When companies get short of cash, factoring can quite often be the short term solution to their problems. Factoring is selling your accounts receivables to a lending company. Once a product or service is shipped or a process is completed a company will issue an invoice. This invoice along with proof of service such as a signed work slip or shipping record, can be sent to a factoring company. In turn, you will receive anywhere from 70% to 90% of the invoice amount. These funds are usually wired into your account the same day. When the invoice is paid by your customer it goes directly to factoring account. The advanced amount along with any fees are deducted and the balance the received amount is wired into your corporate account. So factoring is kind of like getting paid COD for your work. This can really help cash flow of a struggling company. The downside is that factoring is not cheap. Interest rates can range from 1% to 3% per month. This however can be a non issue for a struggling company where the advancement of these funds far outweighs the cost. Care should also be taken to make sure the factored receivables do not age past 90 days, else the factoring companies will want to get paid back 100% of the factored amount and this will leave you with a potentially troublesome situation. If you have an existing loan with a traditional bank who currently holds a first position securing interest in your company assets, including your accounts receivables, this can be a very tricky negotiation in order to get factoring lined up. A lot times, the use of a consultant can be a wise decision.
As President of Genesis Turnaround LLC, I have just been elected to the Executive Board of Directors of the Michigan Chapter of Turnaround Management Association. This is a three year commitment, and I look forward to serving our chapter in any way I can. The TMA is a terrific organization that specializes in the practice of working with troubled companies, lenders, and law firms to hopefully save those companies. I am honored to be elected. I will work hard to bring forward the best practices of our industry, and share in our successes. Thank you for your support.
If your company is in trouble, and you own your own building you have a few options available to you. If you have an outstanding loan on the building, you maybe upside down with respect to loan to value ratios. This means you owe more than the building is currently worth. A sale leaseback is finding someone willing to purchase the building from the bank and then leasing it to you. While the sale will most likely be a short sale (less than the outstanding loan amount), your bank will be open to this deal, because it lowers their risk. Done correctly, it should also lower your overall monthly expenses related to the real estate portion of your business. A good turnaround professional has knowledge of many parties interested in purchasing and leasing your building back to you.
To begin your marketing plan you must be able to answer the following questions:
What do you do?
What are your goals for tomorrow? Next month? Next quarter?
What is your target market?
How is what you do different than the status quo? How are you unique?
What is your biggest sales opportunity?
What image do you want to portray?
What are your competitors doing?
Only after you examine your answers to these questions can you formulate a solid marketing plan. Effective marketing doesn't just send out literature about your company, it gets you orders. Your marketing efforts should be focused, and have measurable results to determine whether it was successful or not.
In many ways, running a business today is far more complicated than it was 30 years ago. The Internet has changed the way business is done. Even if your business is not active on the Internet, you still need some kind of professional presence on the Internet, and you must be able to communicate effectively through the Internet. Most companies use the Internet for a large portion of their customer support and customer communications. Most of us use the web to get our news, and educate ourselves in the ways of modern business. Watching webinars, reading white papers, watching conference presentations, and reading blog posts such as this one allow us to constantly learn how to stay ahead of the curve. We can monitor our competition's websites in order to make sure your site processes are leading edge.
Since the Internet has become one of the primary ways in which we interactive with people it is important that your information be fresh and relevant. While you do not need a fancy site to be well received, a poorly designed site or site that hasn't been updated in five years can actually be detrimental. If your site is weak, you should upgrade it or get rid of it. You can use email blasters such as Constant Contact, MailChimp, or others to send out monthly newsletters to customers and potential clients. To be successful, you must stay in touch with your client base on a regular basis without being annoying. You may consider using Twitter and Facebook Fan Pages to seek out new business. Some small businesses have moved to using these social sites exclusively. If done correctly, these can bring in more people than an expensive magazine ad.
Getting a grasp on the Internet can do a lot for your business. Try to be friendly, and professional, but personal stories and experiences are also encouraged. This form of marketing is truly becoming an art form in itself. Although the Internet is a big place, people still engage businesses and other people on a very personal level. There is a wealth of information out there on how to use Twitter or Facebook to help your business. Many people have successfully done this themselves, but if you would like help getting set up and rolling, don't feel afraid to call in an experienced professional. Most companies fail to accomplish what their website and marketing program are supposed to accomplish. Marketing through the Internet takes a serious commitment on your part. The trick is to just go do it.