Unpaid invoices are common in any field of work. No matter which industry you are in, there will be times where you will have to face delinquent accounts. For example, a customer may refuse to pay their bills due to financial reasons.
When debts are not collected, your business becomes affected. You may suffer from losses, and your credit risk management ability is reduced. In such cases, it is best to hire a debt collection firm.
A debt collection firm such as Darrell W. Cook & Associates collects the unpaid invoices on behalf of your company. They may use a collections lawyer or other ways to get you what you are owed. Nowadays, many firms can help you with debt collection.
However, not all firms handle the debt collection process well. There are many factors you should consider when hiring an agency. Here are the top things you should look for when selecting a debt collection firm:
- Total Return On Investment (ROI)
One of the things you should keep in mind when selecting any debt collection firm is that you will never get the original figure you are owed. This is because the collections lawyer will charge some fee for their services.
When comparing different firms, you might just look at their initial prices. However, the primary thing you should consider is the return on investment (ROI).
Some debt collection firms charge a low fee for their services. As a result, their recovery rate is also low. Thus, the best agency is not the one with a lower cost but one that offers you a higher ROI.
The laws in different states of the US regarding debt collection vary significantly. Many places require the agency to have a legal license. Otherwise, their processes would be deemed illegal, and this may affect your business’s reputation.
When looking for a collections lawyer or firm, it is best to check if they are licensed. You should ask the agency if they are a member of the Association of Credit and Collections Professionals (ACA).
Firms and collections lawyers who are a part of ACA are well-known for being licensed. You can also be at ease that they are law-abiding. This is because all debt collection firms working with ACA have to follow a certain standard of conduct.
The FDCPA is an act in place to ensure that debtors are treated fairly by debt collection firms. It also allows the individuals to sue the agency by filing a claim of unfair treatment. In such a case, your business may be held liable for hiring the firm.
However, if the debt collection firm has Errors and Omissions insurance, you don’t need to worry about liability. That is why you should ask the agency you are considering to show you the insurance certificate. If they don’t have one, then we suggest you hire a different firm.
There are many debt collection agencies that you will find in your vicinity. However, some firms specialize in a particular industry only. That is why it is best to look for a collections lawyer who is best suited for your company.
Some debts also require particular collection tactics. Thus, you should research the firm well. For example, ask them questions about their specialty. Besides that, you should also tell them to give examples of past debt collections they did for another company.
- Collections Process
This is an integral factor that you should look into thoroughly. In the past, it was a common practice for debt collectors to use violence to get the payments. However, now there are laws that prohibit this manner of collection.
Whichever firm you are considering must have a clean process. This means that they should only use legal methods for collection. Otherwise, you will be putting your company’s reputation at risk.
That was all you needed to know about what to look for in selecting a debt collection firm. If you are looking for a Texas collections lawyer, we have the best suggestion for you.
Darrell W. Cook & Associates is a law-abiding, insured, and licensed debt collection firm. They have a high recovery rate and use only legal methods to get you what you are owed. That is why you should consider them if you live in Texas.
Family Offices: What They Mean for Businesses & Independent Sponsors
Why entrepreneurs should look closely at family offices
Entrepreneurs and family offices have never needed each other more. But raising capital on a deal-by-deal basis can introduce additional risks. Some entrepreneurs, including those in the US and Europe, find it difficult to tell which family offices are prepared to commit to a deal and which may just be learning about direct investing.
At the end of the day, what do family offices invest in? And how do their priorities match up with those of business owners and independent sponsors? For a fuller discussion on the independent (or fundless) sponsor model, please see our article.
Here, we’ll look at direct investing from the family office’s point of view, with an eye toward helping entrepreneurs choose the ones that offer the best prospects for sustained partnership.
What should entrepreneurs know about family offices?
In recent years, the number of family offices has grown to more than 3,100 in the US alone, according to Mordor Intelligence and Campden. This growth reflects a worldwide trend. Europe supports an estimated 2,300 family offices; Asia is home to an estimated 1,300 family offices, but that figure is projected to grow more rapidly than in any other part of the world.
Increasing returns to capital as compared to labor, in addition to reduced operating costs, have contributed to large multi-generational-type fortunes. Family offices oversee roughly $6 trillion in assets worldwide, according to Bloomberg Wealth. Some are huge—Bill and Melinda Gates’ Cascade Investment holds more than $170 billion in total assets—but most are much smaller. Modest-sized family offices may manage closer to $100 million in assets, with a staff of five or six.
The amount that family offices invest is correlated to the family’s total asset value. Family offices usually start by investing smaller amounts to “test the waters” before increasing their allocation to a single investment manager or independent sponsor.
Depending on the asset class, some family offices may start with an investment of $200k, whereas larger ones may have minimum ticket sizes of $2 million. Substantial, and usually more institutionalized, family offices are known to commit up to $20 million per investment. In the case of direct deals, most family offices invest between $2.5-$10 million, and some may even go up to $20 million.
Understanding the preferences of family offices is crucial to ensuring your investments are aligned with those goals. Specialized Family Office List database helps you find what they prefer—from ticket size and investment strategy all way down to security type or industry.
Why do family offices seek entrepreneurs, and vice versa?
Unlike wealth managers, family offices are freestanding investment operations that outsource a family’s investments and finances. They may serve one family or several, but are not constituted (or authorized) to solicit investments from others. Largely because they are responsible for a limited number of people, family offices are subject to fewer regulations than other investment advisors.
That freedom allows family offices to take on more risk than similar investment firms. Hedge fund titan Bill Hwang, for example, was penalized several times while managing the Tiger Asia hedge fund, and was eventually barred from the hedge fund industry altogether. But it was his family office, Archegos Capital Management that ruined him, losing $20 billion in just two days before being liquidated.
Few family offices are valued as highly as Archegos was at its height, but most of them are free to take the kinds of risks that Hwang did. That’s good news for entrepreneurs, but it can come with some strings attached.
Why do family offices seek direct deals?
Family offices are attractive financial partners for many owner-managed businesses. As investors, they do not face the same exit pressure as traditional private equity (PE) funds, and can provide patient capital with more flexibility. With so much leeway and fewer and less restrictive mandates, family offices are natural players in the PE sphere.
As family offices become more significant players in the investment field, they have naturally come to assert their interests more forcefully. Among the consequences of their growing stature is the increased desire of family offices to avoid paying the fees that accompany limited partnership in traditional PE funds. Direct investments offer investment opportunities that address this need.
Fueled by increased inflation in the (post-)pandemic economy, unstable geopolitical conditions, and unpredictable financial markets, family offices are looking to increase their chances of producing healthy returns through direct deals. Approximately six out of ten single-family offices currently invest in private equity, and of those that invest, one in four does so on a direct basis.
Many families see going direct as a way to exercise more control over their investments and the opportunity to better align their objectives and interests with their investment strategies. These types of investments can be especially intriguing given the higher overhead associated with traditional PE funds. For many family offices, then, PE represents a valuable element of a much broader portfolio, and that element must be mediated.
To keep up with market trends and source proprietary deal flow, family offices are broadening their networks, just as their PE peers have done. This requires them to build out their platforms and budgets, including an in-house team to provide operational support for their investments. However, the cost of this effort cannot be spread across multiple investors, which puts added pressure on family offices to generate high returns.
Building relationships with external parties, including independent sponsors, forms an increasingly important part of their strategy, and creates new opportunities to strike mutually beneficial agreements.
What do family offices look for when investing in direct deals?
Each family office is different, but as an investor class, family offices do tend to share some common characteristics. Entrepreneurs looking to work with family offices should understand clearly what the typical family office seeks in an investment opportunity.
Family offices prefer to invest in companies whose internal operations and leadership are prepared for significant organic growth following the introduction of new sources of capital. The company’s growth plan, in other words, should be largely coherent by the time a business owner seeks the inclusion of a family office.
For independent sponsors, the key takeaway is to focus on direct opportunities or situations that have not been widely auctioned, articulating the specific strategies that might be implemented to create value and the experience they have in realizing this outcome.
At the same time, any family office wishing to pursue direct investing will ask about more than the specific company in which they hope to invest. This observation is useful to entrepreneurs as well. When a family office asks pointed questions about the growth strategy behind an investment opportunity, entrepreneurs can take heart, knowing that their prospective partners are prepared to make a serious commitment, or to walk away from a deal early in the negotiation process without wasting either party’s time.
What are the risks for entrepreneurs of dealing with a family office?
Family offices offer ready capital and few regulatory restrictions. For entrepreneurs, that’s both a blessing and a curse. In exchange for a valuable source of new capital, independent sponsors in particular shoulder a significantly higher burden of due diligence. Simply put, family offices are as diverse as the families behind them, and not every family office with ready money is a good fit for every direct investing plan.
Remember that many family offices are intrigued by direct investing because it allows them to exercise more control over their investments. Entrepreneurs should anticipate this tendency from the very start, and should take pains to work only with family offices whose growth philosophy matches their own.
Although financial considerations are important, they should not be the only factors guiding an entrepreneur seeking partnership with family offices. A long-term relationship guided by shared principles will benefit all parties more richly in the long run than a short-sighted, hastily negotiated partnership.
Entrepreneurs must understand both their own investment strategy and that of any family office with which they deal. This includes gaining an appreciation of how involved the family office intends to be in the long run, and how prepared they are to make their involvement serious, sustained, and successful. The wrong match can lead to a once-eager family office to withdraw its support for a deal—on its timeline, not the business’—which can throw an entire investment decision into doubt.
Entrepreneurs should be ready to do a little extra research and have a few extra conversations early on in the process, rather than hoping that things will go smoothly after the investment is formalized. At a minimum, they should be prepared to answer the following questions before committing to any relationship with a family office:
What steps has the family office taken to identify investment opportunities? What role do such deals play in the office’s broader investment strategy?
- How are investment decisions made by the family office? Is decision-making authority well documented?
- What investment horizon does the family office expect? What does it seek by way of immediate returns? Long-term returns?
- How actively does the family office expect to manage its investments? Is its interest primarily financial, operational, or a combination of both?
How can entrepreneurs find the right family office?
Knowing the exact investment preferences of a family office that you have not met before is difficult. When considering family offices for your investment opportunity, there are some important factors to keep in mind before approaching them cold with a proposal – like building relationship first or leveraging trusted advisors’ networks instead.
In case you are considering approaching family offices directly, using specialized Family Office List database can save time and resources. They offer a free sample to ensure it captures key information on relevant investment preferences and contact details (e.g. emails of key executives, ticket sizes, security types, investment strategies, and industries).
Along with plenty of research and conversation, business owners and independent sponsors often benefit from the advice of firms that specialize in finding the right family office for each investment opportunity. To learn about how Cap Expand Partners introduces the likeliest family offices from its international network, schedule a consultation with Sergio van Luijk.
Which Sales Engagement Software is Right For Your Company?
Considering a change in software, you may be wondering which Sales Engagement Software is right for your company. The following article will compare and contrast four popular software options. These solutions provide various benefits and are made for different companies. This article will compare and contrast the pros and cons of each one, and help you choose the best product for your company. If you have been frustrated by manual tasks, read on to learn more about each one. Ultimately, these sales automation tools will boost the productivity of your sales team and increase your bottom line.
In the current sales environment, most sales reps spend just a fraction of their time selling, working on non-revenue-generating tasks such as managing calendars, sending emails, and updating CRM software Sales Engagement Software. These tedious tasks distract from their revenue-generating work. Fortunately, sales engagement software is an indispensable tool for sales teams, giving them easy access to customer information. Sales engagement software helps sales reps stay organized and on track, so they can focus on closing deals.
Sales engagement platforms bridge the gap between marketing and sales by creating a central hub for sales planning and execution. Although CRMs can be used independently, they are not sufficient in this regard. By creating a single integrated view of the customer, sales engagement software helps sales reps increase their productivity and service quality. Without a sales engagement platform, a large chunk of sales reps’ time is wasted on administrative tasks, such as updating spreadsheets.
Outreach software can streamline your sales team’s interactions with customers. This CRM-integrated marketing and sales automation solution helps you prioritize meetings with serious prospects, streamline your task workflows, and deliver actionable analytics to inform new sales tactics. Outreach works with Sales Engagement Platform Salesforce CRM infrastructure, performing bidirectional syncing. Salesforce takes care of the data organization and outreach turns that data into action. Interested in learning more about Outreach? Read on! Here are five things to look for in an Outreach sales engagement software.
The software lets you personalize emails automatically by using existing data from CRMs. Email templates provide a starting field, and Outreach uses that information to automatically fill the rest. With this powerful feature, agents can personalize emails in just one tenth of the time it takes them to do it by hand. Then, they can make 40 additional calls in the same time. Outreach helps salespeople boost their revenue while improving the customer lifecycle. Outreach was founded in 2014 in Seattle, Washington. The founders were frustrated with generating sales stats manually. After building their own sales tool, they raised $10 million in less than two years and signed a list of big clients.
If you’re interested in improving your sales results, you might be curious about how Groove works. It has become a favorite of over 70,000 account executives, customer success representatives, and sales development specialists. Companies such as Google, Uber, Capital One, and BBVA have all invested in Groove. Its sales process automation features allow sales teams to focus on other tasks instead of manually entering data. For example, Groove offers multi-channel campaign automation that can automatically sync calendar and email records.
This sales engagement software market report provides detailed information about the industry and the major players in this market. It also includes an overall analysis of the market, including revenue and sales volume. It also features a competitive snapshot of all sales engagement software vendors, allowing companies to analyze each company’s strengths and weaknesses. This information will be useful when it comes to expanding your business and identifying niche markets. You’ll find that Groove is the most popular choice for sales teams.
G2 is a popular sales engagement software that offers a desktop auto-dialer, CRM integration, shareable email templates, and activity capture. Its features are highly rated by users. However, there are some drawbacks to G2, including its slowness, lack of CRM agnosticism, and slow task management. To sum up, G2 is a great solution for sales teams in smaller to midsize companies.
This sales engagement software ranks companies by product, customer satisfaction, and market presence. It also measures social impact. The G2 Sales Engagement Software Report ranks providers according to their product and market presence. It is easy to compare different solutions, but G2 ranks them by their product quality, customer satisfaction, and market presence. To compare sales engagement software providers, G2 uses its proprietary Momentum Grid and Relationship Index to rank them. Listed below are the pros and cons of each platform.
When you’re looking to purchase sales engagement software, consider using a free trial version. These sales engagement software programs can help you see what features work best for your company before you invest in a full subscription. Try Zendesk Sell’s advanced sales analytics, pipeline tools, and organizational functions to get a feel for the platform. Getting started is free, so don’t be afraid to try it out!
In addition to helping you manage your sales pipeline, this software includes features such as lead enrichment and calendar integration. With this feature, you can automatically copy important tasks to your calendar and remind yourself to complete them. Moreover, you can set goals for your team members and track their progress. This way, you can follow-up on actions when they need it. Similarly, you can share contacts, templates, and documents with other members of your team, making it easier for everyone to work collaboratively.
Ways Your Business Can Contribute to Your Community
If you own a small business, you can have a positive impact on your community. Your town or city needs the loyal support of those who live and work there in order to thrive. By giving back, you can make your community a better place to live. Here are some ways to help your community.
1. Inspire the Youth in Your Area
There are a number of ways you can have a positive impact on the youth in your community. Cane Bay Partners VI, LLLP, a consulting firm, contributes to youth development organizations such as Junior Achievement. Or you can speak to high school classes or invite two students each year to work as interns. By working with the youth, you can inspire them to greater aspirations and maybe get a few loyal employees in return.
2. Organize Donations
Run a food drive. You can donate them to your local food bank during the holidays when the need is greatest. You can also collect donations for school children, including pencils and crayons as well as notebooks and other needed supplies. Children are the most vulnerable members of your community. With a little organization, you can make a big difference in their lives.
3. Offer Free Courses
Help those who lack the skills to obtain a better-paying job by offering free courses in software programs or other practical skills. Or share your knowledge about starting and running a successful business. Many people dream of having their own company but don’t know where to begin. You can provide them with valuable knowledge that can get them started.
4. Organize a Clean Day
While your employees are on the clock, have them go out and clean up the neighborhood where your business is located. You can have T-shirts printed your employees can wear and make it a fun day. They can pick up trash or paint a park bench. They can even plant flowers. You’ll have a beautiful area, and your neighbors will appreciate your efforts.
5. Volunteer to Help Others
Enlist your employees to volunteer for the same project. Or, you and your employees can volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and work on a low-cost home. You can also organize a company-wide blood drive or help serve meals at a homeless shelter. There are bound to be many nonprofit organizations in your community. Find one whose values most closely mirror your own and reach out.
6. Join Together With Other Local Businesses
Partner with a local business that complements yours. For example, if you sell flowers, you can partner with a photographer. Hand out coupons for your partner’s business offering a 10% discount. Your business partner could do the same. That way, you’re supporting each other and making the community stronger.
When you and your employees give back to your community, your staff members are filled with a sense of purpose and satisfaction. It gives everyone a better perspective of the needs of your community. You and your fellow citizens are better for it.
4 Tips to Ensure You Are Equipped To Tackle a Network Security Breach in Your Business
Data security is a significant concern for anyone in the online space. A breach can lead to profound, very negative implications. An IBM report shows that the cost of a data breach could be as high as $4.24 million.
After the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, many companies embraced remote working. Yet, this led to a $1.07 million increase in data breach costs. Compromised credentials are a leading cause of breaches. It accounts for up to 20% of such incidents at a staggering $4.37 million.
Yet, simple mitigation measures like zero trust policies work. The use of such resulted in savings of up to $1.76 million. There are a lot of statistics on cybercrime. That should drive home the point on the need for proper network security.
Allow us to share some tips to remain equipped to tackle security breaches in your business.
1. Use Proxy Servers for Online Security
Take network security a step further by using proxy servers. The advantages to the business are many. The proxy server sits between your browser and remote servers. All the traffic coming in or out must go through the proxy. At this stage, several things happen:
- The proxy will sieve the traffic and remove any malicious code. This helps keep the business safe from malware attacks.
- The proxy hides your IP address so no one can track your online activities. It also makes it possible to access geo-restricted content.
- You can keep a close watch of the sites employees visit while online. The proxy server allows you to block any sites you may deem inappropriate or dangerous.
- Data encryption allows for the safe storage and transfer of information
- Balancing of internet traffic thus faster internet speeds
When looking for the best proxy for your business, it helps to understand the features you need. There is no shortage of proxy options available, including paid and free ones.
But, please proceed with caution if you go for the latter. Some free versions may expose you to more vulnerability instead of keeping you safe.
Fortunately, this free proxy servers list already has some of the best options. You get updated versions of Socks4, Socks5 and HTTP free proxies.
The platform collects public proxies from many different sources. They take the time to check every free proxy. Only those that work remain on the site. Further, the teams update the free proxy servers list every 5 minutes. That way, you can be sure that you are getting the best ones.
2. Install Suitable Security Measures
The most qualified security experts will tell you one thing. Whether at an individual or business level, online security begins with you. Take a look at the security measures you have on your networks.
Do you, for example, have the necessary anti-ransomware, anti-malware or antivirus? These are pretty standard security features that you need to have in place.
Also, make sure that everyone in the organization enables firewalls. Put a policy in place that requires everyone to run the necessary updates. Developers roll out enhanced security features with such.
3. Establish User Privileges
We touched on zero trust policies as an effective solution to network security. But what does it mean? Preventing data breaches is more than using suitable security measures. It also depends on who you give unrestrained access to information. There are two user privileges you should have in place:
- Zero Trust policy, as the name suggests, means you trust no one. It requires running authentication or verifications for all users. There must be continuous validation of anyone who uses your networks.
- Least user privilege is also effective. It means giving access to as much information as is necessary to complete a task. The focus here is on bare minimum rights.
Please pay attention to the devices employees use to work. The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) concept may seem like it is saving the company money. But, if an employee decides to use their devices, there isn’t much you can do about their security measures. It could expose the company to data theft, malware and much more.
In some instances, it may not be possible to avoid such devices. But, the onus is on you as the business owner to ensure they have the proper security measures.
4. Create a Culture of Cyber Awareness
The best way to defeat an enemy is to learn all you can about them. Getting a grasp of the cybersecurity landscape is an essential first step. There are tons of resources, both online and offline. Teach yourself about the different types of threats. Also learn how they can impact your business.
Yet, learning about cyber security does not stop with you as the business owner. Everyone within the organization must have the right level of knowledge and awareness. Cyber security training is no longer an option. Employees must learn things like:
- Understanding cyber threats
- How to stay safe while online
- The use of strong passwords and multiple factor authentication
- Secure password storage
- Risk mitigation and responding to cyber attacks
- Importance of running updates and backing up data amongst others.
Creating a culture of cyber awareness can go a long way in preventing data breaches. The cost of dealing with insider threats has gone up by 34% since 2020. That translates to about $15.38 million, up from $11.45 million. Such threats have increased by 44% within the same period.
It is important to note that not all insider threats are intentional. An employee could click on a link in an email, which is a common tactic in phishing. The online sites employees visit could also give cyber-criminals away into your systems.
Use the free proxy servers for effective solutions to this. As we said, the proxy sieves content and allows you to watch their online activities.
A data breach can cost your business money and loss of reputation. It is important to take the necessary security steps to remain safe. Educate yourself and the employees on safe internet usage. Install the necessary security measures.
Take it a step further by using proxy servers, which have many benefits, as we have shared. There is no reason not to use one due to cost issues. Take a look at a free proxy server list to find a suitable solution for your business.
COMMON INJURIES RESULTING FROM TRUCK ACCIDENTS IN INDIANA
Did you know truck accidents account for the highest number of traffic deaths in Indiana? The fatality rate is even higher when the accident involves a heavily loaded commercial truck and a small vehicle. Due to the difference in weight, the passengers in the smaller car suffer the most severe injuries in a truck accident.
On most occasions, truck accidents are caused by driver negligence, so they are avoidable. If you or your loved one is involved in a truck accident where negligence plays a part, it is advisable to seek the legal help of a truck accident law firm like Craig, Kelly & Faultless LLC.
Let’s discuss the common injuries resulting from truck accidents in Indiana.
Traumatic head and brain injuries
The impact of truck accidents is more likely to result in head and brain injuries for the victims. Traumatic brain injuries include blunt head trauma, concussions, physical harm to the head or brain, and lacerations to the brain.
Minor lacerations on the brain may be hard to see on the standard imaging tests, so special X-rays and CT scans may be required to detect these head and brain changes. Traumatic head injuries may come with symptoms like severe headaches, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, sleeping difficulty, and mood problems. They are serious and can cause havoc in the victim’s life.
Broken bones may sound like an injury that is not severe and may heal over time naturally. However, fractures can lead to temporary or long-term disability because adult bones take longer to heal. Some may require extensive surgeries, leading to rods, screws, and pins being inserted in the body to hold the bones together.
Broken bones can cause immense pain and suffering for the victim, and they may have to restructure their lives to accommodate the use of walking aids. Some fractures have the risks of infection, internal bleeding, nerve damage, and permanent deformity.
Back and neck injuries.
The impact of a truck accident is severe enough to cause death leave alone painful back and neck injuries. Many who survive truck accidents suffer muscle strains, ligament injuries, and tendon injuries. When the protective discs in the spinal column are affected, they collapse, impacting the spinal nerves. That can lead to debilitating symptoms and suffering, which may linger for the long term.
This is the severest injury one can suffer in a truck accident as it may result in permanent disability. The spinal column holds the central nervous system, where the messages from the brain to the rest of the body communicate. Therefore a spinal injury cuts off that communication and the person may require assistance doing everyday activities.
A truck accident can lead to wrongful death instantly or during treatment of the resulting injuries. Luckily, the victim’s family can seek compensation for wrongful death. Although it doesn’t bring them back, it can help the surviving kins cover the financial cost, pain, and mental agony that comes with losing a loved one.
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