Tips for Succeeding in Today’s Manufacturing Industry

More products are being made in the US than ever before. But for good or ill, one of the reasons that labor jobs are drying up is because less people are required in production. In some cases such as sales, adding more people means more revenue. But for manufacturing itself, there are better ways to handle growth. Whether you’re a small entrepreneur with one product or a large enterprise with many, here are some tips to be successful in manufacturing.

Lean Manufacturing

This is a concept that originated with Toyota and was adapted by many other businesses around the world. It’s about finding wasted material, money, manpower, time, and movement, and reorganizing your processes so that this waste is minimized. That gives you lower costs, faster results, and higher productivity. But to be truly “lean” requires that cutting back waste be a constant goal. You should always seek to streamline your manufacturing processes in some way. Continuous improvement will help you stay competitive.

Machinery

Investment in better equipment and machinery is important. As you company grows in sales and volumes, distributors or customers will still expect fast turn-around times and high quality. Growth also leads to a need for higher production capacities. Machines that can do more and do it precisely are important to support your profitability. One of the most vital technologies that you can integrate is automation. Machines that can perform faster, longer, and more consistently than even the most skilled labor are important assets in maximizing performance.

Budgeting

Expanding your business requires cash. At times you may be able to find funds for major investments from investors, borrowing against invoices, stock offerings, and in the digital era, crowdfunding. But none of these should replace drawing up a budget that will cover your expenses and still leave a portion of income for reinvestment into business development projects, whether it’s refitting your warehouse or launching a bold new marketing campaign. Preferably, your growth should flow from your profits, not from outside funding that has downsides such as interest rates or giving away a share of the company.

Innovation

Even if you have a patent on a brilliant new product, you can’t count on it driving your revenue forever. With the competition out there new, it may become obsolete overnight through advances made by your competitors. Whether you’re making coat hangers or Hydro Construction Products, be a leader by fostering a company culture of innovation. Frequently introducing new features and methods does involve a bit of a gamble, but if you aren’t looking to excite buyers and drive future sales, there’s a greater risk of becoming obsolete.

As a manufacturer, you should focus on becoming a specialist within your industry. Work hard at perfecting your products and your processes, and the gains will keep coming.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

5 Ways To Make Sure Your Next Project Succeeds

Trying to get an idea off the ground can be tough. It’s not always easy for you to know what you’re doing wrong, or what processes you need to put in place in order for things to work out. However, you will know that you want to work with a few solutions that are likely to help you to succeed. To do this, you need to have the right knowledge. No matter what your small business does or the industry you work in, if you go in blind to a project, you’ll find it difficult to get yourself to the right levels of success in time. To help you get on the right path, you’ll find that there are five tools that can help you. So let’s take a look at what they are.

  1. Set Goals

To get yourself started off on the right foot, you need to set goals. In this post on www.CodeOfLiving.com, you’ll find out all about the power of goal setting. But in short, when you write down your goals, you start to think about what you need to do to make them happen and visualize where you want to be. This is going to help you to create an overall plan for the project and start it successfully right off the bat.

  1. Make A Loose Plan

Planning is a key part of finding success, but you can’t always plan out an entire process to a t. You’ll often find that you have hiccups along the way, and trying to force yourself to a structured plan can make things feel out of control. Instead, when you have a loose plan, you’re a little more fluid about what’s going to happen. Your plan should be there to guide you, not restrict you. Then having the ability to adapt and adjust is what will help you to find success.

  1. Quality Control

Any project that you try to rush or cut corners with is going to have a hard time doing well. However, when you focus on working in quality control and being rigorous with how you operate, you’ll enjoy more success. So make sure you bring in the right services, such as www.CochranEng.com, to help you stay on track throughout the project. When you’re checking for quality and looking to go about things in the best way possible, you’ll find that your end product is of the best possible quality too.

  1. Budget Properly

Budgeting is going to be successful if you want to make enough money on your next project. This can take a bit of getting used to, but if you want to ensure that you do generate profit, you’ll want to be overly cautious with your budget, just in case.

  1. Forecast Your Timings

Finally, you’re also going to want to get your timeline right. Building a timeline as www.LucidChart.com shows is essential for success. If you get this wrong, it could cost you your profit. So you need to be able to get an accurate timeline in place that you are going to be able to successfully stick to and see play out.

Tax Write-Offs for Small Businesses [Infographic]

It’s that time of the year again; April 15th will be here before we know it. As a small business owner, managing money can be key to the success of your business. We often think about spending and budgeting but paying attention to tax write-offs can be one area business owners may not take into account when thinking about profit.

There are some great tips in this infographic created by cloud invoicing providers, FreshBooks, that small business owners may not know about. Be sure to mention them to your account before submitting your tax documents for this year.

Did they miss any? If so, leave a comment!

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Is Your Business a Budgeting Success or Nightmare?

As a small business owner, you are in an especially precarious situation with regard to cash flow and budgeting.

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As you know, it never pays to bury your head in the sand when it comes to finances. If you haven’t been paying enough attention to your business budgeting, it’s definitely time to start now.

Here are some issues you might be facing, along with strategic ways to handle them….

 

Running Out of Cash Before the End of the Month

This is a classic symptom of poor cash flow. If you’re consistently running out of cash before the end of the month, it’s likely that at the beginning of each month, you’re playing catch up on the bills you couldn’t pay last month.

This in turn will leave you short for the current month.

It’s a vicious cycle that will repeat endlessly unless you’re able to pay your bills ahead instead of in arrears.

Though the answer is counter-intuitive, the answer is to borrow money.

Borrowing money will enable you to pay your bills forward, protect your credit, and give you some breathing room while you figure out a way to increase your business income permanently.

Your Loan Selection Does Matter

The type of loan you get matters.

Instead of going for a no-credit loan that gets repaid with future business receipts, try going for either a collateral loan, or a personal loan based on your income.

No-credit loans repaid with receipts are fine for some purposes, but in this case, the repayment style would defeat your purpose.

A personal loan or collateral loan is repaid in the traditional way, with payments coming out of your business checking account each month, which is what you want.

For more about personal loan options, check out this article about 9 methods for budgeting success.

You Need Help but Can’t Afford More Payroll

Payroll is an expensive liability when you consider that you have to undertake a long-term commitment, plus manage payroll taxes and possibly health insurance. If you’re already having budgeting problems, you’re better off not hiring anyone right now.

A better strategy is to hire out work on as as-need basis to subcontractors.

Subcontractors are not your employees, so you aren’t responsible for insurance or payroll taxes.

You simply agree on a price for a specific task, and when it’s done to your satisfaction, you issue payment.

You can find subcontractors online at places like ODesk or Elance, or you can call local businesses to see if they have workers available for contract work.

Some ways you can use subcontractors are:

  • Accounting
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Virtual Assistants
  • Drivers

Basically, anything you might need for your business, you can probably find someone to do for you on a contract basis.

Stop waking up in the middle of the night with budgeting nightmares.

Use these strategies to take control of your business finances once and for all.

About the Author: Kate Supino is a successful small business owner and expert on best business practices.

Make it Your Business to Know Financial Advice

Mathematics Resize If you’re looking to turn your financial savvy into a career, there’s no better way to do it than with financial literacy certification. With a financial literacy certificate, not only will you improve your knowledge about money matters, you’ll have the opportunity to teach others the same financial skills.

With dollars, cents, and money sense in mind, here are just a few reasons obtaining a financial literacy certificate is a wise move:

Learning About Budgeting

Creating a budget and actually managing that budget are two very different scenarios. Sure, planning your budget is the first step toward financial success, but actually putting your plan to work takes money management skills. A certificate in financial literacy will help you hone your budgeting skills and knowledge.

Financial literacy certificate programs teach you how to create and use a written budget.

In addition, certificate programs also teach you how to set budgeting goals so that you’re not only managing your money, but creating a financial nest egg at the same time.

Navigating Credit Scores

Millions of Americans are unaware of their credit score or how it affects their financial standing. A financial literacy certification can help you better navigate your credit as well as find ways to improve your score and overall credit report.

With a financial literacy certificate, you’ll have the tools and knowledge you need to not only find your credit score, but manage it by paying down your debt.

Because credit scores affect just about every aspect of your financial livelihood, equipping yourself with the necessary credit score knowledge will help you achieve financial stability in a debt-heavy world.

Managing Debt

Debt management is becoming increasingly important in today’s economic climate. As the country struggles to make ends meet, more and more Americans are falling into unmanageable debt. If you have even a small amount of debt, a financial literacy certificate can help you discover ways to manage that debt appropriately.

From credit card debt to past due mortgage payments, financial literacy certificate programs can teach you how to pay down your debt.

In addition, financial literacy programs also help with debt awareness, so you’ll know if you’re heading into unmanageable debt territory and how to reduce the money you owe through effective budgeting.

Gaining Banking Skills

Whether you need to save more money or learn how to make your money grow, a financial literacy certificate can help. Certificate programs will show you the difference between money market accounts, savings accounts, and ways in which your money can help you earn interest.

Likewise, many financial literacy programs teach helpful tips on how to safely invest your money. Nowadays, banking means more than just balancing your checkbook, which is why financial literacy is becoming increasingly important.

Becoming a Certified Financial Education Instructor

After you receive your financial literacy certificate, you can turn your passion for finances into a career by becoming a certified financial education instructor. As a certified instructor, you can teach others the financial knowledge you’ve obtained and help make the world a more financially savvy place.

When it comes to money matters, you can achieve financial success by becoming certified in financial literacy.

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