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Useful Marketing Plan Organization Tips

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Marketing and Small and Medium-Size Business Success

Marketing is a concept that’s invaluable to businesses of all different sizes. If you’re serious about running a small or medium-size business that’s both efficient and successful, you have to make strong marketing practices a major priority. Inadequate marketing can often lead to insufficient growth for businesses. That can be disastrous, too. If you’re a business owner or representative who wants to reach for the stars, your focus should be on smart marketing organization techniques.

Budget Properly

A strong marketing plan calls for significant budgeting attention. Businesses need resources that can help them get everything done. They need to be able to pay professionals for their services. They need to be able to purchase brand new equipment. They require wherewithal in general. Businesses should always consider certain key factors when organizing marketing plans, too. They should think about their specific time frames. They should think about exactly how much money they have to invest as well. These factors can both affect marketing strategies considerably.

Pinpoint Your Target Audience Members

Successful marketing is a lot about knowing your target audience. Being able to properly pinpoint your target audience members is everything. Think about the services and products your business has to offer. Then define the people you believe make up your ideal target audience. Describe their age groups. Are they mostly male or are they mostly female? What exactly do they want out of life? What can they expect from your business’ services and products? What can your business do to improve their lifestyles? If you can answer these questions with ease and confidence, your business’ marketing plan is already on a good track. Concentrate on these people and on their needs when putting together future marketing strategies.

Assess Your Competitors

Businesses that are trying to win should always be keenly aware of their target audience members. It’s just as important for them, however, to be aware of their existing competition. If you want to organize a marketing plan that’s strong and solid, you have to know exactly who your “rivals” are. Are you going to be battling it out with massive firms that operate all throughout the United States and beyond? Are you going to be directly competing with smaller firms that are based in your area? The more you understand your competition, the better. If you have a strong grasp of your competitors, it will be easier for you to get focus for your marketing methods.

Create Tangible Goals

Tangible goals are paramount for any businesses that are looking to thrive in modern society. If you want your up-and-coming company to attain success, you have to state exactly what you want to happen for it. Think about your goals for the immediate future. Think about your goals for further on down the line as well. These are both equally important. Businesses need goals that are distinct rather than vague. They also need goals that they can easily measure. If your aim is simply to attract brand new clients, state that. If it’s to expand your business, state that, too. Don’t ever be afraid to vocalize your aims and aspirations. Fear will only ever hold you and your business back.

Think About Timing

Timing means a lot in this fast-paced world. If you want to market your business like an expert, you need a time frame, plain and simple. A time frame can give you the good type of pressure. It can encourage you to take action and to never waste even a minute of the day. It’s important to refrain from setting up time frames that are impractical in any way, however. Try to give yourself as much time as possible without taking things too far. Ample time can be helpful. Too much time, on the other hand, can sometimes lead to low productivity.

Reach Out to Business Credit & Capital

If you’re looking for top-quality professional marketing strategy assistance, the Business Credit & Capital team can come to your aid. We’re a full-service firm that specializes in business financing services for companies that are small to medium in size. Contact us as soon as possible to learn more about our in-depth marketing expertise.

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How To Use Business Metrics To Make Vital Decisions

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At the end of the fourth quarter, the problem many business owners are concerned with is putting together the information to prepare for tax time. But as you meet with accountants to go over the books, the end of the year is also a good time to investigate your financial performance for the previous year and determine what kind of profitability you can expect to see from your operation over the next four quarters.

This should be done with some specific goals in mind for analyzing where your revenue is coming from and where surplus should be applied. But the ultimate goal should be to develop the long-term value of your company. One day you may wish to pass it on to your children. Perhaps you’ve considered retiring and selling out as a reward for all your hard work. Either way, you’ll want to keep an eye on certain metrics.

Using business metrics

First, you must recognize the metrics that are the best indicators of your business’ performance. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with figures and statistics springing from a full-blown analysis that may really have little impact on your bottom line. Your analysts and accountants can help you sort through the details, but the numbers that matter most come from the metrics that follow.

1. Net profit margin

This shows you what percentage of real profit you’re getting from every dollar generated in sales. The expected rate of return is different for every industry, so your profit margins can show you your level of efficiency and your window for scaling prices to capture more of your market. Most industries will have financial benchmarks available as guidelines. Key performance indicators (KPI) are an ongoing metric for short-term monitoring. Restaurants may want to know average cost-per-seat, cinemas and theaters may want to see ticket prices vs concession sales, or shipping companies revenue per mile or gallon of fuel.

2. Gross margin

This is your percentage of profit vs expenses and is a good indicator of when costs are growing faster than revenue. Gauging gross margins over several periods can identify a need for improving production efficiency and/or finding ways to lower costs. It can be a good time to look for new vendors or re-negotiate agreements with the ones you have. At times the only alternative is raising prices. Knowing where your market shares are relative to rivals in your area or niche can be a good indicator of how well you’re doing in terms of competition.

3. Benchmarking

Prospective investors or buyers will also compare a business’ financial statements to those of competitors to make a relative market valuation. Monitoring the performance of others in your industry is a good practice as it let’s you know how your profitability stands against your market competition, not the narrow scope of your own profit-and-loss statements. You may find that 20 percent margins are more than adequate, but they will be substandard against a similar company making 26 percent margins, or even a much larger company making 17 percent margins. Your company should represent strong competition, or your future could be less assured than you think.

4. Cash flow operations

The cash flow statement should be part of your financial statements. Cash flow demonstrates how much cash is coming from the company over a given timeframe. Cash flow is not the same as profit. If some major clients are slow to pay, the books may show some healthy profit margins, but the cash isn’t actually there yet. If other indicators show that it’s time for a change, or bills and payroll are an issue, borrowing against invoices may be your best option. Business Credit & Capital will purchase a percentage of your anticipated revenue and advance the funds to you. Unlike most business loans, there’s little documentation required and you use the money any way you like.

There are any number of other factors affecting profitability. Apart from taxes, these could be a liability or other forms of insurance, licensing fees, IT and security costs, or even the fact that wages can vary between different geographical regions. But you should always be aware of where your operating cash is coming from.

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2017 Business Trends to Look For

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According to the Census Bureau, millennials are currently the largest living group. That’s important because it means more millennials make up the consumer base than ever before, and business trends have been adapting to reflect that. Businesses of all sizes can benefit from taking a page out of the millennials’ book of trends to continue growing with ease.

Embrace Millennials

As stated, there are more millennials alive than any other demographic. Although they may seem to be selfish and narrow-minded, the truth is that this particular demographic merely operates in a different way than baby boomers have for years. Instead of sticking to what’s familiar, millennials prefer to seek creative solutions for their jobs while improving workforce efficiency. Ultimately, this “work smarter” mindset leads to innovative ideas that create beneficial changes in companies.

Training Remote Employees

There was once a time when the idea of hiring someone who didn’t work inside the building was unheard of. In the 21st century, however, businesses across all fields are beginning to hire remotely, with industries like tech almost relying exclusively on remote contract hire.

Remote employment grew in popularity as internet technology improved. Nowadays, little effort is necessary to host a meeting over Skype or social media messaging, so certain positions, like programming or customer support, only require access to the Internet.

Decisions with Big Data

Many cite being data-driven as a negative business trend, but traditionalists may just be looking at the concept from the wrong angle. Using data doesn’t mean treating it like a steering wheel and relying exclusively on the numbers to play CEO. Although data reveals truths about customers, it’s not law and it doesn’t know best. For best results, combine collected data with the opinions of team members as well as the knowledge your company already has regarding what its customers want.

Improve Social Media

Social media marketing is one of those things that everyone seems to be doing, but only a few are doing so effectively. Most don’t take advantage of the analytic tools the various platforms have to offer. Even with the highest-quality content and rapid response to comments, you won’t get the most out of your social media tools if you don’t pay attention.

In fact, social media platforms are one of the primary ways that big data can collect as much as it does. Using websites designed to display personal information and interests like badges, customers essentially hand you a pamphlet telling you how to run your business such that they’ll buy services or products. They’re already speaking — you just have to listen.

If you don’t already have a social media marketing manager, it may be in your company’s best interests to make that your next hire. With the valuable information that social media platforms provide, the company will more than make back any business credit invested.

Quality Blogging

Maybe your business already has a regular blog, but is the content worth reading? Blogging isn’t a new trend for 2017, but it’s only getting bigger. However, this means that, in the quest to be visible, many companies created blogs focused on SEO instead of readable content.

Customers have noticed this because they know how to differentiate quality content and something that looks like a generator spit out. If the blog doesn’t inform in an exciting, engaging manner, it won’t retain readership, and it certainly won’t convert anyone into customers.

Trust, Not Sales

In the same vein, it’s important to build an honest relationship with customers instead of trying to sell them something. People have had salesmen on their real and virtual doors for years, and they’re tired of companies who only care about adding more dollars to their bottom line. What has been working, and what will continue to work in 2017, are supportive services and mobile apps. Apps can require a fair bit of initial capital to invest, but it often returns a significant ROI if it complements your services well. Contact us today to learn more about small- and medium-sized business funding.

Although it’s impossible to predict exactly where trends will end up until we’ve made our way well into 2017, these are the biggest strategies that seem to be worth jumping on as soon as possible. People want to be comfortable with the company they’re shopping from, and one of the best ways to curate that comfort is to speak their language.

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Helpful Business Credit Score Improvement Tips

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The Importance of a Great Business Credit Score

A good credit score is important for any individual. It’s also, however, just as important for any business. If you want your business to be a strong force in the world, you need to do whatever you can to help it maintain a solid credit score. If your business’ existing credit score isn’t so great, you should go above and beyond to try to improve it as soon as possible. A good credit score can be a major asset for businesses of all different varieties. A bad one, on the other hand, can be a significant drawback to them. It can make getting a business loan difficult or sometimes even impossible. If you want to strengthen your business’ current credit score, you can take action. Businesses never have to settle for credit scores that are less than exceptional these days. They can always work to change them.

Assess Your Business Credit Report on a Routine Basis

If you want to attain a better business credit score, you have to evaluate your business credit report frequently. Go through this report with a fine-tooth comb. Confirm that everything you see is correct. Confirm that all of the information on the report is as current as possible as well.

Work on Your Business Credit History

Credit histories can be beneficial to businesses that are serious about bettering their credit scores. You can work on credit history by completing an application for a brand new business credit card. If you get this credit card, you should make regular use of it. You should prioritize fast and reliable payments as well. A good payment track record will give you access to additional credit further on down the line. You should aim to take care of your bills before they’re due if at all possible. Fast credit card payments can do wonders for your business credit score. They can help you create a business credit background that’s 100 percent dependable.

Give Your Credit Limit a Boost

If you want to achieve a better business credit score, you should give your credit limit a boost. Wait until you have had a credit account for a minimum of half a year. Then ask for an increase on the account’s limit. You can ask for this increase in one of two ways. You can do so via telephone or the Internet.

Maintain Low Credit Card Balances

People who want to strengthen their business credit scores should always prioritize credit card balances that are low. Refrain from maxing out any of your available cards. If your business has outstanding balances that are on the high side, that can reduce its credit score in a significant way. Opt to use no more than 30 percent of your available credit if that’s realistic.

Steer Clear of Your Personal Credit

Don’t make the mistake of employing your own personal credit for any business purposes. When you set up business accounts, use your EIN (Employee Identification Number). Steer clear of your social security number. Set up any and all business accounts with the assistance of your business name. Do so with the assistance of your business’ specific tax details as well.

Get in Contact With Business Credit & Capital As Soon As Possible

If you’re looking to enhance your business credit score, you don’t have to go it alone. You can instead seek professional assistance from Business Credit & Capital. We’re a full-service business that focuses on loans that are suitable for businesses that are small to medium in size. Businesses that are searching for in-depth assistance with financing matters can turn to our team members whenever they wish. We can provide you with invaluable guidance that can help you efficiently and quickly raise your business credit score. We can offer you strong business loans that are 100 percent appropriate for your goals and requirements as well, too. Get in contact with Business Credit & Capital without delay for more information about our prominent firm. You can reach out to our staff via email and telephone. Our company is based in the borough of Brooklyn in New York, New York. We’re known for superb customer service and satisfaction.

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The Signs That Signal Your Business Needs A Loan

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It is easy to assume that having more ready cash is the answer to all business problems. In fact, this is exactly the mentality that has driven traditional lenders to more carefully scrutinize loan applicants, regardless of company size or credit history.

Yet there are certain legitimate signs that indicate your growing business is best served by applying for a business loan. Sometimes, it just isn’t possible to realize your full potential without a little capital “jump start.”

In this article, learn the key signs to watch for that signal your business could benefit from a loan.

Sign 1: You’ve received that “once in a lifetime” large order.
While it doesn’t happen often, there are times when that big break you’ve been hoping for arrives literally gift-wrapped on your doorstep.

In these cases, you may not have the financial means on hand to rise to the occasion, but passing it up could ensure you stay marooned in the minor leagues for some time to come.

This is a clear sign that the time is right to apply for a loan. You may need the loan for raw materials, equipment or even temporary contract workers to fulfill the order. But the best news is, the order itself can serve as a type of collateral with certain business funding programs, making it much more likely you will be quickly approved for your loan.

Sign 2: It is time to hire more “yous.”
When you first opened your business’s doors, it is quite likely you wore most or even all of the hats. You juggled and you struggled and you got very little sleep. But now your business has successfully weathered the startup storm and you are long overdue for a more specific job description.

The reason for this is simple: in your business, there is really only one “you.” In other words, no one else can do what you do. When it is clear you could be generating more profit for your own company by doing what only you can do, it is time to bring in some extra hands.

Of course, hiring help, whether in the form of contract, part-time or full-time staff, takes capital. This is another one of those key signs that the time is right to apply for a business loan.

Sign 3: You have your eyes on a bigger expansion.
As a newer, growing business, you may have all the potential in the world, but your credit history may not show that on paper. No matter how convincing your business plan looks on paper or how persuasive you are in person, many lenders today are still quite wary after the 2008 financial meltdown.

If you can’t show them proof in the form of a solid credit history that you can pay back the loan, you are unlikely to get the loan. In order to build your credit history, however, you need to take out a loan.

So here is where you can start small, taking out smaller loans and paying them back on time, building a credit history that will someday net you that big capital loan to expand and fulfill your long-term goals.

Sign 4: You have reached your limit in terms of self-financing.
Self-financing can definitely get your startup business over some initial hurdles when it is too young to earn the trust of anyone besides you.

But in time, as Entrepreneur points out, self-financing can not only become stressful but also limiting. It can also negatively impact your business’s ability to build sufficient credit history (see Sign 3 here) to apply for bigger expansion loans in the future.

If you have reached the end of your capacity in self-funding your company, this is a clear sign it is time to seek a loan.

Sign 5: You need equipment or materials you don’t have to grow.
Finally, there are those concrete moments in a business’s life when you just need to expand…or risk staying put forever.

When you come up against a concrete need like this, only one thing will do: it is time to apply for a business loan.