Starting and running a business takes ambition, energy, vision and ideas. But it also takes money. Financing may be required to get a start-up on its feet, to meet payroll or satisfy tax obligations. Other businesses may need money to hire new employees, expand into a new market or launch a new product. When traditional business loans are out of reach because a company doesn’t have sufficient credit, collateral or operating history, those financial needs don’t go away, and entrepreneurs have to get clever.

  1. Small Business Administration Loans: The Government Middleman

The Small Business Administration can help businesses secure capital through debt financing, surety bonds and equity financing. The SBA does not loan money directly, but through its guaranteed loan (debt financing) program, it sets strict regulations for its partner companies, and helps businesses secure financing through those companies.

The SBA also utilizes a public-private partnership called the Small Business Investment Company. Just as with the SBA’s debt financing arm, SBIC does not invest directly in businesses, but instead leverages its private-sector relationships to help businesses secure venture capital.

  1. ACH Loans: Borrow Against Future Profits

With ACH loans, lenders finance a business’s future sales. After evaluating a business’s financial statements, profits, deposit history and potential for future growth, an ACH lender will loan a certain amount of capital, depending on what its investigation concludes the business is capable of giving back.

The lender then secures repayment by making scheduled withdrawals directly from the business’s bank account, which is also called an automatic clearing house — or ACH. These kinds of loans are fairly easy to get, but they can be expensive money.

  1. Invoice Factoring: Secure Financing Against Outstanding Invoices

Many businesses get in a financial pinch when customers are slow to pay. Invoice factoring is a type of financing that enables businesses to borrow money against the value of their outstanding invoices. These types of lenders examine the creditworthiness of the customers that owe outstanding invoices to the business seeking the loan. When the invoices are paid to the business, the lender will be repaid from those incoming settled accounts.

  1. Debt Financing: Borrow Against Security

According to Entrepreneur, debt financing includes both secured and unsecured loans, but most lenders require security behind a promise to repay — even for financially sound companies. Businesses can secure these kinds of loans by offering lenders securities, real estate, equipment, warehouse inventory or display merchandise, which the business would forfeit to the lender if they defaulted on the loan.

If the business does not have this kind of collateral, or the lender doesn’t find it sufficient, they can offer assurances from third parties, called guarantors, endorsers or co-makers. All three play similar roles, but who assume different repayment obligations. Endorsers, for example, would have to post collateral of their own on the business’s behalf, while a co-maker would be directly responsible for payment if the business defaults. Debt financing is not to be confused with personal debt settlement or business debt settlement.

  1. Venture Capital Financing: Big Money — Plus Advice and Expertise

Venture capital firms often operate exclusively in a specific industry or market segment. Therefore, they offer not only money, but managerial knowledge and expertise of a borrower’s specific field of business. Venture capitalists are investors, not lenders, and when they spot a promising business with potential for future growth that is being hampered by a lack of capital, they will pool their money — in many cases, large investments of up to tens of millions of dollars — to trigger rapid growth.

With their money, however, comes a degree of control. Venture capitalists take a hands-on approach, offering advice and managerial oversight. They pump in money to trigger large returns in a short period of time. A venture capital investment almost never has a horizon of more than three to five years.

Whether you’re a business that needs a huge influx of cash from venture capitalists seeking short term returns, or a small business that fast business loans because customers are slow to pay invoices, there are ways to secure financing if you’re a good company with solid financials. Some money is more expensive than a traditional loan, but it is the price of doing business.

The Dashboard for your Google+ Pages

Many users are asking us how to get the CircleCount Dashboard for your Google+ Business Pages.
Since we don’t get access to the Pages API (and we never got any feedback why) we want to explain how you can get the dashboard for your Google+ Pages with a simple workaround.
By following the 9 steps described below you can verify easily on CircleCount that you are a manager of the page.

You can try it out here:
http://www.circlecount.com/mypages/

This dashboard is free for everyone.

The Dashboard PRO is more detailed and faster. Check out the demo here:
http://www.circlecount.com/dashboardpro/?demo=nstration
This is available for your Google+ Business Pages as well.

2017 Rules for Social Media For Kids

What do WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, and Tumblr have in common? They happen to be five of the hottest social apps for kids these days. While social media sites like Facebook and Myspace were the main players a decade or so ago, the landscape has definitely changed.

Social media can offer a lot of benefits such as opportunities for networking with peers, making new friends, keeping in touch with loved ones far and near, and developing communication skills. But there is a dark underbelly to social media, in general, and to the Internet, in particular.

Consider these startling statistics:

  • The largest demographic of Internet porn consumers happen to be kids between the ages of 12 and 17;
  • One in five teenage Internet users report having received undesired sexual solicitation such as requests for personal info or private chats;
  • Nine in 10 children between the ages of eight and 16 have encountered online porn;
  • Law enforcement agencies estimate that any given time there are 50,000+ sexual predators prowling around online;
  • 69% of teenagers often get online communications from people they don’t know — and they don’t inform their parents or caregivers;
  • About 89% of sexual solicitations of children were made via chat room or instant messaging programs; and
  • 20% of kids between the ages of 10 and 17 were on the receiving end of sexual solicitation or were approached on the Internet.

Despite the sobering statistics, banning your kids from social media is not the answer. What you need to do is to ensure that they understand and comply with social media rules that will help to keep them safe in 2017 and beyond.

 

TOO YOUNG FOR FACEBOOK?

While Facebook isn’t necessarily the first site kids turn to when looking to connect with others, it is nonetheless a popular site. But the minimum age for anyone seeking to create an account is 13. You need to inform you kids that it is not okay to sign up under false pretenses.

 

SET PRIVACY SETTINGS PROPERLY

As the parent, you need to take the initiative to set the privacy settings to the most stringent levels on any computer or mobile device that your kids will use to connect to the Internet. This will safeguard your children as well as protect your computers, tablets, and smartphones from viruses.

 

EMPLOY FILTERING SOFTWARE

Be sure to use filtering software — there are plenty of options available — to monitor your children’s online activity. You’ll be able to stay abreast of info such as the sites they visit, the amount of time they spend on the Internet, and even the precise keystrokes they typed.

KEEP COMPUTER IN CENTRAL LOCATION

Until your kids are perhaps old enough to get a job and buy their own computers, you need to keep computers in a central location of your home where there is sufficient foot traffic. You should discourage your children from hiding away in their rooms while on the Internet.

 

AVOID ‘FREEBIE’ SCAMS

Who doesn’t like to win free things? The problem is that criminals often use things like surveys and the like to trick the unsuspecting to give up personal details that they otherwise wouldn’t. Ensure that your children are not only street-proofed but also Internet-proofed so that they don’t fall for scams.

 

SIGN OFF ON PICS

Social media provides an ideal platform for posting pictures, but you need to inform your kids about the need to be wise on what sorts of pics they share. To avoid any problems, let your kids understand that you must sign off on any and every picture that they post or send on social media.  

 

SET USAGE LIMITS

You need to set guidelines for when your kids can use social media and how long they can spend doing it. There should be no instance, for example, where your kids are communicating with people on social media while everyone else is the home is asleep for the night.

 

COMMUNICATE THE DANGERS

You need to education your kids so that they understand the potential dangers of social media — such as the fact that the people they communicate with may not be who they claim to be. You should definitely warn them not to get into discussions with strangers and not to disclose personal information. Also be sure to let them know what steps to take if they are approached by potential predators online.

Teaching children social media skills is really just an extension of the social skills you are already endeavouring to teach them. With the former, you’re really just adapting things for the digital age.

Social media presents plenty of benefits that kids should not be denied. By implementing and enforcing some social media rules, your kids will be able to safely enjoy communicating with those they know via the Internet.

 

Support CircleCount when Shopping on Amazon

Offering free features can get expensive and we are always looking for new ways to let you support us and keep the free features free.

Either by offering special services (like our business services or the coming premium services) or by a way which doesn’t mean any loss of money for you (like described here).

cc-amazon (1)

The next time you want to buy something on Amazon, you can open at first our Amazon page and click on the button for your country. That’s it!

You will have to pay exactly the same price at Amazon and we will get a few cents for each product. A win-win situation.

Thanks a lot for every click!

The Best Time To Post On Google+

A recurring topic among our social media circles revolves around when are the “best times” to post on a given network. When it comes to the “best time” to post on Google+, there are many factors to consider in order to find the “best time” for your posts.

Here is our infographic showing that there is no general “best time” to post:

best-time-to-share-a-post-on-google-plus-infographic

The single images in this animation have been created in the dashboard of CircleCount for different users. You can get your specific best time analysis for free here.

Now let’s check the factors for the different “best times”.

 

Your Audience/Follower’s Time Zone

Depending on the language you use to write your posts, your audience may be mainly concentrated in a specific region or geographical area, so it is important to consider your audience’s time zone(s) when you post. Whether you live in the region or not, you will want to choose a time that makes sense for your target audience.

 

Your Time Zone

If you are expecting people to comment on your posts, you should be available to reply, so it is important to consider your own time zone as well. While there are tools that you can use to schedule posts for specific times (there are great tools for that), your followers will soon stop commenting on your posts when they recognize that they are participating in a one-way discussion.

You have probably seen infographics telling you that the best time to post on Google+ is 9-11am EDT, but if you are located in Australia and would rather be asleep at 2:00 in the morning, then this might not be the best time for you to respond!

 

Your Topic

Depending upon your topic, your audience will be more or less likely to engage with your post depending upon where they are (work/home) or what they are doing at that time (working/eating/relaxing). For example, a blog post about the latest trends in social media might perform better when your targeted audience is at the office, while a Lady Gaga music share might get more interest after hours when your audience is at home drinking a glass of wine.

 

Your Goal

People are on Google+ for various reasons and depending upon the goal of your post, timing may or may not matter. For example, if your goal for a photo post is to get lots of plusones, choosing a great photo is much more important than what time you post; however, if you are hoping for an interesting, indepth discussion about your latest blog post, your audience will need to be in the right frame of mind and have time to both read and comment on your post, and you should have the time to respond.

 

Conclusion

The main point is: there can’t be just one “best time” that works for all people or even all posts. Rather than relying on an infographic to tell you when to post, figure out what makes sense for you keeping in mind the points above and make changes as necessary until you find your “best times” to post. You may also want to experiment with “Time Zone Reshares” and reshare your post at a different time to reach a different or a new audience.

Check your Google+ stream to get a feel for what is working for others and use the dashboard on CircleCount to learn more about your audience. Did we mention it is free?

The CircleCount Shop (shirts, mugs, flip flops and more)

We are proud to present the new CircleCount Shop, where you will be able to buy some great shirts, mugs, flip flops and more…

CircleCount Shop

They are all designed by +Rick Lutz our fantastic star designer. So a big thank you to Rick as well.

With every item to buy you support CircleCount with 1-3$, which we really hope is ok for you guys.

We have started with a .com and .de shop, which you can reach under the following URLs:

Both shops are in English and you can find the same articles in both shops, but you can save some shipping costs by selecting the one or the other (for example the .com for USA and .de for Europe).

CircleCount-T-Shirt

We are looking forward to see your photos with CircleCount! 😉

CircleCount parle français!

Yann FageolToday we are launching CircleCount.com in French! You can find the French pages at http://fr.circlecount.com/
CircleCount is now available in 9 languages!

With the great help of Yann Fageol our French visitors will be able to browse through the pages of CircleCount.com in their own language.

We want to thank Yann for the whole work! He is self employed as a Google+ trainer and consultant at witseo.fr and running the Google+ community Aide Google+ pour tous Community.
We are very happy to have such a good partner in France!

The Year 2013 Infographic

On the 29th of December 2013 we have offered you a personalized infographic with a summary of your year on Google+.

A few hours later we have been overwhelmed with your feedback. Probably you liked it 😉

circlecount-year-2013-infographic-statisticYou can find this chart showing always the current data here.
As you can see in the chart we had a peak on Sunday evening (German time) only 12 hours after the launch. We have generated around 4 infographics per minute. This is a huge number for our small server, which has done a great job.

Almost 4,000 people have logged in on CircleCount on this Sunday with more than 2,000 completely new users on CircleCount:

circlecount-year-2013-insightsThese are huge numbers and will show some interesting peaks in our page showing the Key Performance Indicators of CircleCount.

The only problem was that we ran out of API calls, since the Google+ API calls have a daily limit. Fortunately Vic Gundotra jumped in and saved the situation:

circlecount-vic-gundotra-api-calls-year-2013

 

One of the reasons we love Google+: The Google+ Team is listening, even on Sundays!
Right now more than 5,500 infographics have been created and the number is still growing.

Now, after you have read about the theory, here is one of these infographics:

circlecount-my-year-2013

You can still create your personal Year 2013 Infographic here.
Let’s see if we can get a new peak in the first chart 😉

 

 

 

Your Google+ Elements

A few days ago we have launched a new page called “The Google+ Elements”.
Here you can see the most followed people who fit to a chemical element.

The Google+ Elements

+Mz Maau and +Geoff Dennehy mentioned that such a periodic table would be even more interesting with people only from the own circles. A great idea!
Today we are giving you the ability to put the people from your circles on a periodic table.
Short How-To: open this page, that’s it!

If you are not logged in on CircleCount you will see the Sign In button of Google+. After a click on this button you can authenticate who you are and login on CircleCount.
You don’t need to create any account on CircleCount or remember a new password.

google-plus-sign-in

On the page with your elements there is a button to reload the people from your circles. With this button you can not only update your circles but you can also choose which circles should be used for the periodic table. Just click on “Edit list” (or “Liste bearbeiten” like in the screenshot) and choose your circles.

An important privacy note: we won’t get any information about specific circles (for example their name or who is in one specific circle). We are getting through the Google+ API only a list of persons/pages that are included in one of the chosen circles. That’s absolutely enough for this feature and a great decision by Google+ to protect (y)our privacy.

google-plus-sign-in-circle-selection

After you have chosen your circles, we will check the persons/pages and put them on the periodic table on the place they belong to.

your-elements-of-google-plus-on-circlecount

Feel free to make a screenshot and share it with your followers. A few of them will be probably on the screenshot 😉

Follow Up Your Favorite Posts

Overview of your Favorite Posts
Do you want to follow a discussion on Google+?
Right now you need to write a comment to get notifications about new comments and to not lose the post. That’s why you can see often comments like “<sub>” or “subscribe”.

Today we are launching a new page in your Favorite Posts Management on CircleCount.com: Read Later
If you don’t know the Favorite Posts Management on CircleCount.com yet, please check this article.

You can now check out your favorite posts as embedded posts on CircleCount.com like you can see in the screenshot at the right.

On this page you can see the current discussion for each post including all comments. Even our Chrome Extension is working on this page, so that the comments will be highlighted like you have defined in the options and you will get also the CircleCount buttons for each post, for example to check out the ripples of the post.

circlecount-read-later-favorite-posts-comment-highlighting

 

You can filter in this page by the tags you have used for each post and order by different criteria (like post date or your own rating).
You will get 10 posts per page shown, but you can easily see your other favorite posts with a single click on the paging buttons.

Adding a post to your favorites is also really easy:

circlecount-add-post-to-your-favorites

Edit Favorite Post on CircleCount

 

 

And you can still share your favorite posts like you could before. Here are some great examples:

Let us know if you like this feature!

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