Small Business News
Office Furniture Cheaper in China?Think Long and Hard...
The segment of the office furniture industry that is most dramatically affected by China is "office seating," however, things are changing. Production costs are up in China due mainly to the world price of oil and increased pressures in China to raise the wages of the average worker and improve an individual's lifestyle. The Chinese government reduced the previous tax refund from 13% to 5%; to compensate for this effect/loss an 8% net price increase would be necessary. Additionally, the dramatic impact on the weak value of the US dollar/exchange rate effects foreign trade. Also, the cost to ship a container from China to the U.S. has increased almost 30% over the past two years.
Any manufacturer that has done business in China knows the risks involved. Often things seem too good to be true. Upon attending industry trade shows in China, products are displayed and priced in such a manner that any U.S. based manufacturer would think they have died and gone to heaven. Then comes the cruel reality of doing business in China once an order is placed and received. Of course, one would initially think the Chinese would do business in the same manner as in the United States; hardly the case.
Factor the following: Increases in prices Reduced Chinese tax rebates Increased ocean freight costs Inferior or suspect quality Exchange rate margin reduction
With that said, there are a few office seating manufacturer's that have bucked the Chinese trend; manufacturing in North America utilizing North American made components.
Choosing an E-Commerce Provider
The "EmbroidMe" franchise opportunity is one of the most popular nowadays, whereby you can create custom-made apparel as well as merchandise which has embroidery on it. EmbroidMe is outfitting their customers with creatively customized apparel for both work and play. They have the tagline "Casually Dressing the World" in their retail showrooms and they aim to make their company known through all forms of medium, in corporate marketing programs as well as online. EmbroidMe also offer all sorts of promotional merchandise as well as advertising specialty items.
The EmbroidMe franchise opportunity has gained a sudden commercial boom and this is its biggest selling point. It is a highly new and fresh revolutionary industry concept; its organized system allows the brilliant opportunity of being your own boss. According to the president of the EmbroidMe company (Ray Titus), they are looking for willing entrepreneurs who are hoping to run and manage their own business but in spite of just having a small business, they are well equipped with many benefits that a stable global company can offer them - not to mention, great advertising, and in particular, mass purchasing power.
EmbroidMe has grown significantly and now has over 250 stores all over the world. It has been rated as the number one in the industry for four consecutive years and Entrepreneur Magazine has voted it as one of the 50 fastest growing franchise opportunities.
In regards to staff training and support, the EmbroidMe company will assist in the demographic studies of the area that you are hoping to put up your franchise. A study on your site selection as well as assistance on lease negotiations will be conducted. The EmbroidMe company also organize with you about renovations that will be done on your store. This franchise opportunity also provides a 4-week training program for you and your staff. The franchise opportunity will assist you in conducting interviews, hiring and training perspective employees. As this is a service oriented franchise opportunity, every employee must be able to comply and adhere to EmbroidMe's strict rules and regulations.
Advantages of this franchise opportunity are as follows: turn key, it is not a seasonal type of franchise opportunity, no experience is needed, it is not a seasonal type of franchise opportunity, it needs only two employees, it is a business to business franchise opportunity and it is part of a $20 billion plus industry.
Another excellent franchise opportunity is the "SIGN*A*RAMA" franchise opportunity which is the largest and full service sign franchise in the world; it has over 700 stores in 30 countries and Entrepreneur Magazine has rated it number one in the industry for six years running. "SIGN*A*RAMA" is very similar to EmbroidMe and is also headed by Ray Titus. "SIGN*A*RAMA" is scouting for willing and able entrepreneurs who wish to have their taste of being their own boss whilst also having the amazing opportunity of being part of a well-known company.
This franchise opportunity will assist franchisees in choosing their desired franchise location, the marketing aspect of the business, and their lease.
Big Mistakes to Avoid When Building Business Credit There are countless entrepreneurs today operating their businesses in a manner that puts them at great personal risk of being hounded by creditors, poor financing offers on new cars, and even losing their homes. The risk stems from poor money and credit management. Many business owners are completely unaware of the mistakes they are making, and those who are aware may not understand what they need to do to change. Fortunately, the answer to these problems is simple: avoid these 5 Big Mistakes and start paving the way toward building good business credit, with little or no personal risk.
Mistake #5: Putting Personal Assets at Risk If you personally guarantee any credit extended to your business, you seriously risk your personal assets, such as your car, savings account, and your home. The most common way entrepreneurs fall into this trap is by setting up their businesses as a Sole Proprietorship. If you have not set up your business as a C-Corporation, S-Corporation or a LLC, then you most likely do not have a tax i.d. number; instead your business is tied to your social security number. This also means you do not have the legal means to separate your corporate credit from your personal credit. If you incorporate your business, you can protect yourself from personal liability.
Mistake #4: Not Paying Bills on Time100% of the Time Everyone who has some type of credit file also has a credit history attached to it, and having just one late payment on a line of credit can be held against you for years. This is vital information for entrepreneurs who are working toward building good business credit. Even if you have separated your personal and business credit lines, one late personal payment could affect your corporate credit, and your business growth.
Mistake #3: Not Building Corporate Credit the Right Way Incorporating your business should be a first step toward separating your personal credit from your business credit, but it does not automatically qualify you for corporate credit. Your goal for building business credit is to secure lines of cash credit, not just vendor credit. You will need money to grow your business, and lots of it. The best way to start the process of building business credit is to maintain a physical office (not a PO Box!), obtain a local phone number and 411 listing, and secure a business license. After these steps have been taken, you can begin to build a credit score with business credit bureaus.
Mistake #2: Rushing the Process of Building Business Credit Just as it took time to build your personal credit, so too does it take time to build good business credit. The goal for building credit is to get cash, but added to that goal is to get cash without a personal guarantee. The industry standard for building business credit and securing cash loans without personal guarantees is two to three years. Do not rush your ultimate goal.
Mistake #1: Using Personal Credit to Finance Your Business The absolute biggest and most common mistake business owners make is using their personal lines of credit to finance their businesses. This includes paying business expenses with personal credit cards, money from personal savings and investment accounts, and securing personal loans to finance business expenses and expansions. This big mistake lowers your personal credit score because every lending inquiry into your credit history lowers your credit score; it reduces the amount of credit available for personal use because your debt-to-income ratio skyrockets. And should your business fail (as 95% do in the first five years, according to the Small Business Administration), you will be personally liable for all those loans. You do not have to risk your lifestyle for your livelihood. Corporate Credit Concepts makes it easy to establish business credit.