Monthly Archives: May 2016

Credit Unions vs Commercial Banks

BanksThe great debate as to whether credit unions or commercial banks are more advantageous to consumers rages on. Both offer distinct strengths and weaknesses to consider, depending on what your banking needs may be.

Credit Unions

The biggest benefit for considering credit unions is that credit unions are not-for-profit organizations. Account holders are members with stakes in the future of the credit union. This means that credit unions typically offer higher savings rates and lower loan interest rates to consumers making them attractive to consumers interested in budget-friendly banking solutions.

Credit union membership usually does, however, come with a few requirements. These requirements may be geographical, occupational, educational, or historical in nature.

Other benefits to consider with credit unions include:

  • Federally secured deposits up to $250,000.
  • Fewer fees related to banking (overdraft fees, ATM fees, etc.).
  • Voting rights and the ability to run for the Board of Directors.

Credit unions also often represent a community or local population. While it does provide for that small-town feeling of everyone knowing your name, it also means you won’t see as many ATMs and branch offices (if any) while you’re on the road.

Commercial Banks

Commercial banks have board members to answer to when profits aren’t high enough. They make these profits by charging fees and interest rates to bank customers.

The good news is that banks are open to pretty much everyone. You don’t need to live in a specific geographic region, attend a certain college, be employed for a specific company, or work in a particular profession in order to open a bank account.

Other benefits to consider when deciding on a bank vs. a credit union include:

  • Commercial banks focus on aesthetics and customer service. The buildings are often meticulously-maintained and well-designed, and their employees go out of their way to provide you with top-notch service.
  • Bank deposits are federally insured up to $250,000.
  • Banks offer wider availability and access to branches and ATMs than credit unions. This makes traveling easier with a larger commercial bank rather than a smaller credit union.

Regardless of your specific preferences, the odds are good that you’ll find the services you need when you do business with a bank or credit union. Because each have their unique set of advantages though, you’ll have to decide the best match for your business needs or personal needs.

5 Reasons Your Business Needs An Exit Strategy

RealtorIf you are like most entrepreneurs, the last thing you are thinking about is how to exit your business. You are more concerned about growth, expansion and sometimes just making ends meet. Well, the truth is, all successful business people have a clear exit strategy as part of their overall business plan. Just what is an exit strategy? An exit strategy is a plan on how you and your partners will leave the business. This leaving can be the sale of the business, an IPO, or transferring ownership to your heirs. Whatever your exit plan, building the business with this final goal in mind, will make things much easier when the time finally comes. If you are still not convinced of the necessity of an exit strategy, here are 7 reasons your business needs one.

1. Allows for retirement

An exit strategy allows for the business owner to retire comfortably. If you’re like most owners, most of your net worth is tied up in your business. Having a clear cut exit strategy will enable you to turn this net worth into cash permitting a comfortable and worry free retirement.

2. Provides for the future

If you are operating a successful business, its important that the business can carry on without you. Your employees and family depend on the business thus having an exit strategy planned can allow your business to continue to provide for your family and loyal employees.

3. Cashing out to invest

Even if you are not ready to retire, many entrepreneurs have the goal of starting other businesses or becoming a venture capitalist to help other business people with good ideas but limited funds. An exit strategy can provide the liquidity you need to obtain these goals.

4. Be appealing to investors

If you are seeking outside investment for your business, having a clear exit strategy is a must. Investors want to know how they are going to make money. An exit strategy will put this in black and white so that potential investors can see how you plan to earn them a return.

5. When to quit

Finally, an exit strategy creates a time frame for when to throw in the towel. It’s important not to keep throwing good money after bad in business ventures that simply are not working. Going into the business with an exit strategy will provide guidelines on how to end the business, regardless of its success.


Workman’s Comp Coverage – What it Means for Your Business

insurance claim formWhile rules and regulations for workman’s comp insurance change from state-to-state, there some general guidelines you need to know and follow no matter where your business might be located.

First, as an employer, you are required to protect employees that are killed on the job, are injured, or become ill. Most employers obtain either state sponsored or private insurance. Others will use self-insurance. Regardless of which option you select, it is the employer who foots the bill.

Secondly, workman’s comp is a state based program as opposed to a federal program. Most states require some form of workman’s comp, and as the employer, you are expected to accept the rules and regulations. For those businesses with under four employees, there is an exemption to carrying the coverage, at least in some states.

Next, workman’s comp pays four different types of benefits. These are survivor’s benefits, disability benefits, rehabilitation benefits, and medical benefits. The injured employee or their heirs receive a lump sum payment which then relieves the business of any further liability.

Also, employees are covered with a few exceptions. These exceptions include business owners, independent contractors, unpaid volunteers and domestic employees in private homes.

In addition, workers’ comp is paid on the no-fault basis. This means that regardless of who is at fault for the injury, the employee receives the benefits, and the business does not have to admit liability.

Finally, even when an employee is outside of the workplace, they may be covered. This can include traveling for business purposes, running work related errands, or attending a required business social event.

The state rules and regulations for workman’s comp insurance can be tricky, but they do protect both the employee and employer. When purchasing this insurance, it is always best to work with a professional that can ensure your business’s needs are met.