Contributing to our position as Australia’s premium Financial Risk Management resource, our management globally explores and surveys relevant and valuable articles published by respected professionals, academics and organisation. The articles offered here are suggested reading for any Business Owner and Financial Risk Management professional.
19 Oct 2016
Colm Healy and Karen Niven discuss a recent research project they conducted which tested the goal setting process for organisations. The ethos behind the goal setting within any business, is of extreme importance. In addition, the part culture plays within the organisation is another essential factor in the success or otherwise of the goal setting process.
The subject and of impact goal setting has on employee behaviour, is especially in today's business environment. All too often we see yet another well-known business or government organisation being caught out due to the unethical behaviour of its employees.
Goal setting is a valid and valuable part of the business process, it completed properly. If you get the process right, you can motivate your employees to achieve their targets which benefits all stakeholders. Get the process wrong, and there are big penalties which come in to that will impact on your business negatively.
If you are unsure of the importance in goal setting within your business, this article could be of value in helping you understand the process.
3 Oct 2016
Andy Molinsky acknowledges a great idea is the place to start to make it a feasible business. The main problem which many entrepreneurs have is taking their idea and making it into a commercially viable business.
Entrepreneurs are mainly thinkers and doers and so acting as a business person often causes them difficulties. It is that side of the business, thinking and acting as a business person which brings many entrepreneurs undone.
Mr Molinsky identifies three start-up problems for entrepreneurs once they have the idea for a business.
First, when building a business, the entrepreneur needs to face up to the fact, they may not be good at all aspects of the business. The key is to understand what you are good at and seek help in your areas of weakness.
Secondly is to commit to your plan and accept there may be areas of the business where you need to operate outside of your comfort zone. Many business people have a fear of talking to investors for instance.
Thirdly, a business person needs to find their own way in business. No one business model fits every business.
As a brief introduction in to some of the issues of creating a new business, this article may be worth reading.
23 Sep 2016
Michael Griffith's article is focused on the value happy customers add to your business, particularly in the area of referrals and in providing positive comments on your business.
When you read Michael's strategies on how to keep your customers happy, you start to realise that these strategies are also important for your business in other ways.
Happy customers don't just refer others to your business. They are also more likely to pay on time, forgive occasional mistakes, and continue to make enquiries which you can utilise to improve your business processes. Equally important, they do not go online to berate your business for inefficiencies which damage your business's reputation.
If you have lost your way or had not realised the value of happy customers to your business, this article may be a good start to reinvigorating how you deal with your customers.
16 Sep 2016
Daniel Burrus has written about the increasing use of new payment methodologies in the coming years. He is probably right when he advises digital payment systems are going to be the norm for the future.
There are an immense number of issues which business people need to get their heads around, because as we know in life, nothing is simple. Whilst the use of digital transaction methodologies is attractive in theory, they do have associated risks. Accordingly, it is a wise business person who takes the time to understand the issues before blindly accepting digital payment policies are right for their business.
Daniel Burrus's article may be a good place to start if you are going down the digital payment path to try and ensure you understand all the benefits and pitfalls of modern digital payment methodologies.
31 Jul 2016
BHS was a UK retailer with a history going back 88 years. Recently the retailer was put in to Insolvency Administration with massive debts.
This article is not just a story about the value of good credit management practices, many valuable other business factors are illustrated. The business issues raised are (i) the impact on your business when a major customer goes out of business, (ii) the flow-on effects to other businesses, (iii) the cost of trying to find additional sales to replace the losses just suffered and (iv) the importance of not seeking just one or two major customers.
I suggest the value of this article lies in the many business messages of loss which can be suffered when a major customer goes out of business.
18 Jul 2016
Irrespective of whether it is in our personal lives or in business, keeping secrets is increasingly difficult. In this article, Patrick Bartley sheds light on how racing stewards in Victoria are using technology to identify potential illegal behaviour.
The use of technology is increasingly of help for the guardians who are in charge of looking after the wellbeing of our society as they track down the perpetrators of illegal and damaging behaviour.
In business, with increasing use of technology and in particular, Cloud based accounting and business systems, keeping business secrets will be increasingly difficult.
The value in reading this article is that is yet another example on how the power of technology can be used to identify unethical and criminal behaviour which may otherwise remain hidden.
28 Jun 2016
What makes good people do bad things? We keep asking ourselves the same question when we see how good people are caught up in bad situations and with the wrong people. There are many different reasons why people do the wrong thing, and often, there are no simple answers.
One of the factors on why good people do the wrong thing can be found in understanding the psychological factors involved. Dr. Bradberry illustrates 14 of Dr. Kaptein’s most compelling findings on how the mind tricks good people into losing their moral compass and going astray.
In either situation, this article may be one source of assistance in helping you work out what influences good people to do bad things.
20 Jun 2016
Chris Hayes writes about one of the forgotten tools of credit management; the personnel guarantee.
His comment on what many people say, “… personal guarantees aren't worth the paper they're written on” is based on a myth from “the good old days". This myth come about because many creditors failed to validate the worth of the security supporting the personal guarantee.
A personal loan is no different to taking any other form of security. If you aren't prepared to do the work to validate the security or to understand the nature of the security, then of course the security may be worthless. Notwithstanding all the work which is required to ensure that it is worthwhile accepting a personal guarantee, the guarantee is still a valuable credit tool.
If you now think is time to revisit the use of a personal guarantee as security, this article may be worth a read as a starting point for your investigations.
27 May 2016
Kim Niemi writes about one of the major disruptors in business, the customer experience. What are customers really looking for? We know one factor is the cheapest price. However, are there other factors which influence their decision making which you can use to influence their decision making positively?
Kim writes about what she considers to be the five most important factors. By focusing on these issues, she believes you are likely to attract more customers. Furthermore, I respectively suggest, by considering these issues properly with an open mind, you will also have a much better business organisation.
The five same issues which Kim writes about not only attract customers, they are also applicable when it comes to running a profitable business.
If you are failing to attract or keep your customers, this article may be a good place to start in rethinking how you do business.
6 May 2016
Greg Ferrett has written a blog with a timeless message about the issues which we all struggle with from time to time. This blog was originally written in November 2015, however it's message is as applicable now as it was then. After all, as it is now approaching the middle of May, we are at the start of that hectic time with the end of the 2015-2016 financial year in sight.
Managing yourself and your time are critical factors in surviving the frantic pace of business these days. When major deadlines approach, managing these factor is particularly important. The suggestions provided by Greg on managing the tasks ahead within the time available are a useful reference for all business professionals.
You may be a seasoned business professional or a new business professional who is battling time and task issues. If that is the case, this article may be worth a read provide the ideas to help you manage your work and time more effectively.
20 Apr 2016
Dr. Bradberry's article is focused on how you may try to keep good employees working for your business.
Too often it is forgotten, people are the glue which keeps your business running. Employees are the link between your business's procedures and technology tools. Good customers help sell your business products and services to others. One aspect of selling, is having employees which make customers feel wanted and valued by attending to their needs in a fast and efficient manner.
A workplace where people feel safe and properly valued, also attracts other likeminded people which may become employees. Therefore, being aware of what drives good people away from your business, is also really important.
You may not have thought about what motivates your employees and customers lately, or are finding you have a high turnover of employees. This article may therefore be a good starting place to identify the issues which assist you keep good people involved in your business.
6 Apr 2016
Graeme Skinner's blog is based on one of the oldest themes of business, “A sale is not a Sale until it’s paid for”
Your salespeople are often the first of your employees to see what is happening within your customer's business. Graeme provides indicators of the type of evidence which your salespeople might notice and could reveal the customer may be experiencing difficulties.
Any indications that a customer's business may have problems are valuable and are generally the warning signs that they may be struggling financially. It is imperative this information is provided to the credit department in order that can institute actions to reduce the level of any potential debt.
Your salespeople are part of your business's team which need to be trained to look for signs of your customers' well-being. It is of no value however, if the indicators of any problems are not reported to your credit team members.
If you need a starting point or a brief refresher on the importance of sales and credit working together, this article is a suitable source of this information.
21 Feb 2016
In the modern age, the customer who wants everything is the norm. For instance, those business people who sell on credit, usually find the customer believes they have the right to change the terms of trade or not pay at all.
The situation is exactly the same from the modern autonomous customer who approaches your business. They want everything their way. If you don't offer almost every interactive contact method known to man or woman, then your business may miss out. Despite adhering to their demands, there is still no guarantee they will transact any business with you.
As in all things to do with business, nothing is simple. Furthermore, the customer is not always right. As a consequence, if you believe you must comply with the autonomous customer's demands, then doing it right is essential.
This brief article, with an option to download a PDF white paper, may be of value if you decide your business must cater for the autonomous customer's every need.
7 Feb 2016
Marie Keyworth's introduces the unwary to two more fraudster strategies. People are becoming increasingly aware of phishing which is fraud by email. They may be less aware of newer fraudster strategies of vishing and smishing.
"Vishing" is where criminals persuade victims to hand over personal details or transfer money, over the telephone.
"Smishing" is SMS phishing where text messages are sent trying to encourage people to pay money out or click on suspicious links.
The author illustrates a number of strategies used by fraudsters in regards to these two frauds and how you might deal with a suspect contact.
If you are unsure how to act or what to look for when you receive a suspect contact, this article may be a good place to start your investigations. As advised on all occasions, if in doubt seek professional help.
22 Jan 2016
Ty Kiisel from the US explains the importance of keeping a good business credit rating as well as a personal rating. In Australia, the same situation exists for people who also are in business. Even in this day and age, many people do not understand that when in business, your creditors and potential creditors will seek to have the authority to access your consumer and personal business file, as well as that of your business.
When operating a business that relies on the good will and credit of other organisations, maintaining all your credit related files in good order is of critical importance. With a bad record in one file, this record could easily preclude you from credit facilities on the best terms and interest rate for your consumer and business needs.
Ty's article includes a number of valid reasons on why a good business credit rating is so important. If you were unsure on how to maintain a credit rating in all your accounts, this article may be worth reading.
11 Jan 2016
Dean Kaplan is an experienced business professional and debt collector from the US. In this article, Dean provides a number of red flag indicators which may indicate future cashflow problems for your customer.
These same indicators are observed and applicable within the business environment of any country. For instance, I suggest other experienced credit professionals, debt collectors and insolvency practitioners from all countries would have seen similar red flag indicators during their careers.
Dean points out there are other indicators which may be useful in specific situations which he has not detailed. Educating yourself to be on the alert for any unique red flag indicators which are applicable for your industry, is just as important.
A useful aspect of this article are the explanations which are included to illustrate the problems behind the red flag indicators.
In the turbulent business world of today, being aware of the indicators of customer cashflow problems is an essential component of business survival and to reduce unnecessary costs and bad debts.
If you are unaware or would like to refresh your knowledge of the red flag indicators of cashflow problems, this article may be of value to you.
10 Nov 2015
The task of taking on a new employee is no longer as simple as it once was. Today and into the future, undertaking due diligence on all prospective employees, will be the new norm. One of the parties best placed to assist you in this process will be recruitment agencies or consultants. Again however, you must choose your recruitment agency or consultant with care.
Vic Careedy puts forward a number of issues to be considered when choosing an employment agency or consultant based on his experiences and perspectives.
"Having been a client, a candidate and, for several years now, a consultant in the recruitment industry, I've learned there are some starting issues you need to be clear on."
The four areas worthy of investigation and questions in Vic's opinion are:
1 Who will doing my work?
2 What background experience does my consultant bring?
3 What is the process?
4 What will I pay?
If you have never used a recruitment agency or consultant before, or a dissatisfied with your current service provider, reading Vic Careedy's article may be of assistance. As is always the case, care is required when employing anybody these days and having a professional service provider who understands the issues may well be your best assistant in this process.
24 Oct 2015
We have all read those business stories of success which have suggested, success only became possible after surviving one or more setbacks. Yes, sometimes, the people involved had to take a step back or hold up the development of their idea for a while. Having to take a break or re-evaluate the development of your ideas, is a perfectly normal and acceptable part of the process of success.
Sometimes however, as Vesna suggests, we become overwhelmed by our situation and self-doubt contributes to our eventual giving up on our ideas and objectives.
As individuals, we all have different ways of dealing with stress or managing the issues which affect our determination to last the journey and achieve the success we desire. One of the references which may help you understand and overcome the doubts which test your perseverance, may be this article. After all, it is not that we will not face obstacles which may prevent us achieving our desired objectives, it is how you overcome these obstacles which is the important thing.
7 Oct 2015
Imbedded in Professor Graycar's article is a brief insight in to Australia's history of corruption in Australia. As he mentions, many people do not see any purpose in wasting time talking about corruption "... because it has always been there and always will be."
However, as Professor Graycar points out, the facts demonstrate when corruption is tackled, positive outcomes are possible. The Professor also highlights some of the issues ahead in fighting corruption as a result of today's volatile world.
"While Australia is very highly regarded, it would be foolish indeed to become complacent. In the face of economic turbulence, demographic change, environmental threats, and knowledge and communications revolutions among other things, the public policy challenges will be formidable. Good governance and unimpeachable integrity will have to be the bedrock of our policy and delivery apparatus. We can deal with corruption, maladministration and misconduct at the coal face if we have good principles, good practices and good data."
This statement presents guidelines and principles to help business owners and managers identify and operate their businesses to avoid being caught up in corruption matters.
As a starting point in your own efforts to understand and avoid the pitfalls associated with corruption, this article may be worth reading.
4 Sep 2015
Debbie Fletcher presents a number of key issues relating to the bots which are visiting your website. Not all of these bots will be visiting with the right intentions. Unfortunately we live in age when the internet is both our window to the world and a wonderful research facility. However the internet also allows unwelcome visitors to visit our site.
These unwelcome visitors are designed to seek advantages for their own business enterprises. The advantages which are sought include, finding out the weaknesses in your security systems, website designs, seeking to over-ride human operating disciplines and stealing your IP and other work.
Any business which is deemed to be profitable, or rich in ideas and IP, will be targeted. It is not about if, it is about when. It would seem therefore to be sensible to build a website which has been designed by professional website designers who understand and use appropriate security measures. Any alternative over the long-term is a recipe for disaster.
In today's world, if you have a website, it would be wise to understand these issues. If you are interested in knowing more about the visitors to your website, this article may be a good place to start.
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