6 Key Elements of Small Business Success

small business success tipsWhen you look at the business landscape, most large companies started out small but the fact is: the success of small business is important to every economy.

There are crucial parameters that play a vital role in the overall achievement of any business.

Here are several of the key fundamentals to succeed in your small business.

1. Good planning

Many small business owners ignore this, but a proper business plan is vital to small business success. A good plan needs to be well considered and initially done before you invest all your finances into your venture. Then it should be reviewed and updated regularly as things change.

A proper business plan gives you an overview of your strengths and weaknesses as well as the challenges likely to be faced with competition. It is your road map to success.

2. Drive and focus

‘Drive’ and ‘Focus’ are vital elements in the success of an entrepreneur.

You will come across many distractions along the way and it is important that you do not allow these distractions to deviate you from achieving your goals.

3. Patience

Sometimes it is hard for entrepreneurs to be patient, but this is another important quality. Developing a successful business takes time. Rushing to reach the climax of success can be the cause of your failure because decision-making can become blurred and ill-considered.

4. Good marketing

In every business, customers are the key to success. The most important goal of a good manager is to keep winning new customers and to retain them.

It is important to understand what your customers are looking for in a product or service like yours. Every customer wants his or her needs to be well catered for, and you need to focus on doing this.

Knowing the needs and wants of your target market provides you with the opportunity to work out how you might be able to differentiate from your competitors.

Provide an avenue for customer feedback about your business as it serves as a great way to find out your blind spots as well as building good relationships with your customers.

5. Effective management of cash flow

Cash flow is the engine that keeps the company alive and moving. Good cash-flow management plays an essential role in the everyday running of the company, so it is important to get the fiscal management skills and tools that you need to manage this vital area.

6. Dependable workers and a good relationship with them

You cannot provide all the services needed by your customers alone. If you try to do that you will rapidly be exhausted and ineffective.

For the company to succeed you need creative, confident, faithful, honest and hard working workers. Much of the company success can be attributed to the work and good performance of the workers. Reward good employees well and establish a good relationship with them. Give poor performing employees the opportunity to take up careers elsewhere.

Here are some more small business management tips that can help you.

I hope this helps you to build a more successful business.

Good Accounting Records – Why They are Important

good accounting records are essential

It is obvious that even small companies should keep good accounting records if they want to operate successfully. It’s surprising to note that many small companies don’t actually take care of or track their cashflow, which is a major reason why many small businesses close down.

Business owners that have good accounting records are in a much better position to anticipate any looming unfavorable financial situation and makes it possible to take any action needed before this becomes critical.

So business owners and operators need to be able to track whether they are making the revenue they need, and ensure expenses are kept as low as possible.

For almost all small business owners, bookkeeping is a chore that has to be done but not well liked. However, it’s important, as it will give indicators as to whether the business is running successfully.

Finding an effective bookkeeping software package could bring significant value, as it enables business owners to keep an eye on their cashflow in real-time. It is therefore much easier for the owners to see how the business is performing.

Accounting software that is specifically created for small businesses can be convenient since it’s able to monitor a small business’s checking account and make it extremely easy for the owners to examine their financial liabilities, invoices and costs with the click of a button.

Small business owners need the guarantee that any accounting software application they choose is easy to use and generates cash flow and financial reports quickly to enable the business owners to easily view how their business is performing.

In recent times, more and more bookkeeping software applications are in the cloud, making it possible to access all accounting details from anywhere there is an internet connection. Another benefit of cloud is the software is always kept updated without the need for manual work.

Good accounting records might be a chore, but they can also save your business. Here is a previous post about some accounting software packages you can consider.


Why Buying a Business Can Be Better Than Starting From Scratch

Reduce risk by buying a businessThe decision to quit your everyday job to start a business is one of the most difficult things to do, no matter what anyone tells you.

Starting a business can be tough. There are lots of things you have to consider and deal with. That is why considering the alternative of purchasing a business that is already established company is worth considering.

The reasons for this are numerous:

  • It is more secure and hassle-free,
  • Getting a loan is generally simpler, and
  • The potential problems, challenges and risks significantly decrease.

But don’t be fooled, as purchasing a business from someone else can also be a similarly challenging task.

Here are some of the things you must think about:

You are the business owner. Are you up to it?

Besides the financing, there is so much more at risk when you acquire a new business. Your credibility for one. Your capacity to run the company and even your functioning capabilities are all at risk in starting a brand-new endeavor.

When you buy the business, you need to understand that the decision-making and goals of this business are entirely upon your shoulders. You should be qualified practically and also have the maturity and integrity to run the business successfully. Be conscious that running your own company can be difficult as you might have to take care of tough customers, tough employees, uncertainty, adversity and sometimes failure. The faster you can gauge your abilities, the faster it will be for you to identify whether the new business is right for you.

Discovering the Right Company

An agent that represents businesses for sale will certainly assist you to find the right business for you. These people are intermediates or intermediaries and are categorised depending on the type of company transactions that they can deal with. For instance, a broker could manage a business transaction for firms with sales under $5 million. Or they might specialize in a particular business niche.

Doing Background Checks on the Business

You have to conduct a complete background check on any business that you wish to acquire.

  • Does it have a healthy cashflow?
  • Is the business worth what they are asking for it?

Valuing the business is part of this background check. A business assessment analyst will certainly have the ability to assist you in determining its actual worth and is worth the expense. Do not rely on the agent trying to sell the business.

You must get independent advice. Find a specialist who can assist you through the transaction. This will give you the best chance of success.

Here is a video that provides further information.


4 Important Small Business Management Tips To Help Your Business Survive

small business management tips

There is a significant difference between running a business, and running a successful business. No matter what industry you choose, there are principles that dictate success of any business venture undertaken. This is why it is highly recommended that you master a number of important small business management tips if you want to rake in profits.

To run a successful business, you must have an understanding on how to manage time, resources, employees, as well as use the best tools of. It starts with knowing what to do, but you must strive to implement everything for the betterment of your business. Success is not achieved overnight. It requires dedication on your end.

Time management tips for small business owners

Time is so precious and must be managed well. Time is sacred. It goes without saying that if you lose time, you definitely lose money. You must ensure you use strategies that will not only help you save time but also manage it well.

It is recommended that you create a ‘to-do list’ and do the most important things first. In this way, you will be helping your business grow by focusing on what really matters at that particular point in time.

You are advised to also use reliable timesaving tools to help you remain focused throughout the day. Not all days are the same. There are days where you will be busier than others, so do not procrastinate when the workload is low. If you can always maintain a steady pace in whatever you are engaged in, you will save time and make more money from your business.

When it comes to time management in business, ensure that you have a team you can trust to get a job done. Delegating tasks and duties is one thing that not only will save you time, but also help you be more efficient in doing things that you are good at. Do not try to do everything by yourself, but see to it that you trust people to get something done correctly. Always ensure that you take breaks, because if you do not you will soon burnout and do a disservice to your team, clients, and your business partners.

Managing your business resources – cash flow

In any business, you will only be successful if you consider cash management as one of the top priorities. Prioritize your spending to focus on the most important things that will add value to your business before spending on the rest.

It is equally important that you make invoicing easier so that customers can easily pay for your products/services. You can opt for online transactions that may be easier than other payment methods. It is very important to have debtor days kept to a minimum so look for payment arrangements to achieve this.

You must always create sale projections and plan cash flow. In case of any negative impact on business cash flow, make it a point to repair it as soon as possible. It is also good to tighten up credit terms and conserve cash flow so that you can counter unprecedented situations.

Measurement and accountability

There is a saying that you can only manage what you can measure. So it is important to measure the productivity of those you work with. With the right accountability you will stand a better chance of being successful and staying in business for a long period of time.

Stay abreast of industry developments

Create a system where you will be consistently updated about new developments within your industry. Keeping abreast with the latest information can improve your productivity and your services as well as give you an edge over your competitors.

Running a successful business is not easy and there are more things you need to know. However, these 4 small business management tips are a good start to help you on your way to success.

Advertise Your Business Using Press Releases

Use press releases to advertise your businessBigger corporations frequently use press releases successfully, so there is no doubt that smaller local businesses will benefit as well.

Here is why you should consider press releases for advertising your local business:

Press Releases are Affordable

Most businesses create their own press releases. The only real expense is hiring a press release distribution company to get your story in the right hands, or using a service like PR Web, though even this can be considered cost effective.

In comparison to paid advertising, press release distribution is practically always the less costly alternative.

Builds Trustworthiness

If you regularly create and publish relevant and up-to-date press releases, they will quickly maximize your brand name among your target market. Knowledge allows you to attain the trust of your potential customers. When they have confidence in your brand then they will likely purchase from you.

Advantageous for Every Market

Regardless of what type of business you happen to be in or how big your business is, you can make the most of the press release distribution campaigns. You can send your press releases out to local, industry, and other outlets in order to catch the attention of the conventional press and you may also submit your press releases to Internet distribution websites to increase your presence online no matter what market you are in.

Creating a Press Release for Your Business

In order to reap any of the benefits above, you need to learn how to create a press release. Listed below are several things you can do to create a simple yet effective press release:

Step 1: Add Value

Provide extras with your press release simply by adding images, video clips, hyperlinks to products, and any other worthwhile resources. This gives news providers everything they need to completely report the news you are presenting to them.

An extensive package of resources makes your release more attractive to a media reporter trying to find something good to cover.

These kinds of resources really should be web-ready and in the proper formats for Internet distribution. The best way to do this is by using services that allow people to download content material.

Step 2: Include an Attractive Hook

An eye-catching hook is vital to success in writing a great press release.

To write such a hook, spend some time before you begin writing your release studying releases and blog posts from your competitors and find out which ones are the most popular.

You will be able to see exactly what kind of hook pulls in the crowd and keeps them coming back for more. Once you have them hooked, you’ll be able to convert readers into customers by providing them with valuable content.

Step 3: Refrain from Using Industry Terms

While you are writing your press releases, you need to make sure to limit technical vocabulary. Even though your industry jargon may be appropriate for certain groups, it might confuse the majority of your readers, which causes them to look away.

To interest new readers who might not be as experienced in your industry’s language, create your press release with a broader audience in mind. Make it simple and do not be afraid to provide informative sources to explain industry-related words if necessary.

Accounting Software for SMEs

accounting software

For a small business owner, keeping a tab on their resources, which in turn translates into money, is the most important feature. In the earlier days this role was taken care by qualified bookkeepers who kept a tab on the company accounts. But with the roll of time, research has shown that manual labour in such a sensitive area where high levels of efficiency is required may be incapable of carrying the burden. More over, when one is paying a high salary to these account keepers, one will not expect mistakes or inefficiencies in their books of account. Consequently, the use of small business accounting software is now very common.

At the end of every financial quarter, it is these books that reflect the company’s profits and losses, failures and winning streaks, where money is lost and how the business can revive it back. A little mistake here and there can bring the whole system tumbling down making the entire process worthless.

Hence, with the development of the IT space, a number of accounting software solutions that are specifically tailored for small business owners have entered the market. They are simple, easy to use and fit within a relatively small budget that can come within the affordable range of a small business.

From keeping a check and record on cash flow, inventory management, invoicing, customer relations management and payroll, these programs have proved a boon to small business owners who can monitor their business finances a lot more regularly. Listed below is a few such small business accounting software programs that are available:

Intuit Quickbooks

The most demanding software to get a set of accounts for small businesses is Intuit’s Quickbooks. Depending on the size of the business, one can opt for the configuration that best fits the business’s requirements. There are four editions for Quickbooks being basic, pro, online and premier. 2013 witnessed the launch of the professional version that includes features such as customizable vendors, company snapshot, employee and customer centres along with the ability to find any report, invoice or account just by simply searching the Quickbooks search finder box.

Sage 50 Accounting

Another software program that has been used by various small businesses with positive results, then Sage 50 Accounting software is an option to go for in the market. (It was renamed ‘Sage 50 Accounting’ from ‘Simply Accounting’. For calculation and payment of HST or GST along with QST or PST, this software is highly recommended for Canadian firms. One can file tax returns T-4s, RL-1, ROEs via efiling or government filing. The software is available in two languages- French and English. One can easily translate from one language to another as per one’s needs.

The professional version is more in demand than the basic version for the features it provides. The business firm can create quotes, sales orders and can be used with more than one currency.

Account Edge Accounting

The flexibility of Account Edge Accounting software is something that has made it stand out in the race. The software helps business owners by giving control over their inventory by the use of multiple price levels, kit building and negative inventory. All this occurs with the presence of inventory command center. The software provides multiple rates of billing for both non-chargeable and chargeable time. The software provides a business owner with more than two hundred financial reports that can be tailored and customized as per the needs of the business owner. The software is also compatible with Enstore, an online store app and one can even access the software via its mobile app in iPad and iPhones.

Connected Core Accounting

Connected Core Accounting Software has made its place in the accounting software space due to its compatibility to function across multiple platforms, i.e. PC and Mac. This implies that workers can simultaneously access the same file of data irrespective of whether they are using a MAC platform or a PC platform. The hosting of the files can also take place on any one of the platforms. Microsoft Office can also be hooked into the Connected Core software. Moreover, one can even customize it as per their own requirements. The software also offers HST OR GST accounting for tax filing. However, the software is only targeted towards those businesses that are small and only need a basic accounting program and not those larger businesses that require job costing and inventory management features.

Sage Business Vision Accounting

Sage Business Vision Accounting software adds a touch of uniqueness to its functions by being available in five different versions. Each of the edition or versions can be scaled or customized to fit the requirements of the business. It comes with the modular design which makes such customizations possible. This software provides features to help business owners keep a tab on their sales as well as inventory. Its special small business editions aid in meeting the management and accounting criticalities of business. It has a special e Business add on which helps in the fusion of an online selling system into the software. This makes the software a perfect fit for retail, local manufacturing and wholesale companies. Though its market price may be higher than other available accounting software options, one must keep in mind the exclusive features that it provides which are unavailable in its other competitive brands.

Microsoft Dynamics GP

Similar to the Sage Business Vision Accounting software, Microsoft Dynamics GP operates less than purely accounting software and more of a business management solutions provider. It offers supply chain management feature, payroll management financial management features, human resources business intelligence and reporting, along with service, sales, and project management. It can also be integrated with variants of Microsoft software, for example Microsoft Office. It helps you to save your data in the cloud or on site. The cost of this software will vary depending the package that the business owners wish to ascribe to. If one requires its high level, exclusive fine-tuned features, the software can come out to be more expensive than others in the market.

Simplazz 1-2-3

This is pronounced ‘Simple as 1-2-3’ because it is designed to be very simple. It is quite basic in that it tracks receipts and payments, balance to the bank and provides reports but for many small businesses, this is all they need. The Simplazz 1-2-3 Gold program also has customer and supplier invoicing along with inventory management for goods bought and sold. For a business that wants an easy system that doesn’t require any accounting experience, this is a good choice.