Monday, May 25, 2015
Top Entrepreneur News

Sun, 24 May 2015 13:30:00 -0500

A treasure trove of curious tidbits torn from the pages of Backrub's -- oops, we mean Google's -- company history.

Sat, 23 May 2015 17:00:00 -0500

Thou shalt not use serif fonts or more than three complementary colors.

Sat, 23 May 2015 16:00:00 -0500

Alan Regala is so good at home improvement that he reached the $1 million revenue mark his very first year.

Fri, 22 May 2015 23:00:00 -0500

Jim Kelly battled two bouts of cancer, but with his teammates by his side, he was able to stand tall.

Fri, 22 May 2015 22:30:00 -0500

You may think your company is too small to get noticed. Think again.

Fri, 22 May 2015 22:00:00 -0500

Four questions to ask to ensure you're going after the right type of loan.

Fri, 22 May 2015 21:30:00 -0500

A short list of some of my favorite business leaders and where to read their insights.

Fri, 22 May 2015 21:00:00 -0500

When you invent with the market in mind, you set yourself up for success.

Fri, 22 May 2015 20:30:00 -0500

With so much to contend with nowadays, be sure to follow these four tips to make sure eyeballs are directed your way.

Fri, 22 May 2015 20:15:00 -0500

For entrepreneurs to bring the most value to their company, they need to focus on putting the organization and its best team first -- ahead of their own ego.

Fri, 22 May 2015 20:00:00 -0500

Time is money. Ask yourself what you're looking for before you commit to networking events.

Fri, 22 May 2015 19:30:00 -0500

The success of new Americans confirms our faith in what can be achieved with a clear vision and hard work.

Fri, 22 May 2015 19:00:00 -0500

As travelers turn to Twitter to complain about airline snafus and hotel hiccups, businesses are staffing up their social media teams.

Fri, 22 May 2015 18:30:00 -0500

Planning ahead and following up make business travel more beneficial and much less frustrating.

Fri, 22 May 2015 18:15:00 -0500

Learn what type of monetary outlay comes with owning and operating a mobile food business.

Fri, 22 May 2015 18:15:00 -0500

When your company has grown and technology is beyond your means, it's time to get help. Here are three signs.

Fri, 22 May 2015 18:00:00 -0500

Days off are different for harried entrepreneurs but making the most of Saturday and Sunday doesn't mean constant work.

Fri, 22 May 2015 17:30:00 -0500

If the people closest to you won't support you, why should investors?

Fri, 22 May 2015 17:25:00 -0500

Transportation researchers analyzed how long it takes workers in the biggest cities to get to and from work.

Fri, 22 May 2015 17:15:00 -0500

To grow as an organization you need to develop not only the systems and processes that support product demand but also the right people that contribute to its growth.

Fri, 22 May 2015 17:00:00 -0500

From closing the loop to setting your intention, behavioral-science expert and author James Clear explains at an 'Entrepreneur 'event how creating habits can help you get where you want to go.

Fri, 22 May 2015 16:46:00 -0500

There was an overwhelming call to keep them in the classroom.

Fri, 22 May 2015 16:34:00 -0500

Judging by their autographs, Bill Gates is unpretentious, Tim Cook is whip-smart and Mark Zuckerberg is super private, that is if you buy into graphology.

Fri, 22 May 2015 16:30:00 -0500

The most successful franchises have a few strengths and strategies in common. Here's how they play to win.

Fri, 22 May 2015 16:15:00 -0500

The growth of the sharing economy shows no signs of slacking, largely because entrepreneurs continue to innovate.

Fri, 22 May 2015 16:00:00 -0500

As CEO, you have the power to make a difference in how staffers view your workplace. So, exercise that power.

Fri, 22 May 2015 15:30:35 -0500

The additions serve to honor popular requests as well as fill existing gaps.

Fri, 22 May 2015 15:30:00 -0500

What does your audience really want? That's what you need to find out.

Fri, 22 May 2015 15:00:00 -0500

These men and women's strong personal brands act as positive beacons for their companies.

Fri, 22 May 2015 14:32:00 -0500

The New Jersey cook spat on an overly demanding customer's roll.

Fri, 22 May 2015 14:30:00 -0500

Companies have personality traits just like people. What's your company's personality?

Fri, 22 May 2015 14:15:00 -0500

Your clients might not expect to hear these phrases but they can help your bottom line.

Fri, 22 May 2015 14:00:00 -0500

Why you should stop chasing the perfect job and start creating it.

Fri, 22 May 2015 13:30:00 -0500

Business-card swapping isn't about networking. It's about power. Here's how to assert yourself.

Fri, 22 May 2015 13:15:00 -0500

A raft of other promising technology compatriots could quickly join them in a revival of public capital-raising.

Fri, 22 May 2015 13:00:00 -0500

Google enters the e-commerce game while Los Angeles may lift its minimum wage.

Fri, 22 May 2015 13:00:00 -0500

For any of your decisions to have a chance at being successful, the actions that follow those decisions must be founded on confidence.

Fri, 22 May 2015 12:51:28 -0500

About six to seven banks are expected to be part of the facility, according to a report.

Fri, 22 May 2015 12:30:00 -0500

Whether you're just starting out or have been around a while, these counterintuitive career lessons will help you get to the top.

Fri, 22 May 2015 12:00:00 -0500

In order for companies and brands to excel at responding to their audience in a genuine way, they must first excel at social listening.

Fri, 22 May 2015 11:30:00 -0500

Being your own boss requires the discipline to start and finish work, even when nobody else cares if you don't.

Fri, 22 May 2015 11:00:00 -0500

Gratitude, a generous spirit and goals to work toward are the foundation of lifelong happiness. It's all within reach.

Thu, 21 May 2015 23:00:00 -0500

Tutor Doctor has the structure and strong support team that appealed to a 22-year Navy duty officer.

Thu, 21 May 2015 22:30:00 -0500

Have you had a close encounter with the people buying your product?

Thu, 21 May 2015 21:30:00 -0500

The number of startups and investors are exploding due to generous government support and a "cultural renaissance."

Thu, 21 May 2015 21:00:00 -0500

Tech companies, notorious for their lack of female diversity, have the most to gain from encouraging women to pursue tech careers.

Thu, 21 May 2015 20:30:00 -0500

If you ignore these concepts, you risk finding yourself plagued with penalties and poor rankings.

Thu, 21 May 2015 20:29:00 -0500

Josh Newman is known for his work in venture capital, film and fitness – and now, allegedly, for defrauding investors.

Thu, 21 May 2015 20:24:00 -0500

From puppy mills to beauty standards, the themes of these commercials provoked polarizing reactions.

Thu, 21 May 2015 20:15:00 -0500

Those office devices you don't give much thought to may actually be a drain on your resources.

Thu, 21 May 2015 20:00:00 -0500

From establishing industry expertise to giving new life to existing content, long-form content can be extremely beneficial to your content marketing strategy.

Thu, 21 May 2015 19:45:00 -0500

While private market valuations are going through the stratosphere, overall deal making tells a different story.

Thu, 21 May 2015 19:30:00 -0500

The story of my not-so-subtle leap into entrepreneurship, and how you, too, can bust a gutsy move.

Thu, 21 May 2015 19:15:00 -0500

The Small Business Administration is crisscrossing the nation to educate entrepreneurs about how to apply for grants focused on early stage companies.

Thu, 21 May 2015 19:02:44 -0500

It's huge for public transportation users.

Thu, 21 May 2015 19:00:00 -0500

Running low on battery? Follow these tips to juice up quicker than usual.

Thu, 21 May 2015 18:45:00 -0500

Companies are eager for cloud-based HR tech that allows for mobile devices and leverages social media.

Thu, 21 May 2015 18:43:00 -0500

'We made a safety video starring the Internet,' the airline says.

Thu, 21 May 2015 18:40:00 -0500

Like to complain about McDonald's? You'd fit right in at the company's shareholders' meeting.

Thu, 21 May 2015 18:30:00 -0500

Like a business, a relationship needs constant maintenance to be successful.

Thu, 21 May 2015 18:00:00 -0500

Our phone screens have become the main pinboards for our 'favorites' as we mobilize our lives.

Thu, 21 May 2015 17:45:00 -0500

Celebrities can add a lot of value to a burgeoning business, but the wrong partnership can lead to widespread embarrassment and actually devalue your brand.

Thu, 21 May 2015 17:15:00 -0500

The tech entrepreneur and investor explain how he keeps anxiety at bay and his eye on the prize.

Thu, 21 May 2015 17:00:00 -0500

A look at what you should strive for as the leader of your business.

Thu, 21 May 2015 16:45:00 -0500

This entrepreneur uses the 'Daily Gabe' method to stay on track.

Thu, 21 May 2015 16:38:03 -0500

A majority of parents said that working part-time would be the ideal scenario, according to a new study courtesy of Care.com and Yahoo Parenting.

Thu, 21 May 2015 16:35:00 -0500

During each walk, Wag provides owners with a photo of their dog, a map of the walk, and a 'pee-poop' status update.

Thu, 21 May 2015 16:31:00 -0500

Global cosmetics giant L'Oréal is giving its product testing process a high-tech facelift, using 3-D printed human skin.

Thu, 21 May 2015 16:30:00 -0500

The rapper and entrepreneur explains a surprising partnership for SMS Audio and why it helps set his headphone venture apart from rivals.

Thu, 21 May 2015 16:30:00 -0500

There's only one industry positioned properly to penetrate event audiences and move to the next frontier of sponsorship activation.

Thu, 21 May 2015 16:00:00 -0500

With over 302 million active users, Twitter is a platform you need to get in on.

Thu, 21 May 2015 15:30:00 -0500

Focusing on Big Data can be a big waste of time and money if you don't know how to mine it.

Thu, 21 May 2015 15:15:00 -0500

Opportunity makers earn unbreakable trust by adding value, are adept at spotting patterns and constantly explore industries outside their own.

Thu, 21 May 2015 15:00:00 -0500

Bitwage bills itself as the world's first payroll startup to incorporate the cost- and time-saving benefits of Bitcoin.

Thu, 21 May 2015 14:45:00 -0500

Listening to unhappy customers is a hard but valuable way to learn how to improve your business and better than them disparaging you on social media.

Thu, 21 May 2015 14:30:00 -0500

Many entrepreneurs are finding the thrill of making their fortune can only be matched by the gratification of philanthropy that makes a lasting improvement.

Thu, 21 May 2015 14:15:00 -0500

The near ubiquity of smartphones and the irresistible lure of social media are upending how retail is done, all over the world.

Thu, 21 May 2015 14:00:00 -0500

Don't let the memories and money you've invested in your home get taken away. Find out how to protect your home from business creditors.

Thu, 21 May 2015 13:45:00 -0500

While gaming may make you more attentive visually, that might be outweighed by the negative effects on your brain.

Thu, 21 May 2015 13:30:00 -0500

To be at ease with yourself is the greatest success.

Thu, 21 May 2015 13:15:00 -0500

Values are an important part determining how great a company's culture can be.

Thu, 21 May 2015 13:12:00 -0500

An increasing number of privately-held players are going from garage to grocery store in fewer than five years thanks to an erosion of barriers to entry within the food industry.

Thu, 21 May 2015 13:00:00 -0500

The lowdown on helping with other people's problems.

Thu, 21 May 2015 12:30:00 -0500

This entrepreneur uses the 'Daily Gabe' method to stay on track.

Thu, 21 May 2015 12:00:00 -0500

Shifting gears on the weekend to relaxing and rejuvenating activities is essential for any successful entrepreneur.

Thu, 21 May 2015 11:30:00 -0500

There is much more involved in running your own business, but there is also great potential for reward.

Thu, 21 May 2015 10:30:00 -0500

After eight years as an Air Force officer, Tammy Tubbs decided to open up a Papa Murphy's franchise.

Wed, 20 May 2015 23:00:00 -0500

Power poses? Relaxation breathing? They're not just for yogis anymore.

Wed, 20 May 2015 22:30:00 -0500

Regular, expected work and payments are a fine thing -- until they're not.

Wed, 20 May 2015 22:00:00 -0500

Build up your legacy with this advice from the musician behind "God Bless the USA."

Mon, 25 May 2015 07:34:00 -0500

VideoThe latest trailer for the upcoming Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden on 3DS showcases the game’s combat prowess. More of a walkthrough than a typical trailer, Bandai Namco are keen to show off what Arc System Works have been up to with the latest Dragon Ball 3DS game. As such we have [...]

Mon, 25 May 2015 06:30:00 -0500

Sunday night's episode of 'Game of Thrones' was the strongest so far in the fifth season of HBO's fantasy drama.

Mon, 25 May 2015 04:27:00 -0500

Liz runs down the list of Ten Deadly Sins of LinkedIn Networking -- watch out for these!

Sun, 24 May 2015 23:11:00 -0500

Adelle isn't sure how to talk to two young women in her office, Laura and Jane, about their not-quite-professional-enough-for-work attire. Liz spells it out.

Sun, 24 May 2015 22:46:00 -0500

We'll address an important distinction first. One of these things -- The Witcher 3 -- is a video game. The other -- Game of Thrones -- is a TV show (unless otherwise specified, I'm talking about the show). These two media are different, there's no way around it: one is [...]

Sun, 24 May 2015 22:32:00 -0500

You’re so focused on unplugging and decompressing over the next few days that an appointment may have slipped your mind. 3pm on Memorial Day, remember? Sure, Memorial Day weekend is when America pretends that summer has started. And if you’re like 80% of us, that’s where the meaning of the three-day holiday [...]

Fri, 22 May 2015 19:12:00 -0500

What would you do and say if you knew that you couldn't possibly fail? Liz tells a story about a time when she learned that trust is always a better guide to business decision-making than fear is.

Fri, 22 May 2015 16:22:00 -0500

It's one of those little puzzlers about modern politics and public policy that people sometimes latch onto absoutely the most damaging method of trying to achieve their goal. And even when people point out that damage, even point out a better way to achieve that desired goal, they just won't [...]

Fri, 22 May 2015 15:53:00 -0500

And that reason is, distressingly, that he doesn't seem to know much economics. Even while he tries to tell us all the economic policies that should be put in place to make America a better place. Now, I believe there are a number of things that could be done to [...]

Tue, 19 May 2015 22:49:00 -0500

For a company that's not part of Google, Switch Communications' ties to the tech giant run deep. Founded by ex-Googlers, Switch's flagship product provides an external voice solution for businesses that run their work on Google Apps. Google Ventures is an early investor. But six months since Switch's launch, covered in a [...]

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Is Your Bank Stealing From You?
By David Najor :: Friday, August 22, 2008 :: 15710 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!