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Being smarter, not just smaller

Posted on February 17, 2016 by admin

Over the last couple of decades, few things have changed the landscape for small businesses as much as the advent of huge megastores. Small businesses now need to get consumers to understand the importance and benefit of buying local; to recognise the ripple effect on the entire community that local purchases and local businesses have on the economy and what happens when those close.

Small, local businesses also need to get smarter. It is not just enough to complain about supersized stores, you have to beat them. While it’s difficult to survive in today’s retail environment, it’s not hopeless, and many small companies are managing to thrive. Here’s what the survivors are doing:

Specialise
Big stores aim at big markets; they can’t afford to market to and serve niche markets. You can. Identify a segment of the market with special needs and tailor your offerings and service for them.

Compete on your terms, not theirs
You won’t be the low-price leader; they will. So don’t try. Instead, clearly differentiate yourself from them. Make the experience of doing business with you as different as possible from going to a superstore. That means you’ll have to be more convenient, more service-oriented, more responsive.

Differentiate what you sell
Offer a mix of products and services that are clearly distinct from the big competitors. Make it hard for a shopper to find the exact same thing elsewhere.

Outsmart them
Big businesses move slowly; you can adapt to new trends and market developments more quickly. Stay abreast of industry and market trends and keep informed. You can’t just take care of day-to-day business; you have to plan a strategy for even the smallest company.

Use inexpensive marketing approaches
Big businesses have to spend a fortune on marketing. Keep your marketing costs low by using approaches such as trade shows, public relations, customer retention and referral programs.

Improve employee training
Megastores often provide better training — at least in sales techniques — to their workers. Small companies often neglect to train their workers adequately. Make sure they know the products and know how to interact positively with customers.

maximise your business's value

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Avoiding mortgage default

Posted on August 26, 2020 by admin

As individuals struggle with cash flow through the coronavirus, the Australian Bankers Association records that repayments on almost 500,000 mortgages have been deferred for six months. While repayments can be delayed, they cannot be avoided altogether.

Lenders can send you a default notice the day your repayment is overdue. However, they could also wait until your repayment is overdue by 90 or more days. When you receive a default notice, you are given 30 days to repay the amounts you have missed in addition to the regular repayment on your loan. Individuals who are struggling with their home loan repayments can avoid mortgage default by considering the following.

Contact your lender
Lenders are generally willing to work with you through financial hardship. Don’t be afraid to contact your lender to discuss your situation and find out what options are available for you. Lenders are often willing to negotiate short-term variations to repayment schedules that both parties can agree to. However, make sure that you do not agree to unrealistic repayment conditions that cannot be met.

Many Australian banks are offering a six-month deferral on mortgage repayments (including interest) for customers who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. If this is you, contact your bank to see if this is an option.

Apply for a hardship variation
Mortgage holders may be able to change the terms of their loan or temporarily pause or reduce their repayments under a hardship variation. A hardship variation can still be requested after you receive a mortgage default. To apply for one, contact your lender’s “hardship officer” and tell them that you wish to change your loan repayments due to financial hardship. This will usually require you to explain why you are struggling to make payments and to estimate how long your financial problems will continue to determine how much you can afford to repay.

After submitting a hardship variation request, your lender must contact you within 21 days with the outcome of your request. They may ask you for more details regarding your request; in this case, they must contact you again within 21 days from when you provide the additional information.

Consider selling your home
Selling your home is a tough decision, but in some cases this may be the better option if your circumstances are unlikely to improve. If you get to the point where your lender takes possession of your home and sells it, it’s likely that you won’t make as much as if you sold it yourself. When you sell your house on your own terms, chances are you will get a better price and avoid having to pay the legal fees passed on by your lender. Inform your lender if you decide to sell your home; they may ask for proof, such as a copy of the contract with your real estate agent or property advertisements.

Renting out your home until you can afford to make repayments again may also be an option if you are able to live somewhere else during this period.

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