Franchisors Helping New Business Owners

June 14, 2010 - Leave a Response

Many of the most credit worthy business owners are still finding difficulty in o obtaining business loans in spite of their superior credit reports. Franchisees, in particular, are being offered loans, with stringent terms and conditions which make business loans undesirable. Local banks are requiring larger collateral, liquidity, more outside sources of income, and more experience in the field.

The International Franchise Association estimates that there will be a need for $10.1 billion in capital, but only $6.7 billion available this year. Many of the national franchise lending companies have either cut back on funding or have stopped lending money.

Because of these problems, the ones who are least likely to acquire financing are the new franchisers with little or no experience and little or no capital to invest in the franchise. The franchisers have now made financing possible for those who, according to the local banks, are a credit risk in view of the new financing standards. They are guaranteeing part of the loans so that franchisees can qualify for the loans and they are reducing their own fees and royalties.

Marco’s Pizza has created a private equity fund to invest up to $100,000 per restaurant, as well as a leasing program to finance up to $200,000 in operating costs. One applicant, Remi Tessier tried to secure a loan to buy a franchise from his local bank. He had previously operated a liquor store and wanted a change. But his $300,000 in the bank, $9000 in monthly income and a credit score of 800 were not enough to ensure that he would not have to reach into his pocket for renovations and other fees later on.

Instead, he sought funding from Marco’s Pizza, which only required 25% down. Because of the magnitude of the economic crisis, lending requirements are more stringent. However, more and more franchisers, such as Marco’s Pizza, are making it possible for entrepreneurs to invest in new businesses.


Internet – A Way to Manage Business Transactions

April 12, 2010 - Leave a Response

Business owners are finding that the Internet is a very popular way of managing paperwork and transactions for business. It has become necessary for so many of us that one may strain to see why so many businesses are reluctant to use it.

Many have heard of the many scams that have occurred, and therefore, are leery of using it. However, once a new business owner learns the many useful applications that are free of charge, he/she is more open to using it. Business owners are finding that they can eliminate the paper files and store their records online

With that all said and done, there are many retailers who have not taken advantage of the opportunities to transact business on the Internet and to store company data. There are some precautions which should be taken and that is why it is important to ensure that customers’ transactions are protected as well. Providing a safe and secure website for them to transact business will help to grow a business.

The United States is attempting to crack down on the laxity of other countries in combating computer crime, especially in countries such as Russia, the Ukraine, and Nigeria. Many of the countries have laws against computer crime, but cannot or will not enforce them because of the costs involved.

Many of the web hosting sites have secure transactions for a very minimal price and it is well worth the investment.

Custom Designs on Clothing

February 18, 2010 - Leave a Response

I am trying my hand at new custom designs on clothing. I have been watercolor painting for a number of years now and I think it is time to put them on the market. I really enjoy painting flowers so I have released some of the best designs for women’s clothing, (sorry guys). I am setting aside some of te proceeds to support the orphans in Kenya, Africa.

Here is a link to the site and I invite you to peruse the site and see if you find anything interesting for yourself or family, friends, and co-workers. There are products for the office, mugs, greeting cards and framed art.

I will now get working on designs for men, as I don’t want to miss out on that market, either. I have been inspired by my recent research on Kenya and I am working on animal designs. If you have a chance to visit the site and purchase something, please give me some feed back.

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Retailers Seeking to Negotiate Credit Card Rates with the Banks

October 16, 2009 - One Response

Photo by WVPress

Photo by WVPress

The debate over retailers’ credit card interchange fees has spurred on several studies on the feasibility of lowering the rates and allowing the retailers to negotiate their fees with the banks.

President Obama requested a study of the fees in May when he signed new legislation about banking fees.

The Merchants Payments Coalition is studying the effects of lowering the rates in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the European countries. They want the right to negotiate fees with the banks. The Merchants Payment Coalition, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a group of merchants and other businesses representing 2.7 million stores and 50 million employees. The group does not support the interchange fees which merchants pay, saying they are excessive and a “threat to open markets and free competition.” They have also made an appeal to consumers to support their cause.

Representative Peter Welch is investigating the idea of setting minimum and maximum amounts for credit card purchases.

These debates are taking place because of the effects of the economic crisis on the retailers and small businesses. The issue of negotiating rates with the banks has been a long standing issue with small businesses.

Retailers on Credit Card Fees

October 6, 2009 - 2 Responses

206579_credit_card__gold_and_platinumMerchants are currently in litigation over credit card interchange fees, which are the fees that merchants pay in accepting credit card payments at their storefronts. This has been a bone of contention for a number of years. Merchants feel their fees are too high and have a desire to set their own rates for accepting credit cards or to have the rates lowered.

There are bills pending in Congress which would allow he merchants to negotiate their fees with the banks. In the event of a dispute, Senator Richard Durbin, who has proposed this recent bill, has recommended a panel of three electronic -payment-system judges to mediate.

Analyst Robert Naoli believes the consumer would not benefit from lower interchange rates, as it is unlikely the merchant would pass the savings onto the customer. As it stands now, the consumer pays the interchange rates in the form of increased prices on goods and services. If the fees are lowered, the banks would charge consumers higher interest rates on credit cards and do away with rewards programs.

This legislation could be resolved through litigation rather than the passing of the bill. Whenever banks are restricted from making money, they retaliate in assessing higher fees.

Currently, the banks set the interchange rates for each merchant when he acquires a credit card terminal to accept credit cards at the storefront. The merchant has no say over what the rate will be. The banks arbitrarily increase the rates on a yearly basis, which is why the merchants want the right to set their fees.

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Teens Spending Less on Clothes – Shopping for Bargains

September 15, 2009 - One Response

Photo by Josh Blake

Photo by Josh Blake

Teen unemployment has reached an all time high of “25.5%” reports Catherine Rampall of the New York Times, and is having an effect on the clothing retail business. Because teens have less money to spend on clothing, they are shopping around for bargains at some of the lower priced clothing stores such as Aeropostale and Bargains.

Teens are also looking for bargains in the form of coupons and discounts at the high-end stores. Many are turning to online shopping rather than going to the mall.

They are aware that their parents have less money to spend and are finding innovative ways to acquire new clothing. The economic crisis is teaching teens to look for value and spend their money wisely.

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CIT Completes Tender Offer

August 29, 2009 - Leave a Response

Photo by SJ Locke

Photo by SJ Locke

CIT announced that it had fulfilled its requirements to receive $3 billion dollars from its bondholders in order to avoid bankruptcy proceedings. This move enabled them to continue to provide factoring loans to retailers who need financing. This not only helped the company to stay in business, but helped many other businesses including the apparel industry and manufacturers who were at risk of bankruptcy themselves if they could not receive the financing that CIT has provided in the past.

Consumers Spending More Money

August 26, 2009 - Leave a Response

ist2_4127401-boutique-shoppingThe Consumer Confidence Index rose during the month of July meaning that consumers are beginning to spend more money.

Along with this, the housing and auto industries are also showing signs of recovery. However, consumer spending is still low and if it does not increase, economists worry that the recovery may weaken next year.

Demand for product is tied to consumer income, prices of products, prices of substitute and complementary products, and the tastes of the consumer. The most influential cause of the decrease in consumer demand in this economic crisis has been loss of consumer incomes due to job losses.

With unemployment decreasing, although slowly, and consumers are finding opportunities to make money, consumer spending should increase.

Consumers gearing up for back to School Purchases

August 20, 2009 - Leave a Response

Photo by pOpsicle

Photo by pOpsicle

There have been some interesting trends in consumer shopping habits which may help retailers prepare for the coming back to school and holiday shopping.

Scarborough Research reports that consumers are now opting-in to receive coupons via text messaging and e-mail
marketing because of the increase in the use of cell phones and other personal communication devices. The typical shopper is an affluent, highly educated female between the ages of 18-24.

The National Retail Federation reports that shoppers are listing coupons as the motivating force for back to school shopping.

Perhaps this will have an effect on the economy this year. Since the only reason people buy is “value,” shoppers may find value in the coupons they receive.

CIT Bank Recovers – Consumers Still Pessimistic

August 17, 2009 - Leave a Response

Photo by Shuttermon

Photo by Shuttermon

CIT Bank wrote a note to the bondholders for the remaining $1 billion it needed to repay a note this month and was ordered to review the salaries of managers to ensure they were not too high, setting the company up for future failure. They also have to review their accounting practices.

So now, retailers will be able to stock their shelves with Christmas inventory since they will be able to secure factoring loans from CIT. However, the FDIC warns they are not out of danger yet. CIT pledged nearly all of its assets to secure the note – a very risky move for CIT.

However, in view of the reports of the economy showing signs of recovery, consumers are still saving money instead of spending it. In order for the economy to recover, there has to be a flow of money. Consumers are not optimistic about the alleged reports of the economy showing signs of recovery.

Economists say that consumers and businesses will not be able to secure loans for several years because of the extent of the collapse of the housing market and the credit crunch which the bankers have imposed.

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