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Wednesday, March 23, 2011
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Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines
Bulletin Board Complaint--Up-date
######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release” and was not written by Leasing News nor information verified, but from the source noted. When an article is signed by the writer, it is considered a “by line.” It reflects the opinion and research of the writer. It is considered “bias” as it is the writer’s viewpoint.
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Sending a Press Release
(When I attend the National Equipment Leasing Association conference in Scottsdale "Meet the News Media, " I prepared responses to questions I thought I would be asked. Here is one that was asked. Kit Menkin)
Now that this has been said, you never know when a "slow news day" will occur, and that is the best day to get your release published, whether on the internet or elsewhere. And send to everyone, from your local paper, business journal, and major papers plus the various free public relations services (Google will give you a list.) Send to everyone as you never know who will utilize it as it fits another story that is running or is of interest to the editor he makes the decision. You also might hit a slow news day.
Kit Menkin, Leasing News Editor
March 30, Wednesday --Lunch New Brunswick, NJ
Linda Kester, author of “366 Marketing Tips for Equipment Leasing”,
Noon to 3:00pm
If you are near New Brunswick, you won’t want to miss this presentation.
"366 Marketing Tips for Equipment Leasing” by Linda Kester Kindle edition at Amazon for $9.95 or $29.95 paperback
Spotting the Signs of a Troubled Company
(reprinted from CreditToday.net with permission)
There is a saying that if you owe the bank $5,000, you have a problem. But if you owe the bank $5 million, they have a problem.
I guess, based on that principle, right now everybody has a problem, because the banks are not lending money and credit is tight. Many of your customers may be suffering financial difficulties because of the credit crunch and the lingering recession, causing them to become past due and even, in some cases, file for bankruptcy, creating a vicious circle of debt that delays the recovery of our struggling economy.
Now, I don't want to sound like an agent of doom and misery, because some businesses are already beginning to recover from the recession, and even Ford Motor Company, despite the woes of the auto industry, has begun posting profits. But despite the positive signs of some industries here is a sobering statistic: nearly 60,000 companies filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and 2010, an increase of more than 40 percent over 2008. Put another way, that means that one company fails every 2 minutes of the working day! They may not be your customers, but they could be your customers' customers, which ultimately will affect your cash flow.
To compound the problem there is no easy categorization of companies that fail. All industries are involved and companies of all ages from new start ups to long-standing businesses are failing in equal numbers. With that across-the-board statistic, there is no easy way to determine which of your customers will survive and which will fail, but there are ways to spot the signs of a company in trouble before they file for bankruptcy, and by doing so, you will not be left with a bad debt when they fail, which directly impacts your bottom line.
Three Levels to Observe
In my experience, any company in financial difficulty will demonstrate behavior patterns that can be observed by credit professionals on three different levels. They are:
By gathering data on all three levels of activity you can spot the signs of a company in trouble before it is too late and take remedial action to avoid getting caught with a bad debt some months in the future.
What you need to do is create a checklist of red flags in each of the three categories, so that if you have any reason to be concerned about the financial ability of any customer you can then run them through the check list to see how many of the red flags they have.
Level One: How They Treat You
Not returning calls
You will notice that I did not include NSF checks or mail returned on my list, because if that is happening it may already be too late, and our goal is to get ahead of the problem not behind it.
Level Two: How They Treat Other Companies
Level Three: How They Treat Themselves
If you run your customer through these three check lists and they display several of the symptoms mentioned, then the chances are they are only a heartbeat away from going out of business, and action should be taken on your part to protect your own company's interest. In the most dramatic circumstances that may include suspending product or service. At very least, it should mean keeping a close eye on the customer from that point on and not allowing the situation to get any worse. As the saying goes,” an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
One final disclaimer here. My list is meant to be an example of possible signs of a company in trouble and is not to be considered a definitive list. To be sure that your analysis is accurate you should consider the specific aspects of your industry and your customer base and create a checklist in each of the three categories that best reflects your business.
I hope I have given you food for thought, and perhaps in some small way helped you preserve that most precious of commodities, your company's profits.
Barry J. Elms is president of Strategic Negotiations International. Mr. Elms is a frequent speaker at NACM events nationwide. A full list of his seminars can be found on his web site at: www.barryelmsseminars.com.
He can be reached at 617-899-7746 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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