manufacturing

Factoring & Purchase Order Financing Combine To Build A Distributor’s Business

manufacturing

When a Canadian distributor for a European manufacturer of innovative ground screws needed funding for large orders they turned to Greg Norris at Liquid Capital in Toronto and Mark Polinsky of Gateway Trade Funding near Chicago.

The distributor’s products are used in construction to establish a foundation in virtually any terrain. As an alternative to concrete slab foundations, the ground screws allow quick and stable foundations to be installed where traditional solutions may not be ideal. However, shipping the product from the Czech Republic meant that there was a considerable lag time between when payment to the manufacturer was due and when the distributor could collect from the purchaser.

Traditional bank financing was not available because of a number of hurdles including international currency conversions, the innovative and non-traditional nature of the product and the involvement of somewhat risky construction projects.

Funding the transaction

Norris was able to structure a solution involving purchase order financing and factoring that worked well for the distributor, allowing them to create the cash flow needed to complete transactions for customers in both the US and Canada.

“This solution was not without several challenges,” said Norris. “Working with multiple players in multiple countries and funding the significant transportation time all complicated the transactions. Working with Gateway Trade Funding outside Chicago, we were able to fund this and then manage all of the logistics and needs of each participant.”

Funding these transactions is expected to exceed $2.5 million (USD). “The financing solution allows this particular distributor to capture business they would not otherwise be able to transact,” said Polinsky. “It’s helping them to grow their business while introducing innovative solutions to their customers.”

How your business can do the same

Liquid Capital may be able to offer your business purchase order financing and factoring similar to this case. If you’ve been denied traditional bank loans because of issues like international currency conversions or what the banks deem as a risky project, then there is another option with Liquid Capital.

BNN finance video

Watch BNN Video: Funding Alternative To Hard-To-Get Bank Loans

You may be one of the many businesses all across the U.S. and Canada that have a hard time getting access to bank loans. Either you don’t have the required assets deemed necessary by the banks, your gross income is deemed ‘too low,’ or you may have a limited operating history.

Without access to capital, your company will have a hard time growing and becoming more profitable.

“Factoring” is an alternative to the traditional bank loan—and it’s not yet widely known. This funding option is already very popular overseas and allows you to increase your cash flow to put your resources towards operating your business the way you want.

Watch Robert Thompson-So, Chief Strategy Officer of Liquid Capital explain to BNN how factoring finance solutions help small to medium-sized business leverage their accounts receivable to get to the next level.

Consider factoring as an option for your business, and make the most of your working capital.

Southern Alberta’s Liquid Capital Corporate Solutions’ Innovative Approach, Helps Small To Medium Size Businesses Grow

COALDALE, AB (June 22, 2016) – Business owner Jim Craven today announced the opening of Liquid Capital Corporate Solutions in Coaldale, Alberta, near Lethbridge. The firm offers Southern Alberta business owners alternative financing services when they are unable to access traditional bank loans — a common issue facing many Alberta businesses.

“Every business, whether in early stages or in growth periods, needs a helping hand when access to cash flow is road-blocked by large, financial institutions. That’s where support from Liquid Capital can make a dramatic difference for small and medium-sized businesses in the area,” Mr. Craven said.

“Many entrepreneurs have been turned down by the banks and don’t know where to turn. We have solutions for them,” Mr. Craven explained. “When prospective clients discover that we are here to help and that they have reasonably priced funding options available to grow their business, they feel relieved,” he said.

Mr. Craven, who attended the University of Lethbridge, has been working in the area for many years and has deep roots in the community.

“I think that’s the difference with Liquid Capital – you’re not dealing with a faceless organization. You’re dealing with someone in your community who understands how to help build your business. We are part of the Southern Alberta business community and our number one goal is to help companies grow and thrive,” Mr. Craven said.

BNN Interview – Factoring: An Alternative To The Banks

Factoring is popular in the U.S. and overseas, but it’s not widely known in Canada. However, Robert Thompson-So, Vice-President, Chief Strategy Officer at Liquid Capital Corporation says “as banks continue to retrench from small and mid-sized markets,” factoring is a funding option that has a lot of growth potential in Canada, where Liquid Capital has more than 200 clients. He outlines how factoring works and how it can help companies meet their financing and operating needs.

old school marketing

7 Old-School SMB Marketing Tricks To Put Up Your Sleeve

old school marketing

Running a small or medium-sized business isn’t easy. One of the hardest parts is figuring out how to market and promote your company. You’re not alone.

There are traditional methods like newspapers, radio and TV, along with newer media tactics including digital advertising, search marketing and social media. How will you figure out which tactics to invest your time and energy into, and what will give you the most bang for you buck?

There’s no doubt that new-school digital marketing methods are effective, but you might be neglecting traditional tried, tested and true methods that are still valuable. And with everybody rushing to the new strategies, there could be less competition back in old-school marketing.

Here are seven useful tips and tricks you can use to build a successful marketing campaign using those traditional methods of marketing.

1. Get Your Story Published in the Local Newspaper

Newspapers might seem outdated, but there are great opportunities that still exist in your local paper – especially since most papers also have a supporting website where stories are published.

Contact the Editor of the business section and show how your startup is different from all the others out there. Create a compelling story about your history, what you offer the community and how you are raising the bar in the business world. Every publication is interested in intriguing stories, and by offering a cost effective pitch (aka free), you may be able to persuade them to write a profile-raising piece on you.

2. Talk to Magazine Editors

You may be thinking, “What? First outdated newspapers and now outdated magazines?” It’s true – magazines can be a great way to get exposure for your business, and there are plenty around looking to publish your story.

Local exposure is the best, so start with the most local publication possible. It may be a small town or niche business magazine that you target. And make sure you get links to your website included in the online version of the story so that the readers can quickly click to your business site.

Bonus: Ask the magazine if you can contribute to an ‘Ask the Expert’ column. Then provide ongoing expert pieces for them to publish, either in the print version or online.

3. Make Effective Business Cards, and Don’t Forget to Hand Them Out

Business cards are low tech but remain important for networking. Don’t leave home without them, as you never know who you’ll bump into.

Make sure your business card contains all relevant contact information, like your website address and any social media accounts – especially LinkedIn if you’re a B2B professional.

And make use of any blank space on your cards to provide details about your products, services and a reason for people to connect with you. For example, you could include a special discount only to people with your business card. That gives them a reason to hold onto your card.

Bonus: Get their business card as well, and then connect with them on LinkedIn or other social media accounts that same day. Make sure to follow-up with a message to add a personal touch to your new business relationship.

4. Set Up a Referral Program

If you have a large number of suppliers you regularly work with, set up a referral program to get your customers rewards. Imagine being able to offer your customers exclusive discounts on additional products and services? That would be reason enough to keep coming back to you.

And if you take this traditional program into the new-school, you can offer your referral program as part of your company e-newsletter. By signing up for these emails, your customers will have handy access to all the promotions at your business and other partner stores.

5. Offer Seasonal Discounts and Sales

Everyone likes a summer saving or a winter deal! It doesn’t really matter the season, just give your customers a discount for shopping at a particular time of year. Or create a theme around a seasonal holiday like Halloween, to offer Spooky Savings and Frighteningly Low Prices. There’s a certain charm to having specials around holidays, and it shows your customers that you can have a little fun with your business as well.

6. Send Good Old Fashioned Snail Mail

Mail drops are definitely old-school, but don’t underestimate them. Dropping leaflets through people’s mailboxes still has a measurable effect as long as you do this strategically. Keep your radius tight if you have a physical store location, so people will have a better chance of popping in your store.

Make sure your mailer has a clear call-to-action on it as well. Better yet, give them an incentive to hold on to that piece of mail. For example, include a code they need to enter for a website promotion or tell them to present that mailer in your store to receive a free piece of swag.

Bonus: Create a hard copy flyer, then take advantage of the message boards available at other local businesses. A flyer can be a quick, cheap and easy promotion of your company. Make sure you get permission first, and don’t forget your strong calls-to-action.

7. Connect with Your Local Chamber of Commerce

Your local Chamber of Commerce can always offer some valuable help. Make sure you join up so that you can network with other local business owners. It’s surprisingly effective to chat with other business owners in your area and learn the tactics they use to market to their customers and prospects.

Then follow the Chamber of Commerce online and make sure you attend events throughout the year. You may be able to get ongoing support and assistance that would cost thousands of dollars from third party sources.

Do you have an old-school method of marketing your business that has worked effectively? Tell us in the comments section.

Victoria-Based Liquid Capital West Coast Offers New Alternative Financing Solutions For Small & Medium Businesses

VICTORIA, B.C. (June 8, 2016) – Liquid Capital West Coast Financingpartners Rebekah Hutchison and Stephen Ison announced today that their firm is open for business and specializes in helping entrepreneurs, and small and medium-size businesses to find alternative financing solutions when traditional bank loans aren’t available.

“The problem is common for many businesses, including start-ups, small businesses in the growth phase, or for established companies with temporary cash flow issues,” Mr. Ison said. “We help provide our clients with much-needed funding so they can continue to grow their businesses.”

Ms. Hutchison and Mr. Ison help solve their clients’ cash-flow needs by providing working capital and trade finance solutions when banks won’t offer companies loans or credit.

Mr. Ison and Ms. Hutchison, bring considerable experience and expertise to Liquid Capital West Coast Financing.  Mr. Ison worked as a broker and financial advisor previously, and was a senior executive at investment company Edward Jones where he was responsible for the firm’s Western region of Canada. Ms. Hutchison’s experience includes B2B communications, marketing, design and management and has advised clients across many sectors, including the health and wellness and real estate industries.

“If we help a business owner expand their operations so that they can hire more employees, then every quarter when the national job creation report is released, we can say we did a little bit to help,” Ms. Hutchison said. “This work is exactly what we hoped it would be. It couldn’t be a better partnership to help grow local businesses in British Columbia,” she added.

About Liquid Capital

Liquid Capital is a Canadian-based, full-service working capital and trade finance network and has been in operations since 1998. The Liquid Capital network has the largest geographic footprint of alternative funding professionals, with over 80 independently owned businesses across North America, offering clients a customized and flexible approach with local decision makers.

We offer a complete range of solutions for all industries and provide immediate financing upon approval with no long-term contracts or hidden fees.

At Liquid Capital West Coast Financing, we help you grow your business.

To learn more about Liquid Capital West Coast Financing Corp., please contact:

Rebekah Hutchinson or Stephen Ison

PO Box 39051 RPO James Bay

Victoria, BC V8V 4X8

Office: 778-265-7990

rhutchinson@liquidcapitalcorp.com

sison@liquidcapitalcorp.com

www.lcwestcoastfinancing.com

cash flow solutions

3 Cash Flow Solutions To Relieve Your Business Funding Woes

cash flow solutions

4 out of 5 businesses fail within the first 18 months!” Sound familiar?

How about, “Companies without experienced managers are more likely to crash and burn.”

You’ve undoubtedly heard these quotes about new business ventures.

Sadly, legions of entrepreneurs have come face-to-face with the realization that the companies they’ve built and nurtured from day one were much more likely to fail than they were to succeed.

This is not necessarily due to the entrepreneur’s lack of business acumen. And it doesn’t mean that the products or services they offered were poorly executed. So what could it be?

The truth of the matter is that many businesses fail because of a lack of funding and irregular cash flow. How do you avoid these pitfalls?

Why Traditional Small and Medium Business Funding Doesn’t Work

Traditionally, if you were looking to build your own business you needed two things: an idea and the money to make it happen.

With a fully fleshed out idea, an eager entrepreneur would then approach an investor or financial institution. Both sides would agree to the method of investment (shares or debt) and then determine how interest or dividends will be paid. That’s a pretty typical scenario we’re all used to seeing.

The problem is that many new companies have incredibly volatile start-up years, and very few businesses experience a regular income stream. Failure to make repayments on loans could not only result in penalties, but also a freeze or recall of capital at a crucial time. Or worse, it could force the business to close their doors altogether.

Owners are finding that this “capital rigidity” is no longer the best way to do business in an economy that is seeing more than 500,000 small businesses emerge each and every month in the United States alone.

Because small businesses continue to represent a growing portion of the economy, it is in everyone’s best interest to ensure fledgling enterprises succeed – and that means securing capital.

Insufficient or unreliable capital can cripple an emerging business. Not having enough cash on hand to purchase inventory or hire employees can result in a delay or inability to fulfill orders. Either way, your company’s reputation can take a hit and you may not recover.

This is where creative cash flow solutions come into play. You may not have even realized these were options for your business, but take a closer look. It just may save your business.

Cash Flow Solution #1: Factoring and Invoice Advancements

Rather than funding your business through the use of credit cards or your own personal finances, many entrepreneurs are adopting a better strategy – factoring.

Factoring your ‘accounts receivables’ is essentially selling a company’s account receivables to a third party firm. The third party gets repaid for those accounts once the entrepreneur’s clients have paid up, but in the meantime you get access to cash flow now.

In this way, factoring and invoice advancements act as a short-term loan that allows the business owner to get around the tough loan requirements from a bank.

With that up-front cash, you can invest money in your business operations and execute on your growth strategies in order to secure new accounts and bring more clients into your company. It’s a win-win.

Cash Flow Solution #2: Demand Dividends through private investors

For the micro-enterprise, debt repayments can place a heavy burden on the business owner. That’s where private investment based on your free cash flow can come in handy.

Demand dividends is a loan system based on repayment only when you enter a more stable period where you have free cash flow. That system helps to align investor and entrepreneur goals in three ways:

  1. Determining a reasonable timeframe for capital return (a grace period may be between 10—24 months until repayment may begin)a
  2. Matching the return to the volatility of the market segment
  3. Tying repayments to the business owner’s ability to make payments (simply put, eliminating fixed repayments)

 Demand dividends tie repayments to cash flow and provides a greater grace period than traditional capital loans.

In plain English, you get a loan, can grow your business, and pay that loan back once you’re becoming more profitable. Just make sure you reach that stage fast enough!

Cash Flow Solution #3: Crowdfunding – Give the People What they Want

Crowdfunding has grown dramatically in popularity among small business owners as a means of raising capital.

If the public finds a business plan compelling and the entrepreneur has motivated potential investors, this can work extremely well.

For example, by offering a significant discount on an awesome new product concept when it goes to market, an entrepreneur can gain huge attention on crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter.

The risk to investors is much smaller because typical investment levels are small and shared with hundreds or even thousands of other investors.

In fact, many investors may not even think of themselves as an “investor” in the traditional sense. These new sites are set up more closely to e-commerce retailers, and to investors the experience is more closely related to a Black Friday deal where you need to scoop the other shoppers to get the coolest new product.

Recent Fundings – June 2016

content marketing

Cash In With Content Marketing

content marketing

Whatever term you use – content marketing, sponsored content, or content strategy – it all comes down to giving buying audiences substantive, relevant, useful information in an easy-to-access format, enabling them to consider doing business with you.

Here’s how Content Marketing Institute (CMI) explains this strategic marketing approach: “Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.”

CMI was founded by Joe Pulizzi, a leader in the content marketing movement. His weekly blog, This Week In Content Marketing, recently explored one of the most frequently asked questions about the practice: How does content marketing differ from advertising? Think of content marketing as an invitation vs. advertising, which is unsolicited information and oftentimes an unwanted interruption.

Understanding the difference between advertising and content marketing is half the battle of implementing a content marketing program. The bigger hurdle for many companies is thinking they don’t have meaningful content to share. Every business does! For example, a golf equipment supplier can create a blog with posts on golf trends, the difference in clubs, or how to choose apparel to ensure a comfortable playing experience in extreme heat. A security company could provide prospects with a whitepaper featuring tips for avoiding burglaries. A staffing firm’s e-newsletters can feature articles on how to develop an employee manual or the difference between independent contractors and employees.

PRNewswire explains how to distribute and drive content in its whitepaper “Why Content Marketing’s Really a Question of Marketing Your Content.” A key takeaway from the report: “Developing and executing a content distribution strategy is important because it can help you from both a search and social sharing perspective. After all, people are more likely to share content that you have actively distributed socially yourself. That sharing generates positive signals that search engines not only detect but could also reward with better rankings, which in turn can lead to more organic search traffic and even more social sharing.”

Take time to brainstorm what content would be interesting and valuable to your target audience; then build messages and delivery methods from there. The bonus: Metrics. The data from website visits, email campaigns, and social media activities will influence your content strategy and efforts as you work toward maintaining long-term relationships with your audiences.

Image via Joe the Goat Farmer