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Introducing the Business Payments Coalition: The Former Remittance Coalition Broadens its Mission

Business Payments CoalitionIn recent years, payment industry stakeholders in the U.S. have been collaborating to improve payments efficiency. A quest is underway to achieve the worthy goals of originating and receiving more payments electronically to reduce the average end-to-end costs of transactions and to enable innovative payment services for consumers and businesses. In the U.S., opportunities to improve payment system efficiency are especially significant in business-to-business (B2B) transactions, which include the invoice, payment and remittance detail.

With that in mind, give a hearty salute and wish a happy anniversary to the Business Payments Coalition (BPC), formerly the Remittance Coalition, which celebrates five years this month. The organization’s new name recognizes that its goal has broadened beyond simply facilitating the exchange of remittance information among B2B trading partners. It still seeks to foster adoption of electronic payments and remittances in the business-to-business environment, but its wider-ranging mission today is to improve efficiency of B2B payments across the end-to-end process.

The Coalition consists of organizations and individuals working together to promote greater use of electronic B2B payments and remittance data exchanges, as well as other ways to increase B2B transactions efficiency. Over the last five years, the Coalition has developed a plethora of tools and standards that address the various challenges that businesses face when using electronic alternatives to paper-based payment options. As the payments environment continues to expand and new electronic payment options grow, the Business Payments Coalition has continually expanded its efforts beyond remittance to lend a fresh perspective to overall payments efficiency.  (more…)

Veteran’s Leadership and Wife’s Executive Skills Produce Successful Glass Business

Success Story: Colorado

Petersen Custom GlassAfter 15 years in the glass industry, Kris and Valerie Petersen opened Petersen Custom Glass, LLC in 2014. Kris has extensive experience designing and installing custom glass products. His specific areas of expertise include high-end frameless shower enclosures, ADA accessible showers and other custom glass projects. With his leadership skills gained from the military and her executive skills, Petersen Custom Glass has become a successful local business in Parker, CO, serving a 25-mile radius in the metro area.

“We feel that starting up slowly and receving help from the SBDC along the way, we established a solid foundation from which to grow financially in the coming years.”

In October, 2015, Petersen Glass moved out of the 1100 sq-ft garage into a brick and mortar retail space. Business expanded quickly as capacity grew to include showroom and workshop space.

All three of the consultants in the Aurora-South Metro SBDC Lone Tree office assisted the Petersens with financing questions and concerns, advertising direction and a solid marketing strategy. With the consultants’ guidance and discussing the financial pros and cons of ‘taking the leap’, “we have been able to ‘crack the nut’ with an online presence and a new physical location.”  (more…)

3 Ways to Spread Cheer with Holiday Marketing

By Maxym Martineau

The holidays are right around the corner, and people everywhere are hitting stores in search of the perfect present. Competing with big box retailers is tough regardless of the season, but with more shoppers on the prowl for the perfect gift, you’ll need to find a way to stand out from the crowd. Here are three things you can do to boost engagement with your customers and remind them to add your wares to their shopping lists.

Holiday Marketing

1. Create a fun holiday newsletter.

Never underestimate the power of well-crafted newsletter. Seventy-three percent of millennials prefer email communications — that’s a huge market you can target with holiday-specific information.

You don’t have to toss your product spotlights and blog recaps to the side, but now’s your chance to add some holiday-themed festivity to the mix. Use language that represents the holidays without excluding any of your readership:  (more…)

A Dream Becomes Reality Through a Franchise Partnership

Success Story: Idaho

As Derek & Sophia Bates began seriously talking about their long-imagined dream of owning a bakery, a memory of a visit to the Great Harvest Bread Co. in Logan came back to them. They sent for an information packet and decided Great Harvest was a good fit.

Twin Falls, Idaho Great Harvest Bread Co.

Derek and Sophia began the application process and in May, 2012 were offered a franchise in Twin Falls. The Bates family moved to Twin Falls and began the journey of getting the bakery started.

After getting settled, the real fun began. They had applied to many banks in town and were turned down due to the fact that a Great Harvest had closed 10 years earlier.

The Idaho SBDC helped them develop a business plan and obtain a small loan that sealed the deal of obtaining a loan from Banner Bank. Thanks to the Idaho SBDC’s involvement, they were able to move forward.

The business opened in September, 2013. They were able to pay off the SBA just four months after opening, and they continue growing.

Learn more about the Idaho SBDC and the Twin Falls, Idaho Great Harvest Bread Co.

Three Surprises When You Apply for a Small Business Loan

Applying for a loanApplying for small business financing can be time-consuming and frustrating. Research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows the average small business owner spends more than half a standard work week (26 hours) researching and applying for financing.

Unfortunately, putting in that time and effort doesn’t always pay off. The Nav American Dream Gap Report survey found that 45% of small business owners whose applications for financing were declined said they were turned down more than once. And research from the 2014 Joint Small Business Credit Survey found that in the first half of 2013, a quarter of firms with employees and nearly a third (31%) of those without employees didn’t even bother to apply because they didn’t believe their applications would be approved.

While no one wants to be rejected when they apply for credit, small business owners are at a particular disadvantage because major consumer protection laws don’t always apply to entrepreneurs seeking financing for their ventures.

Here are three things that may come as a surprise when they apply:  (more…)