Running a business is a risk. You need to undergo careful planning and research to make your business successful. However,...
Business productivity can be greatly affected if your employees are not working well. According to Capita Workforce Management Solutions, one...
Running the business means managing your finances responsibly. If you do not know how to play and deal with finances, your business will unlikely to be successful. It doesn’t mean that you have to be skilled right then and there. Apart from being naturally smart, you need to learn a lot of things about financial management along the way.
Here are 6 tips on how to manage your business finances responsibly:
Always practice budgeting
Budget management is not just important in personal and home finances, but in business as well. You need to be very keen on your costs and expenses, as well as the salary of your people and the company’s debts. Do not overspend if it’s not within your budget.
Be aware of market changes
Everything in the world changes. As a responsible entrepreneur, it is a must that you are updated with the market changes. Know the changes in the prices of the supply you purchase, and even bigger things like oil price, energy, inflation, etc. These things may not indirectly affect your finances, but they are always involved in the cash flow.
Pay payables on time
Apart from market changes, you need to be updated on the payables – rent, employees’ salary, energy, water, debts, loans, etc. Be mindful of your financial obligations internally and externally. Not being able to update payables may increase your expenditures in the long run.
Trim down expenses
Too many costs affect income flow. There are many factors in your business that contribute to the expenses. Trim down the costs. There are many ways on how to cut costs. Basically, you need to integrate technology into your business operations and in marketing as it is very helpful in increasing productivity while reducing costs. Moreover, get rid of the unnecessary expenses.
Use credit wisely
Credits are always available. It is very tempting to spend it on anything, anywhere. But, in order to reduce costs, make sure that you use your credit wisely. Credits and loans are only used when you want to cover up some expenses, you want to expand your business, or you want to innovate. Other than these reasons, don’t use credit.
Hire an accountant
Although this may not apply to all, hiring a professional accountant will really be helpful in your business financial management. They are the “most knowledgeable” regarding finances. So if you are afraid of losing more, invest on having an accountant.
As an entrepreneur, it is true that you should not be afraid to take a risk in spending on things that are essential for the business development. But in the long run, it is very important that you learn how to reduce your costs and expenses. These costs are adding burden to you which may affect your profit and income.
Check out these 6 easy steps on how to reduce too much business expenses:
Look for other suppliers
Do not just be limited to traditional suppliers. Look around. There may be other suppliers that offer lesser prices on their product supplies. Large discount suppliers include Amazon and Walmart. You can also try negotiating with manufacturers so that you can have the factory price.
A huge portion of business expenses goes to production costs. Instead of purchasing new things, you can actually recycle and reuse some available resources in your store. Check for alternatives.
In this modern age, technology is very important. It increases efficiency and productivity. It also helps employees work their best. During startup, invest in technology rather than hiring too many people that perform separate tasks. Basically, you need a computer and internet to perform multiple functions in one.
Use internet marketing
Marketing is very important in business. There are various marketing strategies, including the most widely used traditional media. However, they are so expensive, needs lengthy planning, extra production, and consumes so much time. It is very practical to use internet marketing strategies. They are so very effective in reaching audiences. During startup, it is best that you try content marketing or social media marketing through Facebook and Instagram.
Develop employees’ skills
Decreased productivity increases costs. Basically, business productivity depends on your employees. If they continue to become not motivated and less productive, the business will be endangered. It is important that you always expose them to training and workshops that will develop their skills more.
Use your space wisely
If you’ve got wide space, think of other ways on how you can consume it wisely. Some of the most common space wasters are piles of paper files, forgotten storage of supplies, and even placement of furniture. Your space is very important in business productivity. Use it wisely.
These are just some of the many ways on how to cut your costs. Remember, your business will not succeed if there is “too much” holding your business back.
Running a business is a risk. You need to undergo careful planning and research to make your business successful. However, mistakes along the way are inevitable. These mistakes may make your business stronger or on the worst note, fail.
According to Ormsby Street, four out of ten small businesses don’t survive after five years. Researchers note that the main problem is poor cash flow. To make your business thrive in the industry, here are 8 common mistakes that you should avoid in running a business:
Not setting realistic goals
Every entrepreneur has goals for their business. The end goal is the success, more profit, and more income. However, some first-timers are jumping into huge goals. They oversee the attainable and realistic goals. As a newcomer in the business industry, make sure that you aim little by little. These little goals will have a macro-effect towards the achievement of your big goal.
Thinking so much of costs
It is normal to spend money in running a business, especially during startup. No one starts a business with just a little money. Overthinking about the costs will be damaging to your business. Instead, think of ways on how to make up for those costs by improving your business, your products, and services.
Another mistake that most first-timers commit is that they deny the existence of “competitors”. Competitors are always present. They may be kilometers away from you but they still matter. Always identify the competition within the community and spend time determining their strengths and weaknesses so you can improve your business as well.
Ignoring the power of marketing
Marketing is very powerful. Without marketing, your business will remain unknown to the people. During a startup, it is very important to invest in marketing. There are many ways on how to promote your business. In this digital age, it very recommendable to go for internet marketing strategies. It costs less and is very effective in reaching a wide audience.
Not hiring adequate people
Most first-timers are afraid of costs. That’s why they believe that they can do it all alone. Wrong! You are just decreasing the productivity and efficiency of your business. Do not be afraid to hire people that are essentially needed in your business.
Too afraid to take risks
“What if I lose money in doing this?” What if this will fail?” These are few of the many “what ifs” that inhibits entrepreneurs from taking risks for their business. If you have performed extra research and careful planning, then do not be afraid to take risks. Starting a business is generally scary, but being scared of failure will just lead you to more failure.
Not valuing customers
Your customers are the heart of the business. Without them, your business won’t grow, won’t be recognized, and will remain unknown in the market. It is very important that you take care of your customers more than your business, employees, and your products. One of the best ways to show your love and care for your customers is by simply being responsive to their immediate concerns and feedbacks.
As an experienced entrepreneur, have you committed one of these mistakes? Share us your thoughts.
Virtual reality (VR) is one of the newest and most advanced technologies changing the business landscape. Virtual reality technology has undergone series of conceptualizations since the earliest civilizations. It was only in the 1980s when “virtual reality” was born. In the 1990s, virtual reality arcade machines were produced. Now, VR headsets have swept the market. It has gained popularity in entertainment and gaming industry, and now it has started to penetrate the business landscape. Here are 7 ways the virtual reality technology is changing the business landscape:
Communication and collaboration have been so much easier with the onset of virtual reality technology. With the help of teleconferencing and telecommuting software and platforms, communication in businesses has elevated to new heights. Managers and supervisors can meet their members through VR. It’s as if they are there present in the venue even if they are not.
Virtual reality is very helpful in engineering aspects, especially in manufacturing and production businesses. Virtual reality can skip the phase of creating actual prototypes. Instead, designers and engineers can just simply design a prototype in the computer and view it in the VR technology. It would save them time and money from the actual production. It is helpful in building structures, creating products, etc.
More companies now are integrating virtual technology in their training and development programs. Trainees, applicants, and employees are exposed into simulations through virtual reality technology in which they can have a grasp of the “real experience”. This makes learning fun and interactive. Jeff Kagan, an industry analyst predicted that businesses will completely use VR in their training for the next 10 years.
Virtual reality can be so much helpful in real estate businesses. It lessens the burden of potential buyers going to the actual real estate property. Instead, they can use virtual reality. Real estate agents use VR headsets to show and tour people around properties. It even allows people have a complete look of the home architecture and design.
Apart from training, virtual reality technology improves recruitment process. Instead of meeting with the actual hiring manager or employer, applicants are then interviewed and screened virtually. It lessens the feeling of intimidation for the part of the applicant. Plus, it saves time and money with regards to traveling and going to the actual office to apply.
Companies and large corporations are thanking virtual reality for redefining their customer engagement and service. It has given them new ways to promote or introduce their products and services to their customers. It has brought marketing to newer heights. Moreover, some companies are integrating virtual reality in serving their customers. For example, when ordering pizza, throw the phone and talk over VR technology.
With all the things mentioned above, virtual technology can really decrease costs. In telecommuting, people do not have to travel to meet at one place. VR can do the magic. In training, they don’t have to prepare and buy a lot of training materials and modules. VR can do the magic as well. These and more are great evidence that virtual technology can really improve business operations.
The advent of technology has changed so many things in the world – education, healthcare, entertainment, and most especially, business. Over the last decades, technology has dramatically evolved into something that really improves business applications. There is the computer, internet, and smartphones, among others. Let us discuss how technology changed or improved how we do business:
Indeed, technology has improved communication between company and members. Long ago, communication is done through mails and telephone calls. Today, we have e-mail, mobile phones, the internet, and social media platforms. Communicating is instant – either call, text, or video chat. Teleconferencing is also at hand in which members of the company can gather all together in the online space.
Technology has also provided mobile solutions. Everything is in your hands, literally, with your smartphone. Smartphones also evolved dramatically. It has become smarter and smarter every generation. Apart from instant communication, it can hold to various productivity apps that can help employees record and analyze data, document events, etc.
The face of marketing has drastically changed with the rise of technology. Before, everything is done manual – from house-to-house promotion to on-site raffle promos. During the late 20th century, traditional media flourished. Businesses can advertise through newspapers, radios, and televisions. But now, marketing is done digitally. There are different kinds of internet marketing strategies that really helped entrepreneurs grow their business.
Thanks to the internet companies can store important data and files in the “cloud”. Cloud computing has been conceptualized in the 1950s. It was in the 21st century when it was widely used by businesses and even for personal uses. It has helped businesses store huge files and data on the internet. With this, any member of the company can access the data uploaded to the cloud. Moreover, cloud storage is secured.
With everything listed above, technology has helped employees become more efficient and productive in their work. Computers, software, and even mobile productivity apps help them save time in doing specific functions.
Before, an employee can do so many things. They even have to do specific functions manually and it would really consume so much time from them. Today, technology is equipped with programs and features that increase functionality to help employees increase productivity as well.
Customer service has also improved in so many ways due to technology. Consumers now are also equipped with technology, specifically smartphones. Businesses have to keep up. Through the use of technology, they devised fun and interactive tools and platforms to improve customer engagement.
Investing in technology is really expensive. But, it is very economical in the long run. Why? Technology increases productivity. Computers can do a function that is performed by 5 to 10 employees. Mobile and software solutions also decrease cost in doing so many functions.
In this modern generation, technology is important. Businesses have to embrace computers, internets, and mobile devices, among others as part of their operations. Definitely, technology helps improve businesses.
Billboard, magazine, TV, radio, and newspaper – these are all part of yesterday’s marketing. Today, newer and more effective marketing strategies arise through the internet and the latest technology. Small to large businesses utilize digital marketing strategies. According to Clutch.co, 44% of the small businesses engage in digital marketing. 89% of these have Facebook pages.
Definitely, digital marketing strategies are sweeping the business marketing world. Here are the top 8 digital marketing strategies that will surely grow your business:
Now that most people own their smartphones, mobile marketing is the leading digital marketing strategy available. Mobile marketing is specifically programmed to reach target audience on their smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices. 80% of the internet users have smartphones. Most of them do online activities through mobile devices. In 2015, mobile searches surpassed desktop searches.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) remains one of the most effective internet marketing strategies. This will help you build a great online presence by optimizing certain keywords in your content. With SEO, your website or social media page will appear first on search engine ranking, making it more convenient for users to choose you.
29% of businesses around the globe still do not have websites. Having a personal or corporate website is helpful in growing a business. It is like your “store” in the digital world. According to experts, website marketing can really help small businesses as it elevates global audience reach. Moreover, it is important that websites should be mobile-friendly since more users now are into smartphones.
Pay-per-click marketing is one of the most widely used advertising tools in the web. Basically, you are just going to pay every time a user click your ad. There are many advantages in PPC marketing. First, it deliver fast and measurable results. It is also not dependent on SEO or Google algorithms because it is “paid”. Your ad also reaches the “right” audience. Lastly, it is budget friendly. The most popular PPC platforms are Google Adwords and Bing Ads.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is definitely the most powerful among the other internet strategies. Over 3 billion people have social media accounts – 2 billion Facebook users, 800 million Instagram users, 400 million Twitter users, and 1.5 billion YouTube users, among others. Your target audience are definitely in the social media world. These platforms design advertising tools and programs that effectively reach audience instantly, across the globe. No wonder why social media is so powerful.
Email marketing is one of the earliest forms of digital marketing strategies which remain very powerful to date. According to Radicati Group, there are over 3.7 billion email users in January 2017. In U.K., over 1.5 billion electronic newsletters were sent in 2016. A whopping 24.88% of these sent emails are opened by subscribers and users. Only 0.49% unsubscribe to these newsletters. Thus, email marketing remains one of the strongest contenders in the line.
Which among these digital marketing strategies are your currently using?
Starting a business is exciting. But there are a lot of things that you need to undergo first before running the actual business. One of which is the promotion of your business. Marketing is very important. It introduces your business to the people. It helps in establishing your brand in the market. Without marketing strategies, it will be difficult for you to build your presence. Technology has redefined the way marketing is done. There are more ways now to promote a business. Here are the 7 simplest strategies of promoting your business:
Send electronic newsletters
Email marketing has been one of the most used online marketing strategies since the birth of the internet. According to Smart Insights, over 1.5 billion emails are sent by small and medium-sized businesses in U.K. in 2016 alone. Out of these, 24.88% are opened by subscribers. Email marketing is a more personal, engaging way of reaching through customers.
Take advantage of social media
Social media is one of the most accessible online marketing strategies. According to latest statistics, there are over 3 billion social media users. Facebook leads among others with 2 billion users, followed by Twitter and Instagram. These social media platforms have varied advertising programs which can effectively reach thousands of users instantly across the globe.
Turn your car into a mobile billboard
Billboards are out. Moving billboards are in. Who would have thought that you can use your own car as a marketing tool? Mobile billboards have been a trend in various places. Based on Outdoor Advertising Association of America, mobile billboards can generate up to 70,000 views per day. It is very effective, plus you do not have to spend too much.
Offer great deals and freebies
Most consumers love freebies. Freebies are really effective. Who can turn down some free offers? Of course, no one. This marketing strategy may be “free drinks for first 50 customers” or “free power bank for every purchase of a smartphone”.
Host a marketing event
You can also conduct a free admission event in your community. This includes keynote speeches, webinars, presentations, etc. In the event, take advantage of promoting your business. For example, you are selling flooring materials (tiles, laminates, vinyl, etc.), you may conduct a free seminar regarding floor installation. Further, you can give freebies to reinforce brand introduction.
Be part of trade expos
Trade expositions and exhibits are great ways of exposing your business to the public. These are done in partnership with organizations and institutions. People who love a particular niche gather in a trade expo. This will be a good opportunity for you to personally introduce your products and services to your target audience.
Use traditional media
Well, if you still doubt the abovementioned marketing strategies, go for traditional media. Their effectivity is still unquestionable up to now. People are still watching TV, listening to the radio during travel, and reading newspapers and magazines. These traditional channels are effective ways to make your business known to the market.
What among these marketing strategies have you tried already? Comment down below.
Business productivity can be greatly affected if your employees are not working well. According to Capita Workforce Management Solutions, one out of three employers in the United Kingdom regard their employees as productive while 71% say otherwise. There are various factors why employees are becoming unproductive. This may include work environment and conflict with their boss and fellow employees. As a leader, it is your primary responsibility to motivate your employees. Here are 7 ways to motivate your employees to increase productivity:
Offer bonuses and incentives
Employees will be motivated to work productively if there are bonuses and incentives. These will drive them to work better and more efficiently. There are various forms of incentives. This may include an all-expense paid trip, free lunch, free movie ticket, performance bonus, etc.
Promote top performers
Career advancement is essential in boosting morale and helping employees work productively. They will be motivated to work if they know they are going towards somewhere advanced. Nobody wants to retire doing the same thing for decades. Let your employees know that good performance deserves job promotion.
Recognize good work
Apart from incentives and career promotion, a simple acknowledgment of your employees’ good work is necessary, it helps employees realize their worth as members of the company. There are many avenues where you can acknowledge your employees. A simple “morning announcement” will do. If you are extra as a leader, you can conduct a monthly recognition night where you can award the top performers of the month.
Connect with your employees by communicating with them daily. Listen to their concerns, their problems, and difficulties, as well as their ideas, thoughts, insights, and suggestions. Communication is vital in every aspect. You need to create an atmosphere of open-mindedness where employees and leaders can exchange thoughts freely.
Train and re-train employees
One factor why employees underperform is because they get used to their work. They are tired of doing the same thing every day. We recommend doing a refresher activity which reintroduces and reminds employees of their goals. Moreover, it is best to conduct teambuilding activities, seminars, workshops, and conferences which will expand your employees’ skills and knowledge.
Get rid of underperformers
If training is not enough to motivate the employees, get rid of the underperformers. If you think this is too harsh, you may demote the employee. Make your people be aware of the consequences of underperforming. They know in the first place that the company has goals to achieve in order to grow the business. The goals should fuel them to be productive.
Create a happy environment
According to a research at the University of the Warwick, happy employees increase business productivity by 12%. This finding calls for a fun and interactive environment where employees are filled with optimism and joyfulness. Moreover, the research also suggests that unhappy workers are 10% less productive.
Apart from your business operations, always bear your employees in mind. If they are unproductive, your business will also be unproductive. It is safe to say that the achievement of your goals depends on your employees as well.
The primary goal of an entrepreneur is to keep the business going. But more than this, they wanted their business to grow and expand. In order for a business to grow, the people involved shall go out from their comfort zone and explore more opportunities. It will be a risk but it will be worth it once perfectly executed.
In this article, we will share with you 6 simple tips on how to expand your business quickly:
Tip #1: Explore “Franchising”
According to the 2015 British Franchise Association report, there are 901 franchisor brands operating in the United Kingdom. With this, there are over 44,000 franchised outlets. The franchising industry has dramatically grown since 20 years ago. Opening for franchising is one of the most viable ways of expanding a business. You are duplicating your business trademark without the hassle of the startup phase.
Tip #2: Open Another Branch
Apart from franchising, it will be helpful if you branch out to other locations. Branching our also skips you from some of the procedures in the startup phase. However, it also entails careful research and planning. Make sure that the new location is suitable for the business and is convenient to your target audience.
Tip #3: Diversify Your Offerings
Expanding a business also means diversifying your products and services. Do not just limit your business to providing the same things as before. Break barrels and offer something new. Read your target audience. Read the trend. Know what people need and want. This will help you how to innovate your products and services.
Tip #4: Serve Other Markets
Apart from products and services, you need to reach out to other markets. Develop effective strategies and methods to serve other audiences. For example, if your business selling baking ingredients and goods is aimed towards adults, look for ways to make it sell to younger ones, even children. Promote products that are specially designed for kids who love baking and cooking.
Tip #5: Partner With Businesses
Look for another that is compatible with your business. How can you tell you are compatible with each other? Find some area in their operations that is your area of expertise. For example, if your business is a computer repair and IT troubleshooting firm, partner with corporate companies that depend their operations on computers.
Tip #6: Enter the Digital Market
This is one of the most viable strategies to expand your business easily…and with lesser costs. The internet provides you a lot of opportunities. According to research, 6 out of 10 businesses in the U.K. still do not have a website. On the other hand, online marketing has been utilized by large companies. Based on data, businesses spend 23% of their online marketing budget to website development, 26% to PPC, and 30% to SEO. Apart from these, social media marketing is one of the fastest ways to reach audience globally.
Apart from all these tips, growing your business entails determination and consistency in achieving your goals. If you stick to the norms and conventions, your business will never grow. As an entrepreneur, never stop exploring new things for your business.
Are you planning to start a business? But you do not have a capital?
Well, there are many business ideas which you can start even with little or no capital at all. What you just need is your passion and skills. These businesses are definitely great-paying which can really be helpful in your daily expenses.
Here are the top 8 best businesses to start even without a capital:
Do you have the passion for blogging? Well, this business is good for you. You just need to find your niche – fashion, sports, travel, or beauty. Create blog posts about these niches, publish photos and videos, or any content which you can share with your followers. When you can establish your name, you can earn big from advertisers. Imagine, an average fashion blogger earns £1,116 a year.
If you are passionate about Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, then providing graphic design services is good for you. Apart from the technicalities, you just need your creativity and imagination to create great artworks and graphics. Based on PayScale, an average graphic designer earns £21,599 per year.
On the other hand, if you are fond of codes and creating aesthetic website layouts, then you can be a website designer and developer. In this digital age, more businesses are starting to explore website marketing. A web designer makes an average pay of £22,860 per year.
Content writing is also one of the most in-demand services sought by businesses worldwide. Before, only newspapers, magazines and other publications ask for content. Now, websites, blogs, and social media pages are looking for great copies and amazing content. You just have to master the art of writing and be familiar with a wide variety of topics and niches.
Tutorial is another in-demand business that can take place offline or through the internet. Use your knowledge of mathematics, science, history, and music to teach young ones. There are hundreds of parents seeking for tutors. Probably, one of them is just your neighbor. Moreover, online tutorial is in-demand online. There are dozens of online tutorial sites that seek for great English speakers who can teach the English language to students.
Expert at something? Well, you can offer consulting services. You just have to help people improve what they are doing through your expertise and knowledge. Basically, this includes IT, business, investment, insurance, marriage, family, addiction, etc.
Providing personal services is one of the most fun services to offer. This includes personal shopping, errand running, bill payment, etc. You just need to be honest and attentive to the errands provided to you. Further, it will be nice if you have your own car for convenience.
In this digital age, people are fond of shopping online. Keep up with the trend! Sell stuff online. It can be through Amazon, eBay, or even social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
These small businesses can turn huge the soonest if you really work hard and dedicate your time to growing your “no-capital” business.