Cashflow: the No. 1 thing you need to know about your business

When you own a small business, it’s vital you understand how money flows into and out of it. At a basic level, you need to know where your income comes from and what your expenses are. At a deeper level, knowing how money moves through your business can help you make strategic decisions about growth, invoicing, and debt management. The consequences of not understanding money can be drastic—poor financial management…  Read more

Three reasons to focus on fantastic customer service

Small business owners know that to find a loyal customer base, they have to stand out from their competitors. One of the best, and easiest, ways to do that is to have outstanding customer service. How you treat your customers reflects your entire business. People think positively on companies that treat their customers and clients well. Unfortunately, many small business owners focus a lot of attention on their products and…  Read more

Eight characteristics of successful small businesses

We now look at eight characteristics important to successful businesses. International researchers who have studied many small businesses have found that these characteristics consistently play a part in the success of small companies. The eight characteristics are: Owners leading by Example Having a simple business structure Information sharing among employees Staff are carefully chosen Staff commitment and loyalty A unique product or service A specific Customer focus Prompt follow up…  Read more

Planning the year ahead

The turn of the year usually prompts most people to think about some business planning for the year ahead. Here are some tips to make the planning more productive. Get your team involved Business planning works best when it’s a team effort. Involve your key staff and your advisors, such as your accountant, your mentor (if you have one), and others who can contribute meaningfully to the planning, such as…  Read more

How your small business can attract top talent

Often small business owners worry unnecessarily when it’s time to hire employees. They fear because they can’t offer the same high salaries and impressive benefits of a large company, they won’t be able to attract skilled workers. Fortunately, for many young workers these days, the ideal job doesn’t necessarily come with a big salary. Often it’s the opportunities and experiences a smaller company can offer that will pique their interest…  Read more

Main causes of stress for business owners and how to counter them

Many entrepreneurs believe that hard work and dogged determination are all it takes to build and sustain a successful business. But when you consider the pressures of running a company, it seems wise to add effective stress-management to the list. Left unchecked, stress can erode your passion and undermine performance – not to mention, take a serious toll on your health. Research compiled by Office Vibe reveals that over 70%…  Read more

Tips for keeping your business data secure

It’s no secret that data loss can be a costly nightmare for a small business, with recent estimates citing the total cost of data breaches exceeding $2.1 trillion by 2019. Unfortunately, cyber attackers increasingly target small businesses because they are less likely to have security protection in place. Accidental loss or loss due to a natural disaster can be just as harmful to a business, with recovery efforts and delays…  Read more

How to get your life back in a seven-day-a-week business

Small business owners already have a difficult and time-consuming job running their business. If their business is open five days a week, they usually need the weekend to catch up on paperwork, pay bills and manage any tasks they didn’t get to during the week. For those with a seven-day-a-week business, there’s even less time off. They often feel the need to be onsite any time the business is open,…  Read more

Is a business mentor worthwhile?

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” — John Crosby The opportunity to learn from a mentor can do more for a small business owner than any course, educational program, or degree. Being a mentee means you get the benefit of first-hand experience, without having to make all the mistakes yourself. There are, in fact, a host of reasons why a…  Read more

Why hiring a bookkeeper is a great investment

As a small business owner, you’re likely concerned about every penny you spend. That’s a good thing, because you need to keep track of your income and expenses. It also means, however, that you might be less likely to hire people who can help your business. People like bookkeepers, who are great investments for any small business. So what does a bookkeeper do? Bookkeepers take care of the daily financial…  Read more

Could a four day week help your business thrive?

The “overwork epidemic” is a serious problem world-wide. In Japan, there’s even a word for it; to die by karōshi is to suffer a heart attack or stroke brought on by unrelenting overtime and occupational stress. In addition to the negative impact on health and well-being, working too much is bad for productivity. According to a US study, employees who put in more than 50 hours a week – as…  Read more

Three Reasons to Focus on Fantastic Customer Service

Small business owners know that to find a loyal customer base, they have to stand out from their competitors. One of the best, and easiest, ways to do that is to have outstanding customer service. How you treat your customers reflects your entire business. People think positively on companies that treat their customers and clients well. Unfortunately, many small business owners focus a lot of attention on their products and…  Read more

Mastering tone for business emails

Research suggests that as much as 93% of communication is non-verbal, so it’s not surprising that the tone and meaning of emails are misinterpreted as much as half the time. For small businesses, email is frequently the preferred way to communicate with new leads, customers and employees – but if haven’t mastered your tone, the meaning of your message may be lost. In the worst case scenario, you may even…  Read more

Should you hire remote overseas workers?

The rise of the global workforce has opened up exciting possibilities for small business owners whose growing companies could use an extra set of hands. If you’re wondering whether it’s worthwhile to hire overseas workers for virtual admin support or other business services, cost considerations alone can make the prospect quite attractive. Before you decide to hire an overseas worker for your next project, keep these important considerations in mind.…  Read more

Use your Accounting Software to Boost Sales

If you think accounting software is just for tracking expenses and generating financial reports, you’re losing out on an opportunity to improve your bottom line. By taking advantage of insights provided by your software solution, you’ll benefit from a more informed approach to marketing and customer service – and by making the most of all the ways your software can improve productivity you can take meaningful action to increase profits.…  Read more

Tips for writing effective performance reviews

Without knowing your break-even point, you can’t make informed business decisions. The performance review has become a rite of passage in the business world, yet many managers and employees fail to make the most of the opportunities these important discussions can provide. When used properly, the annual review process can provide managers with real insight into everything from employee perception of the company to ways to make the firm better…  Read more

Paying down debt

Debt can be a crippling problem for small businesses wanting to grow or just break-even during difficult times. By reducing debt you’ll improve the value of your business, its financial situation, and its ability to continue operating into the future. Assess your debt situation Take a detailed look at all of your debts – both current and long term. Evaluate which ones are more urgent and which can be parked…  Read more

Is technology making you less efficient?

“For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three.” Alice Kahn If you feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of technological gadgets out there, never mind apps and other digital “solutions”, you’re not alone. Technology sprawl and the rabbit hole of more and more information, available all the time, is making productivity—and healthy downtime—a real challenge for many of us.…  Read more

Working out an effective marketing budget

“How much should I spend on marketing?” Most small business people ask me this question at some stage. Many small business people find working out how much to spend on marketing a tricky exercise to calculate. Generally there are five ways to work out a marketing budget for the year. Remember that these are marketing budgets, not advertising budgets. Marketing covers everything you do in your business that creates awareness,…  Read more

Eight characteristics of successful small businesses

We now look at eight characteristics important to successful businesses. International researchers who have studied many small businesses have found that these characteristics consistently play a part in the success of small companies. The eight characteristics are: Owners leading by Example Having a simple business structure Information sharing among employees Staff are carefully chosen Staff commitment and loyalty A unique product or service A specific Customer focus Prompt follow up…  Read more

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