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Accounts Receivable Financing and Factoring Facilities Help Canadian Businesses Grow!

Recent Studies in the U.S., (and we believe the Canadian business landscape is very similar) suggest that one of the most viable ways for businesses to grow and continue growing in the current economic and somewhat difficult credit environment is to consider a factoring working capital facility for their business. This type of financing facility is also known as an accounts receivable financing facility.When business credit and access to business credit gets difficult Canadian business owners should of course investigate every ‘tactic ‘to get their company financing properly.If your company is doing reasonable well, and the general economic and business and credit environment is quite positive naturally more traditional financing is considered – as a Canadian business owner you know the drill – prepare an executive summary or business plan, produce several years of financial statements, and meet with your Canadian chartered bank to discuss receivable or term financing. The reality of today’s economic environment is that many businesses aren’t in a position to pursue this traditional financing and therefore must consider what the alternatives are.One of the appeals of factoring / accounts receivable financing is that your business is generating positive cash flow right out of the gate.One of the other main benefits of such a facility is that business owners and financial managers can focus on running their business, and not spending all their time on cash flow problems and working capital challenges. We would point out that the time save on collections of course refers to the factor that the finance or factor firm is the one collecting your accounts receivable. Many business owners do not like this direct contact with the customer, and that is one of the reasons that the Canadian business environment has, relatively speaking, been ‘ slow ‘ to catch on to factoring.This necessitates a brief discussion around the concept of notification and how factoring has traditionally been done in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. Factoring started hundreds, some say thousands of years ago in Europe and Asian. Traditionally it involved the total ‘sale ‘of your receivables, your firm got the cash but you didn’t own or collect the receivable at that point. In recent years, due to the creativity of the North American financing markets there are numerous other product offerings related to factoring, one of which is ‘ non – notification ‘.We believe non-notification factoring is the absolute best solution for Canadian business owners who are considering alternative financing. Under non notification type facilities you bill and collect your own receivables, while at the same time receiving cash for them as soon as you generate your invoices. This provides a double whammy, so to speak!1. You bill and collect your own receivables and get cash ASAP2. You maintain the relationship with your customer, which is key to most Canadian business ownersAs we have noted in the past factoring is more expensive than traditional financing, but that premium that is paid provides you with literally all the cash you need to grow your business. Savvy Canadian business owners are able to use that cash to improve supplier relationships, take prompt payment discounts, and purchase more inventories for sale to their customers. In certain cases, all, yes we repeat, ALL! Of the costs of a factoring facility can be offset by good gross margins and strong operating efficiencies.Is it any wonder by factoring, accounts receivable financing and non traditional working capital facilities are becoming more popular in Canada? We don’t think so!

What is Pack Shot Photography?

Retail and commerce companies in Yorkshire use pack shot photography extensively to promote their products and services, both online and in printed literature. The term has become synonymous with commercial photography for advertisers.A pack shot, or packshot, is a still or animated photographed image, usually including labeling and packaging, which is used to advertise a product. Pack shot photography is a lucrative way to increase revenue for both the merchandiser and the commercial photographer. Done with flair, it will promote a product’s reputation, stimulate sales and trigger recognition of the item both on and off the shelf. It also gives the customer important details about the product, especially if 360 degree pack shot photography is used.Pack shot photography requires a high degree of trust between the photographer and their client. In the past, forged and leaked packshots have led to damaged reputations and court cases. Of all the forms of commercial photography there are, packshots probably require the highest level of security and confidentiality.Types of packshot photographyA packshot can be as simple as a photograph of the product on a white background, or as elaborate as a short, stop-motion animated movie. Commercial photography is almost entirely digital these days, which has opened up realms of possibilities, with a wealth of professional software available to photographers.For example, let’s look at the centre of Leeds. Packshot photography can be seen wherever you look, advertising foodstuffs, cleaning products, mobile phones, jewellery, toys, motor vehicles and more.Packshot photography isn’t limited to brochures, posters and magazines. As well as company websites, packshot images can be seen on t-shirts, ties, and sides of buses. Once the packshot has been digitally rendered, it can be used on anything that will take a printed or projected image.Packshot photography for websitesWebsite packshots are always taken on a white background. They are purchased as “packs” of 20 or more images, in 2 or more sizes. Once complete, the pack is delivered to the customer in either file format or via their content management system. Some commercial photography companies offer a full media service, while others just supply the shots, leaving the customer to do the post-production work themselves.360° packshots are a form of online commercial photography allowing the customer to view the item from all angles – as they would in a store. Used on objects of all sizes, it can incorporate zooming techniques and other innovations. Another option is stop motion animation photography, which is widely used on products with moving parts, such as kitchen gadgets and motor cars.High resolution pack shot photography Commercial photography is still most often associated with printed media. Professional photographers today can offer digitally enhanced, high resolution packshots for catalogues, brochures and promotional leaflets, as well as for newspapers and magazines.Packshot photography for print publications usually involves a clipping path. Produced using professional digital software, the photographer will shoot onto a plain white or coloured backdrop and then “snip” round the image, allowing it to be used on an infinite number of backgrounds. The same image can therefore be used on both the company’s print literature and its website.

Social Networking: Points to Ponder

Given my career background in IT, I still get excited with some of the new technology-creations people come up with and especially get intrigued when things kind-of mesh together so naturally. This means that somewhere behind the code, some really amazing brains created this ~ and this where Social Networking falls-in. Social Networking for me – is a well laid-out map linking (meshing) everyone together in its own mysterious way (for us developers we probably have more of an understanding of what’s needed to make this happen – but in the end; you either enjoy it or you don’t).Social Networking is still very primitive, from my point of view, I can see Social Networking moving technology in a whole new direction and potentially changing how people interact with the www (Internet) fairly similar to how Google changed how people searched online.Whether you are new or old to social networking tool it’s important to continue to stay aware of your online presence – being accessible 24/7 to the world. [Unless you've made all necessary security adjustments to prevent this - and still this point could be an argued.]Either way, here are some basic guidelines to review for those of us who have online presence:#1 Is this Business or Personal?When you decide to embark within the social networking bandwagon you’ll first need to have an email address. Be careful here which email address you use to register – your registration email choice can have an impact on your business-ethics, or could pretty much potentially cost you your job!If you are using a social networking site (of your choice) for personal usage, however if you choose to use a work-related email address, just ensure that you are aware of your organization’s policies and/or verdict on Social Networking usage at work guidelines (if any). Pleading the “naive” card doesn’t always ring well with companies – know what your boundaries are and use them wisely.If your aim is to use social networking sites for personal use – then by all means, use your own personal email address and if you don’t have one, get one! There are countless sites out there that you can register yourself with that will provide you with FREE email access.Other points to ponder related to #1 is to do some house-cleaning. Once your account is created and that you now have an online presence, not just right now but continuously proceed with doing some house-cleaning of this account. Dust doesn’t accumulate as quickly online as it does in my living room but it can get messier faster since I “kind-of” really don’t see it?! What am I talking about?…If you don’t want to start receiving (or increase your already existing) SPAM email counts, you’ll have to decide what it is you wish to share with the public (a.k.a. the entire world).First decide if you wish to make your email address visible on this new social networking site, and if you do – should it be visible to everyone or only to selected few?Second – go through your social networking site’s settings / options and review all of its settings and options. I’m 100% sure you’ll find some very interesting things here; similar to when you decide to move your sofa to do some “real” cleaning… you always find ‘stuff’ here don’t-cha?!OK so what to look for… check for setting that will send you email notifications. Do you really want to receive an email every time someone interacts with your social networking site? If not, then by all means – disable these unnecessary notifications! Especially if you’ve registered using your work-related email account! Hello! IT will be knocking on your door (or cubicle) anytime – your dozen if not hundreds of notifications (which are basically spam messages) are taking up room in the email system and is using up what we IT people call useless bandwidth….You’re going to be checking your social networking site anyways so why have redundant messages telling you the same thing you’ll be seeing when you log-in to the site?!There are countless other sections I could drill into but once you open-up this beast take time to tame it and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how manageable social networking sites can be – but don’t just open this section up once! Return to your options; settings; security; privacy… whatever it’s call – fairly frequently. I make it a challenge to check my settings on my sites at least every 3 months (quarterly).#2 Friends / AssociatesChoose wisely! Friends are the links between you and people. This is what Social Networking sites are based on. The more the merrier (for them!).What should you do and/or not do?Well first the obvious – don’t go “hitting” on your friends’ friends. This is a “no-no”. If you wouldn’t flirt with random people when walking through the mall, then why would things be any different when you are hiding behind your social network profile? This goes the same for “poking” – please “poke” carefully. Sometimes what you think is done in good fun or what you think is a simple “Poke – Hey, how’s it going?”, could turn High-School drama on you in a split second!Another area is counts – some people think it’s important that they have a high number of Friends in their list. They know everyone!…sure you do!? That’s why you’re at home Saturday night “creeping” people’s profiles… [sarcasm gets the better part of me at times, I don't stop it cause I like it!...what's that old saying, "If you can't take the heat then get out of the kitchen!"]Just because you and Jo-Blow like the same song on YouTube doesn’t mean you should request him to become your friend. If you think you’ve got more than ‘a song’ in common and would like to ‘get-to-know-each-other’ then send him a private message. This way, if he chooses to ignore you (which is fine – really cause liking the song “Don’t-cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me” doesn’t mean he’s looking?!). Sending someone a private message puts the “ball” in their court and presents them with the choice of either “playing” or “turning down” the opportunity. In your private message you can then also state what your intentions are (ex. common interests; live in the same community; participate some similar sports; go to the same University maybe we could meet up for lunch and discuss Philosophy?…).#3 Think Before you Post!Back in my day, people didn’t just shout out (yes out-loud) randomly “statuses” during class, or at work, or while walking down the street!? Today, social media sites and social networking sites make “shouting” so easy that it’s almost an obsession. “I need to tell people what I’m doing/thinking right now cause my pose online is just dying to know!”… ya I sit here waiting for you to update your status… sure if I were stalking you! Yes it’s nice to get updates and get interaction with people ’cause that’s what “social networking” is all about, however choose your messages wisely, and especially how you wish to share them.Example – Mary-Lou wants to throw her husband a surprise party. She broadcasts the event on Facebook to let everyone know when and where. Mary-Lou didn’t check her Facebook account notifications and so all of her notifications are still “active”. Her husband checks their email account, and voila get to read everyone’s comment about his upcoming party.–> Bad judgment on Mary-Lou’s part. <--Another example - Betty-Jo thinks Susan & her husband are having issues. Instead of posting her concerns on Susan's Facebook wall (which might be public to everyone to read) she sends her a Private message. Susan replies back and let's Betty-Jo know that, "no, not everything is fine - John's work is just going through some restructuring so he's a little depressed at the moment, but we're seeing a therapist to help us cope with this. Thanks for your concern." --> Good judgment call on Betty-Jo’s part. <–Other common-sense “faux-pas”:Spamming people
Flame wars (don’t argue publicly online)
Keep it PG 13
Busy-bodies exist everywhere, even online (some people just live for drama!)#4 PrivacyDon’t forget to check your privacy settings regularly. As stated in rule #1 – Return to your options; settings; security; privacy… whatever it’s call – fairly frequently.Be aware of what it is you are forward-facing out publicly. Is it too much? Is it inappropriate? If you are friends (online) with all of your work colleagues, and at the same time are bashing your work or your boss… how long do you expect this to go on prior to them finding out?#5 What’s your Purpose / Mission?Are you promoting something? Are you selling something? Is your site topic specific? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then maybe creating a social networking site specific for your business or product would be more appropriate. You could have two sites, one for personal usage and one more topic/business related. You could even create “Fan Pages” so that some of your friends can acknowledge your product or topic and provide feedback without seeming like your friendship is intertwined with you topic/business.Bottom line, social networking sites can be fun and are full of “did you know…” gossip-like details. Social networking site’s “news feeds” will pretty much (one-day) replace our local papers and who knows maybe even tv and radio live-media sources. Everything will just be online since news is shared faster (in live-time) this way and can be changed/updated in real-time. No make-up prep; hairdressers; cameramen; lighting; and all that jazz… heck maybe even our taxes will go down, yeh right?!…Was worth the mention, right?!Just remember – whatever you choose to do online, choose wisely. It’s easy to forget the picture you posted of your friend in high school puking in the backyard [cause that was funny??] – only to find it 8 years later, re-posted online by someone else just when he/she is completing his/her Political Science degree. Think about it…What you think is funny, is it REALLY? Would you go out of your way, print this out and send it as a postcard to your friend in Australia, and would they actually laugh about it, really?!Be smart. Think twice. And remember, do onto others what you would want done to you. If you wouldn’t want someone to share something about you, then by all means – don’t share it about them. If you wish someone would have “minded-their own business”, then mind your own too (or if you are really concerned, contact them directly – privately.)Social Networking – use at your own discretion….I think if you read some of the fine print, in the terms of agreement – somewhere – it states that you should have some common sense to use their product…, I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere…;-)