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Traditional sources of financing business such as bank loans pose a challenge to small and medium businesses. In particular, innovative, new, and fast growing enterprises with higher risk profiles can’t get the funds they need from conventional sources.  The same is the case for firms in transition like those in the process of changing ownership or control.

Every business needs funding at different stages such as when starting, embarking on a new project, during expansion or when finding its footing following losses. External financing in the form of just right loans is the most suitable means of achieving these objectives. In fact, external financing is essential to start, meet operating expenses such as payroll and inventory, and to grow the business.

Challenges of obtaining a bank loan for enterprises

Financing is a major hurdle facing most enterprises. Yet, many entrepreneurs are intimidated by the prospect of obtaining funds from the traditional sources, especially the banks. This is because these institutions set high lending standards which few enterprises can meet.

The situation is such that it is difficult for small businesses to find, request for, and obtain financing. Most financial experts think that this problem stems from the fact that most enterprises don’t take time to prepare for the process. They say that the issues around bank loans can be sorted out through due diligence.

This means that entrepreneurs looking to obtain external financing must have all the necessary documents needed by the lenders. This may work for established business. However, the problem remains for innovative, newer, and fast growing enterprises with higher risk profiles.

Alternative sources of Entrepreneurship Financing

To overcome the challenge of obtaining financing from conventional sources, many entrepreneurs are exploring new approaches to funding. This means that the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who think outside the box. They think creatively about what they have to offer and also how to secure funding.

They know relationships are the key to securing funding, so the develop quality networks. Their approach is to sell themselves, more than what they have to offer, to secure all alternative sources of financing. Also, they remain open minded and never rule out any approach.

Some of the top new approaches include-

Personal financing

The most successful entrepreneurs use their own resources to start the business. They save money over time and grow a fund they can use to start the venture. They also know that no investor will finance a deal where the entrepreneur has no financial stake in it. Personal financing is necessary to get the idea off the ground.

Personal credit lines

Credit cards come to the rescue of many small businesses. They are easy to get because they don’t need a lot of credit history. In fact, there are many startups that have used this approach. The main benefit is that the entrepreneur retains complete control and ownership while meeting the minimum payments.

IRA financing

The Investment Retirement Account monies and 401k’s are among the most accessible alternative financing sources for new businesses today. An entrepreneur can easily find many people willing to loan them money from their funds for the right terms. However, the entrepreneur must sell themselves and their idea to the lenders.

Microloans

There are private lenders and non-profit organizations that offer small business loans. These can be useful to entrepreneurs who can’t qualify for bank loans. Also, they are suitable for micro business.

Online lenders are useful for entrepreneurs who lack collateral, need financing quickly and lack a track record.

Crowdfunding

The internet has revolutionized the way many things are done including business funding. Now entrepreneurs can find a group of likeminded people who can back their businesses through small contributions. This approach is evolving beyond non-profits and will soon include small equity investments.

Peer to peer financing

In this approach, a group of peers comes together to help each other financially. This approach can be used for a wide variety of financial needs. Entrepreneurs can use it to find successful peers willing to finance them.

Vendor financing

In this approach, the entrepreneur talks the manufacturers and suppliers of goods and services into deferring their payments until the products are sold. This can lead to an extension of payment terms to a duration of months or longer. However, this depends on the entrepreneur’s creditworthiness and payment of additional fees.

Purchase order financing

Purchase order financing firms enable new businesses to overcome scaling problems. Most startups are unable to accept large orders because of lack of funds to make and deliver the products. Purchase order financing firms provide the needed amounts of cash directly to the suppliers. This enables the deal to be closed, and profit to accrue to the new business.

Account receivables

This approach is similar to purchase order financing. The difference is that the funds are provided to cover unpaid balances not yet due or received from clients. This approach is useful for high volume new business beginning to scale up. It provides the funds on the sales immediately instead of waiting for payment which can stretch from 30 -60 days or longer.

Family and friends

Many successful entrepreneurs tap into this resource. Usually, the commitments are positioned in writing as bridge loans or promissory notes. These can be converted to equity at a rate decided by other investors later on.

In conclusion

Every business needs funding at various stages such as when starting, embarking on a new project, during expansion or when finding its footing following losses. External financing in the form of loans is the most suitable means of achieving these objectives.

 Yet, traditional lending institutions have set high lending standards which few enterprises can meet. To overcome this challenge of obtaining financing from conventional sources, many entrepreneurs are exploring new approaches to funding.

They think creatively about what they have to offer and also how to secure funding. Their approach is to sell themselves, more than what they have to offer, to secure all alternative sources of financing. Also, they remain open minded and never rule out any approach.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Matica’s CEO Sandro Camilleri speaks about security in digital payments

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One thing is for sure: the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated many behaviors and trends that once were holding their pace. A great example can be found in digital payments and online shopping. According to Rakuten Intelligence, from March through mid-April, e-commerce spending in the United States increased more than 30% compared to the same period last year. When it comes to worldwide scores, it reaches the surprising increase of 74%.

Although books and cleaning products led the ranks mapped by Rakuten, specialists argue that digital payments and online shopping are here to stay, as much as it has already been observed in Asian countries. In this sense, securing financial transactions and protecting consumer data became a mandatory issue to be addressed both by companies and the government.

As a leading European company in the processing and printing of cards and identification documents for security systems, Matica Technologies is dedicated to granting safety and technological solutions to businesses dealing with financial transactions online. According to the CEO and founder of Matica, Sandro Camilleri, the advent of digital payments is a revolution similar to that which technology has caused and is currently causing in other areas, such as transports. “It is an inevitable revolution, which citizens will have to get used to, and which must therefore be managed in order not to risk unintended consequences, being the key issue obviously safety,” he argues.

Camilleri stresses that there are two different phases when it comes to digital payment security. A first one is about information and personal data storage, one of the greatest topics of our time and also a potentially enormous market sector. The second, less discussed though equally important, is guaranteeing strength and security for the financial transaction itself — and this is a purely technological issue. “The use of chips that are equipped with incredible memories, high precision lasers and holograms makes it extremely difficult, not to say impossible, for any attacker to clone a card produced by us. Secondly, the transaction must be secure thanks to specific and constantly updated software,” explains Matica’s CEO.

Now, when it comes to privacy, Camilleri states that people must be aware of what is at stake when data is leaked and why such occurrences are so alarming. With more and more appliances being automated and connected to computers and to the internet, such as is the case for cars and home security systems, cyberattacks could lead to consequences that are not only terrible, but tragic. 

In such situations, Matica’s CEO believes that only biometric data could spare individuals from having their systems hacked, though this data must be filed with care and used only for strictly necessary purposes. In any case, Camilleri argues that using biometrics is becoming day by day more inevitable with the increasing rhythm of automation, and this is a feature that can already be found in some of Matica’s available systems, such as is the case of the passport series.

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The Importance of Branded Clothing

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When it comes to the basics of branding, it’s essential that you don’t skip out one of the most important aspects of your store; clothing. When it comes to creating a professional image for your business, first impressions count and you want your customers to believe that you are a credible and reliable business. The best way to achieve this excellent first impression is to pay more attention to the appearance of your staff and creating a consistent company image.

So here are a couple of tips that will explain the importance of branded clothing and why you should invest in it.

Creating a sense of team spirit

One of the biggest advantages of having branded clothing in the workplace is inspiring a sense of team spirit. It’s important to have everyone on board when it comes to running your business. It could be your brand message, commitment to customer service or even your values as a business. Whatever the case is, having everyone wear the same uniform can help promote teamwork in the workplace.

It’s an inexpensive way to show professionalism

It’s surprisingly cheap to purchase customer embroidered badges to sew onto plain shirts. This is an inexpensive way to create a branded uniform and also means that you can remove the badges when the shirt is ruined and then stick it to another shirt. It also means you can just buy blanks in different sizes instead of having multiple shirts printed. This is usually a much better option than pre-printing a bunch of shirts and hoping that they fit a new staff member. If you take this approach, you’ll find that you can easily create a sense of professionalism on a budget.

Showing who the staff members are

When you first walk into a store, it’s easy to tell who the staff members are if they’re wearing branded clothing. They’re easy to identify and recognize which enhances the customer service, especially in a relatively large store. For instance, if you run a clothing store with multiple floors, then having staff members in uniform will ensure that your customers know who to speak to if they need assistance.

It inspires confidence in your shoppers

You might not notice it immediately, but people will react more positively to your brand if they see that you and your staff are proud of your work. Having a branded uniform means that your staff are more than happy to represent your business, and this inspires a sense of confidence in shoppers that is difficult to achieve in other ways. They want to see that your staff have faith in your brand and a branded uniform can show this in a subtle way.

At the end of the day, a business doesn’t need to force its staff to wear a specific uniform. We’ve probably all seen or experienced it before; a store clerk or staff member that isn’t wearing a specific uniform. However, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t create a consistent and professional brand image with your clothing.

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5 Main Advantages of Colocation Hosting for Your Business

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Your organization requires a data center business plan if it is going to move forward to expand smoothly. Thus, you must look at your IT needs and decide what is to come so that your business can grow. If you are not sure whether outsourcing to a colocation facility is right for your organization or not, read on to learn what to consider.

1. Many Connectivity Options

Rather than building a private data center, which is a major capital expenditure, many companies choose a migration of their data instead. The range of connectivity choices available makes colocation a great choice in several cases, particularly if expanding the company’s infrastructure is necessary. Rather than laying down and integrating expensive cables, it is often more budget-friendly to use colocation facilities that easily connect to leading providers of internet services, network services, and more.

2. Scalability

When your current data solution is no longer enough, then it is time to consider scaling the IT infrastructure so that your business can continue to grow. Using a colocation provider allows you to agree together on service terms that allow you to scale services as necessary. If you’re interested in this scalable solution, check this page out for more information.

3. Less Downtime

A big benefit of colocation hosting is less downtime. An outage is costly for any company because it means less work is being done then, which equals fewer sales. Significant work must go into catching up on operations afterwards too. Thankfully, colocation data centers reduce downtime and maintain hardware because they have many supports, including different power sources and physical security.

4. Data Security

This point is essential. Your business has data that you need to ensure is secure for your customers and for the organization generally. Keeping patented data out of competitor hands is important, and you have an ethical obligation to your customers to safeguard their personal details too. Thankfully, colocation data centers have cutting-edge security measures in place. The colocation facility also has many policies that align with compliance regulation for various types of data, which means you won’t have to worry that you are vulnerable to lawsuits.

5. Lower Costs

Finally, colocation reduces costs in many ways for your growing organization. For example, you will save money as you will consume much less power after the relocation. Not only that, but you won’t have to own and operate hardware for networking because that is taken care of by the trusted colocation provider.

Deciding to Make the Move to Colocation Hosting

If your business has complex needs for an internet infrastructure, colocation can offer significant benefits, including saving money, state-of-the-art security methods, and scalability. It’s nice not to have to worry about infrastructure anymore too.

When your business moves to a colocation data facility, you can then focus on daily operations and an expansion strategy, rather than spending time managing an on-site data center. You can spend your time efficiently by outsourcing in this way, which makes it a successful part of building your company’s future.

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