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Seven steps for business growth

Posted on March 31, 2016 by admin

Once your business is up and running, you need to identify and understand what works and what doesn’t. Owners need to take a step back and be strategic about how and when they should grow their business.

Opportunities for business growth can be exciting, but turning an idea into a practical reality takes careful research, planning and investment. Here is a short checklist owners can use:

Review your cash flow
Growing a business starts with reviewing your cash flow. Work out how much money comes in and goes out, and use this information to plan the year ahead. Identify how much money is needed to invest in the business’s growth and what it will be used for e.g. hiring employees or buying equipment.

Review your daily processes
Could your staff be more efficient in the way they do things? Check your business practices and policies and review day-to-day processes to identify what can be improved.

Prepare your team
Having a team of skilled and committed employees is key to business, particularly to those who plan on expanding. Consider how your team can be prepared for change and business growth.

Know your market competition
Businesses must be clear about their place in the market. Look at your market share and your main competition.

Update your website content
Before you start encouraging new audiences to visit your website or blog, check that your site’s content is up-to-date and that the website can be easily found online.

Update your communications plan
A well-thought-out communications plan identifies the key messages you want to get across to your customers.

Prepare for an economic crisis
No one likes a downturn, but since they do happen, it is important to make sure you’re ready. Review your cash flow and identify the liquid assets you have. Setting up an emergency fund may be a good idea for when times are lean.

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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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