How To Make Your Business Run Efficiently

Having an efficiently run business is vitally important, it is the only way that you can maximize the profitability of it. We live in a world that is dominated by business and there are so many companies out there looking to make a fortune. It is vitally important that any new or existing company is efficiently organized, I can’t stress enough the significance of it.

License: Creative Commons image source
License: Creative Commons image source

This article will aim to highlight what it takes to run an efficient business and why that is so important. Anyone looking to make money needs to have a hierarchical structure and internally they need to have a computerized filing system.

It’s very difficult in such a technologically dominated world to not be on the same wave length as the technology.

Re-Structure

This is a good way to make your business run efficiently. A complete restructure can help to keep things fresh and provide inter position competition which is good for people, especially in a world that is so competitive. People want something to aim towards and a position to try and take away from someone else, it’s just the way people’s minds work.

An efficiently run business can increase profitability dramatically, similarly, a poorly designed business can result in large losses. It is just a matter of finding the right balance and ensuring that organizationally everything is in its right place. Different companies have different ideas about how this is best done, some favor inclusion and some favor a more dictatorial approach, both work and it just depends on the person.

In the internet age we live in the focus of everything is on speed and efficiency and thus your company has to be the face of that if you are hoping to be successful.

Clerical

Clerically your company has to be well organized as well. Everything has to be scanned and filed correctly and organized neatly. This helps when dealing with clients directly and the internal aspect of the organization process. Investing in your own document scanners and photocopiers can be the best way to ensure your internal organization is kept neat and tidy.

The last thing you want to do is lose the files of a client that can have a lot of money invested in your company. We live in the age of the internet and much of the clerical stuff nowadays is done online so with a little training you can digitalize your whole system.

You may also want to digitalize your legal documents signing. More law offices are now accommodating e-signature, allowing you to securely sign legal documents online – this reduces paper consumption and makes document signing – and counter-signing – a swift process.

Communication

You have to communicate in all areas of the business if it is to run efficiently. Communication between bosses and lower level workers is extremely important, this creates a bond and a level of respect. If workers see a difference in status and feel that in the workplace it can make things extremely difficult so try to avoid this as much as possible.

As a business owner you have a level of responsibility to look after your clients and let them know about business plans, where the company is heading and weekly targets. Keep your workers in the loop.

About the Author: Andrew is an author with a love for business, he studied it at university and has a masters degree in this field. He now has over 15 years writing experience and he knows what he is talking about

A Short List Of Some Of The Biggest Problems Business Managers Face Today

Running a business has always required a lot of hard work, a lot of time, and a lot of dedication. No one ever said that running your own business would be easy, yet entrepreneurs from all over the world are opening up new businesses every day so that they can offer something unique to the public and so that they can be their own bosses and make their own decisions.

License: Creative Commons image source
License: Creative Commons image source

Today, there are new challenges that managers in the past never really had to deal with. Continue reading to access a short list of just a few of the problems that business managers in the 21st century have to tackle.

The Perks and Challenges of Social Media

Social media websites reign supreme among Internet users. Gone are the days when people would visit a company’s official website to learn about it and to get in touch with the business owners. These days, people check Facebook, Twitter, and other social media websites where they spend most of their time instead. Therefore, in order to run a successful business today, you need to invest your time and resources into a domain name for an official website, as well as a multitude of social media pages that are customized and able to connect with users directly. And then, of course, comes the task of marketing not only your website but also all of these social media pages and posts so that you can get through the clutter that is on the Internet and actually connect with customers who are interested in what you do.

So Much More Competition

It is easier than ever before to start up a business of any kind. This means that there is a lot more competition out there. The good news is that a lot of these businesses do not make it unless they really know what they’re doing. But if you find yourself in an overly saturated market, it can definitely be a challenge to get people to take note of you. Stiff competition has made it much more difficult for small businesses to succeed, especially since they are also up against large corporations that have a hold on major industries.

An Uncertain Economy

Tough economic times make it harder both for customers and business owners. After all, if customers cannot afford the products and services that are offered by small businesses, these companies simply cannot survive. Therefore, as long as the economy will remain uncertain, business managers need to take the right steps to keep customers satisfied and to keep their costs as low as possible in order to transfer those savings to their customers by providing low prices.

Running a business today is a tough job, and it can be more stressful than ever before to make sure that your business stays afloat. From stiff competition to a harsh economy, if you can manage to keep your business going today, you really have what it takes to be a business manager.

About the Author: Brian Smith, the author of this post, works at Yellowstone Capital, a capital firm that provides business loans. Through his blog, he advises people on topics like business management, finance and marketing. In his spare time, he likes to express himself through his blog posts.

Have Fun While Promoting Your Business

Corporations engulf the business world with their high-profile meetings, money-exchanges and dealings. But what corporations, big and small, really need is a strong employee-employer relation. They need to work together and attract clients in order to escalate the market presence of their enterprise. Organize a corporate event for your employees and give them some hours of fun filled memories. Corporate parties are always black-tie events. A party can be filled with the mumble of soft chatter, sipping classic champagnes, or they could be thrilling and intoxicating to all senses as well as emotions from the joy of music to the fear of getting burnt.

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Corporate parties need something unique and extraordinary. This helps employees and bosses to let loose and have a great time. Of course, some parties like Christmas and New Year need special ornaments and themes. A party needs the element of thrill and fun. That push to really make everyone bath in wonder and awe. But how do you make a corporate party consisting majorly of business talks so thrilling?

Getting creative with Music and Food

Parties are given a new dimension by the addition of music. A centre stage filled with 7 or 8 musicians playing jazz, blues and soft tunes on shiny gold instruments is the way to go. A dull talk can easily become a conversation of interest when soft music fills in the gap rather than dull mumble of soft chatter. An informal occasion may even allow acquiring rock bands. On the same lines, a barbeque might play extremely well in an outdoor party. The smokiness on the right day can make every gathering the topic of conversation for months. A barbeque should, of course, be reserved for small parties.

Acrobats and other Activities

A magnificent acrobatics show might give a new edge to the party altogether andguests will surely relish as contortionists and acrobats acquire appreciation from everyone. Also, competitive activities are a major hit at such parties. Any competition from embarrassing situations to bingo can have positive result for everyone. For parties with kids in them, sport activities can be the best way for everyone to let their hair down.

Fire Jugglers

Fire Jugglers define the word “Thrill”. A fire juggling and torch act can be a thrilling experience for the guests. This act achieves applause each and every time. Over the past few years, a few corporate companies have hired fire performers for their parties to highlight the name or the motto of the company, thus helping in creating a deeper impression to the guests’ memory.

Parties always require a festive atmosphere which can thrill and excite the guests in order to make the party memorable. Entertainment from any source goes a long way in helping the people get excited for work. Entertainment in a corporate party is the utmost necessity after the guests and food. All employees need a break to get their head around and the added dimension of thrill to any party is the best way to do it.

About the Author: Today’s guest post is written by Melisa Connery. She is a regular blogger and a budding novelist. She has written articles for many established magazines. Her last article was about the amazing Juggling Inferno fire performers and their life.

The Evolution of Organization: How Project Management Became a Thing

If you’re wondering how exactly business defines project management, you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking it’s a little vague. Project management is amassing the right group of people to accomplish a shared goal, and in that way, it can take many different shapes and forms across many different industries. You can see the philosophy of project management throughout history in everything from the building of the pyramids and the Great Wall of China to the expansion of the railroad across the United States. But the modern idea of what a project manager actually does is fairly recent. How do project management teams fit into businesses today? And what does the future hold for the industry?

Creative Commons License:  Image Source
Creative Commons License: Image Source

1. The Project Management Institute

Many business experts will tell you that project managers simply didn’t exist before the new millennium, or at least that they were never known by that title. But project management as it is known today began with the creation of the Project Management Institute in 1969. PMI set the standard for project management as an official industry, promoting research and education and offering training programs, seminars, and certification. They teach project managers the different elements of the job, such as project estimating, risk management, and how to allocate work to the right people. Around 400,000 business professionals hold one of PMI’s many project management credentials, which serve as the gateway to a host of different jobs on a project management team.

2. The Rise of the Personal Computer

In the 1980s and 1990s, project management shifted towards globalization and internet technology. It began with the rise of the personal computer and the invention of project management software. No longer was it all about gathering workers in a meeting and presenting stacks of paperwork with cost projections and risk factors. All of these variables could be presented digitally, meaning that larger-scale projects could be understood and directed in record time. In addition, the computer age created its own project management niche. Developing software, testing for safety and effectiveness, and marketing the release of important new products helped computers gain some leverage in the business world. With new technology invented all the time, project managers had to learn how to adapt their standards to a changing world.

3. The Future of Project Management

So what’s next? U.S. News and World Report names project management as one of the top 5 skills you need to ensure job security, and it’s a skill that’s increasingly virtual. According to the Gallup Business Journal, 30 percent of workers are individual, virtual laborers which means project managers can reach across the world and across the spectrum to create their teams. It’s never been easier to find the right man or woman for the job than it is with the internet so easily accessible. And that’s why more and more businesses, from local establishments to giant corporations, are hiring project managers. It’s the easiest way to guarantee the most success, no matter what your company might be planning.

Project management is a tool to fight the competition through the power of organization. A great team can make or break an important project, and these days, project managers aren’t jobs you can shave off your roster. With their ability to use the internet to reach all the talent in the world, they’re trained professionals that any competent business owner would want to have on their side.

About the Author: Writer Brett Harris is an avid blogger. Interested in project management as a career? Check out project management degree online.

Planning a customer loyalty programme? Try these

Customer loyalty programmes are one of the most innovative ways to show to your customers that you value them. Businesses that have always aimed at keeping their customers coming back for more without actually letting them wait, know what these programmes can bring to them. Customer loyalty programmes play an instrumental role in helping you gather relevant information about the customer demographic. These are the kind of programmes that go on to boosting your marketing efforts by also helping you fetch the best outputs in the long run. Loyalty programmes outperform several other strategies and campaigns but still a lot of businesses seem to overlook its growing importance.

License: Creative Commons image source
License: Creative Commons image source

However, only realising the benefits that these programmes can bring to your business is not enough. Planning them with care and getting them right should be the concerns that follow. We believe that the key to creating a well thought out and successful customer loyalty program is its accessibility and user friendliness.

If you’re planning to start a customer loyalty programme soon, here are the tips that can help you get the most out of it and finally plan it according to your expectations:

# Your first loyalty punch card

The punch card formula is a great way to give it a start. Make sure that you design a card that is specific to your business and aims at offering FREE and attractive gifts after a particular number of purchases being made by the customer. Suggest them to carry the card and let them know the benefits they can gain from the card, well ahead in advance.

# Opt-in programmes

Encourage your customers to avail the benefits of the sign-up in the form of plenty of offers and rewards. Let them share their email addresses with you and you can then add them to your opt-in list. This can be either done online or right at the time of sale. Email sign-up options will ease out the pressure on the application processes and your customers won’t have to download apps every now and then. They won’t be required to share all the personal information, as in most cases, they are denied by the customers.

You can then choose to send them a draft on the attractive and personal offers as well as the regular communications that can only be availed by the loyalty customers. If the recent surveys are to be believed, email campaigns that have mostly been targeting the loyalty members have gradually emerged as an amazing source of revenue. Additionally, these are also easy to track; you can’t deny that you wanted something like this.

# Premium loyalty programme

This is where you can bring the customer relationship management software into use. Track most of the higher value purchases, study them and invite specific customers to join the programme. Find out the customers who have been contributing majorly to boosting up your sales and invite them to join the programme.

# Branded loyalty membership cards

With the help of loyalty card services, you can design branded cards that are specific to your business, activities and brand. They will paint a brighter picture of your image; such services can largely help you in tracking and managing the customer behaviour and lot more. You can track the number of customers that have actually visited your store. The customers that spend a good amount for making a purchase with your store and that too frequently must be noticed.

These loyal members can also be chosen for sending targeted emails; you can also text the campaigns to them. Services that you’re going to add can also include branded gift cards and much more. Think about your brand, its activities and what you would want from your customers in the present scenario and you will see an influx of unique ideas good enough to boost your sales.

# Adding the digital component

All your customers may not be digitally savvy but we still believe that most of them would be and this is what brings the incorporation of digital component into picture. It is important for the businesses to cater to the growing demands of customers addicted to apps which indicate a mobile loyalty trend growing with time. There are plenty of apps that can be tapped into for a fee or for free!

This is getting more important for the businesses that are already involved with the mobile payment platforms. Make sure that you explore all the available options and finally hop onto the services that can also offer a seamless social media integration. Get liked, shared and consider the pace of your progress with the help of online reviews as they also get you a slice of some honest feedback.

# Choice of incentives

The incentives or rewards you have for your customers should be as unique as your business. Make it appealing and moreover – a desirable one. You can go for experiential awards that can serve the purpose of actually ‘rewarding’ your loyal customers. A hair salon can always try and offer interesting monthly workshops to its loyal customers where they can be offered free makeover tips.

These are the kind of experiences that go on to building communities, adding value to the lives of your customers and assisting your business to stand out from the crowd. Don’t forget that these opportunities can be utilised for offering your customers amazing reason/s for coming back.

# Regular communication with customers

If they are your loyal customers – they deserve special treatment. Segment out this section of your customers and don’t forget to communicate with them more often than not. Share the upcoming events with them, let them know about the incentives and lastly – don’t forget their birthdays. Make them feel special at each stage and you can also consider offering them something unique in their birthday months. They deserve a great treatment – after all they are your loyal customers!

About the Author: Michael Evans is a passionate blogger and he occasionally writes for Rope-barriers.com, a leading UK based budget post and rope barriers manufacturer and supplier.

The Most Popular Kinds Of Customer Reward Schemes And How They Can Benefit You

Customers of all kinds of businesses are now being treated to reward schemes that offer all kinds of free stuff and money off. Loyalty schemes have been around in one form or another for as long as modern marketing has existed, however with internet technology and advances in the way data can be collated and used, these days they are more innovative and rewarding than ever before.

License: Creative Commons image source
License: Creative Commons image source

Here are some of the most common types of loyalty scheme, and how you can take advantage of them to save money and get some fantastic treats!

Punch Cards

One of the most common loyalty schemes around, along with one of the oldest, are those punch cards you see in coffee shops, restaurants, sandwich shops and so on. The basic idea is that you take a card and the cashier stamps it every time you buy something. Once the card is full, you get something for free, such as a coffee or sandwich.

These reward systems may not save you a fortune, but if you buy a coffee every day, you could be getting a free one every week or two by going to the same coffee shop and remembering to give them your card. These schemes usually have no registration (though you may need to give basic information like your name and email address on the back of the card when you hand it in to get your free gift), and they essentially reward you for buying something you’d be buying anyway – the scheme simply encourages you to keep getting it from the same place.

Store Reward Cards

Supermarkets large and small along with many department stores and other popular chains offer their own reward schemes, where you accumulate points as you shop which get you specific benefits. This could be credit to spend in the same store, or preferential prices on specific items. Some supermarkets, for example, have points systems that allow you to save money on gas at the pump.

These are usually fast to register for, and once you have your reward card you may not only be saving points, but also paying less for products. Some chains like Kroger offer lower prices for almost everything in store to their loyalty card holders!

Air Mile Schemes

Credit card air mile schemes have been around for a long time now, and have changed very little in format, with only the range of available incentive travel gifts becoming greater as these schemes have evolved. Some credit cards, for example those branded with popular airlines, offer flexible points (known as ‘miles’ in most cases), which are worth different amounts depending on how in demand the thing you try and redeem them for is. This means if you want to use them for a flight outside of the busiest times of the year, you get extremely good value.

Other brands, for example Capital One, offer special fixed value points that are worth the same amount no matter when you want to use them. These offer far better value when you want to travel at peak times, like holidays, or on very popular routes.

About the Author:Today’s guest author, David Waters, heads the sales department of a prominent bank based in Georgia, US. He enjoys cooking and calling friends over for dinner and socializing in his spare time.

One For All, And All For The Good Of The Company

When is a company free from employee risk? If you answered anything other than “never,” then you need to think again. Employees present a challenge from the second they begin their careers with your company, and this challenge stays with them until they leave. As an employer, you must do everything within your power to ensure that everyone is treated equally and with respect. Smart employers know that deviating from this philosophy leads to potentially crushing legal action, and they take special care to avoid this road. The following outlines some of the areas in which unfair employee practices can lead to troubling situations.

License: Creative Commons image source
License: Creative Commons image source

HR: The Beginning

Right from the start, you need to ensure that your hiring process applies equally to everyone, regardless of age, race, gender or other classifications. Anyone who applies to your company should meet a streamlined, tier-based process that takes a blind eye to discriminating factors. By using a standardized process, you ensure that someone gets eliminated based on merit rather than potentially litigious factors.

Salary

Once you hire, make sure that your salary offering meets competitive rates while staying fair across the board. If you must offer more compensation for hiring someone from an opposing business to entice them to your company, then offer it as a bonus sign-on incentive based on experience rather than other unfair qualifications.

Training & Learning the Ropes

When acclimating to a new work environment, people may feel isolated as a new person. This could lead to potentially threatening behavior and reports. Eliminate this risk by ensuring that employees are treated fairly throughout the entire onboarding and training processes. As with the hiring process, streamline your training and onboarding by providing detailed handbooks at the outset and asking new hires to learn the ropes during off-times. This will allow them to receive paid training without the stress of adjusting to a new social order simultaneously. Ensure that each new hire receives a checklist of tasks and that the supervisor discusses the policies in detail, which will allow a new employee to ask questions in confidence. The same holds true for training. You should always conduct a regulated training process to ensure that every employee who works in the same position receives the same training. This will lead to better productivity and improved morale.

Evaluations

In order to eliminate charges of unjust promotions or raises, you should have a system in place to gauge employee work performance. This system should be designed in an unbiased way and should match the goals of your organization. That way, when you evaluate your employees, everyone receives a rating based on objective measures rather than subjective feelings.

Discipline

Because you will have a standard system for employee evaluations, discipline will not be cause for legal action. Employees may try to argue that a supervisor is singling them out, but if you have a set standard for counseling, then you have nothing to fear. Bias plays no part in a formalized discipline system. Make sure to involve several managers in the process, as claims of bias are weakened when the proof comes from different, objective sources.

Black and White

What’s the point of having a printed handbook if no one will adhere to its rules? Your business should run on the principle that what’s printed applies universally to everyone, even in tough situations or rare occurrences. For this reason, if your HR staff allows special circumstances to slip through the cracks or fails to uphold the handbook to the letter, then you need to have a serious discussion with them. You cannot be impartial and allow some to get away with things while others follow the rules. Your handbook should be considered the final word on every situation.

Benefits of HRIS & PEO

A human resource information system (HRIS) or professional employer organization (PEO) can further help you to eliminate employee risk in extreme or especially threatening situations. Sometimes, despite standardized procedures, employees make outlandish claims that could cost a company serious trouble. An HR person might know what to do but be momentarily distracted by the severity of the claim. In these cases, having an HRIS or PEO can alleviate some of the burden and allow the HR department to perform its job efficiently and effectively.

About the Author: Rebecca Whiteside. Read more on The Human Resources Blog.

7 Tips For Business Forecasting

Business forecasting is a dynamic part of your business strategy that are done to anticipate the future development of the organization and predict the trends and sales patterns. There are a variety of business forecasting software tools to forecast sales, social network traffic, production etc. Business forecasting is very important for every business in today’s world to analyze the success or failure of a business. Here in this article we will help with 7 useful hints for accurate business forecasting .

License: Creative Commons image source
License: Creative Commons image source

Every business owner should be aware that business forecasting alone cannot guarantee success for your business, but it guides you in the right direction and with your own efforts you have to be prepared for success or failure. One of the main advantages of business forecasting is that it allows to make proper decisions and enables the management to alter the business operation at the right time to make profits. Let us now see the 7 tips for business forecasting.

Tips #1 Know your baseline

Before doing business forecasting for your business in the future, you have to take analyze the current situation. Then you have to record the information like variable expenses, gross margin, interest rates, fixed expenses and operating profit margin. These records of information will help you determine whether your forecasting is realistic or not. Let us consider for example, if your margin jumps up significantly, then you may need to reconsider the assumptions made by you are reasonable or not.

Tips # 2 Analyze Multiple Scenarios

After you’re done with your baselines, you need be ready to calculate your forecast. In this process, you need to determine how much you expect sell and how it will cost you in the given year. In this step you have to keep track of scenarios like staffing levels, advertising, price points and marketing.

Tips # 3 Develop a flexible process

Most of the business organizations make mistakes by just looking at the sales history. So, it’s very important to develop a flexible process as it impossible to perform a single test to track the sales system, product delivery and customer history etc.

Tips # 4 Don’t involve to be too complicated

In business forecasting, you should not involve in a complicated process. Since business forecasting involves a lot of mathematical calculations.

Tips # 5 Use business forecasting softwares

To simplify your business forecasting process you can make use of business marketing softwares available in the market. Since business forecasting software can quickly and easily run the various forecasting models for you.

Tips # 6 Time series Analysis

In time series analysis of business forecasting, to judge the future operation you have to take the historical data and put it into a statistical generator. Since if there is any disruption in the supply chain, it could reduce the sales.

Tips # 7 Budget

Whenever the company begins to slow down, you need to adjust the budget with new data. This adjustment can helpful for your future operations.

The above business forecasting tips will help you determine the future growth of your business and help you to make a good profit.

About the Author: Freddy is a passionate business blogger and works as a provider of cashflow forecast software

Is Outsourcing Your Accounting To An Offshore Company A Good Idea?

Tracking your business’ expenses is an important part of keeping your financial goals on track. For this reason, it becomes important to hire a team of professionals that can help you and your business stay strongly footed for a successful financial future. Quickly it will become apparent that part of your financial success team will need to be an accountant. There are many great options you will have including those in your local community as well as offshore options. Offshore accounting options are a great way and option to keep costs low. The following explains what you will want to consider, however, before answering the question of whether or not outsourcing your accounting to an offshore company is a good idea or not.

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License: Creative Commons image source

Accessibility

One of the most important items that you will want to consider when outsourcing is whether or not you will have sufficient access to the offshore company. This is one of the biggest downfalls of using any company that is not locally, regionally, or even internally, connected with a company. An offshore accountant may not be available on a consistent basis. They may have many clients and could find that they are not going to be able to deal with the mass amount of work that comes in in an equally divided way. For that reason, it becomes important that you choose a company that will work for you as and when you need them to. This can help you to make sure that you get the most from your experience and ensure your work is completed on time.  Those with lots of accounts will be better off sticking to local based companies.

Cost

One of the greatest advantages of outsourcing your accounting to an offshore company is the cost. You do not want to spend too much on accounting and yet, want the work to be done efficiently. An offshore company can be a great way to achieve this desire as a low cost option for your business. Again, though, be sure to evaluate quality over singularly looking at price. Just because it is cheaper does not mean it will meet the same quality of service that you require. It does not necessarily mean you will not either. For that reason, weigh the cost and the service quality promised against each other and make the best decision for your business.

Trust

If you are going to choose an offshore company, one way to assess whether or not they will be able to work well with you is to really focus on the reputation and recommendations from past and current customers. Reputation for success and trust is important when you are trying to get a good service from a company, no matter what service or product they offer. Be sure that you look into the reputation of the business as this can help you to better understand whether or not outsourcing to them would be a good idea. This is an important step in any assessment of an accountant or accounting company, no matter whether they are local or offshore. Choose and plan wisely.

About the Author: Laura writes for www.liptrottandwoosey.com, a highly reputable accounting firm based in Manchester.

5 Tools for Better Management

Effective management is a vital weapon in the arsenal of any business. In recent years technological advancements have made management tools more accessible for all types of business but with the smorgasbord of options out there it can be difficult for a business to know what management tools to choose. So, what are some of the best management tools available for business today? Continue reading 5 Tools for Better Management