Financial Management

Cost-cutting measures

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- Jhon Bradley, Graduate

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Cash flow management

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Simply put, alternative funding is gaining financing for your company outside of traditional bank loans to gain capital. Many of these alternative sources exist online, and you may consider pursuing this funding route if you’ve been turned down for loans in the past, have poor credit, or are unsure of how much funding you really need for your business. 

But understanding and navigating your alternative funding options can be complicated. To help you find the best funding to fit your needs, read on for the top 8 alternative financing options.

1. Traditional loans

While you may be familiar with and looking to steer clear of traditional bank loans, there are still more attractive options offered to gain capital from banks. SBA and small business lending funds, for example, act as alternatives to typical bank loans. 

These loans and funds are set aside specifically for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Typically, they also offer more attractive terms and less severe penalties which can be beneficial for startups that are just starting to navigate their financial needs. With these forms of loans, it is important that you have a solid business plan in place before applying. 


A grant is financial assistance awarded by the federal, state, or local government. It is a specific amount of money given to an applicant who shows a promising chance of success. 

Because grants are money being awarded rather than simply borrowed, they are much more competitive to receive. While they are difficult to acquire and oftentimes require specific circumstances, grants are incredibly valuable. If you’re pursuing a grant, government and SBA options are likely the most common but difficult routes to go. However, there are resources like NAV and the National Association for the Self-Employed that can help you discover more open options to help make a grant easier to acquire.


A recent emergence of financial technology lenders could serve as a beneficial alternative funding route. These lenders typically provide smaller loans, credit options, lower barriers to entry, and function solely online. 

Some notable options include Kabbage and PayPal, but the trick is to do your research. Each option has it’s own set of benefits and limitations, which can mean fewer funds available, being tied to a specific lender long-term or even higher interest rates. With fintech, companies can benefit from expanding their finance options, automated accounting, online payments, and more

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Debt reduction strategies

Building a successful and thriving business goes beyond gaining new consumers. Customer retention is also necessary. 

New customers are essential for business. But what’s the point of acquiring new consumers if you don’t know how to retain them?

The more loyal consumers you have, the faster you can achieve your business goals.

Companies that increase customer retention rates by as low as 5% increase their profits by 25-95%. So, how can you retain your existing consumers to grow your business? 

1. Focus on creating a positive customer experience

The customer’s service and experience during a purchase will determine whether they’ll continue supporting your business. Thus, ensure to provide excellent, efficient customer service.

User experience can make or break a website and your eCommerce store. 

It’s worthwhile to assess your website for various user experience aspects, including:

  • Usability 
  • Accessibility 
  • Value 
  • Usefulness 

Improvements you make to your website can vary from choosing clearer fonts and colors to improving website speed and search. 

2. Implement customer loyalty programs

Customer loyalty programs are also called retention programs because they are effectively used to increase purchase frequency. 

Create loyalty programs to encourage your consumers to make repeat purchases in exchange for rewards. You can start by directing them to create customer accounts. 

3. Stay in touch

Keeping in touch with your existing customers keeps you top of your mind. So constantly reach out to your consumers through email. 

Email is an effective tool for marketing and retention. Use it to build positive relationships with your customers.  

You can send outreach emails for special offers, product or service updates, birthday greetings, or just to say hello to your consumers.