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How to Eliminate Overhead Costs at Your Startup

Developing your startup should be something you feel ambition and drive to do. However, high overhead costs can lead to discouragement and be a detriment to your business’s production. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can reduce your overhead costs, and improve your overall workflow.

Rely Less on Physical Space

If you have invested in a large office space for your startup, you might want to reconsider your purchase. Choosing to rent or buy smaller will allow you an attainable monthly goal for your business to reach. When you are just starting out with a small number of customers, this is essential for your business to survive past the first year.

If you do not want to rent out for your business, you may consider starting the work in your home. You can then meet employees on conference calls to make sure the work is running smoothly and minimize most of your renting costs.

Outsource Services

If you cannot manage the work you receive, you can always outsource jobs to other professional companies or services. For example, instead of hiring someone for your startup to manage all your finances as a paid employee, hire a contract accountant to give you advice to improve your spending.

Financial assistance is not the only way you can outsource. There are numerous benefits to using a virtual call center over a traditional brick-and-mortar one. Outsource different services that do not directly relate to your business. Relying on virtual IT services will also help reduce costs. Check online to see what outsourcing services you can implement.

Become Energy Efficient

Improving your energy efficiency is another way you can save your money each month. Companies that forget to improve their energy practices often get pelted with unnecessary expenses that add up over time. However, most of the energy-saving you can do requires minimal effort.

Make sure your employees and you turn off lights in your building (except the ones you use for security.) Consider buying energy efficient LED bulbs which cuts your usage down significantly. Turn off your machines when you are not using them. Working from home can keep you from having these energy bills in the first place.

Your startup can be incredibly successful. The best way to make your profit guaranteed is by cutting down unnecessary spending. Energy solutions, outsourcing jobs when necessary, and minimizing your office space are great ways to start, but your position might be different. Think about what is most important for your business.

For more business tips, read this next: How to Help Ease Your Company’s Growing Pains

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Business

How to Help Ease Your Company’s Growing Pains

Every business owner wants to see their company grow and succeed, no matter what size it currently is. With that growth comes change and periods of adjustment, which is often difficult and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help ease your company’s growing pains.

Get Financing

With growth comes increased costs, perhaps greater than what a business can pay upfront. In order to pay those costs, you’ll need to obtain financing. There are some things you can do to improve your odds of getting the financing you need. According to Franchise Gator, the longer your business has been around, the more likely banks will offer you favorable loan terms. Make sure your own personal finances are in order and that your credit score is as good as you can get it. The same goes for your business’s finances and credit score (yes, businesses have credit scores too). You would also do well to make sure you have a good, solid business plan. This will make you more attractive to lenders.

Hire Competent

Your hiring practices are crucial to the successful growth of your company. If you are to manage increased demand for your goods and services, you need to man your business with enough employees to manage the increased workload. It’s not just enough to hire warm bodies, however. You need to make sure you hire the right people for the job. Your job isn’t done once they’re hired either. In order to be useful, new employees need to be properly trained, which requires an employee to leave their current responsibilities to some degree to complete the training. In order to do this with minimal disruption to the flow of business, the best move is to do as much of this as possible in advance of your growth.

Develop Clear Goals

A lack of direction is a huge growing pain for a business. It can take a serious toll on morale and leave everyone wondering what the point of what they’re doing is. To counteract this, according Sean Foster, you should develop clear goals at multiple levels. You can have goals for individual employees, teams, departments, and the business as a whole. Consider creating both short-term and long-term goals as well. Measure progress and report on it regularly. This will help direct efforts and help everyone feel that their contributions and work actually matters.

Periods of growth are often marked by growing pains that can be difficult for both businesses and employees to get through. Help ease your company’s growing pains by hiring competent employees and getting them trained on time, acquire financing to help cover immediate costs, and make sure you have clear goals to guide you. This will help set you up for success as you continue to grow your business.

Every company needs a good marketing plan to help it grow. We can help you make one! Contact us to get started!

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Business Strategy

3 Strategies to Make Your Business More Efficient

Are your employees taking more time than necessary to get tasks done? Luckily, there are things you can do to boost your business’s productivity. Read on for three strategies to make your business more efficient.

Review Your Employees’ Productivity

The idea of measuring your employees’ productivity can seem complicated and difficult to pin down. Evaluating your business’s productivity, however, can help your business become more efficient and, luckily, there are many ways to go about accomplishing this task.

Productivity does not always equal output divided by input. No, it is much more nuanced than that. You need to take quality into account, as well as the type of task being completed. You also need to account for the human element in the equation. There is no perfect way to measure productivity in a business setting—rather, there are many different options. Managers can observe employees to make sure they are maximizing time spent on meaningful work and minimizing time spent on the unnecessary. Make goals and measure progress. Try to standardize goal-setting to make progress easier to track.

Automate Feedback Processes

Automating your customer feedback processes can make your business more efficient. You can gather feedback continuously and even personalize the process for your customers. Using automated processes also makes things faster and more convenient. Automating your survey responses gives you quicker responses from customers. The added convenience improves customer satisfaction and can even win customer loyalty. In addition, sending surveys automatically rather than manually saves time for your employees and helps you catch problems faster.

Streamline Your Social Media

Social media is one of the most valuable ways to market your business, but it also can get complicated. There are so many different social media platforms out there that your social media work can easily become disorganized, chaotic, and more difficult than it needs to be.

Organize and make it easier for your business by streamlining your social media with an app. With one program, you can combine all your social media accounts onto one dashboard, making control a lot easier and posting timely a lot faster. You can also use a content calendar to plan out all your social media content on one schedule. Simplifying the process will make your social media efforts much more efficient and help you save time.

By streamlining your social media, automating feedback processes, and reviewing your employees’ productivity, you can take your business from unproductive to highly efficient. Wasting time that you don’t have? Use these strategies to make your business more efficient, fast.

We can help you to figure out a way to best use social media to help your business thrive. Contact us to get started!

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Business

How to Build a Business with Real Staying Power

Starting a business isn’t hard. In fact, it is downright simple. In some states it only takes about $150 to pay the startup fees and then you’re good to go. Keeping a business going is the real trick. That takes a whole lot more work and organization. If you want to build a business that has the power to stay in the game, you must do the following.

Know Your Industry

In order to be successful, you need to know your industry inside and out. That should be a given, but you would be surprised how many people jump into a business before knowing what they are dealing with. You should understand who all the players are in your business.

Understand why it is that your industry exists, what are its strengths and weaknesses. Know who your competitors are. Some people like to say that they aren’t interested in competing against others. That they would rather focus on other things like improving themselves. If you aren’t careful, that attitude will have you eating the dust of your rivals. Instead, be aware of your rivals, but don’t be afraid to do your own thing.

Identify Your Most Loyal Customers

Nothing validates your business more than a paying customer. Until you have one of those, you can’t be sure of anything. When you have customers, you need to find out which ones are your most loyal. Customers who shop through multiple channels are often the most brand loyal. Once you’ve identified them, determine what keeps them coming back. This can help you to know how to increase your customer base and define your brand.

Plan Ahead

No one knows what the future will hold. But only a great fool will just wait for the future to arrive. You should never assume that what is working today will work tomorrow. Things can quickly change in your industry. Just consider how things have changed in business due to COVID-19. If you are looking ahead, you can use these changes to your advantage. If you don’t, you could be blindsided and left bankrupt. Don’t be afraid of the future, be excited for it. You can get an inkling of what is coming by paying attention to social movements, local and national politics, and upcoming innovations.

If you’re going to make it, the number one thing that you need is adaptability. However, this becomes more difficult as you grow. Make sure that you learn as much as possible, as soon as possible. This will allow you to make timely pivots that set your business up to make a powerful impact.

We can help you make the best decisions for your business when it comes to making a marketing plan. Book a consultation with us to get started on your journey toward success!

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Business

How Your Retail Business Can Still Come Out Strong During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus has hit the economy hard. Stay at home orders have caused many businesses to close their doors. People have lost their jobs, and this is causing them to spend less money. All in all, it can be a tough time to be a retail business. You shouldn’t give up hope though. You can still come out on top if you’re willing to adapt to the times.

Keep Your Customers Engaged

Acquiring new customers is expensive. So, you need to make sure that you aren’t losing your customers while your store front is closed. There are several creative ways to reach and serve your customers during this unknown time. You can connect with them through email and text message, but if you want to make an impact, try social media. With more and more people stuck inside at home, they are spending even more time on social media than normal. You could run some social media competitions. Ask customers to post a picture of their quarantine picture featuring one of your products as an entry into a giveaway.

Rethink Marketing and Advertising Strategies

Your normal marketing campaign isn’t going to cut it during coronavirus. If your store front is closed, rather than encouraging people to come into your business, you need to encourage them to go to your retail website. If your business is in an area where restrictions are relaxing and you can open your store front, you need to address the situation. In your advertisements, talk about what you are doing to promote customer safety. For example, talk about frequently wiping down surfaces and employees wearing masks. This will help make visitors feel safe when they come into your store.

Use Government Programs

The government is aware of the strain that has been placed on businesses. The government doesn’t want to see the economy destroyed. Several programs have been put in place that are designed to alleviate some of the financial difficulties that businesses are experiencing. It will be worth your time to check these out to see if you qualify. You could get assistance in paying your employees. This will help you avoid letting go of employees due to business constraints.

How you react during this pandemic is going to determine a lot about the future of your business. During tough times, successful owners and entrepreneurs are innovative and turn the situation to their advantage. That might seem tough, but it can be done. Your attitude is going to be your biggest limitation.

For more tips on getting through this trying time, check out How Your Business Can Do Its Part to Protect the Public Health

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Business

How Your Business Can Dominate in Its Industry

With so many emerging businesses, it can be difficult to know how you can make your business stand out. You have invested time, energy, and resources into making your business unique from the rest, and now is the time for you to show it off! Here is a list of things you can do to help your business start to dominate in its niche market:

Study Your Competition

Your business should be well-versed in the workings of your industry. This includes knowing how your competitors operate. You can learn a lot from other industry leaders about what things you could implement in your own business, and what things you should avoid. Learn from the mistakes of others before making them yourself. Beyond this, studying your competition will help you know exactly how your business is distinct from others, and this information can be used to your advantage when marketing to potential clients. It is important to note, however, that intelligence gathering should be limited to certain sources to be most effective. Competitive intelligence gathering focuses on public sources, such as news and relevant sources on Google.

Look for Under-Served Market Segments

If you are advertising to everyone, you are advertising to no one. Look for underserved segments of your market that you can become a pioneer in. Finding and sticking to a niche that is in demand will help you find your own brand and will attract future clients to you that have not found a supplier that fits their specific needs. When you become a pioneer in your underserved segment of the market, you will open yourself up to more clients than when you are trying to serve everyone in the broader market.

Get Exposure

Effective marketing is essential to helping your business dominate in its industry. Now that you’ve studied your competition and filled the holes you’ve seen in your market by becoming a pioneer in a specific niche, all that’s left is to get exposure for your business. Utilize free marketing sources such as social media outlets. Use a marketing expert to build a website with effective search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. Do all that you can to show your business wherever you can.

You’ve already designed a great product to serve clients and built up a great business to show it—the most difficult part is over! Now it’s a matter of buckling down and doing your researching, finding your niche, and gaining exposure for your business. So don’t wait, start now!

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Business

How Your Business Can Do Its Part to Protect the Public Health

Public health has never been more important than during COVID-19. It’s extremely important that everyone is doing their part to fight the spread of this disease. As a business there is a lot that you can do. The choices that businesses make will greatly determine the level of risk that their employees and clients face. To protect the public health, consider the following.

Go By Appointment Only

A crowded lobby is the perfect place for spreading illness. To keep customers from crowding your business, you can require them to make appointments and come in small numbers. You might think that this would hurt your business, but it will likely do a lot to help it. Currently, many customers are concerned about the dangers of visiting a packed establishment. By reducing the amount of people at your business, you will make it more comfortable for people to come. Customers will also have a more positive experience as their wait times are significantly reduced.

Use Virtual Visits

Some types of business must be conducted in person. In other cases, it’s preferable to be done in person, but not required. When possible, use virtual visits to protect your customers and clients. There are many video streaming services available that will allow you to use video chat to conduct your business. If you can’t accomplish a virtual visit, you should take measures to ensure visitors are protected from each other. This includes requiring employees to wear masks and regularly cleaning surfaces.

Work from Home

Having your employees work from home is a great way that your business can promote public health. Having fewer people in your buildings will allow you to follow social distancing guidelines more easily. Your employees will be able to work in the comfort of their own home and not have to worry about contracting COVID-19 from a coworker.

Having employees work at home may make it difficult to ensure that they stay on task. You can improve this by establishing quotas and requiring regular updates on progress. You could even have small groups come into the office on certain days so that you can occasionally monitor employee performance. With the reduction of personnel in your buildings, you may find that you have more space than you need. If your business can still function properly with employees working at home, you could save yourself some money on rent expenses by continuing this practice after social distancing ends.

As you do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19, you will be saving lives. You will also gain the respect of the community, your employees, and your clientele. This will strengthen your business and help it to grow.

Looking for some marketing help to keep getting customers during the pandemic? Take a look at what we have to offer.

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Business

How to Obtain the Capital to Start a Business Without a Bank Lender

Starting your own business can be both an exciting and daunting time in your life. One of the first obstacles you will most likely face is obtaining capital to get your enterprise off the ground. Although the route most normally taken is to simply apply for a bank loan, the reality is that not everyone qualifies. Fortunately, there are a few alternative methods you can use to fund your business without resorting to a bank

Attract Investors

One of the most common issues aspiring entrepreneurs have with bank loans is the amount offered to them. Since they are unproven, they might not be given the necessary capital to conduct their new business as they want to. However, it is possible to accumulate greater funding by gathering investors. Finding investors is often difficult, but the payoff is often better. According to Salesflare, the best way to attract them is to first carefully hone a sales pitch regarding your company. You should also be able to fully explain what you’re providing your investors in terms of security. This usually includes a percentage of the company, and it might involve royalties or some measure of control.

Tap Into Retirement Funds

Let’s say that investor funding is out of the question, and you need to find other ways to raise capital. This is completely understandable as many entrepreneurs simply don’t want to let go of company control. Many business owners starting out are now seeing the advantages of using the retirement funds from their 401(k) accounts to finance themselves. According to Franchise Gator, a major downside to this method is that failure of your business can mean delaying your retirement. Of course, if you want to have a clearer and less risky path to running a business, you can opt for using these funds to invest in a franchise. There are plenty of companies who are seeking people to become franchisees for their concepts.

Asset Finance

If the amount of capital needed is too low to warrant a traditional business loan or too high for investors to be interested in it, you do have a third option. Through asset financing, you are able to borrow against assets you currently hold. This might include equipment, intellectual property, stocks, or real estate, just to name a few. You may utilize the help of specialized providers who are specialists in this particular field and can steer you in the right direction.

There’s no doubt about it. Starting a business from the ground up can be expensive, and banks can be difficult to deal with. Fortunately, there are other ways to raise capital without a bank lender. By attracting investors, tapping into retirement funds, and asset financing you can be well on your way to obtaining the capital you need to start your business without a bank lender.

Need help managing your business’s online presence? Contact us today and we’ll be happy to help!

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Business

What You Can Do to Reward Your Top-Performing Employees for Their Hard Work

When you have good employees, it is important that you let them know they are appreciated, and you value their contribution to the company. Here are some simple ways you can give your employees the pat on the back that they deserve while boosting their morale at the same time.

Take Them to Lunch

Taking your top employee to lunch can be a great way for you to not only show them your appreciation but to also tell them. Throughout the meal, you can talk about how their work performance has improved or how their being a member of the team has helped you meet certain goals. Sharing a meal with someone is a great way to build a better connection as this setting is more of a relaxed atmosphere which will allow you to get to know each other better. This will also help to improve your communication with each other at work as the two of you have more of a rapport.

Give Them a Promotion

Nothing lets a worker know that they are appreciated more than giving them a raise. This is a clear way to tell them that they are doing such a great job you have decided to increase their responsibilities. Your employees will not only feel appreciated whenever you promote them to a higher position, but they will feel trusted and valued as well.

Give Them a Company Car

While driving a luxury vehicle can make your employees feel sophisticated, driving the company’s car can make them feel important. If you’re looking for something more sophisticated and higher end, consider choosing from popular European car models, such as a BMW sedan. This can help your employee represent your company well, especially after they have been promoted. A company car allows your employee to show others just how much they are valued and respected by the company they work for.

Paid Time Off

Another way that you can show your top employees that you appreciate their efforts is by rewarding them with a day off. When you give your employee the rest of the afternoon off or the next day with pay, this small gesture can go a really long way. Positive reinforcement like this will have a domino effect and cause other employees to want to do what it takes in order to gain rewards as well. Not to mention that the employee who was rewarded will want to continue to perform well in order to continue receiving affirmations and accolades.

VIP Parking

One of the things that lots of employees complain about is having to find a parking space whenever they arrive at work or return from lunch. This scavenger hunt can take away valuable minutes from their break or even cause them to be late walking through the door. If you reward your top-performing employee with their own VIP parking spot that has their name on it, they will not only feel like a big shot, but they will also perform even better when they are not aggravated by having to find a parking space.

New Office

If your employees typically work in a large open space with cubicles, one of the best gifts you can give to your employees would be their very own office. This will especially go over well when your employees typically share cubicles with other shifts, or the spaces are first come first serve. To finally have a personal space of their own where they can hang up their awards, certificates, family photos, and more will make coming to work that much more enjoyable and feel like an extension of their home.

If you want employees that will be loyal to the company and perform their best, then it is imperative that you show appreciation whenever they are doing that. Your notions can be as simple as a handwritten note or acknowledgment in front of the team before the start of the shift. No matter how small or grandiose, the best way to have great employees and keep them happy is to instill that greatness in them with positive reinforcement in order to let them know they are appreciated.

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Business

What to Know Before Becoming an Entrepreneur

Before embarking on your life-long dream of owning your own business, there are many things to consider. The ones that stand out are business law, risks, and opportunities. Understanding these three factors will help you become a strong independent business owner. They are not the only things you need to know, but they may be the most important.

Business Law

The laws that govern businesses range from large corporations to small businesses. As an entrepreneur, you will need to know these laws and how they apply to you as the business owner.

Business law involves taxation, employment law, employee safety (OSHA), child labor laws, independent contractor regulations mandated by the IRS, display of appropriate notices, fair labor standards, and workers’ compensation. According to SBA.gov, these laws apply to every business and, as the owner, you should become well acquainted with how these laws will impact the operations of your business. You will also want to know the laws involving franchising in the event you are opening a franchise.

The Risks

According to Franchise Gator, franchising is a great way to mitigate some of the risks of starting your own business. Starting a business on your own has some inherent risks, but with a good, solid plan, you can circumvent those risks by not letting them become obstacles.

The risks of starting your own business can appear as a complex set of issues. However, if you are prepared and ready for the challenge, you can learn from the benefits of the risks. The risks include abandoning a paycheck, giving up personal capital, relying on cash, estimating interest from the consumer public, and trusting key employees. Franchising is important in developing a business with you as the owner, but containing the brand of a large chain of businesses. Utilizing Franchise Gator can help reduce the time and effort in searching for franchises.

The Opportunities

The rewards associated with opening your own business may eventually outweigh the risks once the business is running smoothly. But before any rewards are enjoyed, the hard work must be done to develop the business.

According to Toppr, starting your own business can ensure financial independence, self-fulfillment, flexibility, power, and an increased income. If the business is operated and managed correctly, these rewards can become a reality.

Owning your own business is a rewarding experience. If the risks are handled properly, one can develop the business without losing control. The best thing to do is gain knowledge and information. Learn from other business owners about their failings as well as their wins. Take classes in entrepreneurship and business law. Don’t be afraid to exert yourself in building your business.

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