Rethinking Revenue Models During Re-Opening and Beyond

As businesses look toward the third quarter of the year, many are still looking for ways to overcome the unexpected pains that COVID-19 has inflicted on their revenue models. With states and localities having widely varying re-opening plans, it’s only natural for businesses in every sector to be on the lookout for new ways to generate revenue.

 To help your business find inspiration for its own COVID-coping and re-opening plans, the businesses below share how they’ve reimagined their revenue models over the past two quarters.

 Adding Humanity to Membership Models

Before COVID-19, Scott Beaver, Ph.D. (affectionately known as Dr. Scott) and his company Easy Hard Science operated on a fee-per-course revenue model for its pre-recorded and live-by-chat video classes. With kids out of school for an indefinite time and parents’ needs to keep their kids learning, Beaver switched his business over to a membership model.

Now offering unlimited courses for a simple monthly fee, Beaver can overcome the trend he sees with how other companies are leveraging the internet during the COVID crises.

“Families are still stuck at home, and they are being offered all sorts of digital and mail order products,” says Beaver. “These products are safe, yet perhaps less human.”  Easy Hard Science provides what Beaver refers to as “good old ‘service with a smile’” and believes that his commitment to personal service is why families want to join and then stay in his membership program. He experienced a 300% increase in revenue in just six weeks after launching his membership model.

“We spend hours and hours talking with parents and having learners in live online classes and suggest you do the same,” he says. “Don’t expect robots to keep your customers happy. The world wants and needs more humanity at this moment, even if it’s delivered in a digital format.”

Investing in Micro-Influencers

 

Escape the chaos and embrace the calm one drop at a time. ☀️ Via: @jamesaspey #nuleafnaturals #nuleaf #cbdoil #cbd #organic #fullspectrum #wellness #peace

A post shared by NuLeaf Naturals Est. 2014 (@nuleafnaturals) on

NuLeaf Naturals had a healthy revenue stream built up through retailers, which came to a halt once states and cities imposed shutdowns. That forced NuLeaf to rethink its revenue model and focus on one that would help it become more self-reliant in all economies. 

No matter the circumstance, NuLeaf’s Vice President of Operations Ian Kelly knew that people still need to buy things, and eCommerce is the best bet in terms of safety. He helped navigate NuLeaf to a new revenue solution with micro-influencers through Instagram – online personalities with 10,000 followers or less.

“Micro-influencers are great for growth hacking social media without shelling out too much money,” says Kelly. “Investing in five micro-influencers with 10,000 followers is better than targeting one influencer with 100,000 followers. If you can find micro-influencers who are already fans of your products, it’s a great catch.”

Through NuLeaf’s micro-influencer campaigns, they’ve experienced a significant increase in engagement – especially direct messages from potential customers asking questions about their products. NuLeaf can now engage with new customers on a one-on-one level and start meaningful conversations that address a potential customer’s specific concerns. As a result, they’ve seen a rise in sales and plan to carry the micro-influencer marketing strategy alongside retailer re-openings and beyond.

Envisioning New Verticals

Rethinking Revenue Models During Covid
Crédito: UCplaces.com

 

When you wanted to create or take a virtual tour – through a city, a haunted house, a historical monument – UCPlaces was the place you went to. Their app took you inside for a look at destinations far and wide, yet when COVID came along, tourism ground to a halt. Tourism was one of the main reasons people tuned into UCPlaces tours, for the self-guided experiences in new cities and countries.

“Since tourism took such a huge downturn, we were forced to adopt a new business model out of necessity,” says Mary Rutt, the company’s Director of Business Development.

As the company started rethinking revenue models, one COVID-related trend stood out.

“With folks moving out of crowded cities and rural real estate markets becoming flooded, we felt that the UCPlaces tour creation platform could be a great tool to help real estate agents stand out,” says Rutt. The only challenge was figuring out a way to create tours that real estate agents and their clients found beneficial. UCPlaces did their version of market research.

“We started by presenting the platform to a few local agents for their feedback. Our goal was to determine if providing tours to potential buyers would be something they’d find exciting,” she says. “The reaction was overwhelmingly enthusiastic, and we knew this was a revenue stream we had to explore.”

Two months after having the idea, UCPlaces now targets real estate agents to create “where to live” tours for their potential buyers to learn about a new location and not have to be in the car with their agent. 

“UCPlaces users can pop in their earbuds or connect to their car’s Bluetooth speakers and take one of our pre-recorded, GPS-led walking, hiking, cycling, or driving tours on their own schedule without needing to gather in groups,” says Rutt. “It’s perfect for social distancing.”

As you move into re-opening, the rethinking revenue models, such as the revamped models mentioned above, can help you identify new opportunities to keep the cash flowing in any market conditions. With a bit of creative thinking, you could discover that your next enduring revenue stream is easy to implement and can provide value for years to come.


Creative Social Distancing Ideas to Keep Your Small Business Afloat

Don’t let social distancing requirements stop your small business. 

Although the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends maintaining a distance of 6 feet between people to prevent the spread of COVID-19, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for small businesses to continue operating while meeting this recommendation.

Take a look at these small businesses that are using creative approaches to address social distancing challenges brought on by the pandemic.

Easton Events

Creative Social Distancing Ideas for Your Business
Crédito: brides.com

On top of critical safety measures, such as on-site rapid COVID-19 testing and seating guests by family or pod for wedding venues, Lynn Easton of Easton Events — a full-service wedding and event design and planning company with locations in Charleston, SC and Charlottesville, VA — encourages the use of a “comfort” band system. Easton says these bands are essentially color-coded wristbands that will let guests “read the room” and express their comfort level with social interactions. Below, are examples of suggested band colors and their meanings. 

  • Red or Pink: “Kindly keep your social distance, but I am smiling behind my mask!”
  • Blue or Yellow: “I am comfortable in a group, but no hugging, please!”
  • Green or White: “I have antibodies—time to celebrate!”

Creative concepts like these allow guests to signal their social preferences in a way that is both polite and effective.           

Fish Tails Bar and Grill

Creative Social Distancing Ideas for Your Buisness
Crédito: traptown.com

Forget about plastic partitions between tables to separate restaurant guests during the pandemic. Restaurants are now getting creative with guest seating. Ocean City, MD’s Fish Tails Bar and Grill, for instance, seats diners outside at a “bumper table”— an adapted tractor inner tube. The tables are equipped with wheels, and diners can bump into each other from 6 feet apart to maintain social distancing guidelines.

“It’s like a big baby walker,” Fish Tales co-owner Shawn Harman told NPR’s Morning Edition. “There’s a large tractor inner tube that surrounds a doughnut-shaped countertop. You’re standing essentially in the middle of the doughnut hole.”

Inman Family Wines

Creative Social Distancing Ideas for Your Business
Crédito: inmanfamilywines.com

Kathleen Inman, owner and winemaker of Inman Family Wines in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County, had to pivot her business when the pandemic hit. Inman moved in person wine tastings to virtual wine tastings for her club members over online platforms, such as Zoom. Members would pick up their wines at the club beforehand, and then log into the scheduled event at home. This allowed some 30 fellow wine enthusiasts to interact from afar and hear Inman introduce her wines from her California tasting room. Now that’s social distancing at its finest. 

Lenox Yoga


The pandemic is altering the way yoga studios serve their clients. So much so that Sue Parsley of Lenox Yoga, in Lenox, MA, had to revamp her entire business plan. Parsley now offers classes outdoors. To adhere to social distancing requirements, she ensures yoga mats are positioned at least 6 feet from one another. Parsley believes the pandemic is an opportunity to learn and let go of our preconceived notions. “It’s about letting the river take us where we need to go,” she said.

Darling Boutique


When outbreaks occur, businesses may need to temporarily shut down to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This is especially true for establishments that would find it difficult to social distance due to limited square footage. Boutiques are a good example. But shutdowns didn’t stop Darling Boutique, an award-winning curated boutique offering women’s consignment and handmade local artisan goods in Charlottesville, VA. Instead of having customers browse the company’s selection in person, they set up a video call to enable virtual shopping. They also let customers shop and buy items from social posts through DMs, emails and phone calls. To promote social distancing even further, the company offers daily curbside pickup and free mail delivery with minimum purchase.

Durango Dance

Creative Social Distancing Ideas for your Business
Crédito: Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

Although dance studios face many challenges during the pandemic, Durango Dance keeps on dancing. Miriam Morgan, director of Durango Dance based in Durango, CO., uses colorful tape to create 6-foot zones on the dance floor. This allows dancers to practice routines while maintaining a safe social distance. Students can also dance from home by joining the class virtually.

Cyclista Espresso Bar and Roastery

Creative Social Distancing Ideas for Your Business
Crédito:  Facebook

With social distancing requirements in place, many restaurants and cafés aren’t able to operate as they normally would, but it isn’t stopping Steve Stannard of New Zealand’s Cyclista Espresso Bar and Roastery. Stannard uses a toy train, equipped with polystyrene cup holders inside the carriage, to provide contactless service amid COVID-19 restrictions. Once the coffee is securely placed in the carriage, the train reverses backwards over a long table towards the café’s front door to waiting customers.    

These businesses are clearly addressing social distance requirements with creativity, and you can too, with some effort and a good plan. 


How to Support Minority Owned Businesses

In response to recent and ongoing events in the country, you may be taking stock of how and with whom you do business and, ultimately, how to support minority owned businesses.. With minority-owned businesses totaling over one million businesses in the U.S., it’s not a difficult task to find businesses in your local community that can allow you to put your money where your mouth is when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

Here’s the challenge: Your effort has to be intentional. If you keep doing business the way you’ve always done business and with the businesses you’ve always done business with, change will be slow if not nonexistent. You might be donating money to well-deserving causes, but your wallet isn’t backing up your thoughts.

To help you both work and shop with intention and purpose, several minority business owners shared their thoughts on how the public – and other businesses – can support minority-owned businesses.

Go Easy with the Assumptions

As a publicist at The PR Shoppe, Carolyn Fraser’s job is to help other brands and businesses shine. As a certified minority- and woman-owned business, she’s been on the receiving end of assumptions in the business community, and often from her colleagues.

“I’ve had colleagues make decisions on my behalf because they ‘just knew’ my situation,” says Fraser. “One associate actually told a vendor that  I ‘probably didn’t have much of a budget’ for a project, when in fact, money wasn’t a factor.”

If you find yourself assuming something about a colleague or vendor of color, step back and ask, “What am I basing this assumption on?” Is it first-hand information? Is it apparel or hairstyle? Is it the feeling that you’re in a new situation and unfamiliar with how this business does business?

Whatever your answer, the critical part is that you’re asking that question on the regular. Minority-owned businesses don’t benefit from your assumptions.

“Allow my work to speak for itself and give me a chance to wow you,” says Fraser. In the process, you just might wow yourself.

Commit to Collaboration

Kendra Hill’s day-in, day-out, is helping businesses worldwide achieve new heights and grow their businesses. Collaboration is a leading tool that creates the results her clients crave. She recommends that any business serious about a commitment to diversity and inclusion establish ways to collaborate with minority-owned businesses.

“A lot of people have huge platforms and engaging audiences,” she says. “Collaborating with BIPOCs on a project, such as a freebie, product bundle, or Instagram Live event, will expose [a business] to a whole new audience that they could potentially monetize.”

For example, one of Hill’s white counterparts invited her to take over her Instagram account of nearly 60,000 followers. Not only was Hill able to gain several new followers, but she also gained a couple of clients who then shared Hill with their networks. 

“From this one collaboration, my white counterpart was able to align herself as an ally to the BIPOC community, and I was able to make over $100,000 in retainer fees from my new client base.”

Difundir la palabra

Cheri Williams-Franklin founded her business, LifeSnapshot so that other families wouldn’t have to endure what she did following the death of a loved one. As a platform that helps families organize and securely store personal assets and final wishes information so their loved ones can easily find it while dealing with overwhelming grief, it isn’t just for other minorities. 

“Death is the universal commonality that we all have that transcends income, education, race, gender, and sexual orientation,” says Williams-Franklin.

When you find a business that benefits you in your search to diversify your wallet and make it more inclusive, Williams-Franklin wants you not to be shy about your good experiences.

“The greatest form of support for minority business owners comes from visibility and public awareness that our companies exist,” she says. “The public can make purchases of goods and services, provide positive word-of-mouth, and testimonials. Taking these steps will increase exposure, which often enables organizations to thrive as many of the products and services being offered benefit most Americans – not just a specific minority class.”

Checking assumptions, collaboration, and sharing positive experiences are three ways to put your wallet and voice to work in your local business community. If you’re a business owner and ally to the minority-owned business community, consider joining your local Urban League chapter or Black Chamber of Commerce. You’ll form powerful alliances, increase your network, and ensure that your business practices benefit from the experiences and capabilities of minority-owned businesses in your local area.


Find Free Money: Coronavirus Relief Funds and Grants for Small Businesses

Having difficulty finding COVID-19 relief aid to keep your business afloat during and after the pandemic? To jumpstart your search, here’s a list of some available coronavirus relief funds and grants for small businesses.

Hello Alice: Business for All Grant 

Small business owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can now submit applications for Hello Alice’s Business for All program. This program, with the support of Verizon, Silicon Valley Bank, Ebay Foundation, UBS, Visible and Stacy’s Rise Project, offers exclusive mentorship opportunities and grants of up to $50,000 to support long-term business growth. Applications are open through September 25th.

MDCalc Ad Grant

For organizations that support clinicians or treat COVID-19 patients, the MDCalc Ad Grant may be of interest. MDCalc is currently donating $1 million in advertising grants to businesses that are contributing to COVID-19 response efforts. Applications are reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis.  

National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grant

NASE members have the opportunity to secure NASE Growth Grants, worth up to $4,000 each, to help finance their small business needs. Small business owners can use their growth grants to help cover COVID-19 related activities, such as buying equipment, hiring part-time help, purchasing marketing materials and more. Annual members are allowed to apply immediately, and monthly members can apply ninety days after joining the NASE.

Urban Excellence Community Grant

The Caleb Brown Venture Capital and Consulting Project provides start-up, for-profit businesses and early staged businesses with grants of up to $1,000 to help rebuild local blocks, neighborhoods and communities. This can be especially beneficial for small business communities hit the hardest by COVID-19. The grant comes with 500 hours of complimentary business consulting for one year. For consideration, applications must be submitted by the 15th of every month.

Amber Grant

los Amber Grant program gives away $4,000 every month in grant money to female small business owners. The organization also expanded its grant-giving to include a year-end grant of $25,000. This is a great opportunity for female small business owners that are in need of extra funding during the pandemic. Applications are accepted at any time and award recipients are announced the first week of every month.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Grant

In response to the pandemic, LISC provides grants to support for-profit, small businesses. Priority will be given to business owners of color, women- and veteran-owned businesses and other businesses in historically under-served communities without access to affordable capital. The next round opening is August 31S t. Prospective applicants are encouraged to register.

The Small Business Relief Fund

los Small Business Relief Fund will issue $500 matching grants to qualifying small businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe. The purpose of this fund is to alleviate small business financial strain during these challenging times. Businesses will need to verify that they have been negatively impacted by a government mandate due to the COVID-19 pandemic to qualify.

Keep in mind that small business grants are also available through certain state and local programs and some nonprofit organizations. For federal assistance in response to COVID-19 pandemic, visit the Administración de Pequeños Negocios.  

 


Why Have So Few “Small” Businesses Gotten Relief from the SBA?

The first round of SBA PPP small business financing has come and gone and the thousands of small businesses that make up the Kapitus client base have largely been left out in the cold.  While we eagerly await Congress’s approval of additional funds, we used this time to survey our customers to understand who was able to obtain funds from the first $349 billion in forgivable loans, who was not, and which financial institutions were most helpful in supporting small businesses.

What we found was a troubling dependency by small businesses on the largest financial institutions in the country (national and regional banks).  These large banks, as well as the SBA itself, seem to be leveraging a definition of small business that allows large companies to fit their subsidiaries into qualifying entities while independent business owners are overlooked.  The national banks appear to have systematically prioritized these large clients over their smaller constituents and in doing so, exhausted the first round of SBA funding faster than many anticipated.

Our survey was conducted between April 17th and 20th and targeted 26,536 small businesses that we have provided capital to over our 14-year history.  As of Monday morning, we had received 2,076 responses, 80% of which told us they had applied for SBA PPP funding before the money ran out.

Of those respondents, 1,206 answered the question “have you received funding from your PPP application” and 1,116 or 92.5% told us that unfortunately, they have not.  The 90 customers that have received funding provided tantalizing clues as to how small businesses are getting money from the SBA.  The most successful channel to date appears to be through community banks, where 18.8% of applicants have been successful and where customers are more likely to have a personal relationship with a decision-maker inside the bank.

Kapitus PPP Survey

Credit unions have also been moderately successful with 11.8% of applicants receiving funding but have a much lower penetration rate than other banking channels.  Regional banks follow at a 7.2%, followed by the SBA itself (2.7%) and non-bank lenders (1.4%).  Sadly, national banks (such as Wells Fargo, JP Morgan, Bank of America and Citigroup) which have the greatest penetration into the US small business community, have to date done the least to help small businesses in their time of need.  National banks only produced three successful loans in our survey out of 320 applications, a dismal 0.9% success rate.

Why is it that national banks have done so poorly serving the small business community?  Banks are economic animals with scarce resources just like any other company.  When a large number of clients request a scarce resource at the same time, they prioritize their largest, most profitable and riskiest clients first.  In our survey, community banks supplied small businesses with more lending products than any other bank segment.  This indicates that community banks have deeper ties and greater exposure to the plight of small businesses and as a result, during a crisis they work more diligently to ensure that their needs are met.  As seen in the table below, our clients utilize community banks and non-bank lenders more heavily than other types of credit institutions.

Kapitus PPP Survey

Another part of the answer lies in what the SBA, and in turn the nation’s largest banks, consider “small” when it comes to business.  On April 16th the SBA announced that they had distributed nearly 1.7 million loans representing $342 billion, indicating an average loan size of $206,022.  Assuming the average American worker was making $49,764 annually (or $4,147 per month) just before the crisis (Oficina de estadísticas laborales) and considering that PPP loans are sized based on 2.5 times monthly payroll, this implies that the average company getting a PPP loan as of April 13th had 20 employees.  There are nearly 6 million companies with between 1 and 500 employees and the average company in this group has 10 employees (US Census Bureau).  This means that fewer than 28% of eligible small businesses were served in the first round of SBA funding, and those that were served were the largest companies in the range. This argument is supported anecdotally by the fact that companies like Ruth’s Chris, Potbelly and Fiesta Restaurant Group each received between $10 million and $20 million in PPP loans through JP Morgan.  Kapitus PPP Survey

This sequence of facts has been very frustrating to non-bank lenders such as Kapitus who are the only consistent source of financing available to most businesses with 10 or fewer employees.  We have been petitioning the SBA for a temporary license to allow us to lend the PPP product to our core client base (our average customer has 8 employees) since the program was announced.  Nearly two weeks into the program the SBA released an application for non-bank lenders, and we submitted our application within 12 hours of its being published.  Eleven days later we have heard nothing, although some of our larger competitors did receive temporary licenses just as the money in the first tranche was exhausted.

Undeterred, we are working with our clients to secure PPP loans in any way we can.  We have partnered with several community banks and non-bank lenders with SBA licenses to fund our clients and we are lining up additional capital to fund these loans ourselves when and if we are awarded a license.  In the meantime, we counsel or clients on their financing options and continue to provide innovative lending products as small businesses struggle to navigate the most challenging business environment any of us have ever seen.  America’s small businesses owners are some of the most creative and resilient leaders our country has.  We look forward to partnering with the SBA to offer small business owners the solutions they need to survive, rehire, rebuild and reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.

To receive the most recent updates on Paycheck Protection Program and other federal, state and local relief initiatives aimed at helping small businesses visit our COVID-19 Resource Center.

 


About the Author

About Kapitus - Ben Johnston

Ben joined Kapitus in 2014 as Chief Strategy Officer and became Chief Operating Officer in January 2017.  Prior to joining Kapitus, he was a Principal of Pine Brook Partners, a New York-based private equity firm where he invested in banks, insurance companies, asset managers and specialty finance companies.


Best Books for Small Business Owners Series: The Innovator’s Dilemma

As a small business owner, do you consider how exploring new ideas can lead to future success? If making time for continuous learning isn’t at the top of your priorities, you’re not alone. And we want to help. Reading or listening to business books can offer new perspectives and help you understand classic business lessons. So, follow our Monthly Must-Reads series! In this series, we share the best books for small business owners. We’ll save you time by helping you determine whether each book is worth your attention. For each featured book we:

  • Identify exactly which types of business owners will benefit from reading it
  • Summarize the main points
  • Share key take-aways and reader reviews

This month, we cover The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen. Check out the end of this article for our past must-reads.

Business Book:

The Innovator’s Dilemma, by Clayton M. Christensen

Focus:

To uncover two innovation types and to understand the purpose of and necessity for each of them.

Main Idea:

When companies disregard opportunities for disruptive innovation, they risk going into the shadows of more inventive start-ups.

Great for Small Business Owners Who:

Develop innovative solutions for niche markets, or have long-standing businesses and want to protect themselves from dissipating.

Synopsis:

The Innovator’s Dilemma identifies and explains two types of innovation: sustaining innovation and disruptive innovation. Sustaining innovation is the ongoing effort of listening to and improving from customer feedback. In this way, it satisfies customer’s current needs. Disruptive innovation helps companies evolve, to meet customers’ needs–often in an underserved market. Examples include the transition from digital to smartphone cameras, GPSs to navigation apps.

Christensen goes on to explain which types of companies typically focus on disruptive innovation and which ones lag behind—and why. He offers strategies for how both long-standing companies and new start-ups can successfully explore and benefit from disruptive innovation.

Key Take-Aways:

Large, well-resourced companies are more likely to ignore disruptive innovation and suffer because of it. They may not even notice niche markets. They might think that these markets aren’t offering enough rewards to compensate for the lack of credibility. These companies should continue their sustainable innovation efforts. They should also start paying attention to how niche markets want to use their products.

For start-ups and small businesses, disruptive innovation offers huge opportunities. They’re often first to market. Targeting small niche markets offers a more forgiving, cooperative and engaged customer base. Disruptive innovators don’t directly compete with larger, better-funded market leaders for customers. This means they have a higher chance of growing surprisingly quickly and unchecked.

Pursuing disruptive innovation can help companies take–or keep–their place as market leaders of the future.

Reviewers Say:

“Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma…remains one of the most important business leadership books on the market… The pace of technological innovation has increased drastically… [but] the foundational principles remain the same—when companies are doing everything right, they can still lose their position of leadership in the market. Companies are incentivized to act in accordance with what their customers want, and if they are not careful, that mentality can preclude them from taking advantage of disruptive opportunities that their current customers are not yet interested in. Christensen’s warnings should be heeded by leaders and managers at all levels of the organization…. I look forward to reading about how the Innovator’s Dilemma can be addressed in this age of near-constant innovation and rapid technological advancement.”

“I’ve been involved in innovation most of my career, and now wish I’d read this book much earlier. The simple but powerful thesis of the book is backed up by data and case studies from disparate industries. Like many business books it is a bit repetitive at the end… But the ideas and usefulness are five stars.”

Monthly Best Books for Small Business Owners:

August, 2019 – Blitzscaling

September, 2019 – The E-Myth Revisited

October, 2019 – Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

November, 2019 – Built to Last

December, 2019 – Multipliers

January, 2020 – Start with Why

February, 2020 – The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

[skyword_tracking /]


La simple corrección de puntaje de crédito que no está aprovechando

Un error o inexactitud en sus informes de crédito personales y / o comerciales puede arrastrar su puntaje de crédito hacia abajo. Eso es lo último que necesita si planea solicitar un financiamiento comercial. Un puntaje de crédito más bajo podría potencialmente resultar en una tasa más alta cuando pide prestado, o puede resultar en que se le niegue el crédito.

Afortunadamente, no tiene que quedarse atascado con el daño de la puntuación de crédito debido a un error. Aquí le indicamos cómo identificar y corregir errores de informes de crédito.

¿Qué cuenta como error?

Los errores de informe de crédito son elementos que se atribuyen erróneamente a su archivo de crédito. Estos pueden incluir:

  • Una cuenta de pago que todavía muestra un saldo pendiente.
  • Cuentas que no te pertenecen.
  • Cuentas con un historial de pagos positivo que se reportan incorrectamente como morosos

El historial de pagos constituye la mayor parte de su personal Puntaje de crédito FICO. Un retraso en el pago reportado por error puede eliminar puntos graves de su puntaje.

Puntuaciones de crédito empresarial, como la Puntaje Dun & Bradstreet PAYDEX, considera también la actividad de pago. Si un proveedor no informa correctamente una línea de crédito, eso también podría resultar en una calificación crediticia empresarial más baja.

Es importante entender la diferencia entre un error de informe de crédito y una marca despectiva. Las marcas derogatorias incluyen pagos atrasados o perdidos y cuentas de cobro; Siempre y cuando sean objetivamente correctos, no pueden ser disputados.

Revisar sus informes de crédito personales y comerciales con regularidad (una vez por trimestre, por ejemplo) puede garantizar que los errores no pasen desapercibidos.

Cómo disputar un error de informe de crédito

La Ley de informes crediticios justos describe un proceso específico para disputar errores de informes crediticios en informes personales. El primer paso es identificar qué oficina de informes de crédito (Equifax, Experian o TransUnion) informa el error. El segundo es presentar una disputa.

Las tres agencias de crédito le permiten iniciar disputas en línea, pero también puede enviar una carta de disputa por correo. Si está enviando una carta, asegúrese de incluir lo siguiente:

  • Tu nombre y direccion
  • La naturaleza del error que estás disputando.
  • Una copia de su informe de crédito con la información disputada resaltada o circulada
  • Cualquier documentación de respaldo que tenga que mostrar que el artículo que está disputando es incorrecto

El proceso de disputa por errores de informes de crédito empresarial es similar, con la diferencia clave de que las disputas deben iniciarse con las agencias de informes de crédito empresarial.

Una vez que envíe una solicitud de disputa, la agencia de informes de crédito tiene 30 días para investigar y verificar su reclamo. Debe notificarle los resultados de su investigación por escrito una vez que se haya completado. Si se determina que existe un error, el error debe corregirse o eliminarse de su archivo de crédito.

Qué hacer si no se elimina un error

En el caso de que una agencia de información crediticia determine incorrectamente que la información que está disputando es válida, hay una cosa más que puede probar: comunicarse con el acreedor o proveedor que informa la información y cuestionarla directamente.

Deberá proporcionar los mismos detalles de fondo sobre el error y lo que está disputando. Si el acreedor se da cuenta de que ha ocurrido un error, debe actualizar su archivo de crédito con información precisa. Tomar este paso adicional podría ayudarlo a corregir o eliminar el error, lo que aumentará su puntaje crediticio en el proceso.


Best Books for Small Business Owners Series: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Continuous learning is essential to business and career success. As a small business owner, do you make time to continue developing yourself, considering new ideas and how you might apply them to your business? This is likely a challenge. But, one way to fit learning into your schedule is by reading or listening to great business books; and we’d like to help. With our Monthly Must-Reads series, we share the best books for small business owners.

Not only do we find books helpful for small business owners, but we also aim to save you time. For each book, we share who will benefit from reading it, the book’s key take-aways, and even reader reviews, so you can quickly determine whether it’s worth your valuable time.

This month, we’ll cover The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. For a list of past Monthly Must-Reads, like January’s Start with Why, check out the bottom of this article.

Business Book:

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni

Focus:

How leaders can uncover and address issues that prevent their teams from collaborating and performing successfully.

Main Idea:

Fostering and leading a strong team takes more than a charismatic leader. It takes a leader who’s willing to do the hard work of uncovering and working through conflict, and a team that’s able to honestly identify and work through any issues that stand in the way of success.

Great for Small Business Owners Who:

Struggle with leadership, specifically creating cohesive, trusting teams

Synopsis:

EnThe Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Lencioni takes readers through a novel-style fable illustrating five common issues keeping teams from functioning at their highest potential. In his story, Kathryn is a fictional CEO hired to lead a team of rockstar executive leaders, who excel in their individual roles, but have trouble working together. The reader follows along as she guides the characters to overcome their political and interpersonal drama, all while discussing and addressing each type of dysfunction they exhibit.

After concluding the story, Lencioni outlines the concepts of each dysfunction with an pyramid illustration. He dives into each type of dysfunction, explaining how to recognize and address them. At the end, Lencioni offers a quiz that you and members of your team can take to understand your strengths and weaknesses within the pyramid.

Key Take-Aways:

Managing and working as a team not only takes discipline and communication, but also courage to overcome obstacles that can seem personal. The five dysfunctions teams often experience are:

  1. Absence of trust
  2. Fear of conflict
  3. Lack of commitment
  4. Avoidance of accountability
  5. Inattention to results

Reviewers Say:

“Lencioni shares simple truths about teams that should be more intuitively obvious to everyone. Yet, these things are very easy to grasp while being very difficult to actually practice … without practice. This book focuses on what prevents a good team from forming and describes what’s needed. His companion book [Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Field Guide for Leaders, Managers, and Facilitators] focuses on the implementation of these ideas but does not stand alone. If you only get one, get this one. The biggest problem I see is that both books are framed about C-level and top-level executive teams. Very few mid-managers would have the leverage and ability to implement all of these principles at lower levels of the organization. It’s definitely possible in some cases, but it would significantly more challenging. His principles are universally true, but his coaching is directed at executives.”

“A must-have in any manager’s toolkit. I have loved this book for awhile and regularly give it on loan. A perfect way to understand the people aspect of team and support managers through what is a common situation. Very cleverly written and full of tools to help get dysfunctional teams moving in a shared direction. Also good for some self-analysis as everyone will identify their own character.”

Monthly Must-Read Business Books:

August, 2019 – Blitzscaling

September, 2019 – The E-Myth Revisited

October, 2019 – Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

November, 2019 – Built to Last

December, 2019 – Multipliers

January, 2020 – Start with Why

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Joseph Hoelscher: Using Creative Marketing To Help Customers Avoid Your Services

If your marketing helps people avoid needing your products/services, it seems like you might be going in the wrong direction. After all, isn’t the whole point to land more customers? In the right situation, though, this counterintuitive approach can lead to terrific results. Joseph Hoelscher, a DWI lawyer and partner at Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda, built his marketing campaign on one key concept. They want to stop people from driving drunk so they don’t need services in the first place.

Finding a Legal Specialty

Hoelscher has been practicing law for about 14 years and specialized in DWI for several reasons. “I was good at it, it pays well and unfortunately it happens a lot. Anyone can accidentally have too much to drink.”

After working in this field, Hoelscher has seen plenty of the horrible results from DWI. “I’ve had vehicle manslaughter cases where the outcomes have been just horrific. Clients with serious injuries, losing their kids to CPS, and of course seeing the harm done to victims.”

Even though Hoelscher makes his living from DWI law, he longs to see the day when this is no longer an issue. If it meant him practicing another form of law, he’d do it.

Taking a Different Marketing Approach

Hoelscher felt uncomfortable with how the typical DWI firm handles marketing. “I’d see a lot of ads where the behavior seemed almost encouraged: hire us and you won’t get in-trouble.”

He wanted to try something different while potentially helping with this troubling issue. Hoelscher and his representatives attend events where people are partying and drinking, like San Antonio’s version of Mardi Gras, the Fiesta Festival.

At the event, they’d hand people cards with a code for a free Uber ride. “We’d put our info on the back along with a slogan, “we’d much rather you pay for an Uber than our retainer.” Hoelscher would also give these cards to parents at college events so they could pass along to their children.

Building Loyalty

Hoelscher said the response was overwhelmingly positive. “People would get a laugh and make sure to hold onto our cards.” He noted that humor was a good way to bring up the topic. “At these events, people are out to have a good time. We weren’t trying to judge them.”

Even though Hoelscher tried to cut down on DWI with the free rides, he’d still end up getting clients. “People would call, “ah I should have used your free ride.” Or they’d refer a friend, a family member who got in-trouble.”

Ultimately, Joseph Hoelscher finds clients by showing he cares and it shows how you can drive business by leveraging community engagement.

Seeing Cost-Effective Results

“We’ve also run radio, print, TV, and social media ads. The ROI was better on this targeted, personal outreach.” Hoelscher said they pick events where people are going to be drinking, their target audience, and that definitely helps their ROI versus print, radio and TV where they’re hitting a broader audience.

He also commented that his contrarian approach remains affordable. “We’ve had good success with social media, but the cost per lead had quadrupled over the past few years whereas the cost per lead is still the same for our rideshare campaign.” That’s another benefit of trying something unique, you aren’t fighting for resources with the competition.

Finally, he points out that the rideshare campaign helps get more out of his other marketing. “People take pictures of themselves getting into rideshares and link to our social media. When people see our other ads, they remember ‘oh that’s the guy who helped me avoid drinking and driving.'”

joseph hoelscher

Advice for Other Business Owners

If you’d like to try a similar campaign, Joseph Hoelscher says put yourself in the customer’s shoes. “Where are your customers coming from and what’s getting them in trouble?” In his case, he finds that people often drink and drive not on purpose, but because they didn’t plan on how to get home. His firm gives them that ride home they need.

When customers create problems for themselves, he recommends pointing out the issue, but doing so with humor. “If you engage in nonjudgmental outreach, people appreciate it. You aren’t trying to sell on fear.”

Above all, this style of marketing works. It shows customers you care about them. “I’ve had so many clients say they hired me because I was looking out before they had a problem, not like everyone else who only came knocking after they needed a lawyer.”

 

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Las empresas propiedad de mujeres más interesantes

Aquí está su lista de empresas propiedad de mujeres que han llamado nuestra atención.

Las mujeres en los negocios están cambiando el juego. Con empresas innovadoras en todos los ámbitos, las mujeres de hoy están enfrentando problemas y encontrando soluciones nuevas y únicas que mejoren el mundo que nos rodea. Desde las empresas de medios de comunicación hasta las corporaciones de energía, estas mujeres en negocios están actualizando la forma en que funciona nuestro mundo y nos desafían a todas a mejorar en el proceso. ¡Sigue leyendo para conocer algunas de las empresas propiedad de mujeres más interesantes y de más rápido crecimiento!

Hinchar

S'well fue fundada por Sarah Kauss en 2010. Su objetivo era ayudar a librar al mundo de las botellas plásticas de agua que obstruyen los vertederos y las vías fluviales. Con el objetivo de crear una botella de agua atractiva y ecológica, Sarah y su equipo se dispusieron a hacer su botella de agua moderna, moderna y funcional. Las botellas de agua de acero inoxidable de alta calidad y selladas al vacío sin BPA reducen el plástico de un solo uso en todo el mundo.

Lo que también la hace parte de las mujeres más interesantes en los negocios es que dirige una de las empresas de más rápido crecimiento en los Estados Unidos. Hinchar ha construido su base de fans a través de la promoción de boca en boca. La compañía también se asocia con UNICEF, (RED), American Forests y BCEF para devolver a las comunidades necesitadas, construir infraestructura y brindar educación sobre la importancia del agua limpia en todo el mundo.

Soluciones Xtreme

Fundada por Phyllis Newhouse, Xtreme Solutions es un proveedor de servicios y soluciones de TI. Los objetivos principales de la empresa son analizar los procesos de negocios y diseñar y aplicar sistemas y servicios de administración de información integrados y seguros. Soluciones Xtreme quiere ayudar a distribuir servicios y soluciones de TI y ciberseguridad de próxima generación para empresas de todos los tamaños en los sectores comercial, gubernamental y académico.

Newhouse duplicó los ingresos de su compañía en solo dos años. Una veterana discapacitada, no deja que ningún obstáculo o miedo la detenga, en la vida o en los negocios. El éxito de Xtreme Solutions se debe, en parte, a su negativa a quedarse estancada en el pasado. Promueve el cambio de marca de vez en cuando, lo cual es vital especialmente para una empresa de tecnología, y fomenta la comunicación, la disciplina y la motivación energética de sus trabajadores y sus clientes. Haciéndola una parte única de las mujeres más interesantes en el grupo empresarial.

CATMEDIA

Catherine Downey fundó CATMEDIA bajo el nombre de CATVIDEO en 1997, utilizando su experiencia en producción de televisión, medios y gestión de proyectos. Su objetivo era utilizar formas creativas para resolver los problemas de sus clientes mientras producía productos y servicios de calidad. CATMEDIA se enorgullece de su excepcional servicio al cliente, innovación e integridad.

En 2011, el nombre de la compañía cambió para incluir los servicios de expansión que ofrece la compañía. Se especializan en servicios creativos y producción de medios, gestión de programas, capacitación y gestión de recursos humanos. Downey construyó su compañía mientras cuidaba a su joven familia, y ahora trabaja muy duro para duplicar el cuidado que CATMEDIA brinda a sus clientes. El rápido ritmo de cambio en el mundo de hoy mantiene a los trabajadores de CATMEDIA en alerta, y ha dado sus frutos: CATMEDIA es un líder entre los contratistas de servicios gubernamentales, y ha estado dos veces en la lista Inc. 500 de las empresas privadas de más rápido crecimiento en los Estados Unidos.

Renogia

Un grupo de estudiantes de la Universidad Estatal de Louisiana inició la empresa de energía renovable. Renogia para vender productos solares en línea en 2010. Al principio, vendieron su limitada gama de productos en Amazon, eBay y otros proveedores similares. Hoy en día, venden paneles solares para hogares, empresas, vehículos recreativos y mucho más. Sus productos se fabrican con los más altos estándares de calidad y se venden al precio más bajo posible. También están diseñados para las necesidades individuales de cada cliente. También se ofrecen diagramas de cableado y soporte técnico para que todos los clientes estén informados y bien cuidados al usar los paneles solares Renogy.

Ahora que es una marca reconocida, Renogy ha ganado muchos premios, entre ellos, Mejor Emprendedora o Fundadora (Mujer) del Año en 2016. La fundadora y CEO, Yi Li, encabeza su equipo en la promoción de sus equipos solares para instaladores solares, desarrolladores y propietarios de viviendas.

Además, asegúrate de que mira a una mujer ¡Quién rompió con la tendencia de publicación y construyó una nueva marca de medios en solo 6 años!


7 razones El financiamiento basado en activos podría tener sentido para su compañía de rápido crecimiento

Las empresas de rápido crecimiento pueden tener problemas para financiar una expansión. Pero el financiamiento basado en activos puede ofrecer ventajas sobre los métodos más tradicionales de préstamo de dinero. Esto es lo que necesitas saber.

Cómo funciona la financiación basada en activos.

Imagine que está dirigiendo una empresa de indumentaria minorista y necesita efectivo para hacer crecer su negocio. En lugar de solicitar un préstamo basado en el historial crediticio de la empresa, en lugar de eso, puede solicitar un financiamiento garantizado por el inventario que posee. Los minoristas de ropa generalmente tienen niveles significativos de inventario (vestidos, jeans, etc.) que pueden usarse como garantía de préstamo.

Muchos minoristas también operan como mayoristas para empresas más pequeñas y, por lo general, tienen facturas pendientes de pago pendientes. Las empresas también pueden usar esas facturas para ayudar a financiar sus propias operaciones al contratar a un intermediario conocido como factor. El factor compra las facturas con un descuento a cambio de proporcionar efectivo inmediato.

Aquí hay siete razones para considerar el financiamiento basado en activos.

¿Cuáles son los beneficios de la financiación basada en activos?

Cuando se compara con las formas tradicionales de préstamo, el financiamiento basado en activos puede ofrecer una amplia gama de beneficios, desde menos restricciones hasta ahorros de costos y menos papeleo. Si bien no es la mejor opción para todas las empresas, tiene sentido incluirla como parte de su diligencia debida al seleccionar el mejor producto de financiamiento para su empresa.

Aquí hay siete razones para considerar el financiamiento basado en activos.

1. Costos potencialmente más bajos

Los préstamos basados en activos son préstamos garantizados. Y, por lo tanto, puede ser mucho más barato que los préstamos tradicionales, que generalmente se basan en el historial financiero de la compañía. Si un préstamo se basa únicamente en el historial crediticio de una empresa, se considera un préstamo no garantizado. Como tal, al prestatario se le cobrará una tasa de interés más alta. Esto se debe a que el banco puede estar asumiendo más riesgos cuando hace un préstamo sin garantía.

Las estructuras de préstamos asegurados y no garantizados son similares a los préstamos de consumo, ya que los préstamos hipotecarios pueden ser más económicos que las deudas de tarjetas de crédito. Con un préstamo hipotecario, si no paga su hipoteca, el banco puede recuperar su casa; sin embargo, con la deuda de la tarjeta de crédito no suele haber un depósito de seguridad que respalde el préstamo.

2. Menos papeleo

Si bien obtener un préstamo comercial tradicional puede requerir que documente el historial financiero de las operaciones de su empresa, un préstamo basado en activos probablemente no lo haría. En otras palabras, pedir prestado contra el valor de su inventario podría ser una forma más fácil para que una empresa más nueva obtenga financiamiento que tratando de obtener un préstamo tradicional.

3. Menos restricciones que los préstamos tradicionales.

Muchos préstamos tienen restricciones sobre cómo se utiliza el dinero del préstamo. Por ejemplo, un banco puede preguntarle por qué necesita un préstamo convencional (también conocido como préstamo a plazo porque se otorga por un período específico) y cómo piensa reembolsarlo. Si obtiene un préstamo a plazo y le dice al banco que quiere usarlo para remodelar sus tiendas minoristas, así es como el banco espera que use los ingresos. La buena noticia es que los préstamos basados en activos suelen tener menos restricciones de uso.

4. Condiciones de pago más flexibles

Eventualmente deberá devolver cualquier préstamo al prestamista. Sin embargo, no todos los préstamos son creados igualmente. Los préstamos basados en activos a menudo no requieren que el monto total del préstamo se pague de acuerdo con un calendario fijo, a menudo conocido como un calendario de amortización. Los pagos a plazo del préstamo (incluido el pago del saldo del capital) deben pagarse cada mes. Los préstamos basados en activos suelen tener condiciones de pago más flexibles, lo que permite a las empresas pagar la deuda en el momento más adecuado dado su flujo de efectivo. El resultado es potencialmente una mayor flexibilidad para las empresas que utilizan financiamiento basado en activos.

5. Hojas de balance simplificadas

Si obtiene un préstamo tradicional, el saldo adeudado aparecerá en su hoja de balance. Algunos fondos basados en activos no se registran de esa manera. Por ejemplo, si vendió sus facturas pendientes a un factor a cambio de efectivo inmediato, no habría saldo que mostrar en el balance de su empresa. Todo lo que debe hacer es anotar cómo gestionó esta transacción financiera en una nota a pie de página en los estados financieros. Esto se conoce como Financiamiento fuera de balance.

6. Una buena forma de financiar capital de trabajo.

Las compañías que experimentan un rápido crecimiento pueden tener dificultades para obtener capital de trabajo adicional a través de líneas de crédito revolventes. En el mismo sentido, a medida que aumenta la necesidad de capital de trabajo, su empresa puede tener mayores niveles de inventario y mayores facturas por parte de los clientes. Puede usar el inventario y facturas más grandes como garantía para financiar mayores necesidades de capital de trabajo.

¿Se siente más seguro de su negocio para comprar un préstamo? Antes de empezar a buscar debes entender ¿Qué factores afectan los términos de sus préstamos?.


5 razones clave para pronosticar su flujo de efectivo

Proyectar su flujo de efectivo puede ayudarlo a planificar para el futuro, evitar déficits inesperados e incluso calificar para un préstamo para pequeñas empresas.

Muchos propietarios de pequeñas empresas demasiado extendidos están cansados del análisis del flujo de efectivo. Los "análisis" de cualquier tipo suenan difíciles, y ¿quién tiene el tiempo o la energía para hacer proyecciones futuras? Más importante aún, ¿por qué molestarse en pronosticar su flujo de efectivo?

Tenga en cuenta que el pobre flujo de efectivo es La razón número uno por la cual las pequeñas empresas fracasan.. Un alarmante 82% de las empresas fracasan debido a problemas de flujo de efectivo. ¿Convencido de que no tiene que preocuparse porque su negocio es rentable? Piensa otra vez. Las compañías rentables fracasan todo el tiempo por la sencilla razón de que se quedan sin efectivo.

Más allá de mantener sus puertas abiertas, pronosticar su flujo de efectivo puede eliminar las conjeturas de a dónde se dirige. Tener una buena idea de su dirección puede ayudarlo a tomar decisiones comerciales más inteligentes. Un poco de planificación hace mucho, y no tiene que ser difícil.

Estos días, herramientas intuitivas en línea puede hacer el trabajo duro por usted, generando automáticamente proyecciones de flujo de efectivo basadas en sus transacciones pasadas y su historial financiero. No se requieren hojas de cálculo.

Existen innumerables beneficios al pronosticar su flujo de efectivo, desde evitar caídas en lo negativo hasta planificar para el crecimiento. Considere estas cinco formas en que las proyecciones de flujo de efectivo pueden mejorar su negocio.

Evitar los déficits

Un déficit inesperado puede ser paralizante, y puede tardar meses (si no más) en recuperarse. El flujo de efectivo negativo puede incrementarse si no realiza un seguimiento constante del efectivo que entra y sale. Afortunadamente, los déficits son a menudo evitables con un poco de previsión.

Projecting your cash flow will help you identify — and plan for — market swings, seasonal fluctuations and other business patterns that can lead to unpredictable cash flow. Forecasting can even help you visualize cash flow trends with the help of automatically generated charts and graphs.

Optimizar el tiempo de las cuentas por pagar y por cobrar

En un nivel más granular, muchos problemas de flujo de efectivo evitables a menudo son una cuestión de tiempo. El tiempo de demora significativo entre la facturación a sus clientes o el envío de productos y el pago puede causar una carga innecesaria en su flujo de efectivo.

Las proyecciones de flujo de efectivo que se basan en su historial financiero pueden ayudarlo a anticipar cuándo los clientes le pagarán. Esto le permite escalonar o ajustar de otra manera los pagos salientes a sus proveedores en consecuencia. A su vez, esto puede evitar que te sumerjas en el rojo. Y lo mantiene fuera de la incómoda posición de no poder pagar a sus proveedores o, lo que es peor, a sus empleados.

Demuestre que puede pagar el préstamo que solicitó

 Cuando solicita un préstamo para pequeñas empresas, los prestamistas analizarán su historial de flujo de efectivo en un intento de responder una pregunta principal: ¿Puede este prestatario devolver el préstamo que está solicitando?

Pedir un préstamo de cualquier monto sin mostrar su plan para devolverlo es una buena manera de aterrizar en la pila de rechazo. Esto es especialmente cierto si su flujo de efectivo actual no cubrirá claramente todos sus gastos operativos regulares, más el pago de su préstamo.

Si se encuentra en esta situación, las proyecciones de flujo de efectivo pueden ayudar a fortalecer su caso al mostrarle al prestamista exactamente cómo planea usar sus fondos para llegar a un lugar donde pueda realizar pagos de préstamos fácilmente. Este tipo de pronóstico le permite entregar una hoja de ruta que puede inculcar a un prestamista la confianza que necesita para aprobar su préstamo.

Anticipe el impacto de los próximos cambios

¿Su negocio planea comprar nuevos equipos? ¿Lanzar un nuevo producto? Las proyecciones de flujo de efectivo le permiten obtener una imagen completa del efecto dominó que estos tipos de cambios tendrán en su flujo de efectivo.

Cuando sus finanzas están sincronizadas con FinsyncLas proyecciones de flujos de efectivo se generan automáticamente en función de las facturas futuras, las facturas y la nómina. Luego, puede crear escenarios de "qué pasaría si", como comprar un equipo nuevo. El pronóstico le muestra cómo el costo afectará su balance final. También puede mostrar el aumento potencial de los ingresos generados por la nueva máquina.

Plan para el crecimiento futuro

De la misma manera, las proyecciones de flujo de efectivo pueden ayudarlo a planificar el crecimiento y expansión futuros. Ya sea que esté expandiendo su equipo con nuevos empleados y necesite tener en cuenta el aumento de los costos de nómina, o aumentar la producción para mantenerse al día con el aumento de las ventas, las proyecciones futuras lo ayudarán a ver exactamente a dónde se dirige y cómo llegará allí.

El pronóstico también es una excelente herramienta para establecer objetivos que lo ayudará a planificar los pasos financieros que su empresa necesita para alcanzar sus objetivos. Hay poder en las proyecciones de flujo de efectivo y la perspectiva que pueden proporcionarle a su negocio. Afortunadamente, esta ventaja competitiva viene con poco esfuerzo cuando deja el análisis a las sofisticadas herramientas en línea de hoy.

 

Post invitado por Finsync


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