Common Mistakes When Applying for a Small Business Loan

Common Mistakes When Applying for a Business Loan

If you run a small business, sooner or later you are going to need an infusion of capital. When you are ready to take the plunge and seek funding, you don’t want to make a mistake right out of the gate that could complicate your chances of getting a loan later. Things like not having a clear plan for your loan, not borrowing the right amount, and taking too long to make a decision can make an otherwise exciting time in the lifecycle of your business frustrating. Here are the most common mistakes we see small business owners make, and how to avoid them.

Not Knowing Why You Want a Loan

Seems like a simple enough step. Yet every year, we encounter applicants who have only a vague notion of what they will spend the loan proceeds on. They may understand that they need to increase sales and profits, but haven’t really planned or priced out the specific actions they need to take.

Fortunately, if you find yourself in this situation, it can easily be fixed. Create a spreadsheet that lists your business goals, what actions are needed to achieve them, and how much money they will cost. Your goals should connect back to your overall business plan so not only do you have a clearer idea of price, but you are also clear on the loan’s purpose in the “big picture.” You also need to do a cost benefit analysis to calculate how much your business will benefit by achieving the goals you’ve listed. Your cost benefit analysis doesn’t have to reach military precision, just a reasonable estimate of how you think events will pan out.

If you’re unsure of your plans, then seek outside confirmation before you start applying for loans. There are plenty of resources available from the Small Business Administration to your local chamber of commerce. When you’re satisfied with your plan, commit to it and apply for the loan.

Borrowing Too Little

Another problem applicants run into is over-optimism, meaning they have calculated the business’ borrowing needs based on a best-case scenario but missed the secondary effects of the loan. For example, you might rightly conclude that if you could borrow to increase your inventory, you would easily increase your sales volume. That might be true, but will you also need to increase store space or hire more staff? Not borrowing enough to cover secondary effects like space and staffing can mean, at best, returning for an additional loan, and at worst, failing to execute your plan and potentially jeopardizing your business because you ran out of money.

Borrowing Too Much

It feels good to see money in your business account, and you might think, hey – I might as well borrow extra “just in case.” There is nothing wrong with building contingencies based on a worst-case scenario into your plans so you can make sure to still deploy your borrowings effectively. However, good contingency planning is specific and focused. What doesn’t make sense is to borrow way more than you need just to make yourself feel more secure, or worse, to mask fundamental problems with your business.

The risks are that you will waste money needlessly on interest payments and that you’ll fritter away the extra money on business whims rather than relying on solid planning. Then, when you suddenly need extra funds for a real reason, your access to credit might be limited due to the amount you already owe.

Don’t Dawdle

Take as much time as you need to formulate your borrowing plans, but once you’ve worked out what you need and have applied for a loan, don’t waste time deciding whether you should go forward or not.  It takes time for a lender to process a loan application. Some, like IOU Financial, might be able to give you a next day funding, but some might take far longer to pull your credit history, check out your current financials, and so forth. If you wait more than 30 days to make a decision, lenders will have to pull your credit history again. While IOU Financial does a “soft” pull that doesn’t affect your credit score, some other lenders do hard pulls that can damage your score. Furthermore, by needlessly procrastinating, you risk higher interest rates, and the problems that motivated the original loan request might suddenly get worse, perhaps making it harder to get the original amount approved.

If you have a good business and a solid plan for your loan, IOU Financial will be happy to quickly see if you qualify for one of our flexible business loans at a competitive interest rate. Do your homework, be clear on the amount you need to borrow, then contact us and we’ll get you the money you need in 24 to 48 hours.

Ready on Your Timing

Shooters Service LTD is one of Metro Detroit’s finest and largest specialty firearms stores in the area. For 35 of its 41 years, it has been located on the same corner; a true landmark in Livonia, Michigan. 

Originally started by his father in 1975, Roger Little now owns and operates the business.

“In the beginning, we both worked other jobs to allow this business to grow,” said Roger. “We have always worked hard and long hours; I know of no other way to do it. We grew steadily over the years, with peaks and valleys of course.”

With increased competition and internet shopping making a bigger dent in the industry, Roger made a few adjustments to maintain the growth momentum of his business. He recently attained additional working capital from IOU Financial. “Financing from traditional lenders has been difficult to obtain in the past,” explained Roger. “However, there’s no shortage of options for alternative lending. I turn down multiple calls weekly from similar companies, but I hit it off with my contact from IOU and decided move forward. He was patient and knowledgeable.”

“We took more than six months from first contact to signing. He never fought me, and I pulled the trigger when the time was right. I would recommend IOU to anyone in need of this type of funding,” said Roger.

Financial Results for the First Quarter Ended March 31, 2016

Montreal, May 25, 2016 – IOU FINANCIAL INC. (“IOU” or “the Company”; TSX-V:IOU), a leading online lender to small businesses, announced today its results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016.

“IOU continues to lead at the forefront of the fintech revolution taking hold in North America. The first quarter of 2016 saw strong loan applications, but lower loan volumes, due to a strategic emphasis on seeking higher loan quality. Our intention is to continue to pursue sustainable, high quality growth opportunities to achieve favourable risk adjusted returns for our shareholders. We believe that the strength of IOU’s model will continue to distinguish us in the marketplace,” said Phil Marleau, CEO.

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • Although loan applications rose significantly year over year, loan volumes decreased during the quarter primarily as a result of a strategy aimed at maintaining the quality of IOU’s loans. Loan originations in the first quarter period ended March 31, 2016 were US$25.4 million versus originations of US$31.2 million for the same period last year.
  • As of March 31, 2016, IOU’s total loans under management amounted to approximately $79.8 million as compared to $70.2 million at the end of the first quarter 2015, representing an increase of 14% over the previous year. On March 31, 2016, the principal balance of the loan portfolio amounted to $25.5 million compared to $19.9 million at the end of the first quarter of 2015 while the principal balance of IOU’s servicing portfolio (loans being serviced on behalf of a third-parties) amounted to approximately $54.3 million compared to $50.4 million in 2015.
  • IOU recorded gross revenue for the quarter ended March 31, 2016 of $3.3 million versus $2.6 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, representing a 26% increase as a result of the increase in the loan portfolio.
  • IOU recorded net revenue for the quarter ended March 31, 2016 of $1.9 million versus $2.0 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2015. The decrease relates to an increase in interest paid as a result of the convertible unsecured subordinated debentures which closed in November 2015 and an increase in the provision for loan losses.
  • IOU closed its first quarter 2016 with a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $1,308,229, or $0.02 per share, compared to a net loss of $214,997 or $0.00 per share during the same period of 2015.
  • IOU closed its first quarter 2016 with an adjusted loss of $473,480, which excludes certain non-cash and non-recurring items, compared to an adjusted loss of $261,158 in the first quarter of 2015. IOU’s financial statements and management discussion & analysis for the quarter ended March 31, 2016 have been filed on SEDAR and are available at www.sedar.com.

About IOU Financial Inc.

IOU Financial provides small businesses throughout the U.S. access to the capital they need to seize growth opportunities quickly. Typical customers include medical and dental practices, grocery and retail stores, restaurant and hotel franchisees and e-commerce companies. In a unique approach to lending, IOU Financial’s advanced, automated application and approval system accurately assesses applicants’ financial realities, with an emphasis on day-to-day cash flow trends. It makes loans of up to $150,000 to qualified applicants within a few business days, with affordable charges favourable to cash-flow management. IOU Financial’s speed and transparency make it a trusted alternative to banks. To learn more visit: www.ioufinancial.com.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain information set forth in this news release may contain forward-looking statements that involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond the control of IOU including, but not limited to, the impact of general economic conditions, industry conditions, dependence upon regulatory and shareholder approvals, the execution of definitive documentation and the uncertainty of obtaining additional financing. Readers are cautioned that the assumptions used in the preparation of such information, although considered reasonable at the time of preparation, may prove to be imprecise and, as such, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements. IOU does not assume any obligation to update or revise its forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

The TSX-V has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

 

For more information, please contact:

Philippe Marleau

Chief Executive Officer

(514) 789-0694 ext. 225

 

David Kennedy

Chief Financial Officer

(514) 789-0694 ext. 278

5 Examples of Incredibly Helpful Small Business Advisors

5 EXAMPLES OF INCREDIBLY HELPFUL SMALL BUSINESS ADVISORS

Ask nearly any successful business owner about whether they achieved their growth alone, and you’re likely to hear the same answer: they had some help and guidance along the way. As a small business owner, it doesn’t take long to realize that you can’t be an expert in every single facet of business: sales, HR, marketing, partnerships, finance, etc. Realizing this sooner than later can have a significant impact on your business. Seeking out the right advisors to fill your knowledge gaps can accelerate growth, reduce your stress, and help you solve problems you may be struggling with.

Strengthening the areas of your small business that you may not have experience with can be done through helpful consultation from an advisor. This can be done informally through friends and family or formally by paying a professional firm in a specific area. It’s a matter of finding the right people that can offer you expertise in your area of need, along with determining what is crucial to your business’ success. When thinking about who to collaborate with, consider these five types of advisors.

  1. Financial Advisor – Managing your company funds is not as simple as balancing your personal checkbook, but it is imperative to a successful business. In order to get the most out of your day-to-day cash flow while building for the future, it’s important to have a trusted financial advisor or accountant familiar with small businesses. Keeping thorough records, maintaining a regular budget, and planning accordingly for future opportunities or investments are all areas that a financial advisor will focus on in order to steer you towards success.
  2. Industry Expert – While you may know a lot about your specific industry, if you are the only one within your business you consider an “industry expert,” and you are not consistently engrossed in the latest topics, this could be a problem. Seeking out additional perspectives on important matters can be imperative for business development. Arming yourself with information from an industry expert, whether it’s a direct contact, knowledge from books or websites where they share information, or a peer group focused on your industry, you can gain additional insight you may not have originally considered. Knowledge equals power, so why not consult with those that have the most knowledge?
  3. Marketing/Branding Expert – Many small business owners achieve their early success from hard work and hustle, but to continue that growth, marketing and branding are crucial. Spreading the word about your company and clearly defining messaging that communicates what your company does is paramount for building a customer base. This is where a marketing/branding expert is especially helpful because there are many channels to consider, and nuances associated with each that could determine the difference between a positive or negative ROI on your business efforts.
  4. Another Entrepreneur – If you network with other entrepreneurs (if you don’t get started now!) you can get invaluable tips. In this case, it doesn’t matter if this person is in your industry or not. Another entrepreneur in a different industry can offer impartial insight and offer advice about struggles and opportunities that they have been through as a fellow small business owner. You never know what you can learn from listening to another business owner’s challenges and how they are overcoming them.
  5. Human Resources Professional – You might not think you’re ready for an HR expert yet, but as your business grows, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of human resources. When you are hiring, firing, handling payroll taxes and more, it’s imperative that you know the legalities for each area and the best ways to address specific circumstances. Just a few hours with an HR professional can give you the information you need to take care of these various areas in the best way possible, and most importantly, to avoid any legal situations that could negatively impact you and your business.

Running a business can sometimes feel lonely, but you should never feel like you need to stand alone. The key is to find the right people that can offer you exceptional advice to help bring your company to the next level.

Keep tabs on the IOU Financial blog for more advice for small business owners.

How Your Assets May Not Be Working As Hard As You Are

Why A Cash Flow Loan is Better Than Collateral for Business

Assets are the things your business owns. They include short-term ones, such as accounts receivable, cash, and inventory, and long-term ones, such as plant and equipment, intellectual property and goodwill. A business’s job is to convert assets into revenues and profits. If you are not fully leveraging your assets to help your small business grow and thrive, you could be missing out on profits.

There are two major ways that assets can be put to work by your business.

  1. Cash Flow Generation: Whether you are a merchandising company selling inventory, a manufacturer turning raw materials into finished products, or a service-oriented company relying on office space or equipment, you are using assets to generate revenue. The cash flow generated from your business assets can be put to work as the basis for obtaining a loan from an alternative lender. While banks look only at credit ratings, alternative lenders are usually much more interested in daily cash flows and lend based on healthy flows. A loan means working capital to pay down more expensive debts, purchase equipment, increase inventory purchases, expand operations, acquire a competitor or otherwise leverage your revenues so that the additional profits exceed the modest interest costs.
  2. Collateral: Another way to make your business assets work is to use them as collateral. Some lenders, often called factors, will make a loan collateralized by your fixed assets, such as plant and equipment, or backed by your accounts receivable or inventory. In an A/R loan, the factor advances you about 70 to 80 percent of the invoices it accepts, and then pays you the remainder, minus a financial fee, when the invoices are paid. This speeds up your business cycle by allowing you to purchase more inventory faster. It also relieves you of the headache of trying to collect from people or companies who are overdue. You can also sell your A/R for a fixed price to a collection agency.

Comparing the Two Methods

Both of these methods deliver capital to grow your small business, but there are advantages to cash flow generation instead of leveraging assets as collateral.

When you use assets as collateral in factoring, it puts pressure on your sales margins due to the fees you are charged when you pledge assets or the loss you take by selling assets. Also, if you sell your A/R, you could alienate your customers if they start being contacted repeatedly by a collections agency that is unknown to them.

In general, taking out a loan for cash flow generation is the better deal. Rather than tying up your main assets or, in the case of collections agencies, even selling them, you keep your business assets and maintain control. You also get a full sum of money rather than a percentage advance to use as you see fit, and you avoid the financial fees of factors. As long as you have daily cash flow and a solid plan, the profits generated from the additional inventory, expansion, or other project made possible by your loan will be a permanent gain that will let you pay down the loan comfortably. Now that’s putting your money to work!

If you’re ready to try cash flow generation, IOU Financial is a great starting point to find out what a loan can do for your business. You can work with a Small Business Loan Consultant to take you through every step of the process, and we approve 85 percent of applications we receive, including many people turned down by banks. Our base requirements are that you own at least 80 percent of the business, have been in business a year or longer, make 10 or more deposits per month, and have annual revenue of at least $100,000. To get started, give us a call at 866-217-8564.

 

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Slow Season Gives Time for Expansion

Trinity Event Staffing was ready to take advantage of an expansion opportunity in another major market, but the slow summer season meant hiring staff would be a challenge. IOU Financial helped them add a sales and recruitment team member without stretching their financial resources too thin.

Justin Atkinson had 20 years of experience in the industry when he started Trinity Event Staffing, which specializes in providing party and event staff, including everything from bartenders to security services. Although he started in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, his successful business grew to cover all the major markets in the state, including Austin, College Station, and San Antonio. When it was time to enter the Houston market, he decided to do it with the help of a loan from IOU Financial.

Justin realized shortly after starting Trinity Event Staffing, that lending criteria of traditional banking posed obstacles for his business. Traditional loans often require extensive collateral, and since Justin’s event staffing agency didn’t have traditional collateral sources like real estate or large savings accounts, he knew it would be difficult.

“IOU Financial and non-traditional lending is the best way to go. You don’t have to tie up your other pieces of collateral in your growth,” he said.

Even though the company had been in business for over six years when Justin decided it was time to expand into Houston, he knew that alternative lending would be a faster, easier way to go. He ultimately was connected to IOU Financial through a broker.

“I really liked the service of IOU. The people weren’t pushy and just allowed me the time and the space to look at everything.”

AN EASY PROCESS

While going through the loan process, what impressed Justin most was the patience and transparency of the staff at IOU. His contact was able to answer any questions about the loan terms, walked him through the IOU portal, and gave him time to contact his attorney to review details.

Once the paperwork was finalized, IOU Financial delivered his funds in about 24 hours. Justin immediately put that capital to work.

FUNDS TO EXPAND DURING THE SUMMER SLOWDOWN

The $30,000 loan came at a critical time during the year for Trinity. Justin knew that in order to expand, he needed a new staff member to be on the front lines in Houston for sales and recruitment. But it was also the summer, a traditionally slow time for the event staffing industry that meant Trinity would likely encounter negative cash flow.

“Being a small to mid-size company, every piece of internal management or any internal labor you have is a big decision because you are adding an enormous piece of overhead into your business and you have to make sure you’re profitable.”

Justin used the loan to expand into Houston successfully without having to worry whether the additional overhead would jeopardize his business.

A STAFFING SUCCESS STORY

Flash forward to one year later, and Trinity Event Staffing has accomplished their goal. Their new sales and recruitment staff member is growing the company’s presence in Houston at a sustainable pace. The loan is almost paid back, and the IOU Financial system of daily payments rather than monthly ones kept things simple for Justin.“I think it’s smart and sustainable,” he said.

Justin considers alternative lenders like IOU Financial a key part of the American economy. He said through alternative lenders, small businesses are able to get the capital they need without putting up extensive collateral in a traditional loan, risking the “blood, sweat, and tears” entrepreneurs have invested in their businesses.

“IOU Financial and non-traditional lending are helping to keep the American dream alive. The traditional banking system is not responding.”

LOOKING TO REACH A NEW MARKET? An affordable working capital loan could give your business what it needs to grow. Call 866-217-8564, or visit IOUFinancial.com to learn more.

3 Factors that Can Make or Break a Business Expansion Plan

Business expansion is an exciting endeavor for any small business owner. Taking this step means that you have successfully sold your product or service, and it has been well received by the public. You now know that scaling your small business up could bring in some real profits. However, many small businesses fail after their first or second year because of their lack of planning.

Before you try to secure financing, take some time to reflect honestly on whether you will be able to maintain sufficient funding, execute the right marketing campaign, and hire the right employees. Without planning for these three factors, you could find that your attempt at business expansion creates a drain on your limited resources.

 

Sufficient Funds

It takes money to make money, and your expansion project will need funds to ensure your business continues to grow while maintaining normal operations. Calculate how much capital you would need to ensure your added revenue from expansion will make up for the costs associated with the project. Crunching the numbers will help you avoid either taking on too much debt or finding yourself short on funds. For information about the right questions to ask about your business’s cash flow and how to start securing financing, check out “3 Steps to Plan for Successfully Expanding Your Business.

 

The Right Marketing Campaign

While you may have had success with word-of-mouth referrals or small online campaigns to generate initial profit for your company, you will need to inform customers of the changes you are making to drive more traffic for your business. A targeted marketing campaign can help grow demand for your products or services, and even a small budget can make a big impact. Don’t know where to start? Check out our recommendations for getting the most out of your small marketing budget. If you don’t have the time or expertise to coordinate a campaign yourself, consider hiring a marketing professional or a PR firm to create and spearhead this marketing campaign for you. If you opt for this route, make sure to budget for these costs when you lay out your business expansion plan.

 

Experienced Employees

While you may have started your small business out of your garage with one great idea, make sure you plan ahead for hiring. Spend some time reflecting on your own strengths and weaknesses so you know when to ask for help. Depending on your area of expertise, there may come a time when you will need to hire managers to run certain aspects of your business so you can focus on new product development or customer acquisition.

Skilled and hard-working employees can often mean the difference between success or failure because you have to delegate tasks as you grow. Take interviews seriously and hire individuals who show high levels of drive to help your business succeed. Don’t overlook the dollars and cents of hiring as well. Taking time to estimate and plan for the costs for hiring staff can be just as important as getting the right employees in the door.

 

Taking on a business expansion project needs to produce a significant revenue boost to ensure the time, money, and energy are all well worth it. With some planning ahead and estimating the costs of things like hiring and marketing, you can set yourself up for success.

For more tips about how to jump start your expansion, contact one of our Small Business Loan Consultants. We are here to sort through your ideas and see how you can get financing to make your goals a reality.

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Investing in Market Research Can Pay Off for Small Businesses

For small business owners, it can be easy to invest time and attention on day-to-day management activities, get stuck doing competitive analyses, and fail to stay focused on big-picture priorities that affect the bottom line.

Most business owners know the benefits of market research, yet it tends to fall further down the priority list. However, running a successful business means knowing your customers, competitors and your industry. Market research offers the opportunity to analyze vast amounts of data and glean valuable insights into these topics. This can help you make informed business decisions and identify sales opportunities.

Here are a few ways market research can help your small business thrive:

 

Trend Spotting 

Knowing consumer preferences and being ahead of industry trends can propel your small business into a new market or niche with an unmet demand. Likewise, knowing your customer needs and demographics will help you determine whether jumping on a trend is right for your business. Market research is also useful for testing ideas with your target market before rolling out new products or services.

 

Know Your Competition

One way to stay ahead of trends and know your industry inside and out is understanding your competition, and market research can help you do that. Not only can you discover the best practices your competitors are using and what’s working for them, you can also learn from their mistakes and gain deeper insight into what part of the market they aren’t serving or customer needs they aren’t meeting.

 

Informed Decision Making

With the knowledge of industry trends and the competitive advantages you’ve gathered using market research, you’ll be able to make better decisions when it comes to developing new products, launching into a new market, or reaching your target audience with marketing messages and other communications. In essence, you’ll be confident that you’re staying focused on the bottom line and real business growth rather than spinning your wheels.

 

Sold on the idea of investing time and energy into market research for your industry? Market research should be an ongoing activity for your small business, but it doesn’t have to drain your time or budget. To get started, decide whether you’ll conduct the research in-house or hire a third party. Whether you’re tackling it yourself or working with a professional services firm (recommended), get clarity around the framework for the kind of data you’d like to analyze, both from a customer and competitive perspective – things like strengths, weaknesses, offerings and mission. Next, make a comprehensive list of your direct and indirect customers. Make your research an ongoing process that you revisit quarterly, making adjustments as you go.

With market research you’ll understand your business in an entirely new way and gain fresh perspective on the issues that impact your growth.

 

CTA market research

New Survey Sheds Light on Slow Adoption of EMV Cards

New Survey Sheds Light on Slow Adoption of EMV Cards

A new survey from TD Bank finds that several factors are holding back small business owners from quickly adopting cards with embedded chips, known as EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) cards. EMV cards are more secure than the older magnetic strip variety, which means their slow adoption leaves more consumers vulnerable to credit fraud from counterfeit, lost or stolen cards. Slow adoption can also leave small business owners vulnerable to footing the bill when instances of credit fraud do happen.

On October 1, 2015, the liability for damages arising from credit card fraud shifted from the card issuers to merchants for all swipe transactions performed on EMV cards (the new cards still work with the older terminals). Surprisingly, the survey finds that about 19 percent of merchants were either unaware of or indifferent to the new compliance rules for EMV payment terminals, and only a minority of small businesses have installed them, with many reporting concerns about or obstacles with adopting the new technology. The latest information is that new POS terminals are operational at only about 25 percent of locations.

Conversion cost is a factor mentioned by 58 percent of small business owners (SBOs) in the survey as to why they have been slow to upgrade. Part of the problem is misperceptions about the cost of switching to the new payment terminals. Although several pre-deadline reports put the price at $1,000 per installation, actual costs reported by survey respondents indicated the average cost to be about $450 per installation. Many merchants work on tight margins, and for those who perform relatively few credit/debit card transactions, the perceived high costs of transitioning to the new EMV technology can seem a significant roadblock.

Although 73 percent of SBOs expressed little or no concern about their exposure to the damages of credit card fraud, it is hard to say that indifference to security is holding back the conversion process.  Only 13 percent of non-adopters admitted a lack of credit fraud concern, and 70 percent of adopters listed security as the foremost benefit. The survey reports that 58 percent of adopters say that the new cards are better at protecting consumers’ information, and 54 percent mentioned that installing EMV card readers shields their businesses from fraud liability.

The last major obstacle reported by the survey (mentioned by 37 percent of SBOs) involves the amount of time it takes to set up and learn the new payment system  and the effort involved in educating customers about the new process (36 percent). The new terminals read EMV cards through partial insertion rather than swiping, and the transaction takes a few seconds longer with the new equipment.

While the survey indicates that SBOs face real and perceived obstacles to updating their point of sale systems, it’s important to consider that a single instance of credit fraud could easily exceed the one-time costs of upgrading systems to comply with new rules.  If your business is trying to figure out how to finance the installation and activation costs of new EMV terminals at your retail locations, it may be worthwhile to consider taking out a commercial business loan. Alternative lenders like IOU Financial look at factors beyond credit score, like daily cash flow, to assess whether your business is a good candidate for a loan that can be used for equipment upgrades.

If you’re interested in learning more about how commercial business loans can be used for technology and equipment upgrades, contact one of our Small Business Loan Consultants today at 1-844-750-5468.

 

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Maximizing Sales Through Mother’s Day Marketing

Maximizing Sales Through Mother’s Day Marketing

Mother’s Day. When our favorite female caregivers are treated to overpriced buffets, new loofas, homemade cards, spa treatments, and if you’re lucky (nay strategic), a token of affection and appreciation from your store or ecommerce business.

In 2015, Mother’s Day sales were estimated at $21.2 billion – ranking right up there in the retail record books with December holiday shopping. With 2016 sales expected to increase, business owners can’t afford to gloss over the effects that Mother’s Day shopping has on your bottom line.

The National Retail Federation estimates that consumers will spend an average of $173 on their loved ones this year. Purchasing everything from flowers to cell phones, retailers are well positioned to take advantage of this mid-year spending spree. With the right marketing, communication, and outreach, you can entice the Mother’s Day market and boost your revenue.

 

3 Tips for Maximizing Your Mother’s Day Sales

Relate to Moms Everywhere

You can’t turn around without bouquets and doilies dotting Mother’s Day marketing.  But, Hallmark cards aside, you don’t need to be a florist or sell some uber warm and fuzzy product to appeal to this market. Take a look at your inventory and decide how it could interest, benefit, and/or entertain mom. That’s what you want to market around. That’s what you need to communicate. The gift-giver (your buyer) is going to want to purchase an item for mom that she’s going to love – all you need to do is to make sure they know why she’s going to love it.

Mom’s Gone Viral

You may have already received that awkward friend request, or have seen a post from back in the day when you’re wearing an unsightly trend from yesteryear indicating one thing…mom’s on social media.  But, before you lament the loss of your sounding board a safe distance from mom, know that social media can be a powerful marketing tool for Mother’s Day campaigns. From advertising to remarketing, your small business can target both the buyer and mom with appealing messages that stay at the forefront of the minds. Your markets are already online – a quick glance at an ad and one click later they’re at an ecommerce site filled with goodies for mom. You’re minutes away from a shopping cart full of Mother’s Day revenue.

Mother’s Day Sales (increase sales)

Half off. Two for one. Coupons, coupons, coupons. And those enticing little percent signs that translate into major scores for shoppers that balk at paying full price. Bargain hunters are everywhere. Your business can capitalize on a shopper’s love of a good deal with added incentives leading up to Mother’s Day. You won’t notice the slight hit to your profit margin per transaction if you’re doubling your sales from last year.  Make sure all discounts and promotions are front and center and so good they can’t possibly pass it up. Make them an offer they can’t refuse.

 

At IOU Financial we aim to support our clients by providing helpful tips and tricks that increase revenue. Visit our blog for more additional small business resources and tools, or learn how a small business loan from IOU Financial can boost your brand.