Business

What to Do When Your Business Needs Money Fast

It’s not just in your personal life when you might suddenly need some money. If you’re running low on funds and you need cash fast, it can be tough to think of ethical ways your business can get what you need. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for you if you need to give your cash flow a boost. Whether you need to try and get the money you need within a couple of days or you have a few weeks or months to gather the funds, you can find a method of raising the money that will work for you.

Get a Cash Advance

A cash advance could be one possibility that’s available from some merchant account companies and payment solution providers. If you use a company to handle your credit card sales, you might be able to borrow some money that would then be paid back by future credit card sales. It was once a rather expensive method to use, but your options today could be much more flexible and easier to repay. It might sometimes be called a line of credit or known as another term, but you can often find this option and apply for the money you need in no time. Just remember to compare the fee to other possibilities to decide if it’s worth it or if there’s a better way to raise your money.

Get a Cash Advance

From Pixabay

Borrow Your Own Money

If you personally have money, but your business doesn’t, one option you might consider is lending your money to your business. Your business can then pay you back as the funds become available. There are several ways you might put your own money into your business, from using your savings to taking out a personal loan. However, if you’re considering using personal assets to bolster your business, remember that it doesn’t come without risks. If your business doesn’t make that money back, you’re now personally worse off, and your business isn’t doing any better either. Loaning the money to your business might work if you’re sure you can pay it back soon, but it’s important to be cautious.

Sell Your Equipment

Sometimes, your business might be asset rich but cash poor. If you need to change that, selling some of your equipment could be a good place to start. Maybe you’re looking for money for new equipment anyway, or perhaps you’re scaling back your business and don’t really need what you currently own. If you want to sell your equipment, there are a few ways you might do it. A lot of business owners will browse auctions if they want to save money on their equipment, so it can be a good place to start if you want a quick sale. You could also seek a second-hand equipment dealer to see if they want to buy from you.

Consider Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding can sometimes be a useful method for raising funds for your business. However, it’s not always best suited to anyone who wants to raise money quickly. You also have to be very smart about promoting your campaign to get it the attention it needs. It is possible to crowdfund and reach a goal in a short amount of time, but you already need to have the audience on various channels, such as social media and your mailing list. You also need to have an incentive to encourage people to invest their money. What do they get in return? It needs to be more than a good feeling for supporting your business.

Crowdfunding

From Pixnio

Look at Microloans

A microloan is a loan under a certain amount, such as $50,000, which is often easier to apply for than larger loans. Find a lender that specializes in smaller loans, and you could find that your business has an easier time getting the money you need. Some of them have loans that are intended for specific types of business, particularly those that might struggle to find funding from elsewhere. Try someone like Accion or take a look at the approved microloan lenders that work with the Small Business Administration. You might be able to secure a loan through your local SBA office if you have one.

Try Factoring Invoices

Factoring invoices is the practice of getting an advance on unpaid invoices. This can be useful if you’re waiting for payments, and you don’t want to hurry your customers along. You’ll get the amount on the invoice, minus the fee that factor will charge you, and when your client pays it will clear off your debt. Fees can sometimes be fairly high, so not all businesses will want to use this method of raising cash. Be cautious about using it because it might not be the best choice for you.

Provide Incentives to Pay Invoices

If you don’t mind giving your customers a bit of a push to pay their invoices early, that can be an easy way to make some money too. Instead of having to wait another month or two, you can encourage them to pay sooner so you can get the cash you need. Provide an incentive or two for early payment, such as offering a discount, cashback, credit, free delivery or anything else you can think of that they might want.

Encourage Some Quick Sales

Another way to quickly raise some cash for your business might be to encourage some quick sales from customers. If you can put on a special offer or create a discount for a short period, you might be able to drive some higher sales for a while. It might be enough to give your cash flow a boost and get you the funds you need. You could create a special discount code, give away a free gift or have a flash sale to get people interested in spending some money. Even offering free delivery can be enough to get people to make a purchase.


Everything You Wanted To Know About Bitcoin

invest in Bitcoin

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You’re new to the world of investment and everything seems strange and perplexing. In most areas of life we struggle from too little information and guidance but in the world of investment, there’s way too much! Everywhere you turn there are people arguing vociferously and passionately for certain commodities, stocks and shares. You’ll also see different people arguing equally vociferously and passionately against them. One voice will laud it as the safest and wisest investment you could make while another decries it as not only a waste of your time and money but a global scam that will be rumbled at any moment. It can be difficult to know where to turn for advice and really more difficult to know where to put your money. After all, a bad investment could see you make a serious loss.

Most new investors are risk averse and are unlikely to be bullish or bearish on any given commodity due to sheer inexperience and a lack of understanding of the caprices of the markets. As such, while they’ve likely heard of Bitcoin, and other Cryptocurrencies like Etherium, Ripple and Monero and you’ve heard a lot of vociferous claims for and against them. There are few commodities as divisive as cryptocurrency. People in the financial services industry tend not to be fans while those who’ve been burned by the banks in the 2007-2008 recession and don’t trust the present financial infrastructure simply shrug “Well, of course they would say that!”. If you’ve heard of Bitcoin, you’ve probably already read some wildly contrasting rumors about the highest profile of the cryptocurrencies. As such, it’s likely that you’ll have a lot of questions. Here we’ll try to address any questions that you may have as a nascent investor, using real human words and trying to avoid technical jargon wherever possible (and at least explaining it if we do). Hopefully by the time you’re done reading you’ll have a firmer idea of what Bitcoin is and whether or not you want to invest. We’ll try not to be too partizan in our approach, sticking to the facts where possible without coloring your answers with bias.

Spell it out for me, what is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency; this means that even though it is traded in units like any currency, it differs from the currencies of nations (fiat currencies) in several key ways. Firstly, it’s value is not determined by the value of precious metals as other currencies have been previously. It is also insulated from the economic success or misfortune of any given country or state’s economy. This makes it virtually recession proof and that is what makes it so popular with people who were burned in the 2007-2008 recession and have an inherent mistrust of the banks.

So what gives Bitcoin its value?

Many people struggle to wrap their heads around the notion of a cryptocurrency. If it’s not tied to the economy of a nation, and its insulated from inflation and other measures of economic growth, what gives it its value? The simple answer is that its value is determined by the people who trade it, just like any other commodity. Its value is determined by the pillars of economics which are supply, scarcity, demand, the regulations managing its sale and its own internal governance. This is why, despite the proliferate negativity surrounding Bitcoin’s longevity it looks like it’s here to stay since as long as people are trading it, it will continue to have value.

Lots of people say that Bitcoin is a bubble, is this true?

There are many voices within the financial services industry who insist that Bitcoin is a bubble that could burst at any moment. Since its value has increased exponentially since its invention by Satoshi Yakamoto (AKA Australian Entrepreneur, Craig Wright) in 2009, and has recently experienced a drop in value lots of people are practicing their “I told you so” faces. Bitcoin’s proponents, however, argue that the value of a cryptocurrency is just like any other stock, share, currency or tradeable commodity, it’s valued inevitably fluctuates due to a range of external circumstances. Like any investment, it is neither good nor bad and carries with it both risk and the potential for a substantial return. Many new investors are choosing to invest sparingly in Bitcoin just to be on the safe side.

How does one invest in Bitcoin?

There are lots of different ways in which one can acquire Bitcoin. Firstly, you can buy it securely from a site like XCoins. You can also become a Bitcoin miner although this does involve forking out a lot of money on sophisticated hardware (most of which can now be bought on Amazon).  There was a time when one could mine bitcoin with their home PC but the technology has now moved along so far that it now requires sophisticated custom processors specifically built for bitcoin mining. These processors need to be left to run for long stretches of time to solve the puzzles that unlock units of Bitcoin (yes, this is an oversimplification, but this is essentially what they do). It’s difficult to mine Bitcoin profitably on your own, especially if you’re a newcomer, but there are Bitcoin mining contractors who will do the hard work for you for a fee. If you’re interested in learning to mine Bitcoin, check out this guide which will give you everything you need to get started. There are even some websites that serve as Bitcoin faucets, distributing small amounts of Bitcoin to their visitors.  

Do criminals use Bitcoin?

Honestly, yes. Because Bitcoin is traded anonymously using blockchain technology transactions are almost (but not entirely) untraceable. This makes it very attractive to the criminal community, especially those trading in illegal goods and services on the notorious dark web. But criminals also use cash, drink beer, eat cheeseburgers and drive cars and you wouldn’t want to deprive yourself of any of those comforts simply because they’re also used occasionally by a few bad apples.

Am I taxed on Bitcoin?

Yes and no. While Bitcoin is a commodity it is subject to tax, yet it is not taxed at the same rate as other cash assets. This tax advantage is the reason why many people are using Bitcoin to supplement their IRA, allowing them to save for their retirement while making sure that their wealth is protected from the IRS. Many people are also currently reaping the tax benefits of making charitable contributions with Bitcoin. So, while Bitcoin is taxable, its rates are much more favorable than the tax rates on cash.

Can Bitcoin be shut down?

Many new investors are shy of investing in Bitcoin, especially those who aren’t particularly tech savvy because they worry that something will happen to “shut down” the Bitcoin system either robbing them of their investments or rendering them worthless. Fortunately, Bitcoin is designed to make this impossible. The whole point of Bitcoin is that it is an attempt to democratize currency and it is based upon Blockchain technology which means that it is duplicated thousands of times across thousands of different computers. Thus, it cannot be hacked or corrupted as the data is not stored in one central place. Its control is in the hands of those who use it. There is no central authority for Bitcoin, although there is a Bitcoin Foundation that provides oversight. However, even the Bitcoin Foundation has no authority over the cryptocurrency.  

Are there an infinite amount of Bitcoin units?

No, and this is why its scarcity is a contributing factor to its value. The way in which the Bitcoin system is designed to distribute units of the cryptocurrency slowly to the tune of 21 million units over the next century. This is why Bitcoin’s proponents call it digital gold. It’s worth noting however, that while the current system enables Bitcoin to stay finite there are at present no guarantees that this will change, nor can we accurately predict what will happen to Bitcoin’s value if an influx of units were to come into circulation. However, this is no different from fiat currencies. Banks and governments create money out of nowhere at all through quantitative easing.  

Is Bitcoin illegal?

That depends on where you live. There are many factors that make Bitcoin unpopular with governments, especially those of non-democratic countries. Countries such as the US and Canada, the UK, Australia and most countries within the European Union are permissive of Bitcoin, however there are some countries in which it is outright illegal. These include China, Russia and even Iceland. Click here for a more comprehensive list.

Is Bitcoin really anonymous

Bitcoin’s anonymity was one of its biggest selling points upon its release. In real terms, however, Bitcoin is more traceable than many were led to believe, especially if it has been used to fund criminal activity like drug dealing, people trafficking or money laundering. It turns out that authorities have ways of tracing Bitcoin transactions and web merchants routinely leak data without purchases. While Bitcoin has a veneer of anonymity, it can be cracked by anyone with the time, resources and a good enough reason. It’s no more anonymous than a bank transfer and certainly less anonymous than cash.


Things You Need to Know About Starting a Business

Many people want to start a business but few people know what to and how they can make it a success. A lot of the skills gained from starting a business are things you can learn on the job, but if you do your research you can avoid some of these common pitfalls and save your money while you do it. Many people waste so much cash on their first business, but no doubt they learn a lot by doing it. If you want to run a successful business straight off the bat and avoid some common mistakes, then make sure you follow the advice in this article. Doing your research and being prepared when you open up is essential, and making sure you keep track of everything when you do it can also help you so much in the long run. If you are thinking of starting up your own business or you are currently running your own first business and want some pointers, read on.

Make a Plan

This might seem like simple advice but so many people start a business thinking that they can just wing it and don’t need to keep track of what they have achieved or what they are planning on achieving. Having a plan can give you some pointers on where you want to be and what you want to achieve in a certain amount of time. Although this can be difficult to predict with your first business, setting targets and trying to meet them is a great way to push yourself and the people around you to do the best you can. Even if your goals change it is really useful for any business owner to keep track of how their business is doing. This means you can see the effects of any changes you make, and you know what works and what doesn’t work too.

Source.

Outsource Work

Depending on what kind of business you run, outsourcing work could save you a lot of time and money. If you work in the service industry then this might not affect you, but if you have a web-based company it could be really useful. Outsourcing work can work for your company if you get work in fits and burst, or it seasonal rather than being steady. If you don’t need to employ full-time employees or this wouldn’t work for your company then outsourcing work might be for you. If you do have a web-based company make sure you register your company formation at www.yourcompanyformations.co.uk. Outsourcing work can save you money as well as free you up some office space if your outsourced work can be done at home. Make sure you consider this for your business and it could make all the difference.



Here are just a few ideas for you if you are starting up your own business for the first time. Much of what you learn is from trial and error, but doing your research can mean saving a lot of money and avoiding mistakes too.

 


How Accidents Can Damage Your Business

Many new entrepreneurs believe that spending money on safety and insurance is a waste, and they should focus on growth instead of security. Most accidents that happen at the workplace have serious consequences for the entrepreneur, and can cause a damage to the reputation of the brand that can end a successful career. In case you are still sitting on the fence about taking out a liability insurance or creating a health and safety policy at the workplace, you will need to complete a thorough risk assessment to weigh your options and calculate the true cost of injuries and accidents at the workplace.

Financial Loss and Late Payments

If there is an accident at the workplace, or a customer is injured on your premises, you will need to face accident and injury claims. If you don’t have a liability insurance, or health and safety checks in place, you will be likely to have to pay a compensation to the person injured. If one of your employees drives a company vehicle and causes an accident, your company will be responsible for the damage and injury. Ask a car accident attorney about how you can prevent being liable for employees’ behavior on the road, and how you can protect your business.

Public Records

If there is an accident on your premises, or caused by your company, you will be prosecuted, and the court case might become public. This means all your potential and current customers will be able to find out about your issues, and they might look elsewhere. A public accident court case can completely destroy your business reputation, and eventually cause financial ruin. You will have to make sure that you are protecting your business interest by making sure that risk assessments are carried out regularly, and your employees are trained on preventing injuries. You need to go beyond being compliant, and actively seek ways of preventing personal, environmental, or property damage that can potentially cost you thousands.

Social Media

Once an accident happens, it is almost impossible to keep it a secret from social media. Your employees might share images, or the person injured will tweet about your company and blame you for the negligence. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do against the reputational damage caused by social media posts, and even if you take legal action, by the time the results are delivered, your reputation is ruined. Make sure that you talk to your employees about the responsible use of social media, and train them on the best practices.

Fines

Accidents can attract the attention of regulators, and officials might start a thorough investigation. If you are found guilty of negligence, you will be asked to pay a fine, as well as facing other penalties and sanctions. If the authority can prove that you didn’t follow the industry and government guidelines, you will be prosecuted. This will increase your expenses, and -on top of the fines – can cause long term financial difficulties. Prevention is always cheaper than dealing with the consequences, therefore, compliance issues should be taken seriously in your business.

Low Work Morale

An angry employee can turn your entire workforce against you, and cause damage to your reputation. Your workers will only hear one side of the story, and automatically assume that your company doesn’t care about employees. This will damage your relationship and leadership effectiveness, and cause low work morale. Unhappy employees are more likely to be distracted, and their performance will drop. You will have to work hard to regain the trust of your workers after an accident at the workplace.

Losing Your License

Image by PxHere

Damage Your Business

If the accident or injury is serious, your state or industry authority might decide to revoke your license, and make you go out of business. You might even get banned from working in the same industry for a set number of years, or forever. This will be the end of your business and livelihood that you worked so far for all your life.

You can cause damage to your business, as well as your employees and the public, if you don’t pay attention to the guidelines and ignore industry recommendations. Your reputation is your most important asset, and losing it is much easier than rebuilding it. Before you make a decision on your health and safety policy, make sure you consider the risks of injuries and accidents and the consequences they bring.

 


How Can You Reach Out Insurance to the Millennials in the New Year 2018?

As long as insurance customer base is concerned, the millennial generation is very soon going to replace the baby boomers as the biggest customer base for the insurance industry. When it comes to attracting the least-insured generation, the industry has got some really serious work to do. As per the report from a company which advises firms to gain customer insights, Fuel Cycle, they have pulled together key strategies which can help insurance bring the millennial generation together, something which no one has ever done before.

The ace business firm, Insurance Business asked a senior researcher, Nick Chadwick about his top tips on the things insurance companies should require focusing on as we move towards the beginning of 2018.

The art of engaging millennials

In the year 2018, it will rather be crucial to concentrate on the ways in which insurance companies can engage millennials. The way in which the millennials are engaged is more multi-faceted than what we ever saw with the previous generations. They are the ones who love to stay engaged by leveraging different methods, which may include apps, social media, mails, online communities and any other way that is offered by the insurer.

As long as millennials are concerned or the newest generation, utilization of the latest communication channels and directly conversing with them is extremely important, as compared to the predecessors. As the intermediaries still play a vital role in the insurance industry for the immense knowledge in buying products, millennials usually prefer the more direct methods and this means that the insurance brokers and agents require adopting all the new methods in order to gain their attention.

Setting up proper communication

The senior researchers are of the opinion that the key focus for the insurance carriers should be to set up direct communication in the year 2018. The direct medium of communication like the websites, the mobile apps usually remains a considerably untapped resource for the insurance industry. According to a recent study revealed that the millennials will most probably buy online insurance and more than half of them will prefer working directly with the insurance carriers rather than working in accordance with an agent.

In 2018, besides leveraging the multi-channel strategy, you also require bolstering the competition as this is also going to be important in 2018. Experts suggest that it is vital to keep researching the consumer market and how the competitors are reacting to the ongoing rat-race. Ultimately, when you can offer a voice to the consumers, this is probably the best way in which you can meet their expectations on a continuous basis.

Lastly, for the insurance companies to proactively retain the millennial generation, they even require investing in the non-conventional areas like customer intelligence and R&D and the procedure of purchasing insurance shifts on the channels, new screens and platform through the next decade.


Ten Time Saving Tricks Your Business Needs

No company can completely avoid wasted time. No matter how hard we try, each of us can end up waiting for someone or something else. Making the most of that waiting time is one way to reduce the impact of wasted time. But there are also plenty of internal systems and working practices that could do with some fine-tuning. If you’re looking for ways to save time within your company, you’re not alone.

There are plenty of reasons why you should be actively seeking ways to reduce lost time and the number of hours spent on key tasks. For a start, it is reducing the number of hours your employees could be spending on new and innovative projects. Freeing up their time lets their creativity flow. But it is perhaps the cost of lost hours that is worrying you the most. If you could save thousands every year by reducing how long it took to get business done, wouldn’t you do it?

1. Ditch The Commute

Your employees might be particularly happy about this time-saving exercise. As a busy business owner, it might do you some good to claw back those two to three hours every day too. The amount of time spent in the car each morning and evening can be very stressful. We would all rather be anywhere but stuck in a traffic jam. If you’re willing to offer your workforce more flexible working, you might be quite surprised at the results.

Traffic wastes time. Picture credit

Without the stress of traffic jams and expensive parking, your workforce might be more energetic, better focused and less prone to sick days. They don’t have to spend that extra time each morning preparing a professional appearance either. It could even save them on their dry cleaning bill! You might enjoy more productivity, and more creative flair from a workforce spared the dreaded commute.

2. Collaborative Working

Have you ever sent an employee away to finish a document so you can then refine it, edit it, and send it out? Why are you wasting so much time? Surely if you were working on it at the same time, your employee would know exactly what you’re looking for, and you don’t have to wait for them to finish their bits off first? That is collaborative working made easy for time-saving. Best of all, it’s all in the cloud. You can check on the project or document while you’re at lunch, or on the plane to that meeting.

The team needn’t be in the room together. Picture credit

Collaborating like this also helps to motivate your subordinates. They will feel more integral to the team, and they’ll feel more inclined to prioritize that task knowing you can see when they’re working on it! You can step in with comments or changes as they go to reduce time wasted on edits later.

3. Who Needs Data Entry?

Entering data manually from 3rd party documents isn’t just tedious, it’s costly on time. Chances are you hire someone specifically to perform that task. Are they the happiest member of the team? Probably not. Using automated data entry can save a lot of time as it is often quicker than human data entry. Of course, ocr software accuracy isn’t perfect. Sometimes it needs a little help to improve and get up to speed. But once it’s there, all your supplier invoices could be in the system and automatically sent for payment. As for your data entry clerk? Give them something more fun and creative to do!

4. Walk And Talk

The walk and talk is a tool used for film and TV to heighten the urgency of dramatic situations. It makes the characters appear busier, and it visually supports the rapid progression of events in the narrative. It can work in the real world too! If you’ve got somewhere to be, but you need to have a conversation, don’t schedule it for later. Take the conversation with you!

There are more benefits to this than just saving time. You’ll find your increased heart rate and circulation make it easier to focus and fire off ideas much quicker too. Even if you don’t actually need to be anywhere else, walking while talking is a great way to stay active, fitter and healthier in the workplace. If it can reduce sick days, surely it’s saving your business time too?

5. Self Service Personnel Resources

As an employee, it is really frustrating to try and get an appointment with someone in HR just to book off a long weekend. Using an app to manage leave, check promotion eligibility and even apply for internal jobs can save everyone a lot of time and hassle. There are plenty of systems like this available. Ultimately, they offer a few checkboxes or drop-down menus to allow the worker to submit a request. It’s up to you if you want to allow the system to auto approve requests as well.

Other resources that can be challenging to access include company information, contact details and meeting schedulers. By placing all these details in a single app, you can save each employee a lot of time and headaches. It shouldn’t have to be a big research project to get the name and email address of someone in accounts!

6. Recruit From Within

It’s up to you how you choose to recruit talent for your business. But there is a lot to be said for recruiting from within. For a start, that worker already knows your company and you. They know the culture and fit right in. They know the quickest and easiest way to get things done to your satisfaction too! A clearly defined career progression is a great motivator too. It improves worker loyalty and reduces the amount of training that is required to bring someone into the role.

Know who you’re hiring and why they’re good for the job. Picture credit

There are legal issues surrounding this though. You can’t just ignore the wealth of talent outside of your firm. But you can recruit from the ground floor and let the best of the best work their way up naturally. Check your local laws and regulations on recruitment and best practice. If you don’t have to advertise externally, then you can save time on the entire recruitment process. Sifting through applications, holding interviews and training new recruits can take months.

7. Use Freelancers For Those Little Jobs

Some departments, like the marketing team, have countless small tasks that take up more time than they are worth. Your marketers are a creative bunch that are full of fresh ideas. The last thing you want is for them to be stuck on a relatively small creative piece instead of brainstorming and developing the next big thing. This is where freelancers come in. They can dedicate their time, energy and resources to that single line of copy or that cute infographic design.

You might find the same thing for your customer service team. A seasonal influx of orders through the call center can be great. But it means your people are busy taking orders instead of taking care of customer enquiries. Handing over some of these calls to an outsourced service provider means your agents can get on with what they’re best at doing without suffering the fatigue of overwork.

8. No More Paperwork

Shuffling paper and filing hard copies is another job that workers find tedious. Your employees want to be doing something more creative and fun. They don’t want to spend their days moving stacks of papers about. Use a digitizing service to reduce your office-based paperwork to zero. It means that all those documents are available to everyone at the same time, without anyone having to run off to the filing cabinet.

Working digitally like this can also mean that security is improved. There is no more time wasted searching for lost papers and documents. They are all on your server and filed appropriately for anyone with the correct permissions to view. You might even choose to edit them if required. That’ll save a few hours in photocopying!

9. Reminders, Scheduling And Calendars

Make good use of your phone or computer reminder app. This saves you a lot of time worrying about what you’ve got to do or making endless todo lists. Scheduling apps make it easy for you and everyone else in the company to see where you are and what you’re up to! Sharing these details means that every moment of your time at work can be carefully managed to maximize your day.

Set them, share them. Picture credit

Shared calendars also mean that you can find out when your key personnel are in the building for meetings. You’ll be able to follow their workflow more easily. Best of all, you can all see when time has been booked off. This saves you the hassle of ringing or emailing when your employee is actually away from the office on leave. Of course, if you don’t use these facilities, then they won’t be able to save anyone any time at all!

10. Video Conferencing

Spare yourself a flight, and reduce the cost of hotels. Simply take that meeting by video call. You might well save hours! How does your business save time?


Prevention Is Best For Workplace Fraud

protections in place

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Businesses are constantly evolving at a rapid rate, and part of that evolution is minding how your employees conduct themselves. When you own a business, you are naturally protective of your interests and assets and have placed the highest insurances protections in place. Unfortunately, employee fraud is still a significant problem faced by businesses of all types, both large and small. We never hire employees believing that they will do anything but be an asset to the business itself, but we must be prepared for this not to be the case.

minimize fraud

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Prevention is always the best option when it comes to employee activity and it is absolutely crucial to reducing the losses faced by fraud. There has to be fraud prevention in place, even if your business has minimal staff and assets. You still have a business and you need to protect it as much as possible. Ideally, you want to have a secure legal team to go against an affordable criminal defense attorney, because that would mean they have a need to defend themselves. In an ideal world you never have to come across any type of fraud in your business. There are plenty of ways you can minimize fraud as much as possible and we’ve put together some of the ways you can help yourself and your business to avoid it as much as possible:

  • Know Your Staff. There are some behavioural traits that are common within those who commit or intend to commit fraud. Knowing your staff, listening to them and their concerns and getting to know them on a personal level can help you to weed out anyone you feel may be unsuitable for a place in your organisation. Pouncing on internal business issues early can help you to avoid retaliation and ‘revenge’ from employees.
  • Train Well. You should always have transparency with your staff, and full training is an absolute must. If there are measures in place to let staff know that you fully intend to clamp down and act harshly toward those with questionable business practices, you have likely set up a really good deterrent.
  • Internal Controls. One of the best ways to minimise workplace fraud is to limit access to sensitive information. By limiting access to certain systems such as financial information and banking, you can prevent anyone accessing personal and private information that could be manipulated.
  • Monitor Time Off. Generally, if someone is committing fraud at work they are very careful not to spend an extended period of time away from the office just in case someone discovers their activities. Keep employees on their toes by rotating computer stations and such regularly!

Not every employee goes to work with the idea of how to take advantage of your business, it would be a sad state of affairs of that was the case. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be vigilant at all times about those you hire and protect your business at all costs.

 


From The Top: Being A Better Boss Made Simple

In business, there’s a lot to be said for leading by example. If you look at the most successful entrepreneurs in the modern world, you’ll notice that they have something in common. They all take an interest in what’s going on in their business empire, and they set a good example for their workers to follow. If you’re a business owner and you’re keen to improve your leadership skills or become one of those employers that the workforce raves about, this guide will come in handy.

Setting out clear goals and objectives

Confusion can be a major barrier in business. If you don’t know what you’re doing every day when you arrive at the office and turn on your computer, you’re not going to be as productive as you could be. As the boss, it’s up to you to ensure that your team is aware of the objectives and that every person understands what they’re working towards. If you don’t have an active role in the day to day management of the company, ensure your senior members of staff take over this mantle for you. Organizing regular team meetings is always beneficial, but it’s also a good idea to meet with individuals to make sure that everyone is on the same page. One to one sessions can also be helpful in building relationships between you and your employees.

Business

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Running a tight ship

A lack of organization can be incredibly costly in modern business. The most successful companies have plans in place that maximize efficiency and productivity. Consider the importance of dealing with payments or outstanding invoices swiftly, for example. If you don’t have a firm grip on your finances or an accounting team to handle payments for you, there’s every chance that you could end up with cash flow issues or let clients disappear without a trace when they haven’t paid for work you have completed or products you’ve sold. Another important consideration is scheduling and staff hours. If there’s a lack of clarity in the process or you’re experiencing a lot of confusion related to rosters, you’re likely to end up with a situation where you’re dealing with no call no show employees. Of course, if an employee is down to work and they don’t turn up or inform you that they’re not able to work, this isn’t always your fault, but if it’s a regular occurrence, it may be time to rethink your scheduling plans. You could look into using new and improved software, for example, especially if you have a large workforce or a high staff turnover.

Being clear on policies and expectations

As the manager of a company, you probably have certain expectations about how your employees should behave and what they should bring to the table. It’s essential to communicate with your employees so that they are aware of the policies that are in place and they understand what is expected of them. Make sure new employees are guided through an induction process and refresh training related to protocol and procedures. If you’re finding that people are ignoring the rules or they’re failing to meet the standards you expect, it may be wise to get everyone together and reiterate working guidelines. Sometimes, a simple reminder is all that is needed, but you may need to take further action if an email or a friendly chat goes unnoticed.

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Promoting development

Most people go into a job with the aim of progressing and moving up the ladder. As the boss, you should actively support development and provide your workforce with the opportunity to expand their skills and take on more responsibility. If you consistently overlook the talent you already have, you may find that you lose your star players. If you’re advertising jobs externally, for example, your employees may feel that they need to go elsewhere to get a shot at a promotion. Training is really valuable for both employers and employees. It gives you a better-skilled workforce, and it provides your employees with the chance to learn new skills and improve their techniques. If you don’t currently offer training opportunities, look into schemes, programs, and workshops and have a think about the kinds of courses and classes that would benefit your business. It’s also useful to have a chat with your staff about what kinds of sessions and subjects they would like to cover. If you have a highly-skilled team, this is going to improve the overall performance of your business.

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Rewarding hard work and celebrating success

Nobody wants to invest blood, sweat, and tears and get nothing in return. If your team has been working all hours to meet a deadline or people have made sacrifices to cover for illness, for example, make sure you reward their hard work and commitment. If you expect people to give you more, there has to be an incentive. A motivated team will put in more effort than a group of people who know that there’s nothing coming their way even if the outcome is positive. Offer rewards and celebrate successes. You don’t have to go crazy and hand out huge bonuses, but an extra day off, an office party or outing or a little extra in the paycheck will go a long way.

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Ambition and passion

If you’re not passionate about your business, you can’t possibly expect others to be, so show your employees how much this venture means to you and how determined you are to make it a success. Share the backstory, talk about plans for the future, and be willing to get involved. You may not want to spend every hour of the working day in the office, but popping in from time to time to see how things are ticking over is hugely beneficial. It’s always positive to have a presence and for people to know that you care even if you don’t want to devote all your time to the business.

Communication and teamwork

Everyone knows that a cohesive team works better than a group of individuals. As the head honcho, it’s your job to encourage cooperation and create an environment that fosters collaboration. If you want people to work together, plan regular meetings and set up communal spaces. Make it easy for people to share ideas and to work on projects together by investing in technology and innovative software systems, and encourage socialization outside of work. Not everyone has to be best mates with their colleagues, but if you get on with the people you work with, the working day is likely to be a lot more enjoyable and productive. Go out for a drink after work on a Friday, organize a team movie trip once a month or look at options for a weekend away doing team-building exercises.

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Understand your role

When you oversee everything, it can be easy to blame others if things don’t go to plan or there are delays or hiccups. As the boss, it’s important to realize that the buck will always stop with you. Although somebody may be at fault for an error, it’s your company, and therefore, it’s beneficial to understand that getting involved in finding solutions is more constructive than shouting and screaming. Be the person your employees look up to and inspire to be like and understand how your actions affect and influence others.

Listen

This is one of the tips leading entrepreneurs usually share in interviews or articles about their career. When asked about what makes a good leader, the ability to listen makes it to the top of many lists. Being in charge isn’t always about calling the shots. It can also be about listening to the people you work with and learning. Perhaps you could learn from your mistakes sometimes, or you could take other people’s ideas on board to improve your business. Think about people you’ve worked for in the past and how their actions affected you. Did you feel that your boss never really had time for you or that you were overlooked, or were they always eager to try new things, give people opportunities and engage in open conversation? It’s wise to take time to get to know your employees and to be available to them if they have concerns or they simply have a brilliant idea they want to share. If people do raise issues or you receive feedback that isn’t wholly positive, use it to improve your leadership skills. It’s not always nice to hear negative comments, but it can help you develop as a person as well as improving the business.

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If you own a company, you’ve probably realized that life at the top isn’t always a bed of roses. Leading a team can be difficult, and not all entrepreneurs are blessed with management skills. Hopefully, this guide will inspire you to be a better boss and to move your business in the right direction. Pay attention to your employees, take time to communicate with them, listen, and make sure you set out clear goals and objectives so that everyone’s pulling in the same direction. Be passionate, be enthusiastic and ensure that everyone knows that their hard work is valued.


Ways to Secure More Funding to Expand Your Business

Businesses grow with money—there’s no changing or denying that fact. Sadly, getting the money required can be a bit tricky especially if you’re not making much money from your current services and products. Most companies would love a little injection of cash to start up a new product or to start a marketing campaign in order to get more business. Unfortunately, getting the money required can prove to be difficult if your business is already in a bad shape.

Fortunately, there are ways to secure more funding your for business if you’re willing to put in the extra work. Here are some ideas to help breathe new life into your business and to secure more funding for future projects that will hopefully kick start a new era for your company.

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Consider Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is one of the best ways to promote a new product idea that you’re unsure about. You can gather interest using platforms such as social media and then you can request money from supporters in order to fund a new endeavour. This method only really works if you have great relationships with your customers, so only do this if you’re confident that you can deliver because nobody likes a company that goes back on its promises—especially if they ask for money. Consider looking at platforms such as kickstarter.com if you’re curious about crowdfunding and how you can make it work for your business.

Look at Credit Services

When you’re looking for a tried and tested method of funding your business, look no further than a credit service for business loans such as businesslineof.credit. You’ll get money in your bank relatively quickly, you’ll find that you don’t have to bother with pandering to your audience and if your ideas are good, then you can easily pay back the credit loan once your new products are ready for sale. Keep in mind that even if your idea isn’t successful, you’re still going to have to pay whatever you’ve borrowed. Just make sure you don’t plunge yourself further into debt!

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Rebranding Old Products

A quick (and fairly cheeky) method of making money to expand your business is to rebrand older products into something new. Some people will catch on to this and be less impressed by your tactics, but if it’s offering a new colour for your smartphone product or making slight alterations to fit another audience, then it’s usually acceptable as long as you don’t make a habit of it and you’re actually meeting some kind of demand and not trying to create a new audience for something. Rebranding is powerful if used correctly, but rely on it too much and you’ll find yourself facing harsh criticism and being judged for a lack of ideas.

Sell Old Assets

Finally, don’t forget that you can sell old assets in order to make more money to expand your business. Many people don’t realise that they’re sitting on potential money in their company. Whether it’s selling outdated computer hardware or getting rid of stock with clearance deals, take a look at your company and find out where you can make more money by getting rid of unneeded things.


The Right Injection For The Right Direction: What You Can Do To Make Your Business Financially Ready

It’s a huge concern every single entrepreneur will have at some point during their career, and the concerns when it comes to managing startup debt or keeping all of the finances in check can be quite a pressing task, especially if you don’t have the right resources at your disposal. But it can come to us all, there may be a point where your business is on the precipice between success and failure, and one gentle push in either direction could make a massive impact on your entire entrepreneurial career. So how can you better prepare your business financially to make sure it goes in the right direction?

business loan

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Form The Right Alliances

You can get discounts on bulk purchases if you join forces with another trade association or business. This works especially well if you are starting to manufacture on a large scale because you are not just getting good discounts on larger purchases which will help you in the long run, but it’s also a great way to form positive working relationships with clients and suppliers.

Minimize Interest Where You Can

In other words, shop around for the best type of loan or cash injection for your business size. If you look on a site like smallbusinessloans.co, you can get an overview of the different types of business cash injections, from a small business startup loan to invoice factoring, SBA loans, or even a personal loan for a business. It shows you the different interest rates so you can be savvier about what type of cash injection is best for you, so you can minimize interest, and therefore the amount of money you owe back.

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Do You Need All Your Staff Members?

When your business is starting out you may be forgiven for thinking that the more staff on side, the better. However, if you have the best people for the job you don’t need an abundance of staff members. In which case you can make the most of a skeleton staff, or if your business is right at the very beginning, you can use freelancers or temporary contractors to get the leg work you desperately need doing right now. You can worry about getting more staff members on board when your business needs upscaling, but if you are thinking about ways to conserve your finances right now make sure you are cutting every corner, and that includes making sure you’re utilizing the resources you have within your means.

Other Handy Hints

To make the most of your financial transactions you can make the most of a couple of nifty approaches. One good example is if you make bank deposits early in the day, as opposed to right at the end of the working day, you can start earning interest earlier. Another simple one is picking up orders from suppliers yourself as opposed to paying for shipping fees. Also, if you order your checks from a printing company like designerchecks.com rather than from a bank, it will cost you less.

The best way to push your business in the right direction is to be sensible when cutting corners. A lot of businesses cut corners so much that it is to the detriment of their business, but there are simple approaches you can take advantage of.

 


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