Ways to Benchmark your Business

For many business owners, determining the success of a business comes down to how much profit the company makes. Of course, finances are an important measure of a company’s overall success. If you don’t bring in more than you spend you won’t be in business for long. Profit, however, isn’t the only important benchmark by which to measure your business. There are other important factors business owners can and should…  Read more

7 Common Employee Onboarding Mistakes

While most small businesses spend a great deal of time and effort in finding the right employees, they often fail to capitalize on their newly hired talent by ceding the onboarding process to HR or neglecting their responsibility entirely. From long waits for workspace, equipment, or training to an overly negative recitation of ‘don’t do these things or you will be fired,’ employers consistently miss the opportunity to inspire new…  Read more

Managing a Cash Flow Crisis

Dealing with a sudden cash flow crisis, even if you’re working hard to avoid shortfalls, is hugely distracting. A formerly reliable customer might take much longer to pay than anticipated or a large consignment might fail to show up, leaving you out of pocket. If you’re starting a business, it could simply be taking longer than expected to turn a profit. Red light warnings Develop red light systems to warn…  Read more

4 Tips for Getting Your Business Through Tough Times

If you’re a small business owner whose company hasn’t gone through hard times, that’s great but it’s likely to happen at some point. As much as we dream about being brilliant enough at business that we’ll never face slow times, there are many things beyond our control that can negatively affect our business. It’s highly likely that the Coronavirus and it’s resulting impacts, could put some significant pressure on your…  Read more

What to do When Your Supply Chain Faces Disruption

If your company relies on suppliers in various geographic locations, it’s likely that at some point your business will face a supply chain disruption. Whether that disturbance is caused by a virus, regulatory lockdown, international tensions, changes in local laws or a natural disaster, there will probably be scenarios in which your suppliers or transporters face obstacles that affect your company. Here are some steps you can take to respond…  Read more

What to Do When a Business Partnership Breaks Up

The start of a business partnership is an amazing time. Generally speaking, both people are invested financially, emotionally and professionally in the business. It may be stressful to start a business but doing so with a partner gives you someone to share the responsibility and workload with. When you and your partner collaborate and work well together, a partnership can be incredibly fulfilling. When a partnership doesn’t work—or when it…  Read more

Using Smart Goals to Achieve More

As a small business owner, you’re likely always looking for ways to achieve more. Maybe you made a New Year’s resolution about it. You might have resolved to make more money, find more clients, or grow your business. It’s fantastic to have an idea of what you want to do, but how will you know whether or not you’re successful? That’s where SMART goals come in. SMART goals help you…  Read more

Separating Personal and Business Expenses

There are some things in life that go together well and others that definitely do not. Business and personal finances are in the category of items that should not be mixed. Although it may seem like a headache to keep them separate—who wants to manage all those bank accounts?—your life will be greatly simplified once you separate your personal and your business finances, especially your expenses. Paperwork and taxes will…  Read more

Four Easy Ways to Make your Business Environmentally Friendly

These days, there’s an increasing focus on reducing our environmental impact. Many businesses offer recycling programs and even have composting, while some companies encourage car pooling, offer parking spaces for hybrid vehicles, or move their operations into environmentally friendly buildings. There are many things you can do as a business owner to make your business more environmentally friendly, but it’s important to take steps that represent permanent change rather than…  Read more

Tips for Managing Independent Contractors

For small businesses, working with independent contractors can be a life saver. You can hand over tasks you don’t have time for – at a fraction of the cost of an employee. Unlike staff, you won’t owe a contractor payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, health insurance, or other employee benefits. Because contractors aren’t employees, however, they do need to be managed differently. They’re accustomed to being their own bosses, for one…  Read more

3 Smart Cost-Saving Tips for Business Owners

Small business owners know how important it is to save money. They know that one day that dollar could come in handy, especially during slower times. Saving money is definitely important, but there are also things small business owners can – and should – spend their money on today. It might seem counterproductive to spend money when you want to put it in the bank – and make no mistake,…  Read more

Should You Choose a Friend to be Your Business Partner?

Planning to start a business partnership with a friend? Prudence demands looking at the pitfalls – as well as the potential strengths – of such relationships. Here are a few questions to consider. What will my friend contribute to the business? Does he or she have strengths that will clearly enhance the business – abilities, knowledge, or resources that you don’t possess or aren’t willing to acquire by other means?…  Read more

Thinking About a Business Loan? Here’s What your Banker Needs

Bankers typically go by the 5 C’s of lending: Capital, Character, Capacity, Conditions, and Collateral. When you apply for a business loan, your request must meet certain basic requirements. Your banker needs to have: A written request for a specific amount of money. A detailed explanation of the use of the funds. A projection of how and when you will repay the loan. A list of the collateral you are…  Read more

What Numbers are Vital to your Business Success?

Key business numbers to monitor What numbers monitor the vital signs of your business? You may be surprised to find you must look beyond the numbers on your financial statements. Most successful business owners have a set of key numbers they use to monitor how well their business is doing. Usually these numbers are a combination of financial and nonfinancial measurements. You can improve the profitability of your business by…  Read more

Do You Know Your Break-Even Point?

All business owners need to be aware of their break-even point — that is, the number of units they need to sell in order to cover their operating costs. Once you’ve reached your break-even point, it’s time to celebrate: your business is no longer in the red, and you are officially earning a profit. This article will show you how to calculate your break-even point so you can make wise…  Read more

Tips for Choosing a Small Business Bank

Finding the right bank to serve your small business needs can be a daunting task. With so many competing financial institutions to choose from, business owners simply don’t have the time for the in-depth research required to carefully weigh all the options. This guide to choosing a small business bank will help you narrow down your choices so you find the best fit for you. Small, medium, or large? You…  Read more

4 Questions you Should Ask your Accountant

Ideally, you and your accountant are more than just “adviser” and “client”. With your combined skills, expertise, and shared mission to support a thriving business, you’re more like strategic partners. The key to achieving success in any partnership is, of course, strong communication. At your next meeting, be sure to ask your accountant these four important questions. 1. What’s my best strategy for increasing revenue? Every business owner strives to…  Read more

When You Should Consider Hiring a Business Lawyer

When you run a small business, every cent counts. It can be difficult to spend money on anything you don’t consider vital. Hiring a lawyer during key times in your small business might seem like an unnecessary expense, but the money you spend now on a business attorney could save you time, money, and energy in the long run and could protect your business. When it comes to your small…  Read more

How to Set Payment Terms if you’re a Freelancer or Contractor

Following up on late or non-paying customers is no freelancer’s favorite task. Which is precisely why you need to set payment terms up front – and in writing – before you work with a new client or customer. By communicating and agreeing on the non-negotiables for doing business with you, you’ll avoid awkward misunderstandings, frustrating disputes, and in most cases, the ugly hassle of debt collection. These tips will help…  Read more

3 Mistakes That Strangle Growing Businesses

Businesses want to grow and help a larger audience, but too many make mistakes that cripple their growth. Even worse, they keep repeating them! Don’t do the same; avoid the blunders outlined below. Hiring Toxic Personalities Businesses hire more staff as they grow. But if they expand too quickly, they will feel pressure to fill positions on their team, even if the job candidates have a few personality flaws. While…  Read more

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