A Few Tips to cut costs at the office.

April 4, 2013

LDPIt’s important to identify savings opportunities and improve your cash flow. Here are a few tips to help make your budget work harder:

 

Leverage your buying power

Keep an eye on contracts, leases, and agreements with your suppliers and vendors. Whether the market is strong or weak, leverage your company’s strengths to keep your costs competitive.

 

Give yourself options

Keep your current suppliers competitive by inviting new ones to bid. Get at least three bids on new work. It’ll keep your current suppliers attentive and uncover new opportunities you may not have considered.

 

Use it or lose it

Don’t collect old or worn out equipment, furniture, or supplies. Sell it, trade-in, recycle, or dispose of it, depending on its condition.

 

Maximize profitability

Keep tabs on your competition and the marketplace. You want your pricing to be competitive—neither too far above or below the market. Use sales or coupons to make temporary price reductions for a specific period, to combat short-term market adjustments.

Read more… office.xerox


A few Small Business Funding Tips

October 25, 2012

The key to obtaining funding starts with a solid business plan. Investors look for proof that your business will work and customers will buy the product. Here are a few tips to get funded:

  • Your plan should show good profit potential in a short period of time.
  • The higher the rate of return you can offer investors and the faster you can produce it, the better your chances. Your plan should target a clearly defined market with enough size and purchasing power to produce a profit.
  • Investors also prefer large markets with high growth potential. They avoid businesses that attempt to be “everything to everybody.” Your plan should clearly explain the “competitive edge” your product or service has over rivals.
  • You should show an ability to control both the delivery and the quality of the product or service. Also, that managers and employees have the skills and the experience to make the company a success.
  • Show that you have made a personal investment in this business venture.
  • If you don’t believe in your own venture enough to invest at least some of your own money in it, how can you expect others to? “Sweat equity”—unpaid personal time and hard work—can be important, but lenders and investors like to see an entrepreneur with an important financial stake in the business. It’s a tremendous source of motivation.
  • Lay out a clear, well-conceived, workable strategy for getting this business up and running. Show realistic financial projections covering most likely, pessimistic, and optimistic scenarios.
  • Potential lenders and investors want to be sure that the “dollars and cents” of the deal make sense, and that’s why realistic projections are important. Most entrepreneurs underestimate the amount of money needed for start-up. Don’t get caught short!

Source… articles.bplans


A Few Tips for Organizing Your Small Business Finances

July 26, 2012

There are many important aspects of any business and naturally finances are one of them.

Here are a few tips to clean up your financials and get organized.

1. Talk to a CPA

Now’s the perfect time to make an appointment with your tax advisor, as you’ll both have more time to discuss your financials and will be focused on long-term strategy, rather than getting through this year’s tax season. Most importantly, you’ll still have plenty of time to act on his or her suggestions while it’s still 2012.

2. Re-evaluate Your Business Entity

Many small businesses start out as sole proprietorships or partnerships, but then eventually transition to another entity as they grow. For example, if your business is not incorporated, you may want to consider incorporating (or forming an LLC) to shelter you from some financial risk and possibly save money on taxes.

Sometimes an entity is formed with one income target in mind, and you might need to reconsider the entity for a different income level. Failing to adjust your business entity for your revenue can be a costly mistake. Discuss the different legal entities with your CPA, so you can determine the right entity for your situation and the right time to make the change.

3. Separate Business and Personal Finances

If you haven’t done so already, take the steps to keep your personal finances and expenses separate from those of your business. This is mandatory if your business is an LLC or Corporation, but it’s good practice for sole proprietors as well. This means a few things:

  • Open a business credit card: While I normally don’t recommend opening any new credit lines, in this case it’s a smart idea. By putting all your business expenses on the business card, you’ve got an instant audit trail of your year’s expenses when tax time rolls around again. Of course, you should be saving merchant receipts as well.
  • Open a business checking/savings account: If you’re operating as an LLC or Corp, your business needs to have its own checking account. If you’re a sole proprietor, you’re able to use your own personal checking account. However, consider opening a dedicated savings account or money market account where you can transfer approximately 25% for each check or payment received as your own personal tax withholdings. This strategy will make it far less painful when it’s time to pay your self-employment and small business taxes.

Read more: mashable


A Few Small business Marketing Tips

May 24, 2012

Marketing is vastly important to a successful business. Here are a few low-cost but, effective small business marketing tips to generate sales:

1. Don’t Advertise Like a Big Business
Big businesses advertise to create name recognition and future sales. A small business can’t afford to do that. Instead, design your advertising to produce sales… now. One way to accomplish this is to always include an offer in your advertising – and an easy way for prospective customers to respond to it.

2. Offer a Cheaper Version
Some prospective customers are not willing to pay the asking price for your product or service. Others are more interested in paying a low price than in getting the best quality. You can avoid losing sales to many of these customers by offering a smaller or stripped down version of your product or service at a lower price.

3. Offer a Premium Version
Not all customers are looking for a cheap price. Many are willing to pay a higher price to get a premium product or service. You can boost your average size sale and your total revenue by offering a more comprehensive product or service …or by combining several products or services in a special premium package offer for a higher price.

4. Try Some Unusual Marketing Methods
Look for some unconventional marketing methods your competitors are overlooking. You may discover some highly profitable ways to generate sales and avoid competition. For example, print your best small ad on a postcard and mail it to prospects in your targeted market. A small ad on a postcard can drive a high volume of traffic to your website or generate a flood of sales leads for a very small cost.

Read more… businessknowhow.com


Cash Flow Tips

April 3, 2012

Cash flow is the life source of any small business. It isn’t that difficult to manage, but vastly important. Here are a few quick things you can do to improve your small business’ cash flow.

 

1. Invoice promptly.

Many small businesses have a regular billing routine such as invoicing clients and/or customers at the end of the month – leaving money that could be sitting in their bank accounts improving their cash flow in someone else’s pockets! Instead of waiting to invoice, bill right away when the job is completed. If your business involves billing for hours of time, invoice twice monthly instead of once to get some of your money coming in sooner.

 

2. Ask for partial payment up front.

Instead of waiting to invoice until a job is completed, ask for a percentage of the bill to be paid before the work starts. For instance, you might charge 40% of the bill as a retainer or proof of good faith with the remainder due on completion of the task. Or break the bill into thirds, asking for a third before work starts, a third while the project is ongoing and a third upon completion. It’s a common business practice and one you should be taking advantage of if you can.

 

Read more at… sbinfocanada.about.com


Management Tips for Small Businesses

February 22, 2012

The old saying that time is money is quite true in almost all business setups. If you’re starting your own business, one needs to control time as best as possible. Microsoft conducted a study and found that most workers only used about 60% of their time. That means in a five day work week, they were only productive for three days. You know what that means – a lot less money!

For all the business owners, here are six tips to help with time management.

Small Business Time Management Tips

1. Ignore Your Email

Most people check their mail every five to ten minutes, wasting precious time. Simply set aside two time periods a day, to check and respond to your mail.

2. Don’t Multi-Task

Studies indicate only 2.5 % of people are truly able to effectively multitask and your IQ drops ten points when you are overly stimulated by email, texts and phone calls. Time management experts estimate focusing on one thing at a time will double productivity, work output and performance.

3. Set Step-by-Step Goals

Break larger goals into smaller steps, you will be able to more effectively accomplish your goals since you know exactly what steps must be done along the way. That in itself is already motivational. Also set your more important goals before lunch, so you can’t leave until you’ve met them.

4. Organize Your Time and Space


To increase productivity, clear and then organize your space. Eliminate everything that isn’t necessary, then create a system for the things that are. Another effective way is to get an egg timer, so you can race against the clock to finish your deadlines.

5. Put It in Writing

There’s something about committing to a plan in writing that somehow solidifies it in your mind. Some experts believe you should create this list the night before. That way, you’ll start the day prepared and not wasting any time.

6. Turn Your Car into an Office

All the wasted time sitting in your car waiting for the next meeting can be utilized by using your laptop or a portable fax machine. Just about anything you need to do business, use smaller and portable equipment.

It all boils down to time, so pay attention on how you’re spending it and make adjustments to help you spend it better.

Read more: moneycrashers


Small business: Keeping track of your finances

January 19, 2012

Managing finances are sometimes overseen by business owners as core business (operational) issues are regarded as more important and urget.

But, if you don’t keep track of how much money you’re making, you have no idea whether your business is successful or not. You can’t tell how well your marketing is working. You need to know what your net profit is. If you don’t, there’s no way you can know how to increase it.

To be successful in business, you need to make a financial plan and check it against the facts on a monthly basis, then take immediate action to correct any problems. Here are a few steps you should take:

Create a Financial Plan: Estimate how much revenue you expect to bring in each month, and project what your expenses will be. If you need it, get help from business planning books, software, or an accountant.

Review the Plan Monthly: Even if time is taken to prepare a financial plan with profit and loss projections, it often sits in a desk drawer. It’s not enough to have a plan — you have to review it regularly.

Lost Profits Can’t be Recovered: When comparing your projections to reality and finding earnings too low or expenses too high, the conclusion often is, “I’ll make it up later.” The problem is that you really can’t make it up later; every month profits are too low is a month that is gone forever.

Make Adjustments Right Away: If revenues are lower than expected, increase efforts in sales and marketing or look for ways to increase your rates. If overhead costs are too high, find ways to cut back. There are other businesses like yours around. What is their secret for operating profitably?

Think Before you Spend: When considering any new business expense, including marketing and sales activities, evaluate the increased earnings you expect to bring in against its cost before you proceed to make a purchase. You can often increase your profitability simply by delaying expenses to a later month, quarter, or year.

Don’t be Afraid to Hire: Retailers and restaurateurs wouldn’t consider operating without employees, but many service businesses limit themselves by being understaffed. Almost any business can benefit from hired or contracted help. You can better use your talents for generating revenue than for running errands and filing.

Read more on http://sbinformation.about.com/cs/accounting/a/fplan.htm