Thursday, October 30, 2014
Top Entrepreneur News

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:30:00 -0500

The most polite way to decline a sales pitch is to blame the budget. Often, however, that is not an insurmountable barrier.

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:30:00 -0500

'The Flooring Girl' has made her gender an asset in the flooring business.

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:00:00 -0500

These single mothers, all of whom run successful companies, have learned critical lessons about building a business while raising a family.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 23:00:00 -0500

Consider some of these unconventional techniques for relieving stress and bringing focus before that important summit.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 22:45:00 -0500

Results can be improved with a heightened management focus on the continuous flow of strategic change. Drive responsibility for day-to-day operational revamping as far down in the organization as possible.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 22:38:00 -0500

Be savvy in your interactions with reporters. Your reputation is at state.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 22:30:00 -0500

Staying very focused on what the company does best -- and what makes it different -- allows an organization to refine a product and excel.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 22:00:00 -0500

Baseball, played without a clock and unfolding over the longest season in sports, requires the same patience and dynamism as running a business.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 21:30:00 -0500

Earning coverage in a news site will go a long way toward bring attention and credibility to your company.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 21:15:00 -0500

With social media allowing startups to create a direct line of communication between the company and consumers while also providing instant access to the latest buzz around products or services, social-media managers need to be on the ball.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 21:00:00 -0500

These avenues bring in predictability in growth and user acquisition.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 20:30:00 -0500

When you find that your company feels stunted, or a problem seems to have no solution, find some outside help fast.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 20:15:00 -0500

Steer clear of these minefields in laying the foundation for your newly launched firm.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 20:00:00 -0500

If you want to boost sales on your website, hold back product information from your visitors.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 19:45:00 -0500

The company hopes this new desktop computer, called Sprout, can rekindle industry interest.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 19:30:00 -0500

American consumers yearn to collaborate but the biggest companies are not getting the message.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 19:26:00 -0500

Email addresses from pilot participants were stolen, the company said, though the forthcoming mobile app -- which lets users purchase goods by scanning a QR code -- was not affected.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 19:00:00 -0500

When your company and another one has similar offerings, here is how to differentiate yourself.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 18:45:00 -0500

Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani is partnering with big Silicon Valley companies to teach young girls to love computer science.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 18:36:00 -0500

Companies such as Postmates, WunWun and Instacart have added delivery of Halloween costumes to their inventory for a limited time.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 18:30:00 -0500

The move from team member to management is both a thrill and a shock. Sensible steps to ease the transition make success more likely for everybody.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 18:15:00 -0500

A Babson College lecturer hones in on some essential truths of customer demand with an inexpensive 20-minute test.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 18:00:00 -0500

Obamacare has created an incentive for business owners to navigate a different path than that which policymakers had intended.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:59:00 -0500

Enterprise clients will now be able to filter the data based on geography, public biographical information and the emotion expressed in a tweet.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:57:00 -0500

'I got two words for ya buddy,' quipped Mark Cuban of the strange clothing range: 'glue factory.'

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:49:00 -0500

Startup MotionSavvy is turning to Indiegogo to bring a tablet to market that translates sign language into speech and speech into text messages.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:45:00 -0500

Experts say adoption of wearables at work will outpace it at home thanks to improved safety, productivity, and collaboration.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:30:00 -0500

You're probably doing something dangerous as you read this, and it's shortening your lifespan.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:25:00 -0500

It's counterintuitive, but sometimes bringing onboard a job seeker with more skills than required results in a win-win.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:03:00 -0500

Family members of a slain employee in Tennessee said they 'never once imagined that this would touch anyone high up in the Papa John's corporate office, let alone John Schnatter.’

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 09:30:00 -0500

I’m always amazed when an employee steals intellectual property (IP) from their company. Only to take it with them as they head out the door for a new job. I wonder what is the thought process that they go through? I'm sure you may know a story or two about [...]

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 04:07:00 -0500

A few months ago I wrote a post called, A Simple Explanation Of The Internet Of Things where I tried to provide some clarity around what this new connected world means for all of us. In the article I mentioned some of the driving forces behind this. "Broadband Internet is become more [...]

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 03:18:00 -0500

I was writing a story in my office with one ear tuned to the conversation around me. My colleague Catherine said to our Operations Manager, Michael, "Here is a strange message in Liz's LinkedIn Inbox." "What does it say?" Michael asked her. "It says Half-price tickets are available to next week's Cloud Storage [...]

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 18:30:00 -0500

Mary Reed traveled from her Arizona home to Cincinnati this week to tell her story of surviving the 2011 Tucson shooting to the leadership at grocery chain Kroger, the latest in a line of retailers under pressure from gun control advocates.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:28:00 -0500

The importance of Social Security retirement benefits cannot be understated as nearly one-third of all U.S. retirees rely solely upon Social Security for their retirement income.  Despite its importance and successful history of providing retirement income to the elderly, Social Security is at a crossroads and cannot continue down the [...]

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:29:00 -0500

Dreading having to negotiate your salary? You're in the majority, but you need to learn how.

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:05:00 -0500

This article is by Asha Sharma, CMO of Porch.com. We live in a world where generational companies such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Airbnb have not only created new marketplaces, but have set a course to change our economies and the very world we live in. Though these companies span different industries, [...]

Tue, 28 Oct 2014 21:51:00 -0500

The biggest selling, highest profile phablets of 2014 go head-to-head in this detailed review.

Tue, 28 Oct 2014 21:15:00 -0500

America’s Nuclear Navy is one of the oldest and largest nuclear organizations in the world, and has the best safety record of any industry. There are over a hundred nuclear reactors that power 86 submarines and aircraft carriers. Thousands upon thousands of people have lived, worked, eaten and slept within a stone’s throw of a nuclear reactor for 60 years with no adverse effects at all.

Tue, 28 Oct 2014 04:40:00 -0500

Believe it or not, it only takes one sentence to turn a great interview into a lost employment opportunity. After 10 years of running a recruiting firm, I can tell you that interviewers actively seek out the negative traits in the job seekers whom they meet. Be aware that the following [...]

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Is Your Bank Stealing From You?
By David Najor :: Friday, August 22, 2008 :: 14190 Views :: Article Rating :: Business & Finance

California, USA - “Few would argue that the energetic entrepreneurs have transformed small business in metropolitan areas of Michigan, California, Illinois, Arizona, and Nevada,” says Rebecca Cohen of California’s Bank & Trust speaking of Chaldeans.  “They are hard-working, brilliant in business, and have a remarkable talent for negotiations.”

Although the accolades and praise rings true to many, Chaldean business owners still remind budding entrepreneurs to be mindful of banks when doing business. 

“Banks are like any other business.  Their inventory is currency.  They want to buy currency when it is inexpensive and sell or loan to you at a higher rate,” says Masood Bajou.  “Chaldeans in business or not, should always keep a close eye on their banks and the fees they charge.”

Increasingly, banks are finding ways to impose bigger and trickier fees on account holders.  Uncovering the creative ways banks assess fees and other hidden costs to their customers was no easy task.  Nonetheless, Chaldeans should be watchful over some of the sneakiest fees and quickly master ways you can avoid them...

ATM Overdraw
Many ATMs are allowing their customers to overdraw on their accounts. Request cash from your bank's ATM, and you will almost certainly receive it -- even if there is not enough money in your account to cover the withdrawal. Banks could easily program their ATMs to decline such transactions or to warn you that such a transaction will trigger a hefty overdraft fee, but that would mean a loss of extra fees for the banks.

Chaldean Self-defense: Check your balance before making the withdrawal if you are not certain there is enough money in your account.

Double ATM fees.
Last year, Bank of America increased its ATM fee for non-account holders from $2 to $3, and other banks are likely to follow suit. ATMs warn customers of this type of charge, but many ATM users do not realize that their own banks often charge an additional fee of between $1 and $2.50 for using an ATM that belongs to another bank chain. That means the total fee for an out-of-network ATM transaction can top $5.

Chaldean Self-defense: Use only your own bank's ATMs.

Check Overdraft Penalities
Clear the biggest checks first to maximize overdraft penalties. Most banks charge a fee of $30 to $40 each time an account holder bounces a check. (Any merchant who received your bad check might charge you a penalty as well.) In addition, many banks now follow a practice that often automatically increases the number of checks that their customers bounce. They do this by first deducting from your account the largest check amounts when processing a batch of your checks.

The banks claim they do this because large checks tend to be the most important, but consumer advocates contend that it is just a way to maximize fees. Bank of America, Citibank, HSBC, Wells Fargo and many other banks engage in the practice.

Example: Five checks you wrote reach your bank on a given day -- four checks for small items followed by a $1,400 mortgage payment. If there is only $1,300 in your account, only the final check -- the big mortgage payment -- should bounce. Instead, your bank processes the large mortgage payment first, which means that all five checks will bounce. Rather than a $30 or $40 overdraft fee and one upset check recipient, you now face $150 to $200 in overdraft fees and five perturbed check recipients.

Chaldean Self-defense: Avoid writing many checks or making several debit card purchases in a short period if you are not 100% certain that there will be enough money in your account to cover all of them.   Also, check with your bank to see if they have overdraft protection should you have both a savings and checking account. This is often a free service so be careful of banks that charge for this basic service.

Another hidden fee is getting a penalty for someone else's bounced check. A penalty when you bounce a check is one thing -- but many banks now charge a fee of $5 to $10 to the recipient of a bad check as well.

Chaldean Self-defense: Do not accept checks as payment unless you are confident that you can trust the payer.

Account Dormancy Fees
Some banks charge a fee of several dollars per month to keep an "inactive" or "dormant" account open. In Michigan, Charter One is notorious for this practice.  Banks have different criteria for what they consider a dormant account, so be sure to ask your bank about its rules.

Chaldean Self-defense: Close any unnecessary accounts.

Banks might charge you a fee of $5 or more if you close an account within six to 12 months of opening it. These fees are particularly common at bank branches located in college towns, because banks know that students often close accounts at the end of each semester or school year. Example: Here in California, KeyBank charges an early closure fee of $25 when "Express Checking" accounts are closed within 180 days of being opened.

Chaldean Self-defense: Ask about account closing fees before you open the account. Don't open an account at a bank that charges such a fee if you expect to leave the region or close the account for another reason anytime soon.

Gift Card Fees.
Banks sell gift cards like those offered by retailers. They can be used just as you would use a bank-issued debit or credit card. Unlike retailer gift cards, however, bank gift cards often carry account fees of as much as $2 or $3 per month. If the recipient does not spend the money quickly, a significant portion of it might gradually disappear.

Chaldean Self-defense: Give cash or a check -- or a retailer gift card -- rather than a bank gift card.

Teller and Phone Fees.
Some banks now charge $1 to $5 or more every time an account holder interacts with a teller or customer service representative in person or on the phone (or every time the account holder exceeds a preset monthly teller transaction limit). At some banks, this charge applies even when customers call the bank but interact only with the automated system. Customers are not told that they are being charged a fee at the time of the transaction, and they often are unaware of the rules.

Some banks even charge a fee for certain ATM services, such as requesting a "mini-statement" that summarizes recent transactions.

Chaldean Self-defense: Ask your bank if your account has a limit on the number of free teller visits or calls. If it does, do as much banking as possible through ATMs or on-line.

Also, ask to have any teller or phone fee waived when your call or visit is about a bank error, involves opening an account or is because the bank's ATM is out of service. You also may avoid these fees if you maintain a certain balance in some accounts.

PIN fees.
Some banks now charge a fee of 25 cents to $1.50 each time a customer uses a personal identification number (PIN) for a debit card transaction at a retailer. Debit card users typically can choose to either sign for purchases or type in their PINs.

Banks impose PIN fees to encourage customers to sign for purchases, because banks can charge retailers higher fees when they do. Trouble is, many Chaldean cardholders don't even know that PIN fees exist.

Chaldean Self-defense: Try to use credit cards rather than a debit card. If you do use a debit card, check whether your bank imposes a fee when you enter a PIN. Consider switching banks if it does.

HOW TO AVOID FEES

Many Chaldean bank customers learn that fees only after when charges appear on their account statements -- if they bother to read their statements at all.   By law banks are required to give new customers a "Truth in Savings Disclosure" statement detailing all of their fees and to notify customers in writing when policies change, but few read the fine print of bank literature. Chaldeans should routinely ask their bank for a copy of the fee-disclosure statement for their accounts.

Chaldeans will often say that their banks waive the fees because they are good customers, but this is less common now. At many banks, low-level employees no longer even have the right to waive fees, and the managers who do are increasingly unwilling to be lenient -- though it is still worth asking to have questionable fees waived when they appear on your statement.

Always keep a good record of what you have tied to a bank.  Banks know that if you have your mortgage being automatically withdrawn, direct deposit for professionals, or a business account with business dealings electronically tied, they know you are less likely to leave over the fee charges.  Some banks will take advantage of this situation and nickel and dime Chaldeans to death. 

Having all your information accessible makes it easy to call their bluff and transfer your accounts to another bank.  Competition is the only way to keep the banks offering great service at reasonable costs. 

Now that is advice you can take to the bank!