Busy people are the best to work with

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Decision makers, by definition, are difficult to get in touch with. With the power to make strategic decisions on behalf of the organization and authorize large purchases comes a plethora of meetings and requests. Salespeople must deftly maneuver past gatekeepers to secure a time slot on the ultimate decision maker’s calendar. It’s a tricky task, and sellers sometimes fail or throw in the towel.

But no matter who you’re trying to book a meeting with, I doubt this person is as in demand as, say, Warren Buffet. And yet, Gillian Zoe Segal, author of the new book Getting There, was able to wheedle an hour long meeting with the eminent investor.

How in the world did she do it? Segal reveals her secrets to getting a meeting with ultra-busy people in her post "You Can Meet Anyone You Want: Here’s the Formula I Used."

"If you are not a big name or don’t have something major to offer, accept that you will not be at the top of anyone’s priority list — no matter how important your request might seem to you. You will be ignored and rejected a lot, and you can’t take it personally or allow it to depress or discourage you," Segal writes. "Make yourself as human as possible — the less human you appear, the easier it is for someone to reject you."

What Is Factoring?

Common questions and answers about factoring (also known as "accounts receivable financing").

How Does Factoring Work?

Factoring is a transaction in which a business sells its invoices, or receivables, to a third-party financial company known as a “factor.” The factor then collects payment on those invoices from the business’s customers. Factoring is known in some industries as “accounts receivable financing.”

The main reason that companies choose to factor is that they want to receive cash quickly on their receivables, rather than waiting the 30 to 60 days it often takes a customer to pay. Factoring allows companies to quickly build up their cash flow, which makes it easier for them to pay employees, handle customer orders and add more business.

What is a Cash Advance?

When you factor an invoice, the factoring provider advances to you a percentage of that invoice value, usually within 24 hours. The factor will then pay you the balance of the invoice, minus fees, after it collects payment from your customer. The cash advance rate can vary depending on what industry your company is in and whom you choose as a factor. The advance rate can range from 80% of an invoice value to as much as 95%. Your industry, your customers’ credit histories and other criteria help determine the advance rate you receive.

Why Not Just Wait for My Customers to Pay?

The long wait on customer payments can limit the amount of cash your company has on hand to meet expenses and achieve financial goals. While there are many advantages to factoring, the main benefit is quick payment on your invoices. Let’s say, for example, that your company averages $100,000 in receivables each month. However, you have nothing to show for it at month’s end because your customers wait longer than 30 days to pay. Factoring ensures that you receive cash on those invoices immediately. Even at an 80% advance rate, your business can count on having $80,000 in the bank at month’s end, instead of zero.

Know anyone who knows companies for sale or looking for funding?

Following are three reasons to consider when thinking about selling your business.

1. Business value
Collegue John Hammett is an investment banker at Corporate Finance Associates and a former company owner himself. At one point in his career, Hammett was working for an entrepreneur in his mid-50s who sold one of two divisions in his company. While working on the transaction with the company owner, Hammett learned some valuable advice that has stuck with him to this day.

“Anytime you have an opportunity to get liquidity in your company, you need to seriously consider it because running a business is risky and the longer you hold on to that business and the bigger you get, the more chance you risk of failure,” says Hammett. “There is value in a business but no liquidity until you go through a transaction of selling a piece or all of your company to a buyer.”

2. Tired of risk
In the early stages of a business, owners are more confident in taking risks, because they don’t have much value in their companies yet to lose. Taking chances are essential and beneficial if the founder wants their business to grow beyond the initial stages.

As the company grows, so does the value — and owners become more conservative fearing greater damage than when it was a smaller business. Owners who are older no longer have the luxury of time to spend years on damage control fixing bad strategies, so they avoid those risky situations that could lose their company.

Business owners should always be looking to exit their investment. Not because the company may be in a bad place but because it is a smart business decision.

3. Time for change
Cal Lai, president and CEO of Recom Technologies (who also is an Cerius advisory board member), points out that owners have many reasons for selling their businesses. Although a chance at liquidity is a good reason for an owner to decide it’s time to sell the business, it may not be the only reason. After dedicating 15 to 20 years of time, energy and resources into building a company, CEO’s and founders may find themselves ready for retirement. Or an owner may be ready for some change and seek a new opportunity. That could be motivation enough