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September 28, 2020, 10:25 am

Eric Inspektor, Toronto executive, on small business loans: how they can save, sustain or grow your company

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Business

Image par Ronald Carreño de Pixabay

When people think of business loans, their thoughts may turn first to banks and traditional financing institutions. Afterall, they know that loans can be key to launching a startup or growing an existing business, with funds often used to purchase equipment, build-out premises or cover other working capital expenses.

However, business loans can be difficult for a new business or small company to obtain, and there are many roadblocks that can keep a business owner from getting approved for a loan.  Moreover, if you’re an aspiring business owner who may have limited cash flow, an incomplete business plan will make securing a loan next to impossible.

The COVID-19 health pandemic has also thrown a wrench into the already complicated process of securing a loan.   Undeniably, lenders are approaching credit risk assessments with more scrutiny because of increased volatility.  In other words, at a time when so many businesses desperately need funding, lenders are being more careful with their money.

That’s why, with all of the reasons listed above, it’s important to get your facts together before you present your case to a lender.  Whether you are borrowing money to save, sustain, or grow your business, simply put, you need to know the rules.

As co-founder and senior underwriter at CORFinancial Corp., a boutique investment bank based in Toronto, Eric Inspektor has successfully helped many business owners overcome the roadblocks of securing a loan. 

Eric Inspektor says the first step in asking for a business loan is to be prepared and to ask the right questions.

He explains, “One has to be practical. First of all if you need and you’re looking for financing, make sure that your financing application, the package that you present to a lender, is detailed, comprehensive and makes sense, most important of all.”

Inspektor says that everything needs to make sense and it needs to answer all of the lender’s questions.  He also says that,while the Canadian government has been proactive in coming up with programs and solutions for businesses who are suffering due to the global pandemic; government aid may not be enough to secure a loan.

“Remember, the government is not a bank, so any lending or any borrowing has got to

be done through the banking community and is still subject to credit criteria being met,” adds Eric Inspektor.

The government programs that have been successful are the $40,000 interest free for two years and the rent and wage subsidy. These program continue to work but when you get to actual borrowing, the issue is you still have to apply to the bank and they are still going to apply their standard credit criteria when reviewing loan applications; unfortunately, this results in the banks not being as proactive as we want them to be.

Eric Inspektor notes, “The banks are taking applications and they’re treating those applications without regard for the government guarantee.  In other words, if they don’t see it as viable in relation to their credit criteria, they are not taking into consideration the government guarantee. That’s the feedback that’s coming to us.”

If there’s a silver lining, it is that the banks are not the only lenders out there.  There are other funding sources such as  asset-based lenders who may be a better alternative.

“Asset-based lending is best suited to certain situations; however, many businesses are turning to this type of funding even when they would qualify for traditional bank funding because asset-based lenders are more proactive and, in some cases, better qualified to underwrite business loans,” Inspektor says.

Where traditional banks are cash flow lenders, asset-based lenders lend against the company’s assets and rely on the present asset value and future performance based on deployment of their capital.

When entrepreneurs or small business owners are determining what lending route to go, Eric Inspektor says there are good lenders around who understand business, use different criteria, will leverage the assets, and who will leverage the enterprise value of the business.

“There are a number of good business lenders out there; the challenge is in doing your research tomake sure that you’re dealing with the right one.”

From cash flow to expansion, small business loans can benefit your business in various ways. Despite the current roadblocks, Inspektor advises business owners to keep on persevering.

“Remember there will be a solution to COVID but in the meantime your business must go on. At CORFinancial we’re here to assist, even if it’s only as a sounding board.”

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March 11, 2019, 8:35 am

Top Websites for Freelancing Services

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Business,Make Money Online

Working remotely continues to be a growing trend among millennials, but despite a massive number of freelancing websites, most of them do not manage to make their dreams come true and get rid of a boss. On the other hand, maybe some people among you need to find someone to work for them, in various fields and niches, and struggle with that.

That is why today we’ll discuss a few important and popular freelancing websites which both categories mentioned above can use, especially if their field of activity is related to marketing or advertising.

People Per Hour  

There’s no doubt that People Per Hour is one of the most famous online freelance marketplaces. If you want to find new ways to advertise your services and expertise, PPH hosts a wide range of freelance jobs categories, like marketing & SEO, social media, design, development and IT, writing, banners creation and advertising (like on marketplaces such as Clicksdealer.com) and many others. We must mention, however, one of the downsides of the platform, which is related to handling fees, which aren’t low. Despite that, if you want to advertise your services, on PPH, you can find a lot of experienced professionals to help you.     

FlexJobs

Although this freelancing service is not free, FlexJobs is one of the most well-curated websites for people who want to search remote and flexible gigs. Since it is not free, you won’t need to worry about scam posting or anything shady of that kind. The company is constantly reviewing and monitoring new posts, making sure they’re 100% legit. The opportunities posted on the website cover a wide variety of domains, including computer & IT jobs, marketing, art & creative and much more. 

Upwork

The combination of once two of the leading freelance platforms in the online world – oDesk and Elance, now called Upwork, is currently one of the biggest marketplaces for freelancers. They have more than 12 million freelancers, 5 million clients, and more than 3 million freelance jobs are posted on the platform each year. Like People Per Hour, the biggest downside of Upwork is that it takes 20% of your revenue. However, you’ll have the opportunity to get in touch with a lot of big companies and brands, establish relationships, and then work directly with them.

Gigster

This one is a tech-oriented website, where you can find software engineers, web designers, app developers and many other talented professionals who can help you with your tech-related tasks and projects. What’s interesting about Gigster is that the platform uses artificial intelligence to match freelancers with newly-posted projects, in order to ensure both the clients’ and the freelancer’s satisfaction from the process and overall service.        

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May 31, 2018, 8:34 am

Why The Food Truck Industry Will Continue to Grow

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Business

Spring and Summer are great seasons for those who work in the food industry, and especially for food truck owners. As the weather gets warmer, more and more people will be out and about, and nothing makes a stroll more pleasant than eating some food on the go.

In today’s food industry, food trucks are the fastest-growing business with numbers that keep growing year by year. Food trucks have been around for a long time, but now they’re experiencing their true golden age. In 2012, the food truck industry revenue was estimated $650 million, a number that has since skyrocketed reaching a whopping $2.7 billion in 2017. Food trucks outpaced other commercial food services and can be kick-started with a rather small investment. Food trucks are the next generation of food service, so knowing how to make the best out of them is a must for most modern restaurant entrepreneurs.

What makes food trucks so popular?

If you’re a first-time entrepreneur, a food truck can prove to be more profitable than a small cafeteria or eatery. With an initial investment of less than $100,000, anyone can setup a profitable food truck business that can make anywhere between $250,000 to $500,000 per year.

Their flexibility makes them quite unique, as an entrepreneur can quickly and easily test different menu items, recipes and even new concepts with a minimum risk. Strategies and offers can be conveniently tailored to specific customer preferences in a very cost-effective way, and the truck itself can be customized and personalized to increase your audience.

Mobile services are easily paired with mobile communication, which is a must to stay up to date with the latest food trends. Millenials, in particular, like to “post” their food on social social media before eating it, and sharing is a fundamental part of eating nowadays. With a properly planned social strategy, food trucks can generate immediate responses even from the most time-starved audiences.

Food trailers are highly mobile businesses that can cater different tastes in different locations at an amazing speed. Changing locations allows them move out from “dead zones” during low seasons, and move only where the best profit opportunities are. They can also follow the masses, and reach out for the largest audiences by setting up near concerts, events and neighborhood parties by making smart use of geolocation tools.

Many brick-and-mortar restaurants use custom truck builders to to make their business mobile, and hit the road with trucks that serve as moving marketing vehicles with the same branding the customers know from the restaurant. Regardless of your situation, you’ll want to make sure that you spend time branding the vehicle to make your food truck easily recognizable.

The requirements to run a food truck

There are a few things you need to do if you want to run a legit food truck service. Every region has its own codes and regulations on food trucks, so you want to know them beforehand to comply with them. Mobile vending laws and parking permits change in every city, so be sure to check the specific ones rather than just state or county laws. You may need to provide proof of ownership, insurance, identification and vehicular license, so get all your documents ready before rolling into to a different city.

Then, you should confirm the minimum distance you can be from a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Other than just being compliant with local laws, you might want to keep competition fair at all times. Also, find out if you need a commissary to prepare food before serving and meet all health and fire codes to get approved by the local board of health.

Other than just to receive formal approval to market your products, some of these regulations are useful to help you provide your customers with only the best quality food possible. For example, by making sure that food is stored and kept in proper temperature, you can prevent it from spoiling especially in the case of highly perishable foods such as fruit or seafood.

Conclusion

As you can see, the right time to find a food truck for sale is today rather than tomorrow. The market is full of very affordable offers, but their price is destined to increase in the upcoming years. As this industry is growing at a steady pace, making this investment now can help you make a hefty profit with very little efforts.

Are you thinking of hitting the road on your own food truck journey? Leave us a comment with your best food truck concept ideas and let us know what you thought of this article.

 

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May 14, 2018, 8:34 am

New Payment Methods and How They Could Boost Your Business

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Business

Source: @rshevlin via Twitter

So, you’ve established a website, started to generate leads in your chosen field and – most importantly – begun to make some money. Now, however, you need to start considering how you want your money-making scheme to move forward.

There are many of different places you could start with reviewing your operation, but one issue that should definitely be up for review is how you are accepting payments from your clients. After all, considering it could ultimately prove key as you look to take your business to a whole new level.

Emerging trends

While there is of course still a place in business for traditional payment methods such as credit or debit card and even cheques, there is growing evidence that a number of people are keen to have different options when it comes to buying products or services. According to SmartDebit, research in the UK last year suggested that 90 percent of consumers think businesses should offer a range of payment methods, with 58 percent adding that they would probably prefer to spend money with such organizations.

Bitcoin statistic coin ANTANA” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by antanacoins

Unsurprisingly, many businesses have taken notice of such calls. For example, major organizations like Microsoft and Expedia have taken the plunge and started to accept payments in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin in recent years, while this guide to various casino deposit options shows how that industry has also embraced letting people pay using everything from bank transfers to e-wallet platforms like PayPal. In addition, Amazon even now allows people to buy goods through voice purchasing on their Echo range of devices.

But while businesses are offering this diverse range of payment methods, are there actually signs that consumers are embracing them? Well, according to new research from payment solutions provider TSYS, the answer is very much yes.

Growing appetite

The organization’s 2017 US Consumer Payment Study found that younger generations, in particular, are increasingly interested in using new and emerging payment methods, with 60 percent of people who own an AI device such as the Amazon Echo using it to make purchases. In addition, more than half of respondents said they were interested in using a mobile wallet rather than a card to pay for shopping, while 45 percent of people aged between 25 and 34 have also used a service such as PayPal or Zelle.

While the study did also confirm that traditional payment methods like debit and credit cards and cash remain hugely popular, the findings undoubtedly highlight that interest in different platforms is clearly on the rise.

Worth considering

When all of this is considered, it genuinely does seem like there is a real appetite among consumers for them to be able to make purchases in a manner which suits them. With younger generations, in particular, embracing new payment methods, it seems that going forward, businesses are going to have to ensure they are meeting their needs.

Whether you are making money online for a living or simply to generate a little bit of extra cash, considering the issue of payment methods could ultimately be key to your operation’s long-term success.

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January 19, 2018, 4:27 pm

How To Secure Working Capital In A Tough 2018

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Business

There’s more uncertainty in the US economy than some would have you believe, and for the freight and trucking industry, any decline in economic growth could be disastrous. With uncertainty over NAFTA, freight and trucking could suffer a great deal in the years ahead. The US trades $577 billion with Canada and $532 billion with Mexico in imports and exports – the lifeblood of freight and trucking.

The US economy may not be as strong as some analysts predict. Despite modest job growth, consumer spending remains anemic. Some have called 2017 the “retail apocalypse.” In the month of August, consumer spending was only up 0.1%. With the US dollar down 8 percent in 2017, consumers are about to feel the pinch and that could jeopardize future growth. New US tax changes have also failed to inspire much growth and the future of NAFTA is up in the air. As NAFTA renegotiations hit the rocks, fleet owners need a growth plan that can handle an unpredictable future.

Any company that finds itself a link in any part of a supply chain can find itself tight on money when they’re waiting to collect invoices worth thousands of dollars. Sometimes trucking companies wait up to 90 days to collect, but even waiting a month can put the brakes on your cash flow.

Freight bill factoring is a growing alternative to banks for fleets struggling with cash flow. If you want to learn about the benefits of invoice factoring for truckers consider first and foremost that freight bill factoring is not a loan — trucking companies sell their invoices at a discount and factoring companies pay up front. Selling invoices is a quick and easy way to guarantee an influx of working capital. Instead of waiting two or three months to collect, factoring offers carriers immediate funding often on the same day they submit invoices.

By contrast, bank loans are difficult to secure. Banks have tough expectations for credit and sustainability for companies that take on bank debt, and trucking is usually considered a high-risk industry. Trucking companies can easily find themselves frozen out of bank loans, especially if they don’t have an impeccable credit history or major collateral. Trucking companies of all sizes struggle to meet banks’ requirements for a business loan.

Freight bill factoring rates, on the other hand, are very affordable and designed to meet industry needs. This is what the freight bill factoring process looks like:

  • Once the trucking company completes a delivery, it sends an invoice to the client and a copy to the factoring company, plus proof of delivery
  • Factors such as Accutrac Capital send the trucking company a cash advance that’s as high as 97% of the invoice within 24 hours (minus a nominal factoring fee)
  • When the customer pays its invoice, Accutrac Capital reimburses the balance of the cash advance (i.e., 3%)

Any trucking company struggling with cash flow can take advantage of a third-party factor. Factoring means you don’t have to wait 90 days for payment so that you have the liquidity you need to meet your expenses and grow your company. Stabilize your cash flow with a third-party factoring partner.

 

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