Is It Time To Grow Your Small Business?

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It takes a lot of work to get to the point where you can seriously consider trying to expand your business. First, you had to take the steps of entrepreneurs before and go out into the world with an idea and the determination to make it work. Many people don’t get that far. Secondly, you have to maintain the success that you have found. Your business should be a foundation for further growth. Before thinking about expansion, you need to be confident that what you have at the moment is not going to fall out from under you. Expanding an existing business is actually a greater risk than starting one: if you fail to establish a business, you are left where you were to begin with, which is with nothing. If you fail to expand your business and it folds in the process, you are similarly left with nothing but that is a lot less than what you once had. If you feel that it is the right time to grow your business, you should immediately stop and carefully plan what it is that you want to do. It stands to reason that you would not have reached this point if you allowed your judgement to be clouded by reckless ambition. Here is a checklist of things to think about before making a life-changing decision:

Growing your business, at least at first, can be an expensive endeavour. You may need to move into bigger premises or take on more staff or substantially enhance your technological capital. All of these things require money and if your business is not making the requisite profit, you may be in trouble. If your business is successful enough to brook these costs, you have to make sure that the money is available to you now. You do not want to start your new business with too much debt. If you want to free up some money, consider taking advantage of invoice finance options. They allow you to get 80% of future invoice payments within a few days of issuing them. At a time when you are looking towards the future in any case, this can make the difference between success and failure.

Besides the need for more money, you will also find that you are facing greater responsibilities. If you are doing more business with more customers, there will be more paperwork and a greater need to ensure that everything is exactly right. While it may be necessary to take on more staff to do the extra work, you should also consider bringing in someone to whom you can delegate some of your newer responsibilities. It can be difficult letting go of the thing that you have had complete control over since its inception, but success can sometimes be difficult and this is one such instance.

The most important thing, however, is to know what you are getting into. It is one thing to ensure that your business is ready to grow, but if you don’t know what it will be growing into, you should find out. Market research is more crucial in this instance than in any other.

 

 

How to Keep Your Business Professional When Working From Home

Keeping a professional business while working from home is so important. It’s so easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and let things get a bit slack and casual. But, you need to treat your company professionally and remember that perception matters. These are some suggestions you should make use of to help you maintain professionalism when working from home.

Virtual Address

The thing about working from home is that you don’t always want to put your home address down as your business address. This comes across as unprofessional and doesn’t have the same impact that a real business address would have. So, you could try to get hold of a virtual address and use that in a similar way to a virtual mailbox. You give clients your virtual business address and use it for your mail as well. This gives you the prestige and reputation of a great address without the costs involved.

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Treat it Like Any Other Job

It’s important to make sure you treat working from home like you would any other job. That means you need to do what you can to have a routine in place. Set yourself working hours as you would have when going into the office. Try to dress for the part as well even though you’re at home. It’s very tempting to stay in your PJ’s all day, but you need to try to be as professional as possible. And the way to do this is to act and dress as professional as possible. This will get you into the right mind-set and maintain a professional image for the company.

Create Your Own Invoices

When you carry out work and projects you will need to arrange payment. When you work for a company this will be set up for you. But, working from home means you need to take care of this yourself. So, you will make need to generate some kind of invoice in order to bill clients. It’s unprofessional to just email them your bank details. Get online and find a template for invoices then you can generate your own. This is the best way to keep yourself as a professional and reputable business.

Use as Much Tech as Possible

Okay, so this is pretty much a given these days as you can’t really run a company without technology. But, you need to make sure you put technology to work for your business as much as you possibly can. It will make you much more productive and efficient as a company. This will ensure you get projects completed within the required timeframe. And you will develop a professional reputation among your clients. So, make sure you have a fully working computer and smartphone, and make use of as much tech as you can.

Many people work from home these days as it’s a great way of launching a startup. But, you need to understand that you’ve still got to keep the company professional. This might seem difficult to do, but it’s important to make sure you keep on top of this. Use the hacks on here to help keep your business professional while working from home.

Is Invoicing Actually Costing You Money and Headaches?

moneySome of your greatest stresses as a business owner can oftentimes boil down to money.

Whether you operate a sizable company or run a one-person show, you know that invoicing customers can be one of your top challenges.

For starters, preparing the invoices takes time and thinking. On the flip side, you know deep down not all customers are always good about getting your funds to you in the proper amount of time.

So, is there a way to better prepare your invoices, along with making sure you get the money when you need it? 

Take Control of Your Invoices

For your business to stay on top of matters financially, your invoicing is right up there as far as priorities.

With that being the case, see if you are practicing the following:

  • Dispersing invoices in a timely manner – Given all you have to do as a business owner (especially if you are the one and only person running the show), invoicing can sometimes seem like the last task you want to tackle. You know the money is due you, yet it can feel like hours at a time to get all the bills properly up to date, not to mention mailed or emailed out. If you haven’t already, set aside a certain time or times if business is truly booming, to do your invoicing. Yes, it can seem a tad monotonous at times, but you do want your money, yes? By sticking to a schedule, you are better able to compile and send off the necessary paperwork;
  • Using an invoicing service – If your business responsibilities are getting a little too overwhelming, it might be time to find an invoice factoring service. Doing so does a number of things for you and your business, notably allowing you to access funds being held in your invoices. This permits you to get your hands right away on advanced cash tied to the amount customers owe you. Even though your customer pays later, you receive the funds when you truly need them;
  • Properly communicating with customers – While the majority of your customers may do a good job of paying you on time, you know there are always going to be those stragglers out there. For whatever the reason may be the fact that they are delaying getting the money to you does you absolutely no good. In fact, it can put you in a financial pickle to say the least. In some cases, you may be forced to turn to a collection agency if necessary (especially when customers are repeat offenders). Even though going the collection agency route costs you time and resources, you may find it the only way to go for some customers;
  • Give your customers various payment options – Even though many businesses in today’s world of technology offer customers a number of ways to pay their bills, there are still some stragglers who have not gotten onboard the Internet train. As a result, it makes it hard for them to offer customers one of the quickest ways to pay bills, the worldwide web. Billing customers online (and accepting online payments) are both great ways for your business to get paid sooner rather than later in most instances. For those customers who still prefer the old-fashioned means of paying, either in-person or sending a payment via the regular mail, you should still keep those options available. Just make sure once again that your invoicing needs are done in a timely manner. If you accept payments through the regular mail, also note that they sometimes can be delayed for a number of reasons.

Running your business (or any business for that matter) takes much time and dedication.

Yes, invoicing can be a pain in the back at times, especially if you are doing things the old-fashioned way in not compiling the numbers in a fast and easy manner.

Always remember that without receiving your payments on time, you set your business and you for that matter up for potential trouble.

When it comes to your finances, be sure to not drop the ball.

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business topics on the web.

Is Your Billing Software Accountable?

billingCreating invoices manually can be a big hassle. It is not only troublesome and time-consuming; it is also an error-prone process.

Fortunately, businesses can leverage technology to improve the efficiency and accuracy of their invoicing processes. Presently, there are many billing software products in the market that can be used to enhance the invoicing experiencing.

Below are some useful tips for choosing billing software.

Why Businesses Should Use Billing Software

Billing software can be beneficial to your business in many ways.

First of all, it can greatly reduce paperwork. Customer records, invoices and other types of paperwork can build up in a hurry, making it increasingly difficult for you to file, organize and store them.

Billing software can help you manage your invoice-related data in a more efficient and organized manner, as well as save space in your office.

Most billing software products can be integrated with the Internet, making it possible for you and your employees to gain access to customer information anytime, anywhere.

Another benefit of using billing software is that it can significantly reduce your costs.

If you are using billing software, you do not have to hire additional employees to do invoicing, and you can also save on office supplies.

Billing errors are likely to occur if you or your employees need to enter information into your computer system manually, and some of these errors can prove costly to your business.

For instance, it is not uncommon for healthcare businesses to have their profitability undermined by invoicing errors.

According to an article entitled “Will the Right Medical Billing Software Make Your Practice Profitable?”, many medical claim denials result from human errors, and billing software can help healthcare providers keep better track of patient and insurance information, so that they can minimize such errors.

How to Choose the Right Billing Software

Here are some of the things that you need to take into consideration when you are choosing a billing software product:

Cost: The cost of billing software can range from free to thousands of dollars, and some products may require you to pay monthly or annual subscriptions. Choose one that suits your budget.

Data: Make sure the billing software product you choose allows you to enter all the types of information you need to include in your invoices, such as customer and vendor information, invoices, inventory and others.

Documents: Your billing software should also enable you to prepare other types of documents besides invoices, such as quotes or estimates, credit notes, packing list or delivery orders.

Reports: It is important that your billing software can provide relevant reports such as sales, receipts, debtors and customer statements. You may want to choose a product that allows you to customize reports.

Search Features: As the amount of data you need to handle increases, you need to be able to locate invoices, customers, inventory items and other types of data easily. Select a billing software product that comes with good search features.

There may be other things that you want to add to your checklist for choosing a billing software product, such as user security, hardware requirements and support options.

The most important thing is to select a billing software product that can meet all your company’s invoicing needs.

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to Cloud computing.