Cash Flow Problems? Here Are Some Alternatives

When you’re suffering with cash flow problems and consider alternative finance for your business, there are a few options available. It mostly depends on what the money is needed for, the size, type and life stage of your company,  your (and your company’s) credit rating, and how much you need. Do you know which form of alternative business finance is right for you?

Business Loan –

A quick business loan could help when you need:

       A flexible and quick solution that can be repaid in convenient, fixed installments.

       A cash injection to:

o   Buy new equipment

o   Buy new machinery

o   Buy company vehicles

o   Fund a marketing campaign

o   Fund seasonal fluctuations in trade

Certain quick-loan companies can provide different amounts for different needs, offering fixed rates and flexible loan terms.   Be careful here – some online lenders are not so scrupulous.  You’ll do better with a local banker you can trust.

Peer to peer lending –

Peer to peer lending could help when you:

       Need to fund a specific project

       Have more time on your side – you can’t get money in your bank within 24 hours

       Are not worries about flexibility – more people are involved and terms are rigid in terms of extending

       Have been in business for at least 2 years

If you are suffering cash flow problems, peer to peer lending may incur higher interest rates.

Asset-based lending –

Asset-based lending could help when you:

       Can fund expansion based on your current assets

       Need to grow your current business

       Need to purchase new/additional property

       Need finance for exporting or importing

Some companies will provide funding in situations where you are struggling to gain business finances from your bank. They can take a different view on longer-term asset-based finance and look past short-term cash flow problems to consider overall business viability when lending.

Invoice financing or Factoring –

Invoice finance could help when you need:

       Quicker access to cash then your payment terms allow for

       To borrow more than a traditional overdraft would offer as a safety net to cover fluctuations in payment

Some companies allow you to borrow up to 85% of your invoice value immediately, releasing cash that you are awaiting to aid your every-day working capital.

Have questions? Feel free to email me at judi.otton@growth-cast.com

 

Business Budgeting 101

Just because you’ve opened a business, doesn’t mean you necessarily know everything you need to about how to run it, especially the financial aspects. No one teaches this!  Unless you have a finance degree, I bet no one ever taught you how to read a cash flow statement or create (and manage) a budget. Many companies tend to fail within the first five years, mostly due to poor financial planning and budgeting. Being able to understand estimates and match expenses to revenue is important because it helps business owners determine if they have enough funds to operate their business. Without a budget and plan, a company runs the risk of spending more than it’s earning.

 

Here are some steps to build a better business budget.

  1. Check Industry Benchmarks

Not all industries are alike, but there are some comparisons. Google benchmarks for your industry to see what’s out there.  It’s important to do some research about your industry, learn what other businesses are doing, and checking the IRS website to get an idea of what percentage of revenue coming in would most likely be allocated toward cost groupings. Small businesses can be volatile as they are more susceptible to a slow economic turn.

  1. Make a Spreadsheet

I love spreadsheets! Create a spreadsheet to estimate what total dollar amount and percentage of your revenue you’ll have to put toward raw material and other costs.  Do the same with rent, taxes, insurance, etc.  On your first draft, put in everything you can think of, you can always cut back.  If you need a great template to start, I have one – email me at judi.otton@growth-cast.com to get my template.

  1. Factor in Slack

Although you may factor a specific revenue or rate of income, remember to estimate certain expenses that can’t be controlled or aren’t set in stone – like emergencies with equipment or liabilities.

  1. Look at where you can Cut Costs

If money is tight, finances must be found somewhere to pay bills. If needed, consider cutting some costs. Another way to save money is to wait to make purchases until the start of a new billing cycle. With some careful maneuvering, you can create some breathing room.

  1. Review the Business Periodically

While many businesses draft a budget yearly, owners should do it more often. Things change rapidly in the life of a small business owner.  You need to be reviewing your budget at least monthly.  First to compare your actual results to the plan, and second to make any necessary adjustments.

  1. Shop Around for Services/Suppliers

Don’t be afraid to shop around for new suppliers, negotiate contracts on renewal, or to save money with other services being performed for your business. This can be done at many different stages of your business, including annually or during periodic reviews.

The Bottom Line

Budgeting is an easy, but essential process for business owners to forecast their future and current revenue expenses. The end goal is to make sure that there’s enough money to keep the business up and running – and ready to grow.

 

Need further help with preparing a budget for your business? I’m just an email away – judi.otton@growth-cast.com.

True Cost of Social Media ROI

 

When considering social media marketing for your business, there are two factors you should know: Cost and ROI (Return On Investment). I’ve heard some business owners comment that since Facebook and LinkedIn is free, why should there be a cost, but they don’t consider the time and efforts in  content writing and posting? Others may say that social media is only an option in marketing and not measurable. Of course with any investment you put into your business, there is risk. Understanding Social Media ROI really depends of your company and overall goals.

 

What are your goals?

It’s important to include a marketing plan and goals for any advertising or marketing strategy you create. Is your overall goal to increase followers? Are you looking to sell more product? Increase traffic to your website? To determine social media ROI, it gets down how much you’re currently spending and how much your social media impact matters to your business. This is where you have to make some decisions for your company – for example, one company may spend their money on more traditional forms of advertising, such as print or TV. It could be difficult for a company to switch from traditional marketing to social media. However, social media ad spending may actually get more results in the long run, as they’ve recently surpassed TV ad spending.

 

Tracking ROI

Before you start measuring your social media activities, here is a recommended list to follow:

  • Record website analytics – this could be visitors, referral links, SEO rankings, etc.
  • Track customer satisfaction – take a look at the referrals and recommendations from Facebook, LinkedIn or Google My Business.
  • Make a note of KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) – what is the cost for customer acquisition, advertising, allocation (what’s this?), average sales per month, etc.? You should pay attention to these changes over time.
  • Pay attention for your current social media profiles – watch any changes with the number of connections you have on LinkedIn, Facebook likes and Instagram followers. Don’t forget about who’s subscribing to your newsletters and reading your blogs.

 

Understanding ROI

It’s crazy to think that many companies don’t know how much they’re actually spending on social media. Take a look at which social media channel is bringing your company the most revenue right now and why. Also look at areas where you can improve. By monitoring these changes, you can move forward with a better game plan and hopefully see more revenue.

 

If you’re not sure which channel is right for you, try and experiment with different platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. A restaurant for example might be benefit better from Instagram – customers will react and engage with beautiful photos of yummy dishes and the inviting ambiance. A mid-size consulting firm may do better having it presence focused on LinkedIn, where they can interact with potential clients and engage in conversation within the industry.

 

Social Media Campaigns

Again, one you define your goals (followers, sales, likes, foot traffic), it will be easier to measure your social media performance. It’s important to remember not to hit every platform at once – this can get time consuming and overwhelming.

After defining your goal, budget and a proposed plan – what would be the best ROI for you? Maybe set a company goal of having 10,000 visitors visit your website. You can then measure using Google My Business and Google Analytics how long someone spent on your site, what they clicked and did it turn into a phone call? Which then turns into a sale.

The impact of your social media campaign should be measurable from the beginning with the value of each link trackable. This will make it easier to see which links are building traffic and promoting engagement.

Although it may take some time and patience to see your ROI add up, there are other factors that can help enhance your social media presence. If you decide you hire a marketing company, make sure you go over your overall social media goals, analytics and that you’re on track for ROI.

Have more questions about fitting social media into your budget? Contact me at judi.otton@growth-cast.com.

Sales Forecasting – How am I supposed to figure out how much I’m going to sell in the future?

One constant challenge I hear from small business owners is that they can’t forecast their sales.  After all, how on earth are they supposed to know what’s going to happen in the future?  I have two answers to this.  1) you won’t get it perfect, but that’s still not a good reason not to make your best guess and 2) you have more information than you think.

Why should I forecast?

First let’s talk about why this is important.  You’re making decisions all the time about the future of your company.  Decisions about staffing (when and who), inventory purchases, equipment, location, promotions/marketing, and so much more are all based on assumptions about the future.  What if you had a little bit better insight into what’s likely to come?  Wouldn’t that help you make better decisions?  Of course, it would!

How do I create a forecast?

So how do we forecast?  If you have history, that’s a great place to start.  What did you sell this time last year?  Pay attention to any seasonal cycles.  If you’re a landscaper, winter is not going to be great for you.  If you own a restaurant, January may be slow. If you don’t have history, start slow, start conservative.  You may wish to sell a big number in your second month in business, but that’s not likely.  Start small and increase as you have greater success.  This will prevent you from outspending your income.

You likely have a pipeline – people or organizations that have expressed interest in your product or service.  At each successive stage of your sales cycle, your likeliness of gaining a new customer increases.  For example, you may close 25% of your leads, but 85% when you’ve gotten to the point of providing an estimate.  This can all be figured out from your sales history – if you’re keeping track.

You have goals and new initiatives.  Your business is not standing still.  You’re constantly improving, learning and growing.  If you’re launching a new marketing initiative, for example, what kind of increase in sales are you hoping for?  Take that into account as you’re creating your forecast.  Are you launching a new product or service?  How many of your existing clients can you sell it to?  When launching a new line of business, take into account the advice I offered about to new business owners – start small and increase as you see results.  You should also forecast your new line of business separately, so you can see if you’re meeting your expectations and adjust where necessary.

How do I use my forecast?

First of all, this is not a ‘one and done’ exercise.  Create a 12-month rolling forecast and update it at least once a month.  Include this as part of your financial checklist.  (you do have a financial checklist, don’t you?  If not, grab mine here (https://growth-cast.com/free-financial-checklist/).

Use your forecast to monitor the health of your business.  This is an important tool.  The financials that you get out of your accounting system tell you what happened in the past.  Your forecast tells you what to expect for the future!

If your forecast isn’t what you’d like, make changes.  If you need to beef up your sales or marketing, best to know that in advance, then wait until you have no customers.  If you’re going to need more staff, start looking now and that will keep you from having to ‘settle’ for whomever shows up when you’re busy and desperate.  If you’re going to need additional working capitol to fund all of your new orders or jobs, get that line of credit or other financing source in place now, so that it’s ready when you need it.

Having an up to date forecast is one of the few tools that helps you see forward as your navigating your business growth.  And seeing where your going makes for MUCH smoother sailing.

If you need help with this, feel free to schedule some time with me here: (http://growth-cast.com/book-me )

Cash Flow Challenge

We all know that in order to grow, you’ve got to spend money. The challenge is, where do you get it from?

If you think you’re ready to grow, think again. The signs may have been positive lately: revenues are up, you’re selling more services, and work in coming in faster than you know what to do with. Maybe it’s time to grow your team with new hires, or even increase your marketing budget. Whatever you decide, you want to make sure the foundations of your business are solid enough for the increase.

Growing isn’t just about increasing revenues but increasing capacity as well, all while maintaining the quality of service your customers expect. Neglecting the fact that you’ll need to know where you stand financially and if you can handle the increase, has previously destroyed countless businesses before. Businesses have overspent on marketing and hiring, without knowing how to boost revenue – soon to run out of money.  Conversely, businesses that take on more business than they can handle often implode.

So, what’s the best plan to grow without access to more capital? Draw up a growth plan and fund it from inside your own business. Whatever you do, don’t max out your credit cards. Start looking for money any place you can.

One way is by factoring. Factoring is when a bank or finance company pays you for the invoices that you’ve already sent out. These invoices should have a return of 60 to 90 days, which at that time this particular factoring company can pay you a decent number of cents on the dollar. To find a company that’s right for you, research institutions that advertise in your industry’s trade magazines, that way you know that they’re familiar with your market.

Another way to get access to cash is to get an asset-based loan using inventory as collateral. A lender may find that your raw materials are more valuable, and lend you money against it. You can use the money to fund the production, using the proceeds from the finished product to pay off the loan. An unsecured loan, such as a Personal Line of Credit is also an option, but make sure you can repay what you’re taking out.

Depending on the type of business you have, you can optimize your liquidity in different ways. Such as persuading retailers to purchase your inventory up front at a discount, instead of paying you when they sell. You could even create an arrangement where a supplier only gets paid once you’ve been paid by your customers or retailers.

A different approach would be to see how your high-quality product can be manufactured at a fraction of the cost – that way it can be sold at a better margin. The relationship you build with your supplier can eventually give you better leverage to negotiate better terms in the long run.

In the end, it’s all about making sure every dollar you spend contributes to you becoming profitable. Nothing is more exhilarating than growing a successful business from scratch – wouldn’t you agree? You have to remember though that growing a successful business can take a lot longer than expected, and cost way more than you plan.

Ready to have a conversation? Email me at judi.otton@growth-cast.com

How to Sustain Long-Term Business Growth

Business Growth

For your business to sustain long-term growth, you must understand what sets it apart from the competition. Identify why customers come to you with a product or service. What makes you relevant, differentiated and credible?  Figure out what special benefit only you can provide.  It is important to identify your ideal customer and continue to check in with this audience as you adjust the business to stimulate growth.  Changes must be measurable. If you’re unable to measure a change, you have no way of knowing whether it’s effective. Identify which key indicators affect the growth of your business, then dedicate time and money to those areas. Identify the potential for new revenue streams and determine if they are sustainable in the long run.

Look toward similar businesses that are growing in new, unique ways.  Your competition is likely excelling at something that your company may be struggling with.   Consider why your competitors have made alternate choices.  Focusing on your strengths, rather than trying to improve weaknesses often helps to establish growth strategies.  Making strategic decisions based on someone else’s successes won’t guarantee sustainable growth but it could help initiate a plan to resolve business inefficiencies, refine strengths and better suit your customers.

An important factor in business is the hiring of good people and trusting them.  Allow your employees to do their jobs and facilitate growth while you spend more time thinking about your strategic focus and opportunities.  Don’t forget your existing clients.  They could be your best path to expansion success. It’s usually much easier to find new business from current clients than to start with fresh ones.  Inquire with existing clients about how you can be even better.  Whatever you focus on as a growth opportunity, be sure it’s the right path for your business.  Don’t expand into new business areas just because you can.  Growth will not always bring a more profitable situation.  Be sure new business offers the same margins as you currently enjoy and helps you differentiate yourself from the competition.

Commit time to outlining a plan for your growth.  Outline a clear picture of your business’s current strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.  This should include a vision for where you want your company to be in the next three to five years.  Initiate an action plan to achieve your vision.  Your growth plan could be anything from a rough, informal sketch to a full-blown, highly detailed strategic plan, including everything from a mission statement to scenario planning and financial forecasts.

When it comes to an initial business plan, sometimes the simpler, the better. Even a short planned, disciplined approach to growth, will likely prevent easily avoided mistakes.  Solid business plans don’t guarantee success.  A well-written business plan attempts to organize qualitative and quantitative information in a way that guides decision making processes during conditions of uncertainty.  A solid plan should be used as a communication, negotiation and persuasion tool.  It should provide decision makers with enough insights to assist them in deciding the viability and feasibility of new ideas, strategies and initiatives.

Budgeting Your Business Finances

I know I talk about budgeting a lot.  That’s because it’s important!  First, let me distinguish between two different terms – budgeting and forecasting.  Budgeting is planning the use of your financial resources month to month.  Forecasting uses historical data, comparing it to the budget, and making predictions for the future.  Both are very important to a healthy, growing business.

A budget is a tool used for planning and controlling your financial resources.  It is a guideline for your future plan of action, expressed in financial terms within a set period.  The budget must be flexible enough to anticipate that conditions might change – because they will!  Developing a budget can inform pricing, what inventory you will need, and the size of your staff required to run your operation efficiently.  Buyers and purchasing managers can utilize forecasting based on the budget to time their purchases for lower prices.  Budgeting and forecasting are also helpful for predicting sales and usage volume. It helps the managers know when to increase or decrease the workforce.  Management can also use forecasting to predict market changes that may affect their operation.

Creating, monitoring and managing a budget is key to business success. It should help you allocate resources where they are needed so that your business remains profitable and successful.  Determine projected sales for the budget period.  Be realistic more than optimistic; if you overestimate, it could lead to problems in the future.

Successful businesses often have a rolling budget, so that they are continually budgeting, e.g., for the coming twelve months.  If you invest some time in creating a comprehensive and realistic budget, it will be easier to manage and ultimately more effective.  Collect historical information on sales and costs if they are available – these could give you a good indication of likely future sales and costs. It’s also essential to consider what your sales plans are, how your sales resources will be used, any other new initiatives, and any changes in the competitive environment.

It’s best to ask staff with financial responsibilities in your company to provide you with estimates of figures for your budget – for example, sales targets, production costs or specific project control. If you balance their estimates against your own, you will achieve a more realistic budget. This involvement will also give them a greater commitment to meeting the budget.  Many small businesses have one overall operating budget which sets out how much money is needed to run the business over the coming period – usually a year.  As your business grows, your total operating budget is likely to be made up of several individual budgets such as your marketing or sales budgets.

Your cash budget projects your future cash position usually on a month-by-month basis.  Budgeting in this way is vital for small businesses as it can pinpoint any difficulties you might have in the future.  It should be reviewed at least monthly.  Sales or revenue budgets & forecasts are typically based on a combination of your sales history and how effective you expect your future efforts to be.  Using your sales and expenditure forecasts, you can prepare projected profits for the next 12 months. This will enable you to analyze your margins and other key ratios such as your return on investment.

Your budget can serve as a way of providing information and supporting management decisions throughout the year.  Comparing your budget year over year can be an excellent way of benchmarking your business’ performance – you can compare your projected figures with previous years to measure your performance.  You can also compare your figures for projected margins and growth with those of other companies in the same sector, or across different parts of your business, called benchmarking

To use your budgets effectively, you will need to review and revise them frequently. This is particularly true if your business is growing and you are planning to move into new areas.  Using up to date budgets enables you to track your progress, while remaining flexible and lets you manage your cash flow and identify what needs to be achieved in the next budgeting period.

Email me at judi.otton@growth-cast.com to learn more.

Cash Flow Challenge

We all know that in order to grow, you’ve got to spend money. The challenge is, where do you get it from?

If you think you’re ready to grow, think again. The signs may have been positive lately: revenues are up, you’re selling more services, and work in coming in faster than you know what to do with. Maybe it’s time to grow your team with new hires, or even increase your marketing budget. Whatever you decide, you want to make sure the foundations of your business are solid enough for the increase.

Growing isn’t just about increasing revenues but increasing capacity as well, all while maintaining the quality of service your customers expect. Neglecting the fact that you’ll need to know where you stand financially and if you can handle the increase, has previously destroyed countless businesses before. Businesses have overspent on marketing and hiring, without knowing how to boost revenue – soon to run out of money.  Conversely, businesses that take on more business than they can handle often implode.

So, what’s the best plan to grow without access to more capital? Draw up a growth plan and fund it from inside your own business. Whatever you do, don’t max out your credit cards. Start looking for money any place you can.

One way is by factoring. Factoring is when a bank or finance company pays you for the invoices that you’ve already sent out. These invoices should have a return of 60 to 90 days, which at that time this particular factoring company can pay you a decent number of cents on the dollar. To find a company that’s right for you, research institutions that advertise in your industry’s trade magazines, that way you know that they’re familiar with your market.

Another way to get access to cash is to get an asset-based loan using inventory as collateral. A lender may find that your raw materials are more valuable, and lend you money against it. You can use the money to fund the production, using the proceeds from the finished product to pay off the loan. An unsecured loan, such as a Personal Line of Credit is also an option, but make sure you can repay what you’re taking out.

Depending on the type of business you have, you can optimize your liquidity in different ways. Such as persuading retailers to purchase your inventory up front at a discount, instead of paying you when they sell. You could even create an arrangement where a supplier only gets paid once you’ve been paid by your customers or retailers.

A different approach would be to see how your high-quality product can be manufactured at a fraction of the cost – that way it can be sold at a better margin. The relationship you build with your supplier can eventually give you better leverage to negotiate better terms in the long run.

In the end, it’s all about making sure every dollar you spend contributes to you becoming profitable. Nothing is more exhilarating than growing a successful business from scratch – wouldn’t you agree? You have to remember though that growing a successful business can take a lot longer than expected, and cost way more than you plan.

Ready to have a conversation? Email me at judi.otton@growth-cast.com.

Budgeting for SEO – with Guest Blogger Sharon Arena

By Guest Blogger: Sharon Arena of Salty Red Dog Marketing, LLC

Running a small business is not easy.  Most small businesses have limited resources and extremely tight budgets, especially when it comes to sales and marketing.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is best defined as the process by which the visibility of your website can be improved within search engines. This means that your website will be more visible on the first few pages on Google or Yahoo, rather than lost in the back.

Some business owners don’t have the budget to spend on web design or an SEO organization, so often they try to do it themselves or.  Expensive SEO does not necessarily mean better, but it should at least indicate a level of care and quality.  Starting off with a small SEO budget could make it more expensive in the long run.  Regardless of the cost of SEO, services for organic searches typically do not yield immediate results.  The time frame for getting results depends on variables such as competition, budget, the demand for product or service and of course the search engines.  Sometimes due to the uncertainty of the outcome, many businesses will try to minimize their risk by allotting small amounts of money from their budget, and not understand the services they are paying for.

Setting up SEO isn’t a one-time event. Search-engine algorithms change constantly to regular research and knowledge is required. As much as we’d like to see instant gratification with our hard work, results often take months to be seen – especially if you’re newer to doing business online. When starting an SEO plan, make sure you have clearly defined goals for your SEO efforts. You’ll need web analytic software in place so you can keep track of what’s working and what’s not. If you decide to pay for an SEO company, make sure you ask a lot of questions. Ask what kind of tactics they use. Ask what are the risks involved?

If you are paying for SEO then the goal should be to see an increase in returns, not just rankings.  Just keep things in perspective – spending a few hundred dollars a month and expecting major results is probably not realistic.  Essentially, when paying for SEO you are paying for time.  SEO can, however, deliver quick results. It can be effective in the short term and help a business who needs immediate results.

It’s important to consider SEO as a marketing campaign.  Sometimes you catch a break in the beginning, but usually, a successful campaign is built over time.  SEO is not so much about the cost, but more as an investment – a crucial piece of your companies marketing plan.  SEO can increase sales without a proportionate increase in marketing costs, which will result in increased profits over time.  Clients are constantly researching online, and are using the internet for comparison with different companies.

SEO plays a vital role in the researching and buying cycle.  Essentially, it’s about being where your potential customers are and guiding them towards what you are offering.  SEO can make your brand stronger, better and well recognized.  As people search for critical and relevant keywords and phrases, they should find you at the top of search results.  SEO has been proven to be one of the most highly cost-effective forms of online marketing, delivering a higher return for every dollar invested.  Having effective SEO can attract thousands, even millions of targeted prospects to your business website.

The residual effect and impact of SEO continue far beyond the time you invest into a campaign because the momentum will sustain for many weeks, often years, making SEO very cost efficient as a marketing choice for your business.

For more information about Sharon Arena or this topic, visit her website at www.saltyreddogmarketing.com.

TEAMS

A team is a way of organizing different people with different goals and plans.  When a team is successful, it funnels the energy of team members for the overall good. Your team is also probably your biggest single expense, so it’s important to get the most out of them!

 

Do You Have The Right People On Your Team?

The goals of a company should be consistent and match what their ultimate vision is. Teamwork is always the most effective when the goal is clear to all employees and spelled out in a way that everyone can understand. Even the most diverse group of people should be able to accomplish their goals in a timely manner if each member of the team understands the point and importance of working together. Successful teams have figured out how to assess themselves and able to check their progress along the way.

 

Having an Employee That Stands Out

In every group and team, strong leadership is important.  This doesn’t mean that a manager needs to bully the team to maintain control, but able to guide the development of the group and potentially educate along the way.  This can be done many different ways, such as by defining specific roles and responsibilities for members of the group, as well as a timeline for the common project so members can understand the place of their role within the timeline.  An effective team leader can recognize how personalities affect team dynamics.  Each person working within a group brings to that group his or her own personality and skill set. Recognizing each person’s style of work, motivation, and level of understanding can help a manager understand how that person fits within the group as a whole. You may have some employees that are better working in a specific group with a specific skill set – and others may be better working independently.

 

Without The Right Team – Your Business Can’t Grow

Unfortunately for all those who contribute positively, there may also be those whose behavior, attitude, or work habits negatively affect the dynamics of the group.   Aggressive personalities that intimidate other group members or those who seem to always be “off-task” are easy to identify.  A manager who recognizes and reacts quickly to these personalities can influence the dynamic of the group in positive ways.  If each member of the group sees his or her contribution as valuable and accountable to the larger group, then less disruption is likely to occur.  Team leaders should work to create an environment that fosters teamwork and collaboration that will empower employees.  Empowered employees will act independently and require minimal direction. They will take responsibility for their actions and be accountable for the results of their work.

 

Make Things Possible!

Training and development are essential for the creation of teams. The right employee training, development, and education can provide dividends for the employer in increased productivity, knowledge, loyalty, and contribution from employees.  Training is the process of teaching and learning specific knowledge or skills to improve performance.  Development focuses on employee growth and future performance.  Training that helps each employee grow their skills and knowledge to better perform their current job is appreciated as a benefit. The opportunity for development increases employee loyalty including retention rate and helps you attract the best possible employees.