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Business, business finance, Customer Service, Entrepreneurship, Factoring, factoring, finance, invoice financing, Start up

Did You Hear What I Just Said? (Probably Not)

Business financingIt’s screaming inside my head, “Did You Hear What I Just Said??” as the person on the other end of the phone reads from a script.  I’ve lost all patience at this point. As most of you know, for the past few weeks, Customer Service has been a High Priority with me.

We’re constantly hearing that we must listen to our customers/potential customers to find out their needs or ‘pain points.’ Ask questions, but ultimately listen.  This is how you sell them your product.

The same applies to the Customer Service Department.  Actually, even more. But, how many businesses actually apply it?  You’ve spent the time and money to acquire the customer.  Now, either they have a question, or something isn’t working. (Granted, there’s a small percentage who just want to complain.) Yes, YouTube has helped take the frustration out of just about any ‘How To’ situation, but some people (a lot) want you to explain, and help with a real live voice.

Having just finished a call like this (and I had very low expectations), I thought about what people usually get.

1. Someone reading from a script.  So, the first frustration is that the customer service person has not even heard what is wrong.  Or, if they have, they have to plow ‘the script.’

2. You’re put on HOLD. I’ve already talked about being on hold forever in a previous post.  I’ve always feel it’s a ploy to get me to hang up.

Whether it’s you, the business owner, or an associate answering the call, remember: this person is either a customer or a potential customer.  They are taking time to find out more, or need help.  Listen to them, ask them questions, to find out where they are in the process. Work through the situation, if possible, right then, on the phone.
DON’T say:  “Try this, and call me back if it doesn’t work.”

So many times, the Customer Service wants to get you off the phone and go on to the next, or ‘it’s almost time for my break.”  It may not be the happiest department in the organization, but it is vital to the life and continued existence of the business. Special consideration should be given to who staffs this department, and their training. They can make the difference in your reputation.

With competition as tough as it is, every day, time and effort needs to be spent on this part of any business.  Businesses large and small need to constantly monitor and improve this part of their program.

Your focus needs to be on building your business, and how it is viewed by the public and your potential customers.  You don’t have time to “Do it All” effectively.

Steady Predictable Cash Flow is vital to the survival of every business.  While you work on the marketing and products, out source your back office to a factoring company.  Take the pain out of paying bills and making payroll.  Sleep better at night and grow your business.

Need More Information?

Or Contact me:
Anne Gordon
Guilin Funding (AKA The Money Lady)
http://www.guilinfunding.com
agord@swbell.net
1-877-872-4879

 

Business, business finance, Customer Service, Entrepreneurship, Factoring, factoring, finance, invoice financing

“Please Stay on the Line, Your Call is Very Important to Us”

Really? It certainly doesn’t feel that way.

The automated message goes around and around.  I’m sure we all have the same experiences, and other annoying recorded messages we hear all the time. You have your own list of them, I’m sure.

“We’ll be with you in just a few minutes.”  Then there’s the one that actually calculates your wait time and tells you ” You call will be answered in 23 minutes.”  That’s really discouraging. If it takes that long to get through, shouldn’t you have more people to handle the inquires?

Wait times, and being on hold, are inevitable sometimes.  Last week, after being on hold for 10 minutes, and hearing how important my call was, several times, I hung up.  No way, was I going to hang around for someone to “be right with me.”

What about your initial call into a business, and the person answering the phone says “I’m busy now, you’ll have to call back.”  They hang up on you without even trying to take a message.  With all the time, money, and effort, people/businesses spend on marketing, when someone calls, be ready for them. It’s a total waste if you’re not. A few sentences can change everything in the way that caller perceives your company.

Now, turn inward and evaluate your own business performance.  How do you handle business calls?  How does your staff handle them?  Do you know?  This is the face of your business.  The first impression is the one chance to capture that customer, and you only have a few seconds.  It better work. This is your first line of communication with your customer.

Marketing and customer service go hand in hand, and require constant monitoring.  Your product may be the greatest, but if your accessibility is bad, all your efforts are in vain. If you’re customer service doesn’t meet even average standards, you’re not even playing on the competitive field.

With all the devices we have for instant access and communication, it’s ludicrous to be ‘put on hold.’  We live in an instant gratification world. In order to succeed, not just survive in it, you must have this part of your business running perfectly.

Concentrate on improving your Customer Service and build your business.  Spend  time on your business and not chasing your customers for payments. Outsource your back office.

More Information:

Or:
Contact: Anne Gordon
Guilin Funding (AKA The Money Lady)
1-877-872-4879
agord@swbell.net
http://www.guilinfunding.com

Business, business finance, Entrepreneurship, Factoring, factoring, finance, invoice financing

Disaster Recovery: Challenges and Opportunities

FactoringIt seems every day another natural disaster is ravaging part of our country. Workers and companies are being stretched to their limits.  The challenges created by these hurricanes and wildfires are overwhelming.  With those challenges have come major opportunities.

The demand for companies and contractors to work on these Disaster Recovery Project continues to grow.  Those that are currently working are being stretched to their limits. Pressure to get these jobs done quickly and efficiently means more crews, more shifts, overtime, and more supplies.

First is the clean-up.  Nothing else can really progress until the debris is cleared.  Then the numerous other companies come in for power, fuel lines, and water, in addition to roads, bridges, and, of course,  buildings. At the same time the supporting companies must come in to provide food, housing, and transportation. The list is endless. This has created a demand throughout many industries for more workers and increased manufacturing of more products.

With these increases have come the increased expenses that have to be met in a timely manner.  On top of regular overhead and expenses, are the additional payroll costs, supplies, and equipment.  The need for money in the bank is a top priority.

You need to be working on your expanded workload, not worrying about payments and making phone calls to find out when you’ll get paid.

Consider using a factoring service, for Steady, Predictable, Cash Flow.  Don’t let your erratic customer payments limit your opportunities.

Learn More

Or Email: agord@swbell.net
Call: 1-877-872-4879

Business, business finance, Entrepreneurship, Factoring, factoring, finance, invoice financing, Start up

Disaster Recovery Work

construction factoring, factoring, invoice financingNo words can express our feelings as we watch and listen to the events of the past few weeks.  Words cannot describe the heroic efforts of our First Responders and volunteers, and the acts of kindness by strangers through these devastating hurricanes and wildfires.

As people start to try to rebuild their lives, companies are coming in to work on all aspects of each community, from the clean-up and  rebuilding of streets and bridges, to getting the power on for thousands of homes and businesses-just to name a few projects. Hundreds and hundreds of workers are needed and are being contracted to do these projects.  Businesses, large and small, are putting on extra crews and extra shifts to get this work done as quickly as possible.

With these efforts come added expenses, including payroll.  Waiting to get paid puts unnecessary limits on businesses in these situations.  We are already helping several companies with their cash flow due to their increased needs.

If you have this situation, or would just like more information, contact me.

Anne Gordon
1-877-872-4879
Guilin Funding
http://www.guilinfunding.com

 

Business, business finance, Entrepreneurship, Factoring, factoring, finance, invoice financing, Start up

Yes, This can Really Simplify Your Business

How Does Factoring Simplify Your Business?

Every day, we read or listen to a way to make our life easier.  It’s the new laundry detergent packet (no more measuring) to the self-driving car.

When it comes to financing your business it’s still a struggle for many.

The traditional bank loan comes to mind immediately.  The long application, the stacks of documents, and then you wait, and wait, and wait.  The chances are slim that a young business will qualify for a business bank loan.

Now there is the quick fix of an MCA/ACH loan. You get this lump sum into your bank account. You pay your bills, and breathe a sigh of relief.  Then every day or every week, there is an automatic deduction from your bank account.  This is fine for a while, but then, once again, your bills are due, which you pay, and then the automatic withdrawal, puts you in an overdrawn situation.  And, more fees are incurred, putting you farther into a negative balance. Most of the time, these loans have a very high interest rate, and they must be paid off, before you can get more money.

Think about Factoring/Invoice Financing

Pressed for Time? Here’s Your Quick Resource Guide

Using Factoring improves Cash Flow without giving up equity or going into debt.
Those are the two obvious reasons to use factoring that come to mind immediately. Steady Cash Flow/paying your bills on time and Grow Your Business

What people don’t think about is the major back office functions that factors do as a matter of course in managing your account.

At the front end, they advise you on the credit-worthiness of your customers, before you do business with them. Do you really want to start working or shipping a company that is paying 75 days behind terms?  A factoring company gives you a credit check on a potential customer, BEFORE you start working with them. Your choice: you can still do business with them, but the factoring company is not going to advance you money on an invoice for that customer.  You’re on your own!

80% of invoices that are late, are not paid because they are “LOST.” I know, you sent it in the mail, you emailed it, you faxed it.  It just got LOST.  When you finally realize that it has not been paid, and call, then you find out the customer has no record.  You start from Day 1 again.  A factoring company, (1) sends out your invoices, (2) makes sure the customer has received the invoice (3)makes sure that the customer is satisfied with the service/product, and (4) agrees to pay the invoice- the most important part.

A factoring company gives you a complete back office. Can your company afford this necessary part of your business on its own?  Do you have someone dedicated to sending out your invoices, checking to make sure they are in your customer’s system, that the customer was satisfied with the work, and that the invoice is scheduled for a certain date to be paid?  The answer is, probably “No.”  A factoring company gives you a complete back office, as part of their regular service.

Accounts payable people are used to working with factors, and respond to their calls and emails in a timely manner. It’s the same person they speak to every month, and a business relationship is established.  Accounts payable people understand that factoring companies follow up on invoices.  They don’t view them as a Collections company.

Most factors have an online service where your account is accessible 24/7 and up-to-date. No more figuring out what is paid, what is old, was the invoice sent out.  It’s right there in The Cloud.  Is your accounting that up to date, and that accessible? Is your back office on top of everything all the time?  If you’re the one doing all this, the answer is ‘No.’ Sooner or later, something will slip through the cracks.

Steady, Predictable Cash Flow. The stress of waiting to get paid, using your credit cards or dipping into your savings while you wait takes a heavy toll on the business and the business owner.  Instead of cultivating new clients and reconnecting with your current client base, you’re chasing payments, balancing what you can pay now.  It’s hard to be focused on everything (actually it’s impossible) that needs to be done in a business.  No one has the energy and time to do everything.  Not even you!

Going into Debt. While this is one of the two of the obvious and most important advantages to factoring, people just skip over them a good deal of the time.  Having a Debt-Free company is very important to your company’s health and growth.  Remember, factoring is not a loan, it improves Cash Flow, by advancing money on your invoices, instead of waiting to get paid by your customer.

Giving up Equity has a major impact on the way you run your business. You want an investor because you need money.  Have you thought about the fact that you are now accountable to that person or persons who invested money?  No longer are you in charge of decision making.  They must be presented and approved by the now other owner of your company.  Reports must be submitted to them on a regular basis.  You are once again, working for someone, not yourself.

Growing without debt makes your company more profitable and stronger.  Establishing good business credit like paying your bills on time is hard if you don’t have steady, predictable cash flow.  And, ultimately, you want your business, as well as personally, to have good credit.

Questions?
Give me a Call:
Anne Gordon
1-877-872-4879

Or: Drop Me a Note

Business, business finance, Entrepreneurship, Factoring, factoring, finance, invoice financing

Simplifying Your Business

Every day, we read or listen to a way to make our life easier.  Whether it’s the new laundry detergent packet (no more measuring), the self-driving car, or setting your alarm from your phone, daily tasks are easier than they used to be.

Factoring InvoicesIn business we can now have Drop Box and Google Docs for file sharing.  Quickbooks, Peachtree and Fresh Books, just to name a few accounting options.  Marketing has become a whole new world with Social Media. Even Post a Notes and Day timers are obsolete.

 

But, when it comes to financing your business it’s still a struggle for many.

The traditional bank loan comes to mind immediately.  The long application, the stacks of documents, and then you wait, and wait, and wait.  The chances are slim that a young business will qualify for a business bank loan. And, it is a loan, which means you have just added another payment to your monthly bills.  Your company now has debt.

Now there’s the quick fix of an MCA/ACH loan. You get this lump sum into your bank account. You pay your bills, and breathe a sigh of relief.  Then every day or every week, there is an automatic deduction from your bank account.  This is fine for a while, but then, once again, your bills are due, which you pay, and then the automatic withdrawal, puts you in an overdrawn situation.  And, more fees are incurred, putting you farther into a negative balance. Most of the time, these loans have a very high interest rate, and they must be paid off, before you can get more money.

Factoring/Invoice Financing is used by thousands of businesses around the world to grow their businesses without debt, or giving up equity.

What people don’t think about is the major back office functions that factors do as part of their service to their client. This is in addition to improving your Cash Flow and helping you grow without debt.

For a quick overview

Questions?
Call or Email:
Anne Gordon
agord@swbell.net
1-877-872-4879

Business, business finance, Entrepreneurship, Factoring, factoring, finance, invoice financing, Start up

CASE STUDY: I Couldn’t Even Buy Food

WHO:  MJ Security Patrol Inc.  A Start-Up

Marcus had worked for a security company for a several years, and decided to go out on his own. He was in his late twenties, and had gotten experience as an armed and unarmed security guard. He had gone through his check list, had set up his company as an S Corp. gotten his business license, liability insurance, workman’s comp, uniforms, and all the other requirements. He had saved some money, to buy fuel, food and pay rent.  He had a couple of other guards who wanted to work for him.

He landed a contract with a very creditworthy customer.  Marcus submitted all the required documents, and got ready for his first job as a business owner. Excited, he put on his uniform and arrived promptly every day at the job site, signing in and out as the rules required.   Everything worked perfectly.

While Marcus had anticipated he would have to wait to get paid, and had saved money for that situation, he was waiting more than 30 days to get paid.  The company paid  30 days after he had submitted his invoice and  time sheet.  The check was cut on the 30th day, unless it was on a weekend, and then the check was cut the following Monday.  Then the check went to the controller to sign, and then went for a second signature, the owner.  Lastly, the check was mailed. So, payment was actually mailed 35-45 days out.

Thirty days without a regular pay check can be a long time, even if you’ve planned for it, but 40 + days puts even more pressure on your finances. Every business owner and individual knows how hard it is, when you don’t have regular Cash Flow. Two rent payments, two insurance payments, plus 2 months of food and fuel, with no money coming in, is very stressful.

Marcus had to borrow money from his friends, just for food, and his rent became overdue.  Through no fault of his own, things began to get way behind, and he borrowed more money from his buddies.  Finally, the check came, and he had some money, but not very much left out of the check after he repaid his friends.

That’s when Marcus started looking for a better way.  He had heard of factoring from the other companies he’d worked for.  He didn’t know anything about it, but he couldn’t go on borrowing, and living hand to mouth.  And, he knew that other companies didn’t operate this way. He started calling factoring companies.

When Marcus called me, he had been turned down by several factoring companies.  He was too small.  He had a good customer, but he was the only one working.  With his cash flow problem, he had not been able to hire his friends, because he couldn’t make payroll.  They went on to other jobs, but Marcus really wanted his own business and knew, somehow, there had to be a way.  Most factoring companies that you see on the first page of an internet search usually require that you factor $10,000 or more every month and can require you sign a long term contract.  This is hard on a start-up and a small company.  Their first few months don’t even come  close to $10,000 a month in many cases.

Marcus happened to come across my website, www.guilinfunding.com and called me.  Our approach is that if you have a creditworthy customer, and need cash flow, we’ll find you a factoring company.

We don’t care if you’re doing $500/month or $5,000,000/month.  You deserve all the opportunities available to grow your business.

We had a phone call with Marcus to talk about his business, his volume, and his needs. Since we had a good idea of Marcus’s business after the phone call we found a factoring company who was willing to work with him very quickly.  He started factoring his invoices, and improved his cash flow.  His customer still needed a couple more guards, so Marcus called some of the guards he used to work with in his previous employment.  They were happy to come work with Marcus, and they also knew  more people who wanted to work, even part time as guards.

We have a data base of many factoring companies and what their requirements are, so we don’t waste time talking to factors who are not a fit for your situation.

And so MJ Security Inc. began to grow.  That was three years ago.  Marcus has always stayed in touch to tell me how things are going.  He no longer has to worry about money for food.  He recently sent me a video that is airing in various nearby towns where he offices, advertising his company.  Yes, he has grown to the point where he can pay for advertising.  He now has over 12 sites where he supplies guards every week, on a part time and full time basis, depending on the customer’s needs.  He sends in the time sheets every week, and the factoring company enters his invoices in their software, verifies and sends out the invoices to his customers.  They are his back office, making his company look larger, and certainly more professional, as well as being more efficient. His customers know he uses a factor, and know that his workers will be paid on time.  With that in mind, when a new opportunity comes up, Marcus gets the first call to do the job.

When Marcus has a new customer who wants to work with him, he calls the factoring company to get a credit check, before he starts any kind of negotiation or signs anything.  This is a service of most factoring companies, which saves him having to pay for his own credit service, and he doesn’t have to do anything but text, call or email to the factoring company to get this information within an hour.

In our last phone call, he did say he was really tired. But he wasn’t tired from lack of food.  He was tired from being so busy.  He is working on hiring a person to send out his payroll, while he develops more new customer relationships.

Factoring your invoices not only gives you needed Cash Flow, but a back office and a credit monitoring service to support your company at no cost to you.

Spend more time on your business and less time chasing your customers for payments.

factoringFor my Free e-book “The One Thing Business Owners Need” Click the Book Image

 

 

 

 

To Your Success,

Anne Gordon
Guilin Funding (The Money Lady)
1-877-872-4879
Email: agord@swbell.net