How Businesses Can Prepare For an Audit

Introduction – The small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone to transform India into a developed nation. They are the defibrillators for talent, innovation. Creativity and entrepreneurial spirit which is essential for a nation like India to develop on the economic grounds.

Introduction – The small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone to transform India into a developed nation. They are the defibrillators for talent, innovation. Creativity and entrepreneurial spirit which is essential for a nation like India to develop on the economic grounds.

You Are Not Selling What You Think You Are – The 3 Reasons To Get Clear On The Product You Offer

Many business owners do not understand the product or service they are selling. Because of this, they have difficulty having a successful business. A large percentage of small businesses fail, and I believe this is a primary cause of that. It is crucial for a solid business foundation to get clear on this. Without clarity,…

Many business owners do not understand the product or service they are selling. Because of this, they have difficulty having a successful business. A large percentage of small businesses fail, and I believe this is a primary cause of that. It is crucial for a solid business foundation to get clear on this. Without clarity, a business will struggle to promote itself, and it will be difficult to achieve success.

Your product will not sell itself. In fact, your product is not the reason people will buy from you. Here are the three reasons to get clear what the product or service is that you are offering.

1) 90% of purchases are subconscious – Experts tell us that our subconscious mind is always processing information we receive and that it is not consciously thinking. We run on autopilot with our subconscious mind in control. Because of this, 90% or all purchases are unconscious, and brands that evoke emotions in their customers are always more successful. People buy based on feelings and emotions and then justify their purchases with logic.

Why is it that successful realtors have freshly baked cookies available or light scented candles during an open house when selling a property. It is the smell that makes a house a home for most people. The emotion that they can evoke will be what the prospective buyer buys and not the properties attributes.

2) Product Overload – Everywhere we look these days, we see products and advertisements. A product or service does not sell itself. There are so many places where consumers can purchase the same or similar items.

Walk down the cereal aisle; it is the product placement and the packaging that has more effect on purchasing than what is inside the box. All those different types of cereals are competitive to be bought, and it's not the product that is the reason for the sale.

3) Collective Thought – Humans are a pack animal. We need the human interaction and connection. Our distant ancestors had to live and work as clans, or groups, to survive. They needed to be accepted by their peers to be part of the community, if not they were kicked out and forced to survive on their own, usually with deadly consequences. That need is still active in us.

Opinions of others have a more significant effect on purchasing habit than what the product itself. Do you need the newest version of a vehicle with all gadgets, or will a cheaper version do? Customers purchases are more about what it says about them rather than any real need.

Getting clear on what it is you are selling is one of the critical foundation pieces for business. It will help you streamline it. In the end, my client decided what she was selling was nostalgia, the sense of going to grandma's house and having her bake cookies when she was younger. Knowing this, helped her tailor the feel of her shop and her marketing efforts.

The Future of Digital Marketing: Five Trends to Leverage a Small Business Opportunity

Jameson General Store was a historical treasure in the small North Carolina Community. Jim Jameson, the owner, had been part of the family legacy over 100 years old. The company had seen bad times, including The Great Depression. However, their hard work and customer loyalty had sustained the company's success. Even when a neighboring community…

Jameson General Store was a historical treasure in the small North Carolina Community. Jim Jameson, the owner, had been part of the family legacy over 100 years old. The company had seen bad times, including The Great Depression. However, their hard work and customer loyalty had sustained the company's success.

Even when a neighboring community got its Walmart's Marketplace Store, their customers remained loyal. Jim did not believe in utilizing online advertising and social media platforms. He believed that these activities were only a fad. Yet, their customers initially started shopping online because Jameson General Store was limited in its product offerings.

In fact, most of the business that Jameson Store lost was not to local competitors, but online sellers. Jim was adamant about resisting the temptation about shopping online. Yet, when he saw his own 10-year-old grandson purchase a difficult item to locate in the area online at significant costs, Jim had to ponder his current marketing strategy with the changing landscape in the nation.

Today's customers can purchase a variety of items online with minimum effort. Given this scenario, brick and mortar companies are fighting to stay alive with the fierce internet competition. According to a 2017 survey conducted by Square and Mercury Analytics looking at 1,164 US business owners, the following observations were made:

  • 96% of Americans with internet access have made an online purchase in their life, 80% in the past month alone.
  • 51% of Americans prefer to shop online.
  • 67% of Millennials and 56% of Gen Xers prefer to shop online rather than in-store.
  • Millennials and Gen Xers spend nearly 50% as much time shopping online each week (six hours) than those older counterparts (four hours).
  • 51% of seniors have shopped on marketplaces, 66% at large retail sites, 30% on web stores or independent boutiques, and 44% at category-specific online stores.

Marketing professionals understand the importance of the internet and how to effectively leverage this power. According to Socialmedia.com, 90% of marketers use social media for their businesses. Sadly, many small businesses do not recognize this fact. Many businesses had opted to bury their heads in the sand in hopes that this 'internet thing' will go away. It had not!

In fact, e-Commerce is growing more than 23% annually; however, 46% of American small businesses do not have a website according to Square and Mercury Analytics research. This article focuses on how small businesses can leverage digital marketing to achieve greater success and enhance their market opportunities.

Digital marketing should be a tool that every serious small business should use. Digital marketing goes by many names such as e-commerce marketing, online marketing, and internet marketing. Digital marketing can be defined as “the marketing of products or services using digital channels to reach consumers.” The key objective is to promote brands the usage of the internet.

Digital marketing extends beyond internet marketing to include channels that do not require the use of the internet. Some digital marketing channels include websites, social media platforms, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), blogging, podcasts, and online advertising to name a few. Beyond technology gimmicks, businesses should know their customers and their core competencies. Digital marketing is not a silver bullet. Digital marketing is a tool for the savvy business professional.

Catherine Juan, Donnie Greiling, and Catherine Buerkle, authors of Internet Marketing: Start to Finish , suggest that effective digital marketing requires plenty of careful planning. They add, “The heart of getting real traction out of your internet marketing program is to tie marketing and sales data together, with metrics. Track what you're doing, track the impact, and track the resulting sales.” Looking at the landscape of technology and internet innovation, small businesses should think strategically about the following five digital marketing trends:

Artificial Intelligence – Some people develop articulate doom-day scenarios of machines to control the world. However, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a way of life in marketing. AI can be defined as 'the theory and development of computer systems capable to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence.' Voice Activation technology like Amazon's Echo is bringing AI into public attention. By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their purchases without interacting with a person.

Internet Searching – Buyers are more knowledgeable than ever with access to the internet. In fact, 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases. Thus, exploring how to utilize search engine optimization and getting your business at the top of searches is an invaluable step.

Mobile Communications – Most Americans have grown accustomed to instant gratification and easy access to technology. Mobile and tablet e-commerce will reach $ 293B by 2018. Smartphone and tablets are part of this wave of innovation. Mobile will account for 72% of the US digital ad spend by 2019. Marketers recognize that mobile marketing is an untapped business tool.

Social Media – Social media platforms, like Facebook, allows buyers to connect with each other virtually. 65% of business-to-business companies have accepted customers through LinkedIn ads. Marketers realize this value.

Web Content – Good content will attract customers. In fact, customers are more likely to purchase from sellers with good, relevant videos / photos on their website. 52% of marketing professionals globally name the video as the type of content with the best ROI.

Faced with the tenants of competition, small businesses need to utilize digital marketing. Some small businesses may be hesitant to explore digital marketing due to their lack of trust and understanding of the internet. Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller, authors of Marketing Management , note “Top firms are comfortable using technology to improve the way they do business with their business-to-business customers.”

This article demonstrated that today's small businesses can utilize digital marketing to enhance their market opportunities. Hopefully, gaining this knowledge will help business owners so that they will not continue to bury their heads in the sand. The internet is here to stay. Pray that you are listening to this message.

© 2017 by DD Green

The Importance Of Being Choosy – The Top 3 Reasons To Define Your Ideal Clients (And Why You Should)

The concept of eliminating your ideal client is a hard one for many business owners to understand. Most of my clients want to work with anyone who will pay them for their services or products. They just want to make the sale and have the cash coming into their business. I explain to them that…

The concept of eliminating your ideal client is a hard one for many business owners to understand. Most of my clients want to work with anyone who will pay them for their services or products. They just want to make the sale and have the cash coming into their business. I explain to them that they would benefit more if they change their mindset. That by getting clear on who their ideal client is will make their life so much easier.

Here are the top three reasons I give my clients why it is imperative that they are very selective about who they have as their customers. The beauty of having your own business is that you can choose and it will be one of the reasons why you will be successful.

1) You'll enjoy your work more – By selecting the characteristics of your ideal customers, you get to choose those with what you work. These individuals will be those individuals that bring you enjoyment. By selecting those characteristics, you'll find that they will be the individuals who will compliment you and your business. Because of this, you'll enjoy working with them, and you'll enjoy your work more.

2) You'll save time and effort – Once you've selected who your ideal clients are, you'll be able to streamline everything to cater to them. By doing this, you will not try to please everyone, and you'll only have to focus on meeting the needs of a smaller demographic. You'll be able to tailor your business to this group, enabling a much more streamlined marketing effort. Focusing on meeting the needs of your ideal clients will save you time, money, and frustration.

3) You'll be more successful – When you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one. By working with a smaller group, you can focus on satisficing one group of individuals. By focusing on them, and meeting their needs, you'll do a better job. You'll also do a better job because you enjoy working with them. As you do a better job for your clients, they will enjoy working with you and be much more likely to recommend you to others. In the end, you'll be happy and more successful.

Now that you know these three reasons why it's beneficial for you to be selective about who you work with do not be afraid to be choosy. Have you selected who your ideal client or customer is? Go ahead, take out a piece of paper and write down all the characteristics of your perfect client. Be a clear as possible. If you're having difficulty figuring out who you like working with, then you can begin with the opposite. Once you've written down who you do not want to work with, or have come into your business, then look at the opposite characteristics. See if the opposite would be a person you'd enjoy them being your customer.

It is vital that you take some time and define your ideal customer. Take the step to do so, and you'll have an easier time building your success. If you've yet to do so, do so today. The benefits will surprise you.

The Beginner’s Guide To A Strong Business Foundation That Will Enable You To Prosper

Are you frustrated by where you find yourself in your business or are you thinking of starting a business? There is a ton of information out there to assist you to achieve success, some of it sound, but much of it bad. If you are one of the 28 million small businesses in the US,…

Are you frustrated by where you find yourself in your business or are you thinking of starting a business? There is a ton of information out there to assist you to achieve success, some of it sound, but much of it bad. If you are one of the 28 million small businesses in the US, or interested in joining their ranks, the following three tips can save you time, money, and frustration.

1. Understand what products or services you are offering. Did you know that 90% of all purchases are made subconsciously? Purchases are made based on emotions and then justified with logic. Because of this, it is never the product or service that you are offering, but the feeling it will provide the customer that is the real reason they will purchase.

2. Understand what makes your business unique. There are so many ways that a customer can purchase an item these days, you'll need to be able to stand out from the crowd for them to notice you. It is the things that make you or your products and services unique that will allow you the visibility you desire and need to be successful. Now, do not worry, you do not have to be 100% exclusive to stand out, you just need to create the perception that you are different from your competition.

3. Understand who is your ideal customer. The current estimated population in the world is 7.6 billion people. That is too many people for you to be able to have as customers and do a good job and just imagine the expense of trying to reach all of them. By getting clear on who your ideal customer is you'll be able to streamline your marketing, saving you time, money and effort. You'll also do your best work with customers you that you enjoy. And is not that a great reason to be selective?

An additional tip is to understand what it is you want to achieve in your business. With so much information and advice available, before you take a step, you'll need to know what direction it is you want to go. By understanding what it is you want out of your business, you'll understand what steps are appropriate for you to take. You'll also know when you have successfully achieved your desired ends. Without knowing what it is you want to attain, then any step or action will work, but you'll probably end up somewhere you do not want to be.

With all these tips, it is essential that you be as specific as possible when you define them for your business. The more specific you can be, the clearer and easier it will be for you to determine a path forward.

It is also essential for you to write them down. The act of writing your answers down will do two things. On the one hand, it will help you in clarifying the items. Clarity will happen because you'll have multiple senses involved in the process; your sense of sight, your sense of touch, and your thoughts. On the other hand, thoughts are very transitory. By writing your answers down, you'll be able to refer back to them and share them. If you keep your answers in your head, you'll probably forget them, or they will change with the changes of your thoughts.

One Eyelet at a Time

In 1997, little did I know I would begin a venture as an entrepreneur. I just thought a group of friends that sang together in church were going to make something special and offer music outside the four walls of the sanctuary. It sounded simple enough because we had singers and musicians. My partner who…

In 1997, little did I know I would begin a venture as an entrepreneur. I just thought a group of friends that sang together in church were going to make something special and offer music outside the four walls of the sanctuary. It sounded simple enough because we had singers and musicians. My partner who was the visionary behind this plan, had been in the music industry before and he was a musician and producer. I was a banker by day and a songwriter by night. We had a place to practice, voices and full instrumentation, but where was the money coming from to start lacing the shoe? It came from our own boot.

I did not know it then, but our financial source came from bootstrapping. Investopedia describes bootstrapping as building a company without external investments. The startup company uses personal finances and the operating revenue generated by the company for capital. We held true the characteristics of a bootstrapping. There was little money as discretionary income and assets were definitely invisible to the naked eye. We did not have savings, but we were wealthy in sweat equity. We knew if we could complete a recording, we could sell the product at concerts. I had two vehicles at the time and I sold my work car to purchase the first round of product. That $ 1500, though little, wave our recording company straps.

The recording company branched off into another line of the business allowing us to form a lighting and sound company. The extra income from providing this service at other events has an additional infusion of capital for the recordings. We had basically all the equipment needed for these other shows and if it was something that we did not have, we rented it and increased our base cost of service.

These two ventures were maintained for nine years by owner financing and operating revenues without other investors. We did not ask the members of the group to make any investment, allowing us to maintain control over the direction of the companies. Also we did not want them to take a personal loss on our dreams. Although it was beneficial for us to have decision-making power, we only achieved regional success. Our finances limited our ability to expand, but we were able to tie the laces into a bow by establishing ourselves as music artist one eyelet at a time.

Bootstrapping. (2003, November 25). Retrieved September 30, 2017, from http://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/bootstrapping.asp

Six Mistakes That Can Disapprove Your Business Application

When it comes to business, there is a lot to manage – from finance to trade, literally everything. This is why many entrepreneurs look for a business loan, as it helps them with both expanding the business as well as upgrading it. But, it is not always that the business loan you apply for, is…

When it comes to business, there is a lot to manage – from finance to trade, literally everything. This is why many entrepreneurs look for a business loan, as it helps them with both expanding the business as well as upgrading it. But, it is not always that the business loan you apply for, is approved. There can be times when this loan goes unsanctioned for some reasons.

Many-a-times, people are unaware of the things that can get their loan approved. However, these reasons may seem small but can result in a huge loss. Here are six barriers that can prevent you from taking a business loan:

Poor credit score:

Credit score plays a very important role – right from applying for a loan to closing it. However, a credit score can make or break the loan game. In case if you have a good credit score, the chances of getting your loan approved are more as the process is quite similar. Besides, having a bad credit score can totally reverse the situation, as the chance of getting a business loan approved is quite low. An ideal credit score lies around 750 or above. So, having a good credit score is utmost important to get your loan approved.

Limited cash flow:

When approving your business loan, the bank will check how much cash flow you have at present. The cash flow is the first thing that a lender might note. However, this decides your repayment capacity. Therefore, before applying for a loan, you must see if you can afford the loan or not.

Lack of future planning:

It is very important to have a business plan and stick with it. Financial institutions want their borrowers to be organized, as this assures them that you will pay the loan on time. At times, small business lacks future planning. In order to get the loan, it is essential that the entrepreneur at least plans his future earnings.

Disorganization:

When approaching the lender, it is essential to have all your important papers and documents required for business loan lined up properly. In case you end up submitting wrong documents to the lender, there are chances for disapproval. Besides, make sure to recheck the document and rearrange them before submitting it to the financial institution.

Expert advice:

When it comes to financial decisions, especially related to your business, you need to seek some expert advice before diving into it. Approaching your accountant can be of good help, especially if you have a small business. This is essential, as they will know what capital amount is good for you. Rather, as they are the ones handling your fiscal account, they can be the best one to advise you. Furthermore, this can avoid a disapproval.

Apathy:

Many entrepreneurs are approaching financial institutions on a day-to-day basis for a business loan. Now, in this quest, you need to prove the lender why you are the appropriate candidate. Thus, it is important to show the lender your passion towards the business and your plans relating to it.

Now that you know, the reasons for a Business Loan disapproval, you can certainly try to work on it. However, the above-mentioned things might seem too little at the start but can bring you a great loss, when it comes to business. However, before taking a business loan, you need to keep these things in mind and research well about it.

Lines of Credit Vs Loans – Small Business

Loans or Lines of Credit: What's best for your business? When you own a small business, finding the right type of financing is the key to growth. There are many options available today, but the two most common options are: business loans and business lines of credit. Answer these questions before selecting the best way…

Loans or Lines of Credit: What's best for your business?

When you own a small business, finding the right type of financing is the key to growth. There are many options available today, but the two most common options are: business loans and business lines of credit.

Answer these questions before selecting the best way to finance your business:

  • What is the purpose of the loan?
  • How much money do you need?
  • When do you need the money?
  • How long will it take you to pay it back?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • What is your credit score?
  • What do your current finances (personal & business) look like?
  • If you need collateral, do you have any to put up for the loan?
  • Do you have a business plan?

You may want to gather some materials beforehand and make sure you have a strong business plan. Some of the items you may need to include are:

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Description
  • Industry Overview
  • Description of organization / business overview
  • Description of products and services
  • Funding Request
  • Projection of finance for next 3-5 years
  • Financial statements and assumptions
  • Credit history (business / business owner)
  • Resume of any investors or any other affiliations

You should understand the differences as well as any advantages / disadvantages of each and you should have a clear understanding of why you need to borrow money.

A Business Loan (BL) is where you borrow a substantial sum of money for specific business purposes. The sum is paid to you all at once and you are required to return it within a specific amount of time.

A SBA Guarantee is where banks and other lending institutions offer many Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs to assist small businesses. The SBA does not make loans, it does guarantee loans made to small businesses by private and other institutions.

A Line of Credit (LOC) is like your personal line of credit, such as credit cards. This allows you to withdrawal funds up to a predetermined amount and pay monthly payments and pay interest charges on the outstanding balance.

Let's look at the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of each:

1. Timing: When you apply for a loan or a line of credit, you need to know when you are going to use it. A loan is something you get when you need it, and for specific purposes. In contrast, a line of credit is usually set up before you need it and can serve multiple purposes.

2. Monthly Payments: With a loan, your monthly payments begin immediately and do not change from month to month, whether you are using all the money or not. With a line of credit, your payments only reflect the amount of money you've borrowed and you only make payments on the amount you borrowed.

3. Renewals: Business loans do not renew at the end of the terms, you must reapply. While a loan of credit is revolving, you can use it multiple times.

4. Long-term vs Short-term: Loans are usually paid off in 2 to 6 years. Lines of credit can solve short- term problems.

5. Interest Rates: With a business loan, you are likely to have higher interest rates that are fixed, whereas a line of credit may offer lower variable rates. With a line of credit, if you are late on a payment or exceed your credit limit, your interest rates will increase.

With such a wide range of financial options available to small business owners, it can be difficult to choose the right one. But, knowing the difference between two of the most common financing solutions can help paint a larger picture to what you are really looking for. You want to make the best decisions so that you can make the money work for your business.

Office Cleaning Services – Small Checklist To Consider

The act of cleaning of any space whether it is office or home is never an offensive task. With lots of business activities to consider and less time for self, it is hard to manage the cleaning activities of the office area. If you are looking for the office cleaning services near your locality and…

The act of cleaning of any space whether it is office or home is never an offensive task. With lots of business activities to consider and less time for self, it is hard to manage the cleaning activities of the office area. If you are looking for the office cleaning services near your locality and are confused about the fact from where to start. It is ideal to start by listing the major companies who can help you in the purpose and then sort out your expectations in the form of a small checklist. Below below are the few factors tolist in your small guide that is check-list.

References

Make sure the company you are partnering with is having the references of their past work or projects so that the quality of the work can be predicted in advance only.

Expertise Or Training

Experience is somewhat hard to ascertain instead ask about the training pattern adopted by them for their staff. Ask who trains them and how often the training is given to refresh their skills.

Any Certificates

Ask them if they have any recognized certificates from the highest authority. Enlist all the certificates related to their business and examine it.

Insurance

For any office its security and safety are pivotal. Make sure the company you are associating with is having legitimate insurance papers so that your office is secured in case of any detrimental loss or accident.

Availability

Specifically, ask about their timings. Ask them wherever they are available in case of emergency or outside of regular business hours. Make sure of it in advance only.

Accountable Person

Inquire about their feedback and complaining process or the person who is responsible for addressing your concerns during the task.

Safe Products

It is important to acknowledge what products or cleaning agents that they are going to use during the course of action. Make sure the products being used are organic and nontoxic in nature unless they will affect the well being of office staff.

Safety

There is no standard way to determine the activity which is safe or which is not. With these professionals make sure their staffs are dressed in a proper uniform along with the badges for their identification. They say it is better to be safe than sorry.

Keeping your office facility neat can be easy if you are prepared with the above small checklist before outsourcing the task to these office cleaning services.

4 Useful Tips To Manage Your Small Business Finances

A small business can fail for a variety of reasons, but money related issues are one of the main concerns. Even with a high-quality service or product, you will find it difficult to achieve success without a healthy cash flow to cover business expenses. Here are a few tips to help manage the finances: Clear…

A small business can fail for a variety of reasons, but money related issues are one of the main concerns. Even with a high-quality service or product, you will find it difficult to achieve success without a healthy cash flow to cover business expenses. Here are a few tips to help manage the finances:

Clear targets

A simple strategy is to set the clear financial goals for the future. This should relate to both the short-term and long-term. It can be difficult to know if a small business is reaching its targets and being successful if the financial goals are not determined at an early point of getting setup. In the process of setting the targets, it is useful to set a worst case and best case scenario. This will give a complete picture of how successful a business is and gives more time to take appropriate action if the desired income is not achieved.

Accountancy software

The ability to maintain the finances is made that much easier with the right accounting software in place. This type of software has a wide range of features and can help with tracking your financial picture, running reports on key metrics, and staying in touch with day-to-day expenses. The more advanced software can help to prepare tax forms or similar financial records. Plus, the accounting software can significantly speed up the ability to manage the accounts, which means more time is available to work on other areas of the business.

Issuing invoices

A small business is certain to benefit from a system that prepares and delivers invoices as soon as a service or product is delivered. Staying on top of issuing the invoices means payments are regularly received for the work done without any extended delays. It can help to use software to speed up the process and automatically issue the invoices. Also, it is essential to chase up on any late payments to make sure a regular cash flow is maintained.

Control spending

It helps to be ruthless with spending to avoid letting the finances get out of control. It is quite easy to spend more than intended on expensive equipment or taking on too many staff being you are really ready. The best course of action is to carefully manage the growth of the business and make sure it is reaching its targets before spending high volumes on purchases or extra staff.

6 Advantages of Having Aluminium Shop Fronts

No one can question or doubt the durability of aluminum. When used as shop fronts, this material is proven to be best in every aspect. Every store or shop would want to have the fronts, which are very rigid yet very tempting to approach. Are you thinking of creating a never seen before experience for…

No one can question or doubt the durability of aluminum. When used as shop fronts, this material is proven to be best in every aspect.

Every store or shop would want to have the fronts, which are very rigid yet very tempting to approach.

Are you thinking of creating a never seen before experience for customers? Aluminum shop fronts are your preferred choice?

If yes, then look down below at small checklist that will help you jot down a few benefits of having them, outside your promises.

Credentials of Aluminum shop fronts

Environment friendly

Researchers have proven that aluminum is 100% recyclable and does not deteriorate in terms of quality even after it is reused, thus ensuring safer environment without compromising the surroundings.

Versatile

The aluminum is very tensile in nature and can be easily molded into any shape or size without compromising the strength and durability of the material.

Which means it can be remodeled in any design or structure, which is very helpful for any business to position its image in terms of store fronts.

Easily updated

The aluminum fronts are very handy and easy to update. They can be revamped with fresh colors or finish on the spot with paintings or spray paints.

The professionals can carve them according to the business changing trends or advancement in any venture by easily visiting the location.

Cost Friendly

The aluminum is a pocket-friendly choice, as it is present in abundance. Also, when hinged with glass walls, they can reduce heat inside the premiums up to 60%. Leading to ambient temperature in the concessions and reduction in electricity bills. Having aluminum front ensures management of cost from all levels.

Perfect choice for any promise

Whether opting for business or home, these fronts are very effective for any type of surroundings, as they come with customized options. They can be altered and prepared as per the suitability of any business or house needs. They are available in swing or sliding, electric or remote sensing. When added with grilles and portcullis shutters, they can become a great security concern for any household.

Strengthening material

The aluminum is very durable and a robust material, it was created in order to sustain the atrophic weather.

The material is sound in every term, during the rainy season it does not rust and during scorching heat, it does not fade away.

These fronts can last for maximum 20 years and again can be recycled or reused.

From Grilles and portcullis shutters to perforated shutters, there are plenty of options to safeguard the aluminum storefronts with class and security.

Expansion Pitfalls All Small Businesses Must Avoid

A great number of small business owners have a constant urge to expand. Of course, the mere idea of ​​expanding and becoming a “big” business known to thousands and millions of people is fascinating. However, expansion is not all about finding a new office space and hiring new employees to fill the vacant seats. There…

A great number of small business owners have a constant urge to expand. Of course, the mere idea of ​​expanding and becoming a “big” business known to thousands and millions of people is fascinating. However, expansion is not all about finding a new office space and hiring new employees to fill the vacant seats.

There is much more to expansion than most small business owners realize. It is unfortunate that a larger population of these business owners is only focused on the benefits of expanding while completely omitting the challenges that entail business expansion. Let's take a look at some of the most common challenges, concerns and considerations before you expand your small business.

Major Pitfalls to Avoid before Expanding a Small Business

  • Outdated Information of Market Conditions

Too often, the decision to expand taken by most small business owners is based on information that is many months old. The important thing to consider here is continuous market research. An idea that seemed like it will lead the market a few months ago might be an average offering today.

For example, you might have landed in the market with a unique product, and its sudden popularity might make you think as should expand as soon as possible. What you do not realize is that the acceptance and popularity rate of your product can diminish with time. The big reason behind that is the competitors who can imitate anything that you have created.

It does not matter if you have patented the technology, method or the product itself before launching it. Your competitors will always find some way to imitate and emulate your products. A great example of this is Apple, the tech giant that patented the touchscreen technology. You can see there are more non-Apple touchscreen smartphones in the world today than Apple's own iPhone.

  • Regional Limitations

When you are expanding your business into new territories, you must know them well. You can not expect people to react to your offerings, marketing methods, advertising tactics in the same way everywhere. In fact, cultural considerations are an extremely important consideration when businesses are expanding.

You do not have to be expanding to a completely new country to consider culture. There are many things that people in one state may love and people in another state completely hate.

These considerations have to be made based on the type of business you have. If your business has some cultural dependencies, you have to be very careful with where you are thinking of expanding your business operations.

  • Cash Flow Challenges

You need to be on top of your cash flow before you expand. Cash flow is important for any business, but it is essential when it comes time for expansion. It does not matter how much money you are expecting to come into the business after making the expansion move; it is going to require a lot of money upfront too.

This is the time when you have to stop thinking about the revenue and start focusing on your income. Your revenue does not tell you how feasible it is for you to expand your business. It is the money that you can use without affecting your current operations that matter in the expansion.

Look at your profits and see how big they are. If your profits are small, do not just assume that things will be fine and you should just make a move. You do not want to create a situation where not only you fail with expansion but affect your existing operations as well.

  • Technological Issues

The way modern businesses operate, technology goes where your business goes. Many small business owners think of expansion only regarding new office space, furniture, and new employees, but that's not the case. Today's businesses are extremely heavy on technologies, both hardware, and software. When your business expands, you have to support it with better hardware but what's more important is the software side.

Unless you are using a cloud solution for your database and other internal tasks and activities, you will have to spend a lot of time in arranging the right system. Syncing information across multiple locations and managing larger databases with more accounts and information can be a challenge in the beginning.

  • Overestimating Business Popularity

Some businesses that start with a unique idea and get attention from media fast are able to reap great benefits from sudden demand spikes. This situation often makes business owners feel that they should expand as soon as possible. What they do not realize is that this is only the “trial” period for customers in their minds.

Even if they like your product, in the beginning, it does not mean they have put full trust in your offers. A onetime purchase does not translate to loyal customers and repetitive purchases. You may have received a great response from customers when you started the business but wait for some time to know if your customers have started to repeat.

It is only the number of repeat customers that can tell you if your product / service has been a success. It could be a nightmare for you if you start getting negative reviews from your first customers as soon as you expand into new markets and locations. You could end up creating too much inventory that no one is willing to buy.

  • Underestimating Growth of Employees

While a lot of things get overestimated by new business owners before expansion, there are some things that they underestimate. Sometimes, business owners are not able to fully foresee their growth regarding employees.

They arrange new space to continue business operations in a new location without realizing that the growing number of employees will force them to expand their office space again. Not only is it inefficient but it could lead to a lot of hassle for the working employees if the expansion of office space takes place while they are working there.

Final Words

The most important thing to keep in mind when you have your own business, and you are considering expansion regarding business operations or product / service offerings, is patience. Always take your time before making a move because when you are a small business , you do not have a lot of support to recover from huge financial losses like large enterprises do.

Is Your Business Bank Bankable?

Are you happy with your bank? Do you consider what you pay in fees to be a good value for the services received? Do you consider your bank to be a source of support for your business? If the answer to any of these question is “no” or “maybe,” read on. The choice of a…

Are you happy with your bank? Do you consider what you pay in fees to be a good value for the services received? Do you consider your bank to be a source of support for your business? If the answer to any of these question is “no” or “maybe,” read on. The choice of a bank is a serious decision in our personal and business lives and size matters, whether you maintain a business or personal account with the bank.

The expected needs of the individual or the business must be considered when choices are made. Banks have become both expensive and competitive over the past couple of decades and you owe it to yourself to get your needs met in exchange for the favor of allowing the bank to hold your money and collect the fees you pay for that convenience.

In your personal life, you will want to buy or refinance a home, make home repairs and upgrades, or finance your child's education. As a business owner or Solopreneur consultant, you may have equipment or technology upgrades to finance, or growth and expansion plans that will require outside financing. Whatever your financial plans, a helpful banker will provide critical advice and facilitate access to capital, so that you will realize your goals and fulfill your obligations.

How should Solopreneurs and business owners choose a bank? A good way to start is to identify two community banks, two regional and two large national outfits and pay each a visit. Walk in and ask to meet the business banker, who is also usually the commercial loan officer. If you need an appointment, make one, so that you will have time to talk. Tell this individual about your business, about plans you have on the drawing board and your project banking services and / or financial needs. How can the bank augment and support your plans? What insights and suggestions does the banker offer you?

If business credit is a priority, ask these three questions:

  1. What is the amount of the credit line that the business banker can personally approve?
  2. Does the bank offer SBA loans and is it a Preferred SBA Lender and able to approve and underwrite such loans independently?
  3. How much SBA loan business is done and what percentage of applications are approved?

Below are general guidelines to consider as you re-think the banking needs of your business venture. Remember to ask about merchant credit card processing fees for both in person, online and mobile transactions if you accept debit and credit cards.

Community banks

  • Appropriate for Solopreneurs and small or medium size businesses
  • Fees can be high as compared to larger banks
  • Online or mobile banking technology might be slow or not comprehensive
  • Service is typically excellent. This is old-fashioned banking. Customers are taken care of. The tellers and managers know you.
  • Loan decisions are made locally. The loan officer knows you and your business. S / he want to help. Your character will count.

Regional banks

  • Appropriate for small to medium size businesses that plan to grow
  • Fees are about average
  • Online and mobile banking technology will meet expectations, the basics will be available
  • Service is usually good, the regionals are capable of delivering personalized service
  • Loan decisions will be made with an eye to the local economy, along with what your financial statements indicate about your ability to repay

National banks

  • Appropriate for medium to large businesses that do out-of-state and / or international business
  • Fees are usually the lowest available, the result of economies of scale
  • Online and mobile banking technology will be the most cutting-edge available and banking can be almost entirely done online
  • Service is often impersonal because staff turn-over is often high. No one knows you for long. Decisions are not made locally at the branch level.
  • Loans are issued strictly by the numbers, the manager will not be able to give you the benefit of the doubt.

Thanks for reading,

Kim

Recent Study Backs Up Big Advantages of PEOs

The Professional Employer Organization (PEO) industry continues its steamrolling success at a hefty growth rate of almost 30% per year- and that number increases each year! In 2017, PEO companies provide services to between 156,000 and 180,000 small and mid-size businesses, employing between 2.7 and 3.4 million people. There are many reasons why employers turn…

The Professional Employer Organization (PEO) industry continues its steamrolling success at a hefty growth rate of almost 30% per year- and that number increases each year! In 2017, PEO companies provide services to between 156,000 and 180,000 small and mid-size businesses, employing between 2.7 and 3.4 million people.

There are many reasons why employers turn to these companies for help with administrative and business matters. Employers want to focus their time and energy on running their business and not on the paperwork, liabilities and obligations of having employees.

Many small business owners do not have the mandatory training that they need to perform human resource, payroll and accounting tasks that every business needs. They also may not have expertise in risk management or compliance to keep their business liabilities low. And since employee insurance programs continue to increase in difficulty and cost, some employers are not able to offer their employees access to these essential benefits.

PEOs take these burdens off the table and allow employers to refocus their attention to the parts of their company that need their proficiency. They have experts on staff to handle all of the HR, payroll, and workers' compensation insurance hassles that take up so much valuable time. Plus, they give small-group markets access to many employee benefits and employment amenities that they would not have otherwise.

A PEO's economy of scale enables each of its clients to increase their bottom line by keeping their costs low. Plus, they provide time savings by handling regular occurring and time consuming tasks that become more or less “busy work” for them and their employees.

Between 1980 and 2000, the number of labor laws and regulations grew by nearly two thirds, according to the federal Small Business Administration. This same study estimated owners of small or mid-sized business spent up to a quarter of their time on employment-related paperwork. Using a PEO company for these matters frees up the business owner so he / she can concentrate on sales and growth.

According to a recent study done by McBassi and Company for NAPEO (the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations), business owners who use PEOs have an edge over their competition when it comes to business growth. They found that businesses who use these services:

Had revenue growth that was twice that of those who do not (10 percent versus 5 percent);

Had expected revenue growth that was 40 percent greater than those who do not (14 percent versus 10 percent); and

Were 16 percent more likely to report an increase in profitability (58 percent versus 50 percent).

In addition, the same study (titled PEOs: Good for Businesses and Their Employees, September 2017) found that employers were happy in their outsourcing relationship. Findings include that:

98 percent would recommend a PEO to a small business college;

70 percent report that their revenues have increased since becoming a client; and

66 percent report that their proability has increased since becoming a client.

Employees who work for businesses using these companies are happy with the relationship, as well. This study shows that those employees report significantly higher scores on key measures related to employee satisfaction and confidence in company management, such as:

Levels of employee engagement (+5);

Intention to stay with their current employer until retirement (+8);

Belief that employer is taking the right steps to be competitive (+8);

Trust that employer is supporting employees in delivering excellent customer service (+7); and

Confidence in employer's approach to growing the company (+5).

Almost any business can find value in a PEO relationship- clients range from accounting firms and construction to manufacturers and government agencies. The average client is a small business with an average of 19 employees, but some clients have fewer than three employees. Increasingly, larger businesses are signing up, too.

Small Business Success – The Top 5 Surprising Reasons Most Businesses Fail And How To Avoid Them

There is no agreement among experts on the percentage of businesses that fail. Recently, Forbes estimated that 80% of companies fail, while Fortune claims it is closer to 90%. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), about 50% fail within the first year. Of those that survive, the SBA goes on to tell us, only…

There is no agreement among experts on the percentage of businesses that fail. Recently, Forbes estimated that 80% of companies fail, while Fortune claims it is closer to 90%. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), about 50% fail within the first year. Of those that survive, the SBA goes on to tell us, only about 66% survive the second year.

Whatever the number indeed is, most small businesses do not survive the first couple of years. Why is the survival rate so low?

In starting many businesses myself and working with small businesses owners as clients, I've come across five surprising reasons why small business owners struggle and fail. In this article, I'll point out these reasons, and by knowing them, you can avoid these pitfalls.

Reason # 1 – Do not know what product they are selling.

It is hard to believe that most business owners do not understand what product or service they are selling. They say “People come to me to buy flowers,” “I'm offering insurance,” or “I sell cupcakes.” But the truth is, they are not selling a product or a service, they are selling a feeling or emotion.

Buying habits are based on feeling and emotions and are only justified by the use of logic. Let that sink in. People buy based on feeling and emotions and then defend it with logic.

Let's say you have a flower shop. People can buy flowers from many different sources these days. Supermarkets have flowers as do some convenience stores. Why should they buy from you?

What feelings or emotions can you promote that will set you up for success with your business?

Reason # 2 – Do not know who is their ideal customer

Many business owners will say that they do not care who their customers are. Just as long as they have customers, they are happy. They just want to have customers.

The truth is it is essential for you to know who your ideal customers are, and there are many benefits for this. When you work with your perfect customer, you do your best work because you enjoy working with them. You will be more inspired and fulfilled by what you do. You will connect with your customer on a defect level, and they will more likely recommend you to others.

So, who is your ideal customer?

Reason # 3 – Do not know what makes them unique.

I come across many business people who believe that they will be successful just because they open their doors, have a website, or hang a sign up that says they are open for business. They think that the product they have will sell itself. Sometimes this can happen. However, it is an infrequent occurrence.

In this increasingly confusing world, information and products are continuously bombarding your customers from all sides, and you need to stand alone to stand out. To do this, you need to be unique from all the other businesses out there doing the same thing you are. By being unique, your customer will recognize you and come looking for you.

What is it that makes you unique in the market?

Reason # 4 – Do not know how to promote the business.

When a business does not know what product they are selling, what makes them unique, and who their ideal customer is, they have a difficult time promoting their business. If you are trying to please and attract everyone, your message is too broad to appeal to anyone, and you waste a lot of time and effort with your marketing.

If a business is clear on what and who it is, promotion is simpler and more straightforward. Advertising becomes more targeted, and because of this, its success rate is higher.

In light of this, how can you now promote your business?

Reason # 5 – Do not know their end goal.

So what game are you playing? Many of the businesses I come across this answer by saying they want to be successful. But what does successful mean? The answer is different for everyone. A company that does not know what their end goal of being in business is, they do not have a direction in which to work towards, and because of this they flounder around and never achieve their goals.

Knowing what your end goal is to provide you with a direction in which to work. Is your end goal to eventually sell your business for a profit? Or maybe it is to provide a comfortable life for yourself and your family? But understand if it is the latter, what does comfortable mean to you? What salary do you want to earn? Or is it that you want to spend more time with your family? Knowing the answers to these questions gives you a direction and a goal.

So what is your end goal?