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Archive for the ‘What You Need To Know About Small Business’ Category

How To Maximize Efficiency With Good Business Procedures

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on August 15, 2018 at 12:32 pm

Business processes and procedures are an important part of any company. They help you to ensure that everything is being done in the most efficient way, mistakes aren’t being made, and you’re maintaining a level of consistency. They’re particularly important these days when you’re handling large amounts of customer data because without proper procedures in place, you can easily lose it. Business process can also help to increase productivity in a company through automation. However, some processes and procedures can actually slow things down if they’re outdated or you make employees follow them to the letter even in situations when it doesn’t make sense. You need to strike a good balance and make sure that all of your procedures are logical and work effectively. If you haven’t updated things for a while, here are some great tips on creating effective business procedures.

Understand Your Goals

Trying to create a process to solve a problem is impossible if you don’t know what that problem is in the first place. That’s why the first step when creating business processes is to identify what your goals are. Speak with all of your employees and ask them which parts of their job could be made more efficient and which of the old processes aren’t working well anymore. Then you can start drawing up a list of problems that need to be fixed. Going into it with a solid idea of what you’re trying to achieve will always give better results.

Choose The Right Software

When you’ve worked out what you’re trying to do, you can start building processes. Choosing the right case management software is essential here. Obviously, all of the different companies will tell you that their software is the right one for you but in the end, only you and your employees can decide. When you’re trying to choose one, you need to consider what your goals are and see which piece of software performs in those areas. The main thing to look for is a piece of software that is easy to use so you can create business procedures yourself without having to call in a programmer or take up the time of somebody from your IT team. Good customization options are important as well because you can only maximize efficiency if you can adapt process as the company grows and evolves.

Measure Success Rates

The biggest mistake that people make is implementing business processes and then leaving everybody to get on with it, without really looking at how effective they are. There’s always a chance that you’ll make mistakes but that’s only a problem if you don’t identify them quickly. After a week or so, check in with your staff and see how they’re getting on with the new system and get them to point out any problems. Then you can start adjusting things to make them more efficient. You should be constantly monitoring and updating your business processes so they’re always as effective as they can be.

If you’re not on top of your business processes, things will start to grind to a halt and efficiency will take a massive hit.

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Skills You Simply MUST Learn For Your Business

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on August 15, 2018 at 12:26 pm

When you come up with a winning idea and finally decide to say goodbye to your old life on favor of a new one, it can be a truly wonderful feeling to say the least. When you finally start working on your empire after months of planning and work it can feel as if you are free to make your life the way you want it to be, and this is true. However, starting a business will always require more than one skill set, so to make sure you can run your empire effectively this year, here are some of the essential skills you need to teach yourself.

Marketing

The first and one of the most widely known areas you need to think about with your new startup is marketing. You can take an online masters of marketing in your spare time and get to grips with things such as social media, email and web development. All of these skills will allow you to hone in your skills and allow you to create an online presence for yourself to be reckoned with. You need all the help you can get as a startup so make sure you learn marketing as soon as you can.

Negotiation

There is no way you can run a profitable business without learning the art of negotiation. Negotiation makes the world go round and it will be what allows you to go from paying for your supplies fill prices to paying for them at a lower rate in bulk. You can really make a big improvement on your business by doing this so make sure that you spend time learning how to haggle.

Tech savvy-ness

For anyone who wants to run a successful and thriving business in this day and age, it is impossible for you to think that you can avoid computers. Online presence is something which we all need for success and you need to be able to understand how to manipulate tools for your own gain. You can also find that online apps can help you hugely with reporting and analysis of your business, allowing you to see where you are succeeding and where you are failing.

Money management

Managing money is never easy. If you are the type of person who hates looking through your personal accounts, it will be a huge culture shock having to manage the finances for your own corporation. Costing your supplies, managing your profits and forecasting for the future is difficult and you need to learn these skills if you are going to be able to sustain a business for longer than a few months. Take your time and read up on as many things as you can to really build an in depth understanding of your venture.

Organization

Time management and organisation is something you will need when you become a business owner because you will no longer have anyone there to boss you around. While not having a boss is great it can make things more difficult for you when you try to manage your time because we all know the lures of procrastination. If you want to avoid falling into the trap, make yourself a schedule and force yourself to stick to it no matter the cost.

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From The Web To Bricks and Mortar

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on August 14, 2018 at 9:23 am

As eCommerce dominates headlines and business growth, you’d be forgiven for thinking that physical businesses are on their way out. However, the reality couldn’t be further from this, and that’s been evidenced by the businesses queuing up for Toys-R-Us premises and the $4bn additional mall development money being invested throughout 2018. Traditional businesses still favor outlets, but could digital businesses benefit as well? In a word, yes. It is entirely possible for an online business to expand to a real-world location when it makes good business sense. Establishing whether your business will benefit is first, and you can take inspiration from real-world success stories.

Determining the scope of your business 

The first thing to consider before looking for a physical location is its necessity to your business. Use analysis to see where your products are shipped. A business with a local catchment area could save on shipping costs by having a physical outlet that customers can utilize, or, if you have a company vehicle suitable for hauling cargo, can be used as a hub for conducting deliveries. Conversely, there’s also logic in a wider business having a physical location. Bloomberg have found that physical property improves marketing alongside the all-important digital marketing aspect. Essentially, having a physical presence will gather you customers from a market you might not reach online.

Pay close attention to the area you’re in, too. Rents vary wildly across the state, and the taxes imposed on a physical business can be very different to those online. Refer to a financial professional if in doubt.

Making your move a success

If you’ve decided that brick and mortar is the way forward for your business, making it a reality – and a success – requires careful, managed planning. Looking at how to implement this is aided by thinking about businesses who have done it with success. Amazon have opened a grocery store in Seattle. What sets it apart is that transactions are done instantly without the need for a checkout. This is an example of considerations digital-first businesses need to make – one of the major attractions of a digital business is avoiding queues and lengthy checkout processes. Harness what makes your digital business effective and prioritize it in your physical outlet.

Taking this principle and extending it can also aid your business. One area where digital business falls down is the inability of consumers to try an item before they buy. Tackling this is advocated by ecommerce gurus Shopify, who in a feature with startup Bulletin outlined the process of ‘discovery’ – the simple process of people having a look around your shop that invokes strong brand favorability in consumers. Pair this with canny digital marketing and you will find your presence blossoming and sales rocketing.

Taking your business offline and making a physical presence for your brand is not a new thing. In fact, more and more big businesses are doing it every year, taking advantage of low rents and the enhanced marketing it brings. If your business can benefit, why not investigate and see if you’d benefit from a brick and mortar business?

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Simple Ways To Keep Your Employees Happy

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on August 10, 2018 at 9:31 am

Why is it so important to have happy staff? Well, if you think about it, it stands to reason that if the people working for you are happy, they will be more invested in doing a good job. They will try harder, work longer hours, be willing to sacrifice more for the good of the business, e.g., working late when a deadline is looming, and the atmosphere in the workplace will be far more pleasant for everyone. There is plenty of academic research backing up this claim, so if you’re not familiar with the concept, check out what the experts say. Having said that keeping your staff happy should be a priority, what are the best ways to achieve this aim?

Rewards

You might be thinking that money is the answer to keeping people happy, but that is very far from the whole story. While being paid a fair rate for the work they are doing is important, far more influential is the fulfillment they feel and the recognition they get for their work. Therefore, paying the highest salaries won’t necessarily guarantee staff happiness. Recognition of the effort and quality of someone’s work is a straightforward and for the most part free form of reward that most people value greatly. Therefore, your first simple way of keeping your employees happy is to let them know you appreciate what they are doing.

Perks and benefits

Money alone might not be the primary consideration for keeping your staff happy, but there are ways you can add monetary value to your job offer using benefits such as pension contributions and health insurance, or perks like gym memberships, vouchers, season tickets, maybe spa days or extended vacation time. Anything that is an advantage to your employees or saves them money can be seen as a perk.

A great way to provide these perks without it costing you too dearly is to exchange with other local businesses – for example, you get a year’s gym membership in exchange for providing a comparable product or service that your business specializes in. If you’re worried that this might prove complicated when it comes to completing your payroll, make use of an online service like a paystub generator that can prepare your documents using the information you supply.

Welfare

The people who work for you have lives beyond the walls of your business, and while you are entitled to expect they will be focused on their work rather than their home lives during office hours, it is a good idea to show concern and be approachable when it comes to their personal welfare. Being prepared to agree to requests for flexible working arrangements and other ways of working that will enable them to manage their lives more efficiently will be very much appreciated by your staff.

There are plenty of ways to keep your staff happy in their jobs, and you should be using whichever methods are most relevant for your business. When you are considering staff happiness, don’t forget how important it is that you are the kind of boss who engenders respect and appreciation in their workers, as this is one of the key ways that you can influence how your staff feel.

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How To Take Calculated Risks In Business

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on August 10, 2018 at 9:27 am

In order to make it as an entrepreneur, you will need to be open to the idea of taking risks. If you have worked hard to get where you are, you might be tempted to err on the side of caution. However, this could prevent you from achieving your goals at the same rate as your industry peers. You could also struggle to generate momentum if you are constantly holding back. That is why you should strike the right balance between taking risks and playing it safe. Below are five tips that will help you to do this.

Do your research

Before you do anything else, you will need to carry out plenty of research. Otherwise, you could be putting your entrepreneurial endeavors in jeopardy. Instead of blindly following the crowd, you need to find a strategy that works for you and your unique business plan. For instance, if you are trying to build up your investment portfolio, you should look into the best high beta stocks available. This is a high risk, high reward opportunity for you to take your company to the next level.

Speak to your fellow entrepreneurs

The next tip is to speak to your fellow entrepreneurs. Although it is important that you go your own way, it is always a good idea to check in with your industry peers. This will save you from missing out on exciting investment opportunities. Furthermore, if you identify an entrepreneur that you can trust implicitly, you could always pool your resources so as to generate a more impressive return on your investments.

Create an extremely detailed business plan

If you are determined to take lots of calculated risks in the world of business, you will need to learn to think fast and act on impulse. You won’t always have the chance to mull things over; sometimes you will just have to act. However, this doesn’t mean that every aspect of your operation should be up in the air. You should still have an extremely detailed business plan in place. This will help you to decide on the overall direction that your business is heading in. It will also assist you in avoiding costly mistakes that could jeopardize the future of your company.

Set yourself clear goals

Along with your business plan, you should also endeavor to set yourself clear goals. With every risk you take, you should have a clear idea of the rewards you wish to enjoy. Perhaps you would like to generate enough funds to expand your organization. Or, maybe you would like to begin your retirement fund. Whatever the case, the most important thing is that you are practicing positive visualization techniques. Of course, you can’t be certain of the outcome, but there is no harm in hoping for the best.

Hedge your bets

Last but not least, you will need to hedge your bets. Rather than putting your entire operation on the line, you should have a contingency plan in place. For example, you could set up an emergency fund that you can turn to in the event that your investments fall through. You should also consider making more than one investment at a time so that you don’t end up placing all of your eggs in one basket.

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