Collaboration best practices for remote teams

Teams thrive when individuals play to their unique strengths, uniquely contributing to a shared, greater goal. But if you and your teammates are working at different times of the day, in different parts of the world, the team will need to work together a little differently. What does effective collaboration look like in a distributed team like this? The challenges of collaborating in a distributed team A distributed team is…  Read more

Improving your business with better time management

When things are hectic, most small business owners wish they could find a way to get more than 24 hours into a day. Often, your ‘to-do’ list can get so long that you feel you never get to put as much attention into every task as you would like. It can also mean more time in the office or dealing with work issues after-hours – cutting into your free time…  Read more

How to Survive the Emotional and Financial Devastation of a Job Loss

The loss of a job is one of the most devastating things a person can go through. The results of a job loss can be long lasting and the implications go far beyond the financial. While losing your job will most likely put your financial life at risk, the emotional consequences can be just as damaging. When you consider that most of us spend more time at our jobs than…  Read more

Tips for choosing a small business bank

Finding the right bank to serve your small business needs can be a daunting task. With so many competing financial institutions to choose from, business owners simply don’t have the time for the in-depth research required to carefully weigh all the options. This guide to choosing a small business bank will help you narrow down your choices so you find the best fit for you. Small, medium, or large? You…  Read more

Should you bill by the hour or offer fixed rate packages?

If you’re like most freelancers, knowing how to price your services can be a real struggle. Charging an hourly rate can feel less scary than asking for a higher priced fixed rate package because you know you’ll be compensated for every hour you spend on a project. But there are drawbacks to trading time for money – not the least of which is that it limits your earning potential. Read…  Read more

When You Should Consider Hiring a Business Lawyer

When you run a small business, every cent counts. It can be difficult to spend money on anything you don’t consider vital. Hiring a lawyer during key times in your small business might seem like an unnecessary expense, but the money you spend now on a business attorney could save you time, money, and energy in the long run and could protect your business. When it comes to your small…  Read more

Bookkeeping Basics for Small Business Owners

On average, small business owners spend 10 hours each week recording, organizing, and processing financial transactions – everything from accounts receivable and payable, to employee payments, expense receipts and supplier invoices. While the process may be time-consuming (and tedious!), effective bookkeeping is the foundation of sound financial management – which in turn, is the lifeblood of your business. Feeling overwhelmed by mountains of paperwork and complex calculations? Here are three…  Read more

The advantages of a business dashboard

Business dashboards are a valuable business intelligence tool, offering an “at-a-glance” big picture view of a company’s performance. Some business owners use a dashboard to track KPIs relevant to just one aspect of their business, such as sales growth, marketing, or financial data. Others rely on an executive dashboard for an overview of data culled from various sources (e.g. their accounting software, CRM tools, and website analytics). The great advantage…  Read more

Why giving back is good for your business

If your business hasn’t made it a habit to support a good cause, here’s why you should: giving back does more than make a difference in your community. Participating in charitable activities can have a positive impact on your staff, your customers and your bottom line. Customers want to support companies that demonstrate a commitment to more than earning a profit. A 2010 study by Cone Marketing showed that 85…  Read more

Workable New Year resolutions

New Year resolutions – we’ve all made them, and broken them − often before the end of January. There’s something about New Year celebrations that makes us yearn for a fresh start, but is there a way to make that desire for change more permanent? Here’s a twist that can make your resolutions more durable, more beneficial and less prone to that embarrassing quick fade. Align goals to your business…  Read more

Enjoying a stress-free holiday

As a business owner it’s important to take time away from work. But worrying about whether staff are meeting deadlines and suppliers are happy translates to more stress and less time enjoying your holiday. With a little staff communication and planning beforehand, you needn’t worry that your business won’t be able to cope in your absence. If you really can’t switch off from work mode or something urgent pops up,…  Read more

The True Value of Networking

There are all kinds of groups dedicated to networking. Some are highly structured with performance requirements, exclusive membership, and the payment of dues. Others are free form, come as you please and no charge. Not every group is right for every kind of business. You will find that some groups may simply not have connections in the market you are seeking to attract. You will find some groups have rules…  Read more

Why Keep Your Data in the Cloud?

Cloud computing is quickly moving from an obscure concept to an everyday reality for small businesses all over the world. A 2015 survey of small business owners found that 52% had already adopted some form of cloud-based data storage; however, a general lack of awareness regarding the logistics and advantages of cloud computing has made others a bit more resistant. The truth is, there are several very practical benefits to…  Read more

Tips for Managing Remote Teams

So many business employees are now telecommuting, that companies around the world are restructuring their management practices to meet the challenges of remote collaboration. Because they tend to be more agile and open to change, small businesses are particularly well positioned to adapt to telecommuting. Increased productivity and happier employees who appreciate the added flexibility are just a few benefits winning over small business owners. But telecommuting also presents some…  Read more

Signs it’s time to upgrade systems

Most small business owners can’t afford to think small. They always need to keep their mind on growth strategies to help them achieve long-term profitability. But becoming profitable in the first place often requires business owners to work long hours on a shoe-string budget. They don’t always have time to implement systems that will support them when they’re ready to scale. It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to use free or…  Read more

Tips to Keep Your Business Finances in Order

If you’re like most small business owners, you spend the majority of your time managing daily operations, keeping customers happy, and looking for new ways to grow. Spreadsheets, cash flow analysis, and financial projections are probably not your first passion. However, measuring profitability, creating realistic budgets, and planning ahead for the future are crucial to your professional success. Follow these four tips to get a handle on the numbers, and…  Read more

Ways to keep customer data secure

Cyber crime is a serious concern for business owners. Recently IBM Chair, CEO, and President, Ginni Rometty, called it “the greatest threat to every company in the world”. According to Juniper Research, by 2019 cyber crime will cost businesses a staggering $2 trillion. It’s impossible to put a dollar value on what your customer data is worth – or the cost to your business should sensitive data be compromised by…  Read more

Presentations – Saying It Without Words

It’s easy to believe that the key skill in giving a presentation is making sure you say the right thing, but studies have shown that 55% of your message comes from non-verbal cues and people remember more if they see something than if they just hear it. This article looks at the eight areas you need to focus on to make the most of that 55%. Your Natural Style Making…  Read more

Spotting Problem Employees Ahead of Time

Your employees are the blood of your entrepreneurial life. No start-up will survive without a good set of people making sure that things run perfectly. The problem for you and any other entrepreneur is making sure that the people on your team are trustworthy and reliable. Some people have a sixth sense when it comes to reading people, but if you’re not that lucky you can simply keep an eye…  Read more

The three most important financial reports

While many small business owners prefer brainstorming new ideas to pouring over financial reports, getting a handle on financial analysis can be remarkably empowering. Taking the time to regularly review financial statements can help you assess and improve current performance, avoid risk and make scalable plans for future growth. Protect your company’s financial health by learning your way around these three financial reports. Cash flow statement The cash flow statement…  Read more

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