Most Popular Rooms in a Home

What is the most popular room in your house?When deciding a product that people will use in their home, it is important to understand how people use their homes. Whether you sell furniture, housewares, or giftware, your product needs to fit into your consumer’s lifestyle if you want it to be a success. With the average home containing seven rooms, tailoring your product to fit into a heavily used room could lead to increased sales. A recent survey conducted by Furniture Today gives a pretty good picture of which rooms people find to be most important.

Most Popular Room to Spend Time in

It should come as no surprise, but the living room is the room where people prefer to spend the most of their waking hours in their home. Nearly half of all people asked stated that they spend the most time in their living room. As a result over a third of consumers would like to get new furniture in their living room than in any other room in their house. While you may think that a third is low, it is important to consider that the living room is where we spend our waking hours, but that we sleep in our bedrooms. However, sleeping isn’t all we do in the bedroom, nearly half of all people charge their electronic devices, such as phones, in their bedroom, and 15% of consumers surveyed said that they spend more waking hours in their bedroom than anywhere else in the house. As a result, a quarter of all consumers would prefer to purchase new furniture for their bedroom over any other room in their house.

Other popular rooms to spend time in include the den, where another 15% of people say that they spend the most time. Home offices are most popular with 10% of people, and kitchens are most popular with 8%. However, only 1% of people say they spend the most amount of time in the dining room, and another 1% say they spend the most amount of time on their patio, deck, balcony, or other outdoor spaces.

Where do you Eat?

Of course, it isn’t just about where we spend time in our home, but also what we do in our homes. Eating, of course, is the one thing that everyone will do inside of their home, and if you sell dinette sets, tableware, silverware, or any other product that people use when they eat, you might want to take into consideration where people prefer to eat their meals before you design your next product.

When it comes to eating as an entire family, the dining room and kitchen are the most popular places to eat. 35% of families say they prefer to eat in the dining room, while 34% say that they prefer to eat in the kitchen. You may be surprised however that 22% of families eat most of their meals together in the living room.

When it comes to where you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the numbers aren’t all that different.  The kitchen is the most popular room for breakfast and lunch, while dining rooms are the most popular (but just barely) for dinner. The kitchen is easily the room of choice for breakfast with 44% of people naming the kitchen as where they usually have their cereal and milk, that number drops to 35% at lunchtime, and drops even further to 29% at dinnertime. While you may think that this is because the dining room becomes more popular as it gets later in the day, that actually isn’t true. The dining room is most popular with 23% of people at breakfast time, but only 22% of people at lunchtime.  The dining room however gets its most use at dinnertime with 30% of people stating it as their room of choice. So it is actually the living room that becomes the most popular place to eat as it gets later in the day. Only 18% of people say they prefer to eat breakfast in their living room, but that number jumps to 23% at lunchtime, and up to 28% at dinnertime.

While the kitchen, dining room, and living room are the most popular places to eat, they aren’t the only place to eat. You’ve probably heard of breakfast in bed, and 4% of people say they prefer to eat breakfast in their bedroom, but you may be surprised that that same 4% also prefer to eat dinner in their bedrooms, while 3% prefer to eat lunch in their bedroom.  Other rooms where people eat include the den, which is the room of choice for about 6% of people. About 3% of people like to eat in their home office, with lunch being the most popular meal there. You may be surprised, but only 1% of people prefer to eat their meals outdoors, and this was a nationwide survey that questioned people in both warm and cold climates.

Funding your Product for the Home

Of course, it is one thing to have a great design for a product for the home, it is another thing to have the proper financing in place in order to produce and sell that product. If you are struggling to get your business off the ground, or you are experiencing rapid growth, accounts receivable factoring may be the solution you are looking for. Unlike a loan from a bank, accounts receivable factoring is fast and easy, and rather than looking at your credit and past sales, factoring companies look at your customers good credit. If you don’t qualify for a loan with a bank, or the bank can’t provide you with a large enough credit line, give DSA Factors a call at 773-248-9000 and with one simple phone call we can start funding your business in as little as 24 hours. There is no obligation or long term commitment, and the funds you receive from DSA Factors are not a loan. So call today and learn just how easy it is to grow your business with accounts receivable factoring.

Improve Your Cash Flow with Accounts Receivable Factoring

Improve your cash flow with accounts receivable factoringAccounts receivable factoring is a great way for small to medium sized businesses to improve their cash flow. However, unlike a loan from a bank, accounts receivable factoring offers you a whole lot more. With accounts receivable factoring you also can outsource all of your accounts receivable and let your factoring company handle credit checking and collections for you. Furthermore, with factoring you also get insurance on your receivables.

To learn more about accounts receivable factoring and how it can help you grow your business give DSA Factors a call today at 773-248-9000 or e-mail Ben at ben@dsafactors.com

Cash Flow Problems? Try Accounts Receivable Factoring.

Improve your cash flow with accounts receivable factoringIf your small business is struggling because of cash flow problems, accounts receivable factoring may be the solution you need. Rather than having your money tied up in receivables for 30 or more days, with accounts receivable factoring you get funded the same day you invoice your customers.

If your business can benefit from improved cash flow give DSA Factors a call today at 773-248-9000 and we can be funding you in as little as 24 hours.

How Accounts Receivable Factoring Works

How accounts receivable factoring worksAccounts Receivable Factoring is a simple and fast way of improving your company’s cash flow. When you get an order you submit it for approval, DSA Factors will provide you with a quick response. Once approved you ship and invoice your customer, and DSA Factors will fund you for your receivables that same day. After that DSA Factors handles all of your collection work and insures your receivables. Get started factoring today by calling DSA Factors at 773-248-9000 and we can be funding you in as little as 24 hours.

Factoring in Claymation

Accounts Receivable Factoring in ClaymationThat’s right, if you thought claymation was just for Gumby and Pokey, guess again. DSA Factors has just brought claymation to the world of accounts receivable factoring in our latest video. If your business can benefit from improved cash flow, give DSA Factors a call today and find out just how easy it is to start getting funded for your receivables. You can even use those funds to buy some clay and make your own cartoon!

2016 Furniture and Bedding Sales Top $100 Billion for Second Straight Year

Furniture and bedding sales up 2.7% in 20162016 saw furniture and bedding sales climb to $104.8 billion, a 2.7% increase over 2015’s $102 billion. This is not just the second straight year that furniture and bedding have reached the $100 billion mark, but it is also the second straight year that they have been above pre-recession levels. Furniture sales had been at $100.8 billion in 2007 before dropping to $83.2 billion by 2009.

While furniture sales have been gradually increasing every year since 2009, 2016 only experienced modest growth. The 2.7% increase is the second lowest during this time period, only 2013 saw slower growth at 1.8%. All other years have experienced over 3% growth, with 2012 experiencing 4.5% growth.

This increase in furniture spending correlates well with other economic data. Last year median household incomes had risen by 5.2% and was at $56,516 in 2015. However this is still below pre-recession levels; median household income was at $57,423 in 2007. Home sales have also gone up with September 2016 experiencing nearly 30% more sales than September 2015.

As for distribution channels, nothing much had changed in 2016. In fact the only change came from online sales, which accounted for 10% of furniture and bedding sales in 2015, now accounted for 11% of sales in 2016, which is $11.5 billion. Wayfair accounted for most of this growth with an amazing 70% increase in sales that brought their totals to $1.26 billion.

When it comes to different segments, area rugs are by far the fastest growing segment. 2016 sales increased to $5 billion, a 4.2% increase over 2015’s $4.8 billion. Casual furniture also did well growing from $4.4 billion in 2015 to $4.53 billion in 2016, a 3.1% increase. Entertainment furniture did similarly well growing from $6.66 billion in 2015 to $6.86 billion in 2016, also a 3.1% increase. Bedding however isn’t growing quite as quickly as the rest of the furniture industry. Bedding, which accounts for 15% of all furniture sales grew from $15.09 billion in 2015 to $15.41 in 2016, only a 2.1% increase. All other furniture segments showed growth similar to the industry average.

According to economic projections by Furniture Today, assuming no major changes occur to the economy, furniture and bedding sales are expected to rise to $127 billion dollars by 2021, a 21% increase over the next five years. As the furniture and bedding industries continue to grow, if you are having trouble keeping up then accounts receivable factoring may be the solution you are looking for. With accounts receivable factoring you get funded for your invoices the same day the merchandise ships, giving you the cash flow you need to grow your business. DSA Factors has been providing accounts receivable factoring for the furniture and bedding industries for over 30 years. During that time we have provided hundreds of companies with the cash flow that they need to grow their business. So what are you waiting for, give us a call at 773-248-9000 and start getting funded tomorrow for your invoices.

Fixed Rate vs Adjustable Rate Accounts Receivable Factoring

fixed rate vs adjustable rate accounts receivable factoringThere are two different types of rates that most factoring companies quote potential clients these days, fixed rate and adjustable rate. These terms should sound familiar to anyone with a mortgage, and surprisingly they aren’t all that different in the world of factoring. In the world of mortgages, a fixed rate remains the same for the entire 30 year life of the mortgage, while with adjustable rate mortgages you get a teaser rate for the first 3, 5, or 7 years and then the rate goes up on you. In the factoring world, a fixed rate means that the rate you are quoted is the rate you pay for the life of the invoice, you don’t pay any interest, even if your customers pay their invoices late. With adjustable rate factoring, you are offered a low teaser rate, but you wind up paying interest for as long as it takes your customers to pay back your factoring company. Just like with mortgages, getting a fixed rate costs more than an adjustable rate, but in the long run it will save you money. At DSA Factors we have had a number of companies ask us about adjustable rate factoring over the last few years, but upon doing the math, all of them have chosen to go with fixed rate factoring, which we have been offering to our clients for over 30 years.

How does adjustable rate factoring work?

Adjustable rate factoring offers you a very low base fee for factoring invoices, often times it can be less than even 1%, but like most things in life, if it’s too good to be true it probably is. Once your factoring company funds you for the invoice the clock starts ticking and you start getting charged interest from that time until payment is received for the invoice by your factoring company. They will also add another 5-10 days worth of interest as they wait for the check to clear the bank.

What are the advantages to adjustable rate factoring?

Adjustable rate factoring can be beneficial if your customers pay like clock work and pay early. It also can be beneficial if you don’t need immediate cash flow. If you can hold onto your invoices for a few weeks before submitting them to your factoring company to get paid, you can potentially save quite a bit of money as your factoring company won’t have the invoices for very long before they get paid. Of course in both these situations you are missing out on one of the primary benefits of factoring, improved cash flow.

What are the disadvantages to adjustable rate factoring?

Besides the fact that you can face some pretty steep interest charges on your slow paying customers. Your factoring company has little motivation to collect payments for invoices in a timely fashion. If a good customer misses an invoice, which we all know happens from time to time, your factoring company may not bother to notify them until the invoice becomes 30 or even 60 days past due since they can charge you more interest during this time.

How does fixed rate factoring work?

Fixed rate factoring is very simple, you are given a rate based on the payment terms of the invoice, and that is the fee you pay regardless of how long it takes your customers to pay for your invoice. While it is true that it will cost more to factor a net 60 day invoice than a net 30 day invoice, you will not be charged any additional fees if it takes a customer 60 days to pay a net 30 day invoice. At DSA Factors we have always offered fixed rate factoring, and while it may be harder to sell the higher rate to prospective clients, we find that it is a much more honest and cheaper option. As a result we have clients who have been factoring with us for over 20 years.

What are the advantages to fixed rate factoring?

Besides the fact that you aren’t being charged interest for slow paying customers, with fixed rate factoring it makes your accounting much simpler as you always know what factoring will cost you and you can easily build the cost into your prices. Plus, since your factoring company does not benefit from late payments, they have more reason to collect in a timely fashion. As a result, they are less likely to turn down reorders due to an account being past due.

What are the disadvantages to fixed rate factoring?

If your customers pay early you still pay the same factoring fee. However, if you have customers who consistently pay early, DSA Factors would be willing to work with you to put together an early pay discount program for these customers.

How do I choose which factoring rate is right for me?

A good way of thinking about adjustable rate factoring is that it is a lot like taking a cab, you have a small flag fall but the meter keeps running until your factoring company gets paid. With fixed rate factoring, it is a lot like taking a limo, you know the price going in, and the service is usually better as well. But don’t worry, whichever route you choose, you don’t need to give your factoring company a tip!

At DSA Factors we have run reports for our clients showing them what their fee would be with adjustable rate factoring, and while it typically is very similar, flat rate factoring has always proven to be the cheaper option. If you would like to learn more about adjustable vs flat rate factoring please give DSA Factors a call at 773-248-9000 and we would be happy to talk to you about it. We would even be happy to run an analysis on your payment data to see which option would work best for you.

Factoring vs Fintech: Finance in the High Tech World

Finance in the High Tech WorldFor most small business owners, obtaining a line of credit from a bank has never been easy. In recent years a number of technology companies have discovered this problem and it has led to the emergence of fintech, a form of online lending. However, what many small business owners don’t realize is that there is another alternative to the banks, which is factoring. Factoring companies however offer a whole lot more than the fintech companies, but also have much more experience and knowledge, better customer service, and typically cost less.

Industry Knowledge

Fintech companies provide their customers, who don’t qualify for a small business loan from a bank, with short-term, high-interest loans using their receivables as collateral. Because they are using receivables as collateral, companies such as BlueVine claim that they provide accounts receivable factoring, but really they are just providing their customers with a loan. Other companies like Fundbox claim they provide invoice financing, which they differentiate from factoring. While it is true that they do not provide factoring, what they don’t realize is that invoice financing and accounts receivable financing mean the same as factoring. This demonstrates a very big difference between fintech and factoring. These fintech companies are really young IT start-ups with little or no experience in the industries that they serve; in fact, they may not even know basic industry terms. Factoring on the other hand has been around for hundreds of years, even Christopher Columbus used factoring. While most factoring companies haven’t been around quite that long, they all have quite a bit of experience and a background in the industries that they serve. For example, DSA Factors started off as the consumer finance arm of a retail furniture store under the same ownership. Eventually they decided to start offering factoring services to furniture and bedding wholesalers who they bought from. As the factoring business grew they started expanding out to other industries such as giftware, housewares, apparel, and trucking. Now, having factored for over 30 years, they are still helping small and medium sized businesses grow.

Improved Cash Flow – Debt vs No Debt

While the goal of both fintech and factoring is to help you improve your cash flow, perhaps the biggest difference between fintech and factoring is how they accomplish this. A fintech company provides you with a loan, meaning you are taking on debt. Furthermore, the loan has a very short term and if you offer extended terms, such as net 90 days, to your customers, it is quite possible that the loan will become due before you receive payment on the invoice that was used as collateral. With factoring, the factoring company is purchasing your accounts receivable, or invoices. The funds you receive from a factoring company are yours to keep and spend however you like. Even if one of your customers pays late, you don’t need to worry about paying back the funds you received.

Accounts Receivable Outsourcing

Of course services provided are another really big difference between fintech and factoring. Fintech companies seem to pride themselves on how they will never contact your customers; they seem to think that you will appreciate this. However, all that this means is that if your customers don’t pay them, they will come after you.  With fintech you still need to stay on top of your accounts receivable and send out statements and make collection calls. For a small business this means that the owner typically needs to spend a lot of time just trying to get paid by their customers. For medium sized businesses you will probably need to hire another employee just to manage your accounts receivable, meaning additional payroll. With factoring you are outsourcing your accounts receivable. Factoring companies have already invested heavily in the software necessary to manage A/R, and are able to do so because they manage A/R for many clients. They have professional and courteous collectors who are able to make the phone calls for you. Plus, because your customers may purchase from several other vendors who factor their receivables, a factoring company has a lot more leverage in collecting from a customer who may not be willing to pay. The fintech companies try to scare you by saying that factoring companies can ruin your relationship with your customers, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Factoring companies are not collection agencies, they understand the importance of the relationship you have with your customers, after all, they have a similar relationship with you. As a result, your factoring company provides your customers with gentle reminders that payment is due, and always treats your customers with the respect they deserve.

Credit Insurance

Another big difference between fintech and factoring is the insurance they provide. With Fintech you receive no insurance on the invoices you put up as collateral, if the invoices don’t get paid, you still have to pay back the fintech company. However, many factoring companies, such as DSA Factors, provide non-recourse factoring, meaning that you are insured in the situation where one of your customers is unable to pay due to financial problems. Furthermore, since your factoring company is insuring your receivables, they also handle all of your credit checking for you, meaning that you don’t need to subscribe to expensive services such as Dun & Bradstreet. While it is possible to purchase credit insurance separately, it of course comes with additional fees, and typically only covers large orders for very creditworthy companies such as Amazon or Walmart. If your customers are mom and pop stores, or your invoices are smaller than five or six figures, credit insurance is not something that is readily available to you.

Purchase Order Financing

Of course, for many small companies simply getting funded for your invoices isn’t enough. For a company that has just received their first six figure purchase order, it may be very difficult to put that order together. To make matters worse, if you are unable to accept such a large order, it is unlikely that the company placing the order will come back to you in the future. If you manufacture in China you typically need to put 30% down to start production and then a month later when production is complete, pay the remaining 70% to get the merchandise put onto the boat. It will be another month before the container arrives in the US and you are able to ship and invoice your customers, and a fintech company will not provide you with a loan until you do so. For service companies you may need to hire additional labor and will need to meet payroll long before you complete the job and invoice your customer. If use fintech for your financing they won’t lend you the capital in advance, and you won’t be allowed to take out a loan with a bank. However, many factoring companies, such as DSA Factors, will provide their clients with purchase order financing, which is a short term loan based on the PO so that you can fulfill a large order.

Customer Service

Finally there is one more major difference between fintech and factoring companies, and that is customer service. Fintech companies are all about technology; they integrate with business software such as QuickBooks, and believe that customer service is about giving their customers fancy online tools. Of course this means that you too need to use QuickBooks or whatever other software they may integrate with. Factoring companies on the other hand realize that a big part of doing business is developing a relationship with the people they work with. Perhaps factoring companies don’t offer all the fancy technology and software integrations as the fintech companies do, but they aren’t dinosaurs. Nearly every factoring company has an online portal where their clients can login, request approvals, and view a variety of reports. While there are some large bank-owned factoring companies, there are also plenty of family-owned factoring companies such as DSA Factors. At DSA Factors you can always call and speak with a principal, no need to deal with account managers or low-level employees who can only answer simple questions. As a result, factoring companies are able to work with you creatively and aren’t restricted to just the 1’s and 0’s of the digital fintech world.

Choose Your Financing Carefully

When it comes to financing your small business it is important that you look at the big picture. While fintech may be new and exciting, you get a whole lot more with factoring. Plus, with factoring you most likely will save money as well!

If you would like to give factoring a chance, call DSA Factors at 773-248-9000 and either Ben, Max, or Howard will be available and able to help you. There is no obligation or long-term commitment, and you can start receiving funds in as little as 24 hours.  Start growing your business today with a time-tested and proven method that works, accounts receivable factoring.

Living Rooms are the Most Popular Room for an Area Rug

Area RugsWhile area rugs are becoming increasingly popular and can be found all around the house, they are most commonly found in living rooms. 44% of all homes have an area rug that is 5-by-8 or larger in their living room, making it the most popular room in the house for a rug. Living rooms are followed by master bedrooms, which feature a large area rug 20% of the time, and by dining rooms, where you can find an area rug 19% of the time.

You will see an area rug in a family room or den 13% of the time, however among affluent households who make more than $100,000 a year, that figure rises to 25%. Children’s bedrooms contain area rugs 9% of the time, and it should come as no surprise that this figure rises to 18% among Millennials who are most likely to have children living at home. Only 8% of kitchens, 6% of guest bedrooms, and 4% of home offices feature area rugs. 6% of other rooms have area rugs, this includes play rooms, bathrooms, hallways, laundry rooms, sun rooms, outdoor rooms, closets, and more.

When it comes to colors, browns and beiges are the most popular accounting for over a quarter of all rugs.  Blacks and grays come next accounting for a little more than a fifth of all rugs.  This is followed by blues and purples which account for a seventh of all rugs and multi-colored rugs account for an eighth of all rugs. Greens, reds, and whites each account for about one in twenty rugs. Yellows and golds are slightly less popular than one in twenty, and oranges only show up in about one in fifty rugs.

As for shape, a whopping 90% of all area rugs are rectangular. Runners account for only 4% of the rug market.  After that only 3% of rugs are circles, 2% are squares, and 1% are oval.

When it comes to shopping for area rugs, online is the way to go. Seven in ten consumers shop online while only a little more than four in ten consumers will visit a brick and mortar store. Of those who shop online, four in five consumers will compare prices with most preferring to do so with online-only retailers. A quarter of consumers will spend less than a week researching rugs before making a purchase. A fifth will spend up to two weeks before making their purchase, and another fifth will spend three to four weeks researching before making a purchase.

If you are a rug manufacturer or importer and could use some help financing as you grow your business, look no further than DSA Factors. Unlike banks, we make decisions based on your customer’s good credit, not your own credit.  And we spend minutes, not months, to make decisions.  Other advantages to factoring include unlimited potential for funding, so as your business grows so does the amount we can fund you. We also offer purchase order financing if you need help getting a container released or starting production on a large order.

The Benefits of Online Sales

Product Reviews may be the main benefit of selling your product through online retailers.As a manufacturer you may think that online retailers are simply another retailer who you can sell your product to, however, there may be a lot more to an online sale than just the sale itself. It’s quite possible that making one online sale could lead to many more sales both online and in brick and mortar stores. The reason for this is because of the importance that consumers place on online product reviews.

When consumers use their phones to go shopping at home or on the road, you may be surprised that the most common things that they look for our store locations and hours. That’s right, 75% of internet users at home and 80% of internet users on the road want to find a brick and mortar store to shop at. Other popular uses of the internet include some more obvious benefits such as comparing prices, looking for coupons, making actual purchases, checking on the status of orders, and of course reading product reviews.

Of course, once these consumers get to an actual store their use of the internet changes. Once in the store the most popular use of the internet is searching for and redeeming coupons, an activity that 55% of smart phone owners do. 51% of smart phone owners will compare prices at other stores to make sure that they are getting the best deal. Then the next most popular activity is looking at product reviews which is done by 47% of smart phone owners.

Over three-quarters of Millennials and Generation Xers state that product reviews are very influential in the decision making process when purchasing something. Nearly six in ten Baby Boomers feel the same way, and almost half of all seniors also take consumer product reviews very seriously. Of course these product reviews are online, and the only way you are going to get them is if your products are available from online retailers.

While it is true that anyone can write a review of a product online, what makes a review most valuable is that it comes from a verified buyer, meaning that a person bought the product from the same online retailer that they are writing a review on. If you look at reviews on Amazon, you will notice that many of them will say “Verified Purchase” meaning that the person who left the review purchased the product on Amazon. While it may not be important to consumers that a product was purchased on Amazon, it is important that the writer of the review actually did purchase the product, and isn’t just someone in the manufacturer’s office trying to brag about how great their product is to improve sales.

Other important features on reviews are the amount of detail included in the review, the more detail the better. If you reviewers include pictures then the review can become really influential. Also, consistency is very important as well. If five different reviewers say the same thing about a product, then it must be true.

Of course, as a manufacturer it may seem like all of these factors are out of your control, it is up to the consumer, whom you do not know, to leave a review out of their own good will. However, in many ways you do have control when it comes to leaving reviews. First you need to make sure that your product is available online so that consumers can leave reviews of it. Of course, it can’t just be available from any online retailer, it has to be available from reputable online retailers where consumers look at reviews such as Amazon, Wayfair, Target, and Walmart.

Another option is to offer an incentive to consumers who leave you a review. One way of doing this is by offering consumers a chance to get a free product for leaving a review. Ask consumers to fill out a registration card that asks for their Amazon profile so you can see the review that they left for your product, as well as other products. Then select several consumers who gave valuable detailed reviews on both your product as well as other products to receive a free product. You can also look at how many other people found these reviews helpful as these are people who are highly influential in others purchasing process. You can assume that the recipients of the free product will also leave you a quality, detailed review on this free product as well.

If you need to start selling to online retailers, or need to start offering incentives for leaving product reviews and find that some improved cash flow will help, why not try accounts receivable factoring. At DSA Factors we make solving your cash flow problems easy by funding you for your receivables the same day your merchandise ships. You no longer need to worry about waiting 30 days or more to get paid for a large order, so what are you waiting for, call us at 773-248-9000 and start factoring today. At DSA Factors we have money to make your company grow.