Month: October 2019

What is Asset-based Lending and Is It Right for You?

Are you thinking of obtaining an asset-based loan for your business? Are you in the middle of working with your bank to move to their Asset-based lending group? Have you been wondering what asset-based lending is and how it can help your business? There’s plenty to unpack and understand about asset-based lending and this article is meant to provide valuable insight.

What is asset-based lending?

Let’s start with the basic logic behind asset-based lending. This is a practice that has been around for as long as lending has been an industry. It started with a simple advance of money based on a company’s assets. The straightforward thinking for a lender is that if it thinks your company’s assets are worth $100, they will feel comfortable advancing you up to that $100 secured by the company’s assets. The key emphasis being on “up to” a certain amount of a company’s assets.

So, what determines how much of an advance a company receives for its assets? Using the example of a company with $100 worth of assets, how will a lender decide if they should lend a company $50, $75 or $95? The short and unsatisfying answer is that there are a multitude of factors that will determine a lender’s advance rate and the actual cash they provide to their borrowers. To simplify even further, the more liquid a company’s assets, the higher the likelihood that an asset-based lender will provide more cash.

You’ve probably heard the term, it takes money to make money, and while we don’t necessarily believe 100% in this statement there are some fundamental truths to it. Going back to our $100 in assets example. Let’s say the company’s main asset was all in the form of inventory. Your expected advance would be less than a company with


How to Reduce Friction on Your E-Commerce Website

If you want to increase conversions on your e-commerce site, you need to consider the user experience it provides to your visitors. It can be difficult enough to drive customers to the checkout page, and once they’re there, there are a whole other set of complications to consider that could prevent them from purchasing your products. 

Without a smooth UX, customers will encounter points of friction that prevent them from finalizing their purchases. On average, there’s a 68% shopping cart abandonment rate for e-commerce stores. Therefore, it’s essential to reduce friction to ensure your customers make it through the checkout process so they keep coming back to your online store. 

Reducing friction makes it easier for visitors on your website to get from point A to point B. Anything that slows down browsing your website or makes it difficult to navigate causes friction. Eliminating these issues on your site is essential to reduce shopping cart abandonment, generate sales, grow your email list and improve conversions.

In this post, we’re going to look at five ways you can reduce friction on your e-commerce website so you attract visitors and keep them there, including:

  • Increasing site speed
  • Offering several payment methods
  • Improving website design
  • Simplifying the sales process
  • Optimizing for mobile

Let’s get started.

1. Increase site speed

Visitors can’t browse your products, learn about your brand, or finalize a purchase if your website lags. Everyone has had the unfortunate experience of feeling eager to check out a website only to exit out because it takes too long to load. This is one of the most common occurrences of friction, which does nothing to help your business thrive.

Did you know that users will abandon a webpage that takes longer than three seconds to load? Positive first impressions impact how users interact


5 Tips for Better Cybersecurity

If you take a look at the surveys and reports from the last decade, you’ll certainly see a growing trend. Almost all companies, regardless of industry, are very worried about their digital security. That’s no surprise once you learn that U.S. companies experienced 1,244 data breaches that exposed 446.5 million records in 2018 alone. The danger of being attacked is always there: it’s estimated that a hacker tries to break into a computer every 39 seconds on average.

That’s why businesses have security at the top of their concerns, and why you should too. Considering the issue seriously is the first step towards implementing a strong security strategy that keeps you protected.

Installing firewalls and antivirus software and hiring QA services to identify bugs in your systems isn’t enough anymore. When it comes to cybersecurity, you need to bring your A-game. Here are five ways you can improve your business’s cybersecurity.

1. Update and patch everything in your systems

One of the most basic things you can do to limit the risks of an attack is to always use the latest versions of the software you have installed on your systems. That includes every application you use on desktop computers, laptops and mobile devices, as well as the operating system each one of them is running.

This seems like a simple task, yet things can get tricky if you have tailor-made software and/or the size of your digital environment is considerable. On one hand, customized software needs a specific development team to take care of it. That team needs to include QA development services in what it offers, as you’ll need not just to add new features but also to patch up any bugs that might have been ignored or the ones that might appear when you develop an update.


How to Drive Diversity and Inclusivity in Tech

In my more than three decades working in the software industry, I’ve had the privilege of watching an industry transform. From the dot-com boom to the rise of cloud computing, major evolutions in technology have had a meaningful impact on our lives, both at work and at home.

What’s equally important, though less visible day to day, is how the tech industry is changing behind the scenes, and that includes in the area of diversity and inclusion. As a woman in tech, I can say we’ve made great strides the last few decades as it relates to D&I, but we still have a long way to go.

In what was formerly a male-dominated industry, women now make up 53% of initial hires. Despite this progress, according to a recent study from the National Center for Women & Information Technology, women in tech are abandoning their careers at a steep rate. Today, more than half of women (56%) leave tech at the “midlevel” point – twice the exit rate for men. And many of them aren’t leaving for other interests or to build a family. In fact, the vast majority of women who leave tech careers (80%) report staying in the workforce, and half continue to use their technical skills elsewhere, suggesting culture and opportunity are driving departure.

In fact, women ages 25 to 34, a group reporting “greater dissatisfaction” with tech career prospects, specifically point to unsupportive work environments and a lack of inspiring role models as barriers to their workplace satisfaction. This is a huge obstacle not only for individual companies, but also for the larger tech industry and its desire for holistic innovation that appeals to all kinds of people.

While diversity in tech goes far beyond gender, these stats reveal areas for improvement as we look


How to Best Engage in the Community

During the last several years, the community has evolved into an immersive virtual space connecting more than 198,000 small business (or SMB) professionals. Our community is all too familiar with the fact that business professionals must dig for answers to their specific questions. The helpful and unique information they need isn’t available just anywhere.

The community provides relevant and trustworthy information to small business owners. That’s because we went directly to the source for that information: successful small business professionals. Requesting advice from seasoned SMB professionals, who have themselves been in the shoes of many of our members, is the most efficient way to get to the truth.

The community is made up of real people with a wide variety of backgrounds, skills, interests and stories to share. We like to believe that we can help you find an answer to any question you may have. There are steps you can take to maximize your time within that community. Follow these 10 tips to get the most out of our community.

1. Familiarize yourself with features.

Explore. Clicking around the various portals within the community will unveil things that interest you and possibly features you’ve never seen before. So, once you sign up, take a minute to check out a few things before you drop a question in the forums. 

  • Search the Expert Advice archives. Poke around our Expert Advice Q&A boards and you may find questions asked and answered by the community that overlap with your own question.
  • Use the direct messaging tool. If you find a post that answers your question, you can reach out to the community member who provided the best advice by clicking on their profile and sending them a direct message.
  • Search our collection of articles. By browsing