The amount of equity American’s own in their homes is at the lowest it has been since the Second World War. Relevant statistics include:
- In 2001, American’s owned about 61 percent of the equity in their homes. Today Americans own 23 percent less equity in their homes.
- House prices have reached their lowest level since 2002.
- 25 percent of homeowners in the US owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth.
- Another 25 percent are nearing the point where they have negative equity.
- Household debt has declined two percent annually, showing American homeowners are more interested in paying off debt than growing the economy.
- Spending by consumers makes up 70 percent of the economy.
- Average household debt is down from US$125 000 in 2008 to US$119, 000 today.
- Mortgage debt represents 72 percent of overall debt in a family.
- Housing foreclosures continue to drive down prices.
- Americans paying off their mortgages may not see any rise in home equity.
The housing market is expected to stay in decline until the country is fully lifted out of the recession. For all of the details, read this Globe and Mail article.
For more articles on the state of the economy, follow the links:
If your small business is struggling because of the recession, contact the Winflow Financial Group. Our consultants will work with you to make a personalized plan of action for your business.
Developing a loyal customer base for your small business is the first step toward increasing sales and building your company’s reputation. To develop a customer loyalty strategy consider the following:
- Research that involves the customer will give you the best idea of what your consumers are looking for.
- Build upon your existing brand. The strategy for attracting returning customers shouldn’t conflict with your business vision but should work to develop an existing reputation.
- Instil the value of customer loyalty in all of your employees so everyone is working on the same page.
There are some challenges to developing customer loyalty including:
- What the competition is like. Businesses that have been around longer are likely to attract more returning customers. Try and offer something your competition doesn’t to attract returning customers.
- The state of the economy. During tough economic times shoppers are less willing to part with their money which makes attracting returning customers difficult.
Maintaining a relationship with your customers is the most important aspect of customer loyalty. Be sure your business is practicing good customer service skills and offer rewards to customers who shop frequently.
To learn more about developing customer loyalty read this Q&A by top marketers.
For personalized advice regarding customer loyalty and your small business contact the Winflow Financial Group today.
A supply chain is a series of companies who co-ordinate their activities to deliver goods and services to consumers and gain an advantage over the competition. Being part of a supply chain involves working with:
- Storage Facilities
Managing a supply chain involves overseeing materials and finances as they move from supplier eventually making their way down to the consumer. A supply chain manager has three main duties to oversee:
- Supplying raw materials to manufacturers.
- Converting raw materials into finished products through manufacturers.
- Ensuring the products reach the company through your network of distributors.
Supply chain managers are also responsible for finding the most optimal methods of transporting and distributing their inventory. To ensure an optimal supply chain make sure to:
- Minimize transportation costs as much as possible. This will save you and your consumers more money down the road.
- Ensure quick deliveries. Plan out the fastest routes for your drivers ahead of time.
- Use the right type of transportation. There are many different methods of transportation to utilize when distributing inventory. Choose one that best suits your economical and inventory needs.
- Move merchandise in the proper quantities. Moving too much or too little inventory will just end up costing you money.
For more information on supply chain management read this Canada Business page.
For advice on your small business needs, call the Winflow Financial Group at 1.800.956.6897.
If you own a Canadian corporation there are a number of reports you have to file on a regular basis. Failure to file these reports can result in a non-compliant status for your company. If you own a corporation be sure to file:
- Any change of office address. If you move buildings, you are required to report your new address to Corporations Canada so they can communicate with your corporation. Investors and consumers also rely on this address. It doesn’t cost anything to change your business address but it should be done within 15 days of the move.
- An annual return. This isn’t the same as your tax return. An annual return provides information about your company. It should be completed within two months of the corporation’s anniversary and costs between CDA$20 and CDA$40.
- Changes to directors. Changes to directors that must be reported including the election of a new member, removal of a director or a change of residential address. These changes must be reported within 15 days. It is also important to remember that 25 percent of your directors must be residents of Canada.
To see the complete list of obligations that must be reported, visit this page.
For your business needs, contact the Winflow Financial Group or request a free consultation.
Consumers are all about trends and having the latest product. This is why it is necessary to keep on top of new products, product lines and innovative ideas. Research and development can assist with the following:
- Learning what type of product the market is looking for.
- Designing and testing prototypes.
- Producing a final product or service.
Resources that can assist you with research and development costs, planning and finding R&D teams include:
- Precarn. This not-for-profit organizations provides access to sources of funding, researchers and innovative businesses.
- Industry Partnership Program. The Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) can assist you in conducting research and development projects and get help from graduate and post-graduate students.
- Communications Research Centre’s (CRC) Innovation Centre. The CRC provides affordable research facilities, business development assistance, funding specialists and access to scientists and researchers.
- Collaborative Research and Development Grants. If your research project has to do with the natural sciences or engineering you could have part of your project costs paid for you.
For a complete list of research and development resources, visit this Canada Business page.
If you have questions about the benefits of research and development, request a free consultation from the Winflow Financial Group.