Interesting Reads

E-Commerce Dwarfs Retail: Business Must Adapt to Digital Trends

E-commerce used to be laughable. Now, it’s the main industry doing the laughing.

barnes and noble, amazon books, global business lendingBarnes & Noble, the last of the bookstore giants, announced last October that after hearing acquisition interest from several parties, it has initiated a strategic review toward possibly selling itself to stay afloat.

Who got them to this place? Well, Amazon, of course. The biggest e-commerce shop in the world. The e-commerce shop that B&N scoffed at…until it was too late.

What you don’t know is this?

Jeff Bezos, the 31-year-old CEO of the scrappy startup that sold books online, was actually approached by the multi-millionaire boss of iconic Barnes & Noble about a collaboration in 1996. At the time, B&N dwarfed Amazon because it had only $16 million in sales by that point. B&N had $2 billion and was tossing around the idea of an online store.hola america, tiffani knowles, barnes and noble, amazon books, global business lendingamazon books, global business lending

Bezos rejected the Barnes offer.

My, how the tables have turned…

Today, Amazon has about half the market share for print books, and B&N only one-fifth, according to Mike Shatzkin, an industry consultant.

  • Amazon’s share jumps to 84 percent for e-books. B&N has just 2 percent.
  • Amazon is hovering around a $1 trillion market cap, while B&N is worth justabout $475 million, 0.05 percent of that.

Today, almost 15 years later, Barnes and Noble has closed 90 of its 720 locations and has left many metropolitan cities without a single major bookstore. Now, it seems ready to throw in the towel.

In truth, Amazon has left no one unscathed in its wake. It has wiped out sporting goods giant Sports Authority and has department stores like Macy’s, J.C. Penney and Sears by the balls.

But what say you about the retail behemoth Walmart? I believe they are the next victim but are hanging on for dear life, refusing to be swept up by the current.

Walmart: Amazon’s Newest Victim

walmart amazon competitor, walmart online,, amazon books, global business lending, ecommerceThe lesson to be learned here is to stay ahead of the curve, keep your hands on the pulse of your customer, keep your eye on your competitor and allow no one to invade your turf without a fight.

Walmart saw its e-commerce sales in the U.S. jump 43% year-over-year during the quarter.

“Progress on initiatives to accelerate growth, along with a favorable economic environment, helped us deliver strong comp sales and gain market share,” CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement. “We’re excited about the work we’re doing to reach customers in a more digitally-connected way. Our commitment to the customer is clear — we’ll be there when, where and how they want to shop and deliver new, convenient experiences that are uniquely Walmart.”

Walmart has focused on revamping its e-commerce experience by adding new technologies and updating its website.

One of the main drivers of its e-commerce success has been its grocery pickup and delivery, which is now available in

more than 2,100 and nearly 800 stores, respectively. By the end of fiscal 2020, Walmart expects to include grocery pickup in 3,100 locations and delivery in 1,600 stores.

walmart and amazon, walmart grocery, walmart amazon competitor, barnes and noble, amazon books, global business lending

While Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is a clever response, Walmart still has some tricks up its sleeves.

Have you begun projecting 5-10 years into the future for your industry? What are you neglecting business-wise with the changing trends in digital marketing, digital sales, social media marketing and other cutting edge innovations?

Scaling as an e-commerce business is easy. Be fearless. Take your idea and build it with working capital from investors your can trust.

TiffaniE-Commerce Dwarfs Retail: Business Must Adapt to Digital Trends
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Melissa Plumb Cleaning Co. Does Spring Cleaning Right

 

office cleaning job by Melissa Plumb Cleaning companyThere is no formula to starting a business but if there were one it would contain two very important points: 1) hard work and 2) taking a risk.

This is how Melissa Plumb, the proud owner of the Melissa Plumb Cleaning Company, got her start.

Before starting her company in September 2015 in her local state of Virginia, Melissa was working for other cleaning companies but she was struggling to make ends meet. She had to come up with a plan to stop her deteriorating situation.

“Taking that step to go into business for myself was a hard step,” said Plumb, as she contemplated the intricacies of her new idea. “Either I was gonna make a go at it and become successful or lose everything I had.”

Her choice to take a chance was one of the best decisions she could ever make.

What makes her different?

“I’ve worked since I was 16 years old. I was always taught customer service and that’s what I truly believe,” she said.

Plumb offers affordable rates in cleaning commercial and residential properties in and around the Palmyra, Virginia area.

Plumb’s strong morals and customer-based work ethic have helped her create a successful close-knit business. She also takes an honest approach to dealing with her employees.

“We’re all family, everyone here is my immediate family… and we stand behind our work 100%.”

And, as for her customers, “their thoughts, their feelings, come through.”

She isn’t perfect but she stands behind her clients.

“What my customers say to me matters,” she said. “If I don’t do something right, they bring it to my attention. I’ll definitely stand behind it and

Melissa Plumb

Melissa Plumb

make sure it is right.”

 

At the start of 2019, she received a loan with Global Business Lending for $3,500 that she needed for a work vehicle and supplies.

This sort of working capital allows small business owners like Melissa Plumb to grow without impacting their own cash flow.

Tamara Duncan served to facilitate Melissa’s funding.

“Melissa’s business needed some assistance in the beginning and with proper coaching and financial education we were able to get her account funded and help her business to move in a positive direction,” said Tamara. “She was a joy to work with.”

Melissa’s final message is: “If you have a dream and you believe in it, it can happen. You just work hard to do it, don’t let anybody stop you.”

 

TiffaniMelissa Plumb Cleaning Co. Does Spring Cleaning Right
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Women Business Highlight: Freight Broker Drives Her Business to the Top

Nina Kiknadze displays hustleStrong. Ambitious. Driven. These three words describe Nina Kiknadze. Though, she would boil it down to only one — HUSTLE.

To kick off Women’s History Month, we would like to highlight Nina Kiknadze, the owner of the freight brokerage firm Black Coral Business Group (BCBG) that assists shippers in finding carriers who are qualified to haul their loads across land and sea. She is one of a few women owners in her industry and she uses this fact to fuel her hustle.

Kiknadze started the business after years of working in the private sector doing accounting and export logistics. She decided to incorporate BCBG in February of 2018 after she noticed how much knowledge she had in freight and how much opportunity there was in the industry.

Now, a year later, she operates her business out of a home office in Buford, Georgia where she helps, not only freight shippers across the country, but truckers and haulers who are desperately looking for work.

Since securing a small business loan from Global Business Lending in December of 2018, she was able to increase her marketing budget and even received an additional round of funding at the start of the new year.

“Nina of Black Coral Group was an absolute awesome merchant to work with…very quick to respond to requests,” said Victor Rannie, funding specialist at Global Business Lending. “I can see how hard-working she is because is always looking for opportunities to expand her business.”

Nina Kiknadze

Nina Kiknadze

Kiknadze’s story in business dates back to 2006 when she first moved to the United States from the Eurasian country of Georgia. In her words, she left her home in search of a better opportunity and she wasted no time in trying to attain it.

While she already possessed a master’s in Russian language and literature, she had no qualms starting over in her new homestead. In 2010, she graduated from Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s in accounting and finance.  From there, she explored many career paths, from being an account manager within an export company to a revenue manager at an accounting firm.

Now, in business for herself, Kiknadze is a hands-on owner, constantly working long days and nights to stay on top of the shipment schedule and to ensure the safety of her drivers.

“The most important aspect in my business…the thing we do the best is always making sure we are on time and that our drivers have arrived safely,” she said.

In a male-dominated space, Kiknadze is a person who tries harder than most in her industry because she is one of the only women in it. This is an advantage, she said, because when most people underestimate her, she blows their preconceptions to smithereens.

An example of her savvy was on display after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in 2017. Kiknadze made sure that her trucks were some of the first to help with supplying aid to the affected victims. Her competitors showed up days later.

Kiknadze works hard, not just for herself, but to make sure that BCBG is the best in the business.  Through her strength, ambition, drive, and most importantly — HER HUSTLE –  Nina Kiknadze is the prime example of those who come to  America to passionately pursue the American Dream.

Allen Perez-Florido contributed to the reporting of this story.
TiffaniWomen Business Highlight: Freight Broker Drives Her Business to the Top
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RKO Construction Boasts a Love for The Work They Do

Co-Owner of RKO Construction, Ryan Oneal

To top off the month of love, we would like to feature the story of  RKO Construction,  owned and operated by two hardworking love birds, Ryan Oneal and fiancé Lyra Poston.

Overall, construction can be a hard industry but if you’re working alongside the person you love, it makes all the difference.

After losing a previous position at a construction firm due to irreconcilable differences with the company, Oneal had to find a means to maintain his family. He had years in the industry and decided to keep doing something that he was good at.

RKO Construction was built without a plan. It was built out of a necessity.

It began as a simple door frame remodeler in Mesa, Arizona in the fall of 2018 and has since moved up to becoming a full construction company, building anything from barns to houses and other properties.

“For us, keeping our word and making sure we give a quality product is most important,” said Oneal, co-owner of RKO.

After receiving three consecutive loans from Global Business Lending, they have been able to scale the business, sustain their family and pay their employees – which can be difficult for a construction business that must wait for final client payment to satisfy all other job-related obligations.

“We started with just me and four guys and now we are up to six guys,” said Oneal. “The worst feeling is getting material and being almost done with the project and not being able to pay the workers.”

Global Business Lending account executive Tracy Chatman looks at them as her superstar clients.

“Lyra and Ryan were very prompt in their responses to our request for documentation. They efficiently communicated a specific need each time, which we immediately addressed,” she said. “They understood the concept of timing overall, ultimately lead to them receiving speedy funding each time.”

RKO’s greatest achievement since their quick infusion of capital has been working with other companies such as Callahan Properties in California and 5-star homes, with whom they have a $14 million contract.

“Ryan and Lyra are great business owners and I am glad to have helped them,” said Lesly Larionne, another hands-on Global Business Lending funding specialist. “They were able to use our funds accordingly in their business and see a drastic turn around in a short time.

Much of the reason for their success is how humble they are and how hard they strive for their goal of changing people’s minds about contractors.

Oneal and Poston hope to stand out from among all of the other contractors in their region.

“We want to be the Home Depot of contractors,” said Oneal. “The quality of your work should always exceed the expectations of those hiring you.”

 

Maria Manzanares contributed to the reporting for this story.
TiffaniRKO Construction Boasts a Love for The Work They Do
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4 Ways to Get Around SBA Loan Shutdown

Affecting more than 200 businesses waiting on the loans across the United States, a Small Business Administration spokesman says, the government shutdown has put a halt to its normal flow of working capital.

The SBA typically handles about 200 loans daily for working capital via the SBA’s 7(a) program and another 120 loans for commercial properties through what the SBA calls the “504 program.”

This amounts to roughly $200 million worth of loans every day for small and midsize businesses, according to the Washington Post.

But all came to a stop on December 22, the day the government shutdown began. As the longest government shutdown in U.S. history is nearing a month’s mark with no clear end in sight, here are 3 ways for business owners to obtain the funds they need.

 

1. Seek Out a Merchant Cash Advance

A merchant cash advance is an advance of a business’s future receivables. While it has been around since the 1980s, it only truly took off during the last decade due to the recession in the U.S. Small businesses who need quick capital can receive anywhere between $2,000 and $3 million. The great thing is the turnaround is very fast – 24-48 hours.

A business can be approved for a merchant cash advance with firms like Global Business Lending with the following minimum requirements:

  • Having been in business for at least 3 months
  • Having at least $6,000 in regular gross monthly deposits
  • Having an active U.S.-based business checking account
  • Having a clear vision and purpose for the funds to prove an investor will be paid back within the given term

 

2. Exercise Patience

U.S.-based businesses shouldn’t expect business to be back to normal – even after the government shutdown ends. Once the SBA employees get back to work, they face a backlog of orders, requests and applications. Still, if you would like, start filling out your SBA applications now so that at least you’re among the backlog when they return to work.

 

3.Use Your Retirement Assets

If you have retirement assets of at least $35K, you can qualify for Business Directed Retirement Account where you can access your money tax free and direct it into your business. This is perfect if you’re looking to buy or start a business from the ground up.

Find out how to get this sort of access to capital by visiting www.globalbusinesslending.com

 

4.Get Line of Credit

Having a line of credit or other financial cushion can help a company weather a shutdown. Owners whose companies are dependent on government contracts, or whose customers are government workers, should make sure they always have a financial buffer.

They only take 24-48 hours to get an approval and you’ll have your line in two weeks, ranging from $20K to $350K. To find out if you qualify for a line of credit, call 855-200-0705.

You may qualify for this in the following ways:

  • With good personal credit 680 to 700+
  • Verifiable income for personal loans or use a business credit/Partner,
  • Strong depth and history of credit, few derogatory items, strong debt to credit ratio, few inquiries in last 12 months
  • No collateral needed
Tiffani4 Ways to Get Around SBA Loan Shutdown
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General Motors Recent Move about “Profit”

general motorsLou Dobbs on his eponymous news magazine castigated General Motors for its recent financial move regarding operations in North America.

What do the three bankruptcies of Donald, his ties being made in Bangladesh, Ivanka’s products being imported from China, Leveon Bell sitting out the season from the Pittsburgh Steelers, a “bankable star” in Hollywood getting all the good roles, a Broadway producer looking for a play that is going to be a hit, unions trying to squeeze as many benefits as they can out of reluctant corporations and GM abandoning a plant in Lordstown, Ohio, all have in common?

One word–“profit.”

Money–the making and retaining of it–is the primary driving force behind any business enterprise.

Nobody enters any business negotiation with the overarching motive being the good of the community. They create charitable foundations out of their” profits” to address these concerns and optics.

Businesses venture into depressed neighborhoods, because of cheap rent, low income workers, government subsidies and tax breaks.

When these factors are threatened with a deluge of red ink, they abandon these communities in droves.

Think about the former ghost town of Detroit or the uproar of Carrier leaving Indianapolis, Indiana.

Nobody in those automakers boardrooms, or the CEO office of that air-conditioned company were wringing their hands worrying about how John Q Public was going to make his next mortgage payment on his new house.

All companies would or should make financial decisions based on prevailing conditions in the economic climate in effect at the time of execution.

This was part of an article in Popular Mechanics in May of 2018,

Susan Cropper, 57, worked as a: Pace line assembler, electronic controls at the Carrier Plant.

“I was loyal to that company. Seventeen years of perfect attendance, never called off work. That was unheard of. I helped build that business. I participated in all the little committees, all the little games they played.

I have two master’s degrees now. How many more degrees do I need? When you’ve done the same job for 31 years, your body’s toned to only do, and lift, so much weight. I physically can’t go do what these 20-year-olds do. I’m not even gonna try.”

People, let’s get real, if you can make more money or lose less money by making a prudent financial decision, any good, practical businessman will do so.

Despite their protestations, Donald Trump or Lou Dobbs will do the same, and so should you or I.

No matter how you feel, no matter how compelling the altriustic impulse, the bottom line is this, a broke owner or a bankrupt investor cannot help anybody, anywhere at any time.

Your first obligation is to turn a profit for you and your hesitant investor or shareholder.

The fringe benefit of well-compensated employees, or satisfied city council members will always come in at a distant second.

Pay keen attention to Hyman Roth’s ominous rejoinder to Michael Corleone in the Godfather movie, “it had nothing to do with business.”

TiffaniGeneral Motors Recent Move about “Profit”
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Sexy Women Close the Deal: 9 Tips to Being a Boss Lady

sexy business woman, global business lending, Attractive young business woman

Countless career women of the new millennium have had the New York Times best seller Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers by Lois Frankel on their shelves for years, including myself.

The book came out in 2004, but since social media has taken off and provided more of an outlet of expression for workplace frustration, it is time to update Frankel’s observations with some downright truths that we’ve learned from the average work woman’s Facebook feed, social media rant reports and meme culture – the window into the modern woman’s soul. In fact, this woman doesn’t just want the corner office. She wants the whole office, as in she is far more enterprising now than in 2004.

Here are nine tips to get and keep the corner office and/or open your own.

TiffaniSexy Women Close the Deal: 9 Tips to Being a Boss Lady
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Four Ways Not to End Up Like Sears

sears bankrupt, global business lending. open bankruptcy, merchnat cash advance

The bankruptcy filing of 142-year old-Sears should give all business men and women pause. They need to reflect on the state of their businesses to ensure their organizations are not headed for the same unpleasant fate.

Even in failure, there are important lessons to be learned so as to avoid the same undesirable outcome.

Sears found itself under-capitalized, a paucity of ready cash, over-leveraged with massive unsustainable debt, and with limited appeal to a young, fickle, tech-savvy consumer.

Unable to adequately address these three strikes, they filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy reorganization.

It remains to be seen if they will re-emerge as a leaner more profitable institution.

TiffaniFour Ways Not to End Up Like Sears
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Craft Beer Company Turned Down by Bank

Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch started New Belgium in their basement in 1991.In the ’80s, craft beer was just taking off in the United States and current household names like Samuel Adams were just getting their start.

Newlyweds Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch took out a second mortgage on their home in Fort Collins, Colorado to start a craft brewery in their basement in 1991 after Lebesch was inspired by the spiced beers he had sampled on a trip to Belgium. Their  company would become known as New Belgium Brewing Company and he would be the brewmaster.

This month, NPR featured New Belgium Brewing Company on their podcast “How I Built This” because the company is now one of the largest craft brewers in the U.S. and Kim Jordan is one of the few female founders in the male-dominated beer industry.

Recorded live in Boulder, Colorado, Jordan tells the story of how she needed capital to grow the business and knew absolutely nothing about making one’s business attractive to a bank. She told host Guy Raz that while she was piecing together the stipulations for the loan application at the bank, she received a rude awakening from the banker.

“You know, the way that you dribbled this paperwork in makes me think that you know nothing about running a business and I’m not going to even take your loan to the committee,” the banker told Jordan.

Little did this banker know who she was talking to and what Jordan would become.

At Global Business Lending, we know not all business owners were educated at Harvard Business School. Some go into business because they have a passion for beer, or auto body work, or carpentry. We think beyond the status quo and see your business’s boundless future. We are visionaries who refuse to be constrained by the conventions of today’s business lending environment. We take our time to educate the most unsophisticated business client and coach them into a client that will catch the eye of our underwriting team.

Global Business Lending is the key to expanding your business, even if you don’t have excellent credit or you’ve not been in business for very long.

Get pre-approved today for working capital for your business.

TiffaniCraft Beer Company Turned Down by Bank
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Capitalize on Decay

There are lessons to be learned as you consider your start-up business and ways to build your dream enterprise on foundations that seem to be decaying.

This September, PBS’ Frontline featured Dayton, Ohio – a once thriving Rust Belt city that has now fallen on hard times and where 35 percent of the population now live in poverty.

Turkish immigrants are snatching up distressed properties, some for as low as $2,000, and revitalizing whole neighborhoods.

A Chinese entrepreneur has reopened an abandoned GM factory to manufacture auto glass, paying his workers approximately $12 per hour, workers who had formerly earned much more.

In West Dayton, the residents, unable to get financing, have formed a co-operative to underwrite the cost of a much needed supermarket in their neighborhood.

Corrugated cardboard, whose employees earn about $12 per hour, have trouble finding employees due to the opioid epidemic.

What is the bottom line in all of this as you seek to launch your business?

  1. While people are fleeing a situation, there are good deals to be made if you have the vision and mental fortitude to embrace the risk and exploit it.
  2. You must keep your expenses low so that when the financial winds change, you are able to survive.
  3. Sometimes you must become creative to obtain financing for your project because without money dreams do not become reality.
  4. Drug abuse is a brutal reality in our society, and you must find ways to deal with it or your business will not survive.

 

 

TiffaniCapitalize on Decay
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