Import Financing Options To Choose From

b11The import and export business is still one of the lucrative types of trades you can get into. However, importing is still a risky business to get into.

If you are still interested in entering the foreign trade industry, one of the first things you have to do is to secure the best available export and import financing solutions. With these solutions, you will have access to the working capital required for your venture as well as enhanced cash flow since you can get the assurance that all pertinent matters are effectively settled with suppliers and payments are promptly received from buyers.

There are different import financing options to choose from today. Businesses can use them on their own or two or three more in conjunction. Below are three of the most popular options you can choose from:

1. Accounts receivable financing. This option pertains to the selling or pledging of your company’s account receivable, at a discount, to a bank, financial institution, or an accounts receivable financing company who may assume a risk of loss. Under this solution, you receive a portion (usually 80% to 90% of the face value of your receivables) in advance of payment from your customers in return for a fee, or interest, which will be paid to the commercial finance company. When the customer pays the commercial finance company, the appropriate fees are deducted and the remainder is rebated to you.

2. Purchase order financing. This import financing option refers to the assignment of purchase orders to a third party, a bank, financial institution, or commercial finance company, who then takes all responsibilities of billing and collecting from customers. Purchase order financing can be used to finance all present and succeeding orders to sustain and improve your company’s cash flow.

3. Inventory financing. Inventory financing pertains to a loan secured by the inventory of your business. This financial solution enables import companies to hold more stock without cash flow strain and to produce more sales. Most of the time, inventory finance is part of a purchase order and accounts receivable financing commercial finance package.

The three types of import financing solutions stated above can enable your business to increase its purchasing capabilities dramatically. With these options, you can accept larger orders and grow your business exponentially.

How To Rate A Company Honestly Without Being Mean

b9It can be very tempting to jump on the latest review site to talk about a company you’ve recently encountered, but you first will want to make sure you’re giving the most ethical review you can. Consumers rely heavily on the company ratings and reviews they see online to determine where they’d like to do business. The consumer rating holds power! So, before you rate a company you’ve worked with, read these important tips to make sure you can give an honest rating without being mean.

The Golden Rule

Treat the business as you would want to be treated in their shoes. The reality is that an ever-increasing portion of online ratings and reviews of businesses are fabricated, paid for, or otherwise tampered with. Because consumers often look at online ratings before deciding to patron a business, it’s important to be truthful in your rating. While it’s easy to get carried away with emotion when rating a company, keeping a rational mind while still remaining truthful will result in an honest review.

Context Matters

Your general feelings about dealing with a specific company are important, but to really paint an appropriate picture, provide ample context about the situation when possible. A non-specific complaint or wide-sweeping praise is less noteworthy than an anecdote. Remember that your review can really help or hurt a local business, so take the time to explain what happened.

Be Opportunistic

It’s always good to remember that companies keep a close watch on their online ratings. Your leaving feedback for a business is one more way to connect over their service. If you leave an honest and helpful review with respectful feedback for the owners, you may be able to participate in a dialogue with that business to address your criticism. That’s an opportunity for the company to improve, and for you the consumer to finally get the customer service you were hoping for.

Keep it Credible

Stick with the more credible review sites when leaving a business rating.
Some sites will allow you to rate a business without first vetting your review. Consumer opinion in these cases can really drive prosperity or disaster for a business, since a mean-spirited review can go unchecked.

Leave Some Positivity

Consumers typically look at business ratings with hopes that they read rave reviews about the company they’d like to work with. A lot of negative reviews may not always give the full picture. Consumers are more likely to describe a bad experience they had than a good one. Similarly, customers are more apt to jump online to give a bad rating after a poor experience. So, when you feel inclined, whip up a review after a good experience too.

Reasons Why You Need a Certified Business Valuation

b8When selling a business, the most important question needs to be focused on the actual value of it. A certified business valuation can range in complexity. It could be a simple calculation or one that evaluates both tangible and intangible factors, giving you a more in-depth evaluation. Unfortunately, a single business valuation formula won’t work for all businesses under all circumstances. Usually, business valuation can’t be performed in the “right way”. For example, accountants may look at the figures in one way, while the brokers may look at them in a different way. A certified business appraisal is crucial for a company to be valued correctly. Here are a few reasons to consider this service:

You need it for Reporting

In case you need to report the assessed value of the firm to investors. It usually takes place on a quarterly or yearly basis. This method offers economic health of the firm, thereby enhancing the investors’ confidence.

You need it for Fund Raising

In case you need to get funds for your business, you would require the appraisal report. It’s required by both banks and other options that consist of crowd funding.

You need it for a Merger or Acquisition

If you decide to merge or sell your business, a well laid out appraisal report of the complete business is necessary. It’s the first crucial step in the complete process of selling. This will in turn help you effectively negotiate a good price.

You Need to Achieve Seed Capital

In case you are planning to initiate a start-up, you will need to assess the value so that investors have a purpose to raise funds. A business appraiser will value the business based on future financial potential and not current economic value.

You Need to Issue ESOP to Employees

When a business wants to offer ESOP (Employee Stock Options), it must have the valuation done. This will help decide the shares employees will receive each year.

You Need It for Litigation

When facing any form of dispute on company assets, it is essential to have a better valuation report. It may be impossible for the insurance to cover the loss if the firm is sued and suffers a loss. It will be easier to decide and settle the case when a valuation report exists. It will determine how much the selling assets value.

Office Space for Start Ups at Bangalore Metro Stations

b6One of the interesting real estate news in the recent times is that, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMCRL) providing office space for the start-ups in five of its major stations. Yes, if everything goes well, we’ll soon have start-ups operating in metro stations of Bangalore.

UA Vasanth Rao, the General Manager of Finance at BMRCL says that the companies will have to bid for 31 office spaces of 100 sq. ft. to 4000 sq. ft. with the price ranging from RS 35 per sq. ft. to RS 120 per sq. ft. (price depends on the stations). And, the five metro stations to have office spaces are Baiyappanahalli, Indiranagar, Trinity, Vivekananda Road and Halasuru.

Not workbenches, but proper offices

Currently Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. has 31 operational stations from Baiyappanahalli to Mysuru road (18 km) and from Nagasandra to Sampige road (13 km). Having some good number of operational stations, Pradeep Singh Kharola, Managing Director of BMRCL says that they have crafted the space for start-ups and ecommerce companies. He also says that, they aren’t some workbench projects, but proper offices for start-ups.

It looks more like encouraging the start-ups to set their offices as BMRCL is also being flexible in terms of criteria (one such thing is related to net worth). Pavan Sheth, a system engineer employed with workbench projects says that, many start-ups are already visiting the makerspace, as the rents for office spaces in the city are very high. Office space rent has been the biggest problem for most of the start-ups these days, and if they get a space for low price, a huge problem is solved.

Shashank Somanna who has been running skating classes at Swamy Vivekananda Road

metro station for the past 9 months has said that, the rent is very less when compared to other places in the city and it’s good to start with, as numerous people pass through the metro station every day.

Will it work for start-ups?

Earlier, BMRC had given a statement saying, there are a few stations that cannot be given to companies for commercial activities. It was just that, they wouldn’t have got good rentals as there was very less footfall in the metro station when the service was started. Now the case is different, and many entrepreneurs are interested to start their office in metro stations. But the question is will metro offices be able to reach up to the employees’ expectation from workplace?

There are both pros and cons associated with having your office at a metro station. As already told, footfall is the primary thing as there are numerous people who pass through the station every day, and the company gets a great exposure. Also, it’s easy for your employees to reach office on time, as it’s in the metro station itself.

But what’s been the concern for most of the entrepreneurs is the productivity and efficiency of the employees. Will the employees really be able to be focused on their work? We all know how busy the metro stations will be; what disturbs employees the most is the environment with trains passing around quite often! It’s really a point to be thought of.

However, there are plenty of fully furnished and inexpensive office spaces in Bangalore. All you need to do is to seek help of an expert commercial real estate agent who can help you find an amazing office space for your business. Ultimately it’s the employees’ efficiency and productivity at the workplace is what matters.

Excellent Locksmithing Advice That Is Easy To Understand

b7If you want your taxes done right, you hire an accountant. If you want your hair cut, you hire a hairdresser. You don’t do these things on your own, you hire a professional! When it comes to your safety, do the same and use the checklist of advice found below to hire a locksmith.

You should do your research and have the name of a reliable locksmith on you at all times. Look for online reviews and get recommendations from people you know. You want to know that you are not being taken advantage of if and when you are in an emergency situation.

The best way to find the most reliable locksmith is usually word of mouth. When you need one, start asking your friends and family who they trust. From there, check with the local BBB or other agency that will provide information about reputations. Don’t just trust anyone with the keys to your home!

When you are looking to have a locksmith install a new lock, ask them to use one that has high security. These cost a bit more, but they will keep you a lot safer than traditional locks. You need to show an ID card as well as a card provided by the locksmith in order to have duplicate keys made.

Make sure the locksmith you hire is properly licensed and insured. While this may not impact his ability to fix you up a new set of keys, it offers a lot in terms of credibility and trust. Make sure anyone you use is up to date on all the paperwork and as professional as possible.

If a locksmith tries to hand you a bill that’s significantly higher than what you were quoted on the phone, tell them you don’t consider that acceptable. There are a bunch of locksmiths out there that will be honest with you, so you can be sure that they will help when this happens.

Try getting a locksmith who stays up to date with the locksmith community. While this is just a bonus, you can be assured that a locksmith that is a member of an association or earns additional certifications is up on current trends. It also assures you that you won’t get scammed.

Contact the Better Business Bureau before hiring a locksmith to make sure that they have not had a lot of complaints. While there is nothing abnormal about having a couple, a pattern shows that this person is not reliable. It is best to know this about them before trusting them to help you with a lock.

Ask any locksmith about his or her experience up front. It is always good to inquire how long they have been in operation in the area. Locksmiths with more than 5 years of experience are a better choice.

Ascertaining Right Translation Prices

b5If you are a brand that has opened up to the strong forces and opportunities set forth by globalisation then you must have started zeroing in on a good marketing strategy in accordance with these new-found goals. Within this marketing and communication mantle, you would, sooner or later, find translation emerging as a significant factor either contributing to or challenging the milestones towards new goalposts.
You may either go for a well-entrenched player closer home or you may consider someone native and also enabled with a good grip on the local market as per your new market targets. There is also a possibility of bringing in the best of both the worlds by choosing someone who comes with as much international expertise as with a localization edge.

If you look around prudently and patiently, you will find certain translation service providers who offer numerous advantages. Not only do they carry a lineage and experience clout of several years or brands under their belts, but they also offer resources and expertise that a specific local market would ideally desire.

When negotiating and finalising contracts with a translation service provider, you may find some differences in translation rates and the way they operate. For an independent translator, the prices offered could, in all probability, turn vastly lower than what a full-fledged, high-scale firm might put on the table.

You would have to dissect your priorities, affordable financial levels, and your overall strategy before deciding what you want to pick. It is highly recommended here that you avoid the mistake of making such mission-critical decisions based on the narrow lens of pricing alone.

Pricing often fails to incorporate the big picture. A multi-service firm may charge higher rates but that kind of requirement often comes with an extra buffer that cushions and complements a translation job. There is a multitude of services involved (project management or multilingual media monitoring), to name a few; that explain the extra difference.

Translation prices quoted by individuals may not even reflect the equally important but side-sliced work of Proofreading, Audits, Quality Control, DTP Checks, and Iterations. It is advisable to check for such components well in advance while handing over crucial contracts. Apart from this, service providers differ in their ability to serve languages across the world. As a global brand you may want to work with a service provider who offers maximum language translations, so whenever you launch in a new geography, you don’t have to look for a new provider. The prices also differ between languages even with a single service provider. The rarer a language is used, the higher is the rate for the same. Apart from this, prices go up depending on what kind of output is required, based on the value addition to the basic task of translation. The text costs less, design output is more. The design costs lesser than a multimedia voiceover project and so on.

The translation rates would also swing massively when one considers high-quality, high-outcome, intensive services like transcreation, software internationalization, and localization in the overall framework.

The ONE Thing Every Business Needs To Do

b4A couple of weeks ago, I was coaching/ consulting / just chatting with a sci-fi-fantasy author to write her bio.

She said something that really stuck with me –

She has decided that she doesn’t want to be spending her time chasing after all those “things” people are “supposed to do” online. She has no interest to blog weekly, to crush it on social media, or to create a course.

All she wants to do is to tell good stories – stories that people enjoy reading. Stories that deliver a satisfying reading experience. Stories that respect the readers’ time (and intelligence.)

She said it so matter-of-fact-ly. Nothing apologetic about it.

A stake in the ground. A breath of fresh air. A clear conviction.

More often than not, when I get on the phone with folks, they’d tell me a laundry list of “marketing activities” they plan to do.

Then they start talking about why they’re stuck, what haven’t been checked off the list and how that technology thing is keeping them stuck etc. – often with an apologetic tone.

That apologetic tone is deadly. It makes us shrink. It takes us away from what we KNOW is the right thing to do for ourselves, our clients and our messages.

It makes us conform without enough discernment.

We live in this business-coachy-bubble filled with marketing-should’s.

We’re sent in a dozen different directions, trying to “market” our businesses.

Forgetting what drove us in the first place.

Forgetting that we didn’t start our businesses so we can market some stuff.

Forgetting that at the end of the day, if we don’t create meaning and deliver value, we don’t have anything worthwhile to sell. Then everything you’ve learned about marketing and selling is moot.

***

More often than not, we’re making things more complicated than they need to be.

Don’t drown yourself in two dozens business strategies and marketing tactics, wondering where to start and get stuck in analysis-paralysis.

Start by DOING GOOD WORK.

Start with your distinct POV, your unique contribution.

Start by creating meaning.

“Doing good work” doesn’t mean getting stuck in perfectionism.

It doesn’t mean you’ve to make it perfect before you sell anything.

Doing good work is an attitude.

Put YOU into the work. No fear, no compromise, no diluting your message because you worry about offending people or excluding clients. Tell the Truth.

As good as you can get it with what you’ve at the moment; with honesty, confidence and conviction.

Good work also means SHIPPING the damn thing. If you don’t deliver the goods, it’s not doing anybody any good.

When you do good work, when you identify the meaning in that work, when you map its relevance to your niche – then the next step comes naturally…

Talk about it.

When you do good work and do enough of it, you’ll know your expertise and offering inside out so you can talk about it in a way that articulates why it’s relevant and meaningful to your clients.

Sure, you may need a different perspective to see all the pieces and some help to massage the language… but you gotta have quality raw materials.

How To Maximize The Services Of Transportation Companies

b3Corporate transportation is not all about transporting your personnel from point A to point B. Plenty of things will definitely happen between their pickup point and destination. Your employees are indeed among your valuable assets. Thus, you must get them to their intended destination in a safe, efficient, and quick manner. And a lot of that will greatly depend on selecting the right partner among transportation companies. But how will you assure that you will be making the best choice? Experts have shared some of the important points that you must consider.

Do your own research – Services offered by a reliable corporate transportation company will provide you with different benefits. These include prompt arrival at destinations along with cost savings. But in order for you to fully enjoy these benefits, you need to invest sufficient resources toward research on every possible choice. Begin by creating a list of possible companies to hire. Do a thorough background check on every company on your list like their professionalism and reputation. To see what past and current clients must say about the company, use the Internet. Check also the services they offer and see if these will match your own requirements and needs. When interviewing each candidate, you must pay attention to how they communicate with you. This will definitely give you a glimpse of the professionalism, attention to detail, and courtesy that a firm has to offer.

Do not rush the process – If you rush through the selection process, this can lead to poor decisions. If you invest resources for research, you can take a considerable amount of time; however, the right choice will make your first investment pay off. In case you have a hard time selecting among seemingly equal companies, consider going with your gut feel. Also, choose one that you feel you can trust. Bear in mind that trust is very crucial in cementing a very solid relationship that must be cultivated through the right communication.

Work with a reliable transportation company – After you have chosen the best, trusted transportation company, your job is not yet done. If you want to reap the benefits of working with such expert for your employees, you must be ready to put in some work as well. This further means making sure that your chosen firm is fully informed about your needs and other important details. This will help prevent any mishaps that can lead to added costs, tardiness, or even bad reputation.

Tips For Working With Your Chosen Video Production Company

b2Coming up with professional-looking videos to promote your brand, services or products are not something that every business can do. This is because not all companies have a talented in-house video production team. But if you really want to have and promote a video that represents your brand, you can hire a video production company.

Once you have hired a video production company, don’t think that all your hard work ends here. To make sure you have a good video representative of your brand or one that does a good job of introducing and showcasing your products or services, it is essential that you work well with your hired video production company.

Below are some tips you can follow to have a good working relationship with your chosen video production company and achieve your goals:

Discuss all your goals about the project. Identify the goals you want the video to achieve and talk about them in detail with your hired service provider. Be as specific as you can: do you want this video to introduce your new product or service or do you want it to help you achieve brand recognition? If you don’t have a clear set of target goals for your video, you’ll end up with having one that is useless and you will just waste a lot of your time and money.

Set your budget and make sure the video production company knows this. Once you have set a budget for this project, it is important to relay this to your chosen partner. If not, you may end up being surprised with the amount you have to pay for. However, once you’ve figured out what you can spend, you still need to be open with that figure. Make sure you give a reasonable range of budget to work with to help the production team focus on the right content and solutions.

Be flexible. One of the reasons you decided to hire a video production company is to get advice from them and to optimize their expertise. As such, it won’t do you any good if you shut down their ideas and recommendations. Listen to them and be open to the options you’re presented with. In general, creative concepts can be hard to visualize. If possible, wait until for the video to be completed until you judge.

Be honest. Lastly, if you don’t like something about the content or the direction the project is headed to, don’t hesitate to tell this to your chosen partner’s representative. You are the client and the one paying them so they need to satisfy your requirements. Don’t be easily satisfied with the results they give you as well; if you think that the video was poorly made, have it redone.

What Is Business

b1It takes “Organized, intelligent and productive work” to rule. One interesting designation is the creation mandate is to “fill the earth.” It takes efficient and effective visionary leadership to “rule,” “lead,” “manage,” and fill up God’s structure – earth. All of the foregoing is the elements that make up a healthy business system. At the conclusion of work after creation episode, God enacted a “work” or “business” code called creation mandate for man to engage in filling up the “structure” that He created,

“Now no shrub of the field had yet grown on the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to cultivate (work) the ground
Genesis 2:5

When a high-rise apartment building project is under construction, the structural engineers first put in place the structure or skeleton of the entire building, which defines how the building would look like eventually. Thereafter, building engineers would come and fill up the structure with blocks before you can fully appreciate the aesthetic appeal or value of the apartment building. After God, Adam was the first worker or business man on earth; he was mandated to fill up or work up God’s structure of creation i.e. administer and market productively God’s vision on earth

It becomes clear that business is divine in nature; business is a veritable vehicle to do the will of God; it isn’t created to support sin – self enrichment and nepotism. While I would concede that money or profit is a corollary of obedience to ruler-ship; it isn’t the primary objective of business. The beauty of the business system is appreciated best when it is organized under a harmonious and congenial atmosphere.

So, what is business from God’s perspective?

Business is the efficient and effective organization of your skill, talent or gift under a healthy and compatible business system. Business is the organized supply of human needs and the promotion of human well-being under God’s program. Every kingdom business should have healthy and compatible system in place that encourages efficiency and effectiveness. So then, what is a business system from biblical perspective? That will be the theme of our discourse in our next article!

Many years before Jesus launched His earthly ministry – at the tender age of twelve – He announced publicly to His earthly parents and those within hearing distance His principal purpose on earth,

“… Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?

Luke 2:29

By this announcement, Jesus enshrouded the make-up of His ministry in mystery; even His earthly parent couldn’t understand what He meant,

Yet his parents did not understand the remark he made to them.”

I want to juxtapose the world’s definition of business and God’s purpose for business from the foregoing text. If business is all about making money through the provision of products and services (according to the world’s definition), question is, what was the product or service that Jesus rendered to the “doctors” He listened to and how much money was involved? Your answer is as good as mine – none.

Christ business wasn’t predicated on physical reality but on spiritual reality, he sought to pursue the will of God – creation mandate – by bringing His creation into alignment with God. Therefore from the outset of His business on earth, Jesus sought to bring people in alignment with the ways of God, through His ministry.

Jesus said to them, “My food (purpose) is to do the will (creation mandate) of the one who sent me and to complete his work (ruler-ship)”

John 4:34

If given that Christ perspective of business wasn’t predicated on provision of physical goods, products or services for the purpose of making money! So then, what was the father’s business that He alluded to in the text above? His father’s business is the work given Him to do on earth which is the will of the father – creation mandate.

Christ business on earth was is rulership. From the foregoing, one can understand the fundamental elements of God’s business which are:

  1. His will – VISION
  2. Rulers-hip – ADMINISTRATION
  3. Working – PRODUCTION
  4. Dominion – MARKETING

This is the core of what is known as “business system” that Christ explained in the parable of the householder in the twenty-first chapter and verses thirty-three and thirty-four of the books of Matthew. In my follow-up article, I’ll explore “The anatomy of a business system.”