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Turnover target increase of Preston firm after funding boost

Preston-based supplier of commercial catering and refrigeration equipment supplier Valera, has said it is aiming for sales of £10m over the next two years after securing a £2.5m funding package, including invoice finance.

The company, founded in the early 1990’s is a distributor for such corporate brands as Sanyo and Whirlpool and the products is supplies include items such as commercial microwave ovens, fat free fryers, and dishwashers.

The firms’ founder and managing director Pratap Gadhvi said the business was caught cold by currency fluctuations at the onset of the recession as stock that had been purchased in advance was left unsold.

However, he said that a finance package – which comprises a £1.6m cash flow facility and a £400,000 loan should provide it with the liquidity to take advantage of emerging opportunities.

“Our banking partner was largely unsupportive of our situation….” said Gadhvi as he explained that “More than 60 per cent of our business is done between April and September, so it was also important to ensure cash flow was boosted all year round.”

Gadhvi said Valera is on target up hit a turnover of £10m in 2013, which is up from the £8m it posted in its last full financial year to 30 September 2010. Pre-tax profit in that financial year was £83,000.

The Growing Business of Online Reputation Management

By Nick Bilton of The NewYork Times

Over the weekend I wrote an article for Sunday Styles about new Web services that deal with a new problem — online reputation management. These businesses have cropped up over the past few years to address one major negative aspect of our online world: As quickly as images, blog posts, commentary, status updates and photos are posted on the Web, they are replicated by algorithms and search engines, and dissipate like an airborne virus. The Internet is a permanent record of our past, and it never forgets anything posted online.

The new crop of services help people erase negative or unflattering content from the Web — sometimes put there by themselves, and in other instances, put there by someone else. They work with any number of clients, large and small. In the article, for example, I wrote about some of them: a physiologist whose name had been smeared online, celebrities, banker, lawyers, and college students who are trying to remove unwanted drunken party photos posted in their youth.

As I interviewed executives at a number of companies that offer these services, including Reputation.com and Metal Rabbit Media, I consistently heard warnings that this is only the beginning of a time where everyone will be forced to manage their image online.

“I believe that we are heading into an era where there will be the equivalent of a WikiLeaks moment for everyone,” said Michael Fertik, the chief executive of Reputation.com, which is based in Redwood City, Calif. “Every two weeks we find new and novel ways that people can be harmed on the Web.”

Mr. Fertik warned that the Web is changing so quickly, with new social services popping up almost daily, that it has become impossible for people to understand what they have shared online in the past, and if it can affect them negatively later. In most instances, he said, it will.

Mr. Fertik also warned that for many, even trying to stay off the Web and maintain a pristine persona online can be impossible. “Most of the harm doesn’t come from dumb stuff you’ve done yourself,” he said. “Someone could have taken a photograph of you, put it online, and tagged you in it and it’s there forever.”

Bryce Tom, founder of Metal Rabbit Media, equates online reputation to the modern day credit report, pointing out that Americans have had to learn to manage their credit cards and bills to maintain a good credit score. The Web, he said, contains the modern day version of inaccurate credit reports, and reputation managers will be the equivalent of companies that monitor or fix people’s credit.

This article was seen on the New York Times blogs at http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/

Toughening up credit rating agency rules

New rules for credit rating agencies should clarify their working methods, boost competition and reduce reliance on their ratings, said Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs on Wednesday, two months before the Commission is to table legislative proposals. MEPs also advocated creating a European credit rating foundation, and called for special attention to sovereign debt ratings.

The committee’s own-initiative resolution, drafted by Wolf Klinz (ALDE, DE), did not however find unanimous support. The Socialists chose to abstain, with a view to amending the resolution before Parliament as a whole votes on it. The key points of discord were to do with methods for rating sovereign debt and with the structure of the proposed European credit rating foundation (ECRaF).

The thorny issue of sovereign debt

The resolution refrains from significantly reducing the scope for private CRAs to rate sovereign debt, as had initially been advocated by the Socialists and the GUE/NGL group. It nonetheless calls for more light to be shed on how CRAs arrive at their sovereign ratings, and says they should explain their methodologies and why their ratings deviate from the forecasts of the main international financial institutions. The resolution also notes that ratings have tended to accentuate spreads and demands special consideration of this issue.

European Credit Rating Foundation

The other bone of contention was about what structure to propose to provide a European counterweight to the three largest CRAs, which are felt to be too dominant on the European scene. The resolution calls on the Commission to carry out a detailed impact and viability assessment for a fully-independent credit rating foundation, with funding from the financial services industry made available for the first five years at most. Left of centre groups would have preferred a public CRA with less detail about the agency’s sources of funding after the start-up period.

Reducing dependence

The resolution advocates a series of measures to reduce current dependence on a very few sources for credit ratings. These include increasing the use of internal credit ratings, particularly by large financial institutions with the capacity to carry out their own risk assessments, and boosting competition. Market participants who are unable to carry out risk analyses in house should not be able to invest in structured products, or else should be able to do so only at the highest risk weighting, the resolution proposes.

To boost competition, the resolution calls on the Commission to assess possibilities for establishing a European network of CRAs, which, it says, would allow smaller agencies to compete with the “big 3″. The resolution adds however that attention must be paid to ensuring that increased competition does not lead to reduced quality of ratings or “rating shopping”.

Liability

he resolution also looks at ways to hold CRAs to account for the advice that they give. Most importantly, the committee text calls on the Commission to identify ways in which CRAs can be held liable under Member States’ civil law.

The resolution also suggests that all registered CRAs should assess the accuracy of their past credit ratings and make these assessments available to supervisors, and that the European Markets and Securities Authority (ESMA) should be empowered to conduct unannounced checks on these assessments.

Enhancing transparency

The resolution suggests various ways shed light on how CRAs arrive at their opinions and suggests that further documentation should be provided to supervisors. It also asks the Commission to look further into the benefits of requiring the use of two obligatory ratings, the more conservative of which would serve for regulatory oversight. This would give investors a clearer idea of the real situation of the investment instrument, it says.

Source - EU News

The www.creditman.co.uk website contains the latest news from the credit industry and has news and features on: commercial debt recovery, invoice finance, business recovery, debt purchase, credit insurance, outsourced credit control and many other debt and credit related sectors.

Anniversary for Liverpool Debt Recovery firm CCDR

The start of March 2011 sees the first anniversary of the website launch for Liverpool based Commercial Debt Collection and Commercial Debt Recovery Specialist CCDR (Corporate Credit Debt Recovery) and also marks the recent move to Liverpool‘s marquee office building, Horton House which is part of the landmark Exchange Flags, in the heart of Liverpool’s business district.

Home to Brabners Chaffe Street solicitors, Regus, Deloitte, Knight Frank and The Ministry of Defence, the prestigious Exchange Flags is the perfect location for CCDR to see out its impressive first year in operation.

Managing Director Alan Thompson “CCDR has seen tremendous growth in 2010 and all signs are pointing towards a healthy and sustained level of high growth during the remainder of 2011 and beyond”

The firm, from its Liverpool head office, CCDR offers business ranging from SME’s to multinational banks a range of services including: Outsourced Credit Control, Debtor Tracing and Debt Mediation through to Commercial Debt Recovery and Debt Collection.

For more information on CCDR, Debt Recovery Liverpool or to enquire about any other services from this Liverpool Debt Recovery specialist, call 0151 244 5444.

Online reputation management sector on the rise

The launch of a new start-up called Applicatr highlights the rise in online reputation management as a business sector, according to tech industry figures.

Applicatr is a web application that provides an effective way to review resumes, applications and interviews, and collate the feedback for the benefit of the employer.

Applicatr co-founder Dominik Grabiec says he and his business partner drew inspiration from the hiring processes at their day jobs, developing ways in which to improve them.

Verifying potential staff via the internet is a growth industry in Australia, says Foad Fadaghi, managing director of market research and analyst firm Telsyte, who says that online reputation management is a relatively new concept but one that was “born out of necessity”.

Online reputation management services are typically for people who have held senior roles, such as managers or CEOs, who may have left [their previous position] under a cloud or surrounded by media hysteria,” Fadaghi says.

“Some of these services can be quite helpful when it comes to media allegations or speculation, particularly in the blogosphere where the content is often less ethical than journalists’ [content].”

Online reputation management means manipulating Google searches that could return damaging news stories, social media posts and forum reviews relating to an individual.

Techniques include using positive key words associated with the individual or generating positive media releases on their behalf.

Google search rankings are based on a combination of most visited sites and the most trusted or authentic sites, which means highly valued, authoritative websites – such as news or government sites – are harder to push down the ranks.

James Griffin, a partner at social media monitoring agency SR7, says the best way to combat negative content is to put up some positive content.

Dan Petrovic, director of SEO service provider Dejan SEO, says apart from bad reviews and forum complaints, Google news results and auto-suggestions represent two of the biggest online threats.

“Much worse than any mention on a website is when Google thinks you’re a dodgy operator. Someone starts typing ‘Bob Smith’ and Google’s auto-complete starts suggesting ‘Bob Smith scammer’,” he says.

Petrovic says online reputation management services can cost up to $50,000 depending on the extent of the negative information. According to Fadaghi, there is not a lot employers can do to separate “authentic” content from paid content when doing a search on a prospective employee.

He says businesses should conduct proper reference checks on prospective employees rather than rely on online content as a true indication of a person’s history.

Article sourced from www.startupsmart.com.au

TheBiggestClearance.com going global

TheBiggestClearance.com now finally announces going global. After the previous success of the European B2B marketplace and the online platform for trading wholesale clearance, overstock, surplus and liquidation, The Biggest Clearance started working on its worldwide version.

Based on customer demands, the Marketplace is now officially ready and features more wholesale suppliers, sellers and buyers from all over the world.

The service allows wholesalers, manufacturers, retailers and liquidators to easily trade and sell their excess stock, overstocks, clearance stock and liquidations worldwide and find wholesale buyers now on a much larger scale.

Overstock, excess stock, bankrupt stock, liquidated stock, surplus stock, customer returns, out of season stock, you name it, this might be a common issue but also a costly problem for several wholesale and retail businesses, suppliers or even manufacturers.

Most companies from time to time end up with overstocks, surplus goods, liquidated goods and excess stock lots. Stock Clearance is a process by which companies free up the valuable money and space. Reasons leading to stock clearance could be cancelled orders or late deliveries, closing down of the businesses, bankruptcy, over-production, customer returns, refurbished stock etc.

This stock literally means dead cash that is taking up much needed space in the warehouse and is mostly losing its market value, being literally a nightmare to many entrepreneurs. The stock needs to be cleared out and find its buyer.

“So how to turn the warehouse leftovers back to cash?” The answer to this question might be simpler then we’d actually think.

The Biggest Clearance - TheBiggestClearance.com, as its name already suggests, has a lot to offer.

The online B2B e-marketplace is really the biggest clearance as it features the latest liquidation sales, clearance stock offers, overstock, closeouts, excess stock and wholesale deals from many major sellers, wholesale suppliers, liquidators, retailers and manufacturers.

“We came up with a solution to this problem and give the entrepreneurs and businesses an online space and trading network to actively turn their surplus into cash, find buyers for their surplus stock and make new business contacts. For many business, this could completely open up bigger doors to many new business opportunities and relations,” explains Eric Randolf, Managing Director and CEO of the company.

“By spreading our service all over the world, sellers and suppliers can now easily market their overstocks globally and find a potential buyer much faster and sell their excess stock thanks to our constantly growing network and its buying power.”

The Biggest Clearance launched back in 2008, in the time of the biggest economic crisis, working closely with manufacturers, liquidators, bankrupted businesses, wholesalers, distributors and retailers to help them deal with and sell their bankrupt stock and merchandise of almost any kind and description that won’t or couldn’t be sold through the regular retail channels.

“We had as many daily enquiries as the sea has fish,” commented Randolf.

These included merchandise from inventory overruns, closeouts, clearances or packaging changes as well as goods from bankruptcies, stock liquidations, receiverships and insurance claims. However a great percentage of the goods sold still came from healthy manufacturers and retailers who occasionally need help clearing overstock and excess stock inventories.

After a massive demand from many frustrated suppliers trying to get rid of their overstock, the company came up with the idea of going online, accessing more wholesale sources and suppliers and obviously more buyers.

The company launched its first online Marketplace in 2009 - TheBiggestClearance.eu. The Marketplace was firstly dedicated only to European Union countries and EU markets for the free trade of goods and was soon adopted by many European businesses to help them clear out their warehouses. Due to the unexpected success, 2 years later in 2011, the e-marketplace expanded to the whole world.

Today The Biggest Clearance Markeplace offers a great source of daily wholesale deals worldwide. The number of suppliers selling their stock and the demand from the buyers is constantly growing.
“We managed to establish a rich network of buyers searching the website every day for the new wholesale deals and sellers keeping the website busy with new surplus stock offers that are up for the sale,” commented Eric Randolf.

The Biggest Clearance really is the biggest clearance and a powerful platform filled up with great daily wholesale deals and offers from a wide selection of categories that cannot be missed and are attracting thousands of potential buyers in a single day.

The above press release was first seen on the Business Credit News website. Please feel free to visit The Biggest Clearance at http://www.thebiggestclearance.com

One other option to get the value out of your unsold stock is to raise other small business finance against its value with inventory finance, which are usually provided through invoice finance brokers.