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Short Term Financing

Short Term Financing
Short Term Financing – Interest Free Sources and Unsecured Interest Bearing Sources A firm obtains its funds from a variety of sources. Some capital is provided by suppliers, creditors, and owners, while other funds arise from earnings retained in business. In this segment, let me explain to you the sources of short-term funds supplied by creditors. Characteristics of short-term financing: Cost of Funds: Some forms of short-term financing may prove to be expensive than that of intermediate and long-term financing while some short-term sources like Accruals and Payables provide funds at no cost to the firm. Rollover Effect: Short-term finance as the name indicates must be repaid within a period of one year – though some sources provide funds that are constantly rolled over. The funds provided by payables, may remain relatively constant because, as some accounts are paid, other accounts are created. Clean-up: This happens when commercial banks or other lenders demand the firm to pay-off its short term obligation at one point in a financial year. Goals of Short-Term Financing: Funds are needed to finance inventories during a production period. Short term funds facilitate flexibility wherein, it meets the fluctuating needs for funds over a given cycle, commonly 1 year. To achieve low-cost financing due to interest free loans. Cash flow from operations may not be sufficient to keep up with growth-related financing needs Interest Free Sources: Accounts Payable Accounts payable are created when the firm purchases raw material, supplies, or goods for resale on credit terms without signing a formal note for the liability. These purchases on “open account” are, for most firms, the single largest source of short-term financing. Payables represent an unsecured form of financing since no specific assets are pledged as collateral for the liability. Even though no formal note is signed, an accounts payable is a legally binding obligation of a firm. Postponing payment beyond the end of the net (credit) period is known as “stretching accounts payable” or “leaning on the trade.” Possible costs of “stretching accounts payable” are      Cost of the cash discount (if any) forgone      Late payment penalties or interest      Deterioration in credit rating  Accruals: These are short term liabilities that arise when services are received but payment has not yet been made. The two primary accruals are wages payable and taxes payable. Employees work for a week, 2 weeks or a month before receiving a paycheck. The salaries or wages, plus the taxes paid by the firm on those wages, offer a form of unsecured short-term financing for the firm. The Government provides strict rules and procedures for the payment of withholding and social security taxes, so that the accrual of taxes cannot be readily manipulated. It is however, possible to change the frequency of paydays to increase or decrease the amount of financing through wages accrual.      Wages — Benefits accrue via no direct cash costs, but costs can develop by reduced employee morale and efficiency.      Taxes — Benefits accrue until the due date, but costs of penalties and interest beyond the due date reduce the benefits. Unsecured Interest Bearing Sources: Self-Liquidating Bank Loans The bank provides funds for a seasonal or cyclic business peak and the money is used to finance an activity that will generate cash to pay off the loan. Borrowed Funds → Finance Inventory → Peak Sales Season → Receivables → Cash → Pay Off the Loan. Three types of unsecured short-term bank loans: Single payment note – A short-term, one-time loan made to a borrower who needs funds for a specific purpose for a short period of time. Line of Credit – An informal arrangement between...
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Product Innovation

Product Innovation
The Realm of Product Innovation A manufacturer or a service provider, who aspires to be successful in a business market, must indulge himself in research, pertaining to consumer preference as well as the various stages of a product life cycle. This will give him a better chance to make his future decisions concerning the product and also the wisdom to evolve strategies accordingly. Developing a product and introducing it into the market demands certain amount of forethought and prudence. The first step is to study the market, to understand consumer preference as well as to gauge whether your product will be appealing to the customers existing in that market. The prerequisite for this would be market segmentation, that is to statistically estimate the demographic quotient (people belonging to different age groups and ethnic societies) of the sample population and decide on the customers whom you want to target. A product’s success depends mainly on two things: 1) Innovation-lateral thinking, by which you let loose of all your unorthodox methods and stick onto some novel ideas of marketing. 2) Customer-oriented marketing rather than product oriented. This customer oriented concept is advocated by modern marketing consultants and it has proven to be a fantastic proposition. More than the actual product, people like to know more about the values that they obtain out of that product. The secret behind success will be to hit the right note, by propagating more about the value added services that go with the product. Expectations Created by the Product When a product is introduced in a market, say, automobiles for example, since every tom, dick and harry is fond of cars and bikes and they talk a lot about it. It is looked upon by prospective customers with great expectations, which might be due to the great hype created by the manufacturer through advertisements in electronic media, papers and magazines. The product as it hits the market will instantaneously make it big, if it has the right mix of intangible and augmented benefits that make customers happy and they feel that they have bought something worth the money paid for. A luxury car is well received by the market, irrespective of the price tag that is stuck to it, just because of the value added benefits such as, delicacy, great speed, high-performance, safety, insurance and warranty. Product Pre-Launch Analysis Before launching a product, industry analysis is a must, as various similar products might exist and it comes to the question of how different and appealing your product is, for market acceptance. Even minor things can make a big difference, say, for instance, if you are able to float the cheapest car, in terms of price but with great fuel efficiency, the results are obvious. The strategy would be to introduce innovations not only in your product but also in your thinking. Best products emerge as a result of tuning in your wavelength with that of the consumers’. Product Life Cycle A product gets introduced, grows, matures, stabilises and slowly withers off, just like a human being. No man is eternal and so is a product. You may argue that some products are in the limelight for more than their share of lifetime. If you keenly observe, that would have been the result of makeover changes to the product in lieu of the change in people’s liking and analysis of market trend. Some products have a second chance to prove their mettle. They go into hibernation for a while and then re-enter when market conditions seems to be favorable. The perspective from which you look at the life cycle of a product may cast a different idea...
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