Posts Tagged "free small business resources"

Trashing Financial Models, Games For Sales and Other Small Business News

Posted by on Feb 22, 2013 in Entrepreneur | 0 comments

Startups, Throw Out Your Financial Models: The Argument For Lean Modeling

Analyzing Financials

In an interesting article on Forbes.com, J.J. Colao argues for a simplification of financial models for the next generation of startups.  Create a way of tracking growth and projections in your financials that is lean and fits your entity.  The key is making sure that whatever metrics you use in your business, that they are tied to your long-term goals.

Measure those things that are important to your business in a way that will allow you to progress and adjust as necessary.  Make sure that your financials show you the information that you need to know and that will allow you to make the most beneficial decisions for your business.  As you build a strategy that works for you remember to adjust it as your business adjusts.

Also, remember that budgets and projects are a necessary part of doing business.  If you are aware of what is going on in your business, you are better equipped to succeed.

 

The Key To Motivating Employees: Make Sales A Game

We are dealing in an environment with a workforce that may see things differently than the past.  The rising generation reacts and adapts to changes differently and is motivated differently.  This article from Fast Company analyzes the new buzzword in technology, ‘gamification’ and outlines how it might be used to improve sales within your business.

What is your business doing?  Have you ‘gamified’ any departments in your business?

 

Whatever Can Go Wrong, Will. Start Up Anyway

Entrepreneurs face challenges.  They always well.  Things are not easy and that is what makes the success so much more fulfilling.  The above article from Inc. illustrates the challenges that startups face and the rewards that come from staying the course.  I definitely appreciated the inspiration.

What challenges have you faced in launching your business?  How have they been overcome?  Leave a comment below and let us know:

 

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Get Inspired! Knowing What Motivates You Improves Your Business:

Posted by on Feb 20, 2013 in Inspire | 0 comments

We are all motivated by different things.  Some take inspiration from friends and family.  Others look to nature and the world around them.  We even have famous examples or popular stories that connect us to people who would otherwise be strangers.  Inspiration is an excellent motivator and often calls us to action and increased success.  The key is taking the inspiration and doing something with it.  Here are some ways that you can use your inspiration to improve your business productivity:

1) WRITE IT DOWN!

It is critical that whenever you have one of those ‘Aha!’ moments that you write it down.  All too often we get a great idea but are pulled somewhere else and we do not follow-up on it.  Make sure that your write down what you feel inspired to do.  Also, make a note of what sparked the inspiration and map out in writing what you are going to do with the inspiration.

2) SHARE YOUR INSPIRATION

Create accountability by talking about how your were inspired.  It allows you to work through the possible kinks and get feedback on the direction that you are thinking about taking.  By ‘saying it out loud’, it makes things more real and it allows you to see how serious you are about the inspiration.  Also, it gives you help in executing the inspiration when properly discussed.

3) REFLECT AND MEDITATE

I have found that it is always useful to take some time to reflect and mediate on what is going on in life.  Take the things that you have written down and think about them.  Try to connect again with what motivated you and further develop the ideas and concepts that you are working with.  Give yourself a little time every day to be able to ponder and be inspired.

4) REVISIT WHAT INSPIRES YOU

If it inspired you, revisit it.  Make sure that you have a plan to follow-up and improve on the ideas that have motivated you.  Put yourself in a position to be inspired again.  Always be ready to progress and grow by reviewing the things that are most important to you.

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Four Money Saving Tactics for Your Small Business to Try in 2013

Posted by on Jan 8, 2013 in finances | 0 comments

Money saving tactics

Small businesses face a number of challenges from a variety of sources, because of their limited revenue small business success can be won or lost with a relatively small amount of money. In order to save money and help your business be more profitable this year these are some tactics to consider.

1. Eliminate Paper Wherever Possible

Electronic isn’t always better but in a lot of cases it is cheaper, electronic customer files require less storage space and are ready to be pulled up in a second. Electronic paychecks for employees remove the cost of printing checks and can be scheduled on a recurring basis so that they require less time and effort.

Even things that don’t seem like they would be easy to make electronic can be, like offering electronic invoices can allow your customers to choose whether or not to print and save your business money. Scanning documents and then sending out copies electronically is cheaper than making multiple hard copies for employees or customers as well.

2. Make Your Credit Cards Work for You

This tactic includes several different ways of making credit cards more efficient, so choosing a 0 percent balance transfer card and moving your debts onto it is an effective way to minimize the amount of interest that your business is paying. If your business doesn’t usually carry a balance, look for a credit card that has low annual fees and a longer grace period.

As well as avoiding paying interest, certain credit cards actually come with benefits. For instance, if your business flies people around regularly, consider getting the best airline miles credit card available. This way, when you make necessary purchases for your business you are also accruing miles for flights.

3. Buy Used or Lease Equipment

Equipment is a major expense for certain businesses and there is often no way around it. However, costs can be greatly reduced by choosing to purchase used equipment or lease, but both options have their pros and cons.

Used equipment is considerably cheaper to obtain than new but may have an extremely limited or nonexistent warranty, and it also typically requires a large, one-time purchase. Leasing may cost more in the long run since you never stop paying but it may also include costs such as maintenance and repair.

4. Prune and Target Your Mailing List

A mailing list can be an effective way for a small business to reach people but it needs to be properly targeted. Blanketing an area with advertisements is usually expensive and not worthwhile since most people won’t be interested, so instead, prune your mailing list to just the people you have purposefully selected and spend the rest of the money on your ad campaign.

To ensure that your ads are reaching the correct people, take advantage of the U.S. Postal Services’ offer to clean up your mailing list for free. They will correct addresses and add the 4-digit ending zip codes to your list, this may make your mailings eligible for barcode discounts and will ensure that your ads reach the people they are aimed at.

 

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New Years’ Resolutions and Business

Posted by on Jan 8, 2013 in Plan | 0 comments

It has become very popular to make New Year’s Resolutions every year.  Whether or not we managed to keep our commitments and to reach the goals that we’ve set, most of us are still very open to make new resolutions for the upcoming year with the hope that we will be able to stay focused and accomplish them.

Some of the most common New Year’s resolutions that people make can be visualized below with the help of Mindomo mind mapping software:

NewYearsPic1

Our actions are very much related to the type of decisions that we make and the resolutions that we choose to define as guidelines for our choices.  Depending on the areas we focus on, our resolutions may be structured according to our personal, family or business interests and focus.  Since our lives are often defined by the choices we make, we have to be ready to live with the consequences of our choices, be they positive or negative.  Each day represents another chance for us to practice our decision-making skills and to define or redefine our resolutions.  Nevertheless, the end of one year and the beginning of another is a great opportunity for us to evaluate at a larger scale and from a yearly perspective our commitment level regarding the resolutions we’ve made and the areas which need improvement to keep a better focus.

Just as people have their own personality, mindset and decision-making styles, companies and organizations also have their uniqueness when it comes to making decisions and identifying New Year’s Resolutions.  In most cases though, yearly priorities can be made clear especially when most companies or business leaders involved in a specific economic sector have similar interests and pursuits.

In a recent global survey conducted by SLI Systems the findings showed that approximately 500 retailers who participated in the survey defined their priorities and New Year’s Resolutions for 2013 to be focused on the enhancement of website search, SEO strategies and mobile commerce.

What are the actions or strategies undertaken by your company?

Here are some suggestions you may want to consider in order to sketch out New Year’s Resolutions for your team, projects or organization:

 

1. Improve your Brainstorming Sessions

Start using a mind mapping app during your meetings where you can keep all your notes, comments and resources in one place.

NewYearsPic2

 

2. Increase your Team Productivity

Engage team members in real-time collaboration and have them experience the efficiency of building on each other’s ideas as they develop business strategies on a mind map.

NewYearsPic3

3. Expand your Collaborations

As you plan out different projects, invite external collaborators or business partners to work together with you on the same mind map, to share their ideas and contribute with valuable feedback.

 

4. Make your Products Stand Out

You can create outstanding presentations starting from the information you’ve laid out on a mind map.

NewYearsPic4

 

5.  Provide and Get Instant Feedback

Your comments are very valuable for your collaborators and team members and if you want to have maximum efficiency they can be instantly accessed by them if you are working together on the same project using a mind mapping app program.

NewYearsPic5

 

6.  Stay Faithful to your Deadlines

A realistic deadline can be gold for your business success, especially if you know how to time your activities and pace your activities.

NewYearsPic6

 

Naomi Mihut BloggerNaomi Mihut

Copywriter and Client Relations Manager at Mindomo

“Creativity is the gift that doesn’t have to be wrapped up in luxurious paper but has to be shared with others to make it valuable.”

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Game Changer: Getting Serious About Your Website

Posted by on Dec 19, 2012 in Tech | 0 comments

If a company is not willing to take the time to put a professional website together, customers will notice because today’s customers are able to visit thousands of similar businesses from the comfort of their homes. They are searching for the best deals available from their smartphones on buses, trains, and in their cars, so your website has become the business card of the 21st century.

To get serious about your business, you must focus on a website, and there are several things that go into making a good website that customers can find and use. Implementing these strategies can help you stand out on the Internet for the right reasons.

 

Business Website

Build Your House upon a Rock

First, you must have a stable platform that can handle incoming traffic, and the platform must operate smoothly and load quickly. Definitely invest into a mobile version of your site, with how prevalent smartphones are, this needs to be available, so you may opt to change web hosting services to find a better platform for your website.

Blog About It

Secondly, you’ll want to ensure you have a blog and it is updated regularly, and this can be about promotions, sales, new products, initiatives, and other information you want to share with customers. You should update often enough to keep people coming back, because when there are too many days in between each update, it starts to looks as though you are absent and have forgotten about your business completely. As these people come back to your website, offer them discount codes, coupons, and newsletters or coupon pages directly to their inbox, as this can help boost your online sales.

Search Engine Optimization

Next, if you’re not using search engine optimization, you’re missing the boat. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the technique of putting commonly searched words and phrases to find similar companies into your website, this strategy helps your page be found by search engines. Google estimates 90 percent of sales occur on the first page of search results, and the top three links account for the majority of those sales, so hiring an SEO specialist, or having a team within your company can help move your business into those coveted spots.

Start to Get More Social

Finally, take advantage of social media, as these new tools are helping to connect customers and bring new sales. Major firms use social media to speak with customers directly, gauge interest in new products, and test new advertising strategies, and smaller companies use social media to build brand recognition and make a name for themselves. Social media is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to build a following and customers for life.

If you’re not serious about your website, customers won’t come back, so learn more about and take advantage of fast, stable web hosting reseller services, utilize SEO and social media programs, and offer customers a reason to visit your website time and again.

Author Bio

Melisa Cammack has been freelance writing for several years, and is currently looking into getting her first book published next year. She is the proud mother of three children, and is the co-owner of a small business with her husband, and has recently relocated to Western Australia.

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