3 easy and inexpensive ways to look more professional when you’re starting out

For bootstrapping young businesses, making a professional first impression as you build your brand is key. Although hiring a branding expert may be too large an expense in the early days, you can still help your business stand out in the best possible way without breaking the bank. Just follow these simple marketing moves that will help people to know, like, and trust you. 1. Build credibility with your own…  Read more

Tips to Keep Your Business Finances in Order

If you’re like most small business owners, you spend the majority of your time managing daily operations, keeping customers happy, and looking for new ways to grow. Spreadsheets, cash flow analysis, and financial projections are probably not your first passion. However, measuring profitability, creating realistic budgets, and planning ahead for the future are crucial to your professional success. Follow these four tips to get a handle on the numbers, and…  Read more

Why Bookkeeping is Crucial to Your Success

Keeping track of sales, earnings, expenses, and purchases is fundamental to the overall health and sustainability of your business. Effective bookkeeping produces the data you need to evaluate your current practices, anticipate challenges, and set attainable future goals. But despite their proven importance, many business owners dread and avoid accounting tasks. In fact, 40% of surveyed entrepreneurs claim that bookkeeping is one the worst parts of running a business! Wondering…  Read more

Avoid These 5 Costly Accounting Mistakes

A Canadian bank recently surveyed over 500 small business owners about what they love and hate most about owning their own business. Unsurprisingly, flexibility and feeling in control ranked first in the “love” category. Meanwhile, almost 60% said bookkeeping was hands-down their most hated task. Most business owners understand that effective financial management is key to their success. But lack of knowledge, frustration, and even avoidance can add up to…  Read more

6 Essential Accounting Terms for Small Businesses

Hiring an accountant is widely considered best practice for small business owners.  But delegating financial analysis and reporting doesn’t mean completely checking out of the process each month or quarter. On the contrary, it’s recommended that business owners work closely with their accountants throughout the year to better understand their financial position, and make smart plans for future growth. Want to increase your accounting knowledge so you can have more…  Read more

How to Avoid Costly Inventory Problems

Inventory is the lifeblood of your business. It is the largest asset on your balance sheet and your company’s biggest revenue-generator. It goes without saying that poorly managed inventory can do serious damage to your bottom line. Businesses without clear strategies for streamlining the in and out flow of goods will have trouble meeting their customer’s demands and will see mismanaged stock corrode their profits. Follow these tips to ensure…  Read more

3 Reasons Recurring Revenue is a Good Idea

What is recurring revenue? It’s the revenue you can depend on generating, year after year, with a high degree of certainty. It’s the repeat business or long-term contracts you’ve established with clients who know and trust your business. For example, you might bundle offers into a monthly subscription, or launch a points system that incentivizes loyalty with free gifts or special discounts. Recurring revenue comes in many forms and is…  Read more

5 Ways to Save Money for your Business

Looking for simple ways to cut costs? These tips will help you make a noticeable difference to your bottom line. 1. Reduce staff costs Without a doubt, having someone to help deal with routine tasks can greatly improve productivity. The rub is that hired help is often too expensive for small business owners. Internships can be a real win-win: a student gets hands-on experience assisting you with marketing, accounting or…  Read more

4 Tips for Getting Your Business Through Tough Times

If you’re a small business owner whose company hasn’t gone through hard times, that’s great but it’s likely to happen at some point. As much as we dream about being brilliant enough at business that we’ll never face slow times, there are many things beyond our control that can negatively affect our business. Here are four tips for getting your business through difficult periods so you can look forward to…  Read more

How to learn from failure in business

Ask any successful entrepreneur about their path to greatness and you’ll get the same answer: failure is an inevitable part of the journey. It took Thomas Edison 1,000 failed attempts before he finally invented the light bulb. Tim Ferris received 25 rejections before his bestselling book, “The 4 Hour Workweek” was finally published and sold millions of copies. It’s a fact that 20% of businesses fail in their first year…  Read more

Ways to keep customer data secure

Cyber crime is a serious concern for business owners. Recently IBM Chair, CEO, and President, Ginni Rometty, called it “the greatest threat to every company in the world”. According to Juniper Research, by 2019 cyber crime will cost businesses a staggering $2 trillion. It’s impossible to put a dollar value on what your customer data is worth – or the cost to your business should sensitive data be compromised by…  Read more

Use your Accounting Software to Boost Sales

If you think accounting software is just for tracking expenses and generating financial reports, you’re losing out on an opportunity to improve your bottom line. By taking advantage of insights provided by your software solution, you’ll benefit from a more informed approach to marketing and customer service – and by making the most of all the ways your software can improve productivity you can take meaningful action to increase profits.…  Read more

Tips for updating your business plan

Think of your business plan as a roadmap designed to point the way to your current destination, knowing that where you land may not be your ultimate end point. After all, things are constantly changing in a healthy, thriving business. Market fluctuations, new competitors, changes in staffing or your sales figures may nudge you in a direction you wouldn’t have previously dreamed of, requiring new goals and strategies to achieve…  Read more

The three most important financial reports

While many small business owners prefer brainstorming new ideas to pouring over financial reports, getting a handle on financial analysis can be remarkably empowering. Taking the time to regularly review financial statements can help you assess and improve current performance, avoid risk and make scalable plans for future growth. Protect your company’s financial health by learning your way around these three financial reports. Cash flow statement The cash flow statement…  Read more

Tax tips for new business owners

Want to avoid paying more than you should come tax time? Or a frantic last minute search for missing financial records? New business owners have a lot on their plate, and can easily lose track of an approaching tax deadline or financial data needed to submit their return. Organization is key when preparing for tax time. As is taking advantage of the many tools and resources out there to support…  Read more

Investment Basics – Understanding Your Gains And Losses

When you’re reviewing your investments, it’s important to remember that income and returns come from two main sources, Capital Gains and Interim Income. Capital gain (or loss) This is the difference in the overall value of your investment between when you purchased it and now (or the date that you sold it.) You can work it out as: ((Current or sale price per unit – purchase price) * number of…  Read more

The top 10 cities for business start-ups

Whether you are thinking of launching a small, local business or a global enterprise, finding a city that is friendly toward entrepreneurs is important. You want a city that is culturally supportive of business owners, in a region or country that makes things easy for you from a financial perspective. You also want to be in a place where it is easy to attract and retain good talent, and where…  Read more

Improving your business with better time management

When things are hectic, most small business owners wish they could find a way to get more than 24 hours into a day. Often, your ‘to-do’ list can get so long that you feel you never get to put as much attention into every task as you would like. It can also mean more time in the office or dealing with work issues after-hours – cutting into your free time…  Read more

Finding money within your business

Most small businesses experience cash flow problems from time to time and urgently need working capital. Many business owners immediately think of the bank or loans when they’re short of money. But there are other resources you can tap before you ask for that expensive overdraft or overdraft extension. The money you need might already be there—locked up in inventory, assets or your debtors’ book. You can often free up…  Read more

Working out an effective marketing budget

“How much should I spend on marketing?” Most small business people ask me this question at some stage. Many small business people find working out how much to spend on marketing a tricky exercise to calculate. Generally there are five ways to work out a marketing budget for the year. Remember that these are marketing budgets, not advertising budgets. Marketing covers everything you do in your business that creates awareness,…  Read more

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