Office people celebrating together

Helpful ways to save time and outsource admin

Outsource your admin for success

Many business owners feel handcuffed to their desks when it comes to dealing with back office admin duties.

Companies thrive by growing – not by scaling back or downsizing. But few businesses demonstrate a capacity to grow – often tied up in constant admin and back office work.

In fact, only 4% of U.S. companies have annual sales that exceed $1 million.

The struggle is even greater for small and medium-sized businesses who don’t have dedicated back office support. Of the 27 million businesses operating in the United States, 21 million of those are sole proprietorships without any employees. And less than 700,000 have 20 or more employees.

Without staff on hand to help you with the back office admin, how will you dedicate enough time to the strategies and tactics that matter? The personnel, money and time you invest in administrative operations can be redistributed toward scaling up your business.

Outsourcing follows the core principles from Scaling Up, which recommends hiring superstars to lead your teams. Choosing experts to do back office tasks, such as accounts receivable and payroll, ensures that you have the best people for the task, which will reduce your costs and free up cash.

Outsource your accounts receivable by finding the right partner

Billing and collections are incredibly important, but the paperwork, filing, call management and follow-ups are a heavy stress on a company’s schedule. Outsourcing your accounts receivable to a reliable company can ensure you collect your payments on time (or early) and eliminate the costly time your staff is putting into processing and collections.

Ron Finlayson, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of E-Systems, an electronic contract manufacturer in Massachusetts, knows a thing or two about getting the right support for his company’s back office.

“You work really hard to get customers,” he explains. “If you collect a payable from them in a mean or insensitive way, you can lose in five minutes what might have taken you five months to win.”

Finlayson explains how it’s crucial to understand who will be talking to your customers and how they’ll handle those conversations. The tone and manner must match your business. “If you don’t want a hard push, check out what their message is and ask how they handle it if someone can’t pay on time. This was really important to us, and I’m pleased to say that the people handling Liquid Capital’s collections are genuinely nice.”

Read more about E-Systems business operations

Outsource your admin work in combination with other services

A Minnesota company, Ridgeline Manufacturing, sells custom aluminum recreational products such as boat lifts, docks, custom trailers and stairways – perfect for the State of “10,000 lakes.” The company has also been outsourcing their back office receivables through Liquid Capital as part of their accounts receivable financing.

Owners Nick and Julie Newman have been in business since 2008, and use accounts receivable financing, otherwise known as “factoring,” to pay for associated operating costs. Ridgeline uses around 50 vendors to complete one product line — and not all of those vendors offer payment terms, so factoring is used to fill in the gaps.

Because Liquid Capital purchases the receivables outright on behalf of Ridgeline, it also takes care of collections, and that is a huge benefit to their business.

“When manufacturers advance funds to their customers, there is often push-back on us charging interest,” says Nick Newman. “But with Liquid Capital doing that, it’s different. As a third party, it’s more palatable to our dealers and helps the collections process too.”

The company now has increased flexibility, which has helped them land three new dealers.

Read the entire Ridgeline story

Outsource your payroll with a dedicated team

Payroll is a big expense in every business, but consider what payroll operations are costing you each week. The time you and your staff spend on processing that payroll could be put to better use in developing, implementing and financing the expansion of your business. Instead of managing every aspect of payroll, you can find a qualified company to work with you to complete all the paperwork and government filings needed.

The decision about which company should handle your payroll should focus on the following:

  • Be specific about your needs. Let the company know if you will only require payroll services, or if you will also want them to handle retirement and other employee compensation services.
  • Get a dedicated team. Go with a company that will dedicate a team of experts to your business, so you will know who to contact with questions or concerns.
  • Go with a company with transparent pricing. You want to understand how much outsourcing your company’s payroll services will cost, so go with a company that does complicate its pricing structure.

Before making a decision about outsourcing any services to a provider, check their references and ask other business owners about their experience. By doing your due diligence you’ll find a partner that works with you and your team, and that will save you time and money in the long run.

 

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BizTV Canada Interview

Watch Jonathan Brindley on BizTV Canada as he discusses several alternative financing options available.

Office people celebrating together

Externalizar estas dos tareas para gozar de una increíble libertad

Office people celebrating together

Muchos empresarios se sienten atados a su escritorio cuando se trata del manejo de las tareas administrativas.

Las compañías prosperan con el crecimiento, y no con debilitamiento. Pero pocas empresas demuestran una capacidad para crecer, pues a menudo se hallan comprometidas con el trabajo administrativo constante. De hecho, solo un 4 % de las compañías de los Estados Unidos tienen ventas anuales que superan el millón de dólares.

La lucha es aún mayor para las pequeñas y medianas empresas que no cuentan con soporte administrativo dedicado. De las 27 millones de empresas que operan en los Estados Unidos, 21 millones son unipersonales sin ningún empleado, y menos de 700.000 tienen 20 empleados o más.

Sin personal a mano para que le ayude con la parte administrativa, ¿cómo logrará dedicar tiempo suficiente a las estrategias y tácticas importantes? El personal, el dinero y el tiempo que usted invierte en las operaciones administrativas pueden redistribuirse en el desarrollo de su empresa.

La externalización se rige por los principios fundamentales del Desarrollo, según el cual se recomienda contratar a superestrellas para dirigir sus equipos. Cuando se escoge a expertos para hacerse cargo de las tareas administrativas, como el cobro de cuentas y la nómina, se garantiza que se tienen las mejores personas para esta tarea, lo cual reduce sus costos y le deja liquidez.

Externalice su cobro de cuentas y consiga al socio adecuado

La facturación y cobros son sumamente importantes, pero el papeleo, el archivado, la gestión de llamadas y los seguimientos representan un gran estrés en el calendario de una empresa. La externalización del cobro de sus cuentas a una compañía de confianza puede asegurarle el cobro oportuno (o temprano) de sus facturas y eliminar costoso tiempo que su personal debe pasar en el procesamiento y cobro.

Ron Finlayson, Presidente y Gerente General de E-Systems, subcontratista electrónico de Massachusetts, sabe una o dos cosas sobre cómo obtener la ayuda perfecta para encargarse del trabajo administrativo de su compañía.

«Hay que trabajar tan fuerte para conseguir clientes,» explica. «Si usted les cobra de mala forma o de manera insensible, puede perder en cinco minutos lo que probablemente se tardó cinco meses en conseguir.»

Finlayson explica lo crucial que es saber quién hablará a sus clientes y cómo esta persona manejará esas conversaciones. El tono y la manera deben coincidir con lo que su empresa es. «Si usted no desea que se haga demasiada presión, verifique cuál es el mensaje y pregunte cómo manejan ellos a los clientes que no pueden pagar a tiempo. Esto es sumamente importante para nosotros y me da gusto decir que las personas de Liquid Capital que se encargan de mis cobros son realmente amables.»

Lea más acerca de las actividades comerciales de E-Systems

La externalización del trabajo administrativo combinada a otros servicios

Una empresa de Minnesota, Ridgeline Manufacturing, vende productos recreativos personalizados en aluminio como elevadores de botes, muelles, escaleras y remolques adaptados, perfectos para el Estado de los «10.000 lagos.» La empresa también ha venido externalizando su trabajo administrativo de cobros con Liquid Capital como parte de su financiamiento de cuentas por cobrar.

Sus dueños, Nick y Julie Newman, están en este negocio desde el 2008 y utilizan su financiamiento de cuentas por cobrar, conocido también como «factoraje», para cubrir los gastos de funcionamiento. Ridgeline utiliza alrededor de 50 proveedores para crear una línea de productos de principio a fin, y no son todos los proveedores que ofrecen plazos de pago, de modo que el factoraje le permite a la empresa llenar los vacíos.

Ya que Liquid Capital compra absolutamente todas las cuentas por cobrar en nombre de Ridgeline, la compañía también se encarga de los cobros, lo cual representa una enorme ventaja para el negocio.

«Cuando un fabricante ofrece crédito a sus clientes, a menudo el cobro de los intereses nos corresponde,» afirma Nick Newman. «Pero con Liquid Capital que se ocupa de eso, es muy diferente. Como tercero, resulta más agradable para nuestros distribuidores además de contribuir al proceso de cobro.»

La compañía tiene ahora mayor flexibilidad, lo cual le ha ayudado a conseguir tres nuevos distribuidores.

Lea el artículo completo sobre la historia de Ridgeline

Externalice su nómina a un equipo dedicado

La nómina constituye un alto gasto en todo negocio, pero piense cuáles son esas operaciones de nómina que le representan costos semanales. El tiempo que usted y su personal invierten en el procesamiento de esa nómina podría utilizarse mejor desarrollando, implementando y financiando la expansión de su empresa. En lugar de encargarse de cada aspecto de la nómina, usted puede encontrar a una compañía calificada que trabaje con usted para llevar a cabo todo el papeleo y hacer las solicitudes gubernamentales necesarias.

Para tomar la decisión de cuál compañía debería manejar su nómina, usted debe:

  • Definir específicamente sus necesidades. Hágale saber a la compañía si solo necesitará servicios de pago de nómina, o si también querrá que se encarguen de las pensiones y otros servicios de compensación para empleados.
  • Conseguir un equipo dedicado. Opte por una compañía que le asigne a su empresa un equipo de expertos, de tal modo que usted sepa a quién contactar por cualquier pregunta o inquietud.
  • Escoger a una compañía cuyas tarifas sean transparentes. Usted debe poder saber cuánto le costará externalizar sus servicios de nómina, por lo cual debe escoger a una compañía que no complique su estructura de fijación de precios.

Antes de tomar la decisión de externalizar cualquiera de sus servicios a un proveedor, verifique sus referencias y pídale a otros empresarios que le hablen de su experiencia. Si toma estas precauciones, conseguirá un socio que trabajará con usted y con su equipo y que, a la larga, le hará economizar tiempo y dinero.

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Winnipeg small business owners helping local companies access capital

Company provides working capital for small and medium-sized businesses

WINNIPEG, MB – Liquid Capital Alternative Finance Inc. has announced their opening in Winnipeg, Manitoba to offer small and medium-sized businesses an alternative set of financing solutions that can increase a company’s working capital. When business owners cannot obtain traditional bank loans, often due to insufficient credit history or issues meeting bank terms, Liquid Capital Alternative Finance can fill the cash flow gap.

Company owners, Gregg and Dan Martin, have deep roots in the Winnipeg business community, having grown a multi-million dollar family-run enterprise from the ground up. The Martins have the distinct advantage of having been in their client’s shoes and understanding their needs, while also offering a unique line of products and services to meet those needs. «We look at the entire client position and what business goals they’re trying to achieve. Their potential for growth, operational development and having a solid business plan are all taken into consideration,» says Gregg Martin, from his Winnipeg-based office. “Our goal is to help other local businesses grow through proper financing and help get to the next level in their strategy.”

Business partner and father, Dan Martin, knows first-hand how these financing solutions can fill a gap in the market, having led the Martin family’s large-scale manufacturing enterprise called Syn-Tex for over 20 years. «I can understand the difficulties when business owners are up against a cash flow dilemma. Businesses need to be able to deliver on orders quickly, and access to working capital should never get in the way. We can help other companies wipe-out those concerns.” Syn-Tex specialized in innovative products that helped with high-profile applications such as the clean-up at the World Trade Center after 9/11, emergency levee repair in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and closer to home, flood protection at various Manitoba locations.

Gregg Martin also previously operated a Winnipeg-based startup and tech company, which manufactured industrial automation and robotic integration. “Being on the other side of the desk now, I can offer my clients real-world advice and expertise. Startups and tech companies are fast moving, but unfavourable payment terms can limit growth. Growing companies can also spend valuable time looking for venture capital funding, so there has to be a balance. We can work with those companies to get through periods when customer orders are increasing, but the cash isn’t in the bank yet.”

Liquid Capital President of Franchise Operations, Brian Birnbaum, welcomes the Martins to the organization and is thrilled to have such seasoned professionals able to partner with clients. «We’ve had incredible success across Canada, working alongside business owners and operators as true partners, not as transactional dealers,» he states. «We welcome Gregg and Dan Martin to the team and look forward to their success helping grow profitable business relationships in the heart of the Prairies.»

About Liquid Capital

Liquid Capital is a Canadian-based, full-service working capital and trade finance network and has been in operations since 1999. 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, we help you grow your business.

To learn more about Liquid Capital Funding Solutions, contact:

Gregg Martin
Liquid Capital Alternative Finance Inc.
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Call: (204) 478-1799
gmartin@liquidcapitalcorp.com
Website: Liquid Capital Alternative Finance

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Sea creativo para obtener más ganancias

En algún momento, el producto o servicio lanzado por una compañía necesitará ser mejorado o complementado con otras soluciones para mantener comprometidos a los clientes. Es aquí donde la creatividad puede ayudar a los empresarios a ir más allá de su visión inicial.

«El pensamiento creativo es una parte muy importante de la buena visión para los negocios, sin el cual su empresa podría entrar en modo de estancamiento,» dicen los expertos de eonetwork.org en su artículo de blog Reasons Why it is Important for Entrepreneurs to be Creative (Razones por las cuales es importante para los empresarios ser creativos).

Una nueva mirada

Mire su negocio y sus productos o servicios con un nuevo ojo. Por ejemplo, la creatividad puede ser cuestión de hacer más con menos. ¿Puede agilizar los procesos? ¿Qué otros mercados podrían apreciar su producto o servicio?

¿Cómo puede evolucionar el producto? ¿Sus empleados tienen otros talentos que no se han aprovechado aún? Involucre al personal en nuevas actividades. Tal vez entrenarlos para que se encarguen de otras responsabilidades. Dé a los empleados tiempo para que compartan ideas, libres de cualquier tiempo de reuniones estructuradas.

En su artículo de septiembre de 2015, Why Creativity is so Crucial for Entrepreneurs (¿Por qué la creatividad es tan importante para los empresarios?), cleverest.com decía que siempre hay espacio para mejorar los productos finales de una empresa, y que la creatividad es la manera en la que se puede lograr. El autor lo invita a encontrar patrones similares en áreas diferentes:

«La creatividad le permite a la gente conectar temas diferentes y que no estén relacionados y tener ideas empresariales exitosas. La fusión de diferentes campos crea intersecciones interesantes, con lo cual se generan nuevos nichos. La mayoría de las personas temen combinar diferentes disciplinas, pero las ideas más interesantes vienen de la colisión de campos diferentes».

Cheryl Conner, una colaboradora de Forbes.com , resume en su artículo, 4 Ways to Increase Creativity As An Entrepreneur (4 maneras para aumentar la creatividad como empresario), un método para desarrollar un pensamiento innovador:

  1. Salga de su zona de confort.
  2. Descubra su perfil de pensamiento.
  3. Recuerde que las grandes mentes no piensan realmente igual.
  4. Ejerza su fuerza creativa.

¿Cuáles son esas fuerzas? Conner describe un clarificador, aquel que investiga los hechos para comprender; un creador, aquel que piensa en grande para generar posibilidades; un desarrollador, aquel que elabora soluciones complejas; o un ejecutor, aquel a quien le gusta hacer las cosas y arriesgarse. Lo que tienen en común estos tipos creativos es que cada uno es realizador y cada uno lleva por nuevos caminos.

Intente este ejercicio creativo

Los líderes empresariales necesitan programar el tiempo en su agenda diaria o semanal para el pensamiento creativo. Comience por escribir el nombre de su producto o servicio más exitoso en la mitad de una hoja de papel en blanco. Después dele vía libre a cada palabra que le viene a la mente, ya sea escribiendo o dibujando alrededor del centro del papel. Pueden ser números, letras, bocetos, lo que sea. Después de que haya llenado el papel guárdelo. Mírelo fresco en la mañana. Pídale a un colega que lo mire también. Es posible que encuentre la próxima etapa de evolución exitosa para su compañía.

Creative Profit illustration

Get Creative For More Profit

increase profit

At some stage the product or service that launched a company will need to be enhanced or supplemented with other solutions to keep customers engaged. This is where creativity can help entrepreneurs go above and beyond their initial vision.

«Creative thinking is a huge part of good business acumen, without which your business could just go into the stagnation mode,» say experts from eonetwork.org in their blog post, “Reasons Why it is Important for Entrepreneurs to be Creative.”

Fresh Eyes

Look at your business and products or services with fresh eyes. For example, creativity may be about doing more with less. Can you streamline processes? What additional markets would welcome your product or service?

How can the product evolve? Do your employees have additional talents that haven’t yet been tapped? Get staff involved in new activities. Perhaps cross-train them to handle other responsibilities. Give employees time to brainstorm together, free of any structured meeting time.

In its September 2015 post, “Why Creativity is so Crucial for Entrepreneurs,”  cleverest.com says there’s always room for improvement in the deliverables of an enterprise, and creativity is how you can access it. The author urges you to find similar patterns in different areas:

«Creativity enables people to connect dissimilar and unrelated subjects and make successful entrepreneurial ideas. Merging different fields creates interesting intersections that creates new niches. Most people are afraid of bringing different disciplines together, but most interesting ideas come from colliding different fields.»

Cheryl Conner, a contributor to Forbes, outlines in her post, “4 Ways to Increase Creativity As An Entrepreneur,” a method for breakthrough thinking:

1. Ditch your comfort zone.

2. Discover your thinking profile.

3. Remember that great minds don’t actually think alike.

4. Play to your creative strength.

What are those strengths?

Conner describes a clarifier digging into facts for insights; an ideatorthinking big to open up possibilities; a developer crafting complex solutions; or an implementor who loves to get things done and willingly takes risks. The commonality is that these creative types are each doers and they each lead to new pathways.

Try This Creative Exercise

Business leaders need to schedule time in their daily or weekly agenda for creative thinking.

Start by writing the name of your most successful product or service in the middle of a blank sheet of paper. Then freestyle every word that comes to mind, either written or drawn around the center of the paper. It can be numbers, letters, sketches – whatever.

After you fill the paper put it away. Look at it fresh tomorrow. Have a colleague look at it, too. You might just find the next successful evolution of your company.

 

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Full Factoring or Spot Factoring – Which is Right for You?

What is the difference between ‘full’ factoring and ‘spot’ factoring? The answer to that might be – your comfort level.

“Ask any small business owner what the most important part of their business is and there’s a fair chance the answer will be cash flow.” States a Financial Post article featuring Liquid Capital entitled, “How to Make Your Company Bankable When Credit is Hard to Get.” June 9,2012

The article goes on to note, a business can be in “danger of floundering, not because of the absence of customers but rather the absence of resources.”

Factoring, which is widely used in the United States (US$300 billion) and the United Kingdom (US$600 billion) is underdeveloped in Canada at only US$4 billion.

“Factoring works in a straightforward manner – with the goal being to make the companies ‘bankable’ within three to four years.” (We have many testimonials to show that this does actually happen and would be happy to share them with you!)

Factoring offers two options, full factoring and spot factoring. What is the difference?

Full factoring buys all of your (credit worthy) receivables, while spot factoring allows you to sell just one invoice to the factor. It all depends on your cash flow needs and comfort level.

Would either of these options work for you? Maybe or maybe not, but I have a whole host of other solutions for financing that might be just what the doctor ordered. Feel free to call us to discuss!

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Recent Fundings – January 2017