Bankruptcy Tips for Business Owners

Bankruptcy isn’t much fun to think about. And, ideally, small businesses can avoid bankruptcy with wise money management strategies. But, sometimes even the best plans don’t work out, and you may find yourself considering bankruptcy court for your small business. If your business is buried in debt, bankruptcy is worth considering. Not sure where to start? These bankruptcy tips will get you on the right track.

HAMTRAMCK, MI - JANUARY 08:  A pedestrian pass...

HAMTRAMCK, MI - JANUARY (Getty Images via @daylife)

  1. Before declaring bankruptcy, consider other bankruptcy alternatives. Financially distressed businesses have options other than bankruptcy. There are two well-known alternatives for these businesses: a liquidation through an assignment for benefit of creditors and an out-of-court workout. An assignment for benefit of creditors is an accepted federal alternative to Chapter 7 bankruptcy. One advantage is that it is usually a little less expensive than Chapter 7. Meanwhile, an out-of-court workout may allow your business to continue operating, thanks to the cooperation of your creditors. This method, of course, depends on the willingness of your creditors and your ability to negotiate with them. Usually, you can prevent your creditors from taking legal action against you with an out-of-court workout; however, dissenting creditors can become an obstacle.
  2. If bankruptcy is inevitable, start by researching your options. Research is the key; understanding the procedural details will be invaluable. One of the first things you must do is decide whether to file for Chapter 11, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a good plan if your business has a future. A court-appointed trustee can reorganize the business, and outline a way to deal with creditors. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is best for a business that is suited for complete reorganization. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is only an option if you are a sole proprietor, as it is usually reserved for consumers. In addition to the important decision of which type to consider, you need to learn about the filing process, consequences and so on.
  3. Hire a good lawyer. No matter how much reading you do on your own, having a lawyer helps. Even if you decide to pursue a bankruptcy alternative, such as an out-of-court workout, an attorney can be a great service. Of course, you can’t hire just any lawyer; you need to hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Armed with bankruptcy research and a lawyer, declaring bankruptcy for your business can be a relatively smooth process. Of course, it may not be a joyful experience, but remember that failure can sometimes lead to success. After all, failure can help you rebuild a better plan, and update your strategy.

Oil Field Employment: The Benefits

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As the international oil industry becomes more unpredictable, Americans are more reliant on the oil reserves found in the country. Because of this, oil field employment is still one of the best career paths for all levels of education.

The Bakken, a rock unit in North Dakota, is the latest oil reserve discovery, and it is sure to produce many high paying job opportunities.

Jobs for College Graduates

Petroleum engineers, chemical engineers and geologists are some of the highest paid oil field workers. If you are thinking about your college degree, these degrees are some of the most valuable in the energy sector. Since the Bakken is one of the biggest oil field discovery in years and new drilling technology is used to reach some of the oil pockets, companies will require more and more people to work for them.

People with engineering degrees create the new drilling systems. They also develop safe waste management protocol. Once the oil goes to a refinery, a whole new set of engineers and chemists work to create everything from gasoline to building materials.

Great Pay Without a College Degree

Not everyone goes to college, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find great employment in the oil field. Roughnecks make anywhere from $200 – $400 a day. Truck drivers, with clean driving records, make a great living, too. If you have safety certifications, and a history of being honest and cautious, then the best companies want you.

If you go to work for a reputable company, you will have more benefits than great pay. You will also have health insurance, a retirement plan, and in some cases, education opportunities. If you are not interested in working in the oil field, these companies also need administrative help, human resource experts, technical writers and educators.

You Don’t Have to Live in a City to Make Money

Many rural workers think that the big money is in the city. Although cities offer more job options, rural communities with a strong oil field economy offer great paying jobs too. Since the Bakken covers Montana, North Dakota and parts of Canada, you will be working in the great outdoors, which is a benefit for those working in the Bakken oil field.

The western United States is home to history and beauty. Both the Little Big Horn Battlefield in Montana and the Black Hills or The Badlands in the south are great places to visit. There are also many Native American reservations. If recreation is important, then working for an oil company in the area can give you more than just the breathtaking scenery.

Until sustainable energy technology becomes more affordable, oil production is the top energy source in America. This guarantees that jobs will be available to anyone interested in working hard for great benefits.

How to Find Profitable Philadelphia Rental Properties Online

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Many people are entering the arena of investing in rental properties. While the past few years have been difficult for the real estate market, it is currently seeing an upswing, so now may be the time to make that investment.

Making a profit via rental properties is the main goal when investing in real estate. The profit from a rental property is considered the remainder of money accrued after all operating expenses. These operating expenses include mortgage, repairs, management company expenses and so on.

You may think that it may be difficult to find profitable rental properties online or through other sources. Finding profitable Philadelphia apartments, or Denver properties and areas in between is not difficult.

Determine Your Desired Property Type

First, decide on what type of property you would like to invest. The choices include apartment complexes, vacation rentals, single family homes and others. Then you will need to determine the particular area you wish to own the property.

Many real estate-related websites can help narrow your search. These sites include those for individual real estate agents, specializing in a particular area or property type. Other sites may be portals to wide ranges of areas and types of properties. Find a site you are comfortable with and start narrowing down your search.

After you’ve determined your property, it’s time to delve into the potential profitability of that property.

Past Rental Records

Because operating records and rental records are private, you will need to obtain these documents directly from the owner. If you are using a real estate agent, he or she can help you get these records. If an owner is reluctant to release these records, it may be a sign that the property has not shown a good profit income.

Once you have obtained the documents, look for the total operating expenses. In addition, find the most recent year’s gross income. Operating expenses will give you an idea of how much it costs to own the property. These expenses include maintenance and property taxes.

You should then subtract the operating expenses from the gross income. The result will give you the net income. If this result is positive, it will indicate that the potential rental was profitable.

You may also want to examine more than one year of documents to determine if the property has been profitable in past years.

Other Factors

After you’ve determined the basic profitability of a property, make sure to include expenses that you may incur when owning the property such as management fees if those were not part of the previous owner’s expenses.

Finding a profitable rental property can mean the start or addition to a source of additional income for you. Simply do a bit of research and homework and you’ll be a rental property owner making a profit.

The Minimalist Guide to Faxing Business-Related Documents

Faxing has become integral to business operations over the last two decades. Businesses of every industry, scope and size, now assume the fact of faxing’s central functionality; instantly sending and receiving document facsimiles. Until recently, this function was served exclusively by traditional fax machines, once the be-all, and end-all of faxing business-related documents. Digital age faxing, however, has taken on new and improved form, means and unprecedented capabilities—increasingly both advanced and user-friendly.

“Online faxing” is no longer a high-tech office or elite company phenomenon, it’s the business world’s everyday way. Hold-outs from this online fax-served majority, recite typical justifications for change resistance, aversion to unfamiliar technologies. Their machines work just fine, thank you, with good old phone lines, printers and paper. Their objective for faxing operations is minimalism. Why confuse things?

If this is you, heed this digital age reality check; online faxing is the minimalist approach to business faxing today. By nature, online faxing minimizes the superfluous costs, and complications inherent with fax machines—and long accepted as necessary evils. Here’s your minimalist guide to, why online faxing simply makes maximum sense:

Minimal Cost

The number one reason why businesses are moving en masse from traditional to online faxing is the immediate, universal and significant cost savings.

Machine faxing requires purchase, repair and replacement costs of not only the machine, but also printers, modems, scanners, toner, exorbitant ink and paper amounts. Demanding indeed, the machine depends also on its own separate phone line, with attendant installation, connection and maintenance fees, and phone bill charges.

Online faxing services ask simply for an internet connection and email system; your requisite investment is limited to a service provider subscription for a relative charge of peanuts. Faxes sent over the internet are covered wholly by that service’s connection fee—one that, presumably, you already pay for.

Abandoned Fax Machine (Photo credit: Abhisek Sarda)

Minimal Complication

Online faxing services are demonstrably easy to set-up and use, with mastery in your daily business. After all, once again; all you need to transmit online faxes is Internet and email. Your provider’s web interface does all the heavy lifting for you, with your part streamlined—by no small miracle of modern technology—to keyboard-clicking where directed.

Anyone with the barest computer knowledge, and technological literacy can be confident that his switch to online faxing will be seamless, and his ongoing usage relatively effortless and consistently reliable. Subscriber accounts come equipped with every feasible feature functionality to maximize your business’s ease and convenience of eFax communications—whatever your needs, concerns and priorities.

Online fax services from Metrofax is exemplary of these simultaneously minimalist and utmost ease-of-use benefits. Noted specifically for its no-nonsense, fail-safe simplicity, Metrofax’s programming is user-centralized in personalized “online dashboards” for one-stop log-in to transmit, store and manage one’s faxes.

Maximum Efficiency

Ultimately, online faxing has superseded its machine predecessor by, mobilizing digital technologies to achieve comprehensively minimalist solutions for maximum faxing efficiency across-the-board. No matter your business, online fax services empower its optimally cost-efficient, time-efficient and life-efficient faxing practices.

How To Get Through CFD Trading

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Learning how to use a CFD, or a Contract for Difference, can help assess the current value of an asset in the financial market. CFDs are contracts between two parties that can help determine which way prices are moving, and thus, help decide the value of a certain asset. As such, using a CFD as a financial tool may be helpful as you navigate through the trading industry.

What is a CFD?

A CFD, or a Contract for Difference, is a financial product that can be purchased by investors, but has no monetary value. While CFDs are considered financial instruments, they are merely requirements specified in a particular contract in relation to financial assets. As such, using a CFD can help investors find which way prices are moving in the market by using the CFD as a derivative.

How Does a CFD work?

A CFD is a contract between two groups that regulate how much a group will pay the other group. The two parties are often called the buyer and the seller. As such, the CFD determines the difference between the current value of an asset and its value at contract time. Therefore, if the asset’s value is positive, the buyer will pay the seller. On the other hand, if the value of the CFD is negative, then the seller will pay the buyer. As such, if a CFD is greater than the current value of the asset, then it suggests that the current value of said asset has decreased.

Why Use a CFD?

A Contract for Difference allows traders to take advantage of fluctuating prices. Whether the prices are increasing or decreasing does not make a difference. CFDs are also used to speculate in the market and may provide a general understanding of the direction in which the price is moving. Most CFDs are used more for speculation than for investment purposes.

While there are some positive benefits of using a CFD, keep in mind that they are not available in all countries. Currently the only countries that allow CFDs are New Zealand, Spain, Ireland, France, Japan, Canada, Sweden, South Africa, Singapore, Australia, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, The Netherlands, Poland, the U.K. and Germany. CFDs are not allowed in the United States and other countries due to various limitations set by security and exchange commissions. Navigating through CFD trading can be quite difficult, unlike UFX Markets’ Money Origami on Econmatters.com. However, nothing is impossible if you concentrate and learn as much as you can about both the positives and negatives of CFD trading.

Entrepreneurs Are Born in College

Most entrepreneurs come of age during their years in college. Sure, they had a successful lemonade stand at age 5 and the most efficient paper route in the county by age 14, but the new ideas and inspiration needed to become a successful self-enterprising genius come from colleges and universities.

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Are you one of those trail blazers who is destined for greatness? There are a few things you need to become familiar with and comfortable doing. Learn how to master these basic business skills and you’ll be well on your way to becoming your own boss, and probably the boss of many other workers, as well.

Technology

College is the best time to familiarize yourself with the latest technology, and to get a firm grasp on where the future of technology is headed. Even if your interests lie outside of technical fields, computers and software are the driving force of any type of business today. Learn about the latest gadgets, apps and software packages. Know why these are successful, and how you could improve them. Most of all, know what tools are the best for your type of work and become an expert in using them.

Travel

Web cams, conference calls and emails are great day-to-day business tools, but if you are really going somewhere with your ideas, there are times that getting things done requires meeting investors and potential clients face to face. This means being familiar with how to travel both nationally and abroad. According to statistics, college students are already doing a lot of travel. Take a look at this interesting graph.

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Learn your geography. Familiarize yourself with national and world economies. Understand why the automotive industry is drawn to the South, why the Midwest is the center of biofuel technologies, why a lumberjack’s life insurance costs more in the Pacific Northwest and why businesses in the U.S. are opening production factories in India.

Business Basics

The best idea in the world is no substitute for basic business practices. You may not want to tear yourself away from building your dreams to focus on mundane tasks like writing a business plan, incorporating and establishing solid accounting records, but no business enjoys success without these things. Take at least a few business and accounting classes so that you are building your business on a solid foundation.

The college years are a unique time in life when you are on your own, but not yet burdened with mortgage payments, the responsibilities of raising a family and worrying about retirement plans. Use this time to gain an understanding of how the world of business works. Then use this knowledge to build a business that is rooted sound principles, yet aspires to be everything you dream of as an entrepreneur.

Smartphone Apps Innovate Automotive Radio

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There’s a popular saying about technology: “there’s an app for that.” For those who like to listen to the radio while in the car, but would prefer the variety and features of Internet radio, that saying will soon be true. Livio Radio is an application available for both Androids and iPhones that puts Internet radio in your car. It does require some additional hardware to be installed in your vehicle, including a Dice Car Kit (which simulates a satellite radio receiver) or a Bluetooth adaptor, one of which will be necessary to make this work. Both products are still in development.

The primary advantage of using the Livio app is that it does not require a monthly subscription fee like Sirius XM satellite radio does. Instead, a purchase of about $100 for the hardware and $19.99 for the smartphone app will have you set up, with no fees required in order to keep yourself in business. Whether or not the sound quality matches a satellite radio receiver is questionable, and while early testers are reporting good results, we’ll likely have to wait until the products hit the actual market to get some real data.

The good news is that innovations are still being made in the field of radio and portable music. While MP3s and iPods have been considered the death of the physical album, that doesn’t mean that the music industry has really suffered. Indeed, the converse is largely true in that the work of many more artists is available to a much larger fan base than in decades past. Here’s to hoping that trend continues to grow.

 

Internet Radio

radio has been one of the biggest innovations for mobile entertainment, featuring customizable stations that actually learn what types of music its user prefers and is able to provide related artists and albums based on the user’s history.

When we think about Internet radio, Pandora comes to mind as one of the largest and most popular of such services. Pandora apps are also available for Windows, Android and iOS mobile phones and devices as well as the web-based service access via computer. It is not uncommon to walk through any office today and find cubicle inhabitants all listening to their own personalized Pandora stations through ear bud headphones. Of course, Pandora isn’t alone; other web-based radio providers include Yahoo Music, Google Music and Last.FM are all giving Pandora a run for her money, especially in the North American markets.

The future of the music industry, including satellite radio, traditional AM / FM radio and Internet radio, is difficult to predict. We have seen so much in the way of innovation and new technology over the last decade that it is nearly impossible to ascertain a future direction. One can only be assured of the fact that there will always be some type of radio, in one form or another, and that this entertainment venue will never die.

 

History of Satellite Radio

Howard Stern 

Cover of Howard Stern

Once upon a time, Americans received the bulk of their news and entertainment via the radio. Then came television and big budgets movies, followed by video games and the Internet. Traditional radio was suffering from a serious lack of interest. At the same time, those syndicated radio programs that were able to generate advertising revenue were being hamstrung by FCC regulations concerning adult-themed content. In order to revitalize the concept of completely auditory entertainment, radio needed some big changes.

These changes arrived with the advent of satellite radio. Two companies, Sirius and XM Radio, vied for the entirety of the market before merging into one holding company, Sirius XM Radio, in 2008. The popular syndicated programs of Anthony and Opie, Howard Stern and Blue Collar Radio are now free to do as they please, at least, up to a certain limit. Additionally, the recent innovation of satellite radio receivers being included as original equipment in most makes of automobiles has expanded the market considerably.

Of course, not having commercials means that the satellite radio providers must have a source of income in order to be profitable and stay in business. That means a subscription based service in which those who want to enjoy satellite radio programming must pay a monthly fee and have a satellite radio receiver. Receivers can be portable or stationary, as well as being installed in a vehicle. Many of these receivers are also capable of recording live broadcasts for playback at a later time, allowing satellite radio to compete even with MP3 players.

 

How Radios have Changed the World

The iPod family with, from the left to the rig... 

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The radio has completely changed the ways of the world. Once the radio was invented humankind was able to transmit sounds from one place to another allowing people a more effective means of communication. From being priceless during the times of war, the radio also evolved as the singular most important means of entertainment as well. This could be for game shows, music, news and anything else you can think of.

The history of the radio is a quite colorful one and it has gone through several technology-based improvements over the years. Today in fact, it is quite a portable device, being made available in our iPods and our cellular phones as well. Radios are relatively easy to own. All you need is a means of receiving a transmission and you are good to go.

Radios today have developed to such an extent that they are even available in digital form. There are several radio stations that are broadcast by major broadcasting organizations. There are several advantages to having these. You have a great variety in terms of entertainment, there is something for every member of the family, the services are free and you have complete freedom in controlling the way you listen to the music.

Digital radio stations are plenty and the fact they are popular shows that the interest in radio is not something that will wane over a period of time. Tuning in is simple and once you have done so with your receiver, you do not have worry about it anymore. In fact, even if you move, your receiver will tune itself to the stations of your choice.