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Understanding your business to better serve your customers

Posted on October 12, 2017 by admin

Whether you have been running your business for over 20 years or just starting out, you cannot deny the importance of regularly reviewing your business’ performance.

Many business owners may put off reviews in fear of the actual results, but understanding why your business is performing the way it is is crucial for growth and development.

Consider these three crucial areas of your business when conducting a review:

Products and services
Think about the quality and delivery of your products and services. Do they solve a problem for your customer/client, fulfil a want or need, keep customers returning? Analysing trends in products and services will also help you to identify which products or services need to be altered or removed or if new ones are needed. Also, by regularly reviewing trends you may realise gaps in the market or opportunities you did not know existed.

Customer base
Do you have a steady flow of loyal customers or are you struggling to make sales? This is a big factor in whether or not you need to change your business model. Be sure to take into consideration external factors that may influence sales, i.e., poor consumer spending in your industry, changes in technology, etc. If the type of customers you are attracting is changing also be sure to adapt to these changes appropriately, i.e., different marketing campaigns, honing in on a niche, hiring new staff to keep up with demand and so on.

Financials
Develop good financial procedures, such as visiting an accountant to receive financial statements, i.e., profit and loss, cash-flow statement and balance sheet. Financial statements analyse how your business is performing financially for a set time period. They indicate the general financial health of your business and can help you to recognise areas that require action.

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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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