Virtual Office Services: The Savvy Entrepreneurs’ Super Strategy for Saving on Business Cost!

Are you thinking of starting your own business but you don’t want to commit to some expensive office space right now?

Does the idea of running your business virtually, operating from wherever you wish, something that is interesting to you?

Then investing in virtual office services is what you should consider.

What Is A Virtual Office?

According to Wikipedia,

“A virtual office provides address (and sometimes communication) services for a fee, without providing dedicated office space. It differs from “office business centers” or “executive suites”, which do provide physical office space and/or meeting rooms.”

The idea of virtual office services developed from executive suites, which offer a full range of office services plus office space. It’s simply a modern invention which combines technology and smart use of resources. However, it must be noted that virtual office companies don’t offer their clients more office space.

Benefits of Virtual Offices

How Does A Virtual Office Work?

When you get a virtual office you’re getting a real business address with a lot of other real office facilities attached. You can put the business address on your business cards, letterheads and other company correspondence.

When prospective clients or customers desire information about your business and they call the dedicated line assigned to you, it will be answered and the message relayed to you.

Benefits of Virtual Office Companies

There are lots of benefits that virtual offices offer to business owners in our today’s world. But for this post we will only look at a few of them.

1. Easily Adapt To Your Company’s Busy Seasons

One of the best benefits of contracting with a virtual office company is the ability to easily adapt to your company’s busy seasons. A virtual office company, such as Solid Cactus, can easily adapt to finishing orders after business hours and on weekends. Solid Cactus, in ensuring that you do not miss any orders, can easily increase the number of hours and personnel assigned to your company.

They can also use ecommerce platforms to fill or fix orders. Using your company’s selected systems, Solid Cactus can easily complete all the paperwork required each day. They are able to provide you with reports on the orders they process for you.

If your business involves making appointments, Solid Cactus can handle this, too. They will schedule any home visits, deliveries or even luncheon appointments with your clients. They answer all telephone calls with a minimum of waiting and greet all customers in a professional manner.

Recommended: How Small Businesses Can Collaborate for Better Results

2. Work From Anywhere

Virtual offices give you the freedom of working from anywhere you choose.

This is great if you have always desired your own lifestyle business  – a business that allows you to travel the world, living the lifestyle of your dream, while you build your business.

This is the dream of many today as they now take advantage of the available technology and run their businesses on the go – without any physical office. So, if you’re a lifestyle business entrepreneur virtual office services are just great!

Work From Anywhere

3. Expand Your Business With Minimal Overheads

Every wise entrepreneur would readily jump at any growth opportunity. This is why many are also taking advantage of globalization, and the available technology, to spread their business tentacles to locations that were before now outside their reach.

Unfortunately, expanding to new locations comes with some extra cost. For example, you need things like office space and new equipment in the new location. But with the availability of virtual office services you don’t have to invest in a physical office space and whatever other material that is needed to run the office.

In fact, a virtual office company, like Solid Cactus as we have seen above, will help you run your business operations in the new location at a minimal cost to you.

4. Grow Your Business With Ease

A virtual office company is also a great way to grow your business. When you move into a new area or launch a new product, you can try it out without making permanent commitments to space and staffing. Using the services of a virtual office company you can pitch your products at your customers to find out if your customers like your product or not, whether they want it in a different color or in a different form.

So, don’t forget to investigate using a virtual office company like Solid Cactus to build your brand. Doing so is missing out on a great helpmate.

Recommended: Want to Motivate Your Employees? Try These 3 Simple Tricks

Some Specialized Services from Virtual Office Companies

Virtual Office Services

While virtual offices were initially about providing a real business office address and some services like receiving business calls and such like, these days many virtual office companies like Solid Cactus now offer business marketing services that will increase your sales. Some of these services include upselling, performing customer calls, and handling credit problems.

Because many business sales these days are concluded by email this has become one of the specialized services that virtual office companies like Solid Cactus also handles. Whatever your business’s email need, they will handle it all. As the owner, you can determine which items to return to you for further action. This way, you are kept abreast of any problems with your business.

Another specialized virtual office service that Solid Cactus offers is echat. This allows direct communication over the internet with your customers and the employees of Solid Cactus. Your customers don’t have to wait to have their questions answered anymore. And this is great for your business as excellent customer service is a known driver of sales to any company.

Recommended: How NOT to Make Life Difficult For Your Customers

Conclusion:

Virtual offices, and the services they provide, are growing in popularity by the day. This is because of the many benefits they offer businesses. This is in addition to the many changes happening in the economy. For example, the rise of internet businesses and the desire of many to work virtually. Used in conjunction with the available technology today they do not only save you money on rent but allow you to access valuable business services at a minimal cost.

So, whether you’re just getting started with your business and you want to save cost or you’re thinking of expanding to new locations, investing in some form of virtual office service is something you should consider.

How NOT to Make Life Difficult For Your Customers. Make Them Fall in Love with You!

Making the customer experience a pleasant one is something that many businesses take for granted. But this shouldn’t be.

You’ll agree that there are so many options open to the customer these days than we have had at any time in the history of mankind. Any business therefore that makes life more difficult for the customer instead of making it easier for them, do not realize what harm they are doing to themselves.

This might surprise you but it’s the truth all the same. According to a study some time past by Bain & Company, 60-80% of customers who reported being satisfied do not go back to do more business with the company that initially satisfied them!

This means beyond making a customer like you, you should aim at turning the customer into a promoter. And this can only happen when you make life easier for them.

Before now doing this has always been a problem because, like we have said already, customers have so many different choices. However, with the technological advances of our time businesses can now have a relationship that is “inter personal” with every single customer they serve.

So, do you desire a powerful customer experience? Then simply seek out ways to know how the life of a customer proceeds so you can make it easier for them instead of adding more to their complicated life situations.

Think about it. You are likely a customer yourself, at least in some small capacity. This means that you have at least a slight understanding about how consumer attitudes work, and how to improve them. As someone in the process of running a business, it pays to know how these things come together.

Making life difficult for your customers is easier than you think. Doing this can impede your potential revenue, and overall success as a firm.

How to Make Life easier for Your Customers

How to Make Life EASIER for Your Customers

1. Respect Your Customers

It’s so easy for businesses to fall into the ‘common denominator’ perspective of marketing. This might mean using overly catchy jingles within the scope of strange advertisement campaigns. It might mean the general dumbed-down branding your corporation uses. It might even mean how you expect your staff to interact with the customers they encounter. Customers in the modern-day expect a form of respect. This means respecting their intelligence.

Acting as a cool corporate mouthpiece is much more important than hammering your brand home as hard and wide as possible. If you manage to subtly market through allowing your customers to partake in ‘inside humor,’ a feeling of loyalty and crafting a narrative around your firm customers can feel included with, you have a much more refined strategy to forming and retaining customers.

2. Allow Them to Pay

It’s ridiculous to consider how many businesses might neglect overall maintenance over the acquisition and retention of funding.

Allow your consumers to pay. This means scheduling website maintenance and downtime for the lowest expected period of website traffic. It also means allowing for promotional deals and materials to be available around the heightened frequency of these times. It means making sure your credit card machines are in order and well functional at the very least.

Additionally, you could also develop incentives for customers to continually stick with your firm. There are so many choices online that the lack of care here might make you lose thousands in revenue.

Foster brand loyalty through excellent customer service, repeat and personalized promotional material, as well as hidden free extras. This way, purchasing power feels worth it, and it will certainly be directed towards you in the future.

Foster brand loyalty through excellent customer service

3. Support

You need to be active and aware regarding all support requests leveled towards you. This means sometimes investigating the difficulty a client is facing first and foremost.

Identifying issues might take time, and it might lead to nasty truths about your systematized business practices. Always looking for a solution and learning from the smallest issues could afford you potential BIG breaks in the future potential of your firm. It will also help you develop a corporate attitude in which the customer is key, and this is the cardinal rule of most successful firms.

Invest in your support as much as possible. It will grant you the keys to not only sustain your audience, but to develop a positive relationship there.

Conclusion

While creating a customer experience that is exceptional may be a huge challenge is however something that every business that desires good results must commit to. This is most important at a time like this when the customer wield enormous powers.

Using the above tips you can be sure that the interactions between you and your customer base will produce the results you crave for.

How Your Small Business Can Collaborate With Others for Better Results

Ever heard the saying, a tree cannot make a forest? How about no man is an island?

There’s no doubt that you’ve heard that a hundred times. Now, the truth is that doesn’t just apply to humans only. Businesses too stand to gain a lot when they collaborate.

Considering the challenges of the business environment these days the idea of small businesses working together shouldn’t be toyed with. As a small business entrepreneur working with other similar businesses can help you overcome most of the challenges in the marketplace.

Some of the benefits from this include gaining fresh ideas on running your business, leveraging the power of togetherness to compete more favorably in the marketplace, tap into the knowledge and experience of partnering businesses, etc.

Fact it, collaborating with other businesses is better for you than flexing your muscles and competing with everyone else out there. Of course, I understand that you’re proud of your business’s ability to fend for itself. But you need to be careful because that kind of lone wolf attitude will only take you so far.

As I have said before just as no man is an island so also no small business is an island. Your small business functions as a part of a much large ecosystem, and it can really benefit from working with and collaborating with others.

If the idea of small business collaboration fills you with trepidation, then here are a few suggestions on how you can do it properly…

Tips for small business collaboration

How to Collaborate With Other Businesses

1. Find Companies That Can Do Things and Provide Things You Can’t

Your business might be great, but it can’t do everything for itself. That would simply be unrealistic.

You don’t have to fall into the trap of operating your business like a one-man band. There are companies that can assist you with logistics or technical issues that are hard to get your head round. Then there are financial service providers, such as smallbusinessloans.co, that can help you out too. Those are just a few examples among many others.

There is always going to be people out there who can solve problems you can’t by yourself.

2. Embrace Mutual Benefits

Any and every relationship your business has with another should be mutually beneficial. If it’s not, then it’s simply not worth pursuing any longer.

Go to socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-use-social-partnerships to find out how marketing relationships can be fostered to everyone’s benefit. This is something that you should embrace, as long as you’re not trying to set up partnerships with direct rivals. That’s something that should always be avoided, but there are still many companies out there to work alongside.

Explore the options and don’t ignore the opportunities out there.

Mutual benefits of small business collaboration

3. Be Open to Learning When You Collaborate

As an entrepreneur, it might be easy to think you know it all, especially if you’ve had some success already. However, you should always be open to learning new things and embracing new experiences. When you do that, you will change your own conceptions and make your business better placed to increase its appeal.

Never go into this kind of project with a closed mind because you will only ruin the experience for yourself and your business. And that makes no sense at all. Go into this with a completely open mind.

4. Build Trust and Work Through Issues Constructively

Trust is going to have a big part to play in all of this. If you don’t feel like you can trust the people you’re working with, or they don’t trust you, that’s going to cause very real problems for your business.

However, trust can be built, and it always takes a bit of time to reach that point. It’s about proving to each other that this relationship is worth it. And when issues and differences do arise, critique and make your case in a constructive way.

Basic decency can go a long way when managing business is relationships.

Ways for small businesses to work together

Conclusion

While the idea of two separate companies working together may appear not practicable, in the post I have just shared with you briefly what this can do for your small business and how you can go about it. I’m sure you can now understand what it means to work with others and how you can manage problems, when they arise from your collaboration. It’s now your turn to get out there and start collaborating. It could be exactly what your business needs.

10 Quick Small Business Safety Tips: #8 Is A MUST!

All businesses are at risk to a degree, but small businesses are particularly vulnerable.

Because they lack the resources to defend themselves against every threat that’s out there, they can sometimes be targeted by would-be criminals and other threats. However, a lack of resources or finances doesn’t mean small businesses can’t do anything.

Most threats can be managed without spending a penny: it just takes a little bit of time and effort to make sure things are under control. Below, we outline ten safety practices to keep your small business out of harm’s way.

Small Business Safety Tips

10 Safety Practices for Your Small Business

1. Open Dialogue

The first step you can take to create a safe business and workplace is to foster an open dialogue in the workplace. Things can begin to fall apart when the communication channels break down. For instance, if an employee noticed a vulnerable aspect of your business but kept quiet because they assumed you already knew, you’d be putting yourself at risk for no good reason at all.

Make sure that you have strong, open communication with all your employees, from the lowest, ranked all the way to the top. Your company will be much safer – and stronger in other ways, too – if your workers feel comfortable talking to you about their concerns.

Encourage employee communications for business safety

2. Rogue Employees

Though it’s not a particularly nice thing to think about, sometimes it is our employees who present a threat to our company. If you think an employee may be intentionally harming your business, you may be able to dismiss them on the spot: take a look at 5 common examples of gross misconduct to see the kind of things that merit instant dismissal.

Your job, as the employer, is to be vigilant when it comes to your employees, and also encourage other employees to speak up if they see someone doing something they shouldn’t. You can also reduce the chances of this happening by making sure you follow up on all references and background checks when you employ a person in the first place.

Discourage employee gross misconduct

3. Perform a Review

Sometimes, we don’t even realize just how vulnerable our business or workplace is until we perform a review. You should be taking a look at all aspects of your business from the eyes of someone who might want to do you harm.

How easy would it be for them to achieve it?

If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, get an outside security expert to perform an analysis of your business. Once you know where the holes in your company are, you’ll be in a better position to improve your security practices.

Review your business for safety

4. Securing the Goods

You might think that your workplace is unlikely to be targeted by thieves…but that’s what everyone who doesn’t invest in security measures thought before they were targeted. You can never really know if a thief would target your space, but if you have expensive equipment, then why take the chance?

[instantazon id=’wpis_1499861778′]Computers and key documents should be stored away at the end of the day so that, even if someone were to illegally gain entry to your site, there would be nothing to take anyway. Think about how much money you will have spent on your infrastructure, and the cost of buying and installing a safe will make sense.

You can also invest in some form of spy cameras to monitor your workplace 24/7. There are a number of these that can be found on Amazon.com and other online ecommerce stores.

5. Outsource Your IT

When it comes to staying secure, your biggest obstacle will be your IT. This will be one of your most vulnerable aspects of your business because it’s where hackers and other criminals make their most money, and they nearly always target small businesses. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure your IT security is in tip-top condition.

Unless you’ve been studying IT, you won’t have the necessary skills to keep your IT safe, and as such you’ll be better served by outsourcing the work to an IT company. Aside from keeping you safe, doing this will also improve other areas of your business and allow you to keep your focus on the things that you do best.

 Outsource Your IT

6. Teaching Your Employees

Your employees are your first line of defense when it comes to keeping your business safe. But they’re unlikely to know how they should do this if you’re not teaching them the procedures you want them to follow when they’re at work.

It’s particularly important that you discuss how they should be using their computers, including setting passwords and which links they open. When you have new ideas on how to improve workplace security, hold training sessions. Keeping your employees up to date with this will help make your entire operation more secure.

7. Social Media Engagement

Of all the online areas in which your business can suffer, none are more threatening than your social media pages. While they have the potential to deliver plenty of positives to your business, it’s also where the most damage is done. Most of this concerns your company’s reputation: nothing will hurt it more than sending an inappropriate tweet or Facebook post.

Not taking the time to vet each post to ensure they don’t contain any sensitive data and so on can also be problematic. Make sure that only the staff who are authorized to post on social media are doing so, and that they know exactly what is allowed and what isn’t.

Social Media Engagement

8. Back it All Up

As a business, you’ll have plenty of data that is crucial to your daily operations. What would you do if suddenly, all those important documents were to disappear, and never be brought back? The risks are small, but it does happen, and when it does it can pose big problems for business. That’s why it’s crucially important that you backup all your data so that, should you have a problem with your main database, everything is safe and secure elsewhere.

Of all the options, cloud storage is best, as this cannot be destroyed even if your computers or other hardware fail. All your documents will still be there, in a safe online space.

Back it All Up

9. Site Safety

How safe are your actual premises, both from would-be criminals and from a health and safety point of view?

To ward off thieves, it’s always a good idea to make sure the outside of your building is made to look unattractive to thieves. This can involve making sure it’s well lit, hard to get into, and having visible security cameras.

On the inside, keeping all safety exits – and also teaching your staff where the safety exits are – will ensure everyone can leave should they be required to suddenly down tools and leave the building.

Site Safety

10. Always Review

The art of keeping your business safe lies in constantly monitoring and reviewing your safety operations. Criminals, especially online, are always coming up with new and clever ways to target a business, and if you’re not aware of the new things they’re doing, then you’ll be a risk.

Every few months, take the time take another look at your security and safety practices and see where and when it can be improved. You always need to stay one step ahead of the people who intend to do you harm!

Conclusion

It’s unlikely that your business will suffer from any of the attacks outlined above, but it always makes sense to be prepared. You never know what will happen in business, but if you’ve taken steps to stay safe, then you’ll have little to worry about. With your peace of mind intact, you’ll be able to focus on improving your business knowing that you don’t have to worry about any harm coming your way.

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Want to Motivate Your Employees? Try These 3 Simple Tricks

Employees are an important part of any business. It doesn’t matter what industry your business is serving. When your employees are motivated enough they will always put in their best and your company will be the best for it.

Unfortunately, this is one area that many have find to be really hard when it comes to running a business. Keeping their staff motivated enough to keep things interesting is challenging. But one thing is sure even if your workforce is passionate about your industry it doesn’t take long before the repetitiveness of the 9 to 5 schedule starts to wear away at the passion and determination of the employees. This is especially so if they’ve been working on the same project for a long time and repeating the same tasks day in and out.

Once your employees feel disengaged with the organization productivity is bound to drop. When this happens, sales will definitely drop also and you can be sure that from that point onward it will be a slippery slope downwards. It doesn’t matter whether you have a workforce full of intelligent and experienced individuals.

Quotes on Motivating Employees

Motivate Employes to increase productivity

Here are some selected “motivating employees quotes” that will help you understand the important role this can play in any organization.

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” – Doug Conant, CEO of Campbell’s Soup

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” – Simon Sinek

“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” – Anne M. Mulcahy

“The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers.” – Sybil F. Stershic

You can say every one of them is right in every way right? So, how can you put a smile on the face of your staff so they can be motivated again? How can you relight that fire and passion in their eyes once more? In short, how do you keep your employees motivated in order to increase productivity?

Satisfied employess

Fact is, as a small business there are simple ways to motivate employees and increase productivity without spending a lot of money. Below are some practical ways that have been proven to work wonders.

3 Simple Ways to Motivate Employees to Increase Productivity

1. Offer Incentives

The best way to keep your employees engaged at work is to switch things up. You need to incentivize your workers to try harder and a new objective is a great way to achieve this. Simply stating that the business has a new plan or a new project on offer isn’t enough; you need to let your employees know how the company is making changes to benefit them.

Money is a huge incentive, obviously, and offering rewards in the form of bonuses for those who make the most sales or perhaps even offering a promotion for the top seller of the month are both ways in which you could offer a chance for progression and change within the company. It’ll certainly motivate your staff again.

Incentivize performance

2. Create A Nicer Workplace

Whether at work or at home, we are affected by our surroundings. You likely didn’t need anyone to tell you that, but it might be time to take another look at the workplace in which your business is situated. Does it look appealing? An uninspired working environment will lead to uninspired workers, so it might be time to create a nicer workplace if you want to lift the mood amongst your workforce.

You could browse through office cubicle options online if you’re stumped as to where to begin with your office redesign. Much like interior design at home, you don’t have to spend a fortune when it comes to improving the workplace; simply put some thought into warmer lighting, brighter colors, and perhaps a more exciting break room with a TV or table football for employees to enjoy.

Create A Nicer Workplace

3. Provide Training Opportunities

Your workers want to feel as if you’re invested in them, and taking the time to train your employees so that they can achieve more shows that you value their contribution to your business and you want them to stick around. It might also show that you see the potential for workers to progress up through the ranks of the company and you want to prepare their knowledge and skill set for that opportunity.

Conclusion

Ultimately, motivating your employees to get the best out of them is simply by treating them as humans and not some machines or piece of software. Make them feel wanted and appreciated and you would have given them enough motivation that will result in more productivity for your business. Simon Sinek, quoted above, definitely was right when he said, “When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.”

So, what do you say? What are your top tips for motivating employees in the workplace for increased productivity? How about watching this short video for some ideas?

Share your thoughts in your comments below.

3 Incredibly Clever Ways Small Businesses Can Make More Money Online

As a small business entrepreneur are you looking for ways to make more money from your business without unnecessarily adding to your cost? Then this article is for you.

Frankly, many small business owners think that it’s easy to make your business a success online. But that’s not true at all. Fact is, it’s easy to setup a new business online but it’s not so easy to make it a success. There are a lot of high scale problems that might just confront you. These include, lack of attention or a more popular competitor taking all the business.

Besides, it’s possible that all the customers that you want are already buying the product that you offer from another business. And of course when this happens you can never see the type of profits you’d like to from your online company.

The question therefore is, how can you make your business more profitable online and transform a dwindling model into a money making machine?

While there are different profit making opportunities you can apply to take care of the situation I have the following to be truly outstanding. These simple ideas will help you make more money with your business without spending a lot of money to do it.

Clever ways to make more more with your small business

Simple Ideas to Make Money with Your Small Business Online

1. Increase Opportunities

Perhaps one of the best ways to make your business more profitable online is to ensure that customers have as many options as possible to buy.

To do this, you need to think about more than just your website or social media but rather what type of device your customer might be using. For instance, you might find that the majority of your customers are viewing your site on a mobile device. If that’s the case, it’s important that you ensure your site still works effectively when viewed on mobile devices. To do this, you need to make sure that it is mobile responsive.

Any top digital agency can arrange this for you and ensure that there’s no problems with a lost audience because they can’t view your site. Don’t forget this year Google have started penalizing site owners for not being mobile responsive. This should tell you how important it is.

Apps are important too. With the right app, you can get the attention of customers and ensure that they want to buy from your business. It’s important that the app is fun and easy to use.

You can also make sure that it has Third Party SDK Integrations. With this type of design, your app can connect to other areas of your business campaign. Due to this, customers will find it easier to get from one area to the other.

They can also use the app to check for updates from other areas of your campaign such as your Twitter. However, the most important thing about your app is it is fun and easy to use. If it isn’t, customers won’t keep it on their phone long enough for you to see an impact.

Make mobile buying easier on your site

2. Make Buying Easy

Next, you need to think about making buying for customers as easy as possible. It’s crucial that your customers can find the product they want and buy it immediately without delay.

The trick to making sure purchases are fast and easy is great security. If you have all the available security measures in place, you can get customers through as quickly as possible. You can even have ID systems that mean they don’t have to log in. Instead, the site remembers them, and one-click purchasing is possible.

You can also look at social media buy buttons. Rather than social content pushing customers towards your site, you can instead get them to buy right then and there. That way, there’s no chance of losing customers who didn’t follow the link. Or, who didn’t have time to click from one site to the next. It streamlines the purchase process, making things simple for you and the customer.

Make buying easier on your sitess

3. Expand Your Reach

If you expand your reach online, you can boost your customer numbers and reach a wider audience. This, in turn, will lead to higher levels of profit.

So, how do you boost your reach as a business owner?

Well, the simplest option is to make sure that you are constantly looking at ways to improve your marketing campaign. For instance, you should think about working on the quality of your content. Remember, quality is always going to be more important than quantity and will actually lead to a larger audience.

You might think that the best way to attract more people is to release as much content as possible. That’s not the case at all. In fact, you’re more likely to get increased interest if the content is shared more and that will happen if it’s a quality product. Therefore a little greatness will pay off a lot more than a ton of shoddy work.

It’s also possible to boost the reach of your business with new business partnerships. Look for a company that isn’t directly competing with you but shares the same market. You can then work together to create one massive marketing campaign that makes an impact.

Expand your business reach

Conclusion

In concluding this piece I will want to say that gone are the days when business owners were wondering if they should move their businesses online. Marketing your small business online is the best decision you have made but today that is not enough. The competition is increasing by the day. It is important therefore that you find out different ways to make more money from running that business online. Implement these simple but clever ways and you’ll see your business profits soar in no time at all.

How to Ensure Success with Your Small Business Accounting Records

Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been running your small business for some time now, you should know by now that owning a business comes with a lot of tasks you need to handle. One of such is your accounting records.

As a small business owner you can never boast of success if you allow your accounts to get out of your control. It’s simply one of the most basic things that business owners need to get right.

That’s true for new, young entrepreneurs and experienced business leaders alike. The moment you take your eye off the ball, things are bound to slip away from you.

But there is really no need to be too daunted by the prospect of looking after your business’ accounts properly, though. It’s something that certainly can be done if you’re willing to learn and put in some hard work.

To get started and regain control of your small business accounts, you need to first know the basic rules. These rules apply to all kinds of businesses. They are the basic principles upon which good business accounting practices are based.

When you know and understand these rules, your task will become so much easier, which can only be a good thing for you and your business.

You will also need to know about some of the common pitfalls and mistakes that are experienced when managing a business’s accounts.

Below is what you need to know about small business accounting so your business run smoothly and profitably.

Small Business Accounting Rules to Follow

1. Track Each and Every Expense

Every little thing your business spends money on should be tracked and recorded. This is something that many people don’t realize is necessary. But all those small expenditures will mount up over time, so it’s always best to be clear about where the business stands.

To do this properly, you will need to have a system for organizing the business’ receipts. Remember that some of these small expenses might be tax deductible, meaning you could get a chunk of money knocked off your taxes later on. This makes tracking every expense and keeping every receipt even more worthwhile.

2. Develop a System for Bookkeeping

Do you have a good bookkeeping system in place for your business?

If you don’t, your business needs to fix this fast. You need to be using the best software available in order to ensure that you don’t make any mistakes. There are so many accounting software options out there, and they make your job of keeping control of the accounts so much easier than it would otherwise be.

You can also use things like intuit checks to add some extra security and oversight to your business’ finances. The system you eventually develop will be unique to your business; just make sure you have one.

Design a system for your accounting operations

3. Separate Business and Personal Finances

For many people who run small businesses, there is some crossover between their personal finances and the business’ finances. It’s important to make these separate from one another if you want to succeed and keep the finances in order.

You should aim to set up the business in a way that allows you to have limited responsibility. This will mean that if the business has debts, they won’t have to be paid by taking away your personal possessions. This is important for anyone who is setting up a business by themselves. If you fail to, your home and other assets could be at risk if things go badly wrong.

4. Follow Up on Invoices

Invoices are important because everyone wants to get paid when they’re owed money. But when you run a small business, it’s often a case of sending out the invoice and then forgetting about it. This is not the kind of practice that will be good for your business’s finances, though.

You should make sure that the invoices you send out are tracked. That way, you can follow them up and make sure you receive payment. For many companies, unpaid invoices are a real problem. And if you let them pass by without ever getting paid, the business will be deprived of its money.

5. Set Up a Strong Payroll System

If you hire anyone to work for you, even if it’s not on a full-time basis, you will need to have a payroll system in place. It’s not as simple as it might sound because you will have to make sure that the company is withholding the right amount of money to be paid in taxes.

If you don’t have a proper and professional payroll system in place to deal with these tasks, you will never manage your workforce properly. Things will become messy and, inevitably, mistakes will get made.

Setting up the payroll system isn’t a huge task, but it will certainly save you time and stress later on, so don’t put it off for long.

6. Determine Your Tax Obligations

Finally, you need to fully determine your business’ tax obligations. There are big consequences for businesses that fail to pay their taxes. It’s not a situation you want to get your business in, whether it was intentional or not.

If your business is run as a corporate entity, its tax obligations will be separate from your own personal tax obligations. And that means that it will have to pay corporation tax.

If you are confused by the situation in any way, don’t hesitate in hiring a professional tax advisor who will be able to clear things up for you. It’s better to do that than to make a big mistake.

Know your tax obligations

Major Small Accounting Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Simple Mathematical Errors

It’s sometimes the case that simple mathematical errors, even if they seem small at the time, can have a big impact on the overall accounts. It’s these simple errors that could lead to you getting a view of the business’ accounts and financial situation that is less than accurate.

When you have inaccurate records to use, you will make decisions that are wrong because they won’t be based on the real situation that the business is in. So, always check and double check the records before pressing ahead. This is an important thing to do, even if it might seem trivial now.

Little account mistakes could harm your business

2. Taking a Short-Term Approach

Taking a short-term approach to your business finances is not an option that is even worth considering if you want to sort things out properly. When you only focus on where the business’ finances are heading in the immediate sense, you won’t be prepared for what could be heading your way further down the line. That would be a big mistake and leave the business unprepared for future challenges.

So, to ensure that your business is sustainable in the long-term, you should take an approach that takes into account the future of the business. How is it going to adapt? Is there going to be money for future investment? These things are important.

3.  Getting Too Far Ahead and Forgetting the Basics

When you try to get too far ahead of yourself, you start becoming concerned with things that might not be so important. Yes, it’s a good thing to want to learn more about accounting. But only do this if you think that you have a firm grip on the basics. The basic things are the ones that matter most. And if you can’t get those right, then you’ll have a problem.

So, don’t try to complicate matters if they really don’t need to be complicated. It’s a classic mistake, but one that doesn’t have to be made. When you run a small business, you only need to get the basic things right to keep your business in strong financial shape.

4.    Not Getting Help When It’s Needed

Many business owners just assume that they are capable of going it alone when they start out managing their accounts. For small business owners with relatively simple financial situations, this might be the case. But you should be aware that if you are focusing on the financial side of things, then you will probably have to make sacrifices in other areas. You can’t ignore that fact.

You only have so many hours in the day, and it’s up to you to split your time between different tasks. If you think that you’re not going to be able to dedicate the necessary amount of time to the accounts, you might want to hire some help.

Get help when neccessary

5. Falling Behind

Falling behind with the accounting tasks that you need to take care of is one of the biggest mistakes of all. And the dangerous thing is that it’s so easy to do.

If you step back and stop paying attention to what you’re doing and what needs to be done for even a couple of weeks, you can fall really far behind. Making up that ground and fixing issues and problems that have arisen while you were distracted can be a huge challenge.

In truth, many business owners never manage to regain control of their finances once they stop paying attention to them. So, make sure that this is something that you are focused on all year round.

Conclusion

Now that you know more about what it takes to manage your small business’ accounts properly and professionally, it’s time to get down to work. Let the information and warnings above aid you as you try to make your business’ accounts balanced and healthy in the future.

4 Effective Strategies for Managing Your Small Business Accounting Books

That more and more are taking up the entrepreneurial challenge by starting their own businesses is no more news. In fact, with the economic recession pushing more people into the labor market this is indeed a good thing.

However, starting your own comes with its own . There is so much to be managed and except you manage things well, that dream success can become illusive.

Managing your business books as a small business

Now, one of the areas you need to manage very well if you want to succeed with your is the financials. You need to manage your business books properly if you desire to see the good results.

While you don’t have to be some financial expert to do this correctly, fact is, if you plan to be your own accountant, there are many tax pitfalls you can fall into during the upcoming year if you are not aware of them.

While balancing your own books can be a viable way to save money, tax and bookkeeping errors may cost you a great deal in fines and lost time. The way out is to have a workable system that will help you manage your business books effectively.

No matter the size of your business, you can avoid a lot of mistakes by practicing a few simple accounting strategies. In this post I want to share with you a few proven accounting strategies that will help you manage your business books and succeed doing so as a small business.

Recommended: 3 Simple Tips to Starting a Business Online From Scratch

Strategies for Managing Your Business Books Successfully

1. Plan Ahead

Panning ahead is essential to manage your business books well

One of the most effective strategies for keeping an efficient bookkeeping system for business can be to plan carefully from the start. Read and review different types of accounting software and be aware of new rules that might affect you as an .

As MVU Online reports, technology is changing accounting practices and you must be quick to adapt. Once you find a system that works for you, create an accounting schedule so you can plan to do certain tasks on certain days to remain consistent.

2. Track Business Expenses Carefully

Knowledge about taxes is important for succeeding with your business

When you balance your own books and handle your own tax information, you must remember to record business expenses carefully and truthfully.

Some business expenses may include office furniture and supplies, gas for a vehicle you use for business, and shipping supplies. If you , you may even be able to claim certain utility bills, such as heating, lighting, and wireless internet.

Record usage each day and keep all business receipts in one place so you can access them easily.

3. Seek Training

Get training to succeed with your business

You do not have to be a financial expert to do your businesses’ books, but it may help you to take a few accounting classes or a seminar to gain a bit of additional know-how. If you are planning to be your own accountant in the long term, you may want to consider getting a master’s degree in accounting, especially if you plan to grow your business quickly.

If you are considering the pursuit of a master’s degree, New England College offers a variety of graduate degrees in accounting. Having additional education from this institution may help you keep up with different types of accounting practices. NEC also offers online forensic accounting degrees, which may help you find a job if you decide to switch careers later on.

4. Include Taxes in Your Business Budget

Never default in tax payments

While it is always exciting to make a profit with your new business, you should remember that not every dollar you make will remain in your wallet. Taxes must be paid, and when the time comes to pay them, they might take you by surprise. However, you can avoid this by budgeting for your taxes all year long.

One way to save for your taxes is to open a separate account for the money and save about twenty percent of your monthly income for taxes. By tax time, you will not have to scramble to find the money elsewhere.

Recommended: 5 Simple Ways You Can Build A Cult-Like Following Around Your Brand!

Conclusion

As a small business owner being your own accountant will definitely save your business money, especially if you are running on a shoestring budget during that difficult first year. But it’s important that you brace up for the challenges this throws your way. You will need to carefully plan and ensure that you keep up with new tax rules and regulations as this is essential to your continued success.

As long as you stick to these strategies, managing your business books yourself will be enjoyable and less tasking.

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How to Foster Better Workplace Collaboration in Your Business For Greater Results!

Everywhere you turn these days, there is increased awareness of businesses putting more focus than ever before on communication and collaboration in the workplace. As a business person who wants to get more from your business in these competitive times, it’s important that you should consider this also.

The good thing is, collaboration in the workplace doesn’t have to be difficult. All you need is to put in place the right environment for this to happen. In this article I want to share with you some top ideas that will help you improve the way in which your business works together.

Bur first,

What Really Is Workplace Collaboration?

While different people may define the term in several ways, the term “Workplace Collaboration” is basically when two or more people (often groups) work together within an organization through idea sharing and thinking to accomplish a common goal. Workplace Collaboration is actually taking teamwork to a higher level. This form of collaboration has become the buzz word these days because of the changes and advancements in technology, such as high speed Internet, web-based programs, file sharing, email and video-conferencing.

How to improve workplace collaboration for more results

Top Ideas for Your Business to Collaborate Better

1. Let Everyone Have Their Say

The first step towards better workplace collaboration is letting everyone have their say. You should create a workplace in which people are encouraged to speak their minds and give their opinions. Opening the floor to new voices and opinions can be a really good way to improve the business generally too. It gives everyone a little more confidence, and that’s what you want when you’re trying to boost teamwork and collaboration. So, make it clear that everyone can have their say.

2. Making Sharing Information Simple

Working together means sharing information, documents and data. Nowadays, this is something that is done using computers and gadgets. So, to speed up the whole process and make collaboration easy for everyone, you need to change your approach to technology. A secure email provider is a great way to make these kinds of communication easier than ever before. You should also start using the cloud to your advantage. It makes sharing and downloading documents so simple.

3. Change the Office Layout

The way that the office is physically laid out can have a big impact on how well your employees collaborate. If they are all stick in small office spaces that are confined and cordoned off from everyone else, collaboration will be impossible. So, you need to make sure that the layout is open. You should also dedicate specific spaces that can be used for team projects. A large table that everyone can get around and share new ideas is a must. And the difference it makes might surprise you.

4. Launch Team Projects

As the head of the business, increasing collaboration is something that will have to start with you. If your employees are not used to working in teams, you will have prompt them and get them used to it. It’s an entirely new way of working, and many employees might not have experience of it. So, you should launch some new projects in the workplace that need to be completed in a team. This will launch people straight into it. They will learn to share ideas and delegate tasks between them on the job.

5. Deal with Conflict Immediately

When you increase the amount of teamwork that is completed in the office, you have to accept that there might be conflict. People often disagree on how to do things. This is not necessarily a bad thing though. Debate and disagreement can be very healthy, and it can lead to better decisions being made. But you obviously don’t want people to start to resent one another. So, you should have a plan in place for how to deal with conflict so that it doesn’t remain and fester in the office.

Conclusion

There are various benefits that will accrue to any business when workplace collaboration is effectively handled. The above ideas can help you in this wise. Put them into use today and you will be sure of getting more from your business.

What other ideas and ways do you suggest for more effective collaboration in the workplace? Share with us in your comments below.

Home Business Ideas and Tips to Help You Thrive Online!

Let me ask you some questions…

Are you thinking of starting your own business?

Or,

Do you already have your own home based business and you want to grow it online?

If you have cared to check you may have noticed that home-based businesses are on the rise lately. Of course, it isn’t hard to see why.

Running a business from the comfort of your own home has a lot of benefits. Top of these are reduced overheads and more flexibility for you running your venture. Besides, if your home based business is online you open up more of these possibilities.

For example, in a world where consumers are increasingly turning their attentions to ecommerce, there’s no need for a shop. After all, an online store opens your doors to a far larger audience – and at a fraction of the cost. So, running your home business online is something you want to consider.

However, as online spending grows, so does the competition. To find your place in the market, you must make the most of all available resources. Otherwise, your customers will turn their attentions elsewhere. So, whether you are just starting your own business or you’re searching for ideas to help you make a success of your home business, follow this advice, and you should be fine.

Home Business Tips for Growing Your Business Online

Home Business Tips That Actually Work

1. Think About the Small Screen

Everyone that uses the internet appreciates the importance of great web design. With so many websites available, most consumers won’t accept a poorly constructed page. After all, it only takes a few seconds to find a similar outlet.

Nowadays, though, we are just as likely to access the internet through our smartphones and other handheld devices. Therefore, ensuring that your site is optimized for mobile is a must. Otherwise, you’re essentially shutting your doors to half of the potential market.

2. Create the Appearance of Success

Inexperience shouldn’t be an excuse for lacking professionalism. Even if you are just starting out, a few simple hacks will give your company the appearance of a hugely successful company. Quite frankly, you’d be a fool not to take them.

Although home-based companies are more common than ever, many customers will be put off by this fact. But having a registered office address will instantly overcome this issue. You’ll have the status of an operation based in a sought after location without the associated costs. Not bad, eh?

Meanwhile, boosting your online visibility by embracing the power of Google will serve you well too. If you aren’t already using SEO as a key element of your marketing strategy, then now is the time to make a change.

3. Communicate

Communication is a fundamental part of business, but it is often lost on the home-based business. Don’t let yourself become the latest victim.

Customer care is vastly underrated in the modern business world. Going the extra mile to build better relationships will bring huge rewards. Use facilities such as social media and email support to keep customers happy and you will not go far wrong.

Meanwhile, networking events are a great way to learn more about the industry and establish important business links.

4. Outsource

Running a business from home can feel like a lonely place. But help is available and you don’t need to be overawed by the sheer volume of work.

Outsourcing has become very popular in recent years and is a fantastic resource for home-based businesses to thrive. Well, you aren’t going to hire employees to turn up at your house each morning, are you?

Many hands make light work, and this is the perfect way to increase workflow without blowing your budget. If you want to take your business to the next level, this can be your secret weapon.

Take Away

Starting your own business have never been much easier. With the opportunities that the internet has opened for all of us today, you have a whole lot of tools and help out there that you can leverage to grow your home business with much ease. Put the above tips to use today and you will see good results from your efforts.

Have some more tips to share with us on this topic? Feel free to do so in your comments below.