Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Many thanks to MainStreet.com for publishing information about PEX Card on their site!
Visit the bottom of the page on this link for the piece about us!
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Eric Dye of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network (EPN) interviewed PEX Card CEO Toffer Grant about how SMBs use business prepaid cards effectively.
Click this blue text to listen to it on the EPN website - there are many other interviews there you can listen to as well!
Below are 15 practical and useful suggestions for companies interested in moving their businesses to the cloud. We’ve included the Twitter handles in case you had additional questions for them or wanted to follow them on Twitter.
@MarcelaShine: Real-time cloud collaboration has helped speed product development. Google docs is great example.
@TofferGrant: I think the importance of using the cloud for storage and access is the biggest opportunity for adoption.
@GeneMarks: The biggest benefits include anywhere access, no hardware investment, up and running quick.
@FranchiseKing: One great benefit of the cloud is #portability. We can go on vacation and use the #cloud to stay in the biz loop.
@PamOhara: Cloud pricing will keep coming down and quality improve as systems mature.
@TofferGrant: Nearly all @pexcard customers are on the road to conduct business. Data access and productivity are huge!
@MarcelaShine: Cloud based storage like @dropbox has its risks. Employees can remove/delete files when they aren't the owners of the files.
@GeneMarks cloud reliability can be sketchy too. It's only as good as my internet connection and that can really vary!
@PamOhara: In early days of e-commerce people were scared to put credit card # online, but would hand it to any sales clerk.
@GMohamed: "The cloud is safer because behind the scenes the data is stored, backed up and treasured like gold - their business is at stake."
@GeneMarks: Search online for other companies using the service and ask them about their experience.
@TofferGrant: Pilot testing is a key step. You learn how features work and figure out how to integrate the service and build process.
@PamOhara Twitter search is a good place to judge customer praise/complaints & vendor reactions.
@MarcelaShine – Small biz owners should require that employees use back up services.
@GeneMarks - don't worry about "the cloud." Instead, worry about the right apps/techs to help you make money. The cloud is just a way to deliver the data.
For our April 2013 Tweetchat, we chatted with Pam O’Hara, CEO of Batchbook, a company helping small businesses build meaningful relationships with their best customers. Pam is also Chairwoman of The Small Business Web, the international trade association of cloud software for small business. This Tweetchat was titled "How SMBs Can Use Cloud Services Effectively."
PEX Card: How does the cloud work for business owners today?
Pam O’Hara: Small businesses are using the cloud for everything from marketing to advertising, operations, networking and counseling. All parts of running a business can be improved by using a tool, getting advice or selling more online. One of the best features of using the cloud for your business is that you can access your information from *almost* anywhere & at any time.
PEX Card: What are the biggest hurdles in becoming a cloud-based business?
Pam O’Hara: Change is hard. If you have a system that works, it’s hard to justify the change. Early adopters tend to be new businesses, innovative businesses or troubled businesses (which can be the most innovative). Other hurdles are adoption by the team (see above) & fear of new technology.
PEX Card: What are the biggest benefits of the cloud?
Pam O’Hara: The access, of course. Anytime/anywhere. There are huge increases in efficiency. Additionally, shared data means less data entry, less mistakes, more collaboration. The cloud is also cheaper in the long run.
PEX Card: Is moving to the cloud a time consuming process?
Pam O’Hara: Not usually for small businesses. Vendors are motivated to make it easy to set-up & import. It’s harder to get information out, as with all software, so spend time kicking tires before committing to one vendor.
PEX Card: How reliable is the cloud? Is the host company backing up my critical information?
Pam O’Hara: Data is generally safer in the cloud than on your laptop or a local server. Back-ups, firewalls, redundant connections & power supplies are standard with cloud providers. Also, you almost never lose data from a spilled cup of coffee when your data is in the cloud.
PEX Card: Is my information “safer” in the cloud from hackers than it is on my own computer?
Pam O’Hara: It depends on value of your data. For 99% of small businesses, the effort from hackers to steal your data it is not worth it. Robbing a bank is easier.
PEX Card: Would you recommend testing different cloud services? What criteria should be used to evaluate them?
Pam O’Hara: Yes, definitely take a few test drives. Use small samples of real data & try to get real things done. Put the customer service team to the test as well. They can make/break your adoption.
PEX Card: Should business owners also store critical data on a separate backup or is that not necessary?
Pam O’Hara: I’m a data junkie, so I will never say “no.” But separate backup is much less critical in the cloud than on a laptop.
PEX Card: Any other tips or advice you can share with small businesses on moving to the cloud?
Thanks for joning Pam!
The Small Business Web
TweetChat - #pexcardchat (the PEX Card Tweetchat hash tag)
Business Fleet magazine, a publication dedicated to the trucking and transportation industry, wrote about the PEX Mobile and summarized some information about benefits.
Click this blue text to view the article.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Ask 10 business owners about their cash flow and nine will respond with a story about their revenue. They focus on the “inflow” of their business and not on expenses or the “outflow.” The expense side plays a more critical role in making money than you might think. This is especially true in a volatile economy when revenue is harder to get and customers miss payment due dates. With T&E costs between 8-12% of total revenue, better management of the expense side goes right to net profit line. This means there is more money to take home.
There are two main reasons small business owners find it difficult to properly manage their cash flow. First, the economy is tough to predict these days. Second, clients are taking longer to pay their invoices. When invoices are past due, there is a ripple effect both internally & with vendors. Here are six steps to improve cash flow in your small business.
(1) Don’t make the mistake of only focusing on inflow. Concentrating on sales or revenue can be more time consuming than thinking about how money is flowing out. When a business is in trouble, most owners think additional sales are the answer. That’s a common misperception. There has to be a balance of time between inflow and outflow. Determine what it will cost to run your business (outflow) and match expenses with revenue numbers. Adjust each accordingly throughout the year to keep your balance.
(2) Think ahead. To manage outflow efficiently, look at next six months and be honest about what it will cost to run the business. Make sure you include money to pay yourself. Review and adjust the numbers at the end of every month. Find the right combination of services, spreadsheets, and policies to stay on the budget you set.
(3) Dedicate time to your financials. I suggest all business owners start with manual number crunching so they can learn the important numbers. When it starts to take longer than 40 hours/month, look for a service or a simple software application to automate the process.
(4) Create a cash flow contingency plan. Most business owners should include two critical steps in cash flow contingency planning for their business. First, they should create a six month forecast for revenue and expenses (what do the next six months look like on a rolling basis). Second, they should build cash reserves to meet the requirements of the next six months. The reserves won’t materialize overnight so it’s best to start building now.
(5) Select trusted resources. The best resources for improving cash flow management are usually mentors and advisors who have the experience and expertise to help a business owner. Collaboration is key. PEX Card is also a great resource for businesses with mobile workforces looking to properly manage their cash flow.
(6) Run and review cash flow reports. There are three critical documents: Revenue Forecast, Aging Receivables (& collections if necessary), and Six Month Revenue/Expense Forecast. I strongly recommend that a business owner review these documents monthly.
American Banker writer Kevin Wack wrote a nice piece about how SMBs are using prepaid cards to manage expenses.
Here's the link! Post a comment about how you are managing your expenses.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Here is a video describing how to fund a PEX Visa Prepaid Card in just a few seconds.
In this video an employee is in a store ready to complete a computer equipment purchase. She calls her boss from the store and reports the amount needed to make the buy. He logs in and instantly loads money to her prepaid business card so she can make the purchase and move on. Have a look!
Monday, February 18, 2013
One of the challenges with being a franchisor is figuring out how to provide constructive guidance and education that helps ensure the success of franchisee clients and partners. If there is difficulty on what to include in an educational program, we suggest emphasizing cash flow control and management.
PEX Card is attending the IFA Annual Convention (#IFA2013) to meet franchisors to discuss how PEX Card’s prepaid corporate card solution can play a key role in controlling expenses and its part in managing cash flow. Businesses that use PEX Card rely on the control tools and funds disbursement features to create an electronic breadcrumb trail of every dollar that leaves the company. Data plays an important role in analyzing and understanding how much of a role operational and day-to-day expenses play into protecting profit margins and the general health of an organization.
PEX Card is very interested in working with franchisors to establish educational programs for franchisees.
Please visit us at booth #658.
PEX Card Blog Archive
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