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Do you really know who you are giving credit to?

One of the major challenges facing small businesses is customer invoices going unpaid for weeks on end and causing significant cash flow issues. It is no wonder, then, that owners of these businesses might be hesitant to give credit to customers when they don’t know that they will ever see the money they are owed.

Think about it – do you really know who you’re giving credit to? How do you know if they have the resources to pay it back? Is this going to be money you and your company never see again? You would probably only offer credit to a client that is having cash flow problems of their own, so there is a real risk that you might not see the money again. At the very least, it’s important to assess the credit risk of new customers. (more…)

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5 Lessons ‘The Godfather’ Can Teach Us About Running A Business

5 Lessons "The Godfather" Can Teach Us About Running A BusinessLove him or hate him, you must admit that Vito Corleone, head of the fictional New York crime family in the film The Godfather, adeptly built a thriving “business.” Nefarious goals and bloody outcomes aside, what can we learn from him about effective business operations?

1. Branding is in the details. The Godfather without strong branding would have been nothing more than a petty criminal with an annoying voice. Instead, he built a rock solid brand, a reputation that was paramount to his success. No detail went unnoticed in establishing his powerful presence, from his dark attire, to the mood lighting in his office, to the theatrical application of that gravelly mumble. In today’s business environment, branding is the difference between being remembered and getting lost in the fray. A successful brand should be carefully crafted and bolstered with attention to detail similar to Corleone’s, including staff selection, wardrobe choices, even the font in your emails.

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4 Recovery and Restructuring Solutions Used By Small Businesses

By Keith Tully

In some situations a bit of creativity will be needed to facilitate a turnaround and get your company back to operating in a profitable manner. However, more often than not you won’t need to be an innovator to save your business, you’ll just need to consider some of the commonly overlooked recovery and restructuring options that are applicable and readily available:

1. Using Assets as Leverage to Obtain Financing

Even if you have poor credit you may be able to obtain financial assistance by using some of your assets (i.e. – equipment, inventory, real estate, etc.) as collateral in obtaining approval for a secured loan. However if you were to default on such an agreement then the lender would potentially have the right to seize the assets you used as a security, so keep that in mind before you put your home on the line.

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4 Alternative Sources of Funding Your Small Business

The increasing bankruptcies or dissolution among small businesses has mirrored the decreasing confidence of small entrepreneurs have had in the already sluggish economy. Since the start of recession, securing funding for a small business is more difficult than ever. One example is getting credit to start a business venture. Since lenders and investors know the fact that small businesses are more prone to risks, they are getting wiser and stricter on who will be eligible to lend credit. This leads small business owners to pursue alternative funding options and other sources of funding that are often overlooked but might prove to be the start of smooth sailings for a business.

  • Home Equity Loans

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How to Finance Your Business in an Emergency

While big business may have access to bank lines of credit and even government bailouts, small businesses usually don’t have the same financing resources. When an emergency strikes and you need cash, you need to understand how to finance your business through a rough period.

Emergencies may include major equipment failures, serious cash flow shortages due to customer defaults, unexpected lawsuits, tax liabilities, or a myriad of other situations. Regardless of the cause, you need to find cash fast to rectify any situation that threatens the stability of your business. Following are some creative methods to get financing quickly.
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Should You Use a Personal Credit Card for Business Expenses?

As a small business owner, many responsibilities fall on your shoulders. And, as time is money, you probably multi-task to increase your efficiency whenever possible – such as when running errands and making purchases.

There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of multi-tasking to increase efficiency. But there’s one practice you’ll want to avoid – using your personal credit card for business expenses. Many professionals have done this at one time or another, so it probably seems like there’s nothing wrong with this practice but there are four clear advantages to keeping your personal and professional purchases separate. (more…)

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5 Tips on Getting Out of Business Debt Fast

Today’s credit market has become a water-tight financial area where there is no room for delinquency, even for a penny. Creditors take to arms if they find a single default in the monthly payments and go all out to seize every last cent these borrowers may have. As a result, entrepreneurs both big and small are struggling to make monthly loan payments for their start-ups while simultaneously keeping their business above water so that they don’t have to declare bankruptcy.

This is the time for entrepreneurs to begin revisiting their business strategy and customize their daily activities to suit their requirements in order to stay afloat financially. Entrepreneurs should be at the forefront of these developments and lead others to the right direction by actively engaging in the following six things: (more…)

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