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13 Nov
Thanksgiving Through the Years

Thanksgiving Through the Years

The first Thanksgiving in Plymouth Colony which is now Massachusetts, was in 1621.  The last Thursday in November was declared a national day of thanksgiving by Abraham Lincoln  200 years later.  In 1941 Congress made Thanksgiving an official national holiday. A day of “thanks” and “giving”.

Thanksgiving has traditionally been a day of family and friends getting together for a meal and fellowship.  A day to stop and reflect on all of the blessings we share.  In 1876, football was introduced as a tradition.  Yale and Princeton played the first American Football game on Thanksgiving day.  People were off from work and were able to go see football. It was not until 1934 that the first football game was broadcast.  The Detroit Lions played the Chicago Bears at University of Detroit Stadium and a new tradition, which later became a television broadcast.

Thanksgiving has changed over the years.  While many of the original traditions remain, new ones were born.  Black Friday became a big tradition for many families.  Getting up at early hours to go Christmas shopping for the best deals.  The idea came from retailers showing losses seeing a surge in sales on discounted merchandise on  Black Friday, often bringing their revenues back in the black.  Retailers started opening early on Black Friday and advertising big sales.  In the last decade lit has become a Thanksgiving evening tradition with stores opening on Thanksgiving evening  and staying open 24 hours. People have made their own traditions as well.  Many take vacations and skip the big meal and the shopping, although most still incorporate a game of football in the plans.

Thanksgiving is celebrated in many ways.  However you celebrate, remember to give “thanks” and “give” to those in need.

American Receivable is thankful for our customers and our relationships in the financial industry.  We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.

In the words of the late Erma Bombeck:

“It takes 18 hours to prepare a Thanksgiving meal,

 It takes 12 minutes to eat it.  Half-times are 12 minutes.

 This is not a coincidence.” 

07 Nov
Business Partnerships: A Necessary Risk

 

Business Partnerships: A Necessary Risk

Starting a business is  an exciting venture.  Sole proprietorship allows you the freedom to Implement  your own ideas, business procedures and schedules as you wish.  The decisions you make will not impact anyone except you.

Working alone can be difficult when trying jump-start a new business.  Most people need help in some areas, especially with the financial aspect. Some people may be better suited for a collaborative effort.  People have different strengths and  weaknesses which is beneficial to the business. 

There is always a risk in a partnership.  You have heard the saying “nothing is forever”.  Many problems can arise when working with other people. Many people go into business with someone who initially seems to have the same mind-set and goals for the business. At some point during any partnership, egos, differences in opinion or direction may cause a rift in the partnership.  When the partnership dissolves, there are often claims of ownership, and property that can cause disputes.  Partnership agreements can eliminate legal disputes that may arise from the split.  If one partner is going to keep the business, legal disputes can be expensive and result in the business being forced to close. Different skill sets, temperaments and ideas can create diversity. However, the necessity for financial help, implementation of business procedures and creative ideas is worth the risk is you are protected.

Business partnerships are often necessary and have the potential to make the business a success.  However, a partnership agreement is unquestionably critical in making sure both parties are protected in the event the partnership dissolves.

31 Oct
The Cash Flow Struggle

cash flow problemsCash flow is essential to any growing business.  When cash flow slows down, it can cause the business to  drop revenues or completely fail.  In order to keep from failing, business owners have to look at their business practices and figure out what is causing the cash deficit.  There are many possible reasons for the shortage of cash flow as well as  simple ways to eliminate the problem.

New streams of revenue may be a possible answer. Can you diversify your business to include other services that would bring in regular cash flow?  Adding the right services to your current business can help fill in the cash flow gaps.

Don’t overestimate when forecasting cash flow.  Bee conservative and consider worst case scenarios when forecasting for the future.  Planning ahead  will help your business stay afloat and reduce risks in the event of an unexpected cash flow shortage.  Consider prior years when forecasting your upcoming year.   Late payments from customers or large unexpected business expenses can lead a business into a cash flow crisis.

Collecting from customers can be a constant struggle.  Look at your current  collection practices and look for ways to make them more efficient and effective. Implementing software that can flag overdue accounts and send reminders to customers should be utilized.  Follow-up phone calls or emails may be required, however, the software  will give you the assurance that reminders are being sent and your accounting division is aware of any problem accounts.

Evaluate the time management and  resources of your employees.  Are they using time effectively?  Are your employees using  resources  too quickly that could be used more conservatively? Are they spending too much time in one area and too little  time on something more crucial like  collections or verifications?  Efficiency in your business will be a helpful tool for cash flow management. 

Business expenses and operating costs.  Know how much revenue is being spent on office supplies and other expenses.  Businesses often order supplies that are not really essential for daily operations that could be purchased on an as needed basis. Look at your supplies and order only what is necessary.  A smart business owner will always be on top of  revenue coming in and going out.

Cash flow is the most important asset for a business.  Make sure your business is utilizing your cash effectively for growth and longevity.

24 Oct
Building A Customer Focused Business
customer service representatives
young multi ethnic business people group walking standing and top view
What is the #1 asset in your business? Your customers, of course! They provide the revenue that keeps your business afloat and enables growth. Without your customers, you would not be in business.
Who does not like to feel familiar and appreciated? People in general like to be acknowledged and made to feel that they matter. The same goes for business. Getting to know your customers personally and showing interest in their business will make them more likely to stay with you. Personal attention is crucial and will result in referrals to other prospective customers. People who know your business and hold you in high regard are the best referrals.
Building a customer focused business is easy.  Focus on the customer, first.
1.  Get acquainted with your customer and learn about their business.  Understand their needs and show them how you can offer support.
2.  Be accessible.  When customers call, they want immediate answers  A customer focused business will have someone answering the phone and directing them to the appropriate person to solve any issues or  handle other needs.  Lack of accessibility will result in the     customer moving their business to your competitors.          
3.  Listen and understand questions and concerns.  Show them you are interested in them and their business and finding solutions for their issues.
4.  Do them a favor.  Customers  will often call with a critical request that may be against normal protocol. Don’t make it a habit, but accommodate them when the request is feasible. Be clear that this is not usually something you do, but that you want to help  and will make an exception this time. Accommodating them will show them that you really are focused on their needs.
Remember, the success of your business is a result of your customer’s success.
16 Oct
The Value of Business to Business Relationships

shaking on a factoring agreementAmerican Receivable Corporation considers it’s relationships within the financial community to be one of its greatest assets. American Receivable’s partnerships within the banking community and with professional CPA’s spans over 39 years These relationships have been mutually beneficial to us,  the bankers and CPAs as well as our factoring clients.

No matter what type of business, it is important to have good financial advisors.  Commercial lenders  help clients manage accounts within the bank and review projected capital requirements.   A well-respected CPA will help manage taxes, cash flow, and other financial challenges. 

These relationships give American Receivable the ability to match clients with the right financial professionals. Commercial lenders often send us clients that do not meet the federal banking criteria for business loans. When this happens, the lender will contact American Receivable Corporation.  We work with the  client to find the best solution for their cash flow needs and their specific business.  In turn, we recommend they keep their accounts with the lender that sent them  to us.  At the point they qualify for a traditional  business loan and wish to go that route, they already have a lender familiar with their business and their challenges.  

CPA’s managing business accounts often call us when they see cash flow needs for their client.  We work closely with the CPA and the client to ensure the best solution for their specific needs. The CPA continues to handle accounting for the growing business and catch any cash related problems early. 

American Receivable is proud of our long term relationships in the industry. These relationships allow us to work together for our clients.  We consider our clients based on the credibility of their customers, not on their personal credit.  American Receivable is able to work around many of the criteria that is required in traditional business lending.

Our clients are always our first priority.  At American Receivable we pride ourselves on our exceptional customer service and dedicated and tenured account managers.  We can provide funding within  as little as 24 hours in some cases.  The success of our clients is the success of American Receivable.

 

 

 

30 Sep
Leadership and the Success of Your Small Business

woman showing leadership skillsLeadership Tips for Small Business Owners

We’ve all had experience with different leaders in our workplaces and communities. Some people are calm and collected, and some are fiery and passionate. Some are more courageous and others cautious and methodical.

There are benefits and drawbacks to the various leadership styles, but no matter how outwardly different, successful business leaders have a few things in common.

Read More “Leadership and the Success of Your Small Business”

20 Sep
How to Keep Your Small Business from Failing

Failure or Success imageAccording to recent reports, the economy is booming, and it seems that now would be an excellent time to start a new business. The failure rate of new businesses is sobering, though. Bloomberg research shows that eight out of every ten businesses fail within a year and a half. The keys to success we will outline here seem simple, but keeping your eye on them from the beginning isn’t always easy.

Read More “How to Keep Your Small Business from Failing”

18 Sep
The Value of Cross-Training Employees

employer cross-training an employeeThere are many advantages to cross-training employees.  The greatest advantage being that in the absence of an employee, someone is available to step in and keep the business going as usual.  Any disruptions in operations or other transitions can be handled, allowing the business to continue to run smoothly.  No business should depend on one employee for anything.

Read More “The Value of Cross-Training Employees”

05 Sep
The Benefit of Transparency

transparent ball

Why Transparency Matters

You know you have everything in place to run a successful business but you are frustrated that your marketing is not getting the results you want.  If you seem to be losing more sales to the competition than you are winning and few customers are turning into repeat customers it is time to ask yourself what does a prospect experience when they see my business for the first time? Read More “The Benefit of Transparency”

31 Aug
How to Create a Customer-Focused Culture

 

How to Create a Customer-Focused Culture

customer service representatives

Automation is changing the way we live and work, and in most cases, the change is for the better.  But there are some things that still require the human touch and despite all the technological advances in recent years, no one has figured out how to automate great customer service.  It’s a very human thing that must be embraced by your entire company to be truly successful.  In short, it must be at the center of your corporate culture.

Read More “How to Create a Customer-Focused Culture”

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