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4 Helpful Tips To Increase Employee Productivity

4 Helpful Tips To Increase Employee Productivity

Every successful business owner understands that their company is only as strong as it’s weakest link. Improving and sustaining employee productivity is a must when it comes to running a successful operation. Here are a few helpful tips for increasing employee productivity and establishing healthy, working relationships with them.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.

Communication, as you know, is probably the most important aspect of being a boss and operating a business. Without proper communication skills, you and your employees will have a difficult time delegating tasks, performing day-to-day tasks, and ultimately, achieving business goals. As the leader, it is your job to find a clear and effective means of communication between you and your employees. Not only should you make sure employees understand what you ask of them whether through email, conference calls, or in-person meetings, they should also feel comfortable and safe communicating with you and others within the company about tasks, goals, ideas, questions, and concerns. Lack of communication leaves many people lost and confused. There is no room for that in a successful business.

Ensure Employees Understand Your Expectations

All businesses should have clear goals and expectations in mind. Your employees are there as assets to your company, therefore, everyone should understand what they are responsible for and what is expected of them on a day-to-day basis, and overall during their time at your company. A confused mind will do nothing, meaning it is your job to present a clear plan and opportunities for all employees to learn and grow. Everyone should know what they need to do at all times while striving to progress and do their job more efficiently, as well as learn additional skills to move on to higher positions.

Eliminate Negativity

You know what they say – misery loves company. The working atmosphere at your business is a very influential factor when it comes to employees and their performance. As a business owner, it is your job to ensure all employees feel comfortable and confident at work. Eliminate all negativity from both your side and your employees’. Observe the work environment and develop a way to remove or improve negativity. Lack of communication, lack of organization, lack of motivation, and pessimistic personalities are all negative traits that should be addressed and dealt with accordingly. Not everyday will be full of sunshine and happiness, however, this should not slow down productivity and drive.

Provide Constructive Criticism and Feedback

The number one thing that most employees appreciate in an employer is constructive criticism and feedback. Most people tend to work better when they understand what is expected of them, what they’re doing well, and what they could be doing better. Instead of simply reprimanding an employee for a mistake or incomplete task, meet with them to address what you expect to be done differently next time, what you feel was done well, and what you appreciated. Similarly, with a job well done, praise and rewards are a big productivity enhancer. Everyone loves to be rewarded for a job well done, and this doesn’t always have to go as far as a raise – a simple “good job” could brighten anyone’s day. Providing appropriate incentives and honest feedback is crucial when it comes to being a successful business owner and employer.

Summertime Sadness: How to Curb Slow Summer Business

Summertime Sadness: How to Curb Slow Summer Business

So you’ve gotten through the holiday rush and spring sale seasons only to have business come to a slow creep. Don’t panic; you’re not alone. Unless you run an ice cream shop or sell beach gear, your business is bound to experience slow sales during the summer months. The following are 3 tips on how to help build your business by utilizing this time the best way possible.

Social Media Revamp

The summer months are the perfect time to focus on your social media presence. Many make the mistake of thinking that posting regularly is the same as successfully socializing with their followers, however, having a lot of content doesn’t help unless it is of quality and you engage your followers. Run summer themed contests, share photos of your staff enjoying the nice weather, post vacation pics or plans. Have fun and be creative! 

Tax Prep

Despite it occurring the same time every year, tax season always seems to take people by surprise. You promise yourself that you will never wait until the last minute again only to fall into the same trap. Prepare for the inevitable by gathering your receipts and organizing your finances. *Attention restaurant owners, we wrote a helpful a few months back titled: Tax Filing Tips for Restaurant Owners. Check it out!

Reevaluate and Reflect

Now that you’ve reached the midway point reevaluate your business’ goals for the year. Celebrate the goals you’ve successfully implemented and take steps to improve on the rest. Make sure that your daily actions reflect the goals you’ve set.

Reach Out for Working Capital


Just because business is a little slow, doesn’t mean you have to stop growing. Now may be the perfect time to reach out for working capital from an alternative lender. Alternative financing products such as the popular Merchant Cash Advance is a great solution for your business to purchase necessary inventory, hire new employees, train existing employees on new systems and business techniques, implement marketing campaigns, and much more!

At Excel Capital Management we know what you need to for your business to grow. Grant Cardone also wrote a great piece for Entrepreneur titled, 5 Sales Tips to Recharge During the Lazy Days of Summer.” Check it out! 

Exploring Funding Options for LGBT Owned Businesses

Alternative Funding Options for LGBT Owned Businesses

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride month each year in honor of the 1969 Stonewall riots, a major turning point in the U.S. Gay Liberation Movement,  in Manhattan, NYC. Since those days, great strides have been made in terms of progressive thinking and equality. The LGBT community also makes up a large number of business owners in the United States.

As we know, most businesses will need to apply for some sort of working capital during their lifetime. Traditional loans are not always an option to many business owners due to the lengthy paperwork required and strict rules and guidelines, however, progress is being made when it comes to providing the LGBT community with business-funding options. For instance, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has set up a few different programs and outreach initiatives. Aside from the SBA and other traditional business loan options,

There are many alternative funding solutions that may be more suitable and easier for LGBT-owned businesses to obtain when it comes to growing their businesses. Here are a few options:

Merchant Cash Advance: Short-term financing transactions that are collected through a set percentage of your visa and mastercard sales  that are accepted at your place of business. Probably the most common term used in the industry. These do not have a set repayment schedule and are based on the volume of your businesses credit card processing sales. These are usually only guaranteed by the future sales of your business.

Minority Business Loans: There are many options avaialable in this category and its not just catered to the LGBT community. We have put togher a full list of Minority Business Loan options available. Many of these are grants and offer zero interest funding programs.

ACH Loan Products: These are a bit different than cash advances as they are considered loans and may have personal guarantees. They have a fixed repayment schedule that is paid either daily, weekly or monthly. These products are catered to industries that do not accept credit cards and need a fixed payment.

Accounts Receivables Financing: This is one of the oldest forms of funding in history. This is used mainly when a business is due some sort of capital for work complete and is billed on a net 30, 60 or 90. for example, ABC Trucking delivered goods for xyz logistics but only receives payment from xyz logistics in 60 days. ABC can then factor the money due from XYZ at discount to receive the capital due in 60 days today.

Invoice Factoring: The purchase of accounts receivable for immediate cash.

Equipment Financing: A type of loan or extension of credit to a business, with the purpose of helping the business acquire new equipment. Equipment Financing Extends only the capital needed to purchase a specific piece of equipment and is most commonly written as a lease.

Business Lines of Credit: A rotating loan that gives business owners access to a fixed amount of money, which they can use day-to-day according to their need for cash. Interest is only paid on the amount of the advance actually used.

Start-Up Funding/Loan: A type of loan that provides a new business/company with sufficient upfront capital to get off the ground.

Asset Based Loans: A business loan secured by collateral.

SBA LOANs 504 Loans: The US Small Business Administration 504 Loan or Certified Development Company program is designed to provide financing for the purchase of fixed assets, which usually means real estate, buildings and machinery, at below market rates.

Term Loans: A loan that is backed by a bank for an exact amount that has a specified repayment timetable and  interest rate that are adjusted accordingly. Terms mature between 1 and 10 years.

Excel Capital Management is a proud supporter of the LGBT community, and we are here to help with all of your business funding needs! For more information on Excel and the funding solutions we offer, APPLY NOW! For even faster service, contact one of our funding specialists TODAY at 877-880-8086.

Exclusive Interview with ERPS Group CEO/Chief Financial Consultant, Ella Rivkin

Exclusive Interview with ERPS Group CEO/Chief Financial Consultant, Ella Rivkin

New York City based, full-service accounting firm, ERPS goal is to help individuals, professionals, and businesses maintain financial stability as they grow their assets and plan for the future. ERPS provides assistance in estate aligning, retirement and trust planning, wealth management, and money-saving services for individuals. For businesses, the company assists with taxes, payroll, insurance, HR, benefits, and more. Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing ERPS Co-Founder, CFO, and CEO, Ella Rivkin to get her insight on tax preparation and filing tips for small business owners.

Excel Capital Management: Hello, Ella. Thank you for taking the time to be interviewed by Excel! To get started, tell us a little about yourself, how you got into the accounting industry, and your company, ERPS.

Ella Rivkin: I came to this country at a young age, chasing a dream just like many before me. I found myself very proficient in helping others and while growing up, and I knew that finance was a field that would strongly interest me. I began looking for work in the financial field while in school in order to gain experience. Eventually, I found myself working in an accounting office where I began to learn the necessary skills I bear today. After many years, I was finally presented the opportunity to open up my very own office, E.R.P.S. Inc. where I could finally utilize all my years of experience to help others chasing their business goals.

 

ECM: How can small business owners use your services at ERPS for their business finances?

E.R.: What makes E.R.P.S. stand out from others is that we develop strong business relationships with small business owners in order to establish successful networks and a beneficial support system for the owners. We are there to address any concerns the owners might have regarding their day-to-day operations and it is with this help that we are able to attract new clients that add to our growing community.

ECM: It is important for business owners to have a strong working relationship with their accountant. What are topics business owners should constantly discuss with their accountant, and how often should meetings be set up?

E.R.: After many years, I have advised many owners on how to better their business and succeed. It is important to address key topics that many fail to see. Some of these topics include careful handling of all business expenses so as to keep everything organized and manageable. Another important topic is keeping track of all employees and payroll information so as to not have any confusion within the organization. A well-organized account of everything going in and out of the company, whether it be assets, credits, etc. is key to maintaining the necessary structure of any business which hopes to prosper.

ECM: As you know, Excel Capital Management provides alternative financing solutions to small to mid-sized businesses. For a business owner that is in the market for a business loan, what advice would you give them before applying?

E.R.: Prior to applying for a loan of any kind, it is important to insure that everything in your company is up to date, financially, and that the business is ready to accept the responsibilities of said loan. I have seen many companies accept loans as a means of growing their business, whether big or small. A loan provides much needed support for a business, especially one that is looking to expand. By accepting a loan, it is important to monitor and stay on top of all its financial aspects, primarily due to the fact that if one loan is handled correctly, it allows for that business to receive additional, larger loans in the future which in turn helps the business even more.

ECM: Many businesses Excel funds continue to apply for additional working capital over the business’ lifetime. Based on your expertise, what determines when business owners should reach out for working capital via an alternative lender such as Excel Capital Management?

E.R.: A company is only as successful if it keeps constantly looking for bigger and better things to make it stand out. Unfortunately, not every business owner is capable of financially providing the necessary funding for these ventures. There comes a point where the owner(s) exhausts every resource and their disposal and has no other place to turn to. In this situation, it is necessary to reevaluate the company and its potential success. If the company is in fact making progress towards its goals, then it is understandable to reach out to lenders and request additional funding. Reaching out to lenders like Excel makes it possible to continue expanding one’s business by attaining the much needed capital that allows for new equipment, new ideas, etc. necessary for corporate growth. There is a common saying, “You have to spend money to make money”—this couldn’t be more true!

ECM: Lastly, what is the most important accounting advice you would give to small business owners?

E.R.: It must be said that for any business to succeed in today’s day and age, it is necessary to have desire and determination as the driving factors. As an accountant, I must say that proper discipline and motivation is required when managing any business. There are always going to be obstacles along the way that make it seem impossible to overcome, but with proper leadership and organization, no obstacle will be too great. It is also important to maintain proper communication between the business owner and the accountant, because one cannot do their job without the other. Keeping your accountant up to date on all of your business ventures and operations is key, therefore the accountant must be provided with any and all necessary information about the business at all times.

For more on ERPS Group, visit: erpsgroup.com and be sure to “like” their official Facebook page: facebook.com/erpsinc.

Exclusive Interview with North Shore Advisory Inc. Credit Expert, Tracy Becker

New York based national Credit Restoration & Education Company, North Shore Advisory, Inc. has helped thousands of individuals and companies throughout the United States for over 25 years. Founder and President, Tracy Becker, a Certified Expert Credit Witness, Certified Fico Professional, and established author (check out her latest book, Credit Score Power), has lead her team to improve the overall financial condition of thousands of companies over the years, improving their credit, saving them millions of dollars, and providing seminars and counseling to educate them on building and maintaining excellent credit scores. Tracy has educated the likes of Coldwell Bankers, Halstead, Citi Habitats, and developed partnerships with many loan professionals from banks like Chase, M&T, HSBC, TD Bank, amongst others. She  has also often been quoted in publications such as the NY Times, American Banker, Investment News, Daily News, and many more. Excel Capital Management recently had the pleasure of interviewing Tracy in hopes of providing small business owners with insight on achieving a healthy credit scores and how it affects the overall growth of their business. Enjoy!

Excel Capital Management: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Tracy. To start off, can you tell us a bit about how you got into your industry?

Tracy Becker: My husband was a real estate investor back in the 80’s and when the market crashed he was forced to claim bankruptcy. I was in the financial planning industry at the time.  After the bankruptcy was completed, we started researching how he could improve his credit.  After a lot of hard work and energy, we were able to better understand the industry and substantially improve his credit score. Together, we decided it would be a great business idea since so many people had credit issues and there was little information about how to improve credit at the time.

ECM: With the help of experts such as yourself and the North Shore Advisory team, credit repair has been made easier for individuals and business owners alike. Can you tell our readers a little bit about what your company does?

TB: There are many credit repair firms that have popped up in the last 5-7 years.  Most of them do what we call “generic letter writing campaigns” which require minimal work effort and almost no strategy. These firms put very little thought into creating the right system to improve credit, which keeps the cost down, but ultimately produces poor results.  At NSA, we review each credit profile by analyzing all of the information on the accounts and listen to our client’s story so we can learn about the circumstances surrounding the delinquency. We prioritize our client’s goals and consider the time frame that the client has to reach a certain score.  After we gather all the facts, one of our FICO Certified Negotiators does a forensic analysis and puts together a personalized strategy that will create the greatest chance of success. If we feel that we will not have success, we do not offer our services. Our program includes access to our credit education site where clients can learn tricks and tips through proper credit management.  This site helps clients increase scores while we are working on credit improvement through removing or changing delinquencies. Our FICO Certified Negotiators keep clients up to date on changes to credit  scores and the status of their file. Our unique credit repair programs have delivered great success to our clients.

We provide excellent programs for improving and monitoring business credit as well. In today’s fast paced business world more partners, lenders, and potential accounts need to make quick decisions as to which suppliers, borrowers, and partners they want to work with; decision-makers use a variety of business credit scores, indexes, and reports to discard unqualified candidates from being considered for a partnership or a loan. Because the business credit industry is highly unregulated, most firms do not even know their business credit scores and indexes are being reviewed. What do I mean by this? Unlike personal credit, when a business’s credit profile is pulled, the business owner is typically not notified. Our business credit repair process places firms in the most attractive thresholds, so that they are prepared for an unexpected review. Our monitoring program monitors business credit levels regularly so that owners may rest easy knowing that they will always have their best foot forward.

ECM: For someone starting out or someone trying to bounce back, aside from a credit repair program, what are others ways for individuals and business owners to build up their credit?

TB: The best thing to do is to order your business and personal credit reports; once you have your reports, you can reach out to our Credit Experts and they will give you feedback on the options available to you. In many cases, those that have no need for our services will still receive excellent advice about what their next steps should be.

ECM: Do you see a significant difference in credit score amongst different age sets? For instance, what patterns do you see amongst people in their early twenties, thirties to forties, and fifties and up? What about credit scores based on a person’s background and location?

TB: Honestly, it is hard to make an assumption about that since we typically service people who need credit improvement; we are not usually exposed to individuals with good credit or individuals that are not interested in their credit profile because that isn’t our line of work. I can say that older generations usually have more credit since they have had more time to develop it; and many studies suggest that millennials are the generation with the least amount of credit education, which often leads to unintentional poor credit habits; the most important advice for anyone at any age is to get educated and take care of your very important credit profiles since they are a great asset.

ECM: With the economic downturn in recent years, there seems to have been a shift in what makes a good to excellent credit score? For example, a few years ago, a credit score in the mid 600s and low 700s was considered “great” credit. That’s not always the case now. Would you agree that things have changed? How has this impacted your industry?

TB: Things changed dramatically. Banks have become more restrictive when it comes to personal and business lending alike, therefore, they require individuals to have a higher credit score threshold to receive the best pricing.  From an outside perspective, it makes sense since there was such great financial loss as a result of lender flexibility with credit score thresholds.  

The economic downturn really influenced our industry; it brought in a substantial amount of firms that tried to cash in on the credit score downturn. These fly-by night-firms attracted and continue to attract credit challenged individuals with their low pricing but they deliver minimal success and take money from those that should probably not be using a credit repair firm.  In my opinion, it is immoral to take money from someone who can barely pay their bills when you know they will have a new late payment dropping the scores yet again. Consumers should be wary of companies that will work on credit without asking them any questions about their current financial situation and goals. For businesses, the lending industry has changed as well. There is greater emphasis on business credit scores/indexes; however, many business owners do not understand the indexes and are not aware that a lender or a potential partner can view their scores at any time without notifying them. All business owners should have full knowledge of their Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax business credit reports/scores and indexes. If they are not in excellent standing, they should reach out to us for a full credit analysis to see if we can help.  

ECM:  In the past few years, a person’s credit worthiness has also been investigated via social media sites and other avenues (read more on that here via NPR), rather than just based on a credit score alone from the top three bureaus. Can you elaborate on this? Do you believe a social media footprint should affect a person’s credit report?

TB: There has been much talk about social media scores, but social media outlets have backed away from the idea of using social media scores to determine creditworthiness because they would have to abide by the same regulations as the credit bureaus. The concept opens up a lot of risk and possible litigation; I do not believe we will see much of this in the near future since it can be viewed as discriminatory. I do believe decisions can be made using credit scores and gathering information about a firm’s presence on social media to decide if they are a vibrant and active entity.

ECM: At Excel, we focus on providing small to mid-sized businesses with financing solutions such as Merchant Cash Advances, Asset Based Loans, Unsecured Business Loans, and more. A lof of business owners choose these solutions due to minimal requirements. For instance, there’s no minimum FICO score requirement. What is your take on this?

TB: There is a place for all of these financial vehicles if used correctly. I think it is great to have as many choices as possible. The ideal position for any firm is to have excellent credit for both the business and the principal(s). This will provide more opportunity to choose which financial vehicles are best for them with the help of professionals at Excel.

ECM: Lastly, Tracy, what advice would you give to business owners, such as millennials, who may have little to no personal and/or business credit?

TB: It is very important to start building credit. With limited or no credit getting a secured credit card would be the first step. Make sure the card will be reported to the credit bureaus. After using the card for 3-6 months, I would suggest that you apply for a non-secured card and use that as well. Following these steps can slowly help build excellent credit; as long as all accounts are paid on time, scores will increase. If you would like to learn more about credit visit our site to read many related articles www.northsoreadvisory.com. As far as building business credit that is a bit more complicated since not every vendor, lender, or creditor reports to the credit bureaus.  The best step is to reach out to us to discuss the best strategy for your unique business.

To learn more about the business financing solutions, Excel Capital Management offers, check out our Solutions Page. To learn more about the Credit Repair and Restoration solutions Tracy Becker and North Shore Advisory offers, visit: http://www.northshoreadvisory.com/

North Shore Advisory Inc. Credit Expert, Tracy Becker
North Shore Advisory Inc. Credit Expert, Tracy Becker