Just as Aussie Home Loans and Wizard changed the way we borrowed money to buy houses (and kept the banks slightly more honest than they used to be) now the world of foreign exchange is a target. Jon works with Atlas Currency Exchange in Byron Bay. They can help you save money on international money transfers - check out their bold claim and enjoy the passion in Kylie's writing. She studied journalism at uni and you can tell. Might ask her to write more stuff for us.
So banks are going it alone, increasing interest rates regardless of the RBA ? They’re, *cough, ‘hurting financially’. Those $24b annual profits musn’t be in term deposit. It highlights their confidence in an economic climate where no-one else is.
How far can they ‘push’? Our love-hate relationship with banks means not many of us are impressed by their gall yet the majority, clearly, still walk through their doors for our financial product. When will we seek the alternatives ? Are there alternatives ?
As far as foreign currency product and services go there are. Operators with the same licences, but not the advertising budget or the captive account holders.
If you’re purchasing your fx cash, travel card product or performing your international money transfers (into Australia or out of) through your bank you are, without a doubt .. that’s right, without a doubt .. not getting the best deal.
Cash : banks rarely have cash in stock, you will have to order it and wait. Then the rate, whilst better than the airports (not hard when airports have 10c spreads on majors), won’t be negotiated regardless of whether you’re buying US$100 or US$10000. If you bought 20 cars you’d get fleet rate right?
Global Travel Cards : Careful. You may think you’re doing the smart thing buying a travel card, but wait .. Purchase fee, load fee, reload fee, unload fee, monthly account keeping ‘activity’ fee, expires after ‘x’ months and, wait for it, any funds still on the card at expiry are RETAINED by the provider. That’s like withdrawing money from your account, going home and putting it under your mattress and then 18 months later your bank manager knocks on your door and says ‘Have you still got that money under your mattress? We’re going to have to get that back because you didn’t spend it in the time allocated.’
Multi-currency cards are deceiving. Sounds like a great idea, one card/multiple currencies. Is the card pulling funds out of another currency if your first currency runs out? Are you aware of when this occurs? Do you have to pay for a sms to let you know when it is ? So you’re in the UK and you think those Pounds coming out of the ATM are coming from your Pound account but they’re really coming from the Euro fund portion. What’s the cross-currency conversion being applied (can be up to 8.45%)? If lost or stolen will they be replaced or are you going to get slugged $60 to replace a card that’s going to expire ? Phew, might as well have copped the 4 lots of fees on your Aussie funds out of your keycard.If your money doesn’t matter enough to check it out then really, stop complaining about ‘The Banks’.
IMTs/TTs : Oh my .. here we go. Examples speak best. To purchase and transfer US$50,000 to the US (or increasingly China) today, at time of writing you would pay AU$47,959.04 at the best of the major banks, AU$48,199.19 at the worst and AU$46,974.82 across the road at a local FX provider. Simple as that, AU$984 to $1224 more in your hand/wallet/mortgage/shoe fund for EXACTLY the same product.
New to business? Don’t lose your nerve!
I have been helping out one of my best friends with her new business venture in the UK. It is exciting, a bit out of the box and loaded with potential. We had a long chat via Skype about a job offer she had received. It was essentially what her business offered but she would be committed full time for at least six months. The question – what should she do?
Give up the chance to earn a full time wage for six months or hold her nerve and continue with the business?
She held her nerve…bravely…. Instead of being a full time employee she convinced them they should hire her company instead! No need to put all marketing efforts on hold, no need to turn away potential new clients, no need to stop doing all of the things she has been doing in the past six months to get her to where she is.
Small business is a big old adventure loaded with potential wrong turns and bad decisions everywhere. You will make some (maybe even lots) and you will want to give up. I know this because I have been there. Possibly the worst decision you can make is losing your nerve too quickly. You know what it is like, the bank account is empty, you no longer buy the fancy toilet paper, and your social life has all but disappeared. You find yourself taking a quick peek at Seek, just to see what kind of jobs are going… it’s a slippery slope from here my friends.
If you are in your first year or two of business I want you to print this blog out and stick it above your desk as a reminder to not lose your nerve until you have answered the questions below;
Do you honestly do everything possible every single day to make your business?
Do people know you exist? This does not mean googling your business name!
Have you asked a professional (oh I happen to know some business coaches…) for advice?
Do you ask someone every single day to buy your product or service?
Do you honestly want this to work?
If you answered no to the above then you just need a good old fashion kick up the arse with the exception of question 5.
If you answered no to question 5 then it is best you nick off and get a job fast!
Seth's blog (you know I love him) on Horizontal Marketing. This is a frightening idea for those of us who are trying to market our product or service. We're trying our hardest to get people to pay attention and yet, increasingly, our market is ignoring that stuff and making its choice based on hearsay. Shit, we'd better be good!
Back to basics, then - make something amazing or inspiring, or with genuine value instead of the average crap that's mostly out there, keep telling people (some of them will pay attention) and trust that word will get out. Feels wrong doesn't it? We should be doing something to drive our customers to consider us, surely (that's how I feel). Like Seth says we can't control what the market does with our product and we can't ignore that the market will do what it wants with us, irrespective of what we spend.
But can we just sit back and wait. I'm not so sure that's what he means or that I can do it either.
What do you do about marketing? I want to see your comments below!
Small Fish Business Coaching Byron Bay