Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7
My Dad repaired most of our shoes believe it or not, I can hardly believe it myself now. With 7 pairs of shoes always needing repairs I think he was quite clever to learn how to “Keep us in shoe Leather” to coin a phrase!

He bought several different sizes of cast iron cobbler’s “lasts”. Last, the old English “Laest” meaning footprint. Lasts were holding devices shaped like a human foot. I have no idea where he would have bought the shoe leather. Only that it was a beautiful creamy, shiny colour and the smell was lovely.

But I do remember our shoes turned upside down on and fitted into these lasts, my Dad cutting the leather around the shape of the shoe, and then hammering nails, into the leather shape. Sometimes we’d feel one or 2 of those nails poking through the insides of our shoes, but our dad always fixed it.

Hiking and Swimming Galas
Dad was a very outdoorsy type, unlike my mother, who was probably too busy indoors. She also enjoyed the peace and quiet when he took us off for the day!

Anyway, he often took us hiking in the mountains where we’d have a picnic of sandwiches and flasks of tea. And more often than not we went by steam train.

We loved poking our heads out of the window until our eyes hurt like mad from a blast of soot blowing back from the engine. But sore, bloodshot eyes never dampened our enthusiasm.

Dad was an avid swimmer and water polo player, and he used to take us to swimming galas, as they were called back then. He often took part in these galas. And again we always travelled by steam train.

Rowing Over To Ireland’s Eye
That’s what we did back then, we had to go by rowboat, the only way to get to Ireland’s eye, which is 15 minutes from mainland Howth. From there we could see Malahide, Lambay Island and Howth Head of course. These days you can take a Round Trip Cruise on a small cruise ship!

But we thoroughly enjoyed rowing and once there we couldn’t wait to climb the rocks, and have a swim. We picnicked and watched the friendly seals doing their thing and showing off.

Not to mention all kinds of birdlife including the Puffin.The Martello Tower was also interesting but a bit dangerous to attempt entering. I’m getting lost in the past as I write, and have to drag myself back to the present.

Fun Outings with The camera Club
Dad was also a very keen amateur photographer, and was a member of a camera Club. There were many Sunday photography outings and along with us came other kids of the members of the club.

And we always had great fun while the adults busied themselves taking photos of everything and anything, it seemed to us. Dad was so serious about his photography that he set up a dark room where he developed and printed his photographs.

All black and white at the time. He and his camera club entered many of their favourites in exhibitions throughout Europe. I’m quite proud to say that many cups and medals were won by Dad. They have been shared amongst all his grandchildren which I find quite special.

He liked taking portraits of us kids too, mostly when we were in a state of untidiness, usually during play. Dad always preferred the natural look of messy hair and clothes in the photos of his children.

Alternative Financing Vs. Venture Capital: Which Option Is Best for Boosting Working Capital?

There are several potential financing options available to cash-strapped businesses that need a healthy dose of working capital. A bank loan or line of credit is often the first option that owners think of – and for businesses that qualify, this may be the best option.

In today’s uncertain business, economic and regulatory environment, qualifying for a bank loan can be difficult – especially for start-up companies and those that have experienced any type of financial difficulty. Sometimes, owners of businesses that don’t qualify for a bank loan decide that seeking venture capital or bringing on equity investors are other viable options.

But are they really? While there are some potential benefits to bringing venture capital and so-called “angel” investors into your business, there are drawbacks as well. Unfortunately, owners sometimes don’t think about these drawbacks until the ink has dried on a contract with a venture capitalist or angel investor – and it’s too late to back out of the deal.

Different Types of Financing

One problem with bringing in equity investors to help provide a working capital boost is that working capital and equity are really two different types of financing.

Working capital – or the money that is used to pay business expenses incurred during the time lag until cash from sales (or accounts receivable) is collected – is short-term in nature, so it should be financed via a short-term financing tool. Equity, however, should generally be used to finance rapid growth, business expansion, acquisitions or the purchase of long-term assets, which are defined as assets that are repaid over more than one 12-month business cycle.

But the biggest drawback to bringing equity investors into your business is a potential loss of control. When you sell equity (or shares) in your business to venture capitalists or angels, you are giving up a percentage of ownership in your business, and you may be doing so at an inopportune time. With this dilution of ownership most often comes a loss of control over some or all of the most important business decisions that must be made.

Sometimes, owners are enticed to sell equity by the fact that there is little (if any) out-of-pocket expense. Unlike debt financing, you don’t usually pay interest with equity financing. The equity investor gains its return via the ownership stake gained in your business. But the long-term “cost” of selling equity is always much higher than the short-term cost of debt, in terms of both actual cash cost as well as soft costs like the loss of control and stewardship of your company and the potential future value of the ownership shares that are sold.

Alternative Financing Solutions

But what if your business needs working capital and you don’t qualify for a bank loan or line of credit? Alternative financing solutions are often appropriate for injecting working capital into businesses in this situation. Three of the most common types of alternative financing used by such businesses are:

1. Full-Service Factoring – Businesses sell outstanding accounts receivable on an ongoing basis to a commercial finance (or factoring) company at a discount. The factoring company then manages the receivable until it is paid. Factoring is a well-established and accepted method of temporary alternative finance that is especially well-suited for rapidly growing companies and those with customer concentrations.

2. Accounts Receivable (A/R) Financing – A/R financing is an ideal solution for companies that are not yet bankable but have a stable financial condition and a more diverse customer base. Here, the business provides details on all accounts receivable and pledges those assets as collateral. The proceeds of those receivables are sent to a lockbox while the finance company calculates a borrowing base to determine the amount the company can borrow. When the borrower needs money, it makes an advance request and the finance company advances money using a percentage of the accounts receivable.

3. Asset-Based Lending (ABL) – This is a credit facility secured by all of a company’s assets, which may include A/R, equipment and inventory. Unlike with factoring, the business continues to manage and collect its own receivables and submits collateral reports on an ongoing basis to the finance company, which will review and periodically audit the reports.

In addition to providing working capital and enabling owners to maintain business control, alternative financing may provide other benefits as well:

It’s easy to determine the exact cost of financing and obtain an increase.
Professional collateral management can be included depending on the facility type and the lender.
Real-time, online interactive reporting is often available.
It may provide the business with access to more capital.
It’s flexible – financing ebbs and flows with the business’ needs.
It’s important to note that there are some circumstances in which equity is a viable and attractive financing solution. This is especially true in cases of business expansion and acquisition and new product launches – these are capital needs that are not generally well suited to debt financing. However, equity is not usually the appropriate financing solution to solve a working capital problem or help plug a cash-flow gap.

A Precious Commodity

Remember that business equity is a precious commodity that should only be considered under the right circumstances and at the right time. When equity financing is sought, ideally this should be done at a time when the company has good growth prospects and a significant cash need for this growth. Ideally, majority ownership (and thus, absolute control) should remain with the company founder(s).

Alternative financing solutions like factoring, A/R financing and ABL can provide the working capital boost many cash-strapped businesses that don’t qualify for bank financing need – without diluting ownership and possibly giving up business control at an inopportune time for the owner. If and when these companies become bankable later, it’s often an easy transition to a traditional bank line of credit. Your banker may be able to refer you to a commercial finance company that can offer the right type of alternative financing solution for your particular situation.

Taking the time to understand all the different financing options available to your business, and the pros and cons of each, is the best way to make sure you choose the best option for your business. The use of alternative financing can help your company grow without diluting your ownership. After all, it’s your business – shouldn’t you keep as much of it as possible?

Exploit Internet’s Amazing Marketing Powers: 4 Most Important Tips

We are living in the age of Internet Marketing, also known as Content Marketing. Here, online visibility is a must, to stay on top and relevant, and make more money.
If you don’t have a good web presence, and aren’t busy promoting and expanding your business, via effective Internet Marketing, you won’t survive for long.What’s Internet Marketing?It’s the new age marketing of a business or brand and its products and services over the Internet, through different tools, employing content, e-mails, search and paid media strategies, to help drive traffic, leads and sales.
Internet Marketing techniques are mostly organic by nature, but these (the techniques) could be paid as well.
Organic internet marketing may not lead to great results instantly, but it would help businesses grow and expand eventually, if done the right way.Content Marketing is the FutureAs per a study, 91% of businesses, across the globe, believe that Internet Marketing is an indispensable and exciting marketing tactic.
Content Marketing involves offering valuable, readable and steady content. It’s the marketing of the present and future.
It stimulates, educates, and guides prospects, and builds trust, authority and connections. When it happens, and when you offer help and value to your customers and prospects, they reward you by becoming your customers and utilizing your products & services.Content Marketing vs. Traditional MarketingContent Marketing is Inbound Marketing and not Outbound Marketing, also called Traditional Marketing. By and large, the latter is interruptive, obstructive, and invasive, besides being costly.
A research shows that, presently, 615+ million devices in the world have adblockers.
What does it mean?
It means traditional marketing may not be very effective.
As per another study, Content Marketing or Internet Marketing is 62% less costly, vis-à-vis the traditional marketing though it pulls over 3 times more business and profits.Visuals & Videos RuleVisuals–in the form of exciting videos and infographics–are comparatively more powerful in attracting new customers and others. Brain processes visuals 60,0000 times faster than texts.
As per another report, people are consuming over 500 million hours of video content daily across the globe.
In an age where majority of us suffer from attention-span problem, it certainly pays to make videos and visuals–that informs, empowers and entertains–a crucial element of our content creating & promotion strategies.
Online videos swiftly increase awareness, stays top of mind with new customers, and also leads to conversions from high-intent viewers.
These also give any brand the power to reach, engage, and convert its most prized audiences in the right moments – whether they’re exposed to a completely new brand for the first time, or are just a few minutes away from striking a deal, and making a purchase.
When brands are present and useful in those moments, the chances of results following are high.4 Exciting Tips for Successful Content MarketingTo harness the amazing powers of Internet Marketing, in the most fruitful way, make Search Engine Optimization (SEO), grammar & spelling, storytelling, and videos an important part of your overall content marketing strategy.1. SEO: Optimize your content for better visibility and improved performance on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). If your content fails to find a place on the first page, it won’t lead to the results you could be keen in.2. Grammar & Spelling: Ensure that your blogs and articles are grammatically correct, and have the right spellings. A piece of content–with glaring grammatical errors and misspellings–won’t’ impress your readers and prospects even as your brand’s value will diminish.3. Stories: Master the art of storytelling for higher traction. Most of us love stories. If there’s a beautiful and inspiring story woven cleverly in your piece, it will pull the ‘emotional trigger’, and lead to better ‘connections’ with your readers and prospects.4. Videos: As per a report, in India, online video is behind over 70% of the nation’s total data usage. As the nation’s online population continues to increase, so will the figure of the video-famished consumers, browsing the web. So, use videos and attractive designs to create persuasive visual content!Summing-up, make Internet Marketing a vital cog in your business establishment and expansion wheel. Follow the marketing strategy tips shared to make more money, and get the best possible business results.