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How To Prepare For A Small Business Loan

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Not every small business is self funded or has sufficient funds. Often times, to start or grow a business or cover day to day expenses, including payroll and inventory obtaining outside financing becomes necessary. At such times a small loan can seem like the best option for the business. But, getting a business loan is a major hurdle for small businesses, mainly due to the tight lending standards and getting approved for a loan can be quiet challenging if you don’t have an insight on the lending process.

Here are some key steps you can take in getting a small business loan

1. Understand the types of loans you can avail 
The government at present has launched various schemes for the benefit of entrepreneurs and startups. Performing a thorough research on the different types of schemes and loans you can apply for and what will best suit the needs of your company. Gather the appropriate information from multiple sources and seek guidance from those who have applied for a loan. First hand information will give you better insights on how to best apply for a small business loan. Research on the best possible lender as well, because there are more lenders than ever before willing to lend to small businesses. 

2. Walk in the lender’s shoes
Anticipate how the lender would view your credit score and your risk profile. Lenders will ultimately make a decision based on your outstanding loans and debts to determine if your cash flow would be sufficient to pay existing loans and obligations as well as the new loan. Clean up any blemishes on your credit report because lenders will view your credit report, credit score and your assets in the business. A balanced and blemish free work report will show the lenders that they can trust you and your business. 

3. Preparation and planning
Have a clear and detailed plan on how and where the money will be used and want kind of returns you can expect. Plan even the tiniest detail and don’t leave anything to chance. Vague or general responses will make you look like you are not completely invested in the business or haven’t prepared for the future. Give the lenders a detailed and structured report on where the money will be spent along with contingency plans for worst case scenarios. A lack of organization and preparation show’s you are a risky venture and are untrustworthy.

4. Be Specific
Preparation, organization and planning also mean that you know how much money you require for your venture and how soon you will be able to pay it back. Be specific about the amount you will be borrowing, for how long and at what interest rates. Specify whether the loan will be used for equipment or capital expenditures or expansion and mention if you will be borrowing extra money in case you run into a cash crunch. 

5. Security and Collateral
Lenders are generally more concerned about the ability of the borrower to repay the loan. Provide adequate security and collateral against the loan to increase your chances of getting a loan on favorable terms. Include copies of legal documents like your articles of incorporation, contracts, leases or any licenses and permits that you need for your business to operate. As far as possible avoid giving personal guarantees or personal assets as security as that will put your personal assets at risk and not just the business assets.

Banks and lenders are very cautious about lending money to small business but loans are available from many different lenders with a myriad of choices tailored to the financial situation of your business. While getting approved for a small business loan is no easy feat, but by addressing your shortcomings and highlighting the positives you can improve your odds. 

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Reddit Soars After Strong Earnings and Upbeat Outlook

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Reddit, the social media platform known for its online communities and meme culture, saw its stock price jump significantly after releasing its first earnings report since going public in March. Investors were impressed by the company’s strong financial performance and optimistic forecasts for the future.

The report highlighted a surge in user engagement, with daily active users increasing by 37% to 82.7 million in the first quarter. This growth was accompanied by an 8% rise in average revenue per user, indicating Reddit’s success in monetizing its platform. 

Perhaps the most significant factor driving the stock price increase was Reddit’s forecast for the second quarter. The company projected revenue to fall between $240 million and $255 million, exceeding analyst expectations. Additionally, Reddit anticipates achieving break-even status or even generating a profit, surpassing predictions of a loss.

This positive outlook can be attributed in part to Reddit’s flourishing advertising business. The company is also capitalizing on a new revenue stream: content licensing deals with artificial intelligence (AI) firms. Reddit’s vast collection of user-generated content provides valuable data for training AI models, attracting companies like Google.

Analysts believe Reddit is still in its early stages of monetization and predict continued growth in the coming quarters, fueled by advancements in ad targeting and measurement tools. This optimism is reflected in the stock price surge, which has climbed roughly 70% since Reddit’s IPO.

Overall, Reddit’s first earnings report paints a bright picture for the company’s future. With a thriving user base, increasing revenue opportunities, and a promising outlook, Reddit appears well-positioned for continued success in the ever-evolving social media landscape.

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How Does Investment Startup Robinhood Make Money?

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If you are an avid follower of news on the social media platform Twitter, chances are you might have read about GameStop and how a group of Redditors took on Wall Street hedge fund billionaires.  It all started when a Reddit user found Melvin Capital, a hedge fund company was shorting the GameStop stocks.  An analogy would be if a person x wants to buy 5 bananas which are being sold at INR 10 in the market,  and another person y already purchased 5 bananas.  X could borrow y’s bananas for a while and sell them with the hope the price will go down below INR 10.  Then x will purchase 5 bananas for a lesser price than INR 10 and give back the bananas to y thereby making a profit, in the difference of buying price.  A group of Redditers noticed what hedge funds were doing with GameStop stock and decided to buy all the available shares in the market which in turn led to stock value soaring through the roof.  Now imagine the bananas as GameStop stock and x is the hedge fund.  Now hedge funds have to return the borrowed shares but since they already sold, they had to buy it for a larger price than they hoped.  This in turn led to more than $ 5 billion in losses for hedge funds because they were shorting the GameStop stock.  

However, Robinhood, the zero commission investment and trading startup found itself in the midst of the storm.  This is because thousands of normal small investors wanted to purchase the GameStop stock and they did it via Robinhood.  Wall Street was not happy with the way a group of Redditors held hedge funds by their collars and lobbied to have the stocks delisted.

Mounting pressure from the Government and Wall Street forced Robinhood to delist GameStop, AMC and Nokia stocks from their trading roster which in turn led to huge customer backlash and lakhs of 1 star reviews on app stores of Apple and Android.  

Background

Robinhood was founded by Stanford University graduates Baiju Bhatt and Vlad Tenev co-founded the company in 2013, with the aim of democratizing finance and making it more accessible to young and less affluent investors.  This was due to trading being carried on commission based platforms like ETrade and TD Ameritrade and by a very small set of people. What made the app so attractive to the normal public was the ease of using the platform and its zero commission slogan.   More importantly, Robinhood made the appeal of trading fun and interactive for the general public and the working class.  Investment applications normally charge a nominal fee or commission on the execution of any successful trade.

However, the app gained huge traction in 2019 just when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world.  Stock markets crashed suddenly, wiping out billions of dollars in investor wealth.  However, this phase saw the rise of a new kind of investor.  Americans were given $ 1200 stimulus cheques to protect them from the economic fallout of COVID-19 pandemic.  Armed with these cheques, millions of trading novices began investing in the stock market via Robinhood.  

ALSO READ: How Does WhatsApp Generate Revenue

Revenue model

How does a startup which calls itself a zero commission brokerage earn revenue and manage to be profitable?  Robinhood was designed to make profits by selling the customer trading data to several investment firms on Wall Street.  This practice is known as high volume order flow.  In financial markets, payment for order flow refers to the compensation that a broker receives, not from its client, but from a third party that wants to influence how the broker routes client orders for fulfillment.  It is not illegal but it is often frowned upon, to use this strategy as it is also called a ‘kickback.’   This accounts for a lion’s share of revenue for Robinhood.

The second revenue generator is through interests.  Robinhood makes money from interest made by lending out investor’s idle cash.  Robinhood lends out uninvested cash sitting idle in customer accounts.

The third revenue generator is Robinhood Gold, the company’s premium account, allows investors up to $1000 of margin thereby allowing them to trade with more than they have in their cash balance on the app. 

While Robinhood has been caught in the middle of a nasty war between Wall Street and retail investors, there is no denying the fact that it changed the way people invest in the stock market.  

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How Do IPL Franchises Make Money

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How Do IPL Franchises Make Money

If there is one thing that every Indian and every cricket fan waits for all year, it is the Indian Premier League, which is the world’s biggest cricketing league.  Professional cricket players from all over the world vie to get selected by one of the eight franchises which compete in the league.  The entire league is a star studded affair and Indians manage to forget their differences and band together for all the time the league is aired.  Each franchise boasts of a loyal fan following who have supported their teams through thick and thin ever since IPL was inaugurated in 2008.  While the entire league is a melting pot of entertainment and competition, have you ever wondered how the franchises make money in IPL?  In this article we will decode the business models behind the IPL teams and how they earn money.

Franchises need to bid for players every year before the start of the IPL season in an auction.  Each franchise has a maximum spend limit of Rs. 80 crores to buy players in the auction.  Apart from buying players each franchise also needs to bear the cost of travel, support staff and logistics.  The following are the different avenues from which franchises earn money.

1) Sponsorships

Franchises earn a major chunk of their revenue from sponsorships, but they do not get the money from sponsorships directly.  The IPL governing council gets money from sponsors and in the case of this year it is from Dream 11, which is the title sponsor while VIVO was the title sponsor last year.  All the money which is earned from sponsorships is divided into a ratio of 60:40 with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) retaining 40% of the sponsorships.  The remaining 60% is distributed among the ten franchises.  BCCI owns and operates the IPL in India.  The ratio of distribution might change in the coming years depending on the decisions taken by the BCCI.

2)  Media rights

Broadcasting companies bid for the media rights and the winning bid will get to air the IPL on their channel.  Star India bagged the media rights for IPL with a bid of Rs. 16,345 crores for five years (2018-2022.)  The money from media rights are also distributed in the 60:40 ratio with BCCI keeping 40% and the franchises getting an equal distribution from the remaining 60%.

3) Franchise sponsors

Each franchise has its own dedicated sponsors which pay a huge amount of money to the franchise.  The logos and names of the companies which you can see on the sporting attire of every IPL team are actually the dedicated sponsors of their respective franchises.  The profit from dedicated sponsors depends on the deal the franchise has made with their sponsor. The income generated from dedicated sponsors might differ from team to team.

ALSO READ: 5 Cricketers Who Are Entrepreneurs

4) Sale of tickets

Each franchise can choose a home ground from the available venues in the BCCI roster like Sunrisers Hyderabad, choosing Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders choosing Kolkata.  Only the home franchise can fix the price of tickets for the matches happening in their home ground.  Bigger stadiums with large seating capacity earn the most from ticket sales.  Kolkata Knight Riders home ground Eden Gardens has the highest seating capacity in India and therefore KKR earns the most from ticket sales.  

5) Merchandising

Each franchise makes some money by selling official jerseys, caps, wrist watches, souvenirs etcetera.  The merchandise is sold through the official franchise websites.

6) Prize money

Franchises battle it out in a long season to become the winner of the IPL season.  The winning team also wins a hefty prize money which is an additional source of revenue.  In 2019, the winning franchise won Rs. 15 crores while the runner up won Rs. 10 crores.

IPL is a big stage for franchise owners to earn their revenues as well as the perfect opportunity for players to make their mark and win big auctions.  This is how franchises earn their revenues from the IPL.  As this year’s edition is off to a flying start, IPL has been a blessing in disguise for millions of Indians in the gloomy times we currently are experiencing.  

 

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