Business Loans In Canada: Financing Solutions Via Alternative Finance & Traditional Funding

Business loans and finance for a business just may have gotten good again? The pursuit of credit and funding of cash flow solutions for your business often seems like an eternal challenge, even in the best of times, let alone any industry or economic crisis. Let’s dig in.

Since the 2008 financial crisis there’s been a lot of change in finance options from lenders for corporate loans. Canadian business owners and financial managers have excess from everything from peer-to-peer company loans, varied alternative finance solutions, as well of course as the traditional financing offered by Canadian chartered banks.

Those online business loans referenced above are popular and arose out of the merchant cash advance programs in the United States. Loans are based on a percentage of your annual sales, typically in the 15-20% range. The loans are certainly expensive but are viewed as easy to obtain by many small businesses, including retailers who sell on a cash or credit card basis.

Depending on your firm’s circumstances and your ability to truly understand the different choices available to firms searching for SME COMMERCIAL FINANCE options. Those small to medium sized companies ( the definition of ‘ small business ‘ certainly varies as to what is small – often defined as businesses with less than 500 employees! )

How then do we create our road map for external financing techniques and solutions? A simpler way to look at it is to categorize these different financing options under:

Debt / Loans

Asset Based Financing

Alternative Hybrid type solutions

Many top experts maintain that the alternative financing solutions currently available to your firm, in fact are on par with Canadian chartered bank financing when it comes to a full spectrum of funding. The alternative lender is typically a private commercial finance company with a niche in one of the various asset finance areas

If there is one significant trend that’s ‘ sticking ‘it’s Asset Based Finance. The ability of firms to obtain funding via assets such as accounts receivable, inventory and fixed assets with no major emphasis on balance sheet structure and profits and cash flow ( those three elements drive bank financing approval in no small measure ) is the key to success in ABL ( Asset Based Lending ).

Factoring, aka ‘ Receivable Finance ‘ is the other huge driver in trade finance in Canada. In some cases, it’s the only way for firms to be able to sell and finance clients in other geographies/countries.

The rise of ‘ online finance ‘ also can’t be diminished. Whether it’s accessing ‘ crowdfunding’ or sourcing working capital term loans, the technological pace continues at what seems a feverish pace. One only has to read a business daily such as the Globe & Mail or Financial Post to understand the challenge of small business accessing business capital.

Business owners/financial mgrs often find their company at a ‘ turning point ‘ in their history – that time when financing is needed or opportunities and risks can’t be taken. While putting or getting new equity in the business is often impossible, the reality is that the majority of businesses with SME commercial finance needs aren’t, shall we say, ‘ suited’ to this type of funding and capital raising. Business loan interest rates vary with non-traditional financing but offer more flexibility and ease of access to capital.

We’re also the first to remind clients that they should not forget govt solutions in business capital. Two of the best programs are the GovernmentSmall Business Loan Canada (maximum availability = $ 1,000,000.00) as well as the SR&ED program which allows business owners to recapture R&D capital costs. Sred credits can also be financed once they are filed.

Those latter two finance alternatives are often very well suited to business start up loans. We should not forget that asset finance, often called ‘ ABL ‘ by those Bay Street guys, can even be used as a loan to buy a business.

If you’re looking to get the right balance of liquidity and risk coupled with the flexibility to grow your business seek out and speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor with a track record of business finance success who can assist you with your funding needs.

Online Marketing Your Home Business With Google AdWords PPC – Practical Do’s and Don’ts

There are many ways to marketing your home business online. Whether you are a season internet marketer or a newbie, it is always good to review some practical tips regarding your online marketing efforts. Whether it is articles, videos, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Bing, Yahoo or Google, marketing online requires some basic principles to ensure that you are executing your campaigns in an effective manner.We are going to focus on some practical do’s and don’ts when it comes to marketing via Google AdWords PPC.Let’s start with the Don’ts.

Don’t: Start using Google PPC without gaining knowledge. I know, this sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at the number of people that think “I’m smart enough, I’ll figure it out”. These are the same people that run through all the money they had with nothing to show for it. There are plenty of resources online that will get you up to speed on the in’s and out’s at basic level so you can go into PPC with a solid foundational understanding of how it works. Google has some good, free online training. There’s also Perry Marshall’s Definitive Guide To Google AdWords that will take your knowledge even further.

Don’t: Start without reviewing Google’s Advertising Terms Of Service. Recently Google has been cracking down on violators of its terms of service. It is important that you understand what is and what is not allowed with Google. Chances are that if you violate these terms, you will be suspended and in some cases, banned from advertising on Google.

Don’t: Market duplicate websites. Google has a very complex algorithm that calculates the quality of your website. One thing that is known is that this algorithm takes into account whether the content on your website is duplicate. If you are going to market via Google PPC, make sure that you have a unique website with content that is unique.
Okay, now that we know some of the don’ts, lets look at some of the Do’s.

Do: Keyword Research. Before you initiate any campaigns, the first thing you want to do is your keyword research. Find out what keywords you want to target that your potential buyers are using to search for you. Without the right keywords, you might get some traffic, but it will not be the right traffic. You want certain type of people visiting your website, you want to attract your target market. There are some free keyword tools that Google provides including Insights, Trends and External keyword research tool. You can also purchase some more elaborate keyword research tools online. Don’t underestimate the importance of this very basic step!

Do: Competitive Research. It’s always good to do competitive research. Find out what your competitors are doing. Review the top ads in your market, the ones that continue to appear at the top of the list, day after day, week after week. Take a look at their website. How does their ad tie back to their website? Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer, What about their ad attracted you? Did the website make sense after you clicked on the ad?

Do: Test, Test, Test. The most successful PPC marketers constantly test their ad copy and websites. Always have two or more versions of your ads running so you can split-test to find the best performing ad. Once you do that, make another small tweak and test again. Keep making minor improvements, but more importantly…

Do: Analyze Your Results. The only way you are going to make any sense of testing is if you analyze your results. PPC marketing involves a lot of analysis. Constantly testing means constantly analyzing your results so you can move forward with the best performing modifications. Google provides reporting, charting, trending that will provide you with the tools you need to do some thorough analysis.

Do: Track Your Results. Always track what works and what doesn’t work. Don’t forget that you are in this to make a profit. What good is a great ad, great website, great product, if you can’t track what does and what doesn’t make sales?
Google PPC marketing is a force in the internet marketing world. There are plenty of people that have made tons of money using this method of advertising. Always remember to diversify your efforts, make sure that you’re marketing strategy includes PPC but does not completely rely on it. Treat your marketing strategy as you would your investment portfolio. Diversify, diversify, diversify. Just be sure to follow the practical do’s and don’ts when dealing with Google PPC.

Using and Implementing Outdoor News Screens

News is an obsession for many people, whether it’s via newspapers, the internet, mobile phone, TV or radio, most of us devour regular news content throughout the day.

Because of this desire to read news content, many outdoor news screens are being installed in many different types of locations to entertain, inform customers. These news feeds are often intermixed with advertising content to provide a revenue source that can pay for the screens and news content.

Most news screens receive direct feeds from over the internet from news agencies like Reuters, Association Press (AP) or Press Association (PA), but local and more targeted news is offered by many local news organisations.

Weather and sporting news are also provided on these types of screen and provides a reason for people to look out for the screen, hence creating a captivated audience for advertisers.

Most news screens are placed in quite hostile locations, however, such as draughty bus stations or even ferry terminals where spray and excessive temperatures can be a potential problem. Many of these outdoor news screens are in outdoor locations too so they need to be protected from the weather and other outdoor elements.

The TV screens used for providing these news feeds tend to be standard commercial grade screens commonly used for digital signage and other out of home use, few of these screens are designed for outdoor use so they are protected using outdoor LCD enclosures.

Designed to accommodate nearly all major sizes of screen, the LCD enclosure provides all the outdoor protection these screens require to allow them to function outside. They ensure the screen is waterproof whilst also ensuring the internal temperatures of the enclosure are never too high or too low from the optimum for the device-regardless of the ambient conditions.

Richard N Williams is a technical author and a specialist in the digital signage industry helping to develop outdoor digital signage and protection for plasmas. Please visit us for more information about LCD Enclosures or other digital signage solutions.