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Here are Business strategies – make business cards
My husband is a graphic designer and one of the most common requests he receives is for him to make business cards. He was recently asked to make business cards for a local builder. He designed some really nice cards that looked similar to a playing card, since the company name is John-of-all-Trades. One side featured a jack character holding a variety of tools. The reverse of the card has the contact information. The corners of the card are cut on a squared-off angle to mimic the look of a playing card and the card stock is of the same weight and texture as well.
Another friend of ours asked my husband to make business cards for her. She wanted to use these cards for networking and for personal purposes. He designed some really cool cards featuring a diva-type character in hot pink and purple. Our friend was so happy with the result and pleased that she decided to have him make business cards for her, that she recommended him to others as well.
In the past my husband was asked to make business cards for a local musician. He took a photo of her face and converted it to a line drawing. Then he colored it in a shade of lavender and ran the face along the side of the card. The results were very artsy and proved to be a great success. The musician was very pleased with the results and happy that she’d asked him to make business cards for her, as well.
My husband runs a small, part-time, home-based graphic design business. He recently decided to make business cards for his own business. He took photos of the surface of a tambourine and zoomed in on the grain. He used this texture as a background for the card. The results were beautiful.
There are machines that you can find located throughout malls that will make business cards for a fee. However, the results are very plain, boring and unprofessional. If business cards are needed, it’s highly advised that you go to a professional to make business cards for you. You have much more control over the process and you have a much better chance of being pleased with the results. So too, it’s not recommended that you try to make business cards for yourself, unless you have professional graphic design training. Business cards speak for your company when you aren’t there, and represent the image that you want to project. If your business cards lack professionalism or breaks the rules of design, this will be noticed and will not project a profession image or garner respect. You are much better off paying a small fee to a professional graphic designer and having them make business cards for you.
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If you’re applying for a business loan – new small business loans
The infamous banking system bailout was President Obama’s first major action upon coming to power, and as far as it goes, it was a success. The entire banking system would have fallen apart without it. But when the government just gave away boatloads of free money to irresponsible banks, a big reason was so that they would go out and lend small businesses enough money to get a little action back in the economy. So now the banking system is somewhat tottering on its feet again, the banks seem to be so scared of taking any kind of risks and falling into that black hole again, that they refuse to lend. They just want to have nothing to do with any loan applicant if they can’t provide a huge collateral, show them a spotless credit record, and in general show them that they are so well off they don’t need a loan in the first place. This wasn’t the deal; the banks that got their bail-out money were supposed to enable entrepreneurs by making new small business loans and the like. So where do small businesses turn to, now that the banks have turned their backs on them, and the government doesn’t seem to be doing much about it either – at a time when you can’t even get a good credit card spending limit anymore.
There are still options, unconventional ones, for venturesome entrepreneurs on the lookout for new small business loans. The federal New Market Tax Credits program for example is a Treasury Department idea, that’s been around for about 10 years now. They get an annual $5 billion budget, to apply on low income areas in all states of the country, and they fund community economic development projects. Of course, it becomes a little complicated when you want to actually apply for financial help under this plan. For instance, your new project must create new jobs to qualify. But all the rules they have for this get so complicated, that if you want to borrow $250,000, you’d have to spend so much on retaining a CPA and a lawyer to understand what the hell is going on, that it would not really be worth it.
Peer-to-peer lending, operates for people who have much smaller needs, and have less time for formalities. Places like LendingClub.com and Prosper.com are places that people with spare cash, can offer a small loan placing a classifieds ad. People out looking for new small business loans, who have reasonable credit scores can apply; the website holds an auction to find you the best deal, accepts a fee and some kind of commission too, and hooks you up with your lender. Of course, you will expect to pay a pretty hefty interest – around 20%; but in today’s environment, that might actually sound like a deal.
Or how about receivables financing? If you have a businesssupplying stocks to retail businesses, retailers will expect you to give them a credit line, to allow them time to actually sell the stock in retail, and collect before they pay you. This kind of financing is actually drying up now. If you have a lot of stock out, and can’t wait long enough to collect on everything, you can go to a receivables exchange and sell your credits, in exchange for hard cash. But these can be somewhat hard to come by – you need excellent credit. In general though, new small business loans, are going to increasingly be available through unconventional channels like this. It would seem like banks, with their impossible rules and tightfistedness, were simply relics of the past in today’s world.
With the Banks Deserting us, Entrepreneurs go Unconventional for New Small Business Loans