Invisible Insurrection
Business Services

Areas to consider when creating a Business Plan for a gelato shop

January 10, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by Gelato Products

Creating a business plan is an important step to making a business successful, mainly because a business plan will summarize the steps that the business will take to grow and reach its goals. If you are looking at opening a gelato stop, it is best to draw up a clear business plan to ensure you stay competitive. Here are a few areas to consider.

Main investments – It is important to ensure that you have a list of tangible and intangible goods that will be required to run and open your store. This means that you will need to know details about the size of the shop, its location, employees and their needs and many others. Your main tangible investments will include investments in machinery, equipment, laboratory accessories, and furnishings. It is also a good idea to source suppliers for gelato supplies like gelato cups and spoons.

Intangible investments, on the other hand, will include start-up costs, bureaucratic expenses, registration trademarks etc. It can be a good idea to get assistance from a consultant for these stages.

Shop promotions – Shop promotions are a great way to get your shop and products noticed. Include weekly and monthly promotions in your plan with a budget that will cover the event. To get ideas on how to organize a promotion, look for inspiration online and visit your competitors.

Flavors – It is best to plan to create at least 20 flavors to understand what flavors are best for your target market.

_________________________________________________________________

Gelato Products offers a wide range of products including ice cream spoons and Los Angeles wholesale gelato supplies.

The architecture and document flow of EDI

January 8, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Organizations have several requirements when it comes to the implementation of EDI. Mostly, they want the EDI service to meet a set of objectives that will help the organization reach specific goals. Many of their fundamental objectives boil down to the following:

Efficiency

The primary goal is to do more with less. Organizations are pursuing efficiency gains, even at large capital cost, for longer term revenue. The primary goal is to consolidate, restructure, and downsize along with the introduction of technology to improve processes.

Effectiveness

The key driver here is increasing productivity. Improved training strategies alongside leading technology will result in large gains in productivity from employees at all levels. The training will need to take into account the different levels of computer-literacy and exposure to technology.

Environment

A common environment will lead to consistency and almost no errors. Adopting an information exchange format, which is accepted by most trading partners will avoid costly duplication in data entry, communication, and information exchange. According to Act Data Services, Inc. 1-800-ACT-DATA: with electronic data interchange services, your documents come in, get translated to a format you can read, and deliver them where you want them.

Sharing

The greatest gains will come from sharing of information within the organization. In the past, one department will not have access to relevant information if it is within the purview of another. For example, customer service agents can now see and provide details of the location of a shipment without contacting the logistics department.

 

How Important is a Background Check to the Hiring Process?

December 23, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Employers need to face a fundamental question for themselves: how important is it to run a criminal background check for employment? For some industries, running these checks is one of the most important aspects of applying for a job, because it clears someone to handle money or to drive long distances without becoming a liability to the company. In this guide, you’ll learn when to start doing background checks, and what you need to provide to potential employees in order to conduct one.

When to Start Checking

The moment you’re ready to hire your first employee, you should start instituting a policy to conduct pre-employment checks. They are affordable, and they can be used as a tool to help find the best qualified candidates for a job.

In some states, such as California, it’s really important that you treat every candidate as a potential (regardless of criminal history). Therefore, if you decide to rescind an employment offer upon discovery of a crime in someone’s past, you’ll need to be prepared to show how that decision might affect your business.

Legalities

If you inform candidates when they apply, then you should be ok in most states. Running instant background checks involves learning some very personal and private details about someone’s life, so you need to be careful about how you approach the topic. You should make sure that you’re following the rules of your state.

The first step is to look up some information in your local chamber of commerce, and to speak with an attorney if possible. They should be able to point you in the right direction to learn more about the laws of your city and state. Also, be prepared to offer the potential employee a copy of the check you ran, and a disclosure explaining why that check disqualified them from the job (if that applies).

Importance

At this point, you’re probably wondering if it’s necessary to do this for every new hire. There are two things to consider here:

  1. New hires working with sensitive data, or in a position that may affect company insurance or day-to-day operations, should receive a background check. It’s a good idea to make sure you’re working with someone trustworthy.
  2. Background checks are inexpensive. Narrow down your candidates until you find a few you like, then discuss background checks with each one and run them as needed.

In short, not every business will find themselves in need of a background check. Most businesses would benefit from running one, though, and far fewer are making that critical decision. Make 2017 the year you begin checking your employee’s history of employment.

Bio: Specializing in both criminal background checks, and tenant screening, Tenant Screening Services, LLC offers instant reports and pre-employment checks available online.

Applying for an online merchant account

November 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

charge6Written by Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc.

Applying for a merchant account for the first time can seem intimidating. Fortunately, the process is actually quick and painless. Due in large part to increased competition in the space, the application process has improved considerably.

The first thing to know is that there is no industry standard for the application. Different payment gateway providers have different application processes. The more reputable companies will process the application in days (rather than weeks) and require only very basic information.

Here is the information that will be required at one time or another during the application process:

Products

The merchant account provider will need a list or categorization of the products that will be sold on the site. This is to determine whether any of the products violates the guidelines or terms and conditions. In addition, you will be expected to check with the provider if you are uncertain if a future product or service meets said guidelines.

Tax ID or SSN

Personal account users will need to provide the social security number. Business account users will need to provide the associated Tax ID number. That is also known as the EIN.

Bank letter

Confirm the routing and account number to your provider by getting a letter from the bank or providing a void check. They can then use that information to confirm the account details. This is the location where the money will be deposited.

____________________________________________________________________

Charge.com offers an online merchant account for small to mid-sized businesses who want an affordable way to accept credit cards online.

 

Three Reasons to Switch from Cash-Only Business

September 30, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

switch-from-cash-only-businessCash only businesses used to be the norm, but there are many reasons why businesses are beginning to transition out of these models. If your business is slow to adopt credit card processing services, there’s more reason than ever to consider making that switch. You do end up paying small fees on each transaction, but once you understand the system you pay less for a lot less liability. Here are three reasons why businesses are going through with the switch.

Technology is Affordable

The technology for mobile, EMV and online credit card processing is more affordable than ever before. Often times, small merchants can rent units for a reasonable monthly fee. If you prefer to buy your technology, and service it in house, there are multiple options with entry level models proving very affordable. Plus, accepting credit cards in store usually comes with the software needed to accept payments online as well.

Less Liability

Cash only businesses are a huge liability in today’s society, especially in major cities with high crime rates. Cash businesses tend to keep lots of cash on hand, especially if they are family run and don’t have people standing by to make bank deposits. That increases the odds that your store will be the victim of a robbery.

When you accept credit cards, money is moved digitally and securely from one bank to another. You don’t hold customer information you don’t need, and you get your money from the transaction quickly.

More Options

There are more options for credit card processing than in the past, meaning retailers can shop around and find affordable solutions tailored to suit their needs. Once you understand how fees are calculated, it’s simple to find a good deal.

Bio: Accept credit card payments with no application fee and affordable rates with an account at Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc.

Lower Costs for a High Risk Merchant Account

July 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

merchant-account-high-riskLearn more about what a high risk account is, and what that means for your business.

If you’re a merchant in entertainment, or someone who sells intangible goods, then you might be viewed as a high risk. There are other factors, such as the history of your business and the volume of goods you sell, but being high risk isn’t the end of the world. High risk merchant accounts are just a part of the business, and this guide will help you learn how you can reduce the fees you pay if you fall into this category.

Reduce Chargebacks

Institute a return policy, and make sure you’re going above and beyond to solve customer issues. If they do a chargeback with your business, it can really hurt your risk rating. If you cut your volume of chargebacks by 20% for the year, you’ve already substantially reduce the fees you’ll pay for high risk credit card processing.

Avoid Pre-Set Limits

This is a common trap that many new businesses fall into. Pre-set limits look great when you’re processing a low volume of transactions. The fees are reduced, in relation to your risk, but you’re not seeing the bigger picture. Once you process more transactions than your limit, you’ll make up for those low fees in transaction fees, and those will kill your profit margins very quickly.

Be Selective

You’re high risk, so you shouldn’t move on the first offer that’s made to you. That sounds counter intuitive, but it’s actually a good idea to shop around a bit for a payment gateway that will work for you. Don’t settle for less, especially just because the fee structure is nice.


Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc. offers comprehensive payment processing solutions for online and mobile credit card processing, including high risk merchant accounts.  

Ecommerce best practices for shopping carts

June 20, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

1Written by Secure Net Shop

For the customer, the checkout page of the shopping cart can result in a lot of anxiety. This is the point where they need to confirm the purchase. This can result in an internal debate of whether they should buy the item, if it’s worth the price. They will also be mindful of the many risks, such as security and shipping of the product. These distractions can cost a lot in terms of sales so it is important to follow some best practices when it comes to shopping carts:

Clean layout

With so many things going through the customer’s mind, it is important to maintain the cleanest possible layout for the shopping cart and checkout pages. Maintain clear labels and buttons and make sure there is nothing confusing about the page or the content. Everything from the current contents of the cart, the quantity and every element of the total price should be shown clearly.

Guest checkout

Always have the option for a guest checkout. For a lot of people not having the ability to guest checkout is a deal breaker. It is the need to create and maintain yet another account along with the username and password combination. One way to get the customer to create an account is to offer to create the account on the thank you page, with only a prompt for a password. Most shopping cart solutions will support these features.

Seals

The best and most reliable way assuaging customer hesitancy is to provide a sense of security. To that end, display all available seals for certificates and acceptance of payments. In addition, show any other seals or logos of anything you believe will add to the sense of security of the site.

_______________________________________________________

Secure Net Shop is an ecommerce shopping cart software provider for ecommerce sites.

Why Businesses Graduate from Payment Processors to Merchant Accounts

May 30, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by: Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc.

Learn why small businesses switch to merchant accounts.

Electronic payment concept

Electronic payment concept

Online credit card processing is extremely vulnerable to hacking and security risks, so businesses must pay close attention to the security of the payment processors they use. Customers trust your business to safely transmit financial information over the Web to pay for the products and services they need. It’s up to you, the business owner, to be sure that your customer’s information remains secure.

Credit Card Processing Vs. Merchant Accounts

Why wouldn’t everyone use PayPal? Its terms are simple to understand, its rates are reasonable and it comes with customer service at virtually no cost. It turns out that there are a variety of reasons why businesses large and small graduate from credit card processing services and into a merchant account. Payment processing is only one side of the coin, but it’s not the most important part.

When you pay for a merchant account as a business owner, you’re paying for an account tailor made for your business. You can accept credit card payments in nearly any form you choose, and you’ll have greater freedom to process returns and refunds using your own policies. You’ll have faster access to your money, without relying on whether your payment processor’s card or virtual wallet is accepted at a retailer.

You also get all the in-store components you need to make sure your shop workers can process payments in store. All of the infrastructure is controlled by your business, you’re more or less leasing the opportunity from a provider. This provides you with flexibility related to how your print returns, how you process payments, and what you pay for that ability.

Starting a Not-for-Profit Organization

May 24, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Article Written by : Credit Card Processing Blog
Not-for-profit organizations (NPO) generally are exempt from paying taxes, including income, transfer and sales taxes. Most of us think of NPOs as charities, universities, churches, as well as professional and technical societies such as ASHRAE. While such large organizations can contribute greatly to the welfare of their members and society, a need also exists for smaller NPOs.

Unlike for-profit organizations (FPO) there is no individual ownership of stock in NPOs; NPOs exist as public, non-stock entities. When revenue exceeds expense the difference must be reinvested in the organization for growth or improvements consistent with the NPO’s mission: income cannot be disbursed to members of the organization.

The first step in starting an NPO is to define its purpose or mission. The Internal Revenue Service has several classifications. Under Internal Revenue Code § 501(c)(3), an organization can qualify as an NPO by engaging in research, education and training, or public outreach. A section 501(c)(6) NPO qualifies by promoting industry or professional organizations, and may have as its primary activity lobbying or the influencing of legislation. This article focuses on 501(c)(3) NPOs.

To qualify as a 501(c)(3), the entity must demonstrate that its research, training or outreach activities will be conducted to benefit its members, government agencies, other NPOs, or the public in general. A major opportunity for small NPOs is to focus on special areas of expertise that provide these benefits, often in synergy rather than competition with a large NPO. For example, the Building Diagnostics Research Institute has worked with ASHRAE, the Air-Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), and the National Energy Management Institute (NEMT) in its mission to disseminate information to government agencies, the industry, and the general public on criteria and procedures to ensure improved building performance during normal conditions and extraordinary incidents.

The second step in forming any NPO is to select directors. These individuals will be responsible and accountable under fiduciary standards established by the State in which the organization is registered. Directors are also responsible for making sure that the NPO’s activities comply with its stated purpose.

Directors serve without salaries and must be independent of situations that could cause a conflict of interest. The primary role of the directors is to oversee the technical and fiscal operations of the organization. In starting an NPO, the initial directors will be listed in the articles of incorporation, and should have assisted in the formulation of the NPO’s mission.

The third, and probably most difficult step in forming an NPO is to develop a sustainable funding program. A substantial percentage (e.g., 70% to 80%) of funds entering the NPO’s coffers must come from grants, research contracts, tuition and/or donations. A small percentage may come from consulting, so long as the consulting is compatible with the mission of the organization. One of the greatest pitfalls in starting an NPO is to be overoptimistic that sufficient funds will be available in a timely manner.

Once the NPO has received approval of its articles of incorporation from the State in which it is registered, a set of bylaws must be developed and adopted by the directors. After the bylaws have been adopted, the NPO must apply for tax-exempt status with the IRS, which includes submission of the state-approved articles of incorporation and bylaws. IRS issuance of 501(c)(3) status typically takes six to eight months. During that time, the NPO can function according to its articles of incorporation, which should stipulate that the requirements of IRS § 501(c)(3) will be met.
In conclusion, NPOs and FPOs have similar opportunities and pitfalls. The selection of the business model and the success of the organization really depends on the purpose and mission that is agreed upon by those who are willing and committed to start the organization, the intended recipients of the products and services, the State in which the organization will be incorporated, and the IRS.

The six do’s and don’t of employee background checks

May 10, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

1Written by Tenant Screening Services, LLC

Employer background checks are an important process when recruiting new hires. This is because, the cost of replacing poor hiring decisions is an expensive, time consuming process.

Do be broad and thorough – It is important to look into a wide spectrum of information. This includes an applicant’s education, employment, and criminal history, driving history, and social media practices. If companies look to a wider spectrum they would understand their applicants in more detail and avoid losing good candidates.

Don’t use the “box”- This is the questions that asks the candidates “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?”. Try to avoid this question, which can cause immediate discrimination. Instead consider all applicants equally.

Do follow the law – Some of the background checks require legal release from the applicant. It is best to get consent, together with informing the candidate of his/ her rights.

Do follow the rules – It is important as an employer that you conduct proper employment screening processes for all new hires. The rules concerning employment screening should be based on federal, state, local and job-specific laws.

Do be consistent – All applicants hired by the company should follow the same searches and investigations. Although, different positions may require more extensive investigations, positions that are similar should follow a uniformed process.

Don’t fail to communicate – If an employment screening uncovers a information that may impact the hiring of an applicant, you should inform the applicant of this information and why it impacts his/her hire.

____________________________________________________________

Tenant Screening Services, LLC provides tenant screening services including criminal background checks

« Previous PageNext Page »