How to Organize Your Business

7 Tips to Organize Your BusinessSuccess in business depends on many factors. You need to target the right customers, launch effective marketing campaigns and deliver great products. Some businesses, however, neglect fundamental areas such as organizing their finances. If your books, files and records aren’t well organized, it can lead to problems in areas such as cash flow, taxes, accounting and serving your customers efficiently. That’s why it’s so essential to learn how to organize business details.

Obtain the Right Financial Software

Using the right software makes a big difference when you want to organize business finances. Decide where your needs lie and what problems are causing you the most headaches. Then you can find a software application that’s well suited for your needs. If you need accounting software, for example, Quickbooks might be the right solution.

Back Up Your Files

If you don’t back up your files, you risk losing essential information in the event of a computer crash or hacker attack. There are a number of cloud-based options for backing up files, such as Google Drive, Dropbox and many others. Don’t neglect this simple yet essential business organization practice.

Use Convenient Small Business Apps

There are many apps for small business that help you organize business tasks such as processing payments, communication, accounting, time management and more. Communication apps such as Fuze and Addappt help you stay in touch with employees, no matter where they are at any given time. If you’re struggling with how to stay focused on your goals, time management apps such as Clear and My Minutes are very useful.

Get Professional Help if You Need it

In some cases, it’s more efficient and economical to call in a professional rather than trying to do everything yourself. If your accounting is beyond the expertise of you or your employees, a CPA or other financial professional may be needed to sort things out. Depending on your needs, you can hire a part-time or full-time employee or use an agency for specific tasks when needed.

Don’t Mix Up Personal and Business Finances

One common mistake often made by small businesses is not keeping their business and personal finances separate. This often leads to confusion, especially when it’s time to file your taxes. It’s also a good idea to separate your personal and business credit. That way, your personal credit isn’t harmed if your business goes through hard times. Additionally, separating these two areas of your life just makes everything easier and less confusing.

Create a System

One of the principles of business organization is to have a system in place. Otherwise, your attention to tasks such as filing, managing invoices and balancing your books can end up being haphazard. Make sure all of your employees know what’s expected of them and arrange specific times to complete each task.

Improve Your Cash Flow with Invoice Factoring

Many businesses experience cash flow problems due to late payments or other unforeseen financial issues. One convenient solution is invoice factoring, which lets you receive immediate cash based on your accounts receivable. Riviera Finance offers invoice factoring services that help businesses of all sizes and in all industries solve their cash flow challenges.

Data Security Tips for Small Businesses

Data Security for Small Business | Riviera FinanceSmall business owners today must be aware of keeping their data secure. With many websites hacked daily, it’s important to take precautions to keep your business’s and your customer’s information safe. Data security for small business is one of the most pressing concerns of our times. No one is completely secure nowadays. However, you can greatly lessen the chances of having your information stolen if you keep the following data security guidelines in mind.

Enforce a Strict Security Policy

It’s important to devise a clear-cut policy on all security related matters. Back up all of your data and keep your anti-virus and anti-malware software updated. Train all of your employees to be vigilant about security.

Monitor Computer and Network Access Levels

If all of your employees have equal access to your data, you should rethink this approach. It’s safer to give people access based on their positions and experience. Set usernames and passwords based on employees’ access levels. This way, more sensitive information is only accessible by employees who need this data to perform their jobs.

Protect Your Wireless Network

Stealing data from unsecured wireless networks is a favorite hacker trick. Never access sensitive information on a public WiFi network and warn your employees against this practice as well. Make sure your wireless network is protected by strong passwords, SSL and a solid firewall. Password protecting the router is an additional step that makes it harder for anyone to break into your network.

Clearly Outline Rules and Consequences

Make sure everyone is clear about what they’re allowed to access as well as the consequences for violating these restrictions. You should also have a plan in place for dealing with security issues.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

One of the most common security breaches occurs when a hacker changes your password and gains access to your system. With two-factor authentication, the user must pass through an additional layer of security, such as entering a numeric code, in order to change a password. Make sure everyone in your organization takes this precaution with all of their accounts.

Use Data Encryption

Without data encryption, it’s relatively easy for a hacker to gain access to your data. An SSL certificate on your website is a strong measure that not only encrypts your data but lets your visitors and customers know that you’re serious about data security.

Be Cautious of Cloud-Based Products and Services

While cloud solutions are often a convenient and economical small business solution, they aren’t all equally reliable and secure. Before choosing a provider or software application, do your research. Don’t just automatically sign up with the cheapest service. Check out the provider’s reputation, transparency, and inquire about how they keep clients’ data secure.

These tips greatly improve data security for small business. Keep in mind that cyber security is a field that’s constantly evolving. Just as security measures are always improving, so are the efforts of hackers. That’s why it’s essential to continually reassess and update your data security measures.

For other small business resources, such as accounts receivable or small business funding services, contact the experts at Riviera Finance. Get started today!

Top 7 Billing Best Practices to Follow

7 Billing Best Practices | Riviera FinanceBilling is one of the most important aspects of any business. While some customers are more reliable than others when it comes to paying on time, your own actions also play a part. There are certain billing best practices that will provide you with better results. Here are seven billing tips to help you get paid on time.

  1. Make Sure Payment and Due Date Stand Out

Don’t give customers an excuse to claim they didn’t know when the bill was due or the proper amount. Make sure that the key information is prominently displayed and easy to read.

  1. Itemize All Items on Your Invoices

Always itemize everything on the invoices you send out. This helps to avoid issues such as customers calling you asking what the bill was for. If you sent out multiple products or performed several different services, don’t just send out a bill with the total. Itemizing each item clearly lets customers know exactly what they’re paying for.

  1. Offer Multiple Payment Options

The more options you offer customers, the more likely it is that you’ll get paid on time. People have a wide variety of preferences when it comes to making payments. Offer as many options as possible.

  1. Double Check Contact Person

It’s best to be clear about the contact person for payments before you even send out any invoices. You don’t want to get switched from one party to another when contacting the customer. If it’s a business with many employees and departments, it’s important to know exactly whom to contact. Keep in mind that the person in charge of a project isn’t necessarily the one who’s responsible for paying invoices.

  1. Make Sure Invoices are Accurate

If you want people to pay your invoices, make sure they don’t contain any errors. It’s easy to make mistakes such as typos or even sending invoices to the wrong person or business. This type of mistake can be extremely costly.

  1. Send Out Invoices in a Timely Manner

In some cases, businesses don’t get paid on time because they’re late sending out invoices. Make sure your bookkeeping process is efficient and that you stay on top of invoicing. Sending out late invoices can cause confusion on the part of clients.

  1. Follow Up on Larger Invoices

While you naturally want to get paid by everyone, it’s especially crucial to follow up on larger invoices. If larger clients are late with payments it can seriously disrupt your business’s cash flow. If such an invoice is late, make sure you make a call to verify that the bill was received.

These are some of the billing best practices that will help you get paid more consistently. Of course, even if you follow all of these billing tips, there’s never a guarantee that all clients will pay on time. One way to offset this problem and ensure that late-paying customers don’t harm your cash flow is to use invoice factoring with Riviera Finance. This is a simple but powerful process that allows you to receive consistent payments for all of your invoices.

 

Why Choose Non-Recourse Invoice Factoring: Part One

Non-Recourse Factoring Services | 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.

We Are Celebrating National SBDC Day

Celebration SBDC Day | Riviera FinanceNational SBDC Day is March 22 and we are joining the celebration. Nearly 1,000 Small Business Development Centers across the United States will celebrate the small business community with events, public relations initiatives, and social media campaigns designed to highlight the importance of small business on economic development nationwide.

Local SBDC Offices Offer Free Training

According to the ASBDC: Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs can go to their local SBDCs for FREE face-to-face business consulting and at-cost training, on topics including:

  • Writing business plans
  • Accessing capital
  • Marketing
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Technology development
  • International trade

The U.S. Small Business Administration reports: Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide a vast array of technical assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. By supporting business growth, sustainability and enhancing the creation of new businesses entities, SBDCs foster local and regional economic development through job creation and retention. As a result of the no cost, extensive, one-on-one, long-term professional business advising, low-cost training and other specialized services SBDC clients receive, the program remains one of the nation’s largest small business assistance programs in the federal government . The SBDCs are made up of a unique collaboration of SBA federal funds, state and local governments, and private sector resources.

SBDC assistance is available virtually anywhere with 63 Host networks branching out with more than 900 service delivery points throughout the U.S., the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Learn more about the SBDC on their website.

Riviera Finance Supports the SBDC

Riviera Finance has sponsored numerous SBDC events and activities over the past 10 years.  Our affiliation allows us to access critical resources for our small business clients to ensure their growth and success.

Learn more about how your local office is celebrating SBDC Day.