What We Can Learn from National Consumer Protection Week

Did you know there’s a National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) every year? In 2020, it took place during the first week in March. If you missed it, don’t sweat it. The great thing about this event — powered by the Federal Trade Commission, state attorneys general offices and community partner organizations — is its principles hold true year round.

As the FTC writes, “NCPW is a time to help people understand their consumer rights and make well-informed decisions about their money.”

We can all benefit from brushing up on our knowledge on topics like dealing with debt collectors, avoiding financial scams and bouncing back from identity theft.

Debt Collection: Know Your Rights

Many Americans will fall behind on a debt repayment at some point, so it’s crucial to know your rights when it comes to dealing with debt collectors. If a number pops up on your screen that’s almost certainly a debt collector, what should you do?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau advises taking these steps:

  • Find out who you’re talking to, the name/address/phone number of the collection agency and the name of the original creditor.
  • Ask the debt collector for the amount owed, the name of the creditor and how you can dispute or verify the debt as your own.
  • Request a formal written verification of the debt before agreeing to pay.
  • Keep records of all communications you have with collectors.

It’s also important to remember debt collectors must follow certain rules when communicating. They cannot harass you, use profanity, make false threats of harm or call you early in the morning or late in the evening.

Avoiding Common Financial Scams

Another pillar of protection is avoiding common financial swindles such as:

  • IRS scams: A fraudster will impersonate an IRS representative, claiming you owe back taxes and threatening to take immediate action if you don’t pay.
  • Bank scams: A scammer will email you and ask for your login information or pretend to be a bank representative calling for your account information.
  • Investing scams: Scammers encourage unsuspecting buyers to invest in certain falsely inflated stocks or operate a “Ponzi” scheme in which they use one client’s money to pay another client rather than actually investing the funds.
  • Credit card scams: A fraudster may call and say they’re a credit card representative investigating a suspicious charge, then ask you to verify your account information.
  • Debt relief scams: Scammers try to take advantage of consumers in debt by promising to eliminate their debts “for pennies on the dollar.” Keep in mind legitimate settlement companies like Freedom Debt Relief will never ask for any payments up front until after they’ve resolved debts; scammers often illegally charge fees right off the bat.

Scams come in all shapes and sizes, which is why it’s important to thoroughly vet every offer and every communication you receive about your finances. A little due diligence up front can spare you a major headache down the line.

What to Do About Identity Theft

Nobody thinks identity theft will happen to them — until it does. In 2018, 14.4 million people became the victims of identity fraud with a median loss of $375 per case.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, you’ll want to take actions like:

  • Freezing your credit
  • Placing a fraud alert on your credit reports
  • Strengthening the security on all your financial accounts
  • Filing a report with the FTC
  • Notifying the IRS
  • Monitoring your accounts for unauthorized activity

While National Consumer Protection Week is just one week per year, we can apply its core principles to protect our finances all year round.

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Professions With Legal Protections: What You Need To Know

One of the things that you can do when choosing a career is to make sure that you enter into a profession with specific legal protections. Not every job is created the same when it comes to the law and the confidence that you can have concerning your rights. Throughout history, some jobs have been better than others in this regard, and there are also different industries, different brands, and different leadership styles that alter workplace expectations.

To start looking through this lens, consider things like worker’s compensation, business owners’ insurance, and OSHA regulations. Those are three business concepts that are wrapped together with various forms of legal protection. Sometimes you can have protection against things that are expected. Other times you need insurance against things that are extremely unpredictable. Thinking through each of these topics as an owner or an employee of the business makes a lot of professional sense. 

Worker’s Compensation

Do you know how worker’s compensation works? Do you know how to set up a fund in the 1st place? Do you know how to make a claim if you’re injured on a job? Do you know how long worker’s compensation is good for after a certain point? Do you know what industries are more likely to have worker’s compensation available? 

If you are a contract worker, where does this legal protection fit in? The more questions that you ask about worker’s compensation earlier on in your professional career, the better understanding you’ll have if any situation arises that requires you to file various claims. 

Business Owners’ Insurance

When you have a business, there are a lot of different liabilities associated with your company operations. To prevent your personal liability, you have to have various types of business insurance. When you originally establish your business as a corporation, pay very close attention to things like taxes and insurance needs. Your legal protections moving forward are very closely associated with the way that you incorporate. 

If you find that you have incorporated in a way that does not make sense financially and professionally, you may have to rethink your initial branding and get a consultation about the best way to move forward. 

OSHA Regulations

A final legal consideration to keep in mind has to deal with OSHA regulations. As an employee, your employer must give you a safe place to work period as an employer, you have to give your employees a safe place to work period federal laws may seem rather stringent in regards to health and safety, but the alternative is to go back to a time where employees were not protected at all, and a lot of very dangerous situations happened because of it. 


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3 Ways to Protect Your Livelihood

You know better than anyone else how hard you work to make a decent living.

That being the case, have you taken steps to protect your livelihood?

For instance, what would you do if you came down with a major illness or were in a serious accident? Could you still make a go of it?

By taking steps to protect your livelihood before it is too late, you do one of the most important things for you.

So, how will you go about protecting all you have worked for?

Don’t Take Chances with All You Have Worked for

In reviewing how to best protect all you have worked for, look at these ways to go about it:

  1. Insurance – Having the right insurance plan in place if the unthinkable happens is a wise move. So, whether online for physician disability insurance or others, the key is research. The right plan will help cover you should you suffer a serious injury or illness and are unable to work. Given there are many insurers and plans on the market, your best bet would be to take some time and study some of them. In doing this, there is less of a chance you will end up with the wrong coverage and provider.
  2. People – Having the right people around you in your life is also important. As an example, if you have a doctor’s office, the right staff proves critical to you. Patients come to see you and any other physicians you have working with you. But before they get to see a doctor, they are greeted by one or more of your staff. From the front desk to assistants and more, make sure you have surrounded you with good people. Not doing so can lead to less patients coming through that front door over time. You also need the right people to make your job a little easier. While busy trying to help folks with their medical issues or something as simple as a check-up, more is going on. There is insurance, appointments with specialists and more to cover. As such, your office personnel need to be the best you can find.
  3. Future – Last, do you often have one eye on your future? Like having the right insurance in place proves critical, so does thinking on the future. As key as insurance is, have you invested in your future via retirement options and more? Not doing so can end up being a recipe for disaster. Make sure you put the pieces in place so you can retire one day without always having to worry about money and more. Failure to do so can leave you unprepared for retirement. It can also leave you worrying about how you will get by when that time comes. By putting money away now while you earn a living, you will be better set. That is for when the day comes and you enter retirement.

If you need to do more to protect your livelihood; any idea where your focus will turn to first?

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Establishing a business is not a piece of cake. It requires a lot of effort, hard work, and financial assistance to bring something new into the market. For small businesses and startups, finance becomes a major problem. Investors are hard to find, and most small businesses fail because they could not pay off the debts on time. 

To save businesses from failing, there are different financial institutions like fast capital 360 that provide loans to small businesses. The basic aim of providing financial assistance is that your startup or small business can flourish. 

What is a small business loan? It is financial lending from financial institutions that allow you to fulfill all your financial problems. The paying off of small business loans is easier; therefore, acquiring it is the target of most businesses. 

The major problem is how to get a small business loan? Businessmen often complain that they cannot get the loan application approved. Put yourself in the lender’s shoes, and you will realize how tough it is to lend money. You do not have to worry because some techniques can help you get the desired small business loan. Here are five ways that can help you get the loan application approved easily. 


1. Get It Done Sooner and Over-preparation Would Be Good


Never rush into any decision because this can be fatal for the business. Surprisingly, there is one decision that you can make as soon as possible. Applying for the loan should never be delayed. It takes a few minutes to fill out the loan application, but its approval takes weeks and even months. Being an owner of the merchandise, you must be fully aware of the financial circumstances. Problem anticipation should not be an issue, and you can apply for a loan before you are in desperate need of money. If you apply for a loan a month earlier, its approval will be on time, and you would not have to wait for some cash in your account to spend on your business needs. 

Also, make sure you are prepared for the FAQs your lender may ask. Lending money is not an easy process. Assuring the borrower’s credibility is mandatory; therefore, you may have to answer a few questions. Preparation would be a bonus for you. Excessive preparation can help you in the loaning procedure.


2. Keep a Check on Your Credit History 


Credit history plays an integral part in your loan application. If you wish for instant and easy approval of the loan application, make sure you keep a check on the credit history. A good credit score makes your application stronger. It assures your trustworthiness, and you would not have to wait for application approval for a long time. 

A high credit score means you have spent a lot of money, and you can be trusted. So, make sure you maintain a handsome credit score. Easy and fast approval will not be desire but reality. Keeping a check will allow you to analyze if you have to wait for a long time for loan approval or not. For people with lower credit scores, application processing will take time because the verification procedures are complex. 


3. Why Do You Want Money?


This is the most important question that you must have the answer to. Every decision has a reason, and so does applying for a loan. With startups and small businesses, applying and getting the loan is trickier, but if you are sure about the reason for borrowing money, you are good to go. 

No lender will approve your loan application if you do not provide a sound reason. You have to be clever and clear with the reason. The clearer you are, the easier it is for the lender to understand your situation. Also, applying for a loan without any reason or unclear reason, you may face more troubles for approval. Some institutions do not accept loan applications with errors in reasons. 


4. Show Some Organizational Skills 


Being organized is the key skill that every entrepreneur should have. In every department of the business, your organizational skills can help you achieve all short-term and long-term loans. Otherwise, things may not work out as they were planned. 

When you apply for a loan application, never forget your organizational skills. These skills will allow you to provide any information timely. Maybe your lender asks you a trick question regarding the business, and you did organize your business information. No response or late response will leave a negative impression on the lender. Therefore, preparation and organizational skills are important for loan approval. 


5. Expert Advice Is a Wise Choice


Every field has an expert whom you refer to before making any tough choices. During business establishment, you might have referred to a few trusted and experienced people of your family. You may have also referred to legal advisors to be on the safe side. It is a good gesture to discuss your situation with the experienced because decision-making becomes easier. 

When you apply for a loan, you may not find consultation important. The majority of people think that filling out an application for $500,000 is easy, and an expert would not advise anything new. This is where the scenario changes for some people. Talking to an expert means you are consulting someone for help. They will guide you to the most effective choices you have and the best alternative you can choose. Experts may save you from loaning money. 


Obtaining small business loans for your business is not a difficult task to achieve if you have followed some hacks. Establishing a business and then maturing it is tough, and financial support is the most important thing to do so. Different financial institutions like banks, etc. are working as lenders who let you loan money and cover-up some expenses. The debt can be paid off conveniently; therefore, it is an effective option for startups and small businesses. If you have any pending administrative expenses to incur, a small business loan can help. Similarly, any other expenses that must be incurred instantly can be easily handled through short term loans.

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KT Nine University Reviews – Things to Consider When Going Back to Online Education as an Adult 

Something which more and more people are doing now is taking the opportunity to go back to education as an adult. There are a number of motivating factors here, some wish to go and get the education that they missed out first time around, some are looking to boost their skillset for a career change, others are perhaps looking to gain some new skills simply to give their brain some exercise and others enjoy the experience of learning something new. Regardless of what the reason is for going back to education as an adult, there are some important things which must first be considered.

Quality Learning 

Online learning has been a real driving force behind why more people see additional education as a feasible option for them, because of the flexibility which it offers. This unfortunately has also lead to many educational courses popping up online which are simply not fit for purpose. It is for this reason that you must ensure that you have done your research and that you ensure the facility and the course is worthwhile. Reviews are a great indication of this and a great example would be the KT Nine University reviews you can find online which detail people’s experience of this Amazon FBA course, the reviews are concise and backup the claims made by the website, so you can be safe in the knowledge that there is no scam. 


No matter what the course is that someone is studying, it is really essential to ensure that the website or company that is offering the course is able to provide real time assistance. Some online courses can be guilty of simply preparing the course and the resources, and then marking a final exam, rather than offering guidance and mentorship. We all need some help from time to time and real time support can offer that. 

Right Reasons

Something else which should always be considered are the reasons for investing time and money into additional education. The main reason why this is going to be important is that going back to education as an adult isn’t as easy as it was in the past, so then student needs to have an additional incentive for putting in the time and then effort. Once a student has a reason, they will be able to give all of their focus to the course. 


Each course online requires a certain amount of time dedicated to the studies and it is vital that students are fully aware of this and that they are going to be able to manage their time accordingly in order to do their best. In the main we live busy lives as adults which is why it is so essential to ensure that enough time is committed each day to making sure that students get the absolute most out of the course. 

Anyone out there looking to head back to education, keep an eye on these keep factors. 

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How to Find a Better Loan Deal Easily in 3 Steps

When taking out a loan, the most important factor for most people is the interest and repayment schedule. If you’re struggling to find a loan that isn’t a great deal, then it’s time to do some digging. With a bad loan, you may be struggling to pay it off or find that it’s not even worth borrowing.

If you’re not sure how to get a better loan deal, these three steps will get you the best loan for your needs.

  1. Find the Right Loan Type

When it comes to taking out a loan, you should find the type that meets your borrowing needs. For example, there are short-term loans which may be ideal for a short-term need. In contrast, a long term loan is usually repaid over 2-5 years or possibly even longer.

Before moving forward, make sure to decide which type of loan is going to be best for your situation. Consider the purpose of the loan, how much you can afford to pay on the loan each month, and other features that may be important for you.

  1. Compare Loan Options

Now that you have an idea of the type of loan that will suit your situation best, research your options and compare features. If you have a less than perfect credit history, you could use sites like www.badcreditsite.co.uk or other instant comparison type sites that provide “easy loans” to compare loans that you’re eligible to take. This is usually done without checking your credit file

This is a great asset and well-worth your time. This is especially important if you have poor or no credit and need to determine what’s going to work best for you.

When you’re comparing loans, only compare loans that you’ll be eligible to take. Not all loans are available to all lenders. Make sure that you have all of your financial information ready when searching for loans in order to provide an accurate picture of your finances. This will allow you to qualify for appropriate loans and make this process more efficient.

  1. Take Out the Loan

Now that you’ve researched the type of loan that you need and what lenders will borrow to you, the last and final step is actually to take out the loan. Always double-check the interest rate that you will be charged as well as any upfront and ongoing fees. The comparison rate will provide you with the overall cost of the loan. You can see what your monthly payments are going to be and then determine if you’ll be able to afford those payments.

Once you’ve found the loan that you can make payments on, apply, and you’ll receive your money. Check the terms and conditions to determine how quickly you’ll be able to access funds.

When it comes to the steps needed to take out easy loans and get a great deal, these three steps are all that’s needed.

It may be surprising for some borrowers who haven’t been able to get good options before.

However, people with bad or minimal credit can usually qualify for several loans. Using a website that allows for easy comparisons is a crucial part of getting the best deal.

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Misha Kaura – Top Tips To Help You Get Into The Textiles Industry

If you have a passion for textiles and you want to break into the industry with your very own business then this is a post for you. I was inspired to write this by my very good friend Misha Kaura who started from nothing and grew her textiles business into very successful company. Misha always loved fabrics and textiles and I always had a feeling that this would be the career path which she took. Misha had to learn it all on her own and I am very proud of the textile guru that she has become. If you want to follow in Misha’s footsteps then here are some tips which she has shared about getting into the industry. 

Getting to Know

The first step before you even think about launching a business is to get to know the industry and how it operates. As simple as this sounds, this is going to be your foundation for building your business and you must gain an understanding of fabrics, textiles, and what designs people are looking for, as well as pricing structures. 

Understand the Market 

You are also going to have to invest some of your time in learning about the market which you are about to enter into. This involves losing at customer trends and logistics of an operation. A great idea here is to try and get a position within a textiles company so that you can learn the ropes and see how it operates. You have to understand both the market and how a business can succeed within it. 

Speaking to Sellers

Aim to speak to as many raw product vendors, designers and sellers of fabrics who you will be buying from in the future. Learn about lead times, order sizes, contracts and try to make as many contacts as possible. Your business is going to rely heavily on buying at great prices which is why now is the time to focus on forging relationships. 


Once you have done your homework and decided that you are going to launch your business it is time to start thinking about location. Given that you won’t require a high street shop you can look for more out of the way locations here, which will help to reduce costs. Consider the utilities which you will need such as strong electrical currents and water, as well as accessibility. 

Cash Flow 

There is little point in launching your business and tying up all your cashflow with the purchase of a single fabric so you need to start trying to learn how to keep production going without putting all of your capital in one place. Which fabrics will sell quickest? Can you use a credit system with suppliers? Key questions which you have to answer that will help you to keep more liquid cash in the business. 

These are just  the starting points of getting yourself into the textiles industry. 

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3 Preventative Measures To Take For The Security Of Your Business’s Future

Being a business owner is tough work. Especially if you’re a small business owner and have your entire life wrapped up in the ultimate success of your work, it’s important that you do everything in your power to ensure that your venture doesn’t fail.

While you can’t protect yourself against all the possible ways for your business to flounder, there are things you can do to help reduce the amount of risk you’re willing to take on. So to help you do this, here are three preventative measures you can take for the security of your business’s future. 

Create Backup Plans For When Technology Fails

For many modern businesses, so much of your success is based on your ability to use technology to your advantage. The only problem with this is that almost all pieces of technology require energy and electricity in order to run. So if these systems go down, whether it’s because they’ve overheated or you lose power for some other reason, it can severely hinder your ability to be successful with your business.

To combat this, Marc Davis, a contributor to Investopedia.com, recommends that you create backup plans for when technology fails. This can and should include things like backup batteries, communication failsafes, document protection, and more. 

Get The Right Insurance

Another preventative measure that you should take as a business owner is to ensure that your business is properly protected with the right insurance coverage. 

According to Bert Markgraf, a contributor to Chron Small Business, by having the right insurance policies in place for your business, you take a lot of the risk off of your business and place it on the insurance companies instead. Ideally, your business should have insurance for things like damage to your property or equipment, liability for your products or services, and injuries to both your employees and any customers or clients you work with. 

Protect Yourself Financially

To keep your business above water financially, it’s smart to know how to best protect yourself, your investment, and the money you make from your business venture.

To help you with this, Donna Stone, a contributor to TheBusinessWomanMedia.com, recommends that you take preventative steps by having strong contracts drawn up on your behalf, creating conservative budgets, having a solid process for collecting payments, and enlarging your margins as much as possible. 

While these preventative measures won’t be able to completely ensure that your business doesn’t run into financial trouble, having these things in place can help reduce that risk and hedge your bet for yourself. 

If you’re wanting to take some steps today that will help ensure that your business has a bright future to look forward to, consider using the tips mentioned above to start crafting some preventative measures you can implement.

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Tips For Designing A Successful Business Website

Building a business website that draws in viewers is the goal, and you’re responsible for filling in all the blank space in between.  A weak or sloppy site design will hinder your business from progression, as the digital realm is such a dominant part of today’s general culture.  

If you’re a small business owner, the job of designing your business website will likely fall on your shoulders.  Don’t freak out. There is more than enough info available online to guide you through to a well crafted end result.  

Start expanding your competence in web design now, and check out a brief look at some helpful tips for designing a successful business website.  

Engage visitors immediately

You need to design your business website in such a way that visitors are immediately intrigued and engaged in the content they find.  It’s not all about bells and whistles, rather what your target audience is truly seeking to find. 

Delve into the specifics of how to create an enticing homepage for your business website.  Apply the design tactics you discover, and watch the response of web users shift for the better.  

Make communication easy for visitors

Communication will help your business build a meaningful rapport with your target audience.  Your business website should make communication easy for web users. Use plugins within your design to allow visitors to ask questions, arrange services, or share their experiences.  

Mobile friendly sites reign supreme

The mobile presence on the web is no longer something to be ignored, and your website won’t do much good without mobile optimization.  Breaking down the subject of mobile optimization means that you need to figure out what design elements make your website easier to use/view on a mobile device.  

For instance, your display should easily adjust to various screen sizes.  Also, give users the ability to easily manipulate the moving parts of your site.  Don’t make the buttons too tiny.  

Include social media in your design

Social media is a huge part of the consumer presence online.  Tapping into the heart of the social web will provide priceless visibility for your business.  Add social media sharing icons to your business website design, and choose their placement with strategy in mind.  

Add a blog section for more content 

Your business website won’t be complete without a “Blog” section to give users something to latch on to as they browse.  Fill your blog with posts that are relevant to the industry in which your business operates.  

Learn how to incorporate the concepts of SEO within the text and design of your business blog, and your content will be much more effective at reaching the right audience.  Search engine optimization focuses on giving Google’s search bots what they seek, so your content is presented to the right viewers.

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3 Tips For The Perfect Home Office Setup

While working from home can be a blessing, it can also be hard to know how to separate your work and home life when everything takes place in the same location. To help with this, many people find that having a home office, one that really creates a boundary from the rest of their home, can make things much easier. However, setting up the perfect home office isn’t always as simple as you might think.

So to help ensure that the space you create for your professional life gives you everything that you’re needing, here are three tips for the perfect home office setup. 

Make Lighting A Primary Concern

One of the most important things to think about when creating the perfect home office is lighting. Because you’ll likely be working in this space for long hours during both day and night, you want to be sure that you’ll have plenty of lighting options.

According to Shannon Belew, a contributor to The Balance Small Business, you should try to bring as much natural light as possible into your home office space. Not only will this help make things easier to see, but it can also help to improve your mood and productivity. 

In addition to natural lighting, install various other forms of lighting as well, including both overhead lighting and task lighting. By having all of these options, you’ll always be able to find the perfect light to work in, regardless of the type of work you’re doing. 

Get Comfortable With Ergonomics

Another key to a functional and productive home office is comfort. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should work from your bed or bring in a big, soft couch. Rather, you should make furniture choices based on what’s going to be ergonomically best for you and your body.

Coral Nafie, a contributor to The Spruce, shares that not only do you want a desk chair that is adjustable to you and gives your body the support you need, but all other furniture and accessories you have in your office should be customizable, including things like your keyboard, desk height, monitors and more. 

Make It A Place You Enjoy Going

Everyone gets those days where they’d rather be doing anything else other than working. And for those who work from home, days like this can be filled with distractions in every other room of your house. 

To combat this, Michelle Pippin, a contributor to Fit Small Business, advises that you try your best to make your home office a place that you enjoy going to and working in. Even the smallest details, like the scent of the room or what music you have playing, can make a big difference in wanting to go to work versus wanting to avoid work. 

If you need a home office to work in but haven’t found the perfect way to set it up yet, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you with just that.

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