Manage Business Debt

During this up and down economy most people are thinking that personal debt is a HUGE problem. I don’t discount the fact; but managing business debt can be just as much of a horrendous monster. Personally, I’ve struggled with debt, good and bad, but recovered. This article is to help businesses in debt jump back up on their feet, get company cash flow under control (a little bit at a time) and on the fast track to financial stability.

Business lines of credit, revolving accounts and lack of cash flow can all lead to financial trouble and if not managed properly can head down the road of maxed credit limits and detrimental financial binds. At the moment I have worked with 3 businesses that are struggling financially but would have been in a better situation if they managed their business debt to work in their favor rather than against them.

A couple rules of thumb for business credit:

Don’t mix personal profits/expenses with business profits/expenses.
The fact of the matter is if you can’t manage your personal finances, don’t think that you’ll be able to manage both. Both should be treated as two separate accounts. Mixing them together can cause nothing but headache. Smaller businesses have a tendency to do this. Do you?

Have a trusted individual handle the numbers.
When I started Hue Magazine, I knew I was terrible with numbers, so I needed a money person to manage the finances. This worked out great! All I needed was a report at the end of the month and then I knew exactly what I needed to do in order to keep the business afloat.

Use logical sense when leveraging loans.
Loans should be used to help grow a business or improve a financial situation such as renovations (which build equity), or consolidation (which releases cash flow). It should not be an excuse to have a night on the town, even if you’re treating that hard-to-nail-down client.

Watch Late Fees, APR’s and Due Dates
Be mindful of the WAD. Late fees are inexcusable because it’s like giving away FREE money. I see a lot of business owners run into the “Debt Trap” of not wanting to pay small bills because they feel they don’t have the cash flow to cover the cost but continue to pay for dinners on a daily basis without a second thought. Strange.

APR’s are vitally important too! If you have two cards one with 12% APR and the other at 0% APR, use the 0% for necessary cost. I say necessary cost because 0% APR to a lot of people translate to “FREE” credit which can bite you in the butt in the end.

Finally, payment dates. These can be disastrous if missed. A once $20 minimum payment can change to a scary $200 minimum if neglected. So be mindful of the dates in which a card payment is due. Remember be mindful of the WAD!

These are just a few rules of thumb from my experience of seeing businesses fall into the “Debt Trap.” It is hard during this economic time because a lot of small businesses get in over their heads with cost not realizing that if the right measures are taken many money problems can be avoided.

Managing Your Time in Your Property Management Business

Time management should be the first priority for landlords in managing their property. In a property management business, property owners can only do extremely well if they are efficient and able to meet suitable appointments. Managing properties is not a casual responsibility where property owners want their options without delays. A good property and rental management company has the expertise in restructuring management operations for time management.

For your property and rental management business, the use of outdated technological innovation or software is a waste of time. Avoid repeated entries, bank account checks or list of possessions. Modern property and rental management software saves time and can assist you in developing new clients. Also, use a technology that’s available for adaptation for creating more revenue and customer approval. Discarding identical entries will help in making an accurate outline of the property and rental management firm’s financial status and plays a role in time management. Using online technology is an excellent way to make your business professional, efficient and valuable.

Some companies waste time on stamping, collecting and depositing rentals. It’s a complete waste of time since the checking process doesn’t give the time for business expansions. An online portal for rent deposits and collections can assist you. The portal system deposits payment to the bank instantly and generates automatic receipts.

Your paper works and documentations should be updated regularly and it includes bank reconciliations which is a must for any successive records and transactions. This also helps in making reminders for tenants about their rental deposits and assists you in tracking down any outstanding payments. Doing this will save time for your company’s annual audits. For analyzing profits, margins, expenses and financial planning, the suitable time would be the year’s end and closing.

Time management is purposely inevitable if you have a large property and rental management firm since it has a large record of property owners and tenants to handle. Property supervision is a tiresome job and demands timely notice, deposits and information for consistent working and customer satisfaction.

You should have a planner for setting objectives with the staff even if your company doesn’t have a broad employee directory. The property and rental management business demand planning ahead on various important concerns which can be discussed with the employees and the clients for well-timed accomplishment. If there’s a case of rental increase or leasing rates, a quick advice to the land lord and tenants is imperative for their convenience and timely deposits.

Managing Business Debt – Tips for Dealing With Cash Flow Insolvency

Most companies have some business debt. The ease with which they manage it is driven by the type of debt and why they have it. Revolving credit debt is used most often in situations where the company is dealing with cash flow insolvency.

A company will be at risk to the degree it is relying on credit for its survival. When you use a line of credit or a credit card, the risk is that you will have enough money, at a future date and time, to pay back the financial obligation when it is due. You are actually pledging your future business production to the credit company, and you will no doubt need the cash flow from that future production to pay future bills.

You cannot borrow your way to cash flow solvency. The solution to managing business debt is to handle the lack of cash flow to run the company and purchase what it needs without relying on credit. Here are some tips you can employ to create cash flow solvency.

Know Your Real Income Planning Target

Too many business owners under-estimate how much cash flow they need to bring in each week, or month, in order to do much better than breaking even. The simple reason for this is that they only use their accounting financial reports to try to figure out how much income the company needs to make to show a profit. Yet when they do show a profit, and have to pay taxes on it, they wonder why that profit is not sitting in their bank account. When it comes to cash flow, predicting the future requires planning for the future.

The simple calculation of how much your financials show it cost to run the company, plus the debt from the balance sheet, plus how much cash will be needed for handling future financial emergencies, paying taxes, funding business expansion, handling legal matters, salvaging the company in the case of a big downturn in the economy, and stashing cash to fund a retirement plan, typically reveals that the income planning target to do better than breaking even is a much larger number than estimated. This activity is known as building a budget.

Set Sales Targets and Quotas For Your Staff

If your income planning target is too low, then you are planning to go broke. If your income planning target is correct then you have a solid number to use to set the sales targets and quotas for your employees. If everyone, including the administrative staff that supports the sales staff, know the real target the company has to make, then they’ll work toward that target. When they don’t know what is actually expected of them, it can only hurt the business.

Pay Bonuses Instead Of Giving Raises

It is dangerous in the extreme for a company to get into the position of being expected to hand out pay raises every year. The business owner ends up paying more each year for the same performance, or sometimes less performance. Instead of giving raises every year, implement a bonus system based on exceeding the income planning target. You can pay bonuses out as a share of the profits over the target. Just as an example to start your thought process on this one, your bonus plan could pay smaller monthly or quarterly bonuses to keep staff excited and “in the game” and then a large bonus at the end of the year.

Find Ways to Cut Expenses

A requirement of managing business debt is more income as fast as possible to pay the debt off.

Examine where your business’ income is going and reduce all unnecessary expenses that do not contribute to bringing in more sales. Before you spend, work out how much money each and every purchase is going to return to your company.

TIP: Never stop promoting your company and its products to current customers and prospects – this is one area you don’t want to stop spending on. Just make sure you are getting a healthy return on the promotional investment.

Raise Your Prices

Increasing cash flow solvency requires keeping up with the annual increases in the cost of doing business. When your suppliers raise the prices they charge you, then you need to pass those increases on to your customers.

Tip: Raising your prices in small increments more frequently is less shocking to your regular customers than one huge increase once a year.

Allocate Your Cash Flow to YOUR Best Financial Advantage

Allocate some of your money toward paying past-due bills, debt, current bills, future large expenses that are difficult to pay when they come due, and the things you will need for handling emergencies, paying taxes, expanding your business and, most importantly, saving for your retirement.

Performance Management Business Plan

A performance management business plan can help you build your business and fix problems that are slowing your business growth. The information provided by a performance management business plan can be used to measure how your business is doing.

This type of business plan can be broken down into very small segments. For instance, it can be used to measure individual employees. It can also be used in a very broad manner. It could be used to measure the entire business as a whole. It’s generally measured in years. The most common lengths of time in performance management are five and ten years.

It can be used in a very specific manner for your industry. You can implement specific performance points to measure your growth as related to your chosen industry. You can and should include more general measurements into your performance management business plan. Overall, your performance management business plan should be tailored to fit your company and its goals. However, most businesses have at least the following concerns in common:

Which competitors can you take on and acquire more of the market share from? You need to analyze your competitors and what they are doing right as well as where they can improve. You can model their good behavior and make it uniquely fit your business model. You can see the problems of their business and that their customers wish weren’t there and offer solutions. The goal here is to be realistic in your assessment.

How much of the market share do you want control over? How much of the market do you currently dominate? Sure, we’d all love to be the only person providing services without our chosen fields, but that’s not realistic. The key to this is to determine what amount of the market you can reasonably service with exceptional customer satisfaction.

Is The Property Management Business For You? Mini Guide For Real Estate Investors – Part 1

This mini guide for real estate investors is written to help entrepreneurs like you with the mystery of property management career. The investment risks are higher when decisions are made without enough information. By now you know that you want to invest profitably in real estate or already started the process. All the motivation is coming from your desire for financial independence. I know that, because I am with you right on the very same goal.

Assume you have just purchased your investment property. It does not matter whether it is a 10–unit apartment building, a small office building or a single–family home. It is an attractive rental property and you are asking a fair market value rent.

You should have no problem attracting tenants and maintaining a high level of occupancy. What happens with the tenants once they move in is going to depend on you.

The problems with property management are not caused by the business itself, as much as by a lack of education. The property management is the most misunderstood parts of real estate investing. If you do not have good property management, then you will have high management costs, bad tenant relationships, high vacancies and that will be the end of your business.

You would consider these ideas in making your managing investment decision; I did it when I started:

The money you save, by doing property management, may mean the difference between a positive or a negative cash flow for your rental business.
Managing your own properties, at least in the beginning and learning the management business is something to consider. After you become familiar with the manager responsibilities and acquire more properties, you will be able to do a better job of managing professional managers.
More management and investment resources are available at my website.

How I start my property management? I went to school to gain my knowledge before facing the real life competition. I start my property management from the bottom up. My previous experience with real estate renting was being a good tenant for about five years in two different places.

Eight years ago I passed the real estate agent state examination and I worked for two brokers and managed properties on the side to build experience. I got my associate broker license in real estate about four years ago.

We resettled in the U. S. A. coming from communist collapsing East Europe, in 1990. Our assets at that time were intangible, mechanical engineering education and big hopes.

We did not have this game of “getting rich with properties” in the socialist economies. Actually, it was forbidden to even think about owning properties. It took me five years to comprehend there is a less risky way of investing by using real estate properties and rentals.

For $50 and about one hour conversation with our previous property manager — a very nice lady — I was in business. The management forms I received helped me to build my forms and gave me enough confidence before the closing on my first apartment building. I was on my way, investing in real estate and managing my own properties for profit. This is how I started my property management career. Now, I appreciate a property management career or a job in property management a lot more.

The Use of Software Programs to Manage Business Contacts

Businesses and companies experience multiple problems. If they are able to solve these problems, then it leads to the improvement of their current state, thus attaining success. One of these problems is to manage business contacts. They find it very hard to sort through and manage the list of people that are relevant and important for their business. That is why different programs and softwares are developed to help businesses and companies cope with this perplexing problem. The most important thing to understand is that there are two different types of softwares: one that is downloaded as a computer program and another that is “in the cloud”. Now you may be asking yourself, “sounds great, but what the heck is the cloud?” and that’s a very good question. It basically means that you don’t need to install any software or have an IT technician help you connect it to any fancy servers or network your computers together. Everything, all of your business contacts, are managed online from a website. You simply login and can access your information from any device anywhere in the world at anytime. Let’s have a look at the importance of software for managing business contacts.

Easy Access to Your Contacts

Once you have a software to manage business contacts, it will be a lot more convenient for you to access the list of your contacts at anytime and even on the go. All the interactions you have made, such as phone calls and emails, will be clearly shown there. If you have been called surprisingly by a client and you weren’t able to notice, the necessary information about the client will be stored so that you can answer back with the relevant information (after pulling up their records to see what you last spoke about). The information and data contained in the phone calls and emails are also stored enabling you to better understand the subject matters.

Improved Customer Service

As you have instant access to all contact information, activities, feedbacks, and questions of customers, you will be able to respond faster, making your customers impressed by your efficiency. This can help your company to retain your current clients and also to gain more. You’ll surely see how software programs that manage business contacts improve the customer service of your company.

Save Time by Searching for Information

One of the reasons why you need to use software that manage business contacts is to become more efficient as well as organized. The software that you can use has various options and tools that can greatly help you organize information about clients, conversations with clients, activities in sales and marketing, and support for customers. Without a doubt, this will improve the overall productivity of your company’s daily routine and save you lots of time!

Reduce Expenses

Since your company can manage business contacts with the use of software, you will be able to make customers satisfied and even exceed their needs. This will lead to the reduction of expenditures needed to promote customer satisfaction as well as the time it takes for your employees to check emails and find out more about each client.

Increased Number of Customers

When you manage business contacts of your company, you are becoming more efficient and productive at work, which make your customers highly satisfied. When your customers are enjoying your company’s services, they will tell this to a lot of people. Your company will then become an eminent one and will attract new customers while maintaining the others.

Manage Business Contacts Today!

It really is very advantageous for your company to use software programs that manage business contacts. You do not have to search through hundreds of business cards just to find a person. With just one click, you get all the necessary information. Of course, you are becoming more efficient with the utilization of such software, but most importantly you will become successful.

Developing Your Property Management Business Plan – How to Start a Property Management Company

The recent real estate “crisis” has caused a number of beneficial effects on the property management industry. There has never been a better time to consider starting a property management business than right now.

1. Houses are not selling, therefore homeowners that need to move and/or investors are forced to rent their units out; thus increasing the rental property supply chain.
2. Houses are foreclosing by homeowners and being bought by investors that in turn rent the property out. This increases the amount of supply as well.
3. The homeowners that were foreclosed upon will now be renters. Thus increasing the rental pool and increasing demand.

The above items create a perfect storm for the Property Management Business Industry. The purpose of my article is to present and discuss the 6 categories that are paramount in developing your property management business plan:

1. Executive Summary
2. General Company Description
3. Description of Services
4. Marketing Plan
5. Operational Plan
6. Budget

1. Executive Summary – Include everything that you would cover in a five-minute interview. Who are the owners, what is their experience in this industry? Explain the fundamentals of your business. What do you think the future holds for your business and your industry? Make it enthusiastic, professional, complete, and concise.

2. General Company Description – This includes your mission, vision and company commitments, Who is your target market (higher/lower end residential, multi-family, commercial), what price range of properties will you target, what area(s) will you target, who are the prospective tenants and what’s the future of your industry? Form of ownership, what factors will make the company succeed? What strengths do you personally bring to the business? Long term: What are your plans for the future of your business? Growth? If so, at what rate and how will you achieve it?

3. Description of Services – Describe in depth your property management service structure. What will you perform on a monthly basis for your property owners? What will be your monthly fee structure? What additional services will you offer such as evictions, project management, maintenance and what will your fee structure and profit center look like?

Much of your service offering will be developed by performing a complete competitive analysis. Your offering needs to be correctly place in the marketplace to make yourself unique. You should know your competitions monthly fee structure, how many properties they manage, number of managers, etc.

4. Marketing Plan – Bottom line: Your plan for how to attract clients. How will you get your company and offer in front of your prospective property owners. How will you utilize the following: (website, SEO (search engine optimization) plan, online marketing, signs, advertisements, associations, relationships, networking, direct mail campaigns, signs, yellow pages, calling for rent by owners, etc.)

By the way, there are methods that are much more effective than others for a start up real estate management company. Be sure to do your proper research before you unnecessarily spend money.

5. Operational Plan – Explain the daily operation of your business; (its location, equipment, people, processes, and surrounding environment.) If you are starting out opening your own prop mgt business, you will want to spend the majority of your free time in marketing techniques.

6. Budget and Financials – Includes your start up expenses, capital expenses and expected monthly recurring expenses. If you are starting out a your business with 0 properties as I did, you will want to start with a minimal budget in mind. Keep your costs as low as possible. What is your expected income based on your predicted growth rate?

Conclusion: Properly developing your property management business plan is the key to your success. Starting a property management business can be very rewarding, however not having the right direction and foresight from the beginning can blind you and your business. Remember; “Failing to properly plan is properly planning to fail.”

Event Management Business: Skills Required to Startup

Daydreaming about starting an event management business? Maybe you have already worked in the events industry and think about working for yourself. Or perhaps your organized meetings in the past and feel it your life’s passion. Both are good reasons for acquiring the profession.

Starting an event management business is similar to starting a relationship – it’s required to possess appropriate skills and follow some important steps to achieve success.

Gain Event Management Skills and Experience

Scoring a success is based on event manager solid grasp, steady skills and experience:

Verbal and written communications
Organization and time management
Negotiation and budget management
Marketing, public relations and more

Determine Your Event Management Market

Let’s say you’ve been working in the event industry for many years, know all ins and outs and eager to coordinate all kinds of events, from weddings to festivals.

Stop. This is a common mistake many event managers do. First of all, people have different energy levels and different capabilities. And, one can’t be a master of all trades. Recognize that there are distinctive differences between corporate, association, nonprofit and social events. Determine your market accordingly. It’s much easier to concentrate on a certain domain and become a professional.

Develop a Business Plan

Someone once said, “If you fail to plan, you should plan to fail”. Like everything else, starting an event management business requires a business plan. There are a couple of resources that can help you. For example, U.S. Small Business Administration publishes materials about writing business plans. You can find more with Google!

Obtain Business Insurance

Business insurance is mandatory. Event management business should secure general liability and other forms of insurance to protect the business owner’s interests.

Several forms of insurance exist. Speak to an insurance adviser to learn the requirements.

Develop Network of Suppliers and Staffing Resources

Event managers usually work with a wide range of suppliers – communications consultant, stationery designer, promotional products distributor, party rental supplier, caterer, florist, photographer and more. You will also need the staffing resources for sales, marketing, accounting and administrative functions. It’ll be necessary to establish an infrastructure that will support your events from all sides.

Establish Your Fee Structure

You should be conscious of the various ways to cover expenses and make a reasonable profit. Most event planners’ charge is based on the following:

Flat fee
Hourly rate
Percentage of expenses
Percentage of expenses plus hourly rate
Commissionable rate

Business Development and Marketing

With a prepared business plan, established fee structure and determined event manager market it’s time to begin working with marketing materials. Choose the right name for your business; create business cards, stationary, proposals, client agreements and a web-site.

The Rise of Rental Management Businesses Worldwide

Today, the wonders of globalization have taken great priority in all areas of life and even business choices. Property and rental management, relocation, acquisitions, renting and more have taken on great importance worldwide. The rise of rental and property management concept and a variety of professional degrees and certifications on the similar idea being presented by recognized universities and colleges has not shocked everyone. It’s being regarded as more of a requirement and innovative.

The mounting knowledge and the business possibility with regards to the idea of handling commercial, business and residential real estate by skilled professionals has guided the way to the development of a new kind of business regarded as the rental and property management business. This business is able to use the opportunities to an immense degree as an outcome of which they have developed. In due course, it covered the way for subsidiary businesses and by-products as well.

They serve various responsibilities on behalf of the property owner and the land lord. The majority of land lords favor the space from all the troubles of rent collection, management, maintenance, repairs and the improvements which are in time managed by the skilled professionals. Legal actions and other legal concerns are part of the whole management process as well. Property owners typically decide immediately before handing over the management and maintenance duties to the companies. Moreover, property accounts and finances are handled by management professionals as well.

The expert professionals in rental and property management are known to stick to procedures for success and achievement in this industry. They have made up the term “Land Lording” which they declared to completely understand. As they have implied, the complex liaison between the land lord and the tenant is legally required which they profess to be grateful about the way it should be and capable of expertly managing unwanted cases should they arise. Initially they track down vacant rental units and change them into occupied spaces by means of assertive and effective marketing.

Rental and property units are great on demand which is a spin-off of the developmental stage that the world is experiencing. So, rental and property management companies have emerged all over the world, providing efficient management services for their clients. You can find an extensive list of these companies on the Internet where you can also check the variety of management and maintenance services that they offer.

Starting Up Your Own Property Management Business

Property management is a challenging job that demands a real estate license and considerable experience. If you have plans to have a property and rental management business, you can work with a reputable company with a management expertise on real estate properties. Although professionally to acquire a license in managing properties, you’ll have to accomplish the academic demands to earn it.

Starting your own company demands comprehensive study regarding the existing participants in handling properties that can be the major competitors and problems for a beginner. Beginners can start over whether from new customers who have an open requirement of a property manager or changing today’s management company. Next will need a considerable deal of persuasion and convincing, as why the user should want you over their existing or favored management company.

Setting up your own website is another way to make your presence known. With internet marketing and global awareness, you’ll be able to reach prospective clients anywhere and anytime. Before establishing a website, you must first verify your professional company name and your business’ legal address.

To gain success in this business, knowledge and preparation are the standard requirements. The requirements where you reside should be inspected to watch, where permits are necessary. The excellent way to obtain all the important requirements and checklist is through a real estate organization or a membership to a local property managers association. These groups are indeed an ideal source to acquire the essential information you require.

You can check local classified ads and the Internet for property and rental management firms for sale or you can contact some business agents to obtain present business options. Real estate lawyers also have the knowledge with regards to effective management business and they may be interested for a joint partnership for an existing management business.

Your budget for a start up property and rental management business is a major consideration. To promote and bring a fast reliable stand to your business, a bank loan, an online business lender, a partner or family and friends. If the existing business provides long term contracts using their customers, it’s typically simpler to acquire a loan from a third party.

The firm’s broker might assist in negotiating and making a deal, which would be definitely respectable and provides you a respectable beginning with the profits. As soon as all the requirements are accomplished, the possession of a property and rental management firm is anticipated. The decision is yours to take, whether you acquire assistance one right up, purchase an existing business or start a new one.