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Showing posts from March, 2017

Does Your Business Need a Social Media Manager?

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Learn what a social media manager can do for your business. Every business today knows that social media matters and has most likely at least set up a Facebook or Twitter account. But it is one thing to say that something is important and another to actually spend money on it. Does a small business really need a dedicated social media manager? Surely the owner can take care of it on the weekends, or perhaps you can get a college intern who understands the ins and outs. But there is so much more to social media than firing off a few tweets. Getting the most out of social media requires forethought, a good sense of business strategy and the ability to connect with others. Here are just a few points to consider when deciding whether or not you need a social media manager on board. Having a planEvery business has a social media account to promote themselves, but the big question is how to do it. Far too many businesses will sporadically post an update of a sale or something interesting every…

5 Ways to Keep Your Business Secure Whenever You're Away

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Use these simple security tips to ensure your business stays safe even when you're not there. From lost luggage to missed connections, business travel comes with plenty of headaches. If you’re a business owner, you can add “worrying about whether your business will be robbed in your absence” to that list. Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, it can be stressful to leave your business behind—especially if you’re the one who’s usually in charge of maintaining its security. Luckily, a few simple steps can help guard against all but the most determined thieves. Here’s how to make sure your business stays secure even while you’re away. 1. Maintain routinesBurglars don’t typically strike a business without casing it first. When they case a business, they’re looking to identify patterns of behavior such as when employees arrive and leave every day. When those patterns are disrupted, that can signal to thieves that business is not proceeding as usual (and that they might have an op…

5 Creative Financing Ideas for Cash-Strapped Startups

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Consider these alternative funding options if you don't have enough cash to launch your startup. New startups are rarely easy to finance. Unless you’re independently wealthy or able to completely fund your venture by yourself, creativity and resourcefulness are truly the keys to success in financing your new startup. Let's assume you’ve already been turned down for a small business loan, and you don’t qualify for a grant. Now the question is: "how can my startup get the financing it needs to launch successfully?" Here are five creative financing ideas for cash-strapped startups wanting to take their idea from a mere vision to reality. 1. CrowdfundingWhile it’s hardly a new idea, the first thing to consider is crowdfunding. Before you jump the gun and start building your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign, consider these things to decide if crowdfunding is right for your startup. Have you figured out exactly how much funding you need to launch successfully? If not, it’s ti…

4 Common Financial Mistakes Every Small Business Owner Should Avoid

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Certain financial errors can lead to some serious cash flow problems if you aren't careful. Every entrepreneur and business owner will make a few financial mistakes during their journey. Those who aren’t savvy in accounting often overlook the need to brush up on their financial IQ. Truth is, these little financial errors can lead to some serious cash flow problems if you aren’t careful. Here are four financial mistakes you can easily avoid so you can protect your bottom line. 1. Late paymentsNobody is fond of paying bills. We tend to put them off until the last minute for short-lived peace of mind. This applies to all business owners when it comes to both your account payables and receivables. When billing your clients, it’s common to give them an extended window of time to make payments so you can foster more sales. While your clients may appreciate the flexibility this can seriously cripple your cash flow. I generally suggest giving your clients no longer than 14 days to pay an inv…
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Everyone wants to add customers, but don't forget about the ones you already have. The focus for many entrepreneurs is often on securing new customers. While this is clearly important and warrants a strategy and associated resource, many business owners overlook the importance of retaining existing customers. Existing customers have already spent money with your company, which means you’ve already earned their trust. In addition, if you have a good product or service, the chances are that existing customers would trust you enough to buy from you again. According to Bain & Co. it costs anywhere from five to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain a customer. They also found that increasing customer retention rates by 5 percent increases profits by between 25 percent to 95 percent. To adapt a quote from the famous 1967 Cat Stevens song The First Cut is The Deepest: In business, the first customer is the hardest. So, once you have a customer, it is important to …

How to look like a big business

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In 1999, Rob Cheng left a comfortable job heading up sales, marketing and support at Gateway, one of the biggest PC makers of the era, to open his own company. The idea -- a website offering an online diagnosis of your computer -- caught traction and some 17 years later, PC Pitstop had made it onto the Inc 5000 List of America's Fastest Growing Companies. First came the actual nuts and bolts of creating something out of nothing, and many of the challenges that Cheng had to overcome starting out are the same as those contemporary fledgling companies face -- with one difference: You can buy or rent a lot of technology nowadays to help your small business appear to be a lot bigger than it really is. Before hanging out a shingle, keep this checklist handy: Website designScrimp where you can, but not when it comes to creating a top-notch website. A big company might have a crummy website, but a startup can't afford the same luxury. The website is the face of your business, and colors,…

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