7 Advantages To Change Management For Your Business

There are plenty of different areas that you are going to have to focus on when you are planning on making some sweeping changes to the way that your business operates. When you have shareholders involved, it means that you need to be able to flawlessly execute a plan that explains each and every detail without losing any of the finance that helps you company to stay afloat. Having a plan for change management can be a surefire way for you to see success in this endeavor. To understand the importance of a service like this, here are a few of the advantages that you can expect when you find the right plan.

One of the biggest ways that a change management plan can help you is by allowing you the time that you need to map everything out. Working with the right professionals can be a huge lifesaver during a time like this. You want to make sure that you are not making choices that are going to hurt your company. This means you have to really consider each and every aspect of what you are about to take on. Not only will your management group help you to enact the right change, but you also will be able to know that all of the remaining resources that you have from the previous incarnation of your company will be able to find new life in the new plan.

Change management is also useful because it gives you an idea for how operations are going to play out on a daily basis once the changes have been put into place. This can help you to know what to expect, but it can also help all of your employees and staff by providing the information needed to make adjustments to the new changes. Stagnancy is never good with a business, but it is also equally as important to be careful with large changes. The more that you prepare in advance for all of the changes, the easier it will be for you to see success.

When it comes to shaking things up for your company it is a good idea to make sure that you know what you are going. Work with the right team for change management in order to see the best levels of satisfaction from your endeavors. Once you find the right team for your needs you will be all set to face the future with a newfound sense of confidence in your plan.

6 Ways to Build a Strong Business Team

One of the things that can help to make your business successful is to have a strong team behind you. However, creating a strong group of employees is not always that easy. Here are six things you can do to build a strong business team.

1. Find Ways to Promote Group Awareness.

For a team to form in the first place, you have to have people who are ready to work with other people. You should try to find ways to get them working together, like setting a goal that everyone in the business should try to reach. This can encourage them to start thinking of themselves as a group.

2. Make It Clear That Every Person Is Important.

A group only works when everyone within that group is seen as being important. If your business team has the mindset that there are certain members who aren’t needed, it can cause major issues with creating a group mindset. You need to make sure that each person’s unique value to the group is recognized.

3. Encourage Strong Relationships.

Ideally, to have the strongest business team, you need team members who like each other. Office parties or work events can really help with this. When people see others as more than just a co-worker, it helps to build bonds that make the group stronger.

4. Build Trust.

Along with helping your employees to get to know each other better, you should also make sure they develop trust in each other. For a team to really work, every member has to trust the other members. Without trust, things can fall apart very quickly. Classic trust games can be used to help with this.

5. Improve Communication.

It should be obvious that communication is essential in a group. You need to ensure that your team members can easily and effectively communicate with each other. This can be done through doing activities that require strong communication skills, such as having a blindfolded person trying to complete a task by following directions from another person who is not blindfolded.

6. Develop Team Problem Solving Skills.

A team that can communicate well and which has members that respect and trust each other is doing pretty good, but there is also a need for group members to be able to solve problems together. You should encourage your team to work together as often as possible so they can develop the skills and processes necessary to solve problems as a group.

If you try out some of these ideas, it can help you to build the strong business team you want. With a strong team, you’ll find that it can be much easier to accomplish business goals.

The Advantages Of Factoring

If you own a business and are looking into options to gain money for paying bills or a business venture, you may not be aware of all of the options out there for you. Your first thought is probably to call a bank about getting a loan, but for various reasons you may not want to go that route yet. One option you may not have heard of, though, is factoring.

This option, where you sell your unpaid invoices to a company for cash, has its advantages and disadvantages, but especially if you own a relatively new business or need money fast, the advantages can significantly outweigh the disadvantages.

The first and most obvious advantage is an improved cash flow. Instead of having stacks of invoices sitting and waiting to be paid, you can get rid of those and get cash relatively quickly in return. This will allow for a variety of things, such as paying your bills and employees on time, getting rid of the potential clutter of unpaid invoices piling up in your file cabinet and expanding your business by putting the excess profits into a new product or piece of machinery.

Another advantage to using factoring for faster income is that it allows you to offer extended payment terms to your customers. Especially if your business hasn’t been around long enough to save up money for a rainy day, you may not be in a position currently to offer payment schedules to your customers, and that may be driving them away because they can go to a business that will give them an invoice and time to pay it off. This way, you will be able to offer those time payments without fear of not having the money in time to do what you need to do with it.

Factoring is also easier to apply for than a loan, especially if the customers you serve are creditworthy. The company you sell your invoices to is more concerned with your customers’ ability to pay their invoices than they are with how you handle your money, because your customers are the company’s source of income, not you. This means that you don’t have to have amazing credit or large collateral to put down on a loan.

The final advantage to using this method over a loan is that you will get your funds more quickly – usually within a week or two. Getting a loan from a bank could take you months, and if you have customers to pay, you may not have the luxury of time. All of these reasons are why factoring is important to look into.

PO financing for Large Customer Orders

When a distributer, wholesale company, or startup receives a large customer order, it is a chance to make a decent profit and get its company name on the map. However, when cash flow issues prevent a business from being able to accept a large order, opportunities pass and customers may turn to the competition for their needs. Businesses that receive large customer orders but lack the cash to fill them should consider PO financing as a solution to their financial troubles.

Gross Profits Will Not Be Affected By Interest

PO financing may be a better choice for businesses that need to fill a large customer order because the money is interest free. When financing is secured, the lender offers a letter of credit to a business’ manufacturer so that raw materials and supplies can be purchased and manufacturing costs can be paid. However, unlike a loan, the business does not repay this money on a monthly basis or pay interest. Instead, the lender collects its money from the customer when the invoice is paid and then returns the remaining profit to the company. The larger the order, the bigger the profit, and the business owner does not have to worry about paying exorbitant interest rates on a bank loan. It is important to note, however, that purchase order lenders may charge certain fees depending on the type of transaction.

Customer Satisfaction May Result in Repeat Large Orders

When a business fulfills a large order successfully, customer satisfaction increases. As a result, it is likely the customer will return to the same business for future large orders as well. Businesses that use PO financing may be able to secure 80%-100% of the funds they need for a large order, which allows them to fill and ship it quickly. In some cases, being able to fill a large order may give a small business or startup the boost they need to move into a larger market, and because this type of financing isn’t the same as a long-term bank loan, the business will be allowed to expand without carrying outstanding debt.

Purchase order financing may be a viable financial solution for companies that do not want to risk losing valuable customers and profit as the result of being unable to fill large orders. Being able to do so may make or break a startup or ensure the survival of a company experiencing a temporary cash flow. Business owners should review the details of this type of financing carefully before deciding to commit in order to make the best choice possible for the longevity of their company.

Your Checklist for Applying for a Small Business Loan

Plan on applying for a small business loan in the near future? Proper preparation is how you can give your chances of being approved a serious boost. While loan officers like to see applicants with good credit, those who have filled out all necessary paperwork and are prompt to respond to messages, going to every length to be well prepared is also something that makes them smile. Check out this checklist as you set yourself and your business up for success.

  1. Check Your Credit Rating

Get a hold of the most recent copy of your business and your personal credit report. Doing so lets you know what loan officers will see as they’re deciding whether to approve you for a loan. Credit reports are available from TransUnion, Equifax and Experian, all of which offer you one free credit report a year. Once you get your reports, check to make sure they’re accurate before you apply for a loan.

  1. Gather Your Documents

Know that getting all of the necessary documents for your business loan is often a momemetal task, so prepare yourself accordingly. What makes this step so time consuming is that some items will need to be notarized while others have to be originals rather than photocopies. Examples of common documents you’ll need include:

  • Income statements
  • Business and personal income tax returns
  • Payroll records
  • Profit & Loss statements
  • Business premises leases
  • Intellectual property rights (copyrights and patents)
  • Evidence of accounts receivable
  1. Complete the Loan Application

Be sure you read over the application from front to back, checking both sides of the page. You’ll want to pay especially close attention to the annual percentage rate you’ll be charged. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything you don’t understand, and get a lawyer to look over the application should you feel it’s necessary.

  1. Draft Your Background Statements

Even if you don’t have to compile a personal and business background statement for your loan, it’s a good idea to do so anyway. Lenders can use this information to see how much of an expert you are in your industry. Make sure you include your educational background, professional licenses and certificates with your statements, and include your work history as well.

  1. Create a Financial Statement and Business Plan

As you’re creating your statement, be sure to show financial stability and that you can continue to operate a steady business. Your business plan should have a historic component, details that show what makes your business competitive and how you plan on using your business loan.

Be honest with every step of the loan. Remember that you’re not only trying to qualify for a loan, you’re also trying to prove you can grow your business with the proceeds of the loan.

Rejected by Banks? Try These Business Funding Options

You have the perfect idea for a new business and a solid business plan. You are an industry expert with experience and a unique vision for your potential business. But then, your small business loan application gets denied at the bank. Now what? All is not lost. In today’s world, there are many other options for business funding that go beyond what the banks can offer. Obtaining an SBA loan, a merchant cash advance or franchise financing may help your business get started.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan

Many businesses starting out have the possibility of going to the government for business funding. The SBA is a government organization that assists small businesses with starting up, funding and growing. Take advantage of this supportive government agency by applying for a SBA loan. Many SBA loan recipients may have not been able to meet the requirements for a traditional bank loan. The SBA provides lenders with a guarantee from the government, making brand new business owners less of a borrowing risk. With an SBA loan, businesses can receive financing with lower interest rates and longer terms than traditional bank loans. This means your final cost can be lower, and your repayment period can be stretched out to help your business thrive those first few important years.

Merchant Cash Advance

Another way to bypass the banks is to consider a merchant cash advance. A merchant cash advance is a way to get business funding, fast. Once the money is disbursed, and the business is up and running, the lender can begin to get repayment through a percentage of your business’ daily credit card sales. For new businesses that may not have assets or collateral, payment is deferred until operations have commenced. For entrepreneurs who have been unable to work with traditional creditors, this option allows your business to incorporate loan repayment into your budget easily.

Franchise Financing

Some new business owners elect to open their own branch of an established franchise. Sometimes, the franchisor may offer loan assistance to a new owner. If corporate isn’t there to help with the capital, however, new operators can utilize franchise financing. Registering on the SBA Franchise registry can assist potential borrowers with finding the right loan. Additionally, there are more new lenders now starting to offer funding exclusively to new or expanding franchise owners.

As you consider your options for financing your new venture, you may find helpful, creative funding options in different places. An SBA loan, a merchant cash advance or franchise financing may be the perfect way for your business to get going.

The Ins and Outs of Startup Loans

The beauty of a new business is its innovation; it provides a new product, idea or way of offering a service to clients who need and appreciate what they receive. The problem with a new business is, unfortunately, the exact same thing. Innovation doesn’t usually start out with a huge bankroll. Startups are scene by many as get rich quick plans, when in reality lots of time, effort and money go into getting a business off the ground. In many cases, startup loans are what provide the capital to go along with the time and effort entrepreneurs are already investing.

Financing Specifically for Startups

The economy relies heavily on the success of small businesses, and this is not lost on many financing companies. SBA loans can be used by existing business but have terms that are designed for new companies that are just getting started. The interest rates are fairly low so repayment isn’t going to bankrupt your business once it gets going. In addition, these loans are typically secured through collateral; either the borrower’s personal home or any assets being acquired with the money being lent will be included in the terms. This allows people with bad credit to still apply for a loan.

Some startup loans can only be used to purchase real estate or necessary equipment, while others can provide working capital to a company that just needs help with overhead. The amount of money available through this type of lending varies greatly, depending on qualification and the terms of repayment.

Alternative Money Sources

In many cases, loans designed specifically for startups can take a while to process, making alternative options better for people in need of quick access to capital. Fortunately, there are still a handful of ways to borrow money if you find yourself in this situation. If you already own equipment, you might be able to use the equity to fund the company. Alternatively, if your plan was to borrow money so you could buy equipment, it’s very likely you can just lease that machinery until you’ve made enough profit to buy the bigger items that your startup needs.

Startup loans are widely accessible and, in many cases, have good and reasonable terms meant to make things easier for the business owner. At the end of the day, it often comes down to the quality of the business concept to make sure these loans are indeed beneficial. If you have a good enough idea, you can likely secure the money to get your startup going.

Small Business Financing Options

So you want to start your own business. Or maybe you already have and are now trying to turn it into your own successful business. You might even have a profitable small business already and are just attempting to expand it. Whatever the case, you’re probably facing the daunting task of getting enough financing to really get your startup off the ground. Fortunately, there are a number of funding options, and while they each have their own challenges, most companies use a variety of sources to acquire the necessary finances.

Go Solo

No matter how much you wish it wasn’t the case, chances are you’ll have to provide a significant amount of your own funding, at least initially. Ideally, you should have enough faith in your idea to be comfortable investing your money in it. So open a savings account, apply for zero interest credit cards or business credit cards, and even consider selling any assets you can live without.

Keep It in the Family

You might also consider asking for a loan from close friends and family members who are in a position to help. They might even be willing to do it interest free. Just be careful not to take advantage of anyone or risk damaging relationships.

Turn to Angels

While there’s always the possibility that you’ll win the lottery or inherit an unexpected fortune, you probably won’t be able to fund your small business completely on your own. Wealthy business people known as angel investors may be a good option to turn to. As long as they feel your startup has promise, these individuals will often agree to provide the necessary funding. They typically require a percentage of your profits, but it may be worth it in the long run.

Borrow From the Bank

Even if you don’t qualify for a standard bank loan, there are numerous lending and financing options available. Online financing sites offer short-term loans quickly and efficiently, although the interest required may be extremely high. Other companies provide loans specifically to startup business owners struggling to get funding, and many focus on certain groups, from commercial real estate buyers and medical professionals trying to start a practice to companies working on mergers and acquisitions.

Whatever phase you’re in of starting your own small business, options are available for your financing needs. Talk to potential investors, do your research, and make sure you understand the pros and cons to each option you consider. You, too, can be one of the success stories.

Why You Should Refinance Business Debt

Since the recession, a growing number of banks refuse to secure small business loans, leaving a growing number of small business owners to find alternative ways to finance their startup companies. For many, the alternative has been using credit cards — a short-term finance option — to cover long-term business investments, resulting in more business owners finding themselves too deep in debt to grow their company. If you’re in a similar situation, it might help to know you can refinance business debt, which has several benefits.

It Could Improve Your Credit Score

When you consolidate your business credit card and any other short-term debt, the result is often a better credit score. This is because the consolidation reduces your credit utilization ratio. This ratio is how much credit card debt you have in comparison to your available credit, and it can affect your credit score by up to 30 percent. By lowering the ratio, you’re lowering the percentage of your score affected, resulting in a better number.

You Will See Lower Interest Rates

High interest rates leave you paying off debt for a longer period of time. If your interest rate is 10 percent and you have a monthly payment of $1,000, only $900 of the payment goes toward the actual loan amount. When you refinance business debt and decrease your interest rate percentage by even a few points, it adds up to the ability to pay your loan off sooner.

You Can Focus on Your Business

When you have short-term debt, slow sales or clients who are late to pay could leave you worried you won’t have your monthly loan payment. Because refinancing consolidates your debts into one long-term loan, you will have a lower monthly bill, leaving you with more working capital to put toward payroll, inventory or other important business necessities.

It Is Easier to Track

Maybe your company has been staying afloat with the help of multiple credit cards and merchant cash advances. If so, you probably realize the stress involved with remembering multiple payment amounts and due dates. When you refinance, you will only need to keep track of one payment amount, one due date and one interest rate, leaving you with time to focus on more important things.

If you’re tired of watching your business — and by extension, you — drown in debt, it’s time to find a solution. Refinance business debt to keep your head above water and gain the ability to further grow your business.

Why Business Credit Is so Important

It might sound like common sense, but if you have good business credit, your business will be given credit. This doesn’t just refer to a line of credit or financing, but having healthy credit inspires confidence in your company. The principle is not limited to potential lenders, but includes partners, suppliers, investors, and in the case of publicly-traded companies, stock analysts. Think of the credit for your company as the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. It has implications, in the minds of others, of how well you run your company, and in turn, how reliable your product or service is.

Strong business credit is necessary if you are applying for financing. While there are loans designed for individuals and companies with spotty credit, these are often lower amounts at higher interest rates. A solid long-term loan with low premiums and reasonable interest rates translates into greater cash flow for your company and more money you can use for growing your business. It is estimated that 45% of businesses are turned down for financing because of less than stellar credit, so focus on your credit health by ensuring debts and suppliers are paid off promptly.

Every small business wants to attract investors and quality suppliers. These investors and suppliers are likely to look at your business credit rating before making a deal. They want to see that your financials are clean and well-managed and that you can pay for goods and services promptly. If you have strong credit, suppliers may ship you things you need in advance with a payment plan that will give you time, if needed, to use the money for your company.

If you should experience a financial headwind or need emergency financing, a strong business credit rating will make it easier to get a loan for a large amount of money quickly. If your company is a ship with a strong steel hull, you are protected in a storm much more effectively than if you are sailing in a rickety raft and stopping up the holes. When a storm comes along, the raft will be overturned, while the ship will keep sailing. Think of good and bad credit as the ship versus the raft, and you’ll have an idea of why it is important to maintain strong credit. Your cash flows might be strong, but if business slows down, having healthy credit will enable you to ride out the storm more easily and achieve your company’s long-term financial goals. Make establishing good credit a priority in your company from the very beginning.