Monday, April 10, 2017

How Modernizing Your #Finances Will Improve Your Client Relations

As you consider your business relationships, it is imperative to strive to keep the client, or customer happy with their experiences when interacting with your company. Making the payment process streamlined is an important attribute of any successful company. Technology is quickly changing and can be overwhelming. Certainly, you want to always utilize consummate professionals at every level of your financial process.

Finding these professionals may not always be easy, however it is critical. 

The Best New Payment Technology

Outsourcing: In order to simplify the process of faster payments for your clients, evaluate which portions of your financial process can be outsourced to qualified professionals. This is how you can always ensure that your company remains on the cutting edge of technology. Outsourcing items such as payroll or payment processing comes with the benefit of removing one or several time-consuming tasks from your agenda. Since these venues are in the business of ensuring your business runs efficiently they will excel. 

NFC Based Mobile Payments: Near Field Communicator has been on the market for a few years now and allowing your customer base to utilize this payment method can only be a good thing for your bottom line. The technology involves two devices (i.e a smart phone and a terminal with an embedded NFC chip) to communicate with each other.

If you haven't used the technology yourself, you have probably seen it at checkout. Most smart phones are being manufactured with this technology and many stores are on board. Depending upon the type of business you own, it would be a great option to explore. Payments can be made for any type of monetary exchange.  

Faster Payments Technology: You also want to ensure your in house finance process is up to speed so that if you need to make client payments, you can do so in a timely manner without complications. Making electronic payments has been streamlined significantly with the introduction of the faster payments service. Faster payments is a cloud based piece of software which is ideal for making last minute and same day payments. If you want to keep your clients satisfied, this is essential.

Same Day ACH: Allowing your customers to make payments using Same Day ACH will be of benefit to you and to your client. Same Day ACH (Account Clearing House) is what is already in place currently. The mandates have changed and now the clearance time will shorten from 2-3 days to the same day. The changes have started to take effect already to the pre-existing system. The initial phase of the change was implemented in September 2016. This will make finances move quickly and more efficiently. 

QR Code: The barcode system has been around for several years. This is a system that keeps on expanding and becoming better. Scanning methods are less time consuming and literally the method transcends wait times on order processing. Bar codes have been used on smart phones and other applications all in the move toward going completely paperless, and plastic-free. Clients who are allowed to make payments or place orders by scanning a barcode and having money instantly transferred out of their account will undoubtedly enjoy the experience. 

It is clear that payments technology is becoming more and more advanced, and those who don’t keep up with the trends will only fall behind their competitors. Staying up to date and learning about what’s available on the market is crucial.

The bottom line is that your bottom line is contingent upon the success of the relationships you develop and then maintain with your clientele. If you make their lives easier by making how they gain access to your goods and services faster, it will build a stronger relationship.

If you add the secret ingredient of efficiency in the payment transaction you are guaranteed a satisfied customer who is going to want to come back and experience the encounter again and again. Because great customer service is something that is basically lacking worldwide today, they will tell their friends and family about the resource they found.

Business to business works the same way. Your company will gain a reputation for efficiency and the rest is history. 

Phobio-Saving the Planet One Cell Phone at a Time

How many old phones and blackberries do you have stashed in a drawer because your cell store wouldn’t compensate you when it was time for an upgrade? Phobio Safetrade is working to end the stuffed drawer syndrome. 

Safetrade is a device buyback program designed for wireless retailers that handles all aspects of trade-ins seamlessly providing sales representatives with more opportunities to delight their customers, put some money in their pockets too and gain more revenue to grow their business. 

It’s a novel idea really, devices are simply categorized as working or damaged as opposed to multiple condition classifications. You even get some money if the phone is severed in half!

The trend of trade in is on the rise: 
•        80 million smartphones were traded in 2015 with a value of $11 Billion 
•        120 million smartphones were traded in 2016 with a value of $17 billion 

So as it’s Earth Day and we’re all more focused on being less wasteful, Phobio is helping us start with that drawer of phones. 

Should You Consolidate Debts?

When you find yourself facing debt, it can feel like an uphill battle. There’s so much to do, so many decisions to make, and a serious impact on your lifestyle habits. You’re going to have to change the way you spend and combat the problem once and for all.

Every month, your wage will hit your account. It will then undergo the process of being depleted. Every creditor will get their share, before you have even had the chance to siphon off money to pay your bills and expenses that month. The leftover expenditure, yours to do want you want with, is so small and cannot be topped up by credit card usage anymore. Everything has got to change, from the small to the huge, reevaluating your relationship with money at every turn. It’s going to be a rough ride back to financial solvency, with many changes and lessons you are going to have to learn along the way.

Or are you…?

The Promise Of Consolidation

In theory, the practice of consolidation is a tempting one. You can sweep away all those debts into one pile, bundled neatly into one monthly repayment. It’s simple and easy - it will even free up space on your credit cards.

And you can sweep so much up into it! Not only do your regular payments to credit cards get snapped up, but you can get rid of anything you want into that single monthly payment. You could say goodbye to the student loan hanging over your head, wipe off the store cards, even settle I.O.Us given to friends and family if you see fit.

Of course, you will tell yourself, you have learned your lesson. The credit cards will be available only in the case of an emergency; you won’t rely on them as a way to top up your wage anymore. They won’t be habit; you’ve gone wrong with that kind of thinking before, and of course, you’re not going to fall into that trap again. They’ll just be useful in the case of an emergency. It’s also going to make a big difference to your life not to have to cope with bad credit; if you go down the consolidation route, most of your credit score will survive unscathed.

It seems like the perfect option; the solution that you have been dreaming of.

Or it could just be the beginning of another nightmare.

Why Consolidation Isn’t The Easy Choice

While consolidation offers many advantages, such as those listed above, nothing in life is that easy.

The biggest problem comes from the fact that you don’t learn much from the process. Everything is swept up and away from you; ironically, the thing that makes consolidation so attractive is its downfall.

If you’re not extremely careful, you could find yourself in five years time looking for more consolidation. The most important part of dealing with debt is learning what got you into the situation in the first place.

Is It Always Bad?

Before we go into detail, it’s worth taking a pause and considering if consolidation is always such a bad idea. In some scenarios, it’s actually the perfect solution without any of the warning signs. Examples of times when consolidation would be beneficial are along the lines of:

  • If you have a singular debt, which you can incurred due to circumstances beyond your control. This is the kind of payment you have to make that you can’t plan for. An example would be a friend or relative becoming unwell, and you needing to spend money on flights and accommodation to go and see them. No household budget in the world would have been expecting that kind of event, so it makes sense you relied on debt to get through it.
  • The debts are due to a factor that no longer exists. For example, if you took a break from work to improve your education, then it’s natural you will have wracked up some debt in the process. If you are now returning to work and will be bringing more money in, and are confident you can meet the monthly payments, then it makes sense to keep everything in one simple bundle.

The above are examples, but the general rule for consolidation is that it works for single debts or debts that occurred due to a specific circumstance. If that applies to you, then it’s definitely something worth considering.

Where it doesn’t apply is where there is no single debt, no solo purchase, no event that prompted you to rely on credit cards to see you through to the end of the month. This is the kind of spending that tends to be chronic; it becomes a habit, as if the credit cards are an extension of your wage, and you rely on them in much the same way every month.

It’s this kind of habitual spending that is so dangerous for consolidation.

How Can You Avoid The Risks?

Consolidation can give you a fresh start, but only if you let it.

You have to let consolidation be the end of the line, the point you can’t turn back from. It makes sense to keep a single credit card in case of emergencies, but for everything else - store cards, catalogs, other cards - then they have to bite the dust.

You have to change your spending habits, going as far to investigate their emotional causes and discover what causes you to overspend.

If you just go back to your same old lifestyle, then the same old debt is going to begin to creep up again. The only way to avoid falling back into this pattern is if you see consolidation as the end, not just another way to begin spending again. It is a viable choice that can do a lot of good for your financial life, but only if you commit to it. If you don’t, you’ll likely end up in the same situation all over again.

Being a Landlord Isn't as Easy as You Think

A lot of people paint the life of a landlord as something approaching luxury and laziness. They imagine that a landlord creates a completely passive income, sitting around at home, not doing much, ignoring phone calls from tenants. This isn’t so: being a landlord is often a busy and complex business. It’s important for tenants to understand this - but it’s especially important for budding landlords to understand this!

We’re going to look at the things you should be considering if you want to make sure people want to rent from you - and, subsequently, what to keep renting from you! Otherwise, you may find that your investment was a bad choice.

Property problems

A lot of landlords make the mistake of not placing themselves in a prospective tenant’s shoes when they’re looking for a property to buy. You should approach the shopping phase as though you were looking for a house for yourself. That means you shouldn’t just be looking for a place that looks comfortable. You need to think about nearby amenities and neighborhood safety, too. Remember: quality homes attract quality tenants. Make sure it’s a home you wouldn’t mind living in before you starting renting it out and expecting tenants to be pleased with everything.

A good price

Not all landlords charge high rent because they’re greedy. In fact, you’ll find that very few of them do. In reality, most landlords have to charge high rent because, well, they need to at least break even! They need to make sure they’re paying off the costs associated with the place. If you’re looking to become a landlord, then you may wonder how you can keep the rent below extortionate levels while making enough to pay off the expenses.

For the most part, it’s all about the mortgage. A lot of these landlords got themselves into these situations because they took on mortgage plans with high repayment obligations. If you’ve done the same, you may want to consider looking into mortgage refinance, which allows you to change your mortgage terms. Consult a mortgage refinance calculator to see how feasible it would be for you.

Empathy and communication

Surely you’ve had a landlord at some point in the past, right? No matter what you thought about the landlord as a person, the chances are that you avoided getting in touch with them unless you really needed their assistance with something. This is something landlords should remember: most tenants aren’t whining at you for the sake of it. They really need a problem fixed, and it’s important that you get to it as soon as you can. Keeping an open line of communication for this is vital.

A bit of empathy and compassion will go a long way here, especially because so many tenants seem to think landlords are cold-blooded leeches. If you’ve got a good tenant, then allow them a little leeway when things go wrong for them. If they’re going to be a day or two late with the rent, be understanding. If they need to let someone stay for a while because of personal problems, be understanding then, too. Tenants will remember these kindnesses, making it much more likely they’ll renew their lease.