Home Business Page 14

Business

Understanding Line of Credit At A Glance

Understanding Line of Credit At A Glance

Lines of credit are a financial practice where credit is made available to consumers, often as a secured debt with collateral such as the consumer’s home.  This line or credit, also known as a home equity line or credit is a common method of borrowing money by leveraging one’s most valuable asset.  In addition to a home equity line of credit, lines of credit may be extended to businesses, depending on their needs.  Business lines of credit are not lump sum payments, but rather a special bank account that affords the borrower flexibility in purchasing, paying bills and other liquidity needs.  Interest is paid only on money withdrawn by the borrower, although there may be mandatory amounts that need to be borrowed in order to avoid inactive account fees or fees in form of interest on the money in the line of credit not withdrawn.

What are the costs of credit lines?
In addition to interest payments, there may be a number of fees associated with lines of credit, including application, property appraisal and lawyer fees.  Some lenders will even charge preparation and filing fees.  Interest rates on credits lines are almost always variable, although the lender and borrower may agree and the end of the term that line of credit was made available to repayment on a loan with a fixed interest rate.

What are the risks of lines of credit?
As with all secured debts, the failure to meet the terms of repayment may give the lender the right to collect the collateral that was leveraged to receive the loan.  As such, an unpaid home equity line of credit can be grounds for the lender to foreclose on the homeowner that had received a line of credit.
Many lenders will place restrictions on lines of credit, requiring the borrower to borrow a certain amount of money per term, a minimum amount of money borrowed at a time, or specific conditions on minimum payments.  Among the greater risks associated with lines of credit will be exploitive terms and conditions as well as variable interest rates.  All lines of credit interest rates are based on an index, such as the “prime rate” which is usually the consensus of a survey of major banks’ interest rates.  Changes in the prime rate tend to be reflected in interest rates offered to consumers.  Many lenders will entice potential borrowers by offering low introductory rates, but luckily, for consumers, all interest rates for home equity lines of credit are capped at a certain level, determined by the lender.
Due to variable indexes, anyone that takes a line of credit without properly researching the index that the variable interest rate is tied to will risk unpredictability in the changes of the “prime” rate and may not be aware of volatility or historical highs associated with the index.  Shrewd lenders will also include a “floor” in the agreement, ensuring that the consumer will never pay less than a set interest rate.

Finding the Best Retail Franchise Opportunities

Finding the Best Retail Franchise Opportunities

There are numerous retail franchise opportunities available for anyone who is looking to start their own business but is unwilling, or incapable, of starting up their own distinct operation. Through a cursory internet search for retail franchises you will be directed to thousands of retail franchise opportunities from small to large, inexpensive to million dollar franchises, small and large names, and profitable and non-profitable.
When you are deciding on a retail franchise there are a number of considerations that you need to make before picking the retail franchise opportunity that is right for you. You will need to consider price, reputation, financing, and location, among others.
First step is deciding what type of franchise you want. When considering retail franchise opportunities you need to analyze a number of factors. What is the success of the franchise? Like the stock market, there are blue chips and risky ventures. Getting a Macy’s franchise is more likely to be a stable money maker than a franchise that has not proven itself.
Before you settle on a franchise you will want to consider personal goals.  What do I have experience with?  If you are a professional carpenter then a Home Depot franchise may better suited for you than a Barnes & Noble.  Other questions to ask are what can I afford for a franchise? what kind of royalties will I be expected to pay? among other things.
You will also want to consider the commitment of the franchisee. How involved is the franchisee in the operation of the franchise? Depending on who you are and where you want the franchise to go, you may or may not a franchisor who is highly involved.
The name of the franchise is also important. One of the main reasons why people enter into a franchise business is because the name of the franchise itself demands respect and customers will go to your location simply because of the name. This way you don’t have to worry about acquiring clientele. A good franchise should also have a very serious and widespread marketing system. When your franchise has commercials on television and radio constantly it prevents you from having to go out and do advertising on your own.
One of the objectives of a franchise opportunity is to have that franchise operate like any other in the chain of stores. When customers come to your location they should know right away that it is associated with that franchise. This not only means in the name but in the service and products they provide, layout of the business, and even the uniforms. When you are considering a franchise opportunity you will want to find out if training is involved and how extensive. You want your franchise to operate like every other in that chain of businesses. The franchise has spent a long time building a reputation, its why you bought that specific franchise to begin with, take advantage of it.
Maybe the most important aspect of a franchise is the standard “location, location, location.” Retail franchise opportunities depend on foot traffic, access to major highways and roads.  When looking to buy a franchise you will pay more for better locations but you will also be taking advantage of a bustling business area.  Retail franchise opportunities that exist in business districts, downtown areas, or malls have the benefit of taking advantage of consumers who shop at other store sin the area.  When consumers are shopping at one store close to your retail franchise they are more likely to enter your store than if your store was secluded.  When looking for retail franchise opportunities you may want to consider a franchise that already exists in a mall or strip mall.
One of the most difficult parts of taking advantage of are retail franchise opportunity is getting financing. When you get financing for your retail franchise opportunity from a lender you will normally be lumped into one of two categories: “sure things” and “high risk.” The “sure thing” category, and the ones that often receive financing, are individuals who have successful business experience in similar businesses, have stellar credit, and have successfully run franchises in the past. These individuals are looked at as guarantees in the eyes of the lender and will often be approved.
The “high risk” category encompasses those individuals who have little to no business experience, are looking to start a franchise in a new location with a little known name, and have average to poor credit. When this happens a lender will be hard pressed to give you a loan for your franchise opportunity. In those situations it may be better to fund your franchise opportunity through a home equity loan, personal loan, or an extended line of credit. Many times the franchisor will actually finance your franchise opportunity.
When meeting with a lender for a retail franchise opportunity it is important to have all documentation readily available. This includes tax returns, personal financing, credit reports, any documentation of property that may be used as collateral, among other things

Google and IBM Discover Massive New Market Opportunity

Google and IBM Discover Massive New Market Opportunity

 

Mamadou Ndiaye grew up in the impoverished nation of Senegal. He was fascinated by mathematics and, which he studied and taught for several years, saving to pursue his dream of moving to the United States.

Ndiaye eventually moved to New York, where he worked at Staples and secured a master’s degree in statistics at Columbia University. Impressed by Ndiaye’s knowledge and sales advice, a Staple’s customer, urged the Senegalese man to apply for a job with his former employer, IBM. This fortuitous meeting took place 15 years ago for Mamadou. Ndiaye is currently a manager of the IBM Dakar office, which opened last May.

IBM’s office in the Senegal is just one indication that the company believes Africa will bring in billions of new human capital and revenues.

In July of 2011, IBM secured a ten-year $1.5 billion contract to provide an Indian mobile-phone company with IT technology in 16 African nations. Since this transaction, IBM has established offices in Tanzania, Mauritius, Angola and of course Senegal. In total, the computer giant boasts a presence in more than 20 of Africa’s 54 nations.

IBM may be at the forefront of African expansion, but it is certainly not alone. Last month, Google’s chairman, Eric Schmidt spent a week in Africa claiming that Nairobi has emerged as a sprawling tech hub. Moreover, Microsoft, which has offices in 14 African nations, unveiled a smartphone to be released in a number of African markets. The phone is made by China’s Huawei and utilizes Microsoft’s new operating system.

Africa’s primary attraction is that the nation has been growing even as richer regions have stagnated. The nation also features promising demographic prospects—as several 1st world nations age, Africa is expecting a surge of youthful workers. This boom in skilled workers is due largely in part to the spread of education in the continent: in 2002, roughly 32 percent of Africans had tertiary or secondary education; however by 2020, this figure is expected to surge to roughly 50 percent.

Some African nations are better off to capitalize on this surge of IT than others. Kenya, for instance, is more stable or simply more prescient than its neighbors to take advantage of a tech boom. A great example of the nation’s eagerness to expand its IT developments took place in 2006, when the negotiated the development of a fiber-optic regional network.