Tag: Small

6 Smart Budgeting Tips for Small Business Owners #business #plan #writer

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6 Smart Budgeting Tips for Small Business Owners

If you run a small business, it s likely that you re operating on a relatively limited budget. Whether you bootstrapped your business or are trying to pay back loans you took out to cover your startup costs, it s in your best interest to conserve money wherever you can.

Without a thorough budget plan, however, it can be difficult to track and manage your finances. This is especially true for any unexpected business expenses that may come up, as they often do. A 2015 survey by small business credit provider Headway Capital found that although 57 percent of small business owners anticipated growth this year, nearly 19 percent were concerned about how unexpected expenses would impact their business.

If you want to keep your business operating in the black, you ll need to account for both fixed and unplanned costs, and then create and stick to a solid budget. Experts offered their advice for small business owners looking to keep their finances in order. [4 Tips for Reducing Startup Costs]

Define and understand your risks

Every business venture has a certain degree of risk involved, and all of those risks have the potential for a financial impact on your company. Paul Cho, managing director of Headway Capital, said that small business owners need to consider their long- and short-term risks to accurately plan for their financial future.

How will changes in minimum wage or health care requirements impact your workforce? Cho said. Do you operate in a geography at high risk of a natural disaster? Do you rely heavily on seasonal workers? Understanding the potential risks facing you on a short- and long-term basis is important for all small businesses. Once you ve mapped out the threats to productivity, a clearer picture can be built around emergency planning, insurance needs, etc.

Overestimate your expenses

If your business operates on a project-to-project basis, you know that every client is different and no two projects will turn out exactly the same. This means that often, you can t predict when something is going to go over budget.

Every project seems to have a one-time cost that was never anticipated, said James Ontra, CEO of presentation management company Shufflrr. It usually is that one unique extra item [that is] necessary to the job, but [was] not anticipated when bidding the job.

For this reason, Ontra advised budgeting slightly above your anticipated line-item costs, no matter what, so that if you do go over, you won t be fully unprepared.

I go by the cost-moon-stars theory, he said. If you think it will cost the moon, expect to pay the stars.

Pay attention to your sales cycle

Many businesses go through busy and slow periods over the course of the year. If your company has an off-season , you ll need to account for your expenses during that time. Cho also suggested using your slower periods to think of ways to plan ahead for your next sales boom.

There is much to be learned from your sales cycles, he said. Use your downtime to ramp up your marketing efforts while preventing profit generation from screeching to a halt. In order to keep your company thriving and the revenue coming in, you will have to identify how to market to your customers in new and creative ways.

Plan for large purchases carefully and early

Some large business expenses occur when you least expect them a piece of equipment breaks and needs to be replaced or your delivery van needs a costly repair, for instance. However, planned expenses like store renovations or a new software system should be carefully timed and budgeted to avoid a huge financial burden on your business.

Substantial business changes need to be timed carefully, balancing the risk with the reward and done with a full understanding of the financial landscape you re operating within, Cho told Business News Daily. An up-to-date budget and data-driven financial projections are important components that help guide when to make large investments in your business.

Remember that time is money, too

One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make is forgetting to incorporate their time into a budget plan. Ontra reminded business owners that time is money, especially when working with people who are paid for their time.

Timing underestimation directly increases costs, Ontra said. For us, the biggest underestimation is allotting time for client feedback. It is a Herculean effort sometimes to meet a deadline with lots of people focused on a single task. Then, the client needs to give feedback for us to proceed. If the client is distracted with other issues, feedback planned for a three-day turnaround, can become a week or longer. Not only do you start to lose time to the delivery schedule, your team also loses momentum as their collective thought shifts focus to another project.

Ontra recommended treating your time like your money, and set external deadlines later than when you think the project will actually be done.

If you believe the project will finish on Friday, promise delivery on Monday, he said. So, if you finish on Friday, deliver the work early and become a star. If for some reason time runs over, deliver on Monday and you are still a success.

Constantly revisit your budget

Your budget will never be static or consistent it will change and evolve along with your business, and you ll need to keep adjusting it based on your growth and profit patterns. Cho suggested revising your monthly and annual budgets regularly to get a clearer, updated picture of your business finances.

Regularly revisiting your budget will help you better control financial decisions because you will know exactly what you can afford to spend versus how much you are projecting to make, Cho said. Take into account market trends from the previous year to help you determine what this year may look like. Once you have a clear understanding of your business s budgetary needs, you can accurately forecast what can be set aside for an emergency fund or unexpected costs.

Nicole Fallon Taylor

Nicole received her Bachelor s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor. Reach her by email. or follow her on Twitter .

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  • Chris Brogan says the Most Successful Small Businesses Do THIS #investor #business #daily

    #most successful small businesses

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    Chris Brogan says the Most Successful Small Businesses Do THIS

    Many people work 9-to-5 jobs for 30 years — praying only for the day they can retire.

    And they complain the whole time on Facebook about how much they hate their jobs.

    Yuck! I can’t fathom that.

    I love working for successful small businesses. And luckily, I don’t have a regular job.

    But what does it take to REALLY succeed as an entrepreneur?

    Chris Brogan says the Most Successful Small Businesses Do This

    And during a recent interview with MSNBC, Chris dropped some serious knowledge about staying weird making your customers feel like they belong to your tribe.

    Pay attention here:

    One of Brogan’s best small business tips is that you’ll attract opportunities by standing out being different.

    Follow outgoing examples from free-spirited entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, he says.

    Here are 4 other juicy nuggets from this stellar interview:

    1. Business is About Belonging

    People want to be part of a tribe or community.

    2. Share the Passion Not Just the Product

    Passion drives folks to do what they love. How can you leverage that passion for your business?

    3. Make Your Buyer the Hero

    Discuss how your product or service makes your customers heroes — not too promotional, though.

    4. Tell Their Story, Not Yours

    Our product helped Johnny make $100k this year.





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    Small Business Resources #business #advice

    #small business resources

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    Small Business Resources

    Whether you are starting out or already running a small business. you will need to comply with numerous federal and state small business regulations and requirements. Below are links to the federal and state resources that can help ensure that you comply with those obligations.

    The 50-State Resources section provides links to each state’s and the District of Columbia’s official website for everything from the Secretary of State’s office to the state tax agency to state license and permit information. There are also links to your state’s SBA and other state offices that have valuable free information and resources for small business owners. The Federal Resource section has information and resources on federal small business requirements, including IRS, OSHA, EPA, and others.

    For more help with your small business, see Nolo’s Small Business articles. or our full list of Small Business products .

    Get Informed Articles Information

    50-State Resources for Small Businesses

    50-State Resources for Small Businesses

    Links to the Secretary of State’s office or business filing office for every state.

    Links to the state tax agency website for every state with information on tax filing requirements, tax rates, forms and other state tax resources.

    Links to the sales and use tax divisions or seller’s permit agencies.

    Links to information on each state’s business license or permit requirements.

    Links to the state agencies with information and forms for complying with state securities laws requirements or exemptions from registration.

    Links to each state’s agency that handles employer payroll tax, unemployment, and other employment matters.

    Links to each state’s local SBA office with Information on small business loans and other resources for small businesses.

    Links to local SBDCs that provide free information and other resources for small businesses.





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    Small Business Resources, lc, Ankeny, IA 50023 #business #invitations

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    Welcome To Small Business Resources, lc

    At Small Business Resources, the careful management of your finances is our top priority. We pride ourselves on giving you personalized and thorough service that meets your business or individual needs.

    We work in partnership with our clients, providing professional accounting and business management services. We differentiate ourselves by taking the time to understand your organization so that we can develop practical solutions to your specific needs. We also tailor our services to stay within your budget. Our services are designed to improve your profitability and operational efficiency. Read More

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    Featured Services

    Tax Services

    At Small Business Resources, lc, we provide tax services for. Read more

  • Accounting Services

    We are the accounting department for over 70 small businesses. Read more

  • Consulting Services

    As much as you would like, not everything fits neatly into your. Read more

  • Quick Contact

    Small Business Resources, lc

    114 NW 5th St
    Suite 201
    Ankeny, IA 50023





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    Small Business Grants: The Facts and the Fiction #best #business

    #small business grant

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    Small Business Grants: The Facts and the Fiction

    I say for the most part because government grants for small businesses do exist, but the opportunity to secure one is limited to a narrow field of candidates.

    Here’s what you need to know about government grants for small businesses, who is eligible to receive them, and how to go about getting them.

    What grants are available?

    Before diving into the types of government grants available to small businesses, let’s start by establishing what the government does not provide grants for.

    The federal government doesn’t provide grants for any of the following activities:

    • Starting and expanding a business
    • Paying off debt
    • Covering operational expenses

    However—and here’s the twist—the federal government does award grants to small businesses in certain fields and industries (for example, scientific, environmental, and medical research). The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, for example, is one of the most lucrative sources of federal grants for high-tech startups or high-growth firms (more on SBIR below).

    The reason why federal grants are largely off-limits to small businesses is that they are funded by our tax dollars and appropriated through Congress and The White House. Fund allocations are tightly controlled and only awarded to business endeavors that are closely tied to the agenda of a particular government agency, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Department of Energy.

    Outside Washington, things don’t get much better. Although some state and local government agencies do award small business grants—which they often call discretionary inventive grants —these state grants are also closely aligned to agency objectives and tend to be limited to larger companies.

    How to find and apply for small business grants

    If you think your business may qualify for a grant, the resources below can help you with your search:

    Federal grants

    Grants.gov is Uncle Sam’s central repository and searchable database of over 1,000 different grant programs. To narrow down your search to small business grants, navigate to the “Browse Eligibilities” tab and select “Small Businesses”.

    State and local grants

    Contact your state economic development agency for information about discretionary incentive grants.

    Corporate and nonprofit grants

    Small business grants are also available from select nonprofits (WomensNet. for example) and corporations, such as the Intuit “Love our Local Business ” campaign.

    SBIR grants for R D businesses

    As mentioned above, if your small business is engaged in research and development (R D), you may be eligible for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant. SBIR is a federal program, overseen by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), that awards grants and government contracts to stimulate high-tech innovation and grow the economy by supporting the R D necessary to develop and commercialize innovative technological products. In 2010, SBIR awarded approximately $2 billion in research funds, with more than half the awards going to businesses that employed fewer than 25 people.

    While the eligibility criteria for an SBIR grant is pretty straightforward—businesses need to be more than 50 percent American-owned, located in the U.S. and have fewer than 500 employees—securing a grant requires some effort. First, you’ll need to prove that your efforts are aligned with federal R D goals by searching advertised agency solicitations on the SBIR website. Next, submit a proposal outlining the technical merits and benefits of your venture. If you are successful, you’ll then enter a phased R D process. You can read more about this phased approach on SBIR.gov .

    The bottom line

    Hopefully this information cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about small business government grants.

    If you need an injection of capital, don’t waste your time falling for the promises of late-night “free government money” infomercials, and instead use your energies to investigate other sources of financing.

    If you don’t qualify for a bank loan, consider an SBA loan, which can be easier to secure than a standard bank loan. An SBA loan is funded with money that comes indirectly from the SBA—first the SBA makes a guaranteed loan to your bank, which then makes a small business loan to you, the business owner. This approach allows the bank to take on a little more risk than they otherwise might be able to afford.

    This article is part of our Business Funding Guide. fund your business today, with Bplans.

    How LivePlan makes your business more successful

    If you re writing a business plan you’re in luck. Online business planning software makes it easier than ever before to put together a business plan for your business.

    As you ll see in a moment LivePlan is more than just business plan software though. It s a knowledgable guide combined with a professional designer coupled with a financial wizard. It ll help you get over the three most common business hurdles with ease.

    Let s take a look at those common hurdles and see how producing a top notch business plan sets your business up for success.





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    Small Business Assistance #business #studies

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    Small Business Assistance

    The Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) Office of Small Business Assistance (OSBA) provides technical and other nonfinancial assistance to small tobacco product manufacturers to help them and other small businesses to comply with the requirements of the Tobacco Control Act (TCA).

    We answer questions from regulated industry, including small tobacco product manufacturers and retailers, consumers of regulated tobacco products, and the general public. We respond to thousands of calls, emails, and correspondence every year to assist in answering specific questions about requirements of small businesses and how to comply with the law.

    If you have questions about the Tobacco Control Act or compliance with FDA regulations and policies, please contact us.

    Is my product regulated by CTP?

    In 2016, the FDA extended its authority to regulate all products that meet the definition of a tobacco product. including: E-Cigarettes and all other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), Dissolvables, Pipe Tobacco, Hookah Tobacco, Cigars, as well as, Novel and Future Tobacco Products.

    Since June 2009, the FDA has regulated the following tobacco products: Cigarettes, Roll-Your-Own Tobacco, and Smokeless Tobacco.

    Requirements for Tobacco Product Manufacturers, Importers, Wholesalers, and Distributors

    For the newly-regulated products, FDA is limiting enforcement of most automatic provisions provided in the Food, Drug Cosmetic Act, examples of which are listed in the Topics Section below, to only apply to finished tobacco products.

    When Do I Need To Comply?

    Additional Resources Regarding Newly-Regulated Products:

    Topics in this Section

    Access information on the requirements and tools available for establishment registration and product listing of FDA regulated tobacco products.

    Access information about user fees from all domestic manufacturers and importers of cigarettes, snuff, chewing tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, cigar, and pipe tobacco.

    Take a closer look at the process of submitting a list of ingredients.

    Find out how to submit tobacco health documents that relate to health, toxicological, behavioral, or physiologic effects of current or future tobacco products, their constituents (including smoke constituents), ingredients, components, and additives.

    Read how to submit an application and obtain FDA authorization before marketing a new tobacco product.

    Understand how to report quantities of harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs).

    More OSBA Resources

    Tobacco products imported or offered for import into the United States must comply with all applicable requirements under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD C Act) as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The Tobacco Control Act also requires FDA to report to Congress on the export of tobacco products that do not conform to U.S. tobacco product standards.

    Wholesalers and distributors of tobacco products have responsibilities under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD C Act) and its implementing regulations as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

    Restrictions on tobacco product manufacturers, retailers, and distributers include: prohibition of sponsorship of any athletic, musical, or other social or cultural event, or any team or entry in those events in a cigarette or smokeless tobacco brand name; and prohibition of the sale or distribution of items, such as hats and tee shirts, with cigarette and smokeless tobacco brands or logos.

    Restrictions on certain tobacco products labeling include restrictions on tobacco products labeled or advertised with the terms light, low, mild or similar descriptors and requiring warnings on packages and advertisements of smokeless tobacco, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and covered tobacco products.

    Contact Small Business Assistance





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    How Business Intelligence Helps Small Businesses Make Better Decisions #business #jobs

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    How Business Intelligence Helps Small Businesses Make Better Decisions


    Credit

    We often talk about the benefits of business intelligence, but we rarely explain what business intelligence is and why you should even consider it. More often than not, we are faced with this dilemma as we find ourselves excited at the “prospect” of what our business intelligence (BI) tools should offer, without knowing what it really can do.

    In a recent blog post published by Panorama, they tackled an important yet simple business question, “What is Business Intelligence ?”

    BI is a tool that helps organizations improve decision making by tracking, processing, storing and analyzing data and transforming it into insights. Business users can in turn use these insights to make the right decisions in the right time, cutting costs, identifying new business opportunities and improving their organization’s performance.

    Do we need business intelligence?

    Today we live in a world where organizations collect and store huge amounts of data. If that data is not put to good use to serve the company for a specific purpose, it becomes a heavy and expensive burden for the organization. It is very easy to get lost in all the data as the analysis process can be long and tedious; but with BI, the process becomes optimized plus with solutions like panorama NECTO 16. it has become almost automatic! Users can get knowledge that will improve their decision making in just two clicks!


    Credit

    Not only large corporations need BI. Small businesses do too!

    When most of us started our businesses, business intelligence (BI) was a special treat only the big-chip companies could enjoy, because well, employing analytics software required building data centers and hiring IT specialists and consultants.

    If it helps big organizations make better business decisions, then it should be able to help small business make sound and effective decisions for their businesses too!

    Times have changed, and today, small business BI is a booming industry. The same technological explosion that made the whole world fit into our pockets; in the shape of a smartphone or a tablet, also drastically reduced the size and cost of analytical solutions. For the first time, it is possible for small businesses to deploy BI to fulfill different needs, analyze their performance, predict their future, and make better decisions.

    For small businesses where one person is a jack of all trades, it means that your employees can pull out the particular piece of information they need even if it exceeds their immediate area of expertise.

    Through this, members of your team are empowered to view the same data from multiple locations and make data-driven decisions together. Business intelligence for small business doesn’t require any programming knowledge; neither need you to invest in trainings. All you need to do is to create a dashboard that will make everybody, from the top of the ladder to the bottom, understand that regular data analysis pays off. Gathering high-quality data is not a one-time effort and you must re-evaluate your goals periodically to determine whether your BI setup is helping you achieve them. The more you empower individuals to use and share data, the better their access to vital customer and financial information, then the more effective they will be in contributing to the achievement of your goal.

    Also, getting visual is one of the best ways to explore and understand data, particularly when presenting it to customers, investors or other stakeholders. To present data in a digestible and persuasive way and not to lose your audience’s attention, it’s advisable to use infographics – best choice of BI for small businesses. With this smart solution you can display business data on compelling charts without spending too much time on chart formatting and design.

    Furthermore, it helps you to grow your business. How is it possible? BI tools are smart and will help you reveal some trends in your past performance that could otherwise go unnoticed. You can identify crucial trends in your data with the potential to unlock new growth opportunities. By analyzing your past performance in context and trying to understand the factors that influenced the best or worst results, you can discover the key to the future growth.

    However, please note.

    When small businesses go shopping for BI and analytics solutions. the tendency can be to take a giant leap. The prospect of having all your data integrated and available to end users sounds exciting.
    Also, management may think the system they buy should accommodate any future needs that may arise as the business grows. This may make many of them to lose sight of the fact that the solution must be simple and easy to manage in order to be successful in the long term.

    Of course, the sweet talking salesmen from different solution providers also play a role in confusing the decision makers and making them sway from their immediate needs, and they sell a complicated system that’s far too expansive for a small business that basically only needs to analyze little data.

    Therefore, the best approach for a small business is to consider a BI suite that provides the best data connectors for their most important data. Business intelligence solutions with straight-forward incorporation requirements and immediate impact, is a much better alternative for small companies.

    More:

    From Our Partners





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    CRM for Small Business – 2016 Reviews and Pricing #best #new #business #ideas

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    Compare Small Business CRM Software

    With the growing number of affordable, Web-based products on the market, more and more small businesses are looking for customer relationship management (CRM) software to manage interactions with both current and prospective customers.

    Many are seeking to upgrade from basic email marketing or contact management systems. However, the capabilities of CRM systems can range widely, with varying levels of functionality for sales, marketing and customer support. We developed this guide to help buyers understand exactly what these products can offer, so they can select the solution that best meets their needs.

    Here’s what we’ll cover:

    Common Reasons Small Businesses Shop for a CRM Solution

    Thousands of small businesses contact us every year, looking for advice to help them select the CRM solution best suited to their company. Some are just getting started, while others are looking to replace an outdated or problematic system.

    Small businesses most commonly look to purchase a CRM system because they are:

    • Hoping to consolidate customer records and reduce double-entry.
    • Seeking to automate functions (alerts, follow-up emails etc.).
    • Looking to generate, track and manage leads more efficiently.
    • Needing specific features (e.g. trouble ticket management).
    • Frustrated with current CRM software (too complicated or not enough features).
    • Experiencing transition or company growth.

    Core CRM Applications for Small Businesses

    The core component of any CRM solution, contact management systems consolidate critical customer data (e.g. names, addresses and company info) into a single database, as opposed to scattering it across many individual inboxes or address books.

    Most small businesses; any business that needs to organize contact information or associate notifications, tasks, notes, files etc. with specific customers.

    Basic sales management applications allow businesses to track deals at different stages of the sales pipeline, integrating sales activities and appointments with the general contact database. Some may also include limited automation (e.g. automatically sending follow-up emails or setting up reminders) and reporting.

    Any small business with a dedicated sales team, or that needs to organize a high volume of leads and automate follow-up (e.g. real estate agencies).

    Entry-level marketing automation applications allow small businesses to quickly set up landing pages, Web forms and email templates that inspire potential customers to take action. They may also offer some degree of automation to send targeted, personalized messages based on prospects behavior.

    Small businesses with a dedicated marketing team, and/or looking to attract potential customers through email marketing or Web traffic.

    Customer service management

    Simpler customer service applications typically focus on basic trouble ticket management, which allows small businesses to document, track and resolve customer issues.

    Small businesses with a dedicated customer service team, or any business that needs to resolve a high volume of customer inquiries and/or complaints (e.g. software companies).

    Pricing: Web-Based vs. On-Premise CRM

    Most small businesses should consider hosted, cloud-based CRM solutions. Because these systems are hosted by the vendor, they eliminate the need for you to have a dedicated IT team for managing and maintaining your own server. They also drastically reduce upfront investment and installation costs.

    In addition, they typically offer monthly subscription pricing, which makes them scale well for fast-growing companies that need to add additional user licenses or features down the road.

    However, small businesses with sufficient IT resources and capital may still benefit from on-premise CRM systems. These solutions usually require purchasing an expensive perpetual license up front, but they may become the cheaper option if you use the same system over an extended period of time.

    You can see how pricing for these two models compares to figure out what works best for you using this tool. However, keep in mind that with on-premise solutions, you might also pay additionally for upgrades, customizations or maintenance.

    Key Considerations for Small Businesses

    With so many options and feature sets to choose from, selecting the right CRM for your small business can quickly become an overwhelming task. To narrow things down, here are four key factors for small businesses in particular to keep in mind as they evaluate different products:

    Which Applications to Prioritize?
    Because CRM encompasses so many functions (e.g. sales, marketing and customer service), many entry-level products are actually best-of-breed solutions. This means they focus on only one of the core applications listed above (although all CRM systems will provide some level of contact management functionality). Integrated suites, meaning solutions combining multiple applications in one software package (often billed as professional or enterprise editions) are much more expensive.

    So before you begin shopping, start with a clear assessment of exactly which functions you need. The Best for. column in the chart above provides recommendations as to which types of companies may need which applications.

    System Complexity and Ease-of-Use
    Many small businesses we speak with say they re replacing their CRM system because it s too complicated or difficult to use. And if your employees find it too burdensome to input data into your program, you ll wind up with a spotty, incomplete customer database, which defeats the entire purpose of having a system in place.

    As a result, small businesses should pay particular attention to ease-of-use as they evaluate CRM software options. Consider solutions with smart, intuitive interfaces. Also, take advantage of the demos and trials offered by many companies to get a real sense of how user-friendly a system is.

    Integration Considerations
    While small businesses may not have as many integration requirements as larger companies, you should still consider CRM solutions that integrate with programs that you and your employees already use, such as email clients, calendars and accounting software.

    For instance, integration with email clients such as Outlook and Gmail will make it much easier to import contacts and conversations into your new system. It also allows your employees to continue using the programs they re comfortable with, while ensuring your contact database remains comprehensive and up-to-date.

    Similar software categories




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    How Hard Is It to Be a Small Business Owner? Small Business Blog #cheap #business #insurance

    #small business owner

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    How Hard Is It to Be a Small Business Owner?

    There are a lot of misconceptions about being a small business owner. Like…

    People often think that being a small business owner is easy because you get to be your own boss and set your own hours.

    The Reality : Most small business owners work harder than they used to work when they had a corporate job.

    People think that being a small business owner is glamorous – you get to make big decisions, make big money, and have a carefree lifestyle.

    The Reality . Most small business owners have to wear many hats – sometimes getting to be a strategic visionary, but other times having to serve as a front-line customer service person, amateur psychologist, or office janitor.

    But one of the biggest misconceptions about being a small business owner is that it’s too “hard.” I recently read an article on the Naked Capitalism blog entitled Tech Titans Promoting Basic Income Guarantee as a Way to Shrink Government, Kill Social Programs , which suggested that being an entrepreneur is a raw deal for most people:

    But who wants to be an entrepreneur? Seriously. If you can hold a job with any stability and you don’t mind the work and get on with your boss and co-workers, it’s a vastly better deal than running your own show…being in business for yourself is almost a roll-back for the whole rationale of advanced economies: that of specialization. In a larger organization, the really good sales guy can mainly do sales, plus the unavoidable internal politics and bureaucratic tasks. The accountant can mainly do accounting, and so on.

    By contrast, starting a business requires lots of skills, including selling, negotiating, having common sense about priorities, being able to size up potential backers and employees, being able to budget and manage funds. It’s a drag if you are really good at one particular thing to have to do all that other stuff, even if you are capable of it.

    The payoff curve for entrepreneurship looks a lot like that of lines of employment that most parents would tell their kids to avoid: acting, playing sports, writing novels. Remember, 90% of all new businesses fail within three years. And like J.K. Rowling, A-list Hollywood stars, and football pros, the lure of the huge payoffs at the top end masks the steep falloff after that.

    First of all, it’s not true that “90% of all new businesses fail within three years” – according to statistics from the Small Business Administration. about half of small businesses survive for five years or more, and one-third survive for 10 years or more. That’s a lot longer than I’ve lasted at any corporate job.

    This article also makes it sound like entrepreneurship only offers rewards to the people at the top – as if most small business owners are a bunch of low-paid losers who would be better off trying to make it as actors in Hollywood. But even if we’re not going to be the next Bill Gates, most small business owners make a decent living – according to an American Express OPEN survey on the average entrepreneur’s salary. as of 2013, small business owners paid themselves an average annual salary of $68,000 – which is significantly more than the 2013 U.S. median household income of $52,250.

    But more broadly, I disagree with the premise of the argument that it’s “too hard” to be a small business owner because you don’t get to specialize in what you do best.

    It’s true that when you work for a big company, there are certain “economies of scale” that enable the big company to do things faster, cheaper, and perhaps better than a smaller company could. This is a basic principle of economics. However, for small business owners today, in the age of the Internet, there are so many great online small business tools and resources that can help you be more productive! You don’t have to be a big company to get big results in 2015 – you can use business-grade tools and resources to outsource, automate, and delegate various business tasks and daily operations, whether it’s basic back-office functions like simple accounting, invoicing, or payment processing, or more advanced skills like marketing, building customer relationships, and business inventory management .

    As a small business owner today, you’re in business “for” yourself, but not “by” yourself. You can get help with almost any business topic imaginable online. You can connect with other entrepreneurs on LinkedIn for advice and ideas. You can get free business mentoring from SCORE, the Small Business Administration’s mentoring program. Even if you’re a solo entrepreneur or small business owner with only a few employees, there are many ways to make your business seem “bigger” without the bigger costs.

    It’s simplistic (and wrong) to think that it’s too hard to be an entrepreneur, so no one should want to do it. I think it s actually the opposite – while it s never easy to run your own business – there are always financial risks and stresses, and lots of hard work – the Internet is making it easier than ever before to run a business. Not everyone has the right combination of ambition, hustle, vision, and sheer willpower that makes for a successful small business owner – but if you do, the rewards (and the daily sense of freedom) make it all worthwhile.

    Ideally, as a small business owner, you should get to specialize more than ever before in doing what you do best every day. Use some of these cheap (or free) online business tools and mobile apps to outsource or automate the daily tasks that you don t like to do or aren t as good at. Being an entrepreneur helps you unleash your productive, creative potential like nothing else!





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    Small Business Investors – Funding – Finance for UK Businesses #grants #for #business

    #small business investors

    #

    Funding for Small Businesses

    Where does someone look for funding if they are a small business? Business loans are only possible if the company has been in business for some time, but most young businesses are looking to expand and so they need other options to raise business capital.

    Government grants are another possibility. However, the process of obtaining funding this way is notoriously difficult. The UK government has claimed that this is a sort to test to see how much they need the funding, but the reality is that it is regulated by EU legislation. On the other hand, the EU itself does not fund anything beyond public sector ventures.

    There are also sites that offer local grants to small businesses around the UK, including local councils and large companies such as BT and O2, but the latter are usually competitions. Sites such as Business Zone UK list various business grants and awards available to UK entrepreneurs, but the number of proposals and funding amounts are usually quite limited.

    More common options for business funding are Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists, both of which will invest significantly higher amounts in your start-up or small business. However, both Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists will want some control of your business and guarantees of a good return on investment in exchange for their money. But at the same time, they offer the experience which could be that factor which allows your business to succeed in the first place.

    Remember, the investor is looking to make money just as you are, and so it will be a venture that both sides enter together as a partnership. This means that anyone who invests in a small business will do everything possible to ensure that they are making a sound investment. They will check your business plans thoroughly, and make sure that they themselves believe in your business idea and future plans.

    Finding funding for your small business or start-up can take a long time, but the Angel Investment Network can help you make vital contacts with experienced angel investors who are looking to make an investment.

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