How to Be More Productive at Work

Increase Productivity at Work | Riviera FinanceWhile everybody has the same amount of time, not everyone uses their time the same way. The way you use your time determines how much you get accomplished every day. If you’re wondering how to be productive and waste less time, you have to be willing to make certain changes in your daily routine. Let’s look at some ways to increase productivity so you get more accomplished.

Identify Your Priorities

You can’t do everything in a single day so it’s necessary to decide what you want to focus on. Whether you use a traditional to-do list, an app or sift through your priorities in your mind, get clear about what you want to get done today. The best time to plan your day is the night before. This way, when you start work the next morning, there won’t be any doubt about what you want to do. Stick to your goals.

Start the Day with the Most Important Task

Whether you’re trying to be productive at work or at home, one of the best techniques is to begin with the most pressing task of the day. This gets you off to a strong start and prevents you from getting diverted. It’s always a good feeling to check off the most daunting task on your to-do list by mid-morning or lunchtime. Aside from the psychological benefits, many people actually find it easier to get things done in the morning. Just as your motivation for exercise tends to lessen as the day wears on, so it’s harder to be productive at work.

Be Willing to Say No

If you really want to increase productivity, you have to be able to say no to people. Agreeing to everything is a sure recipe for feeling overwhelmed and losing track of your priorities. Keep in mind that whenever you agree to take on a new project, something else is automatically relegated to the back burner. Think before you agree to something and ask yourself if you’re willing to make this new project a priority. If not, politely explain that you simply couldn’t give it your best effort right now.

Avoid Multitasking

While doing several tasks at once may seem like a good strategy, it actually makes you less productive. When you multitask, you tend to make more mistakes and forget crucial points. It’s much better to give your complete attention to the task at hand, finish it and then start something new. Of course, in practice it’s difficult to completely avoid multitasking. You can, however, keep it to a minimum.

Set the Ideal Environment

The right setting helps you concentrate. This includes the kind of chair you sit in, your view and the noise levels in the room. Some people prefer complete silence. Others prefer classical music, rock or atmospheric sounds. Find out what makes you most productive and set up your work area accordingly.

Find the Best Way to Brainstorm

When you’re writing your do-to list or trying to come up with creative ideas, use the method that works best for you. Don’t underestimate the value of writing things down on paper. One benefit of this is that you avoid the distractions of electronic devices. Another method that works well for some people is speaking into a microphone and transcribing the words later.

Find the Right Tools

In an age when everyone want to know how to be productive, it’s not surprising that there are so many tools and apps created for this purpose. Here are a few examples of tools that can help you increase productivity.

  • Sanebox – a program that helps you reduce distractions in your email, ensuring you only get the most important messages in your inbox. Other messages are sent to another folder where you can read or discard them later.
  • Rescue Time – One of the best time management tools that tracks everything you do on your device and sends you a report.
  • Unroll Me – This is a great tool for anyone who subscribes to multiple email lists. With this program, you can view all of your subscriptions in a single email and browse them in one session. This makes it easy to ignore messages that don’t interest you and unsubscribe from lists you’re not interested in.

Outsource Your Accounts Receivable Management

With all the demands of growing your business, managing cash flow, credit and receivables can be a challenge.  Contact Riviera Finance today and find out how we can customize a factoring solution for you.

Top Small Business Websites & Blogs to Follow

Top Small Business Resources - Websites & Blogs | Riviera FinanceIf you’re seeking helpful information on the best small business practices, obtaining capital for startups and similar topics, there are lots of great blogs worth following. The small business online resource you need is never more than a few clicks away. The best blogs to consult really depend on your needs, but here are a few small business blogs that can give you valuable tips and resources.

Best Website for Entrepreneurs and Startups

When you have your own business or you have plans to start one, you need access to all kinds of information. Small business owners, in particular, must wear many hats and acquire a wide range of skills, from raising funds to copywriting to understanding legal issues. If you’re a solo entrepreneur or a business owner with only a few employees, you can’t afford to hire a specialist for each task. That’s why the most successful small business owners often end up possessing a wide range of skills. They didn’t always start out that way, though.

A good place to start for these type of small business resources is Forbes 100 Best Websites For Entrepreneurs. These sites are worth researching if you want to learn all of the ins and outs of building a business from the ground up.

Here are just a few of the small business blogs that are recommended on this list:

Best Blogs for Small Businesses

Another useful list of small business resources is Best Small Business Blogs For 2017. These blogs include some topics for specialized areas such as startups, retail businesses and franchises. There’s also a good one on copywriting, which is extremely important for promoting your business. Noobpreneur is great for anyone who’s just starting out on the entrepreneur journey.

More Small Business Online Resources

Here are a few additional small business resources worth exploring:

Small Business Administration – The SBA is one of the best places to go for information on financing your business, abiding by the laws and regulations, finding a counselor to advise you, deciding the best type of business to start and much more.

Small Businesses – This is another great site with all kinds of information for small businesses. Topics covered include business management, finding capital, small business loans, finding the best healthcare plans for employees, buying an existing business and obtaining the appropriate licenses and business permits.

America’s SBDC – This is the website for the national network of Small Business Development Centers. These centers, run through a cooperative effort of the SBA, state economic development agencies, colleges and universities, provide free and low-cost training for business owners. One of the benefits of the SBDC is that, in addition to online resources, you can find out about free face-to-face training in many areas.

Last but not least, remember Riviera Finance for your working capital needs.  We’re here to help you with cash flow, credit services, and accounts receivable management.  We can customize a factoring option to meet your unique requirements – contact us today to get started.

Why Factoring Companies Care About Their Clients’ Credit

Why Factoring Companies Care About CreditYes, even non-recourse factoring companies care about their clients’ credit. Since factoring companies buy invoices, it’s a common misconception that the factoring client’s credit doesn’t matter.  After all, no debt is created, and the only obligation is on the part of the client’s customer to pay the bill.

There is some truth in this, which makes factoring appealing to companies with little credit history, or sole proprietors with judgments, bankruptcies, or poor credit.  Non-recourse factoring companies will be much more liberal in their credit standards than banks or other commercial lenders.

However, even factoring companies care about their clients’ credit.

Credit comes from many sources:

  • Credit scores
  • Published agency credit reports
  • IRS payment history and status (payroll and income taxes)
  • Public records:  judgments, bankruptcies, arrest records
  • Word of mouth
  • Internet and press reviews
  • Bank references
  • Industry references:  suppliers, landlords, etc.

Each source speaks for the credibility of the client.  Notice the root word credit in credibility.  This is what matters to the factoring company.  The better the references and the numbers, the more the client can be trusted.  Trust is everything in the factoring relationship.

Good credit means the client has a regard for the obligations of the company.

Here are just a few examples of what we trust in our clients:

  • They’ll pay us back if they get paid by their customer in error for an invoice we purchased
  • They’ll honor the security agreement and live up to its obligations
  • They won’t commit fraud or misrepresent the truth
  • They’ll seek our help to solve a dispute or issue
  • They’ll let us know when financial issues arise that jeopardize their company or their customer

There’s a direct correlation between the credibility of the client and the efficiency of service the factoring company can provide.  If the client has marginal credit, the factoring manager may need to set additional procedures and controls in place to manage the transactions.  As mutual trust grows over time, these controls can be minimized and the cash flow process can become much more efficient and effective.

At Riviera Finance, we’ll do everything we can to work through credit challenges with our clients.  Not only this, but we have services, such as supplier assurances, that act as credit enhancement tools so our clients can improve their credit while increasing their cash flow.  Contact us today to get started!

Top 7 Tips to Get Positive Online Reviews

How to Get Positive Online Reviews | Riviera FinanceGetting positive online reviews is now one of the most crucial factors for growing your business and establishing trust with your customers. Let’s look at the top 7 ways to get more positive reviews for your business.

Track Reviews

It’s essential to know when people post reviews for your business. Monitor any sites where you’re listed, such as Google, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Yahoo, etc. Set up Google Alerts for your business name as well. This gives you a chance to address any negative reviews and, hopefully, resolve problems with customers.

Provide Complete and Accurate Information

Make sure your listings for Google My Business and other reviews sites are thorough and include essential information such as your address, phone number and hours of business. Also, be sure to provide a good description of your business to help customers find you in the search engines.

Use Quality Images

Professional looking photos are one of the best ways to highlight your listings on review sites. Images make your business stand out and get noticed. Photos of yourself, employees, your place of business and surroundings give people searching a clearer picture of what you have to offer.

Respond to All Customer Reviews

It’s a good policy to respond to all online reviews, both positive and negative. When someone praises you, always take the time to thank them. This isn’t only polite, it actually encourages others to leave positive reviews. You should also respond to negative reviews. Apologize for any mistakes you made and offer to remedy the situation. In some cases, this is enough to get people to remove or change the review.

Ask Your Customers For Reviews

Let your customers know that reviews are important to you. You might send out follow-up emails asking them to leave a review. There is now software that automatically asks customers to leave feedback. For satisfied customers, you can then follow up with a request for a review. Make it easy for them by having a button to click on that links to the review site. For physical businesses, your sales people or receptionist can also verbally suggest to customers on the way out to leave a review.

Only Use Ethical and Accepted Methods to Get Reviews

Avoid practices that violate the TOS of review sites and could get your business de-listed. While it’s fine to request reviews, never specify that people should leave a positive review. Don’t try to incentivize reviews, such as by offering a prize or discount. Another practice that crosses the line is asking for reviews right at your place of business. This violates the rules of certain review sites, including Google.

Don’t Get Into Public Debates With Customers

Getting angry or defensive online seldom works out well for businesses. Try to resolve problems, such as by offering a refund or exchange. If this isn’t possible, it’s best to just stop communicating. Getting into a nasty public conflict usually makes matters worse. You can’t please everyone and a few bad customer reviews aren’t going to hurt you as long as you cultivate mostly positive ones.

If your business is growing and you’re looking for some capital to help you manage your growth, contact Riviera Finance.

Top 4 Resources to Create a Safe Workplace

4 Tips for a Safe Workplace | Riviera FinanceCreating a safe work environment is important for everyone – employees, managers and, of course, the business owner. Even the smallest oversight in this area can lead to unfortunate consequences such as injuries, lowered productivity, fines and lawsuits. If you have a business, you should constantly review your safety policies and address any areas that need improvement. Here are some ways to help you make your workplace safer.

Make Sure You Meet All of OSHA’s Requirements

The Occupational and Safety and Health Administration or OSHA sets the national standards in America for health and safety regulations. As OSHA’s regulations are frequently updated, make sure you stay up to date with the latest version of the OSHA Small Business Handbook. The recommendations and safety tips in this manual provide you with the most comprehensive resources to help you create a safe workplace. In addition to many self-inspection tips, the guidebook lists many other helpful resources helpful for small businesses.

Identify Which Health and Safety Requirements are Relevant for Your Business

Studying OSHA’s regulations is a daunting task, partly because so many different types of businesses are covered. Not all of the requirements will be relevant to your industry or type of business. Make sure you identify those requirements that apply to you. If you’re not clear about anything, consult with an attorney or contact OSHA directly. OSHA publishes several Quick Start guides to help you find this information. For example, there are manuals for General Industry, Health Care and Construction Industry. If you’re not clear about anything, consult with an attorney who specializes in health and safety issues or contact OSHA directly.

Take Advantage of OSHA’s Courses and Training Programs

To make it easier to comply with their requirements, OSHA offers a wide variety of educational resources, including courses and certifications. Taking advantage of these resources is one of the best ways for you and your employees to learn the best ways to keep your workplace safe. In addition to written material, there are many hands-on training courses where employees learn how to recognize and prevent workplace hazards.

Sign Up for an On-site Consultation

On-site consultations are another valuable resource offered by OSHA. This is a free health and safety consultation that’s designed to help small businesses maintain a safe workplace. These consultations are not inspections, so you don’t have to worry about any type of penalties. The consultant will take a look at your entire workplace and offer guidance and safety tips. Following the consultation, you’ll receive a detailed report so you’ll know exactly where you need improvements.

Health and safety are an essential aspect of any business that you can’t afford to overlook. Another crucial concern for all businesses is cash flow. Many businesses are challenged with cash flow shortages while waiting for invoices to be paid.

Riviera Finance offers custom solutions in accounts receivable financing to help your business improve cash flow.