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Social-Media-Marketing

Being the owner of a small business, it’s not an easy task to maintain everything perfectly, when the aim is to keep growing and expanding under any circumstance. In today’s era, various financial and management tools are available at affordable prices, which can help any business manager or analyst to maintain or manipulate the data and statistics. Here are the options that every small business owner should look for to ensure efficiency in work, while making any task easy and seamless.

Social Media Marketing Tools: With limited resources at their disposal, it may be difficult for many businesses to either hire a social media manager or maintain their social media presence themselves. Business owners can look at multiple tools available today which allow scheduling posts and tweets in advance. A well strategized media plan, with the help of tools and correct monitoring can go a long way in creating awareness and reach for a small business.

Employee Management: While being burdened with workload, many business owners may not be taking stock of what their employees are feeling about the company and what their thoughts are on the work environment. It is very important to ensure that the employees are feeling appreciated, comfortable and secure in their work environment, allowing them to work efficiently. Employees are not only the foundation stone on which any business rests, but they are also the best source for getting the word out about your business. A happy employee is bound to say good things about their employer, while unhappy employees will do just the opposite.

Managing Money: With your business resting solely on money and on your revenue, it is very important to get your finances in place. It is essential to have an accountant who has a really good grasp of all the financial aspects of your business. Personally, managing your finances is equally essential. To ensure that your debts are taken care of, you could rely on different tools available to you – whether it is looking at the best way to consolidate credit card debt or create savings and managing your family and personal finances, step out to seek all the help you need.

The Balancing Act: As a small business owner, finding time for doing anything else other than working and growing your business may be quite difficult. However, it is essential that you de-stress and find time for your family and people important in your life or just spending time with yourself. When you are back, you are refreshed and rejuvenated and probably have solutions to problems that seemed impossible to solve before you went for your much deserved break.

Taking care of the details and minor aspects of the business which may not come across as a great deal, in fact, has a greater impact on the overall business and should not be ignored. Expanding and growing your business is an on-going process, keep focus on it and you can soon take your business to the heights of success.



 
  


Budget-icon

Article Contributed by Cameron Johnson

It’s vital that your start up business have the right amount of cash to operate. It would be terrible to open your business and have to close a few months later because the estimated costs of running the business were too low. You’ll need to cover expenses while you’re earning enough to break even. That could take upwards of six months to realize.

Calculate Expenses

You’ll need office equipment, software to run your business, supplies, inventory and permits to name a few things your business will need. If you’re opening a brick and mortar business, you’ll need money for rent, utilities and shipping costs. If you’re starting your business online, you’ll need internet service, website services and shopping cart software. Both business types will need business cards, stationary, signs and office supplies.

The plan for the year has to be as detailed as possible. While you can only guess the amount of products or services you’ll sell each month, you have to be as accurate as possible based on studying the market, competition and demand. To budget money for the entire year, you’ll have to estimate a projected earnings report for the next twelve months. It would include fixed expenses, varied operating expenses versus estimated earnings for each month too.

Operating expenses will include things like automobile insurance, advertising and employee wages including your own. You’ll need money for your marketing plan. While social media might be fairly inexpensive, it’s not completely free. The business will need various marketing plans to be successful, and the costs should be listed under expenses. You’ll need a writer to write copy for your website, closed captioning companies for your videos and editing companies for your marketing copy. If you want to create online advertising through social media, those ads will need to be added into the budget. It’s impossible to make money without spending money through advertising and marketing your business.

Calculate Taxes

Estimating taxes can be the hardest part of owning a business. A tax specialist can look at your business and figure out the estimated taxes you should pay quarterly. When a business owner goes from being an employee to a business owner, they don’t always understand that they are responsible for social security and Medicare deductions. Estimated quarterly taxes make it much easier for a new business to pay their taxes instead of waiting until the end of the year to pay one large, lump sum to the IRS.

The Monthly Budget

When you figure out your startup costs for an entire year, you’ll be factoring the estimated sales against the monthly expenses. For the first few months, you can assume that you won’t be making much money at all. You’ll have to make sure you’ve gotten a loan or generated a certain amount in savings for the lean months when you can’t expect to make any money.

Insurance Concerns

Whether you’ll be running an online business or brick-and-mortar business, you’ll need to consider general liability insurance for the business itself. You might need commercial auto insurance, property insurance or workers’ compensation. There are a variety of other insurance needs depending on the industry. You’ll need to research and budget for insurance concerns.

The hardest part of the startup is estimating how much you’ll need to start your business and keep it flowing for the next six months to a year without much revenue entering the doors. You have to research the answer to every question when it comes to startup expenses. You can’t leave anything to chance. If you don’t know the answer, research and research again until you have a solid plan in place for your business.

About the author:

Cameron Johnson is a business consultant and entrepreneur. Over the course of his career he has conducted case studies on both social media optimization and non-profit marketing. Cameron has also had the opportunity to speak at international business conferences and was recently recognized as one of the world’s top 100 advertising experts to follow on social media.


money-management-post-nl

Small Business owners may have appointed accountants to take care of finances; however, it is imperative that you, as the owner, have the basics of managing finances in place, so that you can stay on top of things. It is important to understand how to interpret financial statements, set-up accurately, maintain the payroll system, amongst other things so you don’t feel at a disadvantage when it comes to making important decisions for your business.

Read through the following money management essentials which may come in handy for small business owners:

Payment Gateways: There is no denying that you will have to look into the payment options you are providing to your customers. If your services or products are available through an app or on the web, you will have to give a thought to which payment gateway you want to opt for. Furthermore, can the consumer pay by credit card, debit card, checks and what are the other options you would want to give them? You will also have to look into how you would like to tackle non payment issues.

Accounting Tools: Chances are you already have an accountant, but if you are looking to manage your accounts by yourself, an understanding to do the same efficiently is quite essential, since your business decisions will be based on your growth numbers. Thanks to plenty of accounting software available in the market, accounting can be easy and simple and won’t require pulling your hair out when it comes to crunching numbers. Needless to say, if you can’t work the details out with the help of these tools, it is best to hire a good accountant to assist you with managing your finances.

Managing Finances: Business owners should ensure that their personal finances are in place, so it doesn’t negatively impact the on-going business. At the same time, even ensuring that you are on-top of your payments to suppliers and other parties is important. If you are ever in need, you have various tools at your disposal to understand the best way to consolidate debt and take the right action to drop the worries about your debt and be debt-free soon, so all your energies can be directed towards operating your business.

Managing Deposits and Debt Collection: For those businesses providing services, it becomes important that you secure a deposit. This ensures that the client is retained. The formal contract with the client, along with mentioning the required deposit amount should spell out the details in case the client would like to cancel the service.

Small business owners at some point in time may come across clients not paying for the services or products provided, even after you have extended credit to accommodate their requests. It is important that you put down the rules in place with regards to extending credit to your clients as well as collecting debt.

The tips above should get you thinking about lining your finances in order to allow you to focus on operations and other equally important aspects of your business.


entering-startup-

Want a cab to arrive or at your doorstep within minutes? Want the grocery to be express delivered to you? Fret not, because startups are here to rescue you from all the worrying, and to make the process seamless and easy. The world is witnessing a startup culture of sorts in every vertical, whether it be health, commute, e-commerce or any other space, you will find yourself being served by startup companies which are born out of great ideas to make things even more convenient in your day-to-day life.

You are probably inspired and are deciding to take the leap yourself and launch your own start-up. However, there are some crucial steps you should be taking before you decide to run with your idea:

Take a good look at your industry: It is very important to do your market research and get a good understanding of the industry you are about to step into before you make your move. The process will allow you to gather much needed information such as the viability of your product, market saturation, your target audience amongst other statistics. The information will give you the liberty to decide which direction would be best for you and your business.

Put together a strong core team:  There is nothing like the support of efficient, hardworking and knowledgeable professionals to assist with setting up and running the business as well as ensuring smooth operations. A good technical team along with a really good business attorney, accountant and other professionals will give you the much needed confidence to step out and make your mark.

Get your funds in line: You will have to ask yourself whether you are equipped to bootstrap or will need to secure funding from venture capitalists or angel investors. In case you are managing your personal debts at this time, you could rely on services such as the National Debt Relief to rid yourself of debt-related worries before you begin a new chapter of your life. If your company is under heavy loan at the early stage, you must ask yourself what is debt consolidation and clear-out every possible hurdle which come across your steady financial graph. Once you have zeroed in on how to proceed with funding your business and have zeroed in on the revenue model, you can charge right at it, backed by your efficient team.

Conduct a test-run of the business model: The conduction of a demo of sorts, of your business model will give you a very clear idea about the model’s strengths and weaknesses. A demo allows you test the robustness of the model. You could deploy various feedback tools and resources online to make the process easier, and based on the observation, feedback and results, you can make the required changes. Once all boxes are checked, the entire process will work as a confidence-booster for everyone involved.

Think public relations, marketing and advertising: Ensure that soon after setting up, the first thing you look at is getting the word out about the existence of your company and the services or product it offers. As a startup, it is highly important to make your audiences aware and that you are here to stay. You will have to zero-in on your marketing strategies as well as cut out the budget for the same.

Startups are all about creating a difference, serving a certain need and filling a gap and enjoying while doing all of that, so make sure you have your heart in it, in order to be able to create a dent in the startup space.


goal_setting

A goal is a dream with a deadline.”
–Napoleon Hill

Have you been looking for ways to achieve newfound clarity and freedom in your business – and your life? If you have, one of the most important first steps you can take is to organize your goals.

As Forbes.com contributor Samantha Smith asserts, “Setting goals isn’t something you should do because it’s a new year. Goals should be continuously created as you think of them and revised quarterly if not after changes and other impactful moments.”

Let’s talk about why you need to organize your goals and what you can do to get started today.

Why Organize Your Goals?

If you’ve ever been in a disorganized, cluttered space, you might have found it a challenge to concentrate. Just as it’s tough to focus in disarray, the same can be said about your goals – if they lack organization and clarity, it can be near impossible to actually achieve them.

For instance, if your goal is to “eliminate stress and feel free again”, what does that really mean? It might translate into “I want to cut back on the number of hours I spend in the office so I can free up my time to be with my family more.” For you, it might mean something different, and that’s why it’s so important to be as specific as you can.

Once you figure out what it is that you want to achieve, it’s time to get your goals in order. For instance, is your goal a personal goal? Is it related to your career or business?

Don’t stop there – once you identify what area of your life your goal falls into, narrow down the category even more. Is it a goal related to your personal relationships…a financial goal you want to make happen in your business…a goal that is designed to increase your personal development?

Goal-Setting Mistakes to Watch Out For

In a Forbes.com article, author Ron Ashkenas talks about what he calls the “seven deadly sins of goal-setting” that leaders sometimes make. In truth, we all make these mistakes, so here are a few to watch out for:

  1. The goal is unclear or distant. It’s hard to take a goal seriously – and even harder to actually work on achieving it – when we don’t define a time frame for completing it with measurable steps along the way to mark our progress. If you have a long-term goal that you want to complete within the next few years, you must organize the small steps along the way to give yourself the best chance at success.
  2. There are too many goals to focus on. We all do this sometimes, especially at the beginning of the year when say we want to lose weight, run in a marathon, make more money, get more free time…you know how it goes. When we fill our plate with an overabundance of disorganized goals, the initial zest and motivation we feel to achieve them can quickly lead to frustration and overwhelm.
  3. The goal isn’t authentic. Or, as Ashkenas says, “…the goal is just an exercise to convey the appearance of progress, but there’s no hope of achieving it.” When your goals aren’t aligned with who you really are – your core values – it’s a challenge to muster up the energy you need to organize them, and virtually impossible to ever actually achieve them.

Give yourself the greatest chance at success by organizing your goals first, making sure to watch out for these so-called “deadly sins” along the way!

A Blueprint for Greater Clarity

I want you to set aside some time to answer – and reflect upon – the five questions below:

  1. As you think about all the goals you want to achieve, what are your top 3 for this year?
  2. Why is it important for you to achieve these goals – in other words, what will it mean for your business and/or your life when you accomplish them?
  3. What roadblocks do you see that have prevented or might prevent you from achieving these goals?
  4. Now, think about the goals you’ve accomplished in the past. Write down some of your top achievements.
  5. When you think about your previous successes, what did you learn – what did you do, specifically, to accomplish the goal?

The objective of this exercise is to help you deepen your insight – in your own words – about the goals you want to achieve.

True freedom in your business and in your life starts with a series of well-organized goals, so get started today on putting yours in order.



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About GetEntrepreneurial.com

GetEntrepreneurial.com is a small business blog dedicated to providing business advice and resources to our community of aspiring entrepreneurs. Our specially hand-picked panel of GetEntrepreneurial.com Network experts regularly contribute entrepreneurial content and professional tips for small business owners worldwide.