Tag Archive: asset based lenders

What is Asset-based Lending?

asset based lendingAsset Based Lending is the Solution!

Need additional working capital to grow your business? Borrow it!

Asset-based lending is essentially a line of credit using your accounts receivable as collateral to provide additional working capital for your business. In an Asset Based Lending relationship, Apple Capital Group advances funds to your account against an asset based loan line of credit based on a percentage of your eligible outstanding receivables. We have a lock-box in which payments from your customers are received and credited against the outstanding balance of your asset based line of credit. Unlike factoring, Asset Based Lending offers you the flexibility to manage the timing of your cash advances so you can control your cost of money. Asset-based lending is generally used by businesses in start-up, growth mode, or by businesses experiencing a shortage of cash. It is also used by those businesses currently in a factoring relationship that desire more control of their finances.

Example Availability: Following is a simplified example of the available funds for an
Asset Based Lending line of credit where the company has $1 million of receivables outstanding and has a loan of $400,000 against their receivables:

Outstanding accounts receivable balance              $1,000,000
Less **A/R > 90 days past due (ineligibles)                 (75,000)
Total eligible A/R                                                        925,000
Available to borrow (80% of eligible)                           $740,000
Less the outstanding *LOC balance                           (400,000)
Available to borrow                                                   $340,000

Asset based lending is the solution! Call us today at Apple Capital Group, Inc. at 866-611-7457 to discuss asset based lending solution that is right for you!

*LOC – line of credit
**A/R Account Receivable

 

Check out some great articles from the WSJ & Fortune on Asset Based Lending!

 

The rebirth of asset-based lending – published on June 1, 2011: http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/06/01/the-rebirth-of-asset-based-lending/

Asset-Based Lending Grows in Popularity ‘Last-Resort’ Finance Option Gains Ground as Traditional Sources of Capital Dry Up; Cashing in on ‘Crimson Tide’ – published on February 2, 2010http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704878904575031640396411182.html

 

Small Business Marketing: Should you conduct webinars?

by Robert Lerose.

Webinars, or online presentations, are a cost-effective way to generate revenue, build brands, demonstrate products and services, provide leads, and position your company as the authoritative source that customers turn to first. “A lot of [my clients] see 70-percent or 80-percent return on investment and sometimes more,” says Leslie Davidson of Davidson Direct, a longtime consultant and provider of webinars and audio conferences.

Prices for setting up and executing webinars vary. Even though it might seem counter-intuitive, many businesses can come out ahead by outsourcing the operation instead of managing the process internally. For example, Davidson gives a price break for volume contracts that can make it more worthwhile for budget-conscious businesses.

Before putting on a webinar, Davidson recommends the following:

Select a timely topic. The best topics are those where there’s a new law or regulation from the government that your customers need to know about and apply to their businesses. “So-called nice-to-have topics work well, too, as long as they’re something of interest to your readers.” Davidson cites “Cybersecurity Best Practices: Reducing Risk Across Your Enterprise” for IT departments as a recent example of this type of topic.

Find speakers who really understand the topic and are appropriate. “If you don’t have anyone [on staff] who has contacts in a particular industry, start with an Internet search.”

Market your webinar with a good email list. If you don’t have an email list, Davidson recommends partnering with associations that have members who would be interested in your topic in exchange for a member discount. “You can add [these names] to your list and use them going forward.”

Earn money with sponsored events. If you offer the webinar for free, try to get someone else to sponsor it. After the session, follow up with a phone call to try to sell your product.

Send a lot of emails in a short time. “Webinars and audio conferences are impulse buys,” Davidson says. “You’re going to get 30 percent to 50 percent of people signing up in the last week before the event. I usually start three weeks out, sending one email a week, followed by two to three emails in the days leading up to the webinar.”

Offer combo deals for extra revenue. Selling the webinar as a CD or DVD can usually add another $50 to $100 to the original sale. Webinars can also be used as premiums in other promotions or sold as audio downloads.

Follow up with a survey. “[On my survey, I’ll ask them to] give me the names and email addresses of everybody in the room,” Davidson says. “I’ll send them a free transcript or another incentive. It helps me build my email lists and also find out what people are interested in seeing in the future.”

Outside speakers boost a company’s credibility

Business Valuation Resources (BVR), a provider of products and services to the business valuation profession, puts on about three webinars a month. On average, they get 100 people for their paid webinars and between 300 and 400 for their free sessions.

“Within the first 90 days of a free webinar, we’ll convert about 5 percent of them to paying customers, which is really good for us in this market,” says Lucretia Lyons, president of BVR. Free events have helped sell their immense product portfolio—from guides and sourcebooks to searchable databases—with an average sale of about $1,500. Some of their webinars soft-pedal a particular product, while others could feature many products related to the webinar’s theme.

Maintaining relationships with the thought leaders in their profession has been key to finding good speakers. BVR will get an outside expert to present on their products or services. Then, the names of those who registered for the webinar are turned over to BVR’s internal sales force.

“We’ll tap into a short list of experts for the webinar,” Lyons says. “We don’t want to make it a 100-percent pure sales play. Our market is savvy enough to know that, of course, we’re marketing a new product. But they also have enough trust in us that they know they’re getting one of their peers to give their take on this new product.”

BVR has been experimenting with webinar pricing, dropping it from $249 to $139 for a 100-minute session in an effort to go for larger volume. They’ve also had success with series-driven programming for topics with recurring content, which has led to a steady stream of revenue. One of their fastest-growing products gives unlimited access to all of their webinars for only $995.

Customized webinars generate revenue

Business owners are also using webinars to provide value-added services for their existing clients. Du-All, an environmental health and safety-consulting firm, tailored a training program to meet one client’s specific needs.

“We might do a one-hour or two-hour webinar on warehouse safety hazards. If we have a national client, we can reach all their locations and provide some kind of remote training,” says Joe Moulton, manager of environmental services. A one-hour class might cost $450 to $650 depending on the number of attendees.

Du-All has just started rolling out with a second webinar series to generate new clients and new revenue. These webinars inform decision makers about new rules coming out and how to comply with them—and then pitch Du-All’s services at the conclusion as one way to comply.

The webinars are free and last no longer than 30 minutes. Subject matter specialists host them, followed by a short sales pitch at the very end.

Low overhead, the ability to reach a large audience and increased revenue make webinars well within the reach of almost every business owner. Or, as BVR’s Lyons says, “Webinars offer the chance to really showcase your company in sort of a three-dimensional way and get people from a distance on board.”

Seven Ways to Find the Right Mentor

Whether you’re a start-up or you have been in business for a while, chances are issues will arise that you have not encountered before. You may be looking to hire a strategic partner for the first time; you may be interested in launching a social networking campaign; or you may be seeking to expand your business by tapping into a new market.

Instead of taking extensive time to research these issues on your own (or opting to plow ahead and hope for the best), you might want to consider forming a relationship with a business mentor. Sometimes the process of finding a mentor happens naturally, (i.e. someone you know socially turns out to be an expert on the business issue you’re facing). Most of the time, however, it takes a concerted effort.

The following are seven tips small business owners should remember when looking for a business mentor.

1. Narrow down the list of issues with which you need help. Prioritize your most pressing challenges so you can get the most out of a mentor relationship. You may even determine you need more than one mentor. Asking for too much information at once can overwhelm even the most generous person.

2. Pinpoint the personal qualities you think you’d respond to in a mentor. Before refining your list of potential mentors, do some soul searching and see if you can answer questions like these:

Are you interested in someone who is a good listener and doesn’t offer feedback until he or she mulls over your question?
Do you prefer people who tell you everything they know on a subject?
Is responsiveness important to you – do you want hands-on guidance in real time?
Would you prefer verbal feedback on your planned courses of action?

3. Define the parameters of the relationship. The ideal mentor relationship for you might involve someone with whom you can speak briefly every time you have questions. Or perhaps a monthly dinner meeting would be a more productive forum for addressing ongoing issues. Over time, you might discover that your mentor is interested in joining your company as a senior executive or even a CEO if you reach a certain point of growth.

4. Spread the word as far as you can. Reach out to your email list; contacts on LinkedIn and other social networks; friends and colleagues and attendees at networking events, conferences and trade shows. Don’t rule out total strangers. If you read an interview with a like-minded business owner in a trade or business magazine, feel free to send him or her a follow-up note. As long as there is no direct issue of competition, most small business owners are happy to help a fellow entrepreneur, and might even see potential for collaborating in other ways in the future.

5. Do not overlook larger resources. The Small Business Administration, SCORE, local chambers of commerce and private mentoring businesses have wide-ranging mentoring programs that offer long-term mentoring and assistance with advisory board formation. These resources may prove to be a valuable way to connect with potential mentors.

6. Formalize the selection process. Similar to personal relationships, it’s probably best not to rush things. Start out getting to know the potential mentor, get a sense of whether they’d be open to the idea and simply ask to pick their brain on a few issues. Discuss where and how often you will meet, what you can offer to the relationship, and long- and short-term goals.

7. Remember that mentoring is a two-way street. Don’t forget to thank your mentor regularly for advice that led to good results for your business. Further, periodic feedback is a good way to keep your mentor invested in your businesses success.

Since mentors can be from different industries, or even different geographical locations, it should be relatively easy to find someone. It’s certainly less risky and time consuming than using trial and error or relying solely on your own perspective and experience. And, once you experience a positive mentoring relationship, you might look forward to the day when you can become a mentor yourself. Have you found a mentor that has helped make a difference in your business? Share your thoughts with the Apple Capital Group team in the comments section.

Whether you’re a start-up or you have been in business for a while, chances are issues will arise that you have not encountered before. You may be looking to hire a strategic partner for the first time; you may be interested in launching a social networking campaign; or you may be seeking to expand your business by tapping into a new market.

Instead of taking extensive time to research these issues on your own (or opting to plow ahead and hope for the best), you might want to consider forming a relationship with a business mentor. Sometimes the process of finding a mentor happens naturally, (i.e. someone you know socially turns out to be an expert on the business issue you’re facing). Most of the time, however, it takes a concerted effort.

The following are seven tips small business owners should remember when looking for a business mentor.

1. Narrow down the list of issues with which you need help. Prioritize your most pressing challenges so you can get the most out of a mentor relationship. You may even determine you need more than one mentor. Asking for too much information at once can overwhelm even the most generous person.

2. Pinpoint the personal qualities you think you’d respond to in a mentor. Before refining your list of potential mentors, do some soul searching and see if you can answer questions like these:

Are you interested in someone who is a good listener and doesn’t offer feedback until he or she mulls over your question?
Do you prefer people who tell you everything they know on a subject?
Is responsiveness important to you – do you want hands-on guidance in real time?
Would you prefer verbal feedback on your planned courses of action?

3. Define the parameters of the relationship. The ideal mentor relationship for you might involve someone with whom you can speak briefly every time you have questions. Or perhaps a monthly dinner meeting would be a more productive forum for addressing ongoing issues. Over time, you might discover that your mentor is interested in joining your company as a senior executive or even a CEO if you reach a certain point of growth.

4. Spread the word as far as you can. Reach out to your email list; contacts on LinkedIn and other social networks; friends and colleagues and attendees at networking events, conferences and trade shows. Don’t rule out total strangers. If you read an interview with a like-minded business owner in a trade or business magazine, feel free to send him or her a follow-up note. As long as there is no direct issue of competition, most small business owners are happy to help a fellow entrepreneur, and might even see potential for collaborating in other ways in the future.

mentor quote.png5. Do not overlook larger resources. The Small Business Administration, SCORE, local chambers of commerce and private mentoring businesses have wide-ranging mentoring programs that offer long-term mentoring and assistance with advisory board formation. These resources may prove to be a valuable way to connect with potential mentors.

6. Formalize the selection process. Similar to personal relationships, it’s probably best not to rush things. Start out getting to know the potential mentor, get a sense of whether they’d be open to the idea and simply ask to pick their brain on a few issues. Discuss where and how often you will meet, what you can offer to the relationship, and long- and short-term goals.

7. Remember that mentoring is a two-way street. Don’t forget to thank your mentor regularly for advice that led to good results for your business. Further, periodic feedback is a good way to keep your mentor invested in your businesses success.

Since mentors can be from different industries, or even different geographical locations, it should be relatively easy to find someone. It’s certainly less risky and time consuming than using trial and error or relying solely on your own perspective and experience. And, once you experience a positive mentoring relationship, you might look forward to the day when you can become a mentor yourself. Have you found a mentor that has helped make a difference in your business?

In Business, Integrity Pays In More Ways than One!

integrityIntegrity in business – A common understanding of people in business is that not everyone adheres to the same principles of honesty and business integrity. The sad fact is that many business people take advantage of shortcuts and back doors to make their lives a little easier and their endeavors a little more profitable. Asset based lenders, for example, regularly encounter prospective clients who misrepresent the true nature of their assets that questions the integrity of the business application. This approach of business integrity often works in the short run, but in the final analysis, it is bad for their businesses and for themselves. It is tempting to fall into this trap. You may ask yourself why you should do things the right way when your competitors do not. This is why.

Being honest in all of your business dealings and do not make promises that you cannot keep. Keeping associates informed of any potential difficulties and honoring your commitments will set you apart from the crowd. Everyone with whom you interact professionally, from your suppliers to your commercial lender, will respect the fact that you set your personal honesty above the occasional gains that can be derived by being less than forthcoming. They notice these things. In the estimation of the people on whom you rely, and who depend on you, the ability to take your word as fact is the most valuable asset that you or your business can have. Trust is the rarest of commodities in the business world.

Any supplier, customer or commercial lender will want to cultivate a relationship with someone who shows himself to care about honesty and integrity. If they know that what you say is reliable, whether good news or bad, they will want to work with you. Telling a vendor that a payment will be a week late is not necessarily a terrible thing. Making that late payment without prior notice definitely is. Your demonstration of concern for the working relationship creates a feeling of comfort and respect. This is especially important when it involves the sources of your businesses’ financing, be they asset based lenders of traditional commercial lenders. An open door to additional funding is imperative if a business is to survive.

Be upfront in all things – your integrity, give advanced notice of potential problems and never fail to deliver on a promise. These things will pave the way for surprising things and establish your business as one with a valuable difference. In business, honesty is the best policy.

By Shanese Burns, President & CEO of Apple Capital Group, Inc. Apple Capital Group, Inc., is a commercial finance company that specialize in lending to small businesses.