8 Characteristics of Successful Small Businesses

We now look at eight characteristics important to successful businesses. International researchers who have studied many small businesses have found that these characteristics consistently play a part in the success of small companies. The eight characteristics are: Owners leading by Example Having a simple business structure Information sharing among employees Staff are carefully chosen Staff commitment and loyalty A unique product or service A specific Customer focus Prompt follow up…  Read more

10 Productivity Tools to Help You Do More at Work

In today’s fast-paced world, everyone wants to be more productive. Fortunately, there is an ever-increasing number of tools, many of them available online and across multiple devices, that promise to help us achieve our goals. The challenge then becomes how to know not just which tools will live up to their promise but which tools are right for our business. Choosing the best productivity tools depends on a number of factors,…  Read more

So You’ve Launched Your Business – Now What?

Good news for small business owners: according to the US Small Business Administration, nearly 80% of small businesses survive their first year. However, that number begins to drop as time rolls on. Only half of small businesses pass the five year mark, and a mere third celebrate their tenth anniversary. Taking steps to create a good foundation in the early days of your business is essential for a sustainable and…  Read more

Why you Need Recurring Revenue Streams – and How to Start

Sure, you may have a loyal customer base, but there are also ways to guarantee loyalty month after month or year after year. Adding a recurring revenue stream (or two, or three!) can provide a predictable, ongoing source of income which will improve the accuracy of your projections, increase profits, and provide a buffer for any unexpected sales dips. Here are four easy product offerings to begin earning recurring revenue…  Read more

3 Tasks that Automation Makes Easier for Business Owners

There are a finite number of minutes in the day. What else could you add to your daily to-do list if you had more time? Thanks to apps and today’s technology, there are ways to shorten time spent on mundane tasks that can afford you more time to allocate elsewhere. Do you need more time to network and grow your business? More time to devote to one-on-one client meetings? More…  Read more

Is it Better to Buy or Lease a Company Vehicle?

If you need a car to operate your business, you may wonder whether it makes more sense to purchase or lease. On the one hand, if your business owns the car you’ll have a long-term asset and may qualify for more tax deductions. On the other hand, buying a car is a huge expense and monthly lease payments tend to be lower than car loan payments; they may also be…  Read more

How to License Your Business Ideas

Looking for a cost-effective means to create another income stream? Consider this: ambitious companies are always on the lookout for the next lucrative business idea. Licensing your intellectual property to another company can be a win-win when both parties see eye to see, and result in a worthwhile pay out for all concerned. Wondering how to get started licensing your bright business ideas? Read on. Intellectual property 101 If you’re…  Read more

5 Ways to Save Money for your Business

Looking for simple ways to cut costs? These tips will help you make a noticeable difference to your bottom line. 1. Reduce staff costs Without a doubt, having someone to help deal with routine tasks can greatly improve productivity. The rub is that hired help is often too expensive for small business owners. Internships can be a real win-win: a student gets hands-on experience assisting you with marketing, accounting or…  Read more

Could Crowdfunding Help your Business?

If you haven’t been in business long, it can be tough to qualify for a loan. Lenders want to see a detailed business plan, backed by income and cash flow statements, that prove you’re a good risk. Often strict lending requirements can freeze out new businesses when they need funding the most. Crowdfunding offers an exciting funding alternative for businesses. Originally the domain of filmmakers, musicians and artists, crowdfunding is…  Read more

Tips for Keeping Your Business Data Secure

It’s no secret that data loss can be a costly nightmare for a small business, with recent estimates citing the total cost of data breaches exceeding $2.1 trillion by 2019. Unfortunately, cyber attackers increasingly target small businesses because they are less likely to have security protection in place. Accidental loss or loss due to a natural disaster can be just as harmful to a business, with recovery efforts and delays…  Read more

The Importance of Documenting Processes and Systems

Many entrepreneurs operate with their business processes and systems in their heads. They know what they need to do each day and the way they want to get things done. Unfortunately when a business grows and staff need to be hired – or the owner needs to take time away from the business – it’s a real liability not having processes and systems documented in one place. Read on to…  Read more

How to Go From Hobby To Business

Thinking about turning your passion into a paying gig? These steps will help you avoid some common mistakes as you set out to earn an income from your favorite pastime. Do you have what it takes? Unless you’ve run a business before, it’s easy to get carried away with the idea of how perfect it will be to get paid for doing what you love. Reality check: the stress of…  Read more

Just Starting Out? 3 Easy and Inexpensive Ways to Look More Professional

For bootstrapping young businesses, making a professional first impression as you build your brand is key. Although hiring a branding expert may be too large an expense in the early days, you can still help your business stand out in the best possible way without breaking the bank. Just follow these simple marketing moves that will help people to know, like, and trust you. 1. Build credibility with your own…  Read more

5 Common Bookkeeping Pitfalls — and How to Avoid Them

Although most entrepreneurs recognize the importance of careful financial management, few want to spend their time dealing with numbers. Unfortunately, not keeping a close eye on your income and expenses can be very costly for a business. Here are five of the most common bookkeeping pitfalls, and some simple tips for getting back on track. Mixing business and personal All too often, entrepreneurs adopt a “buy now, sort later” approach…  Read more

New Payment Methods to Consider in 2018

A new year is the perfect time for business owners to set goals to improve profitability. If you aren’t yet familiar with digital wallets and the latest mobile payment technologies, you might be interested in the benefits they afford small businesses, such as: instant access to funds and real time financial data cost savings on third party transaction fees and POS systems competitive edge—making it easy for customers to pay…  Read more

What is your succession plan?

According to recent research, a staggering two thirds of US millionaire-owned businesses are operating without a succession plan—and even fewer small business owners around the globe are prepared for their CEO’s eventual exit. Recent stats from PWC Global show that family owned businesses are no more prepared: 43% don’t have a succession plan in place, and only 12% survive to the third generation. No matter whether your company has one…  Read more

9 Things You Need to Remember While Negotiating Contracts

There are several aspects of business that can only be learnt through actual experience. One of them is negotiating contracts. Several people fear the negotiation process because it is an intrinsically uncomfortable process. Asking for more money or making personal demands doesn’t come naturally to everyone. But with the right toolkit, you can breeze through contract negotiations. And you’d better get used to it, because you’ll have to handle a…  Read more

Identify your Break-Even Point

Without knowing your break-even point, you can’t make informed business decisions. To cover the costs of your business you need to sell enough goods or services to reach your break-even point. Knowing where that point is, and how long it will take you to reach it, can be fundamental to your success. This especially true if you’re thinking about starting or buying a business. Calculate fixed and variable costs The…  Read more

Pricing and Your Business: Lessons from 3 Pricing Stories

Story One: John Times were tough, so John decided he had to drop his prices below his competitors. The results seemed gratifying. Business picked up quickly and when John looked round his shop he could see his sales staff were always busy with customers. Then came the call from his accountant. “Aren’t the sales figures great?” said John, getting his bit in first. ‘Yes”, said the accountant, “impressive sales indeed.…  Read more

Tips for Updating your Business Plan

Think of your business plan as a roadmap designed to point the way to your current destination, knowing that where you land may not be your ultimate end point. After all, things are constantly changing in a healthy, thriving business. Market fluctuations, new competitors, changes in staffing or your sales figures may nudge you in a direction you wouldn’t have previously dreamed of, requiring new goals and strategies to achieve…  Read more

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