Canada has experienced about a 21 percent increase in first-time online buyers becoming frequent ecommerce shoppers in 2015. This could be a sign that any logistics company will have an increase in revenue.
eCommerce Sales Predictions
In 2015, about 41 percent of Canadians already considered themselves occasional online shoppers, and this number appears to be growing every day. Many of the merchants are from other locations such as the United States, so this could mean more opportunities for international supply chain consultants.
International shipping is likely to continue. However, there are concerns about how much deliveries will cost when crossing the borders. In any case, efforts are being made to provide the best possible prices to Canadian citizens for American products.
Common Online Shopping Concerns
Besides security, convenience is one of the top concerns that online shoppers have. For instance, 35 percent of Canadians abandon a shopping cart. However, they reportedly say they do so if shipping costs are miscalculated upon checkout. Therefore, the warehousing companies who deliver to Canada will probably increase profits if they provide accurate shipping information. They also are more than likely to keeping ordering online if the merchant has a seamless, checkout system.
Another important priority for online shippers is exchanges and returns. This, in fact, is a universal priority and not just for Canadian citizens. People are only limited by what they see in photos and videos along with online descriptions when they order items. Therefore, they want to know if they can have their money refunded or merchandise replaced if an orders is not fulfilled as planned.
International Versus In-Country Fulfillment
One type of international shipping is called Delivery Duties Unpaid, which involves shipping items with no duty cost to the consumer. However, DDU shipments usually results in additional fees owed upon receipt of item. For instance, the customers might be required to pay for customs, brokerage fees and sales taxes not yet calculated.
Therefore, warehousing companies might instead use Direct Entry Fulfillment. In this case, the shipping fees usually reflect the cost of delivery based on the destination country’s fees. This type is also known as DDP, or delivery duties paid. On the contrary, all orders could be shipped using In-Country fulfillment. This involves offering items that are only obtained from Canadian supply chain consultants.
Although less expensive international shipping services are becoming more popular, ordering directly from the destination country usually seems to make the most sense. It usually makes shipping to a location within that location easier. Please visit 3PL Links for additional information.
A consumer proposal is an agreement worked out with your creditors through or in the presence of a licensed bankruptcy trustee. Consumer proposals serve as an alternative to bankruptcy and are becoming the preferred solution for many debtors. To most creditors, a consumer proposal is better than bankruptcy because of the potential returns it offers. In Canada, the number of proposals went up by 5.4 percent from 2012 to 2013, a clear indication that this type of agreement is on the rise. Here’s what you should know:
1. Consumer proposals will affect your credit rating, but less than bankruptcies
Credit bureaus receive a report whenever someone files for a consumer proposal. The R7 note attached means you have negotiated an agreement to pay your debts. Although the R7 isn’t desirable, it’s still better than the R9 note given for bankruptcy. The poor credit score is because debtors have a history of missing payments. But thanks to consumer proposals, borrowers can now make a fresh start and rebuild their credit score.
2. Consumer proposals settle unsecured debts
Consumer proposals only take care of unsecured debts such as credit cards, lending margins, and unpaid bills, which is why you will be able to keep your vehicle and house. Since your secured debts remain, you have to maintain regular payments if you want to keep the assets involved.
3. You will be making just one monthly payment to your bankruptcy trustee
If you file for this type of agreement, you will have to make monthly payments directly to your trustee. Administrators are then responsible for distributing the money based on each creditor’s percentage of the total amount owed. Remember, missing payments might void your proposal.
4. The law protects whoever files for a consumer proposal
Since this type of agreement exists under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, consumer proposals benefit from the same legal protections as a bankruptcy. As such, you will be protected against related lawsuits or garnishments. It’s worth noting that you will not find this in debt consolidation or any debt settlement program.
5. Consumer proposals can be completed within a much shorter time
Even if you filed a proposal with a payment period of 60 months, you could still make your payments at a faster rate. Nothing prevents you from paying back in less time than what you agreed to with your creditors. This aspect might come in handy if your economic status happens to change. If you were to get a salary bump, win the lottery, or inherit some money, nothing would keep you from paying back as quickly as possible. In such circumstances, everyone wins. You will be done with your proposal a lot sooner, which might suit your credit rating, and your creditors will get their money back faster.
Commercial real estate has always been better deals compared to residential real estate. The properties exhibit higher cash flow, advantageous economies of scale, and the relatively open market, not to mention cheaper cost on property management services due to the larger supply of commercial property managers. But before you congratulate and pat yourself in the back for making such a pragmatic and profitable decision, you’ll have to learn how to best analyze commercial properties first. Interviewing a large group of experienced and successful commercial property investors, here’s 5 takeaways on how they analyze the market including why you should hire a commercial real estate consulting firm.
Research the Basics
Commercial property research establishes a solid foundation before you take on more complex terms, concepts, and analytical tools. Before researching a commercial property, ask yourself critical questions, such as what kind of property are you looking to invest in, what your risk tolerance is, your competence and/or willingness to assume a landlord/landlady position for the property, and your financial capacity to fund such investment. Research commonly used terms, such as Loan-to-Value ratio, Capitalization Rate, Vacancy Rate, and Ad Valorem.
Think About What the Pros are Thinking
If you want to be a big player in the commercial real estate market someday, you need to learn how the pros think, particularly how they analyze good buys from toxic ones. For instance, understand how professionals undertake commercial property risk management. Income generated by commercial property will depend on the usable square footage, which is simply not the case for residential units. To develop a mindset that is homogeneous to a professional’s way of thinking, read books written by experts, follow them on social media, and attend webinars and in-person conferences.
Ask a Ton of Questions
When you get commercial property consulting, ask all the questions you can think of regardless of how unintelligent it might sound. When choosing a commercial property consulting firm, ask how much experience they have in the niche, what specific commercial properties they specialize in, such as barber shops or convenience stores, and what other services are they prepared to offer aside from initial consultation.
Assemble a Good Team
Commercial real estate consulting professionals aren’t the only ones you should be working with to make the most informed decision possible. There are other experts along the way that you may need to get help from, such as a mortgage broker, lawyer, and commercial broker. A good accountant will also serve as a valuable asset to figuring out business financials, maximum tax benefits and in-depth operating budget analysis.
Focus on a Specific Location
Narrow your search within a specific location, particularly in a neighborhood you are familiar with. While most will argue that such tip would result in limited investment opportunities, experts like the idea of being able to focus your search on a specific location as this leads to better quality analysis of properties. Spreading your time and energy too thinly will only make it more complicated since you end up having too many things to keep track of.
The variety of auto accessories available for today’s new and used cars is immense. From the interior to the exterior, the only limiting factor on how consumers can accessorize their vehicles is their imagination. Everything from style, safety, to performance, connectivity, comfort and anything that you can envisage can be enhanced with accessories.
To an auto dealer, accessories can offer a wide range of benefits—beyond simply revenue. According to auto accessories experts, 4 in 10 buyers are influenced to purchase new and used cars from particular car dealerships simply because accessories were available at the time of purchase.
But is stocking accessories all that you need to grab the slice of the accessories profits pie? Actually, it is not! You need to strategies to thoroughly market them and sell them too.
Make Accessories Sales Part of Your Car Dealership Culture
Have a process in place to show your sales department the best practices when it comes to auto accessories sales—when and how to present auto parts and service that you offer to the customers.
The best time to sell accessories in your dealership is after the customer has committed to making a purchase but is still waiting for clearance from the Finance and insurance department. At this stage, the customer is already excited about the new car and it is the best time to fold in the accessories purchases into the price of the car.
Play with your pricing
Many customers get worried about the price, so endeavor to come up with strategies that can ease their minds. For instance, you can vary duration, purchase price, and monthly payments so that they have the liberty to choose a payment plan that won’t appear to be a big bite out of their budgets.
Just like timing, presentation is very crucial when it comes to selling auto accessories. Don’t just give your customers list of available accessories that you stock and ask them what they may be interested in: strive to show them how the accessories will look in their vehicle. You can also show them an accessorized vehicle that you have in your dealership. Either way will be effective—it all depends on your car dealership style and your customers.
Irrespective of the type of your car dealership—new cars, used cars, or auto parts and service—there are days when you are going to experience a drop in sales. These are the days when service intervals get longer, consumers keep their cars longer (and not replacing them with new ones), and warranty work consume your time and slows you down—all of which implies that you need to find other ways to increase your profits. Auto accessories present the best opportunity to bring back a big chuck of these lost profits.
With a population that is slightly larger than that of New York City, Canadian businesses are much more likely to understand how important it can be to have an international business mindset. Import and export opportunities are so much a part of the landscape in some Canadian cities that they eventually become second nature for business owners, allowing many executives the privilege of knowing customs brokers by their first name.
On the other hand, if you are just getting started, planning to grow through exports is one way that you can diversify and make your business stronger. Here are some popular ways that you can grow your business by exploiting international opportunity:
Focus on the opportunity:
Although there can be a rewarding feeling when you know everything about a process, it is almost always going to serve you better to outsource that process once you understand it. To that end, when it comes to exporting or importing, working with logistics and shipping experts like a customs broker is a good way to save time and money. For you, the value added to your clients probably has more to do with what you are shipping or which services you are providing. By freeing your time to perfect those things, you will come out ahead.
Canada is largely a country of immigrants. That history makes it a great place to work with cultures abroad that have representative populations in your own community. Ideally, you should know a lot about the countries that you do business with. At the same time, even if you do not, chances are it won’t be hard to work with cross-cultural consultants to get up to speed. In addition to language, consultants can ensure that you are aware of how to handle business transactions and etiquette, something that is important if you want to succeed.
One example is when you work with Japanese people. If you receive their business card, do you know what to do with it? To be polite and show them that you understand their culture, it is actually a good idea to receive it with both hands and take a careful look at it, ensuring that you can read the name and the job title and any other details that might be helpful. After several seconds of looking at it, you should probably make a related comment to the person you received the card from.
Of course there is much more that you need to be aware of, like what level of employee should you give your card to when you are visiting a company- or what type of manager you will receive a business card from.
The main thing is knowing that once you can do business as if you are someone from the countries that you want to do business with, whether that means understanding their culture or being able to work with experts like customs brokers, you should make much greater inroads- leading to more revenue and profitability.
Whether you conduct business online, from a vehicle or inside a physical store, you need to accommodate as many customers as possible. A growing number of people in Canada use their debit and credit cards on a regular basis. Some use it for almost all of their transactions, from their morning coffee to monthly mortgage payments. Since this trend shows no signs of abating, companies and self-employed workers that don’t accept plastic will inevitably miss out on sales.
Factors to Consider When Selecting a Service
When it comes to credit card processing systems, there are quite a few options that all have unique benefits and drawbacks. Some services are better equipped to handle complaints or demands for refunds from customers, which can help if you have a high dispute rate. Some processors are specially designed to integrate into websites. This makes it easy to add online payment capabilities without handling the information yourself.
Each system has expenses associated with usage, including fees for each transaction as well as a percentage of the total amount. Some also have a reoccurring subscription fee. You should examine your sales records and other related data to find the ideal system for your business. If you make a few high-value sales, then a processing service with a low percentage fee may be the best choice.
Most systems come with clear instructions as well as the option to contact customer service with questions. If this is your first time using such a service, it’s a good idea to select a service provider that responds quickly and offers useful advice when needed. Always make sure that your selected service is PCI compliant and meets all of the necessary standards.
Integrating Card Processing Into Your Business
You may dread the prospect of installing and learning to use a new system, but many providers offer simple setup solutions with an intuitive interface. No matter what kind of product or service you sell, there is a credit card processing service to fit your daily routine. The durability and speed of physical terminals make them a great choice for brick-and-mortar establishments, while mobile businesses can use a virtual terminal on their mobile device for unfettered access.
Make sure you read all of the instructions and informational material provided by the processing service provider. Familiarize yourself or employees with it completely before putting it into use. Once everyone knows how to use the system properly, it will become a natural part of the transaction process. It’s also a good idea to keep the provider’s phone number close at hand in case you need immediate support during a transaction.
While they seem a minuscule part of the business, a shipping courier is what connects your finished products to its intended consumers. Timely and safe arrival of goods will affect customer satisfaction and B2B partnerships. Unfortunately, shipping merchandise can be one of the most difficult operations for any small business that is bound by limited resources. Weak or no planning can lead to business owners overpaying or getting a poor cost-value trade-off. To add insult to injury, a poor shipping courier service can also lead to volatile sales and low customer retention rates if the company cannot guarantee timely and cost-effective delivery of merchandise to customers.
Customers order stuff at different times of day and night, so your courier should also be available at any time to pick up and deliver the goods. When hiring courier services for your business, make sure the courier can be easily contacted for expedited package deliveries. If they tell you “No” and give you different reasons as to why they couldn’t pick up the phone or drive to your business address to pick up and deliver packages, consider bringing your business to another provider.
Weight and Size Restrictions
Small business shipping needs come in all shapes and sizes, from a 120-lb fridge to a 60-inch flat screen. The orders that go through your business and are in need of delivery to customers must comply with the size and weight capacity of your courier service otherwise they cannot transport it safely and cost-effectively. Of course, this isn’t much of a fuss for law firms sending out packages the size of an A1 envelope, yet is obviously problematic for businesses that deliver furniture and appliances of massive sizes.
Hiring courier services won’t do much good for your sales and revenue if you don’t actually know if the packages do arrive to where they need to go. If it’s a Schrodinger’s cat type of scenario wherein your package may or may not have been delivered, the certainty of which remains unknown until eventually a customer calls to complain, then ask for a proof of delivery or a receipt of some sort. Many courier services also utilize tracking software nowadays to make it easier and more convenient for both the business and their clients to track the whereabouts of the merchandise.
Low Cost, High Value
Because your small business shipping needs will continue on for as long as your company remains operational, your courier services should be tailored to a low-cost, high value pricing model. Avoid solely choosing a courier provider based on the upfront costs as the cheaper ones don’t always mean the most cost-effective service. If you would like to learn more, there are more resources available at Flagship Courier Solutions.
We live in the information age and data can be one of the most important assets we have. In real estate, customer information is the most important data. The best way to put this data to work for your office is with Real Estate CRM. It will increase conversions, keep clients engaged, and get the referrals needed to maximize your marketing budget.
A Better Sales Funnel
Real Estate CRM software is at the heart of any sales funnel. By integrating it through every step of the sales process, potential customers can be more easily converted to customers. A typical real estate sales funnel involves finding prospective customers through marketing efforts. Next, your focus turns to discovering their real estate needs and finding which properties will meet those needs. If the potential customers are not interested in properties on offer, then you will continue trying to find a property that does interest them. Some potential customers may take months or even years to turn into a conversion.
A real estate CRM system matches each step of the sales funnel process. Potential customers are entered into the real estate contact management software. The CRM software allows the different needs and desires of the customer to be entered along with their personal information. Any notes from conversations can also be added. After each property visit, feedback can also be entered into the system.
Keep Potential Customers Engaged
When a potential customer doesn’t find their ideal home right away, there is sometimes a tendency to lose track of them. With each new listing that comes available, you can look into your CRM to see if this property might work for a potential customer that you’ve worked with in the past. The system can also be set up to remind you to contact customers at regular intervals to see how you can put them in their dream home. With the extensive information collected on the customer, it’s easier to make a connection with them even after a break of weeks or even months. Every name in your real estate CRM software is a potential customer.
Referrals from previous customers are one of the most valuable leads in the real estate industry. Real estate contact management software makes it easy to contact customers 3 months, 6 months, and even a year after the sale. It’s a great way to touch base with previous customers and collect referrals. The information in the CRM allows you to make the call personal and lets the customer know that you care.
By better managing your sales funnel, keeping potential customers engaged, and getting more referrals, you can optimize your real estate sales. Real Estate CRM is the tool that can make this happen.