Costs to Cut and Costs to Keep: 6 Financial Tips for Small Businesses

Your business has a lot of costs that need to be managed. Without a guide, this can be confusing and difficult. What should you invest in? What can be cut from the budget? But don’t worry. Here are six financial tips about what costs to cut and which to keep that can help you along the way. That way, you can get back to doing what you are best at in your market and industry. 

Keep: Performers 

High performers make your business run better than anyone else. High quality workers mean you get high quality products and service. They should be kept around to keep boosting profits and overall quality. A great salesperson or someone who brings in revenue should be invested in. Potential customers won’t turn into returning customers if your employees drive them away. 

Cut: People Not Pulling Their Weight 

When employees start to get entitled and lazy, you can get into trouble. You need to get rid of people who expect to get paid more than they are worth. If they can’t justify their work to you, then it’s time to let them go. Additionally, if you can’t justify paying them what you are for what they actually bring to your business, they’re just creating a “money black hole” in your budget.

Keep: Researching Your Supplier 

Who your supplier is makes a major difference in your brand. It will affect the end result of your product, how fast products reach customers, and how happy your customers are with your end results. Invest the time and money into researching and verifying your suppliers. Seek out a third party to get supplier risk mitigation from those who are experts in helping businesses like yours. Your suppliers should be trustworthy and high quality at every turn. If they are, the time, money, and effort you put in will pay off.

Cut: Extra Long Lunch Breaks 

People need a certain amount of time to take a break during the day. As long as this is not being abused, then that is fine. However, you might find that your team’s breaks get longer and longer. Perhaps they are not keeping up with production. This might be time to start logging breaks and requiring them to keep a time sheet. Consider consulting with HR professionals about the right kind of break and time recording strategy for your business.

Keep: Customer Service 

If there is one thing you can do today to stand out from the competition it is having great customer service. Word of mouth travels fast. If you cut your customer service, you are only going to have more frustrated customers. Find the best people, invest in top-notch customer service training, and regularly consult customer reviews and feedback so you can be constantly working on and improving your system.

Cut: Advertising that Doesn’t Sell 

Just because radio and TV worked back in the day doesn’t mean they’re the way to go now. Whatever your advertising spend is, reduce it where you are not getting results. Then, double down on methods that are working. However, keep in mind that marketing that works takes time. Try looking into SEO services, social media help, and marketing firms that specialize in local or small business work. If you find what’s right for your business, you’ll begin to see growth and results.

Getting your business to a place where it is operating profitably can be difficult—it definitely takes a lot of work. However, it always starts with finding ways to cut costs you don’t need and keeping those that actually help you. If you use the tips above, you could find that your profit and loss statement is looking better every time you check in.

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.

Say What? 4 Dos and Don’ts of Business Communication Systems

If you want to run a successful business, you need the best techniques and tools to get the job done. This can empower your team to serve your customers, fulfill orders, and stay productive while on the job. However, when it comes to your business communications, a lot of businesses make mistakes. In general, stick to these do’s and don’ts. 

Do Go with a Brand You Trust 

There are a lot of communications companies out there. However, not all of them are created equal. You need to go with a name that you trust. That does not just mean going with the biggest company in the space. 

In fact, it often means going with a company that you might have just heard about. Then, doing your research on them will pay off. Research before investing is everything! You might find that they support your values more than others do in the marketplace. Check out reviews, history, and reputation of their products as well as their customer service.

Don’t Get the Wrong Kind of System

You need to ensure that you have the right kind of communication systems for your business. A golf course, for instance, would want handheld radios, like Motorola walkie talkies, while an office might rely on a office-wide messaging system

The key is to ask yourself how your team is talking to each other right now. Then find ways to improve on that communication. Great technology is something that should do its job and stay out of the way so your team can do theirs even better. 

Do Find the Right Value 

There are going to be different prices and overall values to each communication solution. The key is to understand that each will bring something different to the table. Be sure to look at the overall value, and not just the price, for what you are getting. If your company won’t use a big portion of what a particular package is offering, you might want to go in a different direction.

Don’t Go without Research 

The worst mistake you could make in business is jumping into a decision before you truly know what you are getting in return. Luckily, you can avoid this. If you stick to your plan and look at your options with a critical eye, you can come out ahead. That way, you get a system that you truly want and need. Take your time and learn everything you can about any viable option for your business. Based on your research, you can make an informed decision that will help your employees with their work.

Having a great business does not stop with your sales and marketing. In reality, it comes down to how well your team can work together. Of course, one of the most important factors in how they work together boils down to their communication systems. So don’t make the mistakes that others make. Use the do’s and don’ts above as your checklist.

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.

Business Behind the Times? 4 Pivotal Steps to Rebranding

If a business is losing market share or if it is falling behind in customer satisfaction or favorability surveys, then it is time for that company to rebrand. Done correctly, a rebrand can completely turn a company around. One compelling rebranding case study is the amazing turnaround story of Domino’s Pizza. The company had become known for low-quality pizza and service; however, after hiring a new ad agency and completely rebranding, Dominos began to gain market share. In fact, Domino’s stock has gained an astounding 5,000% since its rebranding in 2008. Companies that are looking to become the next great turnaround story should follow the four rebranding steps below. 

Determining the Purpose of the Rebrand 

Before a company begins to rebrand, the company must agree on why it needs to rebrand itself. Since all departments will be affected by the rebranding efforts, the heads of marketing, budgeting, product, research, and sales must all be on the same page. From here, the company can move on to the second crucial stage of the rebrand. 

Researching 

Once the company heads have agreed on rebranding, the company must do extensive research on all fronts. This includes getting feedback from the current employees and stockholders of the current brand, surveying customers about the current brand and observing competitor brands. From there, the company and the outside consultants can have a better idea of where the company is, in terms of its brand, so it can create a clearer path forward with the rebranding effort. 

Being Sure to Rebrand on All Fronts 

Once management has agreed on the rebranding message, this message must be communicated to every aspect of the company. That means that every employee, manager, customer, potential customer, stockholder, and third-party vendor must be aware about the new brand. From there, the rebranding should be deployed through advertising, marketing, social media, public relations, and internal communications. Consistency in key. You will, for instance, need to create new signage, and relying on a plastic vacuum mould manufacturer may be useful.

Staying Steady and Strong Once You’ve Rebranded 

Once the company is rebranded, the branding message must stay consistent for at least several years. According to the widely accepted Rule of 7, a consumer will usually need to see an ad or a branding communication at least seven times before they remember it. Therefore, it is important to understand that rebranding is a multi-year project. 

Rebranding can give the company the momentum it needs to recapture lost market share and entice new investors. This multi-year project should be embraced by every member of management, involve deep research, and be deployed through every piece of external company communication. With the right rebranding strategy, today’s struggling company can be tomorrow’s great turnaround story.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

How to Give a Great Impression at a First Business Meeting

An important business meeting is coming up and you’re worried about giving a bad first impression? Well, you don’t have to worry at all because we’re here to help you out. Here are four important tips on how to nail this task and give a great impression, so check them out and enjoy!

Dress appropriately in the first place

’Dress for success’ – you’ve probably heard this phrase a million times, but you know what? Dressing appropriately is vital, especially when it comes to a first business meeting,so make sure to bear in mind the time of the day and the location of the upcoming meeting. Formal business attire in dark, neutral colors is a good choice if you’re meeting with representatives of other companies. Of course,you can also try to anticipate the style of other participants, as dressing too casually or too formally often means that you haven’t thought about the purpose of the meeting. On the other hand, meetings that take place outside the industry norms usually allow more casual outfits, but remember that clean hair and nails, properly ironed clothes, and freshly shined shoes are always a must!

Always, always be punctual

Punctuality is another crucial factor that will help you give a great first impression at a first business meeting, so do your best to arrive on time no matter what. This is particularly true if you need to ride a bus or rely on any other mean of public transportation, so be sure to plan everything out to the tiniest detail. Renting a car is also a good idea,especially if you’re afraid that you’re going to be late, so go for an Avis Car Hire and you’ll undoubtedly make it on time. Just ensure not to arrive too early, as it’s likely to make other participants uncomfortable by cutting into their ability to prepare for the meeting. A few minutes before it is ideal, but you can always wash your hands, fix your hair, or drink some water if you arrive too early.

Try to make small talk before the meeting starts

Even though making small talk isn’t always desirable, the truth is that it’s more than welcome when it comes to giving a good impression at a first business meeting. It’s likely to put everyone at ease before the meeting starts, so do your best to relax a little bit and start by introducing yourself to the other participants. Besides that, you should also listen attentively to the conversation, without checking out your emails or scrolling down social media feed, which is quite rude in the business setting. Instead of that, just put away your phone and actually pay extra attention to the personal details that may seem irrelevant at that moment. In fact, these are quite meaningful if you think about it, as listening to other people and showing interest can help you make new friends and build a long-term relationship with other participants.

Do your research beforehand

Last but not least, doing your research beforehand is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to give a great impression at a business meeting. First of all, you should review all business materials in advance, so that you can figure out the company’s initiatives, goals, key projects, and recent accomplishments. You can also browse through their website and get a bigger picture of their business techniques and policies, so that you can gain some insight into the history of that particular company. Besides that, you should also come up with a few key questions before the meeting, so that you can find out everything you need to know and cover the most important objectives of the meeting. If your potential business partners are from a foreign country, you should definitely get informed on how to interact with people from other cultures and backgrounds, which may contribute to a better final result everyone will be happy about.

As you can see, giving a great impression at a first business meeting doesn’t have to be as challenging as you probably thought. All you have to do is to stick to our tips and guidelines and you’ll successfully nail this task, without a shadow of a doubt!

Guest author, David Webb, is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is a regular author at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.

Things to Consider Before Relocating Your Company

Moving is always hard, whether you have to relocate your home or your business, and there are so many factors you need to take into consideration. If you don’t do it right, you might face potential less when it comes to your customers, business partners or even your employees. However, there’s a way to avoid all of that,make the move smooth and continue working the same day you finish the move. In order to achieve that, you need to be organized and prepare everything in advance. That will help you spend as little time possible on the actual move and help you focus on what’s truly important – doing your job.

Do Market Research

In order to find the perfect space for your new office, you’ll have to do a thorough market research and discover the best areas. That means you have to see where the biggest companies are settled at the moment and find your spot there. Also, try to get closer to the companies you work with, because that will make organizing your meetings much easier.

On the other hand, you can move to a neighborhood where there’s no company like yours, and thus became a true leader. This will give you an opportunity to establish a new market and make your own rules, which is something many businesses are good at. You can be a leader if you research all of your options and offer something new to the clients in the area you choose.

Location Matters

The word “location” has different meanings for different businesses location, but they all have one thing in common – staying close to their clients. If your office is far from your clients, they might realize that they don’t like the commute and could eventually stop doing business with you after a while.

This will also prevent you from getting new clients –you may have the best office in the world, but if it’s far from your potential clients, they won’t have time for meeting with you. Think about the location of your competitors and try to find a space somewhere close. That will allow you to be in the center of the happenings, and bring you closer to new business opportunities.

Organize your new office

Before you start moving all your belongings, think about preparing the space and making it ready. Start by painting one wall at the time and making them look more appealing, but be sure to pick the color that’s going to suit everyone. Fix everything before you bring in the furniture because it’s always easier to work with empty space, and you’ll be able to see what needs to be fixed.

Apart from that,find a company that will help you set up an electricity connection and make everything work before you move into your new office. This is crucial because you’ll have to power all your equipment from day one, so make sure you organize this in advance.

Cost issues

Find a real estate agent who works with office spaces, can negotiate a good deal for you and make sure you get the best space on the market. Although this sounds like an expense you don’t need, think of it as an investment in the future of your company because you don’t want to move again after a while just because it turns out that the new space isn’t working for you.

When it comes to your employees, they will have to balance doing their jobs and helping you with the move. You’ll have to give them bonuses, because this is definitely not what they’ve initially signed for, so make it worth their while.

Find a Moving Company

No matter how small your business is, you won’t be able to move everything on your own. With all the computers, chairs, desks and other furniture, it’s always better to leave it to professionals instead of trying to do it on your own.By doing this, you’ll avoid accidents that could damage your sensitive equipment and thus ruin your moving budget.

Organize everything and ask your moving company to pack your entire office and label all the boxes just to make the unpacking process easier. That will allow you to let your employees unpack their personal belongings on their own, and this will fasten the entire process.

Although the moving process can be stressful and exhausting, you can organize everything in advance and it easier. Include your employees but show them that you appreciate their help and they’ll be happy to help you. Think about all the steps you need to take after the relocation and don’t waste your time in the new office. By continuing where you’ve left things off in your previous office, you’ll be able to get back on the right track and immediately start making new deals.

Emma B. Joyce is a blogger based in Australia. She is a true home decor and DIY fanatic. Emma is interested in music and also is a big reading enthusiast. Finding new designs and patterns is her daily task. She is a regular contributor on https://smoothdecorator.com.

Starting a Business: How to Find the Right Technology Solutions for Your Company

Starting a business can be a complicated experience, but it is often rewarding. If you are starting a business, you should consider using technology solutions to make the business run more efficiently.

Use Technology for Time Management

Time management is a necessary part of starting a business. You need to have a timeline, goals for your time and know what you’re doing at all times. If you know these things, you’ll always know exactly when you need to be performing a task or something similar. It’s important to start doing this right away.

IT Operations Matter

Handling IT aspects can be hard especially for someone who has never worked in IT before. Using Managed IT operation services might make it easier for you to handle different aspects of IT. It may also make it easier for you to form connections with the people you’re working with since it can be easier to get started with your business if you handle the technological aspects of it.

Team up for Technology

If there is a piece of technology you really want but just aren’t quite ready to invest in right away, you might want to team up with another company that’s getting off the ground. Split the cost of the tool and then split your use of it. There are different ways you can do this, but the easiest is finding software that can easily switch between different systems or companies.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Technology is all about working smarter instead of working harder. Dedicate different tasks to the way you want to work and make sure you’re doing everything you can to make the tasks easier. It’s important to try different things and make sure you’re prepared for anything that could come in the way of your business being successful.

Research before Investing

Always do your research. The chances are you researched about your business before you invested your time and money in it. Do the same thing with technology you plan to use in your business. If you know what you want, start researching it right away so you can make the necessary changes. It’s important to focus on how technology can improve your business instead of how it could cost your business a lot of money.

Starting a business doesn’t have to be difficult. Even though it takes a lot of work, there are things you can do to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

How to Find Work and Jobs Abroad

The idea of working abroad and leaving the U.S. is one that appeals to a lot of people. Maybe you’re a new graduate and you’d like to go overseas and utilize your skills, or perhaps you’re further along in your career and you’d like to make a change.

The idea is similar to people who come to the U.S. for work. Many people come to the U.S. on temporary work visas, and then they’re able to send money back to their families using services like Remitly and develop valuable skills in the process.

The following are some ways employees in the U.S. can take a page out of foreign workers’ books and go abroad to work.

Learn the Language

The sooner and the more thoroughly you can work toward learning the language of where you want to work, the more appealing you are going to be to prospective employers. You don’t necessarily have to be fully fluent, but if you are bilingual in both English and the native language of where you’d like to go, it’s going to be much easier to find employment.

Some employees may have the plan to go abroad from the start so they’ll start studying a foreign language while they’re in college. If you didn’t do that, don’t worry. There are plenty of online courses and classes that can help you with your foreign language skills as you’re searching for employment.

Consider U.S.-Based Employers

When you want to work abroad, you might automatically start looking at companies that primarily operate where you’d like to go. That’s fine, but there are also plenty of companies in the U.S. that have a reputation for sending employees abroad for a period of time.

For example, Deloitte is one such company. They have partnerships in countries throughout the world, and while their headquarters is in New York City, they also often send people on international placements. You don’t have to be a top executive, either. They send everyone including interns and entry-level employees abroad if they’re interested.

Another example is HSBC, which has an international management program.

Frequent Travel Jobs

Even if you don’t find employment with a company that will place you overseas for a year or two, there are jobs where it’s all about travel. One example is the Uber Launching Team, and another is Airbnb. These companies are known for having positions that are almost entirely travel-based, and they may even offer travel-based perks and benefits to employees.

Finally, you might explore a working holiday visa as well. A working holiday visa is something that people aged 18 to 30 or sometimes 18 to 35 may be eligible for, depending on the country. These options let people work abroad in different positions around the world as they’re traveling. You will have to show that you have a desirable skillset to get one of these visas, and you may need to show your resume as well.

It’s definitely possible to work abroad in different settings and ways, so if it’s a dream you have, doing some research can help you make it happen.