Is It Time to Sell Off My Business and Retire?

retireHow do you know when it’s time to sell your business and retire?

Selling up and retiring can be rewarding if you plan it right – you’ll have time to do all those things you always meant to do – but it’s still a big life transition that needs to be carefully planned.

So just how can you best plan the future sale of your business?

Start Planning Early

When it comes to selling your business and retiring, the most important thing is to make sure you are ready to retire.

Planning your retirement is best done as soon as possible.

Many business owners make the mistake of thinking that when it comes time to retire, it’s as simple as putting their business on the market, getting a good sum of cash for it, and living off that in their golden years.

However, selling up is rarely that straightforward.

Many business owners don’t get the amount they expected to get from their business, and find it hard to live off the proceeds of the sale. That’s why planning early matters.

Take Care of Your Finances

It’s a good idea to build a plan for retirement that doesn’t rely on the sale of your business. Of course that sale can be part of your plan, but a backup plan to cover you if the business doesn’t sell for the price you expect is important.

As the article “Retirement 101: What are bonds?” points out, bonds can be a valuable part of your retirement savings.

You might also look into retirement plans, high yield savings accounts or other investments. The important thing is to know how much you will need to retire on, and put a plan in place that ensures you will achieve that.

Even if you think you won’t be retiring for many years yet, the time to start planning it is now. After all, the day will come when you either want to retire, or find that due to circumstances outside of your control, you have to.

Be prepared for that with a solid financial plan.

Build an Exit Plan Now

An exit plan is your blueprint for how you will wrap up your business when the time comes, including selling it on.

Starting your exit plan now means you can work towards it, making business decisions that not only help you now, but will make your business strong in the future when the time to sell arrives.

A key part of your exit plan should be preparing your business for success without you.

If you are in a situation where your business is built around you, selling it on could prove tricky. It’s important to prepare by making sure your business will be relatively easy to hand over to the next person, and will make a viable option for another business owner.

Growing your business now is key to a good sale when you want to retire.

By investing your energy in growing your business and making is as successful as possible, you will both generate profits that you can invest in your future retirement, and build a strong business that is more likely to sell for a good price.

The answer to “is it time to sell?” is different for everybody, but a good rule of thumb is that it’s time to sell when you both want to do so, and have a plan in place that means you will be financially comfortable, whether you are selling up early, or staying in your business to the last minute.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on topics including social media, SEO, retirement planning, and small business topics.

What Can Employers and Prospective Employees Get from Job Boards?

people_mgmtThe 2015 Job Boards Trends Survey results are in, and some definite trends can be distinguished among the nearly 200 respondents questioned for the survey. Among them, five trends in particular can be used to job board owners and users advantage:

  1. Half of respondents get at least 50,000 unique hits every month

When you consider that most job board owners rely on site traffic for advertising revenue and for credibility to build more employer subscribers, 50,000 unique hits is encouraging. This would be a great statistic to advertise to job seekers and employers alike. The traffic can be interpreted to mean that more job candidates are visiting those sites, or it could be read to mean that more employers are using that particular job board to find qualified employees. Either way, those kinds of traffic numbers are positive.

  1. The quality of applicants is viewed as valuable for 80% of respondents

This particular statistic bodes well for job applicants, employers, and job board owners. The quality of the job candidates directly reflects on the quality of the job board. It also influences how many employers will use that job board to find quality candidates. In turn, job seekers will be able to rely on those types of job boards to be able to choose from hundreds of jobs. This one is a win-win all round.

  1. Half of respondent sites get 20% of traffic from mobile devices

As the following article looks at, of the 5 job board trends in 2015, this is perhaps the most telling. You might think that people are at home on their PC or laptop, giving full and serious attention to looking for a new job. But the reality is that many of the job seekers visiting these job boards may already be employed, albeit unhappily. So, they are checking out the job boards from their iPhones and tablets while on break, at lunch, or even in the middle of company meetings. Job board owners need to sit up and pay attention to this one. Their sites should be responsive and mobile ready at the least.

  1. LinkedIn is threatening in a big way

In fact, most of the job board owner respondents mentioned LinkedIn as one of the top threats to their revenue. Why is that? If you think that LinkedIn is just another social media site, you’re wrong. It’s become one of the top professional networking sites that can be used to drum up business, offer services, and yes – find a job. Job candidates should be building their LinkedIn profiles just as arduously as they build up their resumes, because this trend isn’t going away.

  1. General jobs board sites get more traffic than niche sites

Specifically, niche job boards get between 5 and 20 new applications each day, whereas general sites get between 11 and 30 new applications each day. But before you go running out to turn your niche job board site into a general one, consider that the uniqueness and quality of your candidates may be better suited to your employer subscriber base. The best course of action in this case may be no action. Sit back and wait, and the tide may turn. Staying on trend with survey results; watching what the competition is up to is always good business; especially when your business is matching employers with qualified employees. About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices.

Are You in the Business of Selling VoIP?

voipIf you’re in the business of selling VoIP phone service, then there are some important facts your business should know. Besides, thoroughly describing all the facts and benefits VoIP provides will help increase sales.

Here are just a few helpful and beneficial facts about VoIP:

Call Routing

When selling VoIP services, it’s important to put benefits front and center. One such benefit is the call routing feature that most VoIP services offer.

With call routing, your clients can create a list of numbers that their office calls are redirected to before going to voicemail.

Many business owners are on the go, which makes call routing of the utmost importance. Instead of missing a call at the office, calls can be redirected to your client’s smart phone as well as their home phone.

The fact that most VoIP services offer this feature is a huge selling point for businesses of all kinds.

Communication Flexibility

It’s important that your clients know VoIP services offer communication flexibility.

Make sure your clients know they can use their existing office phones – all they need is an easy to use USB VoIP converter. VoIP converters allow your customers to use all the same features of their existing telephones, which reduces upfront costs.

As the following article notes, flexibility and scalability are just 1 of 3 facts your company needs to know about selling VoIP services.

Your clients can increase or decrease their call capacity on a weekly or monthly basis. This is great for companies just starting out as well as businesses that are expanding offices.

Call Reports

Businesses want the ability to track their calls as well as their data usage. VoIP services offer call reports that help improve bandwidth utilization as well as inbound and outbound calling practices.

Call reports allow businesses to view data usage by specified dates.

Likewise, with detailed inbound and outbound call reports, businesses can also track their call histories, including costs, call durations, and call origination locations.

All of this helps your clients optimize their communications.

Easy Integration

Many of your clients probably use other applications in unison with their phone service.

VoIP takes the idea of integration a step further with full integration of existing applications including social media, email, and instant messaging services.

With VoIP, your customers can integrate calling services into existing applications in a number of different ways.

For example, your clients can use a click-to-call feature on their website, deliver voicemails through email, and even include call icons on their social media pages.

Automated Menus

The automated calling features that VoIP provide are advantageous to your clients in a multitude of ways. For example, automated menus allow customers to call your clients’ businesses and choose from a list of helpful options and extensions.

This not only saves your clients time and money, it also makes their businesses seem more established and professional.

If your VoIP service provides automated menus, make sure your clients know – it’s a major selling point. When you’re ready to successfully sell VoIP; the facts and benefits above will make your service that much more attractive.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including small business and VoIP.

Some Women Putting Careers in the Forefront, Not Families

careerwomanWomen in their 20’s who don’t have children know the question well; those in their 30’s even better … “So when are you having children?”

Even those women not married get asked this the older they get. For some, it’s just a simple matter of putting their career first.

Whether single or married, they just want to focus on their career and stability and probably wish people would stop asking about kids.

As the following article, “When you’re not ready to be a mom” looks at, the reasons are yours, and no one should judge.

Some Reasons Women are Delaying Motherhood

According to an article in The Washington Post, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently found that the pregnancy rate for women in their early 20s declined noticeably from 2000 to 2008, while the pregnancy rate for women older than 30 crept up.

In the past 50 years, the average age of first-time parents has jumped from 21 to 25, and it’s even older for college-educated women.

Among the factors at play:

Education

Many women are seeking higher degrees. If a woman is seeking her law degree or doctorate, it would probably make sense to wait on having a child. Perhaps it’s not a higher degree, but an additional one keeping babies at bay.

With more educational opportunities, women are often putting children on hold.

Career

This is a biggie. Many women want to be settled in their careers before having children. Perhaps they travel for work and don’t want the added strain of having a baby. Or a big promotion is just ahead, and they want that secured before thinking of being a mom.

If a job is keeping you up all night working, a baby wouldn’t make it any easier. For some, it’s a matter of being more financially stable and more grounded in a career.

Often people need to move locations during the establishment of a career. You go where the company needs you.

For some women, they’d rather be settled in a home where they know they’ll stay before having kids. They can take the time picking out neighborhoods and school districts.

This again, is all dependent on focusing on careers first.

It makes sense that the more established a career is, the more financially sound you are and the easier it will be to add a child into the family.

Also, with advances in medical technology, it’s not unusual for women to have children late into their 40’s.

Walk into any preschool Muffins with Moms Morning, and you’ll see moms of all ages – from moms in their early 20’s to the moms in their late 40’s.

For whatever the reason, it’s good that women now have these options – of education, of careers, and of motherhood at any age.

About the Author: Heather Legg writes about social media, careers and parenting.

Are You Ready to Grow Your Business?

busgrowthWhatever your business, it’s always a good idea to look towards growth.

There are many ways you can grow your business but one thing is certain: Paying attention to how you are growing and nurturing your business should always be a priority.

From improving your marketing to diversifying your offerings, what are some of the key areas you should pay attention to in order to keep your business growing?

Improve Your Marketing

Marketing is the means by which you get your message out into the world. When it comes to finding new clients, and connecting with existing ones, marketing is key. That’s why it pays to give plenty of attention to your marketing strategy.

Think carefully about the value you can offer to your customers. How can you improve their lives, and what makes you a better choice than the competition? By honing your message in this way, you can make sure your customers hear it loud and clear.

Part of your marketing strategy should be to establish yourself as the go-to expert for your customer’s needs. By offering knowledge and advice you will be so much more than simply another product or service, which will help your business to keep growing.

Diversify Your Offerings

As the article “How to Become a home Inspector with a Growing Business” points out, if you branch out in what you do, you’ll offer that much more to your customers. If you are looking to grow your business, finding potential ways to diversify is a good place to start.

You might consider adding another product or service that complements the one you already offer.

For example, if you sell gardening equipment, you could add high quality seeds to your line. Find something that fits well with your existing products.

A good place to look for opportunities to diversify is in your customers’ feedback. What have they told you they would like from you? Are there any problems they need solving that you can help them with?

Partner with Another Business

Partnering with another business is a good way to grow your own business, often at no extra cost to you.

Finding another business to partner with not only helps you to raise more awareness of your brand, you will also benefit from the subtle endorsement of your business. After all, your partner’s customers know they can trust them, so their partnership with you will stand you in good stead.

To find a business to partner with, look for a business that offers services which complement yours without being in competition with them. For example, if you run a gym, you might partner with a local nutritionist, as your respective client bases are likely to have shared interests.

Partnering with another business also boosts your reputation, as customers who come to you will find themselves with helpful information about another business that can offer them something of value.

Target New Markets

As well as expanding your offerings, you might also consider reaching out with your existing products or services to new markets.

Of course you will want to choose your target market carefully, but with good planning you might find a rich source of heretofore undiscovered potential customers.

One way to expand your target market is to look for customers who have something in common with your existing target market.

For example, if you offer financial services for small to medium-sized enterprises why not expand and target local sole traders? Or if you normally sell your products direct from home, why not see if you can expand your target market by selling via a local retail outlet?

You may well find that with a little modification your products or services will work well for customers you hadn’t thought of reaching out to.

If you want to secure the future of your business, start looking for ways to grow it.

By growing your business now, you will be open to new opportunities and possibilities that will allow your business to grow, adapt and stay strong for many years.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on topics including social media, SEO, how to grow your business, and small business topics.

Resume Perfection: What To Include and What Not To

talented_candidateWhen it comes to resume perfection, there is some information you should definitely include and some you shouldn’t.

Employers want enough background to make their decision, but too much can oftentimes detract from your outstanding qualities.

With helpful job-hunting tips in mind, here are 5 things to include and 5 things not to include on your resume:

What to Include

Building the prefect resume is all about putting the right information front and center.

Although some information, work experience, is a given, there is some out-of-the-box details you might want to include:

  1. Include Facts and Figures – Whenever possible, you should include facts, figures, and other quantifiable data in your resume. Hiring managers love numbers, especially when they help explain your accomplishments. So, instead of saying you raised money in a company fundraiser, say exactly how much and how you went about doing it.
  2. Think Keywords – With the advent of online job recruiting sites, more and more companies are using automated resume screening software to help handle the increase in applications. As a result, it’s important to include job position keywords in your resume that come directly from the job listing. Doing so helps the automated scanning equipment find your resume.
  3. Don’t Neglect URLs – As the following article looks at, if you’re trying to figure out how to prepare your resume for a cosmetology career or any other line of work, don’t forget to include relevant URLs. Whether you have a professional blog or a few reputable social media profiles, sharing URLs on your resume will give employers a more in-depth idea of your abilities and talents.
  4. Include Failures – It might sound counter-intuitive, but including past failures on your resume, whether it’s a failed business venture or other, can actually prove to employers that you’ve learned from your mistakes. Likewise, including failures also shows employers you take risks and still strive for success.
  5. Don’t Forget About Your Successes – A resume is the one place where you should gloat about yourself. As long as it’s relevant to the job, including awards and other recognition will put you ahead of other applicants.

What Not to Include

Just as there are key details to include on your resume, there are also some details that are better left off:

  1. Unrelated Work Experience – If you’re applying for a job in accounting, hiring managers aren’t going to care about your past job working as a camp counselor or waiter. In other words, make sure the work history you include on your resume is relevant to the job at hand.
  2. Base Your Objectives in Reality – Employers love go-getters. However, don’t go over the top with your objectives statement. Being confident, but also reasonable, is the most attractive part of any new recruit.
  3. Keep Hobbies to Yourself – Hobbies are a good thing to have, but employers don’t really care what you do with your free time. Including your hobbies on your resume says to employers that there’s something in your life that will detract from your work.
  4. Avoid Typos – If there’s one thing you definitely want to leave off your resume, it is poor grammar and typos. One poorly placed typo could be a deal breaker for a stingy hiring manager.
  5. Non-professional Contacts – If a contact can’t represent you professionally or say something meaningful to your character, leave them off your resume. It’s that simple.

When you’re ready to send off those job applications, keep in mind the resume pointers above.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including job hunting and resume writing.

Going All In on App Development

If you’re running a business in 2015, technology can’t be an afterthought. If it is, you will be lucky to be in business a decade from now, perhaps even shorter than that.

software_engineerFor many of today’s consumers, they are shopping, traveling, dealing with healthcare issues and more via their smartphones and other technological gadgets, something that the business owner can’t overlook.

As part of your need to connect with consumers through apps, how good is your company’s app development?

If you haven’t put much time and money into building the right business app, now would be a good time to do some investing, especially as more consumers demand such technology.

Finding the Right Apps

In order to know what consumers want, make sure your company is doing its fair share of research. Staying on top of the latest consumer trends, needs and requests can be demanding, but it is essential to delivering what they want.

There are a number of ways to stay on top of app trends, allowing you to find the right Android app developers to configure the perfect app technology for your business.

Along with visiting tech websites and reading up on technology blog posts, another of these means is social media.

By being engaged on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and others, you can see more evidence of how consumers are browsing for and ultimately making purchases.

Social media is a great networking tool for your business to inquire about what consumers need to make their shopping experiences hassle-free, quick, and ultimately successful.

Some examples of how the right app can make your business prosper:

  • If you run an eatery, you want to make the eating/delivering/carry-out process as easy as possible for customers. While the days of customers calling in food orders is not extinct, more and more consumers simply use their apps to place an order, then pick it up at their convenience. Whether you run a restaurant or a local sports pub that serves food along with drinks, customers can place the order in less than a minute. In some eateries, customers can take advantage of a walk-up counter for delivery via mobile orders and avoid long lines;
  • For those running hotels and other hospitality-related businesses, the right app can bring you more guests on a daily basis. Remember the old days when travelers had to look through magazines, newspapers and/or pamphlets to get information and even reviews on where to stay and what to do once they got there? Sure, some travelers still do that, but many others are using apps that detail not only the amenities at their hotel of choice, but also area nightlife, shopping, day trips and more. Your app should make it easy for travelers to learn all about your hotel or resort property, along with directing them to area businesses that they might be interested in.

Finally, no matter what your niche is in the business world, making sure you get paid by customers on time is crucial to keeping your revenue stream going.

There are various apps you can turn to that allow you to easily invoice your customers on a regular basis, increasing the odds you will get paid on time. This is also a great means by which to keep track of your records, allowing you to avoid a trail of paper.

As you can see, having the right business app is not something to take for granted in 2015 and beyond.

If you don’t have one, take the time to research what technology works best for your company, allowing you to develop more business.

About the Author: Tom Davis writes for a variety of websites on topics such as technology and growing your small business

Speed Ahead with the Cloud for Your Business

mediaIf your business is trying to make the most of the cloud, then super speed can help. That’s right, super speed in cloud computing will help your business avoid latency issues and optimize usage.

Here are just a few ways super speed will improve your business’s cloud experience:

Cloud in Business

Cloud computing is a growing trend in the business world. Not only does the cloud give businesses of all kinds computing flexibility, it also helps growing businesses scale their computing needs on an ongoing basis. This is just a small part of the reason why the cloud is growing in popularity.

According to a recent study by Neovise Research, 54% of the major organizations and businesses surveyed say they’re already using the cloud regularly.

Likewise, of the percentage above, nearly 75% of the organizations say they use a combination of on and off premise cloud providers.

If you want to stay ahead of the cloud competition, then you need to look into the benefits of super speed service.

Increased Upload Capabilities

Offsite cloud service usually results in latency issues, especially when it comes to upload speeds.

As the following article looks at, one main reason why super speed matters in the cloud is the fact it can increase your businesses upload capabilities.

Instead of sending long-distance data in one slow chunk, super speed allows you to break up your data into multiple parts and send it in segments. This segmented data is 10 times faster than traditional cloud data transfers.

Automatic Scaling

When your business is responsible for scaling its own data storage needs, it slows down the entire cloud computing process. Fortunately, super speed takes care of the scaling process automatically, which optimizes your business’s cloud usage.

Super speed and automatic scaling provides load balancing and real-time scaling for all of your cloud operations.

This is a huge benefit, especially when your data levels fluctuate due to increased workloads. With auto scaling, your business can concentrate on the job at hand and outperform the competition.

Resource Agility

A major latency issue in many cloud systems is the time it takes to obtain important data and other computing resources. This is especially the case if your business works with program developers on a regular basis.

With super speed, your business can accumulate resources within minutes, not weeks or months.

This gives your business and its developers more time to create and test new programs before taking them to market. In addition, resource agility also saves your business money by not wasting any time in the development process.

Cloud Speed Test

If your current cloud model is riddled with latency issues, then it might be time to upgrade your service to super speed. The question is how can you tell what your cloud speeds are and if the real issue is latency?

That’s where cloud speed tests come into play. By performing a cloud speed test, you can pinpoint exactly what your latency issues are, whether it is with upload speeds or device prioritization.

Based on the results, you can choose to remedy specific areas or upgrade to a faster cloud service.

When it comes to the cloud, super speed is the future and the future is coming fast.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including cloud computing and business technology.

Take Credit for a Good Credit Score in the Business World

credit_score As a small business owner, it’s important to make sure you keep your credit score on the right track. From securing funding to working with clients and vendors, your credit score can make a big difference in how your business performs.

Here are just a few reasons a good credit score is a must for your small business:

Increased Value

When your credit score is healthy, it gives both you and your business increased value in the eyes of lenders. Lenders are more willing to give you a small business loan when they see your personal finances are stable.

This is beneficial when you’re just starting your business as well as during different stages of business ownership.

In addition, a solid credit score makes your business more reputable in the eyes of financial investors as well as potential business partners.

Personal Confidence

Lenders and potential investors aside, having a good credit score will help you run your business with confidence.

When your own finances are in order, it allows you to concentrate on the business at hand. This is a good thing, especially when you’re just starting your business.

Future Lending

As the following article looks at, there are more than just 5 ways your good credit can go bad, which is why maintaining a healthy credit score is so important.

Whether your business has a slow month or there’s an unexpected medical emergency, good credit makes it possible to receive more lending.

Many business owners need more than just one loan during business ownership.

Keeping a stable credit history makes lenders more willing to give you financial assistance throughout the life of your business.

Qualifying for Business Credit

Having a healthy personal credit history is a steppingstone to qualifying for business credit. By building good business credit, your business will no longer have to rely on your personal finances.

Along with protecting your personal finances, business credit also makes your small business eligible for larger credit capacities.

This gives your business the ability to grow and take on new opportunities and business ventures.

Tips for Keeping Good Credit

Whether you’ve established credit for your business or you’re financing your business with your personal credit, it’s important maintain a healthy credit score. As mentioned before, good credit gives your business increased value and a solid reputation.

When it comes to healthy credit, there are a number of things you can do to stay on track.

They include:

  • Pay Bills on Time – From credit cards to utilities, paying all of your personal and business bills on time will keep your credit score high.
  • Check Your Credit Score – By checking your credit score regularly, you’ll be aware of any changes that take place. If your score drops significantly, your credit report will give you a financial outline of where you went wrong.
  • Monitor Vendor and Customer Credit Scores – If you extend lines of credit to vendors or customers, make sure you check their credit scores as well. Bad credit is a good sign your clients won’t follow through with financial obligations, which could ultimately affect your score.

Before you to take the small business world by storm, first make sure your credit is in good standing.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including small business and budgeting.