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Making big profits in small markets

Posted on May 24, 2016 by admin

Even though most businesses want everyone to be their customer, this is not necessarily the right approach to making a profit. Instead, it is often best to think small in order to get big. To maximise your sales and profits, businesses should start narrowing their market to get a niche.

Focusing in on a small sub-set of all potential customers seems dangerous. Why limit the pool of customers when it might already be small? But having a well-defined, narrow target market – a niche – gives a small business many advantages.

Choosing a niche means finding something that immediately distinguishes you from your competitors. Having a niche immediately sets you apart from the mass of competitors; gives you a clear focus for your marketing and advertising efforts; gives you additional credibility when you’re trying to make a sale; makes you more memorable and often enables you to charge higher prices.

So how do you choose a niche? Keep in mind that a niche must be based on objective factors – things that customers can quickly perceive. Consider the following:

Demographic group
Selecting a specific demographic group gives you an edge in attracting a certain segment of customers. They feel welcome doing business with you. Over time, you develop specialised knowledge of that market, giving you an even greater competitive advantage.

Type of work
Another way to select a niche is to focus in on a specific aspect of the work you do. Focusing in on what your business does gives focus to your marketing efforts and can even make owners more competitive in securing customers.

Style
Choosing a specific style of service or product is another way to develop a niche. A restaurant could serve only organic food, a furniture store sell only all-wood furniture, a car wash only wash cars by hand. These styles all narrow your potential market but improve your competitiveness with the customers who value your style of business.

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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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