Though small businesses don’t necessarily generate the type of revenue that larger corporations can, they are a crucial part of helping to build local economies. For every small business that is established, there are a plethora of benefits that the local community can take advantage of. This includes new funding for the community, new employment opportunities, and more. Let’s take a closer look at just how necessary small businesses are.

Employment Opportunities

One way small businesses help the economy is through employment opportunities. According to reports from the Washington Post, the U.S. Small Business Administration states that small businesses account for approximately 99.7 percent of all employment opportunities. For the last 20 years, small businesses have accounted for more than half of all new jobs and paid more than 40 percent of the US private payroll.

Tax Contributions

Another way in which small businesses contribute to the local economy is through tax contributions. When consumers support local small businesses, this increases the company’s overall revenue. The more money a company makes, the more they have to contribute to both local and federal taxes. This money is then used to fund schools, compensate for local government employee salaries, and aid with other programs within the community.

Starting Your Own Business

As you can see, small businesses are constantly improving the local economy. The more successful small businesses that are developed, the better it is for the community. If you were thinking of starting a small business to help support the local economy (or simply to ditch your day job), there are a few things you’ll need to secure.

Legalities

Before you can legally call yourself a business, there are a few things you’ll need to do. This includes registering the business name, obtaining any necessary licenses or permits to run the business, and securing an employer identification number.

Technology/Equipment

Now you need to invest in certain technology. In this ever changing digital age it will be important for you to have the necessary technology to accommodate the needs of your target consumers. Certain technology to invest in might include:

  • Computers, laptops, mobile devices
  • Software for accounting, marketing, customer service, etc.
  • Internet services
  • Telephone system

As you’re investing in technology for your small business, don’t forget to protect your company data. Virus protection software, for instance, would ensure that your company information is safe from potential hackers.

Location

Whether you intend to open a pizzeria or an office building, you’ll need to pick the prime location. If you don’t have very much capital to work with, you may want to start out working in your home or renting a property for a low monthly rate.

Website

No business is fully established these days without a well-designed website. Though most of your consumer base is local, digital marketing is presumably the way you’ll go about spreading the word. Website creation is a lot easier than you may have thought. There are plenty of web hosting companies that offer user friendly templates and guides to walk you through the process.

Marketing Strategy

Now your business is pretty much established. All that’s left to do is get the word out about your business and start generating revenue. This is going to require a great deal of marketing. The good news is that since digital marketing is the newest trend for reaching the masses, you won’t have to invest much money right away. You can start by utilizing social media platforms and so forth to reach your target audience. Since you’re a local business, however, you’ll also want to consider traditional forms of marketing, including handing out flyers and advertising within the community.

Being a small business owner is a rewarding experience. Not only does it give you the freedom to do what you love on the daily basis, but it is a surefire way to give back to the community. If you’re thinking about starting a small business in the near future, remember the above mentioned tips and lists of things you’ll need to have to get started.

 

{ 1 comment }

Without getting too deep into the actual statics of how much of the broad stock market return is based on dividends and dividend reinvestment there are some much more subjective reasons why I like consistent dividend paying stocks, and in particular dividend growth stocks.

Buying a Share of Stock Makes You a Part Owner of that Business and I want to be Treated as Such

It is easy to lose sight of the fact that when you purchase a share of stock you are buying a tiny (albeit a very tiny) fraction of a business.  Well if you were to buy any part of any private (i.e. not publicly traded) business wouldn’t you ask how are you going to share in the profits of the business? If you bought a piece of a diner, would you just accept that you’ll see your real pay day when someone buys it from you years and years later? Obviously, there is something very different from owning a diner and owning T-Rowe Price with regards to liquidity, but none the less I want to be paid for deploying my capital.

Further, I want current management to know that their predecessors have paid a portion of their profits to the owners (shareholders) of the business for decades, and decades, prior.  To not do so should be taken very seriously.

One Day I’d Like to Live off an Income Stream without Eating into Principal

Every month, I screen for undervalued dividend growth stocks and the very first part of that screen is to highlight those stock that have increased their dividend payment to owners every year for the past 20+ years.  Right now, there are 150+ stocks that have paid an increasing dividend each and every year for two decades! To put that into persepective that I can remember (I am 34):

  • Shit show that was the housing bubble
  • 9/11
  • Dot Com bubble
  • Perpetual wars that seem like we are never getting out of

A handful have even been doing it for 50+ years! These companies make it possible (obviously nothing is guaranteed) for regular investors to build their own stream of income that will at least grow with inflation (obviously could out pace or lag inflation depending on the dividend growth of the particular stocks you buy).

A Long History of Increasing Dividends Means That it is Less Likely the Dividend will be Cut in the Future

Everyone has seen the statement, “past performance is no guarantee of future results” and the sentiment of that statement can’t be reiterated enough.  Notwithstanding, if you were on the board of a publicly traded company that has increased their dividend payment since President Clinton was arguing what exactly “sexual relations” means, are you going to be the one that pushes the “don’t increase” vote?  Probably not.  Historical evidence agrees, as a study from Dividend.com states,

While most dividend-paying companies will always claim that they have no plans to reduce their dividends, the results can be quite different. The historical numbers, however, don’t lie. Simply put, companies that have a history of dividend cuts are more likely to make cuts in the future. The same holds true for companies with a history of increasing their dividends.

Stagnant dividend payouts is also unattractive to dividend-minded investors. In general, investors should look for stocks with industry-leading (but sustainable) dividend yields, with a solid history of increasing their dividends.

All this May be Moot if You Invest in ETFs and Mutual Funds

Individual stock purchases are not for everyone, they obviously come with risk not born by large basket type purchases like ETFs and Mutual Funds.

{ 0 comments }

Looking at all those charts, numbers, ratios and graphs, you may feel at times that Forex trading is not your speed. However, if you can practice FX trading regularly and be self-disciplined, you can easily do a self-analysis to know what factors drive the FX trading market and also learn how to keep your emotions out of the equation. Here are four tips or tricks that you can easily use to home your Forex trading skills.

Choosing a trading style

Before you start trading foreign currencies, you need to set a clear and definable goal and also plan a roadmap for reaching there. Based on your specific trading goals, you can pick up a trading method that suits you and your strategy. Understand that each trading method or style has its own set of risks and each one of them requires a very different approach. For example, if you have enough funds that are likely to benefit from anticipated appreciation of a particular trade, position trading is your type of trading. However, you should also determine what kind of trading personality you are.

Choose a trading platform or a broker which you feel comfortable with

You must choose a broker or a trading platform that lets you do the complete analysis of the economic data. Choosing a good broker is the first step, and it is also the most important step in the process. You need to know about the trading policies of different brokers to find more about their market outlook. For example, FX trading in the spot market has little similarity with FX trading in markets that are solely exchange driven. Knowing your broker’s policies would help in a big way since you can know the possible outcomes in advance. However, a reputable broker with a poor platform or a great platform with a worthless broker is equally terrible. Choose a great broker, and then a good platform.

Choose a Forex trading method

Most FX traders have a hard time taking the right decisions for executing their trades. So what information do you exactly need for executing the trades? Successful traders usually look at the underlying principles of an economy or a company and then put everything into data charts for determining the best time for executing the trade. Many others use technical analysis hence use a lot of charts and graphs for executing trades. Where is the main difference between these two methods? While underlying fundamentals need to be analysed for long-term trading, chart patterns actually help in short-term trading.

Direction analysis is important

The contrasting information presented through weekly charts and intraday charts often give rise to much confusion among the traders. You need to wait for the daily chart’s data to sync with the weekly chart data. For this reason only, you need to sync your trading timings.

There is no set rule for Forex trading. The biggest secret sauce of success in FX trading is continuous practice and you should keep this in mind.

Follow CMC Markets to get more tips and tricks to become a successful FX trader in a matter of time.

{ 0 comments }

Roommates, the necessary evil? Nowadays the alternatives aren’t great. You can live a prolonged childhood with Mom or Dad or shack up with someone to share the financial burden with.

In major metropolitan cities such as London and New York, young millennials don’t just have one roommate; some are reported to have upwards of 3 or 4. It’s the high price of living in a city with unlimited options in dining and entertainment.

This infographic from the Real Estate Team at Liberty Village Toronto has some incredible stats on the housing behaviour of millenials.

Some aren’t even opting for roommates and deciding to spend some extra time at home with Mom and Dad.

Do-You-Need-A-Roommate1

 

Graphic Design by Miami Seo Company, Vol & Tier Digital

{ 1 comment }

Why Living on Credit Cards is a Bad Idea

May 23, 2016

As advancements in technology continue, many people no longer carry cash. Instead, they pull out their trusty debit card for nearly everything they buy. The next time you go to retrieve it from your wallet you may want to consider what you are getting in return. The answer to this question is nothing. Yes, you have […]

0 comments Read the full article →

5 Times You’ll Be Glad to Have Paid Using a Credit Card

May 16, 2016

Owning a credit card is a big responsibly that can sometimes be confusing for those with little experience. There are several situations where credit is a great option, but there are many in which it may hurt you in the long run. Here are some of the best times to use plastic when you want […]

1 comment Read the full article →

Effective Debt Management Can Lead to Savings

May 13, 2016

Household budgets cover spending in so many areas, it can be hard to keep track of where your money goes. The good news, however, is each of these spending categories may hold room for savings. As you work to keep your personal finances in order, leave no stone unturned in your quest for savings. Even […]

1 comment Read the full article →