within the oil industry isn’t necessarily a difficult venue to participate in, but it does require some basic research and commitment. Welding, plumbing, and contracting are welcome skills within the industry, and they may ultimately help prospective entry-level employees to land a job.

Understanding Your Rights as an Online Entrepreneur

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Starting your own online business is a fun and challenging endeavor. Once you have the idea and a business plan, there is one more critical step you might want to look into. It’s understanding your rights as an online entrepreneur.

You Have the Right to Protect Yourself

Entering the online world for business comes with a set of legal issues you won’t encounter anywhere else. The following is a basic list of assets you might want to protect:

  • Trademarks – Before you protect a trademark, you have to understand first what it is. A trademark is a symbol, a word and/or a design that distinguishes and identifies one source of goods from a particular party to goods from someone else. You can learn about applying for a trademark from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Logos – Your logo is an emblem or a graphic mark that promotes a business, a person and/or a product. It offers identification to the general public.
  • Website Designs – If you are like most online entrepreneurs, you have invested a lot of time and money in your website design, so this should be on your list of priorities for protection.
  • Website Content – Don’t let others steal your material. You have the right to protect the content of your website. This includes written words as well as images and videos.

Understanding Copyright Law

When it comes to copyrights, it’s imperative that you understand what you can use and cannot use from other sites (and so you can protect your own site). If you use material (images, articles, blog posts, etc) from other websites, you have to make sure you have the right to use it.

In many cases, the owner of a website will write a Cease-and-Desist (C and D) letter if the site feels you have wrongly used their material. When they do so, you must remove the content immediately. They don’t have to send the C and D letter, however, and some businesses will bypass that option and go straight to sending you a settlement offer with threat of litigation if you don’t pay. To fully understand copyright law, you could study the copyright material provided by the U. S. Copyright Office or you could consult a lawyer such as a California Business Litigation Attorney.

The Importance of Contracts

You have the right to protect your own website and business transactions by creating contracts. Privacy Policies and Terms of Use contracts are standard documents that protect your assets and help you avoid risk exposure.

Starting an online business can be exciting. Make sure you protect yourself and your business by understanding your rights as an online entrepreneur.

Advantages of Online Faxing During Tight Economic Times

During a discouraging economy (like what’s happening recently), saving money can pay off in a big way. Making budget cuts wherever possible can add up bit by bit; and one way to scale down spending is to rely more on the Internet.

Technology can be costly, but this is where the Internet comes in. The Internet allows people to rely less on hardware and more on virtual things that “exist” in cyberspace.

Online Faxing: An Affordable Solution

Online faxing is just one way to cut back on operational costs during a tough economic time. Fax machines can be very expensive and take up a lot of space. Faxing online converts documents to TIFF or JPEG files and then sends those over the Internet (just like an email) to the intended recipient. It’s safe, secure, and super speedy.

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A Secure Transfer

One advantage of online faxing is the growing number of companies that offer this type of service. Like all industries, prices go down when supply goes up, and online faxing services are very affordable. For example, email faxing with Metrofax is incredibly affordable and allows you to send and receive “faxes” from your smartphone. It is like having a computer, fax machine, and phone, all in one and all in your pocket. Just another great way to save during tight economic times!

Along with utilizing smartphone technology to make your way of doing business easier, online faxing has other attributes that make it an ideal way of sharing pictures and documents. While emailing pictures can be easy enough, getting documents, particularly ones that need to be signed, to the necessary parties can be tricky. You need a way to convert from physical documents to digital ones, and vice versa, which is where Internet faxing comes in.

Since it converts those documents to a PDF, you could have the document in your hand, fax it over the Internet—where it is digitized—and someone in, let’s say, Brazil can print out the document and sign it. In fact, he can then fax the signed copy right back to you. Quick and easy, and most important of all, very economic!

Online Faxing: Safe and Secure

No matter the size or purpose of your business, secure and affordable online faxing will improve your business and send a positive message to your client. When you are ready to step up your game, look for a professional and economic email faxing service to take your business into the future.

Organizing an International Business Trip

For the first time, your job demands you travel abroad. While you are probably very excited to be going, you may be a little apprehensive of the idea of traveling to a completely unfamiliar place, within an unfamiliar culture to meet complete strangers. Breathe easy. By following some simple steps you can plan your international business trip for the best possible outcome.

 

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What’s Your Purpose?

Before planning, you should decide why you are traveling. Most business trips have an objective or goal to be obtained from the visit. For example:

  • Market assessment for new product placement
  • Survey business conditions
  • View market conditions and viability
  • View competitors
  • Generating leads

You will want to create a daily itinerary to keep yourself on track and to make certain you accomplish what you need to.

Making Travel Arrangements

First things first, you must make sure your passport is current. Do what you must to get it that way if it is not. Ensure you have other credentials necessary for travel like a business or work VISA. Check with your local health department for needed immunizations for the area you are visiting.

Spend some time on the internet booking air travel to find cheap tickets. Every boss loves an employee that saves money. Book travel and lodging together (if possible) to save money and avoid finding yourself in questionable lodging. Ensure luggage meets both dimension and weight requirements, and contents are acceptable to avoid hang-ups at the airport.

 

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Know Your Destination

It is wise to learn as much as you can about the culture you are visiting, especially when dealing with businessmen. Knowing cultural and business norms will keep you from committing a social faux pas or offending your hosts. Spend time learning important words and phrases in the native tongue. Here are some phrases and words to learn:

  • Please
  • Thank you
  • Hello
  • It’s nice to meet you
  • Good day

Knowing how you will get around, whether it’s by taxi or subway, can save you headaches. Visit the bank to determine local currency and if your destination will accept U.S. currency. For safety, determine if your destination is a travel hot-spot, or a destination where you are at more personal risk. Some countries are not U.S.-friendly; being prepared and staying on guard can help you have a safer trip.

You went, you conquered, and then you came home. Do not let the trail you blazed burn out. Effective follow-up will ensure that your trip and the work that went into it were worth it.

Best Strategies in Online Trading

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Getting into the trading industry can be a daunting task without the right tools. Unlike professional traders who have an advantage using company tools and stock trackers, personal traders must rely on their own knowledge and software to make a profit. How do you start and how do you become successful? Here are some useful strategies in online trading.

Understanding the Stock Market

There’s nothing worse that diving into a project when you don’t fully understand how it works. The stock market is a tricky market, but the benefits of being a knowledgeable trader can be very rewarding. There is no easy way to predict which way prices will move, whether up or down, so traders must understand the market, and sometimes, rely on their gut feeling.

What Kind of Trader are You?

Figure out what kind of trader you are and what trading style suits you best will help you become a better trader. If you trade in a way that makes you uncomfortable, you’ll lose a sense of confidence that can make you doubt your financial decisions. Depending on you financial situation, your strategy may change, just like the 12 Days of Money Origami by UFX Markets. Find out what type of trader you want to be (day, overnight, high volume, low volume and so on) that not only makes you comfortable, but also is financially sound.

Timing is Everything

In the trading industry, every second can make a difference. If you’re one second late, you could lose a significant amount of money. Before purchasing a stock, you should already have an idea of when you will enter and when you will exit (or buy and sell an asset). If a stock purchase isn’t working out, cut it loose. Cut your losses before they become even greater. Just because you spent money on it, doesn’t mean that it will eventually lead you to success. Use various exit strategies that let your winning stocks keep winning, while allowing you to pull out your losing stocks. Timing is key when it comes to winnings and losses, so be ready to spend a significant amount of time watching and learning about a company before investing in it.

It’s difficult to pinpoint the best strategies in online trading because everyone has their own style. What works for someone may not work for another, so it is best to learn your way in the industry. However, that is not to say that guidelines that are more general may not apply to you, but follow them with a grain of salt. Most importantly, keep an open mind and always be open to new suggestions.

Using Social Networking Sites to Further Your Brand

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Small business owners typically find their days jam-packed with things that need to be done. One important aspect of growth in any business is learning to increase your staying power in your industry. Consumers are wired and online. Social networking sites offer the small owner a window of opportunity to further their brand.

Here’s an enormous number: 750 Million. In July 2011, Facebook racked up 750 million active users and counting. This social networking giant, launched in 2004, is one of the most visited websites globally. Chances are good that a number of your target consumers are avid users of this site. Small business owners can create or join groups geared to attract potential and current clients, or network with other small business owners.  Customers may even tag you in a post to express what a good experience they’ve had with your business.

Starting a blog for your company is another way to reach consumers on the internet. Sites such as Tumblr, WordPress, and Blogger allow you to set up free blog space to add an extra element to your business networking. Most sites let you post pictures and videos, which you can use to your advantage. Alerting followers of upcoming sales, specials or events is simple to do.

Social networking sites are the way people stay connected. They share their experiences, likes, and dislikes. By adding social networking to your marketing plan, you are able to reach people. Besides finding local consumers, you can introduce your brand to the world-at-large.

One Step at a Time: Business Expansion

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So you’ve established a business and it is successful.  Now what? While some small business owners may relish in the achievement of their company and be satisfied with merely maintaining it, economic experts and business people agree that expansion is the best method of increasing profits and influence of your work.

There are numerous approaches in expanding one’s business. However, before you consider this, go over a basic checklist to ensure that your business is adequately equipped to handle such a development. There are hundreds of websites that give advice on the business market and everything from trading strategies, when to save and when to splurge on your business, and the most plausible ways to magnify your business.

These websites are in accordance on the topic of business expansion: be prepared to make a renewed investment in both finances and time in your business, and do not attempt to make your organization bigger on a whim.  You must know that your profits have been steadily increasing over the years, that your employees are not only enthusiastic about expansion, but also trained and prepared for it, and that you have a ground plan and several backup plans should things not go as intended, which often happens.  You have to be ready to think on your feet and not be easily discouraged.

Most importantly, keep your customers in mind: they are your buyers and the best gauge of what you should be selling, and how much of that particular product you should be manufacturing.  Maintaining a clear understanding of the fluctuations in customer wants and fulfilling those wants will uphold your company’s success.

Efficiently Managing Your Small Business

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Once you have designed prospectuses, obtained funding, hired workers, designed and launched your small business, the crucial issue of management takes the forefront.  Management is a balancing act that demands you observe the basic directives you have established for your business while maintaining its progression and profitability.

Do not underestimate the weight of management in a small business; although your organization may seem so small that true administration feels time consuming and impractical, studies have proven that small businesses that institute management modeled on bigger businesses are more likely to get ahead.  Consider reading up on small business management for more in-depth tips you can apply to your company.  Basic advice includes the following: have a handout or even a handbook that directs employees on specifics of the companies, including rules and regulations, schedules, standards of behavior, safety policies, information on benefits and time off, and basic company policies regarding non-prejudice releases and such.  Having such information on file and in the hands of your employees will make it clear what you expect from them and will give you the information you need should there be any concerns.  It is also crucial to treat all employee matters the same, and advising them to refer to their handbook can alleviate minute problems.

Your leadership as a small business owner is irreplaceable.  Never allow yourself to be undermined and do not fear taking charge; after all, you did start the company for a reason.  And remember to enjoy yourself—operating a small business can be a bit demanding, but at the end of the day it must remain rewarding.

How to Hire Smart for Small Business

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Small business does not possess the same capacity for widespread hiring practices that big business does.  Small businesses also depend on the quality and company proficiency much more than big businesses do, making hiring a crucial factor in the success of a littler company.  Hiring your first employees is demanding process, but remember that who you hire will determine the character of your organization and its potential accomplishments.

Many business websites have plenty of advice to offer in the hiring arena, specifically in regards to small business.  Based on the advice from these websites, it is important to hire someone that is accustomed to the atmosphere of a smaller business.  Employees at smaller businesses often have to work more intensely on specific projects, as there are not as many workers as a bigger company to spread the work thinner.  Small businesses also demand better charisma and customer service to keep clients returning to your business again and again, rather than shopping at a larger chain.

Employees at a smaller business must also come into the job capable and able to learn quickly, as on the job training does not work as well at a smaller business than a larger company, where there are more people to pick up the slack.  A remarkable bit of advice on hiring for a small business is to hire individuals for their own qualities and talent, rather than seeking to merely fill an open spot.  With the right employees, your small business can successfully establish itself in the business world and flourish in the years to come.