The thing about debt is that it is much easier to acquire than to get rid of. If you feel the pressure of your credits and loans growing, here are a few tips to help you manage and pay off your debt as quickly as possible. With the help of these useful steps, it may be a lot more attainable than you think.
If you’re setting up a business or you are wondering how to ramp things up in 2018, the internet is one of the most valuable tools you can use to win more clients. Think of the internet as your virtual megaphone to get more clients, announcing to the world that you have something amazing to offer. Unfortunately, in almost every industry there are a lot of other people with megaphones! Many of them are selling the same goods or services as you are, and in order to gain more clients you must cut through the noise and reach your target audience. I am going to share with you my top five tips to win clients online and turn your business into a success story.
Profits can be deceiving and while the goal for every entrepreneur should be to make a “profit”, this actually can be interpreted in a number of ways.
For instance, founders of not-for-profits often take large salaries and can live a lifestyle far above the average small business owner. And though the traditional idea of a profit might be how much money is left in your pocket at the end of the day, some might view an increase in company value (if you plan to sell) or non-monetary benefits as “profit”. Still others view improvements in lifestyle as a unique kind of “profit” for an entrepreneur.
Hiring an accountant is a great idea if you’re self-employed, or thinking about becoming self-employed. They can help you along the road every step of the way, from offering you fantastic financial advice when you’re getting started to managing your ongoing jobs and generally getting more clients.
I personally work with the team at Koustas chartered accountants. For years I resisted the idea of paying someone to sort out my finances thinking I was saving money by doing it myself. However, one of the first lessons you should always learn when running your own business is: your time = money. If I’m spending time doing something when I could be doing work for clients, I am losing money.
Placing other business goals ahead of your company cash flow is a big blunder as a business owner, and for many start-up businesses, this is a common norm. It is critical that you spend the time to establish your trademark and sales leads, at the same time, it is vital to develop a ceaseless cash flow (amount of cash coming into your business). Cash flow is the lifeblood of every business and if you can retain 10% or 20% of your monthly revenue, you will be able to pump the cash back into your business.
To have a consistent cash flow in your business, here are ways how to
Be Familiar with your Expenses
Several businesses offer discounts to attract and possibly retain a customer, right? We’ve have seen before haven’t we? Some have harnessed the use of a site like Scoopon and Groupon while others have done this on their own. Despite all this, you should offer a discount if you know the cost and the hit of hat you are offering, if not, prepare yourself for reverberations. As a business person who would like to see your merchandise grow, you should be aware of your comprehensive cost basis, how much you’d theoretically charge, the cost of what you’re offering and the profit gap on your products and services.
Pay bills when You have to
In regards to bills, the idea is that you try and get your outgoing invoices paid as soon as possible and pay your bills when you have to. However, it has to be said that there is an effect of paying your bills on time that builds a positive relationship with your suppliers. If you’re having trouble recouping bad debts then it’s always wise to get a debt collector to help, I always recommend Network Debt Collection. It is also a good idea to look for places where you are paying money (or about to spend money) when you don’t need to Microsoft Toolkit is a unique solution to saving money on something you would usually have to pay for.
Combat the Urge to Offer Immense Discount
There are 2 buttons that many business owners seem to battle with “panic and discount”. When discount overwhelms panic, the next step is to drop prices which are the biggest mistake you can ever do. Although it’s good to offer discounts once in a while, make sure you’re still being profitable when you offer discounts. Say after every three months you have a big sale, customers are not fools, they’ll just wait until that time you have a big sale and then will show up.
Encourage Repeat Business
If you can be able to land and retain customers (continuous) and especially if you’re in a volume-driven business like retail, you’d have cemented your cash flow, profit, and growth. In this case, what you need to do is consecrate yourself to see your customers coming back again and again.
Think about how you can make good use of loyalty programs, VIP offers and other frequent shopper programs. They are some of the best tools to systematize continual business.
What else are you waiting for? You have the tips, go for it!
Whenever we discuss Startup funding, the primary sources of funding that comes to our mind are Startup Accelerators, Angel Investors, Venture Capital Firms, Incubators, etc. However, we often undervalue or dismiss the idea of common option where you can opt for startup loans from a bank and fund your startup.
There are more than 5,00,000 small businesses launched in the United States every month. Not all of these enterprises run smoothly. At some point in time, most of these companies face financial issues and need the help of a third-party source for raising funds.
The internet has triggered a rapid change in the communication industry and the trend has gained momentum and, there is no pointer that this inclination is going to slow down anytime soon. The inception of Voice over Internet Protocol (VolP) has left many businesses to stem from their former telephone methodology. This new framework is offering business with lucre features besides having financial savings that come with VolP.
How VolP Works
Diverse from habitual telephone companies, with VolP you’ll not rely on telephone lines to make a link and disseminate. A broadband internet tie-in such as DSL, cable or satellite is used as an avenue to channel calls electronically over the internet. The recipient of the call is not a must should have a VolP connection simply because calls placed in this modus can reach any cell phone or telephone. This has made it easier to make calls around the globe for at a customary rate instead of extra amount. This also gives an opportunity for service providers to offer a linear rate monthly rate fee regardless of the service that is actually used (local or long-distance).
Although many businesses are now using VolP, there are some which still have the big question of whether VolP will save money or increase cost? The answer is yes, VolP help saves money and, there are sundry ways that this happens. Take a look
No International Calling Fee
Call cost is a prime consideration for many businesses especially if you make calls overseas to speak to manufacturers and distributors. With traditional phone lines, it is easier to accrue expensive cost but with VolP, you will reduce the cost because you will be wielding an internet connection to make calls. The best part is that many providers offer video conference and conferencing allowing you to communicate to a number of blocs at the same time. This can help you save some serious dollars besides enjoying a streamlined communication.
Call Stalking and Monitoring
VolP has features such as call tracking and calls recording which will help you increase your business coherence. With these features, you will be able to track he output of your sales team, inclusive of the metrics like a number of calls made each day and time spent on each call, assure quality control with regular reviews and improve staff tuition using good or bad call examples. You will able to keep your sales team on track and hit their targets each month.
Aerodynamic Employee Communication
A VolP system comes with workflow features such as Company-focused instant messaging, instant see where you can view colleagues and staff that is online and when, and peer to peer chat for an efficient and easier conference calls. With all these, your teams will communicate in time thus helping everyone gets work done in less time.
Operating a business is an extortionate affair; therefore, cutting back expenses is important. Getting your business setup with a business VolP phone system and plan is not only a business asset but it will reduce your communication costs substantially. You will have everything you need at the same time; you’d have reduced your overhead costs.
When it comes to matters of tax, most people don’t know what they don’t know! That’s why seeking out expert help is important.
The key to running a good business is finding experts, such as an accountant, business coach, bank manager or lawyer, who can add value.
When the end of the financial year approaches, the focus for most businesses is on how they can minimise their tax. But you should work with your accountant several times during the year not just at the end of the financial year. Quite often cashflow issues at this time can reduce your options for reducing your tax.
A trustworthy accountant who can work with you on developing strategies to take your business forward, is not easy to find. Many accountants are either busy tending to compliance or don’t have the skills to be a business adviser. Still, you shouldn’t give up the search.
It is one of the oldest cliches in small business, but it is one of the most misunderstood. It says one of the greatest problems with small business people is that they spend too much time working in their business and not enough time on their business.
When it comes to government money or assistance and contracts there are so many business owners out there with their heads down, ‘doing it, doing it, doing it’ as Michael Gerber has said in the past, that they don’t see the opportunities just waiting to be discovered.
Gerber, the author of the E-Myth Revisited, a perennial international best-seller, differentiates the entrepreneur from the technician, who simply does the work in his or her own business. The entrepreneur works on the business.
Working on doesn’t just mean thinking laterally about market opportunities, which searching for government contracts – at federal, state and local government levels – could mean. It also means thinking about government assistance out there that could make you take your business to the next level, to a new overseas market or to network into other groups who could tell you something you don’t know and create opportunities for you at the same time.
Two classic suppliers of government assistance that every creative business owner – oh, let’s call them entrepreneurs – should think about are AusIndustry and Austrade.
AusIndustry has a myriad of money grants that can help bankroll research and development (R&D) and ultimately innovation. Meanwhile, Austrade’s export development grant has become a great encouragement for entrepreneurs who think outside the domestic market square.
I recently saw a guy who has patented an invention, all on his own time and it cost him tens of thousands of dollars to develop the concept and patent it. Luckily for him, while he was too busy working in his business to see the opportunities, his accountant did his thinking on the business for him and put him in touch with an expert adviser who took him to AusIndustry.
The advice he received helped him add protection to his patent for overseas opportunities and showed him how to access government grants. This guy was lucky to have a lateral thinking accountant – most business people don’t and miss out.
For inventive business owners committed to R&D, looking for money to make their dream come true, be aware that AusIndustry has helped thousands of businesses and many have received hundreds of thousands of dollars. AusIndustry has opened the doors for many exporters and its Export Market Development Grant offers assistance in defraying the costs of the promotion of a product or service overseas.
The bottom line is if you are making money overseas, whether it is via transporting products by plane, ship or eBay, there are many monetary reasons to contact Austrade.
If you are too time poor to work on your business, use a search engine – contact government bodies or industry groups to find expert consultants who know how to help small operators tap into government assistance.
Finally, if you are afraid of the expense of using experts to position yourself for government contracts or assistance, then start putting on your networking thinking caps.
Many businesses have targeted various government departments by putting their hand up to serve on various government-related committees. Some offer their time and expertise to be judges for awards or offer to help in business community groups such as Business Enterprise Centres.
By being on the boards of these groups they have worked their way into the favour of government departments and public servants, winding up with lucrative contracts.
Where there is a will and a damn smart plan, you can put yourself in the right place at the right time to pick up a plum public prize.
Edward de Bono said great business owners think outside the square; they are lateral thinkers.
Over the years, I’ve pondered what really holds people back and I reckon the greatest hurdle to success is old habits. You see it with athletes when they change coaches, or even get a coach for the first time. They excel. Deep down, anyone who wants to build a business is also in the wealth building game.
You need to be inspired
Building wealth is like building a great business – it not only rests on getting the fundamentals right, it also requires commitment to doing things right.
Of course, business owners hopefully use their operation to create a platform for wealth building. And putting more effort into building a great business makes more money sense.
Unfortunately, like eating junk food, it always seems easier to do the wrong or easy thing instead of the right or hard task.
That’s where inspiration comes in, and that’s why so many high achievers I’ve dealt with never underestimate the importance of being inspired.
Anyone cynical towards the importance of inspiration and motivation has never owned a small business. Business owners know that at times when deadlines, suppliers, customers, staff and even yourself are all piling the pressure on, recalling words of wisdom, experience or success can simply lift you.
Mingling with magic
Not too long ago I did a ‘talkfest’ road show, which meant I worked as a master of ceremonies with some absolutely inspirational people.
They included Lauren Burns, who won a gold medal in taekwondo at the Sydney Olympics, and Ben Darwin, the Wallaby rugby union player whose career ended prematurely with a terrible neck injury in the semi-final of the 2003 World Cup against the Kiwis.
Then there was that great cricketer, Bruce Yardley, who was named international cricketer of the year in the 1980s and who played with great Aussies like Thommo, Lillee and the Chappells.
Another was a guy called Tony Mowbray, who not only battled the seas of that tragic Sydney to Hobart Yacht race in 1998, when many lives were lost, but he also broke the record for sailing solo around the world.
Mimic the magic
Individuals who have taken on the odds and pulled off big results should always be studied. The best way to build a great business is to copy the best.
I once observed young artists copying the masters in the British Museum, and that’s what would-be master business people should be doing to – mimicking the magic.
Follow the success trail
Some champions can give you small yet enduring hints for success, while others can give you a virtual blueprint.
One unforgettable line that Lauren Burns uses is: “I think success leaves clues.” She told her audiences that successful people leave clues on how to win. Working hard was important, but she said when she was young she did too much and overtrained. When she accessed experts at the Australian Institute of Sport, she worked smarter.
One short story before I finish. This is not about a well-known star, but a local hero who turned around a potential poverty problem.
This fella left the priesthood in his 50s and when you cut out of God’s service, there is no superannuation or divine pension.
He had ‘diddly squat’ and there’s not many jobs for out-of-work priests.
After talking to a money expert, he decided the only way he could catch up in the money stakes was to buy ramshackled homes – he didn’t have much money – and he simply did them up and sold them.
He had somewhere to live while he did them up and, as it was his principal residence, he was able to sell the homes with no capital gains tax.
He pulled off the triple play. First, he built up his wealth, so he is set to retire with a lump sum better than most Australians. Second, he gave himself a job, which was really a development business in doing up the properties, and, third, he had somewhere to live.
Part of the inspiration was the knowledge that there is no capital gains tax on your principal residence, while the other part of the boost was the money expert who convinced him he could do it.
Spend a penny to make a pound
We all can do it, but we need education, commitment and inspiration. Often experts or coaches can show small business owners how to do it better.
Too many business owners are not willing to face what is wrong with them and therefore what is holding back their business. That’s where a pair of independent eyes can work wonders.
By the way, the advice and the recommendations will generally cost money, but it will often be the best money ever spent.
o Look to others to inspire you if you feel yourself getting flat.
o Mingle with magical people by going to seminars and reading books or this column!
o Make a determined commitment to write a success plan and mimic what successful people do.
o Follow your success plan – if you go off the trail, get more inspiration to get back on it.
o Spend a penny to make a pound.