Friday, 30 June 2017

Cash Flow Problems in Business and Its Solution

Main fuel that drives business is “Cash”, to which financial analysts consider most important indicators of Business's financial health As it is said, a well-managed cash flow indicates healthy business, while the cash flow that is poorly managed causes various business problems. It has been observed that companies that are facing crunches of cash flow simply throw money at that particular problem. This process is considered to be a temporary solution to that issue as cash flow management needs more than a Financial fix. Cash flow management requires a kind of holistic approach that helps in making entire supply chain of company work more efficiently. And after all, the faster sellers are paid, the faster goods move from seller to buyer.

Today's business landscape has few mandates that small businesses should go global. But doing business with trading overseas partners might be risky. For this problem, Credit insurance will help in mitigating the risks by protecting the receivables’ value. Over the decision of conducting cross-border business, one can breathe easily by guarding bottom line against slow payments PR even nonpayment of invoices. Credit insurance can also be used on the basis of case-by-case.

Actually, growth can also bring serious problems to a business, depending upon the type of growth. Like few Entrepreneurs all growth is good but getting a single large order or growing sales too quickly can result in serious cash flow problems. And these issues are enough to derail your business permanently. Most businesses encounter cash flow problem but it can be prevented with the right strategy. Few common cash flow problems and its solution are as follows:

High overhead expenses may cause harm to cash flow of your business. As the high overhead expenses are persistent so they are very challenging. And until the problem is corrected, these expenses affect your cash flow every day.

Solution: The solution to this problem is to audit your expenses and where ever you can just cut back. But be careful too much cut could also harm company’s business. So, it’s better to opt for cheaper options. In fact, every business should regularly audit expenses in order to ensure overhead expenses always stay in line.

The most common issue of cash flow is slow-paying invoices because as a small business, one has to offer 30 to 60-day payment terms to their clients. However, small businesses can’t afford to wait for a longer time as they need as soon as possible. Eventually, it has been observed that even if the business is growing quickly, slow payments create a financial problem that affects business seriously.

Solution: The solution to this problem is to use invoice factoring for funding slow paying invoices. As it will help in improving cash flow immediately and allow you to offer payment terms.

Companies that manufacture goods and re-sellers that keep their warehouse stocked with products may get affected by this problem. If the too much product is manufactured, then it might end up sitting on shelves and will tying up cash flow also.

Solution: Before being used or sold in the manufacturing process, fine-tune your inventory in order to make sure that you stock items for short period of time. Depending upon your sales forecasts, volume supplier capabilities, and available cash, one keeps that amount of product stocks. Always level inventory carefully as running out of stock at the right time is a way to lose valuable clients.
Moreover, to do successful cash flow management, all three commerce flows –information, goods, as well as funds--are working jointly together in order to accelerate money moves through the process of a supply chain. Also, cash flow should be managed wisely for better supply chain management as it will help in creating strong as well as healthy business.

So is your business suffering from cash flow problems? ALCOR MNA is experienced in finding the best cash flow solutions for companies and small businesses. We provide a broad spectrum of comprehensive fundraising solutions to cater the debt capital requirements of different companies across industries.

For additional information on how we can help you finance your Company, Complete the Enquiry form. One of our representatives will contact you within one business day.


Thursday, 29 June 2017

Financing Options for Startups and Entrepreneurs

Nowadays, a landscape of business financing is changing drastically as more options are available to business owners which were very limited few years back. Almost half of businesses are seeking to finance from several no. of places like owner investments, non-bank sources etc.  Most of the businesses face challenges while taking advantage of growth opportunities and also at the time of gaining access to capital. So it’s really important that they seek the right way of financing according to their needs. Recently, it has been seen that businesses are focusing on “alternative” lending option, but the question is how do they know that is this the right option to pursue?

One of the best answers is that businesses should seek to finance when they face an unexpected challenge or opportunity because at that time there is a need for quick capital. It has been seen that most of the time; businesses don’t have enough cash on reserve or any other source of credit that will help them in withdrawing required funds during these types of opportunities. These alternative fund lending sources help in filling that void by giving access, speed availability to business owners.  

To verify what kind of financing makes sense for business as well as situation, one must consider the exact need of the funds and the timing. Alternative fund lending sources help in providing repayment flexibility and offering creative options that fluctuate along with sales volume. It's also in need to understand the rates that are associated with while choosing another source of fund lender. This type of funding is often costly than old-fashioned bank loan as these companies act as borrow capital, liaisons from several other financial institutions which guarantee the payment. Basically, when the client defaults, they absorb the risk as well as the losses.

Angel investors find interest in the next generation ideas and willingly fund startup ideas they find worth. They usually focus on technology startups. Although the process of receiving funds from angel investors might be straightforward, they always expect to see complete business plan along with financial projections. This funding option is perfect for technology-focused businesses, but still, need guidance in product creation and marketing. Apart from providing money, angel investors also give guidance to that business owner looking for more experienced partners. They might also anticipate a certain degree of influence on how the company is running.

Are you looking for Financing Options?

For additional information on how we can help you, Complete the Enquiry information form. One of our representatives will contact you within one business day.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Management Buyout :: A Guide to Financing Options

A management buyout (MBO) is a type of business acquisition in which the managers of a company purchase the business from the current owners or parent company. Management buyouts can be structured in a number of ways; however, many transactions use the leveraged buyout model.
Leveraged buyouts are often used because few management teams have the financial resources to buy the target company outright. They need external financing to facilitate the purchase and are often interested in leveraging some of the assets of the target company.

Funding the purchase

The type of funding that is available to purchase the company is based on the size, brand recognition, assets, and cash flow of the company. Larger transactions, such as when a corporation is selling off a division, may be able to use a number of products such as bonds, senior and mezzanine loans, private equity injections, and so on.
Smaller companies or turnaround situations usually have fewer options than their larger or better-established counterparts. However, it is possible to finance the buyout of a small company if the management team is willing to use alternative financing. Such options include:
1. Equity from new management team: Perhaps the most important type of financing comes from the managers who are making the purchase. The management team that is organizing the buyout must contribute some of their own cash and assets to purchase the target company. It is not unusual for managers to raise the funds by selling off certain assets (e.g., stocks) or getting a second mortgage on their home.
The management team’s financial contribution is very important. Funding companies consider it a gauge of how committed the team is to the transaction.
2. Seller financing: One of the most common options to finance a management buyout is for the seller to provide financing (also known as deferred consideration). Usually, the seller creates a note that is amortized over a period of time. This option is an advantage for the management buyout team because sellers are usually more willing than banks to provide the funding.
Additionally, as a condition of financing the transaction, some lenders may insist that a portion of the sale be financed by the seller. This condition provides a measure of confidence to the lenders because it shows that the seller believes that the business will remain a viable concern once the sale is completed.
3. Bank loan: Although often hard to get, a bank loan is an effective way to finance a management buyout. The obvious benefit is that bank loans are cheaper than most other options.
4. The assumption of debt: Part of the acquisition cost can be paid by assuming some or all of the liabilities of the target company.
5. Private equity: In some cases, the management team may be able to secure financing through a private equity firm. However, private equity firms prefer scale and tend to invest in larger transactions. Their investment may consist of buying shares and/or providing additional funding such as loans and asset-based financing.
Keep in mind that the private equity firm may have objectives that differ from those of the management team. Private equity firms usually want a liquidity event after 3 to 6 years. They look to exit the transaction in that time frame, allowing them to realize their gains. Consequently, their funding programs often include stipulations of how the company is to be run and what objectives have to be met.
Remember that the private equity firm is looking to maximize its short-term rate of return – often at the expense of future opportunities. Therefore, management teams must be careful to align themselves with the right funding partners.

Are you looking to finance a management buyout?

For additional information on how we can help you finance your management buyout, complete the MBO information form. One of our representatives will contact you within one business day.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Mergers and Acquisitions :: Door to Global Opportunities

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) can accelerate a company's growth probably more than most other means within its arsenal. This is particularly true of larger deals. Mergers and Acquisitions have one common goal that they are all meant to create a synergy that makes the value of the combined companies greater than the sum of the two parts. The success of a merger or acquisition depends on whether this synergy is achieved. To effectively identify, value and integrate smaller strategic targets, companies need to:

1) Develop an M&A vision that aligns with the dynamics of their industry in the face of disruption and convergence.

2) Adapt the criteria and decision frameworks for evaluating their portfolio and acquisition targets to fully understand a deal’s impact on their portfolio - and how it will enable them to redefine their business model.

3) Accelerate their overall M&A decision making to move at the speed of the market and avoid missing out on key opportunities to acquire vital capabilities.

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) are a great way to grow your business without having to wait years for your marketing and sales strategy to pay off. When you need immediate growth for your business, this can be the best option for you that provides the instant result. The primary goal of a company interested in a merger or acquisition is to secure an opportunity that will either achieve the objective of growth or provide an area of expansion that will add to the product/service line in a market that is currently not served by the company. The motivation behind this pursuit is that the resulting combination of products, key people, and existing pipeline will allow the business to operate in new markets and offer new options to their existing market.

Pursuing mergers and acquisitions does not come without challenges. Combining two business results in many new issues that did not actually exist before, this includes: operating a company with a presence in multiple markets, a larger and more diverse customer base, a more complex product and services portfolio, and a high level of people and operational complexity. Another issue is the cost reduction goals can conflict with revenue growth opportunities.

The challenges of making a merger and acquisition work illustrate why deals intended specifically to enable growth fail to yield the desired growth objective. Although mergers and acquisitions can be a real path to growth, the decision to make the deal is only the first of many decisions that will affect its ability to be successful. This makes you wonder if a merger and acquisition will work for your business. Therefore, you want to understand your odds of succeeding and if the challenges are worth the effort.

The goal driving many business acquisitions involve synergies. When companies are choosing to merge together, the desire is for the whole to be greater than its individual parts.  The synergies involving marketing and economies of scale are clear benefits for why a merger and acquisition should be an option for growth. Also, there are typically opportunities involving production, volume discounts in purchasing, and reduced overhead expenses.

If you are in the position to acquire a business, you may want to pursue this growth strategy. You know that the business environment presents challenging factors, such as competition and acquiring market share. Therefore, acquiring your competition and gaining their markets and customers will put your business in the position to reap significant rewards. You will find that they will start investing more when you are able to show how this acquisition will immediately pay off, instead of taking a time to produce results. This is why you should seriously consider acquiring a business if you want your business to experience growth.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

How to Raise Seed Capital and Grow Your Business

An entrepreneur’s need for capital at the concept stage is predominantly to develop the product, to fund marketing and advertising and to develop a sales force. The entrepreneur must understand deeply “why the capital is needed” and “how much is needed”. If the entrepreneur does not have a well-thought plan for what the capital will be used for and demonstrate how it will create new wealth, capital will not flow. The estimation on how much is needed is equally important as a source would want to know the maximum amount he is going to risk and entrepreneur will not come back asking for more infusion to rescue initial investment before a significant value is added to the investment.
Just as an entrepreneur as an individual when investing in an instrument will seek balance on the equation risk—tolerance, reward-demands, size limitations and time- horizon preference, an entrepreneur should be ready to build this equation for the sources of capital with empathy. Those entrepreneurs who show this empathy land funding faster than others.
Raising capital at concept stage is difficult because the entrepreneur seeking it and source providing it must fit together like a lock and a key. If they do not then while a lot of talks will happen, funds will not flow.  The four key parameters for lock and a key to fit together are Risk-Reward-Size-Time.


It does not matter how nice the entrepreneur appears, presents, and provides reasons for her deep passion or feelings for a product, investors need to feel confident about the person they are entrusting money with through factual data points such as (a) previous entrepreneurial success stories if any. (b) Prior, significant and relevant work experience in similar product or market. (c) Experiential things done to identify understandable product/service need, reading reports do not count. (d) Commensurate and tested business and marketing plan and (e) clarity of positioning in the marketplace. Even when it is said that friends and angels invest on a person for honesty, drive and straightforwardness they rarely will be able to overcome risk perception without data points above.


 Investors need a clear mechanism to estimate rewards and entrepreneur must provide these estimates by way of the total size of market, growth rate post product development stage, projected income and cash flow, likely multiplier which can be used to value the company and companies which might be interested in acquiring the company. All this must be thought by the entrepreneur prior to having a meeting with an investor as no investor wishes to be invested with the company perpetually, as least at the time of making the investment.  Post this investor should be suggested the mechanism harvest the reward through interest or dividends on convertible bonds or preferred stocks as the case may be.


The size of the investment (interlinked with a number of investors) is another factor to find a fit between entrepreneur and the source.  Most sources such as friends and family, angels etc. are limited by capacity or willingness on the size of investment they can take on. Awareness of capacity helps knowing the number of investors entrepreneur needs to approach.


As the entrepreneur is busy convincing prospective sources on more fundamental aspects of attracting money; she should never forget and proactively answer the dimension of Time.  The time to exit or make a harvest out of the company is an important dimension for every source including entrepreneur herself.  For sources, the time to exit should be treated as the duration for which money is at risk. The entrepreneur should be able to demonstrate the major milestones when such exists can be made possible to all sources including friends and family and angels while many times they may not ask for it.
Moreover, the surest way to raise capital is to make a risk-reward- size profile of sources (and their interest areas for investment) and match with what you can deliver.

Looking for Investors: Angels & Venture Capitalists

If you are a concept stage entrepreneur, who has evaluated and acted upon all self-financing options as advised above, the only investor with a high tolerance for risk and willingness to consider funding you are an Angel.  Angels are either professional who have built and sold companies or they have inherited wealth. Typically the first kind of Angels, provide time, advice and talent along with Money to the entrepreneur however without diluting their expectation of return over a fixed time period. (An emerging sect of angels is well-paid and ESOP awarded executives in top corporations who could also be former professional colleagues/ friends. You may have to decide whether to approach them as friends & family or as angel depending on distance).
Angels are hard to find. An entrepreneur should always look at friends, business acquaintances, community leaders and successful entrepreneurs in the immediate business area. Other places to look for are certain industry bodies (as per your area of startup), venture fairs,  technology showcases, incubation centers, investor- entrepreneur matching services, angel funds and networks. Be convinced that to land right Angel requires iterative legwork and you are always ready to provide elevator pitch, short pitch, and long-format formal pitch anytime anywhere with or without presentation aids.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Raising Seed Capital the Right Way

While seed funding is often the easiest round of funding to obtain, it’s also the foundation on which you’re building your entire business. Make sure it’s solid. Friends and family are second only to personal savings and credit when it comes to seed funding sources for startups. And there’s a good reason for that. Investing in a startup with  no financial statements, incomplete (or non-existent) corporate structure, and no assets or intellectual property to speak of is the very definition of high risk. Who else is going to hand you the thousands to tens of thousands or more to get your company off the ground?

That’s why very few entrepreneurs can avoid relying on their personal networks for funding when first starting out. The key to making that work is to be deliberate, cautious and clear when setting expectations. Starting with a shaky foundation is setting you up for failure whether you’re talking code or organizing your company’s financing and legal structure. Here are the rules for making sure everyone’s on the same page.

Overvaluation is one of the biggest mistakes a startup can make and one that can really hurt friend and family investors in the long run. Appreneurs are optimistic by nature so it’s not surprising, but fixing overvaluation after the fact is difficult if not impossible. Research how much similar app startups are valued at and think about consulting an accountant or lawyer to estimate market rate. Start with comparables and conservative financial projections to determine a value and then test it.

That rich uncle might look like a juicy prospect, but if he’s never invested in a startup or is in an industry wholly unrelated to the mobile space or specific industry you’re targeting, you should cross him off your list now. Well-connected friends and family are worth their weight in gold and seed investors that will be stepping stones for follow-on financing will get you much further much faster. And don’t rush to set up meetings with anyone and everyone. Limiting your list to accredited investors–those who earn a minimum of $200,000 per year or have a net worth of at least $1M will also eliminate potential legal problems when it comes time for IPO.

Ask for help, not money. A modest investment is great, but connections are what can make your company grow long-term; if people are interested in investing, they’ll offer. If not, at least you’ll get them working on your behalf to generate other leads.

Offering preferred shares is a way to offer a higher return on investment in exchange for limited engagement. However, having a bunch of different investors with different kinds of shares can be incredibly difficult to manage, especially when you’re focused on launching and maintaining a business. Unless you have a background in finance or are experienced with those kinds of fee structures, it’s best to keep it simple. You can always add complexity later in the lifecycle of your company.

You have a ton of confidence in your business concept–as you should–but, the fact is, 90% of startups never make it out of the seed phase. It is essential friends and family understand just how risky the investment is that they’re making because the last thing you want to do is jeopardize your relationships. There should always be a repayment plan or equity exchange in place, but consider straight-up asking them if they’re willing to lose their investment entirely. It’s a harsh reality of the seed stage.

You’ve got to “yes.” Now is the time to hire a professional. You should be prepared to provide all investors, including early-stage friends and family, with official, detailed and binding documentation about the investment structure. There’s no faster way to burn bridges than to hand out nothing more than a smile and a promise in exchange for seed capital. Treat your friends and family like the investors they are and, chances are, they’ll continue to be your champions as your company matures and grows.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Things Investors would like to see before Investing In Startups

It is no surprise that in the current business climate of low or even sub-zero interest rates and arguably overpriced equity markets, investors are on the hunt for alternative avenues of investment. Injecting seed funding into promising young startups is one such investment that has recently grown to be very popular. This form of investment is extremely rewarding but naturally, comes with significant risks.

With that in mind, it is necessary to analyze startups when considering whether or not to invest. The importance of standard analysis using financial ratios and metrics (which are reviewed here and here) is widely acknowledged. However, since these businesses are either unlikely to have much historical financial data available or might possess highly skewed financials (due to them still being in the early stage), this article will instead explore five essential non-financial aspects of a young startup that are equally as, if not more, important to your investment decision.

If you are a potential angel investor, there are many opportunities worth exploring in order to fulfill some of this capital demand, as long as you take some considerations and precautions before embarking on your journey. Before you invest in a startup, make sure you prepare to cope with these perks – and quirks of an entrepreneurial ecosystem:

It seems obvious, but founders come to me with ideas that seem so farfetched it’s hard to believe that they thought the product or service would work in the first place. You must know the issues, the problems being addressed, the players and the customer base. Going into a sector and niche that is oversaturated just makes it harder for your company to stand out. Finding a niche that no one cares about is equally fraught with an uncertainty of success.

If your business doesn’t change the way people do things or see the world, you are not going to make waves and get noticed by customers or the media. You want media attention! Sure, you can make widgets until the cows come home, but having a real impact on the world is what dreams are made of.

If you think running a startup with you, a co-founder and a couple of staff is easy, see what happens after your first seed round. If you are not comfortable managing the business, things will begin to fall apart. It won’t hurt to take on a couple of online courses to tune-up your general management skills. As you get more capital, consider replacing parts of your jack-of-all-trades CEO role with professionals. Investors want to know you can take care of their investment and have general business skills.

In some respects, this should be the first consideration when we are looking to invest in a company - the quality of the person behind the company. Reputations are built on trust and easily taken away. Investors want to know that as the company grows the sincerity, common sense, trustfulness of the founder will come across to both future investors and customers. I worked with a company whose founder had a bit of a ‘shady’ past. There is nothing serious, but enough to have people whisper at investor events. Needless to say, his company didn’t remain a client for long.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, the product is just a piece of the puzzle, Of course, it has to be great, but the three most important reasons to invest in your startup and not the other guy is the differentiation of your business through the quality of its people, the global market reach or distribution you can attain and the product. Without all three, finding investment is difficult.

I’ve been in presentations where the founder was so sincere and passionate that she came across like Mother Teresa. The reverse, of course, has been true as well. Investors want to know you have some special skill that they can be reassured that your startup can make it past the first year.

Seems like an easy request, but when you’re trying to do press releases, managing programmers and finding capital, it’s not that easy to focus on building a company. How you deal with the distractions and keep yourself focused on getting to the top will be a clear message to any investor. This also goes back to management. If you are working above your skill grade, find someone to help, be it a new employee or a mentor. I ‘shadowed’ a CEO for months because he constantly lost his focus and needed not to show it in front of his co-founders and investors. To keep him on track, two heads were a lot better than one, and he managed to get to the liquidity event successfully.

Investors love to see founders pull resources out of thin air and manage what they have with lean determination. This puts the control of the company firmly in the hands of the founder. Having all the control and running the company smoothly as well as lean shows the investor you have sound judgment and worthy of investment.

There’s nothing worse to have two behind the scene nerds try to convince an investor to put money into your venture. You can’t afford to have poor communication cause a stumble on the story to an investor. 

Monday, 19 June 2017

Best Marketing Practices in Post-Merger Integrations

There is considerable evidence that many M&As fail. Estimated failure rates go usually from 60 to 80 per cent. Despite the increased attention on post-merger integration (PMI), dynamics of how two firms' marketing strategies are integrated have been largely neglected. Considering that M&A activity is predicted to increase as more CEOs use M&A strategies to grow/exit their business, also marketing and communications for post-acquisitions are expected to gain proper focus and attention.
Nevertheless, the lack of attention given today to marketing issues is interestingly in contrast with the findings of merger failures’ analysis, which indicate a lack of proper communication and customer retention activities among the major reasons for such failures. Customers, in fact, tend to stop investments and put their relationships on hold, until a clear message is delivered by the firms.
Competitors often take advantage of the situation reinforcing the negative perception that clients have about the two merging firms; sometimes they take it as an opportunity to steal customers in whichever way they can. To make the situation even more challenging, managerial energy during post acquisitions is often used in internal tasks neglecting customer and marketing-related issues; PMIs are in fact often internally oriented. A possible consequence is that decisions are made predominantly on the basis of internal criteria such as organization, processes, structure. Hopefully, integration will be driven soon by customer-related considerations creating additional customer value rather than reducing the cost of serving them. While marketing will gain the right attention, here is a series of points which I would suggest companies look at before planning any kind of post-mergers integrations.
Communication with All Stakeholders
Mergers involve uncertainty and risk. Communication is essential to focus the organization and to help mitigate these risks. Customers are the first target: they often take their business elsewhere just because they receive inadequate information. A proper customer communication plan should be in place at least a couple of months before the formal acquisition.
But they shouldn't be the only communication target. There is a list of other stakeholders to think about. It’s important to consider which of these are important to the business and to make sure they are communicated with appropriately. Once key issues for each stakeholder group have been identified, the company will be ready to communicate using proper channels.
Internal Communications
Internal communication is the second area of focus. A message sent is not necessarily a message received. People should be sent the integration communication and messages time and time again. Employees need to understand what the firms are trying to do, what the vision is and what they are required to do. Telling people what is going on, what will happen and what we want and expect from them is crucial. With more informal, face-to-face communication in and around the merger the formal material becomes more credible and useful to employees. Even at the risk of over-communicating, it's crucial to create emotional connections between the company and its constituents.
Day-1 and Day-100 Plans
Planning, planning, planning - full integrated plans of intended Marcom activity, at different stages of the acquisition (e.g. 'day-1' and 'day-100') with costs and benefits, together with deadlines, associated actions, dependencies, and risks are a must-do for all integration teams.
Centralized Communication Process
Centralizing the communication process is the key to guarantee consistency around the globe. The central marketing team should release messaging and assets to the countries time before the launch dates, to make sure proper translation and localization of all assets were done in time
Branding Strategy

Individual branding strategy should be released for each of the acquired brands. A 'one size fits all' approach is not going to work and might create dangerous situations with clients and employees of the acquired firm. 

Friday, 16 June 2017

Importance of a Funding for A Business : Ways to Raise it

A business without a funding source will flounder under the weight of its own debt. Funding is the fuel on which a business runs. A business can take different avenues to attain funding, and more than one option can be used. The chosen funding will depend on the business' desire to be in debt, how solvent the business owners are at the time the business is founded and the amount of money a business will need to launch and maintain itself through a variety of events.

Materials, office supplies, equipment, a website and business cards all cost money and it has to come from somewhere. Seed money, from an investor, a small business loan or the owner's savings account, must be raised to get the business started.

A business owner needs to draw a salary to survive. If the business has employees, they must be paid. There are utilities to pay, insurance to buy and a laundry list of other expenses that must be paid for the business to survive. When a business first starts, profits are going to be low so business funding is needed to allow for the cash flow to meet expenses until profits pick up.

When a business outgrows its current location, or there is a demand for new goods or services, expansion becomes an option. A new location, product, and marketing research, new services and additional staff if needed can be financed with business funding.

Accidents happen. Fires, floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes can wreak havoc on a business and its bottom line. Although insurance will cover most catastrophic events, premiums and deductibles have to be paid and there needs to be money in the coffers to pay salaries while the business is repaired. Even less disastrous events can call for a rather large cash outlay.

A company can explore several options where financing is concerned. Traditional bank loans can still be attained by a small business. Lines of credit or corporate credit cards with special rates can also be an option. Keep in mind that attaining funding will mean presenting your business idea to potential investors, so you will need to be confident and know the business model inside and out. But if a business owner wants to bootstrap the business himself, a loan from a 401K, dipping into a savings account or investments from family or friends are options as well.

Private Equity

Debt Capital

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Plan For Successful Fundraising

Many non-profits, particularly smaller charities and start-ups, operate without a fundraising plan.  When someone has an idea for an event or a campaign, these organizations simply put together a host committee or volunteer group and go for it.  They may send out a letter here and there and do some donor meetings, and when the bank account seems to be low, they often go into “panic mode” and race around trying to find cash to keep the doors open. This is definitely not the best way to run your development program.  Even if your non-profit is flush with cash, running an unorganized and unplanned fundraising operation is a recipe for stress, headaches, and ultimately… financial ruin. So, how do you avoid this fate?  The best way is by having a written fundraising plan.  A written plan will allow you to focus your efforts, plan out your yearly fundraising calendar, and give you guidance on strategy and tactics when you are in the thick of events, mailings, and calls.  In short, your fundraising plan will keep you sane in the insane day-to-day world of the development office.

The Goal                                                                                                     
The best starting point for your plan is with the end point in mind: what is your overall fundraising goal?  This number should not be drawn out of thin air.  It should be based on the needs of the organization.  How much money will your group need to raise in order to carry out the activities that you want to carry out?

The Mission
If the goal answers the question, “How much money do you need?” then the mission answers the question, “Why do you need it?”  What is your organization’s mission?  What do you plan to do with the money you raise?  What is your operating budget, and why is it the amount it is?

The Tactics
Once you know how much you need to raise and why you need to raise it, you need to figure out how you are going to raise the full amount. When it comes to tactics, there is no shortage of ways to raise money, only a limited amount of staff and volunteer resources to implement your ideas.  Try to include a good mix of fundraising tactics, and be willing to nix ideas that end up not working, and make up the lost revenue elsewhere.

The Timeline

Many organizations stumble here – they come up with a solid budget, have a great mission, and draw up a plan that includes a solid group of fundraising tactics, but fail to set timelines, and thus never seem to get things done. Whichever type of timeline you include, including one… it will force you to think critically through your fundraising decisions and provide invaluable guidance on your activities as the year progresses.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Essential Characteristics of Successful International Businesses

In the global market we live in today, companies like Google and Apple make it look easy to expand internationally with success. What is unknown to most be the amount of competition and strategy that goes into these expansions? Big names like Redbull, Google, Amazon, and H&M are just a few companies that have mastered their global marketing strategies and expanded beyond their initial customer bases. What are these companies doing differently that is leading them to success?

Diving into the unknown can deter a lot of companies from even taking the opportunity to expand their market. Those that see it as a negative opportunity are losing out on an even larger customer base that they could be profiting from. High-growth companies view international markets as untapped markets full of potential. These are the companies that become successful on a higher scale than those that stunt the growth of their company by not seeing the value in this opportunity.

American companies that have a strong presence internationally often have a founder or leading executive on their team who is from a foreign country or a first-generation American. These executives’ worldly experience helps prioritize the global market and answer any unknowns. Companies without this knowledge should research and understand the different cultures they are tapping into in order to be successful in not only building key relationships that will open up doors down the road, but connecting with the right consumers as well. Companies that adopt an outside perspective will have a more globally focused marketing strategy, better cultural understanding and have a wider scope of expansion goals, making it easier to propel their business outside of their home market.

Companies that invest in the Internet and produce web-based products are more likely to grow globally because there is less money involved in their international expansion. The most successful of these businesses is Amazon. This company is solely based on the Internet and was able to reach a global market with ease. H&M is an apparel company that has already been successful in reaching their international consumers through not only stores, but by optimizing the online experience of their online store. With an online shop available in 21 markets, including the US, H&M is doing everything in its power to create a user and mobile-friendly online shopping experience.

Choosing the right partners to help you grow your company in other countries is vital. Without the right people to vouch for you in that country and build trust with the consumers, becoming the market leader could be close to impossible. Again, this means companies must be aware of different cultures and business practices among countries in order to connect, be efficient, and stay on the same page. Apple made a strategic partnership with China Mobile, the largest wireless network in the world. This partnership enabled Apple to become the number one Smartphone maker in China and beat out the previously dominating five local competitors. Before becoming business partners, know what you want and have clear expectations. Sticking with these goals will help you choose the right partners and tap into the right markets.

When expanding to other countries it is important to keep track of the success and make sure it is worth the company’s resources. Companies that are successful outside their home base are those that act fast. By keeping track of their numbers, they can act fast and learn from failures. By reevaluating the current strategy and finding new ways to innovate, it becomes easier to reap the benefits of the company’s successes.

The most essential characteristic of any successful international business is implementing a global way of thinking. If this is the main thought process behind a company’s decisions, the rest of their international marketing strategies can be implemented with ease. One company that has mastered their international strategy is Redbull. They have created such a global brand that most think that it is from America or their home country, yet Redbull calls Austria home. Its most successful tactic has been to host extreme sports events all over the world. From the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix to the Red Bull Soapbox Race in Jordan, the brand’s powerful event marketing strategy takes them all over the globe and makes their brand an international product.

If companies support and welcome globalization, it becomes intertwined with their culture. Employees become globally-minded, engineers build software with other countries in mind, and the rest of the team follows. Going global is the key to ensuring your company’s growth and future is indomitable