Posts tagged: capital

Smart Budgeting Tips and Tricks for Small Business Owners

business budgetCreating and launching your new small business can be a very exciting moment in one’s life. On the flip side it comes with its share of stresses. One such stress that many new business owners face is caused by finances. Starting a new business often requires a lot of upfront capital. According to one serial entrepreneur, Jay Reeder, who has started all kinds of businesses from software companies to an alpaca farm, “cashflow is the most important factor to growing a healthy business.” One way to alleviate some of the stress and financial burden of starting and maintaining a small business is to have a detailed budget to follow. Continue reading to learn seven proven methods to budget for your business wisely.

Let Your Employees Get Involved

It’s understandable to believe that since you are the owner of the business that you need to do everything yourself. Delegating tasks and involving others in your team is something all great leaders do. When budgeting for your business the same principal applies. Gather all your employees up and go over the budget together as a team. Not only will it provide your employees with a sense of camaraderie and importance it will keep them up to speed with what is happening within the business. Employees need to know this information especially if it could possibly affect them. Furthermore, having a few more sets of eyes on the budget wouldn’t hurt. Someone may point out something you’ve missed or point out an item on the budget that could be eating up too much cashflow. Lastly, it is instrumental that employees are well aware of the companies short and long term financial goals and their roles in responsibilities on the path to reaching that goal.

You Still Need to Pay Yourself

As a business owner it is very easy to get too caught up in the budget. Many are so focused on saving and allocating every penny within the business that they simply forget to pay themselves. While part of this is simply forgetting it is also due to guilt. You may feel guilty paying yourself or feel as though you may be taking too much money for yourself. At the end of the day you are another employee at your company and you have to remember to set money aside for yourself.

Identify and Understand Your Risks

No matter what business venture you pursue there are risks involved. Some risks can be serious enough to financially ruin your business and they need to be mitigated. The most effective method for doing so is to identify and plan for both long and short term risks your company may face. Such risks include changes to healthcare and increased premiums and increases in minimum wage. Being in a location that frequently experiences natural disasters can also put a serious dent in your operations and finances. Knowing what risks your company may face and following a strict budget will allow your business to save money for whatever life may throw at it.

Overestimate Your Expenses

For businesses that operate on a project to project format it is detrimental that you over estimate costs for your budget. We’ve all experienced having an unexpected cost or situation arise during a project that causes the initial budgeted amount to be exceeded. By over budgeting a project or job you can protect your business from unexpected financial burden. Often times such instances can cause a business to go under before it even had a chance to develop.

Anticipate Sales Cycles

It is not uncommon for your business to experience ups and downs throughout the year in regards to sales. Depending on your type of business the majority of sales may come during one or two seasons while the remainder of the year is slow. Effectively planning for those downturns is necessary for keeping your business open. During the slow periods its important to keep costs down and to plan for the next anticipated sales spike. It would also be wise to have money set aside while your busy to ride out the slow cycles to prevent your business from falling apart financially.

Time is Money

You’ve heard that phrase all too often. In life and in business especially that saying holds very true. You need to treat time as a commodity and as if it were money. Not accounting for time and how it may affect your business financially can derail any budget. This is especially important if your employees are paid on an hourly basis. Being mindful of deadlines is equally important. Set realistic completion times to ensure that the job is completed satisfactorily and on time.

Don’t Set It and Forget It

Once you have a budget in place it is important to keep a full court press on it. Many business owners simply forget to revisit their budget after it is initially created. This is a mistake that can financially cripple your business. Just like events and happenings in life constantly change so do events and happenings in business. Its important to be flexible and agile and to constantly monitor your budget. This will ensure that you do not go into the red and out of business. Anticipating what will happen next will keep you on budget and help you adapt to the ever-changing world of business.

Why it Pays to Have Your Fingers in Many Pies When You’re Self Employed

freelance moneyThere are so many great benefits of being self employed. Flexible hours, you can work from wherever you want and there’s no superiors to answer to. You can really fit your work around your life, instead of trying to fit your life around rigid work hours. However there is a downside, self employment work can be unreliable and unlike regular employment you don’t have a set paycheck that lands in your bank each month. Things can be a little up and down, which is why it’s so worth having a number of different options available to you for earning money. If you’re having a slow month, you can always pick up one of the others. Here are some ideas.

Run a Business

For most self employed people, their main focus will be running some kind of business. You could be baking cakes, making clothes, buying and selling things online or something else completely. Either way, this is a great way to make money when you work for yourself. However you could experiences peaks and troughs with your profits throughout the year, and if you’re having a quiet few weeks or months, you could earn extra money with the following methods.

Start a Blog

It takes time to build a blog, but if you start one up and publish regular content (even once a week) it will grow. Later down the line, your blog can be a real cash cow– sponsors generally pay well to have their content or links posted on your site and so it can be a quick and easy way to earn some extra money. Plus you can link your blog to your main business, and use it as a promotional tool as well. Blogging brings with it all kinds of opportunities, and so it’s well worth setting one up, even if it’s not your main source of income.

Freelance

It’s always worth signing up to a freelance site, that way if your business or blog is slow you can pick up some extra work. There’s almost always work available, and you can work on it any time you’re free to boost your bank balance. Whether you’re a writer, app or website designer, illustrator or something else completely, your skills will be needed online and freelancing gives you the ability to earn cash from home in a legitimate way.

Stocks and Trading

If you’re interested in finances then chances are you’ve took a keep interest in crypto currency over the last few months. While Bitcoin is still the one you hear most about, there are lots of others that can give you opportunity to earn well. Look at these Ethereum facts for example. While there’s always an element of risk when it comes to investing, as long as you’re smart about it it can be a good way to secure yourself some extra cash.

Don’t risk a slow financial month leaving you in the lurch. When you have bills to pay and other expenses to cover, when you’re self employed it pays to have your fingers in many pies. That way, you can always make up the necessary amount each month in your bank.

The Inspiring Solutions That Can Turn Your Business Around

to run businessIt’s safe to say that no business is going to get a smooth ride. Because the business world just isn’t like that. You don’t just get started, see instant success, and keep on riding on your success cloud until you decide to get out of the game. Although that would be nice, it’s just not realistic. Instead, what is realistic, is that you’re going to struggle. You may not struggle all day, every day, but you will struggle at some point. Business having a business is like being on a rollercoaster. It’s natural for you to experience ups and downs. Of course, when you’re enjoying the ups, you’re more than welcome to take it all in and feel proud of yourself. But this isn’t about how you take the ups, it’s how you handle the downs.

In short, tough times will make or break your business. So as much as you might like the enjoy the good times, you also have to know how to bounce back during the bad times. At the same time, you need to be able to take action and actually work hard to be able to turn things around. Because that’s what matters. You have to be able to actually turn things around and see a difference in business. And yes, that means that you’re able to go from down to up and continue to do that whenever you’re faced with a challenging situation. So let’s take a look at some really inspiring ways you can do that.

Hone In On Your Targeting

First of all, you have to be thinking about your customers at all times. Because if you want to make sure that you can make money and improve your financial situation, you need to attract the right customers. Maybe the reason for your struggles is that you’re not targeting the right customers? When this is the case, you’ll find that if you can change that, are hone in on your targeting a bit more, you’ll have a better chance of turning things around.

Rebrand

Another really strong idea is going to be to look into rebranding. Again, to be able to attract your customers, you should be thinking of ways that you can stand out from your competition, and branding can really help with that. So think about the kind of rebranding process that you may need to take. When you do, you should find that you get a strong return on your investment.

Try A New Marketing Technique

How’s your marketing looking lately? If you tend to use the same techniques over and over again, you can’t expect to get different results. Instead, you’re going to want to think about using a new tactic. But the tactic in question will need to be something that’s entirely personal to your business, and what will work for you – and testing things out is the only way to do that.

Refine Your Product Or Service

Sometimes, the reason why you’re struggling and not bringing in money, is because your product or service just isn’t as strong as it could be. And that can be hard to admit. But if you do want to improve going forwards, you have to be objective. You need to be able to identify your weaknesses in order to become stronger. So really work on your product or service line to improve the areas that are letting you down.

Improve Your Website

Another big improvement that could really increase your sales, revenue, and general custom, is your website. Because if your web design is letting you down, you could be losing customers, and subsequently sales, because of it. By improving your web design, testing new features, and seeing what generally keeps your customers on site is going to help you to not only hold on to those customers, but encourage them to buy from you too.

Reduce Your Costs

And then there are your costs. Because if you’re not making an awful lot right now, but your overheads are huge, you have a problem. When you’re struggling, you have to react. You can’t just leave everything as it is and expect things to just pick up. You have to take action. Reducing your costs or cutting things out completely will help you to stay above board during times when you need to the most.

Hire Better Staff

You should also be sure to get the right staff in place. Because people make a business. So use the right services, like payroll recruitment agency, Portfolio Payroll, to help you do that. When you bring in the right people, your business will be able to head in the right direction. It can take time, but the when you find the best staff, your situation can improve.

Bring In Experts

As a step on from that, you should also look to hire experts. Why? Because you can’t do it all – and you can’t be an expert in everything from marketing to customer service. But when you hire a marketing agency or outsource your customer service, you will be able to get experts working on each area for you, and you’ll have more chance at getting the results you want.

Host An Exciting Event

Sometimes, you just need a bit of excitement to shake up your business. Events can help with that. A successful event not only brings the customers to you and gets them excited about your business, but it’s also a great PR opportunity and will generate sales too. So get planning and see what this can do for your business.

Launch A New Product

Finally, you may also want to think about launching a new product. You may think that this is a risky move when you’re struggling, but sometimes you have to take risks to make a difference. When what you’re currently doing isn’t working, you need to change things. Sometimes, you’ll find that a new product, even if it’s aimed at a new market, is exactly what your business needs to change, grow, and generate the revenue you want.

Why Is You Business Going Downhill After Years Of Success?

business statusIf you drew a graph of everyone’s life, you’d find that it’s never just a straight line. No one has a straight line constantly moving upwards showing them get more and more successful from the day they’re born. Likewise, no one has a line going downwards all the time or staying level. Instead, we all have moments where things are steady, then they get worse, but then they might get better.

The same can be said of any business venture ever. If you’re reading this, then I bet you’ve been a business owner for some time. In the beginning, things were how they are in most businesses; it was steady, and you were just treading water. Then, you found your feet, and things took off. You saw a lot of success, with lots of customers every day. Now, for some reason, everything has gradually come to a halt. Your business is going downhill, and you have no idea why. You’re looking for answers, and you’ve come to the right place.

While every business is different, and your failures could be caused by things specific to you, there are plenty of common reasons that businesses start going south when they used to have a northern trajectory. Take a look at these reasons below, and see if they apply to your company.

You’re No Longer The Best

Often, small businesses see initial success because they’re the best at what they do. When you started up, you were the only company offering certain services or products in that area. You mopped up the market, and everyone came to you. Naturally, other entrepreneurs see your success and want a piece of it. So, established businesses alter their approach and try to rival what you offer. New businesses pop up trying to compete – and succeeding. In the end, you’ve now got way more competition, and you’re no longer the top dog. Here, you need to alter your approach and start being proactive. Assess your new rivals, figure out their weak points, and use them to your advantage. Don’t just do the same thing and expect things to change. People have outsmarted you, it’s time to be twice as smart as them.

You’re Outdated And Old

A lot of small businesses start failing because they’re seen as outdated and old. Online companies may have websites that just don’t fit with the times, or don’t offer the high level of security that others now do. Retail stores may not have an updated POS system that accepts card or contactless payments. Every business has elements to it that can become outdated and replaced with modern things. Sure, plenty of companies want to try and stay as traditional as possible. I get it, that might be your thing, your USP that makes you different from everyone else. Well, as we already discussed, that USP isn’t working anymore. So, you should start thinking about bringing your business into modern times, and also prepare for the future. A tech-savvy business tends to do a lot better than one that’s still using outdated methods, machines, and everything else.

You’re Offering Things That Are No Longer Desirable

This last point merges in with the second point about being outdated. There, I was talking more from the perspective of technology in that your business isn’t modern, it’s old. Here, I’m talking more about the products/services you offer. The first point spoke about other businesses offering what you offer, but better. This point is about instances where your product/service just simply isn’t desirable to the consumer anymore. The best example of this is a shop that sells a particular type of clothing. Let’s take things to the extremes and say you opened a store that sold fur coats. There was a time where this was highly desirable to consumers. Now, real fur is looked down upon and seen as unethical so no one will buy your stuff anymore. The same applies to service-based businesses; a service that was desirable five years ago might not be desirable anymore. I have a potential future example of this with web design companies. Who knows, in a few years there could be software out there that fully builds sites better than any designer can, meaning this service is no longer needed. You get the picture, and the only way you can improve things is to completely change what you’re selling. Think of something new and exciting that fits current market trends. Don’t force yourself into a small box where you’re restricted in what you can do.

The bad news is; your business is going downhill because of one of these reasons (or all of them). The good news is; you can fix things and start that upward curve on your success graph once more!

Advice For A First-Time Business Owner

time for businessIf you have entrepreneurial determination then that’s a good starting place for a business. Of course, it’s only one component of many. You need to think about your own experience or expertise regarding the management of a business, how you’re going to fund such a venture, how many other people you might need to hire to help you with this company, and, most importantly, what type of business you’re going to start. Money is probably the biggest worry on your mind but if you focus on making sure all other components of your business are running smoothly then the profits will look after themselves. Here’s some more detailed advice for any first-time business owners out there.

Become a real boss.

You might have an innovative idea and qualifications in a certain line of business but that isn’t going to be enough to transform you into a successful business owner. When you’re the boss of a company, you need to be an all-rounder. For example, if you’re running a legal business then it isn’t enough to simply have a qualification in law. You need to know how to manage finances, marketing, and, most importantly of all, people. If you want your business to get off the ground then you need to learn how to manage your team and fill them with the same passion for the company that you feel. Making that step will transform you from somebody with a great idea into somebody with a great business.

Research the market.

It’s your job to drive the direction of the company. You might have a good business plan at the moment but the market is always changing. You need to update your approach in order to adapt to a changing industry. You need an enticing and widespread online presence in this digitally-driven era of business, as we’ll discuss in the next point, so you might want to look into online companies such as Youi Pty Limited, who deal specifically with buying and selling goods online, for a little insight into their credit ratings and financial situation.

It’s important that you take note from other companies, whether they’re in your industry or not, so as to not only get an idea of what they’ve been doing well but what they haven’t been doing well. The great thing about being the second or third business to dive into a certain industry is that you don’t have to make the same mistakes as the companies that took the plunge first. You can save yourself a lot of money and time by figuring out how to cut straight to “Successville”.

Get your online marketing campaign right.

As touched upon in the point above, you need a strong online marketing approach in order for your business to succeed. You might not be a marketing expert but you should certainly get marketing professionals to help you if that’s the case. The “build it and they will come” mentality doesn’t always work because there’s a lot of competition offering the same products and services as your business. You need to stand out from the crowd if you want consumers to come to you. Figure out how to optimize the content on your website and social media pages so as to climb the rankings on Google and other search engines. That’ll get you in front of your target market.