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

Three Ways an Accountant Can Save You Money

Many small business owners think they’re saving money by handling their financials themselves. While it’s a real asset to learn bookkeeping basics, cash flow management and your tax obligations, hiring an accountant to oversee your finances has many benefits. Leaving your books to a pro will free up time so you can focus on serving your clients and implementing plans for growth. Here are a few ways an accounting professional…  Read more

Tips for more productive meetings

Increasing efficiency and minimizing costs are essential to running a profitable business. Yet many small business owners waste countless hours on meetings that lack focus, run on too long, and pull staff away from more productive tasks. Follow these seven tips to make your meetings more efficient and cost-effective. What’s your goal? Every meeting should have a clear objective, and a reason the meeting is needed (versus an email or…  Read more

Worthwhile Expenses for Entrepreneurs

Being an entrepreneur is often about getting the most value out of your resources. That means spending only on the necessities, and nothing more. Unfortunately, things you consider to be a waste of your capital may actually be what your start-up needs to survive. Some of them are expensive, especially for a new company, but they’re worthwhile. Data Analysis Successful entrepreneurs are usually well informed. They don’t make decisions solely…  Read more

Social Media Etiquette: 12 Quick Tips for Professionals

With social media, you can connect with business associates quickly and creatively. But this communication mode is not without risk. A thoughtless post can offend customers and other business partners and damage relationships rather than build them. By following a few ground rules you can be confident your comments and posts will be appropriate ones. Abstain From Posting or Tweeting Certain Information If you aren’t sure it’s acceptable to post…  Read more

5 Ways to Save Money for your Business

Looking for simple ways to cut costs? These tips will help you make a noticeable difference to your bottom line. 1. Reduce staff costs Without a doubt, having someone to help deal with routine tasks can greatly improve productivity. The rub is that hired help is often too expensive for small business owners. Internships can be a real win-win: a student gets hands-on experience assisting you with marketing, accounting or…  Read more

Using KPIs to monitor and improve business performance

The key performance indicators (KPIs) for one company will invariably be different from the KPIs of another firm.  What both hypothetical companies share however, is the challenge of selecting which KPIs are best suited for measuring the goals and progress of their particular business model. Indeed, entrepreneurs have a vast array of reports and data sets from which to choose and select from, but that data needs to target those…  Read more

Finding money within your business

Most small businesses experience cash flow problems from time to time and urgently need working capital. Many business owners immediately think of the bank or loans when they’re short of money. But there are other resources you can tap before you ask for that expensive overdraft or overdraft extension. The money you need might already be there—locked up in inventory, assets or your debtors’ book. You can often free up…  Read more

Surprisingly Destructive Habits You Should Avoid as an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs want to have their hands on every aspect of their start-up. This is understandable, as many entrepreneurs come into their respective industries from a place of passion. Their passion will drive them to spend long nights at the office, working hard every hour of every day. Unknown to them, this kind of attitude can actually lead to some destructive outcomes. You must avoid these habits, despite the allure of…  Read more

3 easy and inexpensive ways to look more professional when you’re starting out

For bootstrapping young businesses, making a professional first impression as you build your brand is key. Although hiring a branding expert may be too large an expense in the early days, you can still help your business stand out in the best possible way without breaking the bank. Just follow these simple marketing moves that will help people to know, like, and trust you. 1. Build credibility with your own…  Read more

Protect Your Small Business from Cyber Attack

Many small business owners assume that cyber attacks only happen to big companies, banks or governments. But the truth is, limited knowledge of digital security and lack of defences make small businesses particularly vulnerable to attack. Research shows that 71% of all cyber attacks happen to businesses with less than 100 employees – and yet many CEOs have yet to invest in a formal defense plan. With cyber attack insurance…  Read more

Update your business plan for a new year

As another year winds down, it’s a good time to reflect on your recent business successes – and consider what you’d like to achieve in the coming twelve to fifteen months. These tips can help you with the process of making plans to help guide your business to greater success. Set priorities Entrepreneurs are typically highly creative and optimistic; as a result, they often have difficulty narrowing down their ideas…  Read more

How to turn your hobby into a business

Thinking about turning your passion into a paying gig? These steps will help you avoid some common mistakes as you set out to earn an income from your favorite pastime. Do you have what it takes? Unless you’ve run a business before, it’s easy to get carried away with the idea of how perfect it will be to get paid for doing what you love. Reality check: the stress of…  Read more

How to create good habits in business

If you’re like most small business owners, there are never enough hours in the day to complete every task on your list. Often you’re faced with prioritizing what you need to do right now – deal with a customer, meet a deadline, attend an event – and the things you know you should do for the ongoing growth of your business. Scheduling time to attend to these business activities on…  Read more

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