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What are online banks? Features, Drawbacks & Reputable Banks.

What are online banks

What are online banks?

Online banks are also known as e-banks, web banks, electronic banks, or, in the US, direct banks. These institutions primarily or solely operate online, utilizing websites, mobile apps, and digital channels instead of physical branches.

Financial institutions provide digital experiences via mobile apps for seamless online account access and transaction execution. Online banks differ from these in that they do not have physical branches. 

Capital One 360 runs a hybrid structure with a handful of physical offices and an imposing digital structure. It is, in a real sense, regarded as an online bank. This hybrid structure gives a great impression to those who want the low transaction rates that come with online banking and the confident assurance that comes with traditional brick-and-mortar banks

A brief history of online banks

On October 1, 1989, First Direct began offering 24-hour telephone banking in the United Kingdom. That decision paved the way for the introduction of online banking, which started in the early 1990s with the commercialisation of the Internet when computers became more prominent.

The first online (direct) Bank in the US was Security First Network Bank (SFNB), established in 1995 and pioneered the insurance of direct banks by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). This Bank proved that online banking was a move in the right direction despite its inability to close its initial year in profit.   

As internet banking grew, so did the willingness of customers to use the Internet for banking. The FDIC’s banking report shows that at least 60% of bank users do at least one or more forms of banking activity online. This statistic is also responsible for the fast-rising growth of exclusive online banks.  

Notable features of Online banks

Like traditional banks, online banks cater to all the services most bank users need. These include account opening, savings, fund transfers, and bill payments. Some online banks can offer savings even in the absence of physical offices because of ATM networks where customers can deposit and withdraw money with no or very minimal charges. 

The complete digital structure adopted by most online banks is responsible for lower operational costs because they do not have to pay rent, buy many buildings, or worry about high maintenance costs. 

Below are a few notable features of online banks:

  • 24/7 Access

Traditional banks have designated working hours before and after which they do not attend to more customers. The case is different with online banks, which offer a 24-hour service accessible anywhere as long as access to a broadband network exists.

  • Attractive Interest Rates

Are you looking for the best CD rates? Then, an online bank is one of your best options. Online banks are likelier to give the highest annual percentage yield (APY).

A certificate of deposit (CD) allows customers to save for a set amount of time and earn interest. CDs differ from savings accounts because you can only touch the money at the end of the term, or you’ll have to pay fees or lose interest.

  • A small deposit is required to open an account

Most internet banks don’t make you keep a minimum balance like most traditional banks do. You usually only need a small amount of money to open an account with them, or nothing at all. 

  • Competitive incentives

Traditional banks entice customers with attractive interest rates and incentives like referral bonuses and cashback rewards on transactions.

  • Zero charges on ATM withdrawals

Online banks tend to operate fee-free ATM transactions, and even when they do not, they tend to offer a certain number of free transactions during the day. 

  • Better Online Experiences

Because online banks operate exclusively or primarily online, they are prone to investing mainly in this specialisation. A 2018 Bain and Company survey reveals traditional banks’ lag in crucial customer-centric areas compared to online banks.

5 Essential Tips to Know Before Launching Your Facebook Ad Campaign

Facebook Ad Campaign - Facebook is the King of Advert for all social media platforms.

Introduction to Facebook Ad Campaign

Social media is a tool that transforms the world into a global village. Within seconds of posting a piece of information, it has the potential to go viral, giving the entire world access to it. Currently, there are 4.65 billion social media users on the planet, accounting for 58.7% of the global population, with a significant portion having a Facebook account. Recent reports also indicate that Facebook has 2.99 billion monthly active users as of 2023.

Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in 2004 with the intention of connecting people together and fostering genuine relationships. Facebook has now transitioned into Meta, encompassing Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Threads. 

Would you love to create Facebook Ad campaigns that convert maximum results? Here are five things you need to know before you can successfully run a Facebook Ad campaign. 

ABC of Facebook Advertisement

Facebook Ad Campaign - Tips to Know before Starting one

Facebook, which falls under the Meta umbrella, allows users with accounts on the platform to pay a fee to help promote their information, Products or Services for a selected time frame and purpose. Facebook then disseminates these ads, comprising images, videos, carousels, and stories, across various platforms’ main feeds and user stories on Facebook and Instagram.

This form of advertising empowers businesses to reach a wide audience and target specific demographics based on user data collected by Facebook. Given the popularity of social media platforms like Facebook, advertising on these platforms has become an essential marketing strategy for countless companies.

Facebook primarily serves five main campaign purposes: Conversions, Impressions, Reach, Link Clicks, and Lead Generation.

These objectives enable advertisers to tailor their campaigns to specific goals and target audiences. In 2022, Facebook meta-advertising revealedthat advertising revenues accounted for a staggering 97.5% of Facebook’s total revenues, reaching $113.64 billion”. This was a slight slowdown compared to the $115.65 billion in revenues for 2021. 

As KB Marketing Agency aptly stated, “Ignoring online marketing is like opening a business but not telling anyone.” Business owners aiming to boost sales and build connections with customers and prospects have embraced social media marketing, with Facebook Paid advertising, you gain access to vast audiences, precise demographic targeting, age and gender preferences, interests, and other features. For example, individuals seeking to purchase a product are likely to research online or click paid advertisements. Meta  presents your products to audiences who are most likely to inquire and eventually make a purchase this is commonly referred to as “Brand Awareness.”

Business owners use Facebook advertising for several compelling reasons:

Vast User Base: Over 200 million small business owners make use of Facebook around the world, and about 3.7 million businesses run Facebook ad campaigns. This means businesses can reach people of different demographics, interests, and behaviours, increasing their chances of finding potential customers.

Precise Targeting: Facebook offers advanced targeting options that enable businesses to show their ads to specific groups of people based on factors like age, gender, location, interests, and online behaviour. This accuracy makes sure that people who are more likely to be interested in the offered goods or services see the ads. 

Cost-Effective: Compared to Google ads, Facebook advertising has the lowest average cost per click ($0.94). This is really considerate, especially for small businesses, who can set their daily budgets and bid amounts for flexibility and control over the advertising cost.

Measurable Results: Facebook provides comprehensive analytics and insights to help advertisers track ad performance and make data-driven decisions for future campaigns. This can also provide you with firsthand experience of the feedback and help you evaluate what your potential buyers want. 

Customizable Ad Formats: Facebook offers a range of ad formats, including image ads, video ads, carousel ads, and more. Businesses can choose the format that best suits their message and goals, making their ads more engaging and interactive.

Remarketing Opportunities: Facebook enables businesses to retarget users who have interacted with their website or previous ads. This is a powerful way to re-engage potential customers who may not have converted on their first visit, increasing the chances of conversion.

Brand Exposure and Awareness: Facebook advertising not only drives sales but also helps businesses build brand awareness. Consistent exposure to a brand’s message and visuals can lead to increased recognition and trust among potential customers.

Now, let’s delve into the five essential tips for your Facebook ad campaign:

1. Define Your Goals: 

Before you start spending money on ads, it’s crucial to have clear goals in mind. As a business owner who wants to get maximum promotional results, you need to have a goal in mind, which will ensure that every decision, copy, imagery, and caption for the Facebook Ads is well tailored to achieving the goal. This means your ad campaigns must align with your business goals and the needs of your customers.

Ask yourself what you want to achieve with your Facebook ad campaign. Do you want more website traffic, increased sales, brand awareness, or more page likes? Having well-defined objectives will guide your ad creation and help you measure success effectively.

2. Know Your Audience:

Understanding your target audience is paramount. As Seth Godin and Meghan Keaney Anderson emphasize, a brand should align with consumers’ expectations, memories, stories, and relationships. Facebook offers robust targeting options, but your audience knowledge is key to using them effectively. Consider factors like age, gender, location, interests, and online behaviour to tailor your ads effectively.

3. Budget wisely:

You don’t need a big budget to start advertising on Facebook. You can start with a small amount and gradually increase it as you see results. Set a daily or lifetime budget that you’re comfortable with, and keep a close eye on your ad spending. Facebook’s ad manager allows you to control your budget and schedule, making it flexible for businesses of all sizes.

4. Craft Compelling Ad Creatives:

“Don’t push people to where you want to be; meet them where they are.” — Meghan Keaney Anderson, VP Marketing, HubSpot

Your ad creative grabs the attention of potential customers. Since you already know your customers’ minds and interests, create eye-catching visuals and write engaging ad copy that speaks directly to your target audience. Use clear, concise language and include a strong call to action. A/B testing can help you refine your creatives over time to find out what works best.

5. Monitor and optimize:

Master the topic, the message, and the delivery.” — Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Apple

Launching your ad campaign is just the beginning. Regularly monitor your ad performance to see what’s working and what’s not. Facebook provides detailed insights on metrics like click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and cost per click (CPC). Use this data to make informed decisions and optimize your campaign for better results.

Conclusion

Starting a Facebook ad campaign doesn’t have to be daunting. By following these five essential tips—setting clear goals, understanding your audience, budgeting wisely, crafting compelling ad creatives, and monitoring and optimizing—you’ll be well on your way to running successful Facebook ads. Remember that Facebook advertising is an ongoing process, and continuous improvement is key to achieving your business objectives.

A Mortgage: Its Meaning? Pre-approval, Types and Examples

“Mortgage” is a word coined from an old English word used in French law, “death pledge.” It is a type of loan that “dies” when it is either fully repaid or if the borrower defaults.

A mortgage - Title Image

What Is a Mortgage?

A mortgage is a loan used to purchase or maintain real estate. The borrower pays the lender over time in regular payments that cover the principal and interest. Mortgages help individuals and businesses buy real estate without paying the entire purchase price upfront. A Borrower is to repay the loan and interest over a given number of years, after which they own the property free and clear. 

In order to secure a mortgage, a borrower must apply through a lender of their choice and have met the requirements of the lender, some of which are:

  • A required down payment
  • A good credit score 
  • A series of paper processes

Having completed a thorough process, the borrower, if found worthy, is then granted the loan to perform the intended purpose of applying for the mortgage.

How mortgages work

Most mortgages are paid in a specific amount over a period of time, with regular payments staying the same but with different proportions of principal vs. interest. Most mortgages are usually paid over a period of fifteen to thirty years, and in the event that the borrower refuses to make payments as agreed, the lender can foreclose on the property acquired. In a foreclosure, the lender may evict residents, sell the property, and use the sale money to pay off the mortgage debt. 

Mortgage: How mortgages work

When a buyer is applying for a mortgage, some of the required documents of interest are bank statements, tax returns, and employment documentation, A credit check is also done in order to validate the buyer’s ability to repay the loan. Following a document review by the lender, a loan amount is determined along with an associated interest rate. Buyers can apply for a mortgage before deciding on a property to buy through a process called pre-approval. This can provide you with an advantage over competing purchasers by demonstrating to sellers your seriousness and readiness. It also helps prevent delays and unpleasant shocks during the financing process.

What is a pre-approval? 

Pre-approval is a conditional commitment from a lender to lend you a certain amount of money for a home purchase based on the accredited paperwork. It usually lasts 60 to 90 days, depending on the lender and market conditions, and is not a guarantee but a strong indication of your borrowing power and eligibility.

The process of preapproval begins with an application to a lender or a mortgage broker, where you will need to provide some documents that prove your income, assets, credit, and debt. The lender will ascertain the validity of your information, check your credit score, and then give you a pre-approval letter, which will contain the loan amount, interest rate, and the conditions that surround the offer. Comparing different lenders and their preapproval results will help you make the best decision.

Why do you need preapproval? 

  • It provides an advantage by narrowing down the search for a property, which provides the buyer with a realistic budget and pricing range.
  • It may increase your chance of getting approved by sellers, who favour buyers with preapproval over those who do not. 
  • The closing process can be fast-tracked because paperwork and verification have already been completed. 

What to do with a preapproval

After you have successfully gotten pre-approval for a mortgage, you can confidently start reaching out to sellers. With your pre-approval letter as a bargaining tool, your real estate agent can begin to search for a property that meets your taste and budget. 

A pre-approval does not close the deal and is liable to change depending on factors like income, inspection, debt, or market conditions. Major financial changes, such as changing jobs, could affect your pre-approval status. Once you find the home of your dreams and have an accepted offer, submit your final loan application and documents. However, Stay in touch with your lender and update them on any changes that might affect the approval. 

Mistakes to avoid during pre-approval

Pre-approval for a mortgage can be a rewarding process. Still, it’s crucial to avoid potential mistakes like getting pre-approved for more or less than needed, only getting pre-approved by one lender, assuming pre-approval is a guarantee, changing financial situations, or disclosing relevant information. Avoiding these mistakes will ensure a successful transaction.

What is the reason for securing a mortgage?

A mortgage is very helpful because the price of acquiring a home is always beyond the realistic earning capacity of most households. This allows individuals, groups, and families to acquire a property with a relatively small initial payment of about twenty percent of the purchasing cost. If the buyer defaults, the property’s value can cover the remaining percentage provided by the lender or mortgage broker.

Types of Mortgages

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are three examples of government agencies that offer potential buyers access to mortgages through various programs that are tailored to meet the needs of particular groups of people.

Below are a few types of mortgage options:

  • Fixed-rate mortgages: Also known as traditional mortgages, a fixed-rate mortgage’s interest rate is predetermined and does not vary over the loan period.

This mortgage plan shields the borrower against rising interest rates, and the predictability of payments simplifies budgeting and financial planning. Qualifying for a fixed-rate mortgage is easier for lower-risk borrowers than for higher-risk borrowers. 

  • Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs): An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is a house loan with regular interest rate changes based on benchmark performance. ARMs, also known as variable rate or floating mortgages, have ceilings limiting annual interest rates and payments. ARMs are suitable for individuals who plan to maintain the loan for a limited period and can tolerate future interest rate increases.
  • Interest-only mortgages: An interest-only mortgage requires instalments covering only the interest part of the mortgage’s balance for a certain period of time, as opposed to paying both the principal and interest. These payments with only interest might be needed for a fixed period of time, offered as an alternate option, or prolonged throughout the whole loan term, requiring the return of the principal balance at the loan’s completion.
  • Reverse mortgages: They are designed for homeowners who have already clocked 62 years or more and are designed to convert part of their home’s equity into cash. These mortgages can be borrowed against the value of the property and receive the money as a lump sum, fixed monthly payment, or line of credit. The entire loan balance becomes due when the borrower dies, moves away permanently, or sells the home.

How to compare Mortgages

In the past, mortgages were mostly available through banks, credit unions, and loan organisations. However, in today’s expanding market for mortgages, we now have nonbank lenders such as Better, SoFi, and Rocket Mortgage. 

If you want to gain insight into how mortgage rates work, try out an online mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly payments. This estimation is based on the type of mortgage, the percentage of the down payments, and the interest rate. It can also check the cost of the property you can afford. 

Can I get more than one mortgage?

It is only normal for lenders to give you an initial mortgage before you can secure another mortgage. The additional loan is usually called a home equity loan. Technically, there is no restriction on the number of sub-mortgages you can get as long as your equity, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio are intact. 

Unveiling the Shocking Secrets to Financial Success

Principles of financial success

Introduction to Financial Success

Many people strive for financial success, yet it often remains elusive to a significant portion of the population. Beyond the conventional advice of budgeting, saving, and investing, there are lesser-known but influential secrets that can significantly impact one’s financial journey. 

This blog post will unveil some shocking secrets to financial success, exploring unconventional strategies and mindsets that can lead to financial abundance.

20 Shocking Secrets of Financial Success

1. Embrace Risk and Invest Wisely:

While conventional wisdom suggests avoiding risks, financial success often requires calculated risks. 

Shocking secret: Investing in assets with higher growth potential, such as stocks or real estate, can yield substantial returns over time.

2. Cultivate Multiple Streams of Income:

Financially successful individuals don’t rely solely on one income source. They proactively seek opportunities to create multiple streams of revenue. 

Shocking secret: Side hustles, freelancing, or passive income ventures can significantly boost your overall earnings.

3. Delayed Gratification:

In a world of instant gratification, delaying consumption and prioritising saving and investing can be a game-changer.

Shocking secret: By practising delayed gratification, you can leverage the power of compounding to grow your wealth exponentially.

4. Seek Knowledge and Continuous Learning:

Financially successful individuals invest in themselves through education and self-improvement. 

Shocking secret: Acquiring knowledge about personal finance, investing, and business can lead to more informed decisions and lucrative opportunities.

5. Leverage the Power of Networking:

Building meaningful connections and networking with like-minded individuals can open doors to valuable partnerships and opportunities. 

Shocking secret: Your network can be your net worth if you cultivate genuine relationships within your industry or community.

6. Overcome the Fear of Failure:

Fear of failure often holds people back from pursuing financial success. 

Shocking secret: Embrace failure as a learning opportunity and use it to fuel your determination to reach your financial goals.

7. Protect Your Assets:

Financial success involves not just growing your wealth but also safeguarding it.

Shocking secret: Insurance and asset protection strategies can shield your hard-earned money from unexpected setbacks.

8. Focus on Value Creation:

Rather than solely seeking profit, focus on creating value for others through your skills, products, or services. 

Shocking secret: The more value you provide, the more financial rewards you will likely receive.

9. Avoid Keeping Up with Others:

Comparing yourself to others and trying to match their lifestyle can lead to financial strain. 

Shocking secret:

  • Live within your means.
  • Avoid unnecessary expenses.
  • Focus on your financial goals without comparing yourself to others.

10. Mindset Matters:

A positive and abundant mindset can attract financial opportunities and abundance. 

Shocking secret: Cultivate gratitude, visualise your financial success, and believe in your ability to achieve your goals.

11. Create a Solid Financial Plan:

Develop a comprehensive financial plan outlining your short-term and long-term goals and specific strategies. Review your plan frequently, and make changes as needed.

12. Be Mindful of Debt:

While certain types of debt, like a mortgage or student loans, can be considered investments in your future, high-interest consumer debt can harm your financial well-being. Minimise and manage your debts responsibly.

13. Save for Emergencies:

Life is full of unexpected challenges. Keeping a certain percentage of your income for some months will make a difference, especially during rainy days.

Finanacial success keys- Emergency funds

14. Automate Your Savings and Investments:

Take advantage of automation to ensure that a portion of your income goes directly into savings and investment accounts. This helps you stay consistent with your financial goals.

15. Monitor Your Expenses:

Track and review your expenses regularly to identify areas for reduction or more conscious spending decisions. Little savings over time can add up to big savings. 

16. Consider Tax-Efficient Strategies:

Consult with a financial advisor to explore tax-efficient investment tips to help you minimise your tax liabilities.

17. Be Patient and Disciplined:

Financial success is a journey that requires patience and discipline. Avoid impulsive decisions and stay committed to your long-term goals.

18. Know Your Risk Tolerance:

Understanding your risk tolerance is essential in making investment decisions. Please don’t invest in assets that keep you up at night worrying about their volatility.

19. Give Back to the community:

Practising philanthropy and giving back to the community can be personally fulfilling and create positive karma, potentially leading to unexpected financial opportunities.

20. Review and Adjust Your Goals Regularly:

As you progress on your financial journey, periodically review your goals and reassess whether they need adjustments. Your financial strategy should vary as life does.

Conclusion

Financial success is not solely determined by luck or circumstance but is often a result of unconventional strategies, mindset shifts, and continuous learning. Embrace calculated risks, invest wisely, and diversify your income sources. Practice delayed gratification, seek knowledge, and leverage the power of networking. Overcome the fear of failure, protect your assets, and focus on creating value for others.

Adopting these shocking secrets to financial success and additional insights to enrich your financial knowledge can pave the way to a more prosperous and fulfilling financial future. Remember, achieving financial success is a journey, and these lesser-known secrets can be the catalysts that propel you toward your ultimate financial goals. Embrace the journey, stay persistent, and celebrate each milestone on the path to financial abundance. 

WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR SEO: Ways to rule Google’s rankings in 2024.  

Introduction

Search engine optimization (SEO) is still an important part of harnessing internet productivity for your business or personal brand because it increases the number of visitors to websites, blogs, and social media pages. Google’s ranking criteria have been speculated about a lot, and while some of them are true, most of the information out there is unverified. 

According to Statista, in the first month of 2024 alone, there were about 5.35 billion internet users. The data amounts to more than 66 percent of the world’s population. In addition to this report, 5.04 billion of these numbers are active social media users. This proves that ranking on Google’s web search is very important for visibility because it is the easiest way to be discovered by someone who has no prior information about the business or brand. 

In this blog post, we will discuss various simple techniques that anyone can apply to increase the visibility of their website and stay at the top of Google’s ranking. 

TOP 7 Points to optimize your Google ranking 

Google search - Google’s ranking algorithm prioritizes users. 

Photo Credit – rawpixels ‘freepik’

1. Google’s ranking algorithm prioritizes users. 

Creating content that is very relevant, simple and easy to understand is still very important for Google’s ranking because Google’s algorithm does not just consider all the latest AI tools that you are planning to use if they are not going to take into account that Google prioritizes its users. 

  • A trending subject matters to Google’s ranking algorithm. 

If you are just starting your website, then it will be essential for you to find a topic that is trending and attracting a lot of public attention in your niche and make posts about it. An excellent way to do this is to find very recognised websites that are in your niche and make content similar to their recent posts. This will ensure that when the topic is searched for, your posts will come at the top of the ranking, and if you are able to create content that is engaging, then the reader will have a great first impression of your post. 

  • Increased engagement matters for Google’s ranking

Readability is an essential factor for Google’s ranking algorithm. Does the website contain simple and easy-to-understand grammar? Does the blog use words related to the topic of that particular blog post? Keywords are very important, and distributing the keyword throughout the text and in headings, as well as the SEO title, still holds a very important place in Google’s ranking algorithm. 

  • Images and alt text on images matter. 

Images are easier to comprehend than texts because they convey more details than most texts do. A lot of pictures in a text naturally sell the idea that the post is very engaging and would be easily understood by the reader. Adding alt texts to the images makes it possible for the algorithm to recognize what the image speaks of, and in extension, someone searching for an image can find the website or blog by clicking on the picture when it comes out in a Google search. 

2. Improve the time it takes to load the website.

To begin with, nothing turns users off other than a website that refuses to load very quickly. A website with a slow load time will lose traffic over some time. After which, Google’s ranking algorithm will not suggest the page when readers search for a related topic on the internet. A simple step to fixing that is; 

  • Use high-standard quality, low-size images. 
  • Minify Javascript and CSS files
  • Enanble browser caching
  • Don’t stuff the page with Ads.

3. Use relevant backlinks to increase Google’s ranking

Adding links from reputable websites is a plus for Google’s ranking algorithm. This increases the website’s visibility, reinforcing its authority and trustworthiness before Google’s algorithm. It is even greater authority if you can get prominent websites to link to your website. This will definitely increase the visibility and make users perceive the website as a strong contributor in that niche.

4. Content-Length matters for Google’’s ranking

Reports from research show that the average Google result on the first page of Google has about 1400 words. This proves that creating content that covers the breadth of the topic written on is more likely to rank higher and will be more visible than short-form content. This does not mean that you create lengthy, irrelevant posts but rather that you create a post that covers the length and breadth of the topic you have written about. 

A very strategic technique is to write in parts and link the parts to each other in the post. This way, the reader can stay on the website longer by reading other blog posts related to the subject of interest that they clicked on. 

5. Keyword Prominence in the post 

A trick to ranking with a keyword is to ensure that the keyword features in the first paragraph of the post. This is important to ensure that the website’s post ranks on the initial page of Google Suggestions. Most people do not go past the first page of the suggestion when they search for a keyword. 

Google's ranking- the importance of keyword

Photo Credit – Fabrikasimf on freepik

6. Encourage your visitors to review or share the blog post 

According to Search Engine Land, 88% of customers trust online users’ recommendations just the way they would trust a personal recommendation. Getting your readers to comment and share the post on their social media pages is a great way to make others see the blog post and click on it because they trust the judgment of their friends or relatives. 

7. Take advantage of SEO tools to improve your ranking on Google.

The tool alone is not magic for Google’s ranking algorithm; however, access to data is a core aspect of search engine optimization (SEO) and a perfect SEO tool or AI tool that has access to a lot of data is definitely a great advantage for a key ranking on google. Good SEO tools come with a price tag or subscription package, and some of them offer freemium packages- they have a free version and a more intricate version that comes at a cost. A few examples of SEO tools that can cause a groundbreaking revolution in the trajectory of your website visibility are;

SEO tools help make the job faster and easier. Instead of trying to analyse keywords, content length, plagiarism tests, and many other essential checks all by yourself, the tool compares all these data together. It creates a structure that improves the visibility of the website or blog post. 

Conclusion 

In conclusion, mastering SEO techniques is essential for maximising visibility in Google rankings amid a vast online landscape. As Statista highlights, with over 5.35 billion internet users in 2024, ranking on Google is pivotal for brand discovery. Key strategies include prioritising user-centric content, leveraging trending topics, enhancing engagement, optimising images and load times, and fostering backlinks from reputable sources. Moreover, emphasising content length, keyword prominence, and encouraging user interaction further solidifies ranking potential. By utilising SEO tools like Semrush and Yoast SEO, one can efficiently navigate the complexities of optimisation, ultimately securing a prominent position in Google’s rankings.

FIVE FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE FOR STARTUPS AND ONGOING BUSINESS

Types of Funding you can secure as a startup

There are now several means for businesses, especially startups, to access funds and scale up their operations, moving away from the traditional culture of getting capital. Business funding has become more abundant in recent years, but knowing where and how to access it is essential.

Usually, the money is for essential projects, business growth, buying equipment, renting space, or paying staff during slow times.

If you have been considering expanding your business, this article presents the perfect opportunity to learn about the options and make a significant turnaround for your company.

5 “common” types of funding available to businesses: 

You need to know that different businesses operate at varying levels and capacities, determining the accessibility and availability of funding opportunities. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each funding option is crucial to securing funding, especially as a startup. Let’s explore the five most prominent ones!

  1. Angel Investors
Angel investors are a great option for securing funds for your startup

Angel investors play a vital role when it comes to raising initial capital for startup businesses. They typically invest in exchange for a percentage of ownership in the company. This investment can be a one-time injection of funds to kickstart the business or an ongoing infusion of capital to support product development and market entry.

Angel investors are often more accessible to startups than grants and loans. They can be individuals running successful companies or professionals involved in various projects. They may also have a personal or familial connection with the entrepreneur.

Unlike traditional lenders, angel investors do not focus primarily on lending money. They invest in promising ideas and expect a return on their investment if and when the business becomes successful. Depending on their preferences, they may be hands-off or actively involved in the startup’s early stages.

Pros:

  • Funding is not a loan, so it does not require any repayment if the business fails. If the company succeeds, they will get a share, but if it falls flat, they will not require any repayment from you.
  • Startups backed by angel investors have a higher chance of long-term success and significant growth. A study conducted by Harvard Business School proves that startups supported by Angel Investors have a greater chance of longevity, maintain substantial increases, and experience a higher return.  1

Cons: 

  • Angel investors usually expect equity or a percentage of profits, reducing the founder’s control over the business.
  • If you have an investment from an angel investor, there is a high chance that you will not have full control over the business. 
  1. Grants

Grants are financial assistance provided by granting entities, which can be public organizations, charitable foundations, specialized institutions, or socially responsible businesses. These grants are given to individuals, non-profit organizations, businesses, or local government bodies.

Grants are a great option for businesses because the business owner does not have to worry about repayment, and some grants offer substantial amounts of money based on the company’s idea or investment objectives. 

Detailed information about grants, including conditions, deadlines, and application requirements, is freely accessible through official government sources and related websites.

Pros:

  • Grants provide businesses with a convenient source of funding that doesn’t require repayment. Moreover, certain grants offer substantial financial support, depending on the company’s concept or investment objectives.
  • Receiving a prestigious grant demonstrates recognition for your work, serves as a valuable promotion, and enhances credibility with organizations, investors, and potential clients.

Cons:

  • Numerous innovative businesses aspire to obtain grants for their promising ideas, leading to intense competition for one or another. Anticipate challenges and obstacles, but remain resolute in your pursuit.
  • When seeking a grant, it is crucial to precisely outline the intended allocation of funds. After being awarded the grant, adherence to the proposed plan is mandatory. Hence, there is really no room for creative diversification of grant funds.
  1. Bank Loans
Bank Loan - One way to secure funding for business.

Photo Credit: Upklyak on Freepik

Bank business loans are a stream of commercial financing available to qualified businesses. They include long-term loans, equipment loans, microloans, and lines of credit. These loans can help cover operating costs, purchase equipment, pay staff, or aid the business’s growth.

Lenders (banks) assess a borrower’s financial flow, credit score, and debt levels before deciding to offer a loan. Traditional banks charge interest rates based on the venture’s risk level. In recent years, online lenders have also started offering loans, which were once rare.

Conventional business loans differ from loans offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA loans can be gotten through banks or online lenders; they usually have longer reimbursement terms and lower interest rates. 

A loan, unlike a grant, must be paid back, even with an agreed-upon percentage interest rate.

Pros:

  • Attractive Interest rate: Banks usually give loans to businesses and would give larger amounts of money as loans than most online funding platforms. On average, small businesses pay 6 percent to 7 percent for loans from traditional banks, while the average borrower pays 13.5 percent interest for SBA loans.
  • Flexible Use: You can use the loan proceeds for any business-related expenditure in most instances. Even if your spending deviates slightly from what you indicated in the loan application, the lender won’t object if you make timely loan payments.

Cons:

  • Strict requirements, including good personal credit score and substantial business revenue, may limit approval.
  • Extensive documentation is typically required, and startups may face difficulty qualifying for loans. Banks do not readily offer loans to businesses or ventures that haven’t been operational for over two years and show a huge chance for profit.
  1. Venture Capital

According to Forbes Advisory, the definition of venture capital is this: 

Venture capital (VC) is a type of private equity that provides financial backing to startups and early-stage businesses with limited or no operating experience but substantial potential for success and expansion.

A venture capital firm is an investment body that takes care of venture capital funds and makes the funds available to startups. Venture capital organizations invest in a variety of sectors, although the majority of the investments made by venture capitalists are focused on the technology industry. Many of the most well-known venture capital organizations are headquartered in Silicon Valley, though they can be found across the United States of America. Prominent venture Capitals include companies like Andreeson Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, and Y-Combinator.

Stages of Venture Capital Investment:

Seed round funding

Seed round funding marks the initial stage of venture capital investment, where investors offer a modest amount of capital to support a newly established company in formulating its business plan and developing a minimum viable product (MVP). The purpose of this funding is to help the startup validate its concept and progress towards attracting further investment in the future.

Early-stage Funding

Early-stage funding, sometimes called series A, series B, and series C rounds, assists startups in their initial stages of growth. As startup owners scale their enterprises, the funding amounts are higher than in the seed phase.

Late-stage Funding

Series D, E, and F rounds are late-stage venture capital funding. Startup companies should be producing income and growing rapidly at this stage. While the company is not yet profitable, the future seems bright.

Pros:

  • Venture capital provides substantial funding for scalability and growth.
  • Venture capital firms offer expertise, mentorship, and guidance to startups.

Cons:

  • Venture capital investments often come with a loss of control as investors demand equity in the company.
  • Founders face high expectations and pressure to achieve specific targets quickly. This results in a situation where the founder cannot make a long-term plan for the business.
  1. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is collecting small investments from many people to launch a new business venture. It uses the enormous reach of social media and specialised crowdfunding platforms to link investors and entrepreneurs, thereby increasing entrepreneurship’s chances. Crowdfunding expands the financing possibilities for new businesses by reaching a wider range of potential investors beyond the conventional circle of owners, family members, and venture capitalists. 

With crowdfunding, entrepreneurs can secure significant funding, ranging from thousands to millions of dollars, from individuals willing to invest. It allows anyone with a compelling idea to present it to enthusiastic investors without needing a physical presence. 

The two prominent types of crowdfunding are reward-based, where backers receive non-financial incentives, and equity-based, where investors gain a share of the company.

Hundreds of individuals aspiring to develop or endorse the next groundbreaking innovation are drawn to crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe. Platforms like Patreon and Substack have expanded the scope of crowdfunding by providing a means for creators such as artists, writers, musicians, and podcasters to support their creative endeavours through consistent financial support.

GoFundMe was regarded to be the largest and most notable crowdfunding platform in the year 2023. 

‘Notable crowdfunding feats’

  • Palmer Luckey started a Kickstarter effort in 2012 to raise funds to produce virtual reality headsets made especially for video game developers. The campaign exceeded its initial objective and raised $2.4 million, ten times its $250,000 goal.
  • M3D, a company established by two friends specializing in the production of compact 3D printers, serves as yet another compelling illustration of a business that achieved remarkable success through Kickstarter campaigns. Back in 2014, David Jones and Michael Armani managed to secure an impressive $3.4 million in funding on Kickstarter for their revolutionary Micro 3D printer.

Below are the Pros and cons of raising a business fund through crowdfunding: 

Pros 

  • The main benefit of equity, reward, and donation-based crowdfunding is the potential exemption from repaying the funds. However, in exchange for crowdfunding contributions, you might be required to give up a portion of your company’s ownership. Some businesses prefer crowdfunding over loans to avoid concerns about loan default. Nevertheless, if you decide on debt-based crowdfunding, you must reimburse the backers.
  • Credit checks are usually not necessary. In most cases, crowdfunding platforms do not conduct credit checks, meaning your personal or business credit score will not be affected. However, if you opt for debt crowdfunding, which involves obtaining a loan from multiple investors, there is a higher chance that a credit check will be required.

Cons

  • Business loans can be expensive due to fees and interest. Crowdfunding can help you avoid interest payments, but fees are still involved. For example, Kickstarter charges a 5 percent fee on all donated funds, along with payment processing fees ranging from 3 to 5 percent. However, these fees are only applicable to successful campaigns. Alternatively, platforms like GoFundMe do not charge a fee for donations, but there is a payment processing fee of 2.9 percent.
  • Your business concept might be stolen. Establishing a crowdfunding platform also involves promoting your business during its initial phases. If your idea has not been copyrighted or patented, someone could steal it. If a competitor converts that idea to a product or service before you, your business could face negative consequences.

Conclusion

Businesses can make educated decisions about the most effective means of securing the necessary funds to support their growth and development if they first investigate and understand the five potential funding sources listed here.

Create A Business Firm: 20 Best Business Ideas Of All Time

Nearly every entrepreneur clearly knows that depending on a 9-5 job is never the way to go. The freedom, time, and even the income is often a resource a majority of 9-5 workers rarely enjoy.

However, most entrepreneurs suck it up regardless because they lack knowledge of what other fields to venture into.

If you happen to be one of such entrepreneurs, here’s a list of some of the most well-paying business firms of all time.

To become a professional in any of the below career fields, however, a certain level of specialization and educational certificate, like a Bachelor’s degree is required.

Notwithstanding, you don’t need to graduate from an Ivy-league college to thrive in these business fields. Graduating from an affordable business school will equally be a good start.

What’s more important in business is your ability to deliver, drive result and aid company growth. Nothing less.

7 Smart Business Strategies That’ll Catalyze The Growth Of Your Startup

Running a business, whether large scale brand or small scale, is often overly tasking. Also, the early stage of every business, the startup period, is often the most backbreaking. As a result, most startups crumble within this period — an analysis on why startups fail shows that 9 out of 10 startups fail.

Ouch… that’s a lot of them.

The few brand owners who survive the long-run, however, often work unnecessarily hard before embracing the bigger market sphere.

Nevertheless, as a startup owner, this shouldn’t discourage you. There are smart ways to get through these hurdles. The entrepreneurial journey is actually an epic, lifelong adventure once you embark on it with the right mindset and take the right approaches.

Mary Kay

5 Strategic Business Lessons You can Learn From Mary Kay

Mary Kay Ash was a dynamic woman. Her unique business idea began one week after she retired. She wasn’t content to sit around relaxing. Her get-up-and-go energy was too strong to ignore. Mary Kay assessed the experiences she gathered over the years. During this thinking period, she made a life-changing decision.

Armed with a wealth of knowledge from her direct sales background, she established “Mary Kay Cosmetics” in 1963.  It’s now one of the largest direct sellers of cosmetics and skin care with a sales turnover of $4 billion in 2015.

mobile app

Why Your Business Need a Mobile App

Reach more customers by converting your website to a mobile app. This is the way forward. eCommerce has opened up a whole new world for your business. It’s now possible to instantly reach customers locally and globally like never before. This is an immense business opportunity you shouldn’t ignore. Use your website to dominate your online presence. Fly ahead of your competitors. Make it easy for customers to access your products or services by being there when they need you.

 

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