Business

Effective Cash Flow Management Strategies for Small Business Owners

Cash Flow Management Strategies

Effective cash flow management is critical to the success of any small business. When you don’t have a lot of working capital, you may encounter some tight spots that could prevent you from paying salaries on time, buying materials or equipment when you need it, or paying your as promised. One of the biggest problems a small business owner faces daily is the time delay between when you must pay your bills and when you receive payment from your customers. The best solutions for this problem is effective cash flow management.

To be successful, you will need to keep enough working capital on hand to meet these delays in cash flow. We are going to dive into some effective strategies for managing and improving your cash flow in a moment, but first, you need to know some of the basics of cash flow management.

The Basics of Cash Flow Management

In the simplest of terms, cash flow is the movement of money in and out of your business. You should track your cash flow monthly or maybe even weekly, especially if you’re operating with a small amount of working capital. There are two types of cash flow:

Positive Cash Flow

Obviously, this is where you want your business to be. Positive cash flow occurs when the amount of money coming into your business is greater than the amount of money going out.

Negative Cash Flow

Negative cash flow means you have more money going out than you have coming in. It also means your business is in trouble and you need to act quickly with some of the strategies below.

Making a Profit Doesn’t Always Mean You Have Good Cash Flow

Even if your profit and loss statement is telling you that your company is making a profit each quarter, there are other factors that determine your cash flow, such as your accounts payable and accounts receivable. Profit is simply defined as your revenue minus your expenses. Successful business owners know that earning a profit is not the same thing as knowing where your cash is going.

Determine Your Breakeven Point

You should always know what point your business needs to reach to become profitable. This doesn’t affect your cash flow, but it does give you a target for projecting future cash flow. You’ll want to focus your cash flow management efforts with the goal of meeting and surpassing your breakeven point.

Calculate How Much Working Capital Your Business Needs

You can’t determine if you are managing your cash flow successfully if you do not know how much working capital your business needs. There are a lot of factors that will need to be considered when determining this, such as inventory, overdue accounts, and cash that’s tied up in work that is in progress. In the beginning, it’s best bring in an outsourced business accounting service to help you anticipate the flow of money in and out of your business so that you know how much working capital you need to have to meet your financial demands.

5 Strategies for Fixing Cash Flow Problems

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s talk about some strategies that you can use to fix cash flow problems in your business.

1. Have Your Clients Make an Upfront Deposit on Large Orders or Jobs

If your business provides a service or product that requires a large output of cash upfront before delivery, ask your clients to pay a deposit upfront or have them make milestone payments while the job is being completed. This strategy gives you some working capital while the job is being completed.

2. Encourage Your Clients to Pay Faster

Getting your customers to pay faster gives you access to working capital sooner. One of the most effective ways to encourage faster payment is to offer a small discount of 2% if the client pays their invoice in full within 10 days on invoices that would normally be paid in 30 days. Many companies will be attracted to this option because they have a budget to stick to, just like you do. You should also consider utilizing online invoicing and invoicing sooner to help you get your clients to take action faster.

3. Sell or Rent Out Equipment That You Aren’t Using

Is there equipment collecting dust somewhere that you no longer need? Unused equipment ties up working capital that could be put to better use elsewhere. If you have an expensive piece of equipment that you are not using now, but you will need it in the future, consider renting it out to another business so that it can be bringing in capital while you’re not using it.

4. Pay Your Vendors as Late as Possible

This is a strategy that is often overlooked by business owners, but it could be a lifesaver if working capital is tight. Figure out how long you can wait to pay your vendors before a late fee is required. That way, you can keep that cash on hand to use for other things for as long as possible. If you have a good working relationship with your vendors, they may even be willing to negotiate more favorable terms with you.



5. Cut Your Expenses

You have probably already thought of raising your prices, but sometimes cutting your business expenses is a better option. There are many creative ways to accomplish this. Some ideas are selling off your existing inventory before making new product or finding cheaper ways to manufacture your product. You could also consider downsizing or using freelance workers instead of having full-time employees on your payroll. When it comes to equipment, consider buying used and repair what you have on hand instead of buying new. The point is, you should review your expenses on a regular basis to see if there are places where you can cut back to reduce the amount of money going out of your business.

Your working capital is the fuel that powers your small business. It’s critical that you manage your cash flow properly to be successful.

 


How Can Technology Detect Business Finance Fraud?

Detect Business Finance Fraud

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There’s good news and bad news when it comes to financial fraud. The bad news is that UK businesses and households financial fraud to this crime in 2017. That sort of startling figure shows that this is a serious issue that has to be dealt with. However, the good news is that this is falling – that number is down five per cent on 2016 – and that banks and card companies have detected and prevented two thirds of financial fraud.

The threat of financial fraud is increasingly sophisticated and almost exclusively technological. In order to combat this threat, therefore, we need technological solutions every bit as sophisticated to retaliate.

So, how can this help?

The growth of artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence may seem like something from a science fiction novel, but the use of AI in business is becoming more apparent. Especially in the operations and the distribution sector, AI technologies are programmed to automate systems. If this can be trained to spot key signs of fraud then it can act as the ‘eyes and ears’ of a company – flagging concerns and preventing or pausing transactions before they happen.

It’s impossible for human beings to keep a close eye on every single financial transaction, but automated technology allows them to monitor more of what’s going on.

Bitcoin and blockchain

Cryptocurrency uses financial fraud to allow businesses to transfer funds around the world in real time. One of the potential benefits here is security. With blockchain, all transactions are recorded in real time – and records cannot be changed without the agreement of others. Put simply, it’s very hard to doctor information once it’s recorded and there’s a level of transparency around the way payments and transactions are made.

Biometrics

Passwords pose a vulnerability for many technological systems. While most workers might spend half their time trying to remember theirs, they present an opportunity for hackers to get into your software and get their hands on your data and your money.

Biometric technology is allowing for more secure ways of limiting access to systems. Thumb prints, eye scans, and even voice recognition should hopefully make life harder for fraudsters – and easier to detect people who are trying to access your systems when they shouldn’t.

But, use technology in moderation

Although you can lean on technology to help detect fraud, there’s always room for traditional processes too. You should use modern technology and foolproof traditional methods in tandem for maximum effect.

Things such as physical stamps and watermarked documents make it harder to forge documents and use these to defraud your business. As a business, you can custocustomize own self-inking stamp to add your own extra security step, for example. This can be very effective and it’s important not to move away from this sort of activity if it works.

Technology can help to detect business fraud. Automated systems, immutable records and biometric system access are all important developments to do this. Businesses can use a combination of all of those in tandem with tried and tested offline techniques to do their bit to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

 


5 Reasons to Open a Business Checking Account

You may wonder if opening a business checking account is worth the time it takes to set up. Think about how many hours you spend sorting through your business and personal records in a single report. You’ll save time if you open a business checking account. Here are a few other reasons to head to the bank and separate your business and personal expenses.

Build Credibility

Part of running a successful business is creating a professional image. Paying vendors with personal checks makes your business look more like a hobby than a job. Using personal checks can also indicate that you just started a business. Personalized business checks show that you’re committed to your business and can build your credibility.
Automate Payroll

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Getting your payroll correct is daunting when you complete this task manually using spreadsheets. When you have a business checking account, you can automate the payroll process. Software lets you manage payroll and print out secure checks on a laser printer. You’ll focus more time on running your company and growing sales.
Automated payroll systems can trim your expenses, too. You can cut processing costs up to 80 percent by limiting errors.

Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS before you set up your business bank account. Check state laws to find out if you must file a fictitious name statement and register your business.

Simplify Tax Preparation

Imagine sorting through bank statements and picking out your business transactions from your personal account at tax time. That’s a bookkeeping nightmare. Why not skip the hassle and stop wasting valuable time by opening a business checking account? You’ll also have accurate records to complete your tax return at the end of the year.

Protect Personal Assets

Legal problems and accidents are part of running a business, and these things can happen to you. Protecting your personal assets is essential. The first step in protecting your personal property from business liability issues is to form a corporation or limited liability company.

You must have a business account to set up a corporate entity. When your business generates a lot of transactions, you also put your identity at risk when you send out personal checks. Use a business account to limit your exposure to fraudsters who commit identity theft.

Accept Credit Cards

Are you turning customers away who want to pay with debit and credit cards? Visit your bank or credit union to set up a merchant account so you can accept card payments. If you’ve incorporated the business, you must use a business checking account to set up a credit card processing account.



Even if you run a sole proprietorship, using your personal account for credit card transactions can get messy. You’ll need to sort out your business payments and sales tax. Simplify your sales records with a business checking account.
Stop using your personal checking account and show customers and vendors that you own a legitimate business. A business checking account can also help you automate payroll systems and keep accurate records.


How to Affordably Develop Skills

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It is a simple rule to follow that the more skills you develop, the better your chances of being able to earn more money in the future. In days gone by, you would have had to spend a great deal of cash to develop skills. However, the internet has changed all this – making a whole host of skills so much more accessible. And when you don’t have a huge amount of money to spend in the first place, this is so important. Here are some of the ways that you can learn skills without spending a fortune.

Read, Read and Read Some More

Books are expensive, but you can read as many online articles as you like for free. And with so much information readily available on the internet, you can learn any skill under the sun. If you still think that you need access to books, you can get them so much more affordably in electronic format. Though you may think that there is only so much you can learn by reading, you are giving yourself an invaluable starting point.

Join a Professional Organisation or Club

There are professional organisations out there dedicated to all sorts of subjects. While reading is a solitary activity, professional organisations and clubs can put you in touch with people who have the same interests as you. Social media provides a great place to start when you are looking for organisations which suit your needs well. Online groups are a good place to build up your confidence until you feel ready to attend a club in person.

Take Classes

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There are plenty of courses which you can take online to improve all sorts of skills. Some of these courses are even available entirely for free. Otherwise, there are all sorts of educational organisations such as an online bachelor’s in healthcare administration which offer courses at a reduced rate in comparison to their ‘real life’ courses. One of the major advantages of taking courses online is that you can study in your own time and fit learning around the other commitments that you have in your life.

Volunteer

If you feel like you need some real practical experience in your chosen skill, you could always volunteer your time in that area. For example, if you feel like you need to improve your writing skills, you could always write for some online publications for free. Sometimes, the practical experience that you get makes it worthwhile to commit your time for free.

Attend Events

There are plenty of free events out there which bring together people who are experts in the skill that you are trying to develop and people who are just learning. So, take a look online to find out what sort of occasions are available for you to attend.

Developing your skills is a lifelong pursuit which is worth taking part in seriously. These are just a few of the ways that you can do this without spending a vast sum of money for the privilege.


Warning To Business Leaders: Bad Habits You Need To Avoid 100 Percent

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Business Leaders

We all suffer from bad habits; some of which are caused by a lack of self-awareness. Sometimes, feedback is key, enabling us to pick up on the habits that are harming us. This is especially true in business, where some bad habits could lead to problems in your operations. Now, we aren’t talking about picking your nose in front of customers (though you should probably avoid that), but there are other habits that need to be brought to your awareness.

Consider the following:

Bad Habit #1: Failing to delegate to others

You aren’t a master at everything, no matter how much control you try to retain. Delegating to others gives you a break, and it also shifts some of your work over to other staff matters who may be better at a specific task than you are. Your team will probably appreciate the added responsibility too, and will be grateful for the trust you have bestowed.

Bad Habit #2: Spending too much money

This is something we can be guilty of in our personal lives, but it also spills over into our professional lives too. Whether it’s those unnecessary expenses, such as office lunches or spending way over the odds on tech that you don’t particularly need, you do need to curb the temptation to spend if you ever want to see the fruit of your profits.

Bad Habit #3: Not taking time out to learn

You may have been to business school, and taken courses such as an msc in management. Does that mean your learning is over? Of course not. It pays to brush up on your skills, especially when it comes to sorting out your weaknesses. You should also remember that in business nothing stays the same, so focus on your learning to keep up with industry and consumer demands. After all, you don’t want to be left in the dust by your nearest competitors.

Bad Habit #4: Not listening to complaining customers

Okay, so you probably nod your head and appease your customers whenever they have a complaint. However, you need to REALLY listen to them, as their feedback is invaluable. Good customer care will skyrocket your business, so make them the center of everything you are doing, and if action is needed after you have listened to yet another grumble, get on it straight away. Word of mouth is everything in business, and your reputation will plummet if your customers grumble about you elsewhere.

Bad Habit #5: Working too hard

There is so much to do in the day, so it’s unsurprising if you fall into the trap of pushing yourself to your limits at times. However, life is about more than work, and you will only make yourself ill if you continue to spend all your days working. Again, this is where delegation comes in, as do time-management skills. Get out of the office more, enjoy your family and leisure activities, and better organize your time at work.

Closing

Did any of those bad habits ring true to you? If so, take your finger out of your nose and concentrate on overcoming them. Both you and your business will benefit if you do.


Weighing Up The Cost Of Supplying Company Cars

Having the best employees is the key to business success. Without a good team to handle the day to day running of the company, you’re never going to get anywhere. That’s why it’s important to attract the best talent and keep them at the company by treating them right and offering them good benefits and incentives. Good health insurance and a healthy salary are the two main things that people look for but a company car can be a big draw as well. A lot of employers are unsure about supplying a company car to their employees because they’re worried about the cost. But the thing is, the price of supplying the car is often outweighed by the benefits it brings. To help you decide, we’ve added up some of the cost and the relative benefits.

vehicles you buy

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The Car Itself

Obviously, buying the car itself is going to be the biggest outlay. You can’t really get away with giving your employees a second-hand rust bucket so you’ll have to spend money on brand new cars. That can get pretty expensive depending on how many people you’re supplying cars for. You could just choose a few select employees and offer them company cars but there’s always the chance that will create resentment amongst the other employees, causing a drop in productivity and some may even leave the company.

Insurance

It’s up to you to take care of all of the costs of running and maintaining the company cars that you’re supplying your employees with. That means you’ll have to get car insurance on all of the vehicles you buy. That can get pretty expensive but if you use a good comparison site, you should be able to find some cheap deals. If any of your employees are in an accident, you’ll have to pay the excess and the increased insurance costs afterwards so it’s worth keeping in mind that there’s always the chance that insurance will go up in the future.

Tax

You’re also going to have to pay tax on all of those cars which can add up to quite a bit of money. Cars that get bad mileage and put out more CO2 emissions are going to cost you a lot more in tax as well so when you’re choosing cars, you can save money in the long run if you invest a bit of money in a better car.

Cash Instead Of A Car

A lot of companies are trying to strike a balance and avoid some of those costs by offering cash instead of providing the car itself. That way, the employee buys their own car and handles the tax themselves. You can supply enough for basic insurance coverage but if they have to make a claim, they’ll cover the excess and increased costs afterwards. Your employees still have a reliable vehicle to get to and from work but you’ll save quite a bit of cash.


Why Protecting Your Assets Means Protecting Your People

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Protecting our employees while they work is not only a legal and moral duty, but it can also be fundamental to the wellbeing of your business. You may be thinking of the cost to your operations – and there’s no denying that Health and Safety does demand that we don’t cut corners and can stipulate some accommodations that cost money – but it’s also the case that taking care of your employees can make you money. Both in saved costs, but also in income increases.

The Main Benefits of Good Practice

Effective wellbeing policies help to minimize the impact on your staff of stress and risk of injury and illness in the workplace. Often we focus on avoiding the negative consequences of not fulfilling this basic duty as employers – namely having a firm of specialists like David Resnick y Asociados knocking on your door – but there are plenty of plus points to taking positive action as well. Losing the services of skilled and loyal employees can be devastating, especially to small firms.

Common Areas of Concern

The most common dangers to your employee base, that repeat themselves time and again, are not hard to identify and remedy. They include:

· Handling chemical substances that can trigger skin and respiratory conditions
· Falls and trips while handling heavy objects
· Back pain, upper limb disorders (such as Repetitive Strain Injury) and musculoskeletal injury
· Aches and strain from using VDUs (Visual Display Units) and other computer equipment
· Work-related stress and anxiety

Working to combat the most common problems means that your business is less likely to have absent and unwell employees, which is a massive boost to productivity and can really impact your bottom line.

Indirect Costs of Absenteeism

When workers are off through poor health, it’s pretty easy to count the cost to your business in terms of loss of productivity – but there are also plenty of hidden costs that aren’t so easily traced. As well as wages paid out to those who are absent, the high cost of temporary agency staff to provide cover – or overtime pay to other employees covering the role – and the admin costs of managing the process, these are the additional expenses you may not have considered:

· Additional time requirement for managers (dealing with finding replacements or following sick policy procedures)
· Poorer quality of service/goods from understaffing, less knowledgeable replacement staff or as a result of fatigue from those who are picking up the slack
· Loss of customer confidence and repeat business stemming from the above
· Safety issues arising from inadequately trained replacement or temporary workers handling the role
· Reduced morale and corresponding productivity dip from other employees covering or doing extra work to compensate

All of these are huge, unseen drains on your operations, which makes the case for addressing the root causes of workplace sickness much more of a justifiable business case.

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What You Can Gain

While avoiding all of the indirect costs related to injured, sick or stressed employees, your business also stands to gain a lot of positives by addressing workplace health and safety effectively and in compliance with local laws and regulations. These benefits include:

Retaining good staff. The single biggest problem facing most growing businesses is recruiting the right talent – a process that is not only costly, but is time-consuming and critical to the success of your operations. So by making sure you don’t lose anyone to illness or injury, you are safeguarding against this and also promoting goodwill – employees who feel their company genuinely cares about their wellbeing are likely to be more motivated and committed in general.

Having a good reputation. The stigma of having a bad track record extends further than your employee network – clients and customers soon get to know of it, and you may even find that it makes your associates think twice about doing business with you. Other companies want to work with stable organizations whose employees are geared up to deliver the best service. If you have a strong reputation for looking after your people, the halo effect can be considerable, and a little good PR on this front can mean more leads and higher sales.

Save on insurance and legal costs. We don’t often think of health and safety measures as proactively saving us money on overheads, but actually having a strong policy and a good standard of employee welfare can reduce the amount you pay in business insurance premiums, as well as the cost of accidents that aren’t covered by your premium – such as delays to production, missed deadlines or repairs to equipment. These uninsured costs can end up being far more significant than those on your insurance policy and they will be paid directly out of your business income as well.

Simple Steps to Save

So, where do you get started with making sure your business avoids the pitfalls and reaps the rewards of taking proper care of your workers?

· Create a plan to promote good practice. Identify some proactive steps for identifying risks and eliminating or minimizing them. Find a health and safety plan template that sets out what you will do to ensure employee safety, and what you expect your workers to do in return to safeguard their own wellbeing. Make sure there is access to an accident log and plenty of first aid kits, as well as people trained to give first aid assistance.



· Have an Inspection schedule. Make sure that you or a designated individual is regularly checking over equipment, workstations, and any tools etc to check they are safe to operate and fit for purpose. Review any storage areas and make sure things are being stored correctly and safely and that everyone who needs to has been trained about lifting heavy objects – even desk-based employees may need to do this occasionally. Hold regular fire drills and ensure that everyone knows the evacuation procedure in the event of an emergency.

· Make it an integral part of your business. If you are serious about keeping employees safe, it can’t be an afterthought. Build their wellbeing into every other business consideration such as decisions on inventory, financial planning and customer service.

You can never be too careful when protecting your most important business asset – those who work for you.


Care For Your Customers and Skyrocket Your Small Business

When you first launched your small business you were brand new to the world of entrepreneurship; after sleepless nights, fifteen hour days and a lot of hard work you managed to get your ideas off the ground. Since you started running your own business, you have realized how important it is to maintain excellent customer relationships. Smaller businesses are under more pressure to perform than bigger corporations out there as there is less money to spend on advertising and other services. Although you might think you’re at a disadvantage being a small business, it actually means you can connect with your clients on a closer level and get more customers as a result. Offering tailor-made support to each of your customers is going to improve their overall experience with you and will ensure they return in the future. There are many ways in which you can keep your customers happy, so make sure you are on top of all of techniques out there. If you slip up on one small area it is even more obvious, because you are running a small business; even tiny cracks in your methodology could deter clients from spending their money with you. You have the know-how to make your small business even better, so learn how to keep your customers happy and it will thrive as a result.

Ask The Pros

When it comes to keeping your customers full satisfied you might find it overwhelming to tackle everything on your own. There are so many different areas you need to manage and it can become time consuming if you don’t outsource some of your tasks. SugarCRM Customization allows you to create a customized process to make your consumers’ experience flawless. Depending on your business requirements their developers can provide you with road maps and business logic to fine-tune your platform for hassle-free, secure and optimal performance. Instead of confusing yourself with the technical methods, allow them to do the hard work for you. Everything is completely your decision so you can really tailor their services to suit yours and your customer’s requirements. Make sure you are making the most of automated email services such as MailChimp too, as they can be linked in with your account too and will generate efficiency and provide automation by reducing manual work.

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Meaningful Marketing

When it comes to marketing, it can be really tricky to get every single aspect perfectly tuned into your customer’s likes, dislikes, preferences and needs. You need to find a balance between bombarding them with constant emails and sending worthwhile, meaningful marketing messages little and often. If you haven’t already got this method in place with your business, you might want to consider a funnel technique. This is an email marketing method which targets customers with a particular message at certain stages of their journey through your website. For example, you might offer something for free and require them to enter their email address in order to receive it. This means you can then send them tailor written emails which suit the buying stage they are at. If they end up buying one of your products, you will also want to keep in touch with them to make sure they return to you in the future. Look into funnel tactics and make sure you are giving your customers the correct marketing information at the correct times.

Swift Replies

If you have a contact page on your website (which you definitely should have), you need to make sure it is being monitored during the peak times of the day. Customers want their questions to be answered quickly, correctly and efficiently, so don’t leave them hanging. You might just lose out on a sale if you leave it just a couple of hours too long before you respond to them. Consider creating a FAQ page, which will allow your customers to browse through a range of questions. This will take you a while to construct, but it will then save you a lot of extra effort in the long run, when you don’t need to be asked the same types of questions over and over again. Obviously you will still need to respond to some queries, but this technique will reduce the volume of emails you will get, so you can respond to the ones you do get much more swiftly.

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Quality Over Quantity

You might not believe it, but the fewer products and services you have to offer the more successful your business is going to be. Honing in on one or two high end niche products will allow you to attract exactly the type of customer you want to work with. It will also give you more time to focus on the quality of the small group of products or services you do choose to offer. Instead of having to constantly improve a whole host of mediocre products you will have more time to keep your high-end ones at the very top of the league. This will set you apart from your competitors as you will be able to have a closer relationship with each of your clients.

Social Media Interaction

If you have a strong presence on social media you are most probably looking to advertise your products or services to your target market. As well as this, you also need to make sure you are interacting with your loyal followers on a regular basis. Make sure your posts are varied and not always an ‘in your face’ style promotion. Ask questions, offer free advice and give motivational messages to your clients. This will prompt a response from them and allow you to start up regular dialogue with your social media followers. Show your customers than you really care and support them when they comment and answer them when they have queries.

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Loyalty Matters

You want to treat your loyal customers with the utmost respect, as they are the ones which will keep returning to you time and time again. Make sure you keep them interested and hooked on your products by handing out exclusive promotional discounts and other offers just for them. Make them want to continue to spend their money with you and don’t just forget about them once they have parted with their cash. Follow up with them, ask them how the product worked for them and even ask for a testimonial for your website. They want to feel valued and important so that is exactly what you need to do for them.



Your priority as a business owner, is to not only deliver stellar products and services, but also make sure each and every one of your customers are completely satisfied throughout their entire experience. So many business men and women put a tonne of energy into crafting and creating the most pristine products and spectacular services, yet they neglect the people that truly matter. You want your clients to keep returning for more, so treat them like royalty and make them happy. Put yourself in their shoes and try to imagine how you would feel during each stage of the buying process. Would you want to be bombarded with unnecessary emails? Would you want to encounter a glitch during checkout? Focus on the finer details and your customer will be able to enjoy a smooth and slick experience every time they click onto your website. As long as you reach out to professionals to assist you with your customer relationship management and you interact with your clients in the correct way your business will instantly improve.


Your Employees Are Your Greatest Asset. Are You Letting Them Down?

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There are a lot of things that you need to consider when running a business. It can often feel as though you’re keeping a whole lot of plates spinning all at once. In fact, trying to do that can often be incredibly overwhelming, to the point that a lot of people struggle to manage it at all. That’s where your employees come in. Out of all of the assets in your business, there’s no denying that there are any more important than your employees. Not only are they able to take a great deal of the weight off of your shoulders but they can also help to guide your business, as well as keeping it running smoothly. Of course, that’s only possible if you’re able to support your employees as best you can. If you’re not able to create the best possible environment for your employees, then you’re never going to be able to get the most out of them. With that in mind, here are a few ways to make sure that you’re not letting your employees down.

Training

Your employees might be the most important aspect of your business, but they’re not going to be able to do anything if they haven’t been properly trained. After all, every role within any given business requires a whole host of skills that not everyone is necessarily going to have. Whether it’s OSHA training, training in a specific piece of software, or simply improving their ability to communicate with other members of staff, if you’re not providing frequent and valuable training for all of your employees, they’re going to be woefully unprepared for the tasks ahead of them. The time and money required to train your employees are likely to be pretty negligible when compared to the benefits that training will provide.

Flexibility

There was a time when most businesses were defined by a pretty rigid adherence to strict schedules. However, over the last several years more and more research has come out demonstrating that this might not be the ideal solution. In fact, rather than forcing employees to all work specific hours in a single place, being flexible with when and where they work can often improve your business significantly. Being able to fit work around their personal lives can often make for much happier and more motivated employees, and offering things like remote working means that you can find the best possible people for any given job without having to limit yourself to those who are local to your business premises.

Appreciation

One of the most common mistakes that a lot of business owners can make is that they assume that, because their employees come away with a paycheck at the end of each month, that means that they will always be as motivated and happy as possible. However, your employees are not machines. You can’t just put money in and expect great work to come out. They are human beings with needs and limitations. This means that you’ve got to be able to show them an appreciation for all of the hard work and effort that they put in. Even simple things like offering bonuses when your employees go above and beyond the call of duty, or even simply recognising some fantastic work really can go a long way to helping your employees feel more motivated and satisfied at work.

Communication

Communication has always been the bedrock of any successful business. Without it, you’re almost certainly going to fall into the trap of your left hand having no idea what your right hand is doing. If you’re not able to effectively communicate what you want to your employees, they’re never going to be able to get things done. Sure, employees should be able to take the initiative but leaving them entirely to their own devices is going to make life harder for everyone.

It’s often tempting to feel as though, as the owner of the business, you’re the most important person in it. And sure, there’s a degree to which that might actually be true, but you need to be sure that you understand just how important the impact that your employees have in your business really is. In fact, your employees could well be having more of an impact on your business than you realise.


How To Make The Workplace More Diverse

A large problem that’s still around is that society dictates who should work where and if the rules are broken then it’s somehow frowned upon. For example, women working on building sites simply isn’t something that you often see due to the nature of the work and sometimes the comments received from colleagues who are male. The workplace shouldn’t be somewhere that you feel like you have to conform to fit in, and everyone should be given an equal chance. To avoid being a business that is like this, here are some tips on how to make the workplace more diverse so that you can have the best of the best working for you; leading to a more successful business.

Workplace More Diverse

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Be blind to gender

One of the worst things that business owners do is assume someone’s capabilities because of what gender they are. It may be true that men are built differently to women and in general are more powerful, but that doesn’t mean that a woman that walks through the door won’t be of any use to you. For example, if you run a busy kitchen that has male chefs, you shouldn’t assume that if a woman applies for the position that she will be any less capable than your male employees. The decision whether to hire someone should be based on skill and not whether or not they will fit in with the pattern that’s already there.

Don’t let language barriers get in the way

It’s understandable that it can become frustrating when someone who doesn’t speak your language is trying to obtain custom from you. However, this doesn’t mean that they should be turned away or left disappointed. The language people offer multiple services that can help you like website translation, interpreters, document checking, multilingual SEO and much more. Rather than closing off your business to a whole world of opportunities, why not get some help along the way?

Appearance means nothing

Another problem that businesses run into is judging people by the way that they look before seeing what they could offer your business. Whether it’s someone interviewing for a position at the company, a customer, or even someone wanting to collaborate business wise, it’s always important to remember that appearance means nothing. Some people choose to go for more radical looks than you might be used to, but it doesn’t mean that their skills or custom would be of any less value. Remember to put the business before opinions so that you can ensure that each and every person that comes into contact with your business is the right one, and so that your business can continue thriving.


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