5 Ways to Improve Your Entrepreneurial Creativity

How to Improve Your Entrepreneurial Creativity | Riviera FinanceIf you’re an entrepreneur, creativity is one of your most valuable assets. You always have to be ahead of the curve and ready to profit from the latest trends. Here are five ways to enhance your creativity and make it easier to come up with ideas that will build your business.

Be Open to Diverse Points of View

Even the most intelligent people tend to insulate themselves from unfamiliar perspectives. If you really want to think outside the box, you have to identify your own particular “box” and consider other points of view. Read books and magazines that you would normally avoid. Talk to people with opinions that differ from yours. Study new disciplines. As you open yourself to more perspectives, you’ll acquire tools and knowledge that help you in your journey as an entrepreneur.

Express Problems Visually

Some people are naturally visual thinkers. If you fall into this category, it’s probably natural for you to create drawings, diagrams or other visual representations of any projects you’re working on. However, even if you’re not particularly visual or think you have no artistic talent, it’s beneficial to pick up a pencil, pen or marker and start drawing. This is a good way to use a different part of your brain. Even a simple flow chart can provide you with a new perspective on a problem.

Take a Trip

Traveling is one of the best ways to stimulate creative thinking. Whether you take a drive to a new neighborhood or city or fly to another continent, you’ll be experiencing new scenery and meeting new people. When you do travel, make it a point to learn as much as you can about the places you visit. Find out about history, try new foods and explore. If you’re traveling to a country where they speak another language, take the time to learn at least a few words in the new language.

Walk More, Sit Less

If you work in an office or even at home, it’s easy to get into a rut. Staying in one place all day is not conducive to creative thinking. Walking around, either indoors or outdoors, provides you with stimulation. Try walking in different neighborhoods and, when possible, in nature. Even if you can only manage a short walk at lunch around the company parking lot, that’s still better than sitting behind your desk all day. There’s also research that indicates that sitting is not good for your health. Walking is a great antidote to sitting all day. It’s an activity that’s good for your health as it stimulates your mind.

Unplug From Your Devices

Many people nowadays, especially entrepreneurs, are tethered to their devices from the moment they wake up until the time they fall asleep. Perhaps the alarm on your phone even wakes you up. All of this dependence on electronic devices can be physically, emotionally and even intellectually draining. There’s even evidence that constant exposure to phones and other devices contributes to fatigue. Make an effort to unplug for at least a couple of hours every day. Keep your devices off while you sleep. If you need an alarm, use an old-fashioned alarm clock to wake up.

If you’re bringing on new ideas, tools or products you may require some additional capital to help fund these initiatives – consider invoice factoring to help you maintain cash flow and allow you to take time to start up these new programs. Riviera Finance has helped businesses maintain cash flow for more than 40 years.

Why Choose Non-Recourse Invoice Factoring: Part One

What is Non-Recourse Invoice Factoring | Riviera FinanceSince 1969, Riviera Finance has offered non-recourse factoring services. Non-recourse factoring is the outright purchase of accounts receivable (invoices) for cash. This method of business financing provides a company with cash flow, protection from bad debt, and accounts receivable management services.

Riviera Finance pioneered the use of non-recourse factoring for small, growing companies. Without the cash flow to afford an accounts receivable staff, or the financial history to qualify for a business loan, many growing companies use non-recourse factoring in the early stages of their business.

The Riviera Finance Difference

One main feature of non-recourse factoring is that Riviera Finance will guarantee the credit of the factored invoice, even if your customer goes bankrupt. This guarantee is a powerful tool that can eliminate bad debt. Under recourse factoring, the borrower (you) must have the ability to “buy back” the invoice if the customer is unable to pay.  In factoring jargon, this is recourse or a “chargeback” from the factor.

How Does Recourse Work?

Recourse creates a difficult issue for the business owner with cash flow needs.  First, the business must hold some cash in reserve to allow for potential chargebacks.  These charges can come anytime and will usually require immediate payment, either with cash or newly factored invoices.

The recourse factoring company typically holds a reserve as well to cover credit risk.  This means the client (you) may receive only a limited advance (70 to 85%) when factoring your invoices – the factoring company holds back the rest until your invoices are paid or charged back.

Non-Recourse Factoring Benefits

Because non-recourse factoring companies assume the credit risk, they typically employ a team of experts to evaluate credit and manage the accounts receivable.  Since the client isn’t on the hook for credit issues, neither the client nor the factor needs to hold a large cash reserve, if any.  Reserves for the non-recourse factor are based on estimates of potential product returns or other “offsets.”  In the case of service-based business (transportation, staffing, building maintenance, etc.), a good non-recourse factor can offer a “full advance” (no reserve), maximizing the cash flow to the client.

To deliver our non-recourse factoring services, Riviera Finance employs a team of accounts receivable management professionals in local offices across the United States and Canada. Riviera Finance non-recourse factoring clients depend on us every day to provide full credit, invoice processing, posting and collection services.

Make sure you come back for the next part of this series in a couple weeks – Part Two:  How a Non-recourse Program Can Make Your Customers Happy.

Contact the invoice factoring professionals at Riviera Finance to take advantage of our non-recourse factoring services today.

Top 5 Tips for Creating a Profitable Website

How to Create a Profitable Website in Five Steps | Riviera FinanceA profitable website is one of your best tools for getting more leads and customers. Many websites, unfortunately, are not effective and don’t do much to help businesses grow. To create website traffic and profits it’s necessary to do plenty of research and to implement some proven strategies. Let’s look at the top five tips to create website success.

  1. Install Google Analytics

Analytics are essential for tracking your results and understanding what is and isn’t working. There are all kinds of tools to help you do this, but Google Analytics is free and fairly easy to use. It gives you many valuable capabilities, such as tracking your visitors, identifying how long they spend on each page, tracking conversions and learning where your traffic comes from. Install Google Analytics and consult it frequently. When you notice that you’re not getting the desired results in a certain area, try to pinpoint the problem so you can make the necessary changes.

  1. Implement a Content Management System (CMS)

A CMS makes it much easier to build a successful website. Many tasks are automated and you can add helpful features such as plugins. WordPress is the most popular CMS, but you can also look into others such as Drupal and Joomla. WordPress is generally the most newbie-friendly. Drupal is better for sites with high traffic or many pages. Joomla is very good for small businesses because it has many features that let you scale up as you grow. The best CMS really depends on your needs.

  1. Conduct A/B Tests

The only way to really know how your site is doing is to conduct tests. A/B or split tests are simple and useful, as they let you compare two variables. The more elements you test, the more comprehensive your knowledge. Remember that almost everything you do in marketing can be tested, including headlines, article topics, layouts, colors, graphics, and much more. Google Analytics provides many tools for testing, which Google calls experiments.

  1. Add a Contact Form and Contact Information

To create website success, you want to make it as easy as possible for your customers and prospects to contact you. A contact form is a simple way for people to send you an email for more information. In addition, list as much contact information as you’re comfortable with. It’s best to list a physical address and phone number. This information increases the trust factor for your business. It shows that you’re transparent about who you are, where you’re located and how to get in touch with you.

  1. Include Multiple Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

If you want a profitable website, you absolutely must include strong calls-to-action (CTA). You should include a variety of these in multiple locations. Having CTAs in different formats increases the chances of people leaving their email addresses, buying your products, or taking whatever action you want. If you’re selling a product, for example, include many links to the product page. Have opt-in forms on every page of your website. A CTA lets your visitors know exactly what you want them to do.

For ways to supplement your business’s cash flow, contact Riviera Finance and learn about our invoice factoring services.

This week’s blog was provided by Moxie Digital. Riviera’s weekly blog articles, written by business professionals on a variety of subjects, are designed to help business owners manage and grow their companies.

3 Ways to Market Your Business Online – For Free

How to Market Your Business Online for Free | Riviera FinanceIf you are looking for ways to market your business but you worry that a limited budget is holding you back, you’ll be glad to know that there are quite a few effective marketing tactics that are free. When you’re just starting out, or you’re strapped for cash, it’s prudent to seek out these cost-free strategies. Let’s look at three powerful ways to market an online business that don’t require you to reach for your wallet.

Sign Up With Google My Business

Google provides several important tools to help you market your business locally. Google Maps is particularly important for physical businesses, as it provides customers with directions to your place of business. Here are the key steps to use Google My Business and Google Maps:

  • Sign up with Google My Business. Add all relevant information, such as your business name, address, phone number, hours and description.
  • Check the appropriate categories.
  • Add images of your business.
  • If you have a physical business, add Google Maps.
  • Ask customers to leave reviews. Google displays reviews with its listings.

If you have a service-based business where customers don’t actually walk into your store or office, you can still sign up with Google My Business. However, you must have a brick and mortar business to use Google Maps. Both services are free.

Social Media

Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and others provide many free resources for promoting your business. Here are some tips to keep in mind to get the most out of social media:

  • Choose the sites that work best for your business. Think of the demographics of your customers and figure out which social sites they use most.
  • Fill out your profiles thoroughly. Use quality photos, include links to your website, and provide a detailed, keyword-rich description of your business.
  • Connect with friends, family, business associates and colleagues to grow your following. On some sites, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, one of the best ways to build up your following is to follow others with similar interests. Also connect with influencers in your industry -people with large followings and solid reputations.
  • Share content regularly. Daily is best. You can post two to three times per day on Facebook, even more on Twitter. Post a variety of content, including articles, videos, images, infographics and anything that’s relevant to your audience. You can also post useful links to other people’s content if they aren’t direct competitors.
  • Offer special promotions to your followers such as coupons, promo codes and discounts.

Email Marketing

Another great free way to market your business is email marketing. An email list gives you the ability to send messages to your list whenever you want.

  • MailChimp is free for the first 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. Once you get more than that, you can find a plan that fits your business.
  • Send out emails regularly to engage with your audience. You could use a newsletter format to help establish your expertise. MailChimp provides templates to help you do this.
  • Promote articles, videos, your Facebook page, your latest product, affiliate offers, your book on Amazon or whatever you want to promote. On the other hand, also include helpful tips, news and other helpful information.
  • As your list grows, you may want to segment it, sending different messages to subscribers based on their interests and past buying behavior.

Use these three free methods to market your business. As you gain a larger following, you’ll start generating income from your online marketing efforts. Then you can think about investing in advertising and other paid promotional strategies.

Riviera Finance Appoints Business Development Manager in Ontario

imageWe’re very pleased to announce that Colin Dido has been named Business Development Manager for Central and Eastern Canada.  Effective immediately, Mr. Dido is responsible for serving new factoring prospects and originating business through our Mississauga, Ontario office.  Colin Dido brings a wealth of experience supporting small to medium sized businesses across a variety of industries, most recently as a business development professional for a major logistics company.

To contact Mr. Dido regarding invoice factoring for your business or your client’s business, please call or email him directly for immediate response.