Monthly Archives: March 2017

Free Up Cash and Grow Your Business

Nearly every business that exists shares a common goal: to make more money and find financial success. You have to constantly focus on cash flow management, profitability and increase the value of your business if you want to prosper. This is why it’s vital to monitor your infrastructure and tweak it regularly. If you’re ready to grow your business, take a look at these three easy-to-implement ways you can speed up cash flow.

Try These Tips to Speed up Cash Flow

Create Incentives for Early Payments and Penalties for Late Payments

Invoicing is often a long and somewhat painful process that may require a lot of back and forth. If it’s challenging to keep your accounts paid up and you loathe having to check in when your clients are late, you might find now is the time to implement a program to reward those who pay on time and penalize those who pay late.

A good plan of attack is to apply discounts to any account paid on time or add some interest to accounts that are overdue. This will encourage payments to come your way early and immediately make a positive effect on your cash flow. This will also save a lot of time eliminating the need to check multiple times to see if the payment has been received.

Utilize Invoice Factoring

Invoice factoring companies let you turn current, unpaid invoices, into cash without adding new debt. Free up your cash to help you meet payroll, add new products and services to your offerings and extend the geographical reach of your business.

Factoring companies allow you to transform your business cash flow and will give you the access to the funds you need without worrying about invoices staying open as long as 120 days. Instead of sitting and waiting for payment, you can proceed with new work, pay employees, or buy needed supplies. Check the online Factoring Directory to help you find the best factoring that aligns with your business needs.

Improve Your Marketing

Any steps you take to make your business better will lead to better cash flow, and marketing is a key piece of this puzzle.

The reason why is because improved marketing slashes your cost-per-lead and boosts the lifetime value of your customers, reaching out to untapped markets. Plus, effective marketing is a way to make a positive first business impression.

In order to improve your marketing, you need to first figure out your areas of struggle and approach them head on. It might be time to implement content marketing if you’re having trouble building the trust of your customers. Utilize content marketing to educate your leads and improve your conversions, boosting your company’s image as a result.

If you want to upsell but aren’t sure what products you should offer, create a survey or use a third-party to help you determine what your next offering should be. Product quality is important for businesses of every size, so don’t lose focus on maintaining the quality of the current and potential goods you offer.

No business likes to deal with lack of funding. It is important to find ways to free up cash to improve your cash flow management systems. Insufficient or unsteady cash flow can prevent your business from providing the best service to your customers. Use these ways to transform your business cash flow, prepare for future growth, and position yourself to make your company better than ever

Know More About Biometrics

Biometrics and authentication are two of the most discussed topics in the world of mobile payments. This interest is due to technology like Apple’s Touch ID.  According to research commissioned by Visa and Populas in 2016, two-thirds of Europeans are ready to use biometrics for secure payments. Business Insider predicts 99 percent of U.S. smartphones will be biometrics-enabled by 2021.

In the search for greater security, this technology has raised the excitement level about what’s possible for stopping hackers in their tracks. “Biometric identification and verification has created a great deal of excitement in the payments space. It offers an opportunity to streamline and improve the customer experience,” said Jonathan Vaux, Executive Director of Innovation Partnerships at Visa Europe. “Our research shows that biometrics is increasingly recognized as a trusted form of authentication as people become more familiar with using these capabilities on their devices.”

Acceptance Challenges

Yet, challenges remain. One of these is the potential for a false positive or false negative during the authentication process. Unlike a PIN, biometrics is not a binary measurement. Instead, it’s based on the probability of a match. By linking it to other factors, such as the device, geolocation technologies, or another authentication method, this challenge can be overcome.

An Overview of Biometrics and Authentication

To understand the impact this technology is having, it’s important to first understand what it does. Biometrics is technology and scientific authentication based on biology that’s used for security purposes. It can replace ID cards, PINs, passwords, or tokens. Examples include digital fingerprinting, facial identification, voice recognition, and iris technology.

For example, before a credit card transaction is authorized, biometric authentication can be used to authenticate identity. Transactions are verified by comparing an image against what’s in a database. For example, fingerprint or facial recognition software can ensure that the right person is making the purchase. Online businesses can also use biometrics for their card-not-present transactions to reduce the risk of fraud.

Impact on Payments

With this type of capability, it’s no wonder why biometric technology is shaping the future of payments. Your body is your password. “People choose convenience over security,” Mikhail Gofman, Professor at California State University, Fullerton, and an expert on multimodal biometrics, told TechCrunch. “People are relieved of the responsibility of designing and remembering a strong password — you don’t have to remember your fingerprint, it’s a part of who you are.”

There also appears to be a positive impact on payments outside of the U.S. and Europe. Acceptance is growing in Asia and Latin America where transaction security has been a long-standing issue. With proof that biometric technology can reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions, more global transactions are being made. This impact on payments also helps small businesses in these other countries to now compete within the global business environment and leverage online opportunities.

Measurable Benefits

The impact can also be felt in the number of benefits that biometric technology offers:

  • Makes transactions secure. While there are some concerns, biometrics is intrinsically secure. No one has the same fingerprint, eyes, ears, voice, heartbeat, or behaviors. The security that biometrics provides could finally give customers some peace of mind to adopt mobile payments for their transactions.
  • Simplifies transactions. “Online payments are always a big headache. You forget your password … you worry about security,” said Alibaba founder Jack Ma. Alipay’s “Smile To Pay”allows users to complete a transaction by just smiling or nodding. MasterCard unveiled its “Selfie” payment technology where customers take a selfie to verify their identity for payment. This can speed up transactions over having to enter a password or insert a chip into an EMV terminal.
  • Saves businesses time and money. “The technology is less time-consuming, reliable, easy to use, difficult to forge, cost-effective,” said Subhasree Banerjee, a Content Marketer with AuthenticID. Biometrics also reduces password administration costs and increases ROI in areas like loss prevention or time and attendance. There is no time spent searching for lost tokens or trying to remember passwords.

As more businesses enjoy these advantages, adoption is set to grow rapidly, especially in light of all the ongoing security breaches and fraudulent transactions that continue to plague the payments industry.

Biometrics Set to Grow Further

Biometric technology will continue to grow in use as more businesses seek additional layers of security for their online transactions.

Winning Business Plan

Starting a business is an exciting venture. To make it an absolute success, getting all the details right from the very beginning is absolutely crucial. This is where a business plan becomes relevant.

A business plan is a formal statement that comprises the goals of a business, reasons why they are attainable and the ways in which these can be accomplished. In short, a business plan is a road-map to success.

It is important to understand that while a business plan may not make success inevitable for a business, it can definitely help you identify viable ways to avoid failure. It helps you get a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your business and devise ways to capitalize on the strength and minimize the risks.

Parts of a Business Plan

Regardless of whether you are starting a business or planning to grow your existing one, a business plan is an absolutely crucial element. Let’s take a look at what to include while craft a winning business plan.

Executive Summary

An executive summary briefly outlines the goals and objectives of the business. It summarizes a description of the business, the products and/or services provided, growth potential, funding requirements, a proper plan on how you will repay loans, if any, etc.

Sometimes, you might require to show the business plan you formulate to investors and financiers. Therefore, you should ensure that you get to the to-the-point in the summary.

Description of the Business

This is where you introduce readers to the business. Describe the products and services that your business plans to provide and where and how you plan on providing these to your potential customers. By now, you would need to have a clear idea about which industry corresponds to your business and who your target customers are going to be.

Also include, an industry analysis and how your business fits in. It should also comprise an outlook for the future. Include how further developments in your industry may affect your business and add facts supporting your inferences.

Analysis of Market Opportunities and Competition

A thorough market research is crucial for your business. This research should analyze the buying habits of customers, purchasing cycle, their willingness to accept new products and services etc. In short, you would need to determine whether there is a viable market for the products and/or services your business will offer.

Also, it is important to have an idea about your competitors and what works for them. These findings will help you determine how to differentiate your product or service from the existing ones. The strategies you devise for this purpose should be included in your business plan.

Marketing and Sales

This section should comprise a layout of your marketing plan. One of the primary purposes of this section is to find ways to spread awareness of the products and services among your target customers. Marketing involves advertising and promoting your products while maintaining proper public relations.

Your plan should include the techniques that you will implement to generate leads, increase conversion and retain customers. These should be actionable and based on facts.

Business Operations and Management

This section is dedicated to how you plan on running the business. This may include requirements related to staffing, logistics and development of the business. Also, the tasks assigned to every division, responsibilities of the management team etc. are included. Some other aspects that you need to consider are infrastructure, working equipment, WiFi requirements and so on.

You should keep in mind that the operations will change as the company grows. Therefore, your business plan should have provisions for these changes.

Finances

The success or failure of a business boils down to its profits and this section will help in planning how to keep it steady. The major aspects include:

•    An income statement comprising the sources of the business’s cash generation
•    The cash flow statement determining how you plan on meeting financial obligations

Additionally, the business plan should be inclusive of proper funding options for expansion and growth.

Contingency Plan

Even with a full-fledged plan, there can still be certain areas that can go wrong. Your business plan should include strategies that you will implement in case things don’t go as anticipated. This could include a shift in marketing strategies in case the desired results are not obtained within a specific time, change in product focus etc.

While this is a basic structure of a business plan, you can include variations depending on the type of business. The benefits of a business plan are endless. A well-drafted plan is crucial in driving your business towards success