Getting Your Head Around Business Finance Options

factoringDeveloped countries have not exactly experienced a great deal of placid stability in its economy over the past few years. The global economy catastrophe of several years back has created a new business climate in developed nations such as the US, UK, Spain, Greece and Australia.

The climate, sadly, is a little more difficult to navigate than was the case in easier times.

Mainly, entrepreneurs need access to loan funds in order to run business operations. Obviously, loans are required in order to actually fund a business in the absence of significant cash.

For those wishing to become involved in the small business world, an Australian entrepreneur must looking into business finance options. For those wondering about the options available to them, a little research may reveal there are more options available.

Traditional financial institutions such as banks are an excellent source of long term and short term loans. They can issue credit cards and lines of credit. Even asset financing and equipment leasing options are available.

While it is true lending has been tightened somewhat it would be inaccurate to state there are no options available. Finding access to loan funding is a possibility and it sometimes just requires creative financing, such as looking into factoring or debtor finance.

Probably the most common misconception some prescribe to would be financial institutions are the only source of lending. This is not correct as there are private sector lending sources available within the industry the business is based.

Retailers and suppliers, for example, can offer lines of credit to those who may be in need of such financing. Often, these lines of credit make business finance management a lot easier.

The suppliers and retailers would be interested in helping those running a business succeed for a fairly simple reason. If the business does well, the suppliers and retailers stand to make more money.

The main thing to recognize right now is that business financial funding still exists. It is just a matter at looking around at your finance options for the best option for you.

Two Often Overlooked Business Building Tips

Office lifeBusiness is all about acquiring customers and keeping customers. With that, let’s look at two ways you can boost your overall sales in no time!

Keeping Customers Happy:

When you keep your customers happy, you will always have customers coming back purchasing your products and patronizing your services. Your sales and profits will then stay in the black, so to speak, especially when your satisfied present customers bring in new customers, thanks to their role as champions of your business.

Set Clear Expectations

Keep in mind that there is a crucial difference between customer service – what you, the seller or supplier, provide to your customers – and customer satisfaction – what the customer perceives about your business regardless of the level of customer service provided. The key in combining these two customer-related aspects of running a business lies in two actions, namely:

  • Developing mutually satisfying relationships with your customer.
  • Meeting your customer’s expectations.

In this regard, you must set clear expectations regarding your processes in selling your products and services to your customers to preclude them from defining their own expectations. Always remember that your customers will hold you to your commitments so be clear about what you promise to deliver, when you promise to deliver it, and what the consequences are in case of non-compliance on your part.

A valuable resource for more on meeting customer expectations that I recently came across can be found here.

Generating More Sales:

Sales are the lifeblood of a profitable business – the higher the sales, the higher the amount of cash inflow and, hence, the higher the profits can be. Indeed, boosting sales is one of the most crucial aspects of running a successful business! Here is a tip to help you achieve such a result:

Sell to Your Existing Customers

Keep in mind that it is easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to convince a new customer to buy the product or to patronize the service mainly because the former already trusts your business – and we know about the importance of trust in the marketplace. Increasing sales by selling to existing customers can involve the following techniques:

  • Bundling products for a special price.
  • Offering inside information about sales, discounts and promos via email and via your on-the-ground sales staff.
  • Offering customer rewards.
  • Giving free samples of new products and services.
  • Providing regular customers with differentiated services that leave little doubt about their status as valued clients.

If you are a person that has a thirst for knowledge and a desire to get better, a parting piece of advice is to always be learning. There are some fantastic resources available online from any country that you are residing in. For my Australian visitors, be sure to visit www.AustralianBusinessHub.com.au for a regular fix of business-building advice.

Here’s to a profitable business.

Finding a Great Home Builder

I was spending a lot of time on the internet, looking at the different prescott lakes real estate and I thought that while there were a lot of nice homes that would fit my family and I just fine, there was nothing compared to what our style was. I thought it would be good to start looking for a great home builder that would be able to help us build the home of our dreams. My husband thought that we would not be able to afford a home that would be good for us, but I told him that since we were going to buy a house that was within our budget, we would definitely be able to afford to build a house. I ended up calling one of the area’s best home builders and set up a meeting where we could get together and talk about the wants of our family and the needs that we have to have in a house as well.

The builder said that we could build the house for a cheaper price than what we could buy one for, but it seemed like it was going to be a big deal if we wanted to add a few extra features. It was going to be a lot more if we wanted to have a hot tub on the second floor balcony, right off our master suite. I thought it would be better if we put the hot tub off the back deck, that we were planning on building eventually. It was more important to be able to get the house that we wanted first, then add the extras on our own later. We found a great lot where we wanted to build our home and loved the way it came out in the end.

Is Becoming a Business Analyst the Right Fit For You?

The job description of a business analyst is tough to define because business analysts do so many things!  This is, of course, a good thing if you’re looking to become a business analyst as demand for good workers in this field remain high.  This article seeks to provide an overview of what you can expect.

At its most basic level, a business analyst (or BA for short) is tasked with thinking critically about how to improve their business.  That is, compared to someone in sales, marketing, accounting or finance (where there is a somewhat well-defined and repeatable set of tasks each week), a business analyst helps to evaluate and solve broader business issues, thereby helping the business run faster, more profitably or with less confusion.  In this way, you can think of a BA (or a team of BA’s) as a “SWAT team” or as internal consultants who are targeting a clearly defined set of problems.

Depending on your personality, education and work experience, this line of work can range from dynamic and fun to frustrating and stressful, so best to understand up front what typically makes for a good BA.  As a general rule, a qualified BA is strong with numbers and analysis.  They could be provided with a series of data about any aspect of the business and be expected to organize it and identify trends or inaccuracies.  They would be able to generate reports, graphs, charts and other visual aids to help communicate their finds.   Tools of the trade include mastery of spreadsheet programs (like Microsoft Excel).

A Business Analyst can also be expected to work well in a team environment and have solid communication skills.  Rarely do jobs in business allow for solitary work and a BA is no exception.  Usually, they are part of a larger ‘project team’ and would report up to a manager or team lead.  As they work closely with other team members, a good BA would be a solid communicator both verbally and through email, and be able to clearly and succinctly summarize their thoughts and status to their fellow team members and their manager.

Common roles for BAs might include strategic planning, process improvement, or studying of the company’s interaction with the Information Technology (IT) department.  Really, the specific role could be ANYTHING related to the business… so as you think about pursuing a job as a BA, it’s better to focus more on the technical/ analytical skills and dynamic team environment that is quite common for jobs of this nature.

With this general background of a job as a Business Analyst you should be able to pick up more examples and get an even better sense as you browse job listings or otherwise pursue schooling that leads down this path.  Best of luck in your career ahead!