How to Improve Your Business’s Financial Position

How to Improve Your Business's Financial PositionThere are many factors that determine your business’s overall financial state. To make improvements, you have to assess every aspect of your business and identify areas that need improvement. There are also certain actions you can take right now that can give you better results.

Here are the top 10 ways to improve your financial business position.

Lower Your Expenses

One of the best ways to improve your financial situation is to reduce expenses. Take a look at every area of your business and see if you can find cheaper alternatives for supplies, equipment and services. See if you can find better terms for bank accounts and insurance policies. For larger expenses, find out if you can arrange periodic or deferred payments to keep more cash available for you.

Recover Outstanding Payments

Unpaid invoices can really harm your cash flow and the overall health of your business. If this is a recurring problem for you, it may be time to use a debt collection agency. In the meantime, make sure you regularly remind debtors of their obligations. Also, when making sales agreements, make sure the terms are clear about when the payment is due and terms for overdue payments.

Sell Unused or Unwanted Assets

Do you have items that you no longer need that are just taking up space? Selling them gives you immediate cash. If you’re paying for storage, you also save money on this expense. If you have a large number of such items, consider putting them up for auction. There are auction houses that specialize in business items. Or sell items yourself online with eBay or another online auction or retailer.

Consolidate Debt

When seeking ways to improve business finances, it’s important to look at your current debt. If you have significant debt, it may be advantageous to consolidate it. It’s often simpler and more economical to refinance your debt into a single payment. Do some research and compare different plans before committing to a new arrangement.

Lower Your Prices

When it’s feasible, lowering your prices is always a good way to drum up business. Of course, you have to make sure you’re not losing money. However, in some cases, even a slight markdown helps make your products or services more appealing to customers.

Raise Your Prices

While lowering prices often helps you get more customers, in some cases, the opposite strategy is a better option. Some businesses offer prices that are below market, perhaps because they haven’t adjusted them in a few years. If you can increase your prices without losing too many customers, you may find that this is a good way to improve your financial business position.

Give Customers Multiple Payment Options

The more options customers have to pay, the more chances you have to make sales. In addition to credit cards, some people prefer to pay via personal checks or payment systems such as PayPal. Some businesses now accept Bitcoin as well. See how many new payment options you can offer.

 Raise Money With Grants or Crowdfunding

Do some research on any grants for which you may be eligible. The Small Business Administration, for example, provides grants and loans for small businesses. Another option worth looking into is crowdfunding, which is especially suitable if you have an innovative new product or service on the horizon.

Apply for Business Financing

Applying for a loan can help you acquire some needed capital and improve the condition of your business finances.  If your business credit isn’t established yet, if your growth rate makes your bank uncomfortable, or if you simply want to avoid debt, explore invoice factoring.  If you can raise some money on your own, perhaps from savings, friends or family, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate terms from institutional sources.

Improve Your Marketing

If your marketing isn’t up to date, this is a good time to look for ways to improve it. Consider all of the latest marketing options and platforms, such as email, social media, video and retargeted advertising. Make sure you test all of your ad campaigns to make sure you are getting a solid ROI.

Whatever your situation, Riviera Finance is ready to discuss your cash flow needs.  Contact us today.  If we can’t help you with invoice factoring, we’ll do our best to find a source for you.

Small Business Marketing Growth Strategies

Small Business Marketing Growth StrategiesIf you own a small business, you must always look for ways to grow and stay competitive. This is now truer than ever, with new technologies constantly disrupting the business world. There are a number of practices that can help drive marketing growth in today’s fast-paced and competitive environment.

Email Marketing is Still Relevant

Although email marketing is one of the oldest types of online marketing, it’s still very relevant. No matter what other platforms and technologies appear, people are still using email. Email, in fact, is complementary to other trends such as mobile-centricity and social media. For example, your social media pages can be used to grow your email list. Many of your subscribers will read your emails on their mobile devices. Focus on building your list and giving your subscribers helpful content.

Upgrade Your Social Media Presence

Social media is another trend that just keeps growing. The only things that change are which social media sites are most popular. Be sure to target the sites that your particular audience uses most. This depends on the age, interests and other demographics of your customers. As with blogging and email, it’s important to provide engaging content. Visually interesting content such as photos and videos are especially effective on social media.

Harness the Power of Data

Another term that’s often repeated in the business world is “big data.” Relying on hard data to make your business decisions is another practice that gives you a real edge. When you track your results and make changes based on analytics, you can consistently improve your results. This involves testing of as many variables as possible, including website design, social media practices, email templates, landing pages and any other marketing tools you employ.

Engage Your Audience With Video

Videos are more popular than ever. There are now more types of videos used in business, such as 360-degree video and live streaming videos. People find videos more engaging than other types of content as it lets them absorb information using multiple senses. You can include video content on your website, in your social media posts and even in your emails. No matter what type of small business you have, you can find ways to connect with your customers using video.

Leverage the Power of Blogging

A blog gives you the chance to establish your authority and provides the search engines with lots of content. This is a valuable tool to help you get more website traffic and increase your credibility. When blogging, make sure you publish content that’s relevant to your audience and that directly addresses their concerns and problems. Another principle of blogging is that you have to be consistent about it. If you blog at least once per week, preferably more, you’ll soon have a large body of content on many topics.

Understand that Mobile is the Dominant Force in Marketing Today

The expansion of mobile devices is the most significant long-term trend that has a huge impact on businesses. A few years ago, people started talking about making websites mobile-friendly. Now, you need to take this a step further and aim to be mobile-centric. That’s because mobile is quickly overtaking computers when it comes to internet browsing and online commerce. If you want to get more leads and sales, you have to make sure that your website and lead generation process is easy for mobile customers to manage. Because people are accessing the internet via mobile, this is really the single most important factor for accelerating marketing growth in the years to come.

In addition to the small business growth strategies discussed above, it’s also crucial for small businesses to maintain a healthy cash flow. One convenient way to ensure you get paid promptly is to start using invoice factoring with Riviera Finance. This service makes a big difference when it comes to your cash flow and accounts receivable management.

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.