Category Archives: Equipment Financing

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Join a Small Business Association

Business networking

Business networking can be a valuable tool in your business survival and success. One of the most cost effective ways to build strong relationships with your customers, suppliers and other industry stakeholders is to join the right type of association.

Join associations that your customers, or potential customers, belong to; as well as other industry and business stakeholders (such as suppliers, competitors, your community). Also look at associations where the end customers participate if your customers sell to others. Typically the cost of joining an industry association is not that high; and is, in fact, relatively inexpensive when you consider that you will be able to directly reach customers (and often reach them in a way that is more effective and meaningful in building relationships).

Once you’ve joined, you need to attend association meetings and participate in association events. To be even more effective: join the association board or an association committee.

In addition, you will gain valuable contacts and have better access to business resources for your industry. The benefits to members of joining associations include:

Excellent ability to connect with customers and other stakeholders in your industry;
Association membership will also provide you opportunities for contact with potential customers and with suppliers (who may provide you with referrals to prospective customers).

Industry educational programs:

Access to hard-to-find industry research and statistics (these often include invaluable benchmark studies and business performance metrics).

Industry conferences:

Group discounts on business services (such as cell phone programs, merchant discount programs, gas discounts, courier programs, and more).

Supporting the industry association to act officially or unofficially as lobbyists for the industry they represent to all levels of government.

Some industry associations have certification programs for individuals (such as the certified sales professional program) and for companies (such as programs that certify companies that have achieved a certain professional and/or business level).

And, often membership in an association will give you access to the membership list (your new contacts list) once you become a member.

Other business associations to consider are your local Chamber of Commerce, your Board of Trade, the Small Office Home Office (SoHo) organization and whatever else is available in your area. These business associations provide you with a broader business network and business community; you need to assess whether or not you can build a partnership or alliance with other business owners for concentrated effort and success (for example, a local business improvement initiative could be undertaken with a group you meet through one of the business associations you belong to).

Of those business owners that join associations, many owners will attend association meetings or events, listen to the speaker, and depart as soon as humanly possible. While they will hopefully have learned something from the speaker, they will not have benefited in the most important way – building their own personal business network or business community. When you build a strong personal business network; your business will benefit from it.

In addition to industry and trade associations, you need to consider special interest group associations (such as women in leadership; professional groups – such as certified general accountant, sales executives etc.). Those associations might not include your customers, but they certainly will include competitors (who you need to learn about and understand). Consider interest group associations as your own small business advisory; ask for help, for information, for access to resources.

Joining an industry or small business association is a highly effective small business strategy and needs to be on your list of top marketing tactics. Once you’ve joined, you need to attend association meetings and participate in association events. To be even more effective: join the association board or an association committee. In addition to industry and trade associations, you need to consider special interest group associations (such as women in leadership; professional groups – such as certified general accountant, sales executives etc.). Of those business owners that join associations, many owners will attend association meetings or events, listen to the speaker, and depart as soon as humanly possible.

If you don’t join your industry or small business association, you can be sure that one, or many, of your competitors will. Do you really want your competitors to have access to your customers and to be able to build a strong relationship through association participation?


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Increase Your Cashflow

Top Notch Loan Alternatives

We all know the importance of maintaining a positive cashflow from month to month if we want to avoid a liquidity crisis, and all the misery that entails.

There is a lot more to cashflow management than just avoiding a crisis. Actively striving to increase your cashflow can –

  • Make it easier to plan and fund future growth and expansion
  • Reduce the amount of fixed capital you need at any one time
  • Give you the flexibility to move quickly and effectively in response to market changes

The key to successful cashflow management is to optimise the amount of cash available to you at any one time. This means increasing your cashflow as much as you can, without jeopardising other strategies. This means that you have to find a balance to suit you.

Credit

It is also important that you don’t impose too strict a regime, otherwise you could drive away customers, and they won’t want to refer you! You need to find the right balance to suit you and your situation.

The first, and most important, step is to establish a system for tracking and controlling credit. The faster you receive a payment from your customers, the more cash you will have at your disposal; therefore, it is important to bill early, and chase up customers who have failed to pay.

Payments

At the same time, you should also take advantage of any incentives your creditor offers you. If your cashflow will allow it, this is a useful option to have.

Prices

While it is important to keep your prices competitive, you also need to make sure you are increasing your prices to cover any increase in costs; or else your cashflow will suffer. Remember, most customers tend to expect an annual rise in prices, provided it is within an acceptable range.

Call the experts

The key to successful cashflow management is to optimise the amount of cash available to you at any one time. This means increasing your cashflow as much as you can, without jeopardising other strategies. At the same time, you should also take advantage of any incentives your creditor offers you. If your cashflow will allow it, this is a useful option to have.

This is an area in which we have a great wealth of experience. If you are struggling, or would just like a helping hand, please feel free to contact us to discover and arrange a meeting how much we can help improve your cashflow.


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Basic Equipment Financing

Basic Equipment Financing

Every startup business needs some basic equipment to get going

Make the deal as formal as possible if you choose to ask for financing from friends or family. Both of you should sign a promissory note with the amount of the loan, the interest to be paid and the repayment schedule. This way each of you knows what you agreed upon, and you can avoid misunderstandings.

You can also get financing by selling ownership interest in your business. If you sell ownership, the structure of your business will be more complicated.

Every startup business needs some basic equipment to get going, along with some financing. Depending on the kind of business you are thinking of, you can start with a computer, a printer and internet connection, or you may have to buy expensive equipment. Here are some tips about how to finance your business.

The first thing you need is a business plan if you ask for a loan from a bank. Banks want to make sure you know exactly how to make money from the business you intend to start, and you will repay the loan. The business plan has to convince the agent that there is need for the service you are thinking of, you know who your target is, and what is the market share you expect to have.

If you ask for a loan from a bank, the first thing you need is a business plan. Banks want to make sure you know exactly how to make money from the business you intend to start, and you will repay the loan.

The positive side is probably your friends won’t ask for a business plan before they give you the money, you will have to pay a smaller interest and they may even be indulgent if you are late with a payment. The negative side is that they may feel they own your business to some extent.

Every startup business needs some basic equipment to get going, along with some financing. If the business you are looking to start needs an office, furniture, cars, staff or special equipment, your money will certainly not be enough, and you will have to get financing from somewhere.

Home-based businesses can start with very little financing. If the business you are looking to start needs an office, furniture, cars, staff or special equipment, your money will certainly not be enough, and you will have to get financing from somewhere.