IOU FINANCIAL REFILES ITS THIRD QUARTER FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND PROVIDES FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE UPDATE

MONTRÉAL, Québec, December 30, 2015 – IOU Financial Inc. (TSX Venture Exchange: IOU) (“IOU Financial” or the “Company”), a leading online lender to small businesses, announces that it has refiled today its unaudited condensed interim consolidated financial statements for the nine months ended September 30, 2015 and 2014 (the “Q3 Financial Statements”), which can be found under the Company’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Refiled Q3 Financial Statements

The Q3 Financial Statements are refiled to reflect amendments made by the Company to its condensed interim consolidated statement of financial position as of September 30, 2015 and its condensed interim consolidated statement of comprehensive loss for the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2015. Certain transactions were not included in the calculation of financing revenue and consequently had the effect of overstating financing revenue for the period. Financing revenue for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2015 has been restated to $1,713,912 and $4,272,428, respectively, as opposed to the previously reported $2,036,877 and $4,595,393. In addition, currency translation differences have been reduced from $699,569 to $681,485 for the three months ended September 30, 2015, and from $1,398,232 to $1,380,148 for the nine months ended September 30, 2015, and commercial loans receivable – net as at September 30, 2015 has been reduced from $20,252,688 to $19,911,639.

The Company has also refiled today its management’s discussion & analysis for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2015, which can be found under the Company’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, to reflect the amendments to the Q3 Financial Statements.

Financial Disclosure Update

As a result of the amendments to the Q3 Financial Statements:

– IOU Financial recorded financial revenues for the quarter ended September 30, 2015 of $3.5 million, in comparison to $3.8 million as previously disclosed by the Company. For the nine month period ended September 30, 2015, IOU Financial recorded financial revenues of $9.0 million, in comparison to $9.3 million as previously-disclosed by the Company;

– IOU Financial recorded net financial income before operating expenses for the quarter ended September 30, 2015 of $2.4 million, in comparison to $2.7 million as previously disclosed. For the nine month period ended September 30, 2015, IOU Financial recorded net financial income before operating expenses of $6.2 million, in comparison to $6.5 million as previously disclosed;

– The Company closed its third quarter of 2015 with a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $1.3 million or $0.02 per share, in comparison to $929,100 or $0.02 per share, as previously disclosed. For the nine month period ended September 30, 2015, IOU Financial had a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $2.2 million or $0.06 per share, in comparison to $1.8 million or $0.05 per share as previously disclosed.

– For the quarter ended September 30, 2015, excluding non-recurring expenses that relate to the unsolicited takeover bid for the Company, IOU Financial had net loss attributable to common shareholders of $171,078, in comparison to net income attributable to common shareholders of $151,887 as previously disclosed by the Company. For the nine month period ended September 30, 2015, excluding non-recurring expenses that relate to the unsolicited takeover bid for the Company, IOU Financial had a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $994,763, in comparison to a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $671,798 as previously disclosed.

How Good Debt Can Benefit Your Business

Some business owners fear debt, treating it as an admission that the business has problems. Nothing could be further from the truth. Debt is simply a tool. It’s neither good nor bad on its own – that’s determined by how you use it. In this article, we’ll explore three uses of credit that can improve your profits and strengthen your business.

Keeping What’s Yours, Yours

You’ve worked very hard to get your business up and running. You may need extra capital for a whole slew of reasons, such as expansion, seasonal adjustments, increasing inventory, etc. If you’ve taken an unreasonable dislike to debt, it can be tempting to sell off part of your business, known as equity, to a new partner in order to raise money. But think twice. When you sell equity, someone else gets to profit from all the work you’ve already done, and is a permanent partner who may feel the need to offer you suggestions even if you don’t want them.

Contrast this with a loan. You borrow the amount you need and repay principal and interest over time. You don’t give up any control of your company unless you default on the loan. Once paid off, the loan disappears and leaves you free to run the company as you see fit. Furthermore, the interest on the loan is a tax deduction on your business return. The safest way to proceed is to first make sure you will have enough cash receipts to pay your loan principal and interest on time.

Leverage Your Profits

A good way to gauge whether an initiative will be profitable is to measure its return on investment (ROI). When dealing with debt, you want to ascertain that an investment’s ROI exceeds its after-tax interest cost. For example, suppose you can land a new contract worth $20,000 by installing a new machine that costs $8,000 to buy. You can take out a loan and pay, say, $2,000 in interest. That means you would make a gross profit of $10,000 ($20,000 – $8,000 – $2,000), well beyond your costs, so it makes sense to borrow the money and purchase the machine.

Prepare for Future Sales

You may have a highly seasonable business, which means that your cash flows are uneven during the year. A loan can provide you with the capital to buy inventory during the quiet period when cash is low. For example, suppose you own a fashion boutique in Miami Beach. Business is very slow during the summer, but you must order inventory four months in advance to ensure you get the latest fashions. It makes sense to borrow money in June and receive your inventory in September, just in time for the start of the busy winter season. Now you are in position to enjoy a large sales volume, repay your loan and realize a nice profit.

Not Only Why, But Where

It frequently makes sense for your business to borrow. When the reason is good, the business can grow. But just as important is where you get your loan. You want a lender that understands your business, understands the logic of the loan, and is willing to lend you money at a reasonable rate, even when others say no. Seek out lenders with fast service and convenient repayment arrangements. A lender with daily automatic repayments can help your business more easily afford the small payment amounts that are directly debited from your bank account. That means you don’t have to worry about big monthly payments, a real problem during periods of low cash flow. Small business loans should be used as the good debt that can help grow your business as you take on new projects and expansions.

 

Focus on your business

Rethinking Your Mission

You sit down and you create a mission for your business. You put a lot of thought into it. You designed your business around this mission. For quite a while things seemed to be working out well. You went about your day, week, and maybe even year keeping this mission in mind. But there seems to be a shift in your business, and this solitary focus doesn’t seem to be cutting it anymore! You find that your business must change with what your customers are looking for. Or maybe, you need to start focusing on different customers for business to really soar. It’s something that is hard to do, to shift your focus. But what are the ramifications if you don’t? Will your business start to dwindle? Will the finances of your company be in jeopardy? These are huge considerations and something that you must take time to consider; it should never be a snap decision.

Let’s take a writing business for example. Your mission was to service the public, more of a business to consumer business with a bit of business to business sprinkled in.  You worked primarily on resumes, and gave advice about college essays.  You also did a bit of blog writing for clients, but that was a very small portion of your business. But along the way you had those blog writing customers ask for some help with social media. And in this process you found that more and more people were utilizing online help to write resumes. You continued to pursue the resume market though, after all that was your mission. And you pushed and pushed even though the market just wasn’t there – you spent your time marketing to get resume customers instead of those business customers that were out there probably just waiting for a writer to help them with their work. Here is where a shift in mission makes sense – from business to consumer to business to business, turning the focus to the business writing from the consumer writing. You may still do some resume work, but this may only be a small portion of the overall picture.

Take some time to evaluate your business situation. Is it thriving? Do you still feel a passion for your original mission? If you are answering no to either or both of these questions, it may be time to consider a shift and a change of mission. After all, having passion for your work, along with a thriving business is certainly the goal.

A Business New Year’s Resolution

December 31st will be here before you know it. Have you given much thought to your New Year’s Resolutions? There are standard type resolutions that revolve around health, love, and living life to the fullest, and those are fantastic. They revolve around our personal lives, and a fulfilling personal life is what we all strive for. But what about a business resolution to add on top of your personal resolutions? Why not, right?!

This year, why not think about where you want to be at this time next year, as far as your business goes? Do you have a specific business goal in mind that is marked by a financial achievement? Do you have a goal that is marked by hiring on new employees to expand your business? Do you have a goal to expand your business to include new products or services? This list could go on and on. But the truth is only you know what that goal is deep down inside. The kind of goal that would be a New Year’s Resolution.

So sit down for a moment, and contemplate your future.  There’s something about that clock hitting midnight and bringing on a new year, that’s refreshing, invigorating for all of us.  It’s a time to start fresh and new, when anything is possible.  Plot out your business resolution, maybe break it into smaller resolutions if need be. Yes, this sounds like goal-planning, but you are resolving, this time, to make it happen!  After all it’s your New Year’s Resolution!

Think of where you could be this time next year. Isn’t it exciting to think what could be on the horizon? Dig down deep and think about what you really want your business to look like. How will you get there? Make a resolution to make it happen, and just go for it! Happy planning and much success to you in 2016!

SEO Part 3: Location

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “location, location, location.”  While you may not think of SEO when you hear that phrase you definitely should be!

In terms of this topic businesses can be broken down into two categories, businesses that are dependent on local customers and businesses that are not.  Examples of businesses where local customers are not a major concern would include  online computer retail stores, or a firm that specializes in resume writing , because these firms get their customers strictly through the internet – they are not brick and mortar locations. On the other hand a mechanic located in Los Angeles, CA, or a hair salon located in New Brunswick, NJ are establishments that must be concerned about including their location in terms of SEO, because they are dependent on local customers.

When creating your list of keywords to use, when you are a “local” business, make sure to use the area where you are located. You want to include the town; you can also include the state. Let’s use the Hair Salon in New Brunswick, NJ.  If someone in that area was looking for a new place to get her hair cut, she would most likely put in her town to pull up the results she was looking for. She wouldn’t just put “hair salon” or “hair stylist” because that would yield 1000s of responses all over the country. She would type in “New Brunswick Hair Salons.”   So when coming up with your keywords to implement SEO on your website always make sure to include the town or city your business is located, and you can include the state as well.

In addition, never forget about location as far as social media.  Make sure to include that information on your profile for each platform.

Location information is critical when it comes to a potential customer/client searching for your firm, if your firm’s success is contingent on local customers.  Make sure to consider this when strategizing your SEO so you can make sure not to miss out on the customers that may be searching for you!

 

cta_7 secrets for small business success

IOU FINANCIAL ANNOUNCES THIRD AND FINAL TRANCHE CLOSING OF ITS PRIVATE PLACEMENT OF CONVERTIBLE DEBENTURES FOR GROSS PROCEEDS OF $1,000,000

MONTRÉAL, Québec, December 16, 2015 – IOU Financial Inc. (TSX Venture Exchange: IOU) (“IOU Financial” or the “Company”), a leading online lender to small businesses, is pleased to announce that it has closed a third and final tranche of its previously announced private placement of 10% convertible unsecured subordinated debentures (the “Debentures”) for gross proceeds of $1,000,000 (the “Third Tranche”) with FinTech Ventures Fund, LLLP (“FinTech”), an affiliate of Qwave Capital LLC, a major shareholder and insider of IOU Financial. This purchase has allowed IOU Financial to reach the maximum gross proceeds of $11,500,000 in principal amount of Debentures sold by way of private placement.

The Debentures will mature on December 31, 2020, bear interest at a rate of 10% per annum, payable monthly and commencing on December 31, 2015, and are convertible at their holders’ option into common shares of IOU Financial (“Common Shares”) at a price of $0.75 per Common Share (the “Conversion Price”), representing a conversion rate of 1,333.33 Common Shares for each $1,000 principal amount of Debentures. The Company will have the right to force the conversion of the Debentures into Common Shares at any time on or after December 31, 2018 should the 20-day volume weighted average price of the Common Shares on the TSX Venture Exchange (the “TSX-V”) exceed 125% of the Conversion Price.

The net proceeds of the Third Tranche will be used primarily by IOU Financial to finance small business loans in the Company’s target markets and for general corporate purposes. The Third Tranche is subject to final approval of the TSX-V.

No brokers were engaged for the Third Tranche. Pursuant to applicable securities laws, all securities issued pursuant to the Third Tranche are subject to a hold period of four months plus one day following the closing of the Third Tranche. The Debentures will not be listed or posted for trading on the TSX-V.

The purchase of $1,000,000 in principal amount of Debentures by FinTech is a related party transaction within the meaning of Regulation 61-101 respecting Protection of Minority Security Holders in Special Transactions (“Regulation 61-101”) and Policy 5.9 – Protection of Minority Security Holders in Special Transactions of the TSX-V. In connection with this related party transaction, the Company is relying on the formal valuation and minority approval exemptions of respectively subsection 5.5(a) and 5.7(1)(a) of Regulation 61-101 as neither the fair market value of the Debentures purchased by FinTech nor the fair market value of the consideration therefor exceeds 25% of IOU Financial’s market capitalization. The Board of Directors of IOU Financial has unanimously approved such purchase. A material change report in respect of this related party transaction will be filed by the Company but could not be filed earlier than 21 days prior to its completion due to the fact that the transaction was still subject to confirmation of FinTech’s suitability by the TSX-V.

SEO Part 2: Keywords

You’ve had your website up and running, but you haven’t paid much attention to SEO, so you are really starting to consider the importance of that focus. You’ve started a blog as a result, so you can write related topics to what your company has to offer, and hopefully this will attract more customers to your site. But consider this, are the actual blog posts helping your site rise in the ranks on Google? The bottom line is, you want to appear high in Google’s rankings to even give your company a chance to be seen when someone does a search for a business such as yours. In order to do this, you want to focus on specific keywords that relate to your business.

When determining which keywords are best for your firm, one way you could go is using a paid resource. If you are interested in that, those firms are easily searchable on Google, because they have done a good job setting up their own keywords! But you can also focus on this on your own.  When it comes to keywords, you are typically looking at a string of words, not just an isolated word. When you are preparing what keywords you want to use in your blog articles, think about the specifics of what your company has to offer.  For example, if you are a car dealer located in Los Angeles, California, you want to think about what your local customers would type in when searching for a car dealer in your area.  While your blog article will certainly have the word “cars” in it, if someone types in the word “cars” they are going to get 1,000s of responses. So you want to make sure in your article that you are more specific with the strings of keywords that you use, and you want to make sure the article remains useful to your readers. When you just “keyword stuff” which is just putting in one keyword after the next or using them when they don’t make sense, it reflects poorly on your company as your readers won’t get any benefit from your article, and Google frowns on this which could negatively impact your ranking. So just have your article go with the flow and work in those keywords where they make sense. For the car dealer example you could use, “Los Angeles car dealer”, “Ford dealer in LA,” “car dealer in Los Angeles” etc.  Use what makes sense in all situations.

When you are writing your blog articles, or putting together your web pages, always consider the proper keyword phrases to use. Use the ones that will bring potential customers to your page, so your website is working for you.

 

cta_7 secrets for small business success

SEO Series Part 1 – What’s all the fuss about?

Surely you’ve heard of SEO at this point … Search Engine Optimization, but you may be wondering do you really need to be concerned about it. In a word, the answer is YES!  Having a focus on SEO for your business is important  because the result of a strong SEO focus is a good ranking on Google, ranking on Google, ranking on Google – can you tell how important that is?!!!

When people do a search on Google you want your business to come up as high as possible in the search results. Why? Because you want these people searching to become your customers, and if your company doesn’t even come up in their search, or comes up so far down the list that they never even see it, then you have no chance of that individual becoming a customer. It’s really as simple as that.

In addition, as individuals do searches and they consistently see your company coming up in different searches, your company name will start to create an impression on them.  “Oh, I saw that company before when I did a search on XYZ, and now when I did another search using similar terms but not the same ones they came up again. Hmmmm that company may be worth checking out.”  It’s true. When you see a company over and over again, you realize that firm means business. Even if your firm is small it gives off a larger business impression.

And lastly, SEO is more or less a passive way to market. You’ve set everything up so your business will come up high when people are searching for something your business provides, and you’ve done that through a well thought out SEO strategy.  That’s it. You don’t have to sit and make cold calls, go door to door, send out flyers, etc. (not that you can’t do those things as well!). But this SEO component is an important part of marketing that really makes your life easy.

Never underestimate the importance of coming up high in a search on Google. By implementing SEO into your website, you are incorporating a critical component in your overall marketing plan.

Stay tuned through the rest of the week to learn more about how to start implementing SEO initiatives on your website.

 

 

cta_7 secrets for small business success

Physical vs Perpetual Inventory

Companies, especially merchandisers and manufacturers, use much of their working capital to obtain or produce merchandise. The decision of how to manage and account for inventoried goods can have profound effects on your cost of operations, the accuracy of your accounting data and your tax bill. You must provide the IRS with accurate valuations for the goods you have on hand and the cost of goods sold (COGS) so that it knows how to tax you properly. The method you use to count your inventory items is one of the most basic decisions you can make relative to inventory management. It’s also important to understand the difference between physical inventory and perpetual inventory.

IRS Requirements

What exactly does the IRS want?

  1. You must track the costs of goods on hand by practicing sound accounting methods.
  2. You must assign to your inventory account the costs of your acquired goods
  3. You must record the value of inventory items you transfer, use, or sell
  4. Calculate ending inventory’s value using the value of beginning inventory, the cost of goods acquired or manufactured during the period and the COGS.
  5. You should, at reasonable intervals, take physical inventory counts of your inventory and use the information to update your inventory value so that it reflects reality.

Periodic Inventory

The essence of the periodic inventory system is to perform physical inventory counts to determine your stock levels. One feature of this system is that you use a purchases account and debit it with all your inventory purchases. Once the period ends, you clear out the purchases account by adding its balance to the inventory account and resetting the purchases account to zero.

You make a physical count at the close of the period to determine the inventory on hand. This is the point where you adjust your book inventory balance to match the physical inventory count. All sorts of discrepancies can appear, including ones arising from theft, damage, spoilage, obsolescence and sloppy record keeping.

Perpetual Inventory

Perpetual inventory systems attempt to keep track of each item from acquisition to disposition. If you have a tiny business, you can perform this task daily by hand. Larger businesses use fancy automated equipment such as point-of-sale cash registers and electronic inventory readers. The inventory receives electronic tags, either bar codes or radio frequency ID tags, which allow readers to track inventory movements.

You don’t keep an inventory purchases account under the perpetual inventory system. Instead, you immediately update the inventory account when purchases or sales occur. This system gives you immediate information about stock levels, discounts, returns and allowances.

Comparison of Methods

If your business requires timely information about COGS and inventory on hand, you’ll find the perpetual inventory system better suited to your needs. As an added bonus, many of these systems place restocking orders automatically when counts run low. Because you track sales in real time, you always know your COGS. The better you keep detailed and accurate records, the longer you can wait to take a physical inventory, a costly and disruptive procedure. If you run a small business without the need for real-time information, you can save the cost of fancy gadgets by adopting the periodic method. And a teeny tiny business can always use the time-honored method of recording stock with pencil and paper to implement the periodic method.

Financing Your Inventory

However you account for it, you have to pay for your inventory or else you’ll have nothing to sell. When working capital is tight, turn to a convenient commercial small business loan from IOU Financial to get your inventory back up to size quickly and conveniently. Contact us today to learn more about small business loans and types of small business financing available.

Making Time for Yourself

You are busy day in and day out. You are concerned about the operations of your business, the finances like small business loans, the personnel, etc. etc. etc.  You need to make sure that your company operates well. You need to make sure that your employees are happy and satisfied with their work and have all of the materials they need to be productive on a daily basis. When you leave the office for the day, your mind swirls with ideas and issues and things you will have to take care of and address the following day. It can all be so exciting being a small business owner, but tiring as well … both physically and emotionally.  So what can you do to make sure that you can do your best as a small business owner and manager? You need to take time for yourself.

Taking time for yourself, whether that means just an hour away from the office today, or a week or two of vacation that you plan in advance, you MUST take time for yourself. The alternate option is complete burnout, where you may start to dread going into work. You need to take time to energize yourself.  So how can you take that time, when your office and your staff depend on you?

Well, let’s break this down. Here’s an example… is going to the gym something that energizes you and helps you to clear your mind? Maybe it is, but you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to allow that one hour of time away. There IS time. Maybe you can find a gym near the office and head over during lunch time.  By spending a short time away, whether at the gym, or just taking a break to go out to lunch, you can clear your mind, which can set the stage for a clearer flow of ideas back at the office. So maybe you can handle one hour away here or there, but what about a whole week?! This is where you need to have a staff or manager that feels empowered: a person or people that you can trust to keep everything flowing while you are gone. If you don’t currently have that, but you do have a staff, consider picking out a key person that you can train for these types of situations. You need and deserve time away for the office; it’s critical to your mental health.

Days can go by quickly and taking time for yourself may fall by the wayside, but it shouldn’t. Plan well so you can take the time you need in terms of something as short as an hour up to an actual vacation. In the end it will make you a better owner/manager, because you will have that time to re-energize and bring that energy back to the office.

IOU Financial offers fast, flexible small business loans that are always there when you need them. Learn more about getting a small business loan and types of small business financing by contacting us today.