6 articles Articles posted in Business

Ways To Save Money if You Run Your Own Business

Running a Small BusinessWith rising living and childcare costs, more people than ever seem to be looking at ways that they can work from home so that they can limit their expenditure and maximise their income. Starting a business and becoming self employed may seem daunting but there are a lot of advantages to flexible working and many people have huge success. Although it may seem like you’re spending more than you make when you first start, it’s all part of getting started, and we’ve got some tips on how you can save money as a small business owner.

Do Your Own Accounts

Unless your accounts are really complicated (which is unlikely in your first years as a small business) it’s actually really easy to do your accounts yourself online these days, which cuts the need for accountancy fees or an external payroll service. This could save you a lot of money in the long run and is also a great skill to have under your belt for the future.

Online Printing

If you need to use flyers or posters for promoting your business, using an online printing service like https://www.helloprint.co.uk/ could save you a small fortune. Their service is really easy to use, they offer free delivery on all products and they print on an incredibly diverse range of media – you could even print your company logo on a load of umbrellas!

Negotiate

Here in England, so many of us seem uncomfortable with the idea of bartering on prices but it’s common practice throughout almost the whole rest of the world! If you’re doing business with other people, never accept their first price as bartering could save you a lot of money. Many small businesses offer services as part payment for things too, so if you have a valuable skill you could offer this instead of cash.

Check Your Tarrifs

If you use your home as a place of business, check to see if there are better tariffs available for your energy costs, broadband supplier or telephone contract. Many companies offer special business rates, or even if there’s no money off, some companies will prioritise repairs if they’re for business users, so it could be worth a call to find out if it makes a difference.

Learn New Skills

If you’re looking to save money then taking a few courses could be an investment which saves you money in the long run and give you even more autonomy over how you want your business to run. Need to keep marketing costs low? Take a course in social media marketing and run your campaigns yourself. Need to save on accounting costs? Some companies like Sage offer day courses in small business accounts and payroll which will be a lot cheaper than years of services from an accountant or payroll person.

Streamlining Organizations Operation Efficiency Using CRM

The world today is fast becoming a global economy and people communicate, sell, and buy in different ways. Customer relationship management is critical in facilitating and achieving better communication and analysis by securing, simplifying, and scaling the customer engagements. There are a lot of benefits that businesses and organizations can attain by taking advantage of CRM. Here are just but a few:

Business growth

Some businesses believe that prospecting is a salespersons job, but this is not the case. In fact, it’s the collection of automated and manual information across different channels that can result in a business opportunity. A CRM system helps in prospecting since you can acquire leads from trade shows, email campaigns and websites then send them to your sales people. Additionally, the system can identify market opportunities and new products, and this helps in improving the calling efficiency.

Customer intimacy

Customer intimacy involves the tailoring of client engagements, services, and products to match customer’s industry or business. This is one of the best ways for medium and small sized businesses to compete in an overcrowded and competitive market. CRM system helps such companies to capture their customer and behavior which is great in streamlining sales activities, product development, and also enable target marketing. CRM provides the customer with the impression that you know their preferences and needs and the system can take note of these things for hundreds of customers at a given time.

Replication businesses best practices

Businesses will always have an idea on how to go about engaging their customers, but the problem for most businesses is how to deliver a consistently high-quality customer experience. CRM provides an efficient way to embed the best customer service and sales processes that are effective in guiding businesses through different aspects of customer interaction. There are different websites that outline how Workflow animation and Templates can be used to create and simplify complex processes. That said, by visiting the Salesforce website, you will discover how various activities are automated to reduce the administrative overhead of the CRM and ensure that best practices are followed. You’ll also get answers to questions like what is CRM?

Defining your future business metrics

CRM is a valuable tool, especially when considering events and trends that act as a lead indicator of your profit metrics and revenue. Managers can use the CRM dashboards to consider the lead indicators, especially when pipelining value to spot any indicators of future problems, opportunity creation, and also lead creation. The sales leaders can also view the activities of teams or sales people to trace problems that might affect revenue generation such as the opportunity to close rates, lead conversion rates, customer calling activity, and territorial coverage.

The marketing leader will be able to trace the marketing campaigns and activities to make adjustments to the marketing plan in relation to the failure and success of those activities. On the other hand, the customer service leader will take a closer look at his/her people and take note of the most efficient individuals. Additionally, the service leader will monitor escalations and get alerts in cases that are past due date. It will now be up to the product manager to analyze cases and monitor products to evaluate whether there is any defect and also feature requests that are important in improving the products and services delivery.

CRM presents different advantages that are useful in pushing the business forward. However, it’s important for businesses to consider future goals and business strategy since it plays a huge role in the overall business success.

How To Organize Your Event On A Budget

So, you have an amazing idea for an event and are faced with one of the largest challenges in coordination – budgeting. Staying inside the client’s budget can be harder than it sounds, making the need for expert organization key in pulling everything off.

Get your Excel spreadsheet ready, this is your 10 step guide to making any event a cost savvy production.

1. Start With The Site

Without a location, there is no event! Since this is where the initial cost is going to accumulate, this is where you will want to get started.

Meet with your venue’s sale manager and track all of the projected rental fees. Keep things like housekeeping, baggage handling, and other expenses for renting this venue in mind, adding them all into the spreadsheet.

2. Catering Adds Up, Fast

Food and beverages are an essential part of any event. Whether that includes a hot meal for every guest, a Sweet Services dessert buffet or wine and cheese pairings, mark down every expense the caterer will charge. You will also want to take gratuities into consideration, which can be up to 30%.

3. Transportation And Travel

Will you need a shuttle or coaches? How about event transfers? Write down what transportation could be used for the event, narrow it down to what is absolutely necessary. Don’t be afraid to utilize a cheaper company when you can. Just make sure to include any and all related expenses.

4. Décor Matters

If there is a general theme to the event, this step is made a little easier. However, many event planners are responsible for centerpieces, floral arrangements, and more.

Doing these yourself can drive down costs. If you cannot afford to hire someone to do this for you, create pieces you can pick up and arrange around the venue. As always, go with what is cost effective.

5. Entertainment And Equipment

In this step, you are simply documenting A/V equipment or any entertainment hired. Pro Tip: this is an excellent place to list honorariums to speakers.

6. Printing Charges

You’ll want to make sure that you have included every single small item cost for the event. Start with the easily overlooked like invitations, nametags, program booklets, and banners.

7. A Separate Line Item For Gifts

Never allow the guests from leaving empty handed, but also don’t forget to track the cost of gifts separately. These might be small charges, but they can add up quick. Tracking them separately will help you keep them in check.

8. Are There Activities?

Now that the bulk of the event’s cost has been written down and estimated, you can move on to additional costs. Golfing, spa services, tennis and more can fall into this category. Summarize the total cost, then attach a breakdown to keep your client thrilled.

9. Funding

At this point, you will want to in touch with your client to double check the price tag of the event and their budget. If you happen to be planning and funding your own solo venture, you might want to consider a crowdsourcing option, like Plumfund, to meet your estimated costs.

10. When It’s All Said And Done

After the event is over, calculate your total expenses and compare them with the actual cost. This is the best part, because you get to see where you saved money. Make sure to show what you brought to the table by letting your client see those savings, or pat yourself on the back for a job well done if this was a solo venture.

Author Bio:

Zachary Whatule

Zachary Whatule is a super-connector with ManageBacklinks.io who helps businesses with building their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. Zachary frequently writes about the latest advancements in the SaaS world and digital marketing.

What is a Limited Liability Company Tax ID

Limited liability companies are a great way to start your business, especially when you are starting off small as it is the least complex in comparison of the other business structures. However, even as a small company or a company of one, yourself, you still need to get a limited liability company tax ID.

Difference Maker

There is a big difference between limited liability companies and all of the other business structures when it comes to taxes, but the primary difference being that LLC is a business structure created at the state level which means the federal government does not recognize a limited liability company in its own tax classification. Although your LLC tax ID number will come from the IRS, in their eyes you will always be classified as either a corporation or a partnership depending on the specifics and membership of your LLC.

Advantages 

There are many advantages to creating a limited liability company. Some of those are:

  • As owner, you can report profits and losses on your personal tax returns eliminating double taxation.
  • Legal protection from business debts acquired during the life of the company.
  • Having an LLC enhances credibility with suppliers, partners, possible lenders.

The Process

After you have done your research on the steps you need to take for creating your LLC, you will be ready to get your federal tax ID number. When you utilize the services of a specialist like IRS-EIN-TAX-ID.com, they will help you to get your tax ID number, possibly, with the same day. Once you submit online, simply wait and within a few hours you will have your newly assigned tax ID confirmation from the federal government.

Getting your tax id number is important even if you have a limited liability company. It will help to establish you as the professional organization that you are.

 

How to Make a Success of Your Online Business

Having an online business, be it for selling something or some other service, can give you the flexibility of working from home, dictating your own hours, reducing the need for childcare and saving you money on commuting or additional premises. However, while is may sound like jacking your job in and going it alone is the solution to a perfect life, there are a LOT of things which can go wrong with a new business, not least of all being the lack of security.

We’ve got five tips for you which anyone thinking of starting a new business should think about before taking a leap of faith.

Know Your Niche

Knowing your niche is hugely important, especially if it’s a market which is already flooded. If you plan to start a business which is just like another, already established one, what is going to make people shop with you rather than going to the on they already know? It’s a fact that most new businesses fail within the first year, so planning ahead and making sure you really know your market is hugely important.

Build Your Audience

Online shops are NOTHING without customers. You can have the best products advertised on the sleekest website but if no-one is buying your stuff, it’s all pointless. Social media is one of the best allies that a new business can have because it allows you to build your audience and give your business a personal touch. Remain professional but personable and engaging when you speak to people and your shop will be memorable to them.

Proper marketing

As with the point about social media above, people will only shop with you if they know about your shop! Using some of your start-up budget on proper marketing from a service like Innovation Company will ensure that you spread your message as optimally as possible for your budget, with professionals who really know marketing on your side.

Good Customer Service

Anyone who does a customer facing job knows that “the customer is always right”, and although we all know that sometimes the customer is ACTUALLY a frustrating ass, dealing with people in the right way will really win you support from people. Obviously we aren’t suggesting that you allow yourself to be fleeced by chancers who are trying to get something for free, but being accomodating with your customers will go a LONG way towards making them loyal to you.

Cheapest Isn’t Always Best

When you first start a business, there’s a massive instinct that you need to undercut the competition in order to win customers, which isn’t always the case. Many people are still suspicious of the cheapest shops because they feel that they must be ‘too good to be true’ and will opt for something slightly more expensive for a sense of reassurance. Also, pricing yourself so low that your business cannot afford to continue won’t help anyone!

Do you have any tips of how to make the bets of a new business? Do leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

Best Payment Gateway for International E-Commerce

e-commerceLaunching and maintaining your own business can be a confusing and somewhat overwhelming prospect. This is perhaps especially true in today’s world, where you could be selling to someone across the world just as easily as you could someone next door. In order to take advantage of the larger market and help use it to our advantage, it is important to have the right tools at your disposal. The best payment gateway for international e-commerce, for example, is important to help all of your transactions, no matter where they originate, run smoothly. To do this, you should look into a great merchant processor that can offer you other benefits, like a free credit card machine.

Merchant Account Processor

One of the main tools at your disposal when it comes to running your international business is your merchant account processor. You need a service that can help provide your customers with a seamless purchasing experience whether they are local, or located across the globe. To do this, take your time and look for a well-established merchant account processor that understands how to provide you the services you need. They might also offer extras, like a free credit card machine, to further help make your experience a good one.

Beware the Fees

Something else to keep in mind is that you will end up paying a processing fee on every credit card payment you receive. That means that you naturally want to find the merchant account processor with the lowest credit card processing fees you can find. This will help ensure that you retain as much of your money as possible rather than losing it to simple transaction fees.

Merchant Account Solutions offers experienced and comprehensive service to all of their customers. Take a look at how they can help you!