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An Individual Voluntary Arrangement or IVA is a formal agreement between a borrower and a creditor. There is an alternative to bankruptcy.Most of people do not have a fair idea of IVA. Therefore, seeking advice on IVA can help a borrower make an informed choice.IVA advice can help you to take a positive new step.IVA Advice help you to Rebuild your financial future.
According to the recent news item from Intuit that we posted in our Small Business News section, with the current state of the economy, many small businesses are struggling to get paid for the products and services they provide. In fact, on average small business owners lose close to $1,500 in overdue or no payments a month, as found by the recent Intuit Billing Manager “Get Paid” Survey.In response to the survey, Mike McDerment, CEO of the online invoicing service FreshBooks , identified 10 tips to help small businesses address their receivables problem and allow small businesses to enjoy
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the holidays.Bill Clients Early: This will make sure you are paid in time for the holidays, and also that your clients will be satisfied with the great services they are receiving. Make Billing So Simple That an Elf Could Do it: If you make bill paying difficult, you are guaranteed to lose money. Try to provide debtors with easy, convenient options to submit payment. Add a Holiday Greeting Message: Get your customers into the holiday spirit with a joyful greeting message during the holiday season – it will put a smile on their face and make them appreciate your service more. Take Advantage of the Moment: During the planning stages of a project, most people are excited and tend to be more flexible. Use this opportunity to request a partial payment. Use Online Recurring Invoices: Spending hours on tedious paperwork takes time away from enjoying the holidays with friends and family. Don’t turn into the Grinch; use online recurring invoicing services and invest your time elsewhere. Automatic Late Payment Reminders: Alleviate holiday stress by establishing a system that will inform you and your clients of late accounts. Remember: the sooner that you are aware of a delinquency; the sooner you will receive payment. Keep Employee Morale Up: Everyone enjoys being happy around the holidays. Keeping employees happy will also keep them efficient, and efficient employees will bring in greater revenue for a business. By keeping your employees worry-free, they will become a valuable asset. Schedule activities, company outings, anything that keeps the “job family” performing. Your Customers are Your Best Friends: What is the holiday season without close friends to share the joy. Treat customers as you would treat your best friends. For example, small gestures such as sending holiday packages during the year let your customers know that you care for them, and are truly grateful for their business. More importantly, the kind gestures prove that you can be trusted upon independent of economic trends. Make a Good Impression: Embrace the holiday joy and make sure you demonstrate a positive and lasting first impression. Whether you provide a product or a service, caring for your customers with proper support is crucial. Providing good customer service demonstrates that you are a professional and you will take care of business and customers respectfully. Review Company Year-End Spending: Keep funds in order. Keep only what you need but guarantee that bills like the office lease, employee salary, & other overhead costs are met first. This should be done every 6 months to maximize growth. Furthermore, keeping up with current marketing trends will help your business better evaluate what needs to be spent on and what would be a waste of funds.

In an effort to narrow the tax gap, IRS has been going after eBay and other auction sites for years. The IRS estimates that unpaid taxes from individuals, as opposed to big corporations, account for more than 70% of the tax gap.And within that group, the self-employed are considered the biggest offenders comprising roughly one-third of the tax gap, many of whom use eBay and online auctions. The IRS suspects that many eBay and online auction sellers have not been declaring their incomes properly. eBay also has been dodging government requests to report their sellers income, and IRS sure wants t
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heir money (Read Frivolous Arguments to Avoid When Filing a Return or Tax Refund )But that is now about to change.This year as part of the housing rescue package signed by President Bush, IRS will require PayPal and other processors of online payments to report annual gross receipts to the IRS for all but the smallest online merchants (the wonders of bill lobbying -- how does this relate to housing rescue???). The new law requires credit card companies and third party payment processing such as Paypal to report to the IRS payments made to small businesses and other self-employed workers. That would allow the IRS to compare the self-employed workers' tax returns with the payments and determine whether they're underreporting their income.The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 expressly says that:SEC. 6050W. RETURNS RELATING TO PAYMENTS MADE IN SETTLEMENT OF PAYMENT CARD AND THIRD PARTY NETWORK TRANSACTIONS.(a) In General- Each payment settlement entity shall make a return for each calendar year setting forth--(1) the name, address, and TIN of each participating payee to whom one or more payments in settlement of reportable payment transactions are made, and(2) the gross amount of the reportable payment transactions with respect to each such participating payee.With eBay almost requiring the use of Paypal to their sellers, there's no escaping the claws of the IRS. Sellers now have no choice but to report their eBay income (or at least those processed through Paypal) in their tax returns next year.For those who have not been declaring their online auction income, you use Schedule C Profit and Loss. The good part is that by reporting your income, you can also deduct your expenses resulting from your business activity, such as home office use, packaging and shipping supplies, eBay and Paypal fees, among others.

If you are looking to improve your rankings in Google or reach the top 10 (if not the #1 spot) in Google, I highly recommend downloading Google's Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide which Google released on Nov 12 through their official blogThe guide has all the information you need to do well in Google as they basically lay out: how to make use of your description metatag how to improve the structure of your URLs how to make your site easy to navigate how to write anchor text how to use heading tags properly how to optimize the use of your images how to make effective use of your robots.
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txt file how to promote your website And of course, creating QUALITY CONTENT for your siteThis document is created by Google, and the tips on how to rank well comes straight from the horse's mouth. It can help ordinary web site owners understand how their site can get to the top in Google, not to mention that it helps remove the half truths and myths on how to do well in Google.The information is basic search engine optimization (but don't we often stumble on the most basic of things?), but what I like about it the paper is their Good Practices section. The paper cites examples on what Google considers are good practices for promoting your website, and this is important. Download Google's Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide (PDF format) . For added information, read the Q&A in the October 08 chatfest of Google with webmasters around the world.

Someone asked an interesting question: "Is it normal to run into delays with a new business BEFORE you even get started?"The asker has been focused on her new business and has been working hard to get everything in order. Alas, things are not working out as planned and she has experienced delays and other challenges. Now she wants to know if delays are normal, and whether she is not trying hard enough.Business experts typically say that when starting a business, you need to research thoroughly and know what to expect. You need to understand potential problems and risks accompanying each step -
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- and then make plans to minimize if not totally eliminate those risks. Unfortunately, many small and home based entrepreneurs, especially first time entrepreneurs, don't usually go through a systematic and informed process in starting a business. Most are driven by passion or just the idea of starting a business, and then run away with it. They do not evaluate the risks of each step. Heck, they are not even aware of the risks they are about to face.As a result, problems crop up and throws them a curveball. The asker, for example, had trouble finding the right programmer to develop the website she envisions at the price she can afford. Another thought that she can get a credit line with wholesalers and manufacturers, only to find that she is required to pay upfront given the newness of the business and the account. Or another startup entrepreneur who thought that finding customers for the business is a breeze, only to find that it is tough to even get a single client. And so on and so forth.It would really be nice to be a psychic and see what challenges starting a business will bring. Alas, not many have a gift to see the future or at least have the wherewithal to analyze potential risks. But more importantly, the lady who asked must learn from her mistakes. The mark of successful entrepreneurs is their ability to bounce back from adversities. Understand what went wrong, and find out how she can improve on what she did. Take for example the hiring of programmers -- should she have done a better job in investigating the claims of the programmers' capabilities; should she have thought more about the project to have a clearer goals and objectives; should she have been clearer on the deliverables and the time frames, etc. Remember, businesses both big and small experience curveballs and delays, though what separates the great businesses from failed businesses is the speed with which they realize and correct their mistakes.

Oftentimes, passion and commitment to a business idea is not enough to successfully start a business. You need the resources to see that vision into a thriving business.Alas, a lot of home business entrepreneurs find it hard to raise the capital they need to jumpstart their businesses and realize their entrepreneurial dreams. They just don't have the money to start their businesses.I've talked to some would-be entrepreneurs whose planned businesses are too grandiose for their pockets. For example, there's this retiree who wants to start a sit down restaurant when his budget cannot even afford
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a kiosk in the mall. Or a woman who wants to start a clothing line but has no capital whatsoever.As I said, it's great to have a strong pssion for a business idea. But it is important to match the dream with how much money you actually have or can raise for the business.When starting a business, therefore, you need to:know your startup costsestimate the working capital you needcalculate the money you need to open and run the businessMake a list of all items you will need to start this business. Research as much as you can -- to the smallest cost expense if possible -- all the expense items you will need. Startup costs could includerental or lease fees, if applicable beginning inventorycapital expenditures such as vehicle, furniture and equipmentpublic utilitiesremodeling or building workoffice supplieslicenses and permitsadvertising and marketingother startup expensesFor your working capital, you will need to know the monthly cash requirements of your business particularly employees salaries, among ohersPalo Alto has a startup costs calculator that you can use to estimate the startup costs you need

Many entrepreneurs are asking, "What businesses are good to start when the economy is bad?"This rationale given by supermodel Elle MacPherson in an interview with Daily Express in launching her high-end line of undergarments Elle MacPherson Intimates really cracked me up:“For every down-at-heel hedge fund manager who has had to ditch his mistress due to financial hardship there’s always another waiting to step in ... And in these hard times you find that when a woman can’t afford a dress in the luxury echelons, she may opt instead to part with ($32) on underwear that makes her feel good.
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” Makes sense, doesn't it?

One of the important questions when starting a business is finding the right legal structure for that business -- and understanding the tax implications of that legal structure. Here is one question from one of our readers sent via our Consult Your Guides service: Q. I have three small business operating as corporations and my objective is to find the best protection (limit liability) and gain tax advantage. My question, firstly is whether I can open up a parent holding company, a LLC, (can a holding company be an LLC?) which will then own the three corporations.Secondly, should I open that p
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arent LLC and make each of the three corporations LLCs also or do I really need to have a parent LLC or can I just convert the three corporations into three LLCs without opening a new umberella parent LLC.Thirdly, one of the three corporations can convert into an LLC and own the other two. Again, the other two can remain as corporations or become LLCs. I own all three companies and I intend to be the boss in whatever direction I choose to go into with the structure change. Please advise ... Salman, FloridaRead the response of our incorporation expert Chrissie Mould "Objective: Limiting Liability and Gain Tax Advantage For Corporations" . You can also check out other questions on business legal structure, tax, licenses and other regulatory requirements.

What are the common fatal mistakes when starting a business?According to Ed Hess and Charles Goetz, authors of the book "So, You Want to Start a Business? 8 Steps to Take Before Making the Leap," you need to avoid the following mistakes if you want your business to survive and have a chance at success:Choosing a bad business opportunityPursuing the wrong customers. Trying to sell the unsalable.Selling for the wrong price. Overestimating the number of and the speed of customer purchases.Mismanaging the business. Failing to hire the right people.Losing good employees. Being unable to accommodate
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growth. Read the book excerpt "Small Business DOA: Nine Killer Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Business"

If you want instant -- and HUGE -- exposure for your product, check out home shopping networks such as QVC. If you've got the right product, QVC can be an excellent distribution channel.QVC has been instrumental in the success of many products. Footless hosiery Spanx first appeared in QVC in May 2001 and sold 8,000 pairs in under eight minutes. Necklace extender Shooks sold $37,128 worth of products in less than five minutes, while the illuminated fragrance jar of Potpourri Glo sold $39,018 worth of products. And the list goes on and on.But selling on QVC has its advantages and disadvantages t
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hat you should consider. While the network offers an incredible opportunity to new entrepreneurs, potential participants should also understand that they’ll assume some risk should their product be chosen.AdvantagesTelevision allows for three dimensional demonstrations of your product. Through your story and live presentation, you can convince the customers of the benefits your product can offer.Response can be instantaneous. If your product resonates with the audience, home shopping networks can allow you to move thousands of units of your products in a few minutes. Huge distribution potential. As amazing as that is for an unknown merchant hawking an unknown product, the feat is repeated over and over again during the show. Ability to reach wide geographic targeting of audience. Venue allows for feedback from buyers. The company encourages feedback from its customers and so remains aware of what they want.DisadvantagesGetting in on the show is tough. On average QVC receives 20,000 applications a year, only 4 percent of those landed on the show. Huge inventory requirements. You will be required to have enough inventory in stock prior to your appearance in the show. But you will be paid only if and when QVC sells your product.Rigorous quality tests. Your products must pass QVC quality standards. Depending how much you want your product to be on QVC, you must be willing to change the packaging or even the use of your products as you've envisioned it to be in order to be acceptable to QVC audienceQVC can remove your items. QVC's success stems from listening to their customers. As such, they take no chances with their products and will quickly remove any item that gets complaints totaling more than one percent of units shipped.If you think QVC is right for you, visit their QVC Product Search website to learn about the process of pitching your products to QVC

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