6 Ways New Business Owners Can Save Money When Starting Up

6 Ways New Business Owners Can Save Even More Money Starting UpIf you’re a brand new small business owner just bursting out of the starting block, how you decide to save money matters. Even if you’ve gotten off to a good start, and revenues are flowing in, every dollar you save goes directly to the bottom line. In order to maximize your savings, keep the following six tips in mind.

1) Score Free Office Supplies

If you typically pick up your office supplies from your local office supply retailer, understand that there are ways to score supplies for free. Enroll in the store’s rewards program and wait for 100% cash back sales. You buy the supplies at full price, then receive the amount you spent in the form of a rewards certificate, usually issued the following quarter. Common free items include printer paper, pens, notebooks, folders, staplers, and scissors.

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How Quick Business Loans Can Encourage Business Turnaround

How Quick Business Loans Can Encourage Business TurnaroundIf you need quick business loans to help you out of a short-term cash flow crisis, what you don’t need is hassle when making these loan arrangements. We know all too well that any delay in making those funds available can lead to an operational headache, or threaten the survival of your business.

Reasons you may need a quick business loan

There could be an unexpected interruption in sales such as a delay in the delivery of stock that slows the flow of money coming into the business. It could be that you need quick business loans to pay for expensive new equipment or machinery in order to maintain production or cope with a sudden increase in demand. In difficult trading conditions, the customer has also become savvier, and more reluctant to make an immediate purchase, if they even make a purchase at all. As a result the retailer is late in paying you, the distributor. They, in turn, seek extended payment terms in order to assist their own cash flow. Suddenly, your usually strict 30 days terms of credit are being extended to 45 days or even 60 days. You will be paid, eventually, but later than you were expecting.

A short term business loan does not always have to be used to plug cash flow; it can be used as a tool to speed up business turnaround. Taking the right loan at the right time can be a great tactic to help you take advantage of business opportunities that come your way. The speed in which you can secure funding may determine how quickly you can push out in front of your competition or equally ensure your business does not plummet further into uncontrollable cash flow problems.

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Why User-Generated Content Matters for Businesses

Why User-Generated Content Matters for BusinessesUser-generated content (UGC) refers to any content that is produced by consumers or users. It can take the form of social media updates, reviews, blog posts, Q&A forums, photos or videos. Many businesses use different kinds of UGC as part of their overall marketing strategy and the benefits getting involved with UGC provides are nearly endless for your business.

  • Enriched user experience – UGC allows your customers and prospects to interact with like-minded people and share their opinions – this could be through posting comments on a blog, on discussion forums or status updates.
  • Enhanced understanding of your audience – User-generated content offers you an excellent opportunity to listen to your customers and be able to better understand their needs.
  • Established trust – Consumers usually base their buying decisions on what other people are saying. Having positive reviews on your site enhances the chances of prospects using your service or buying your product.
  • Search engine optimization – Search engines like Google rank sites based on how unique and relevant their content is. Having user-generated content on your site can play a major role in improving your search engine rankings and even make your site more visible.
  • Cost effectiveness – Hiring designers and writers to create content for your business site can be very expensive, but if you work with an in-house team instead, it’ll help you save on money and time.

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Why Knowing When to Step Back from Your Business is One of the Most Important Entrepreneurial Skills of All

Why Knowing When to Step Back from Your Business is One of the Most Important Entrepreneurial Skills of AllWhat are the defining characteristics of a successful entrepreneur? Passion, tenacity, and flexibility all make the list, for sure, but how about being a bit of a control freak? That probably figures somewhere in there too. And undoubtedly, the determination to constantly succeed can make it difficult for entrepreneurs to let go of the reins, even a little.

However, learning to loosen your grip marks a coming of age for any business owner; it’s an essential part of growing a business. It’s those who cling on to controlling every last operational detail that are often the ones holding their business back from reaching its full potential.

So why is it beneficial to detach yourself from your precious business venture? The main reason – and it may seem a little at odds with itself – is that while you may be a veritable business-building machine, part of becoming a truly great business leader is recognizing that you possess neither the time nor the expertise to do everything by yourself.

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4 Objectives to Set for Your Small Business Marketing Strategy

4 Objectives to Set for Your Small Business Marketing StrategyIn order for any business to develop and grow, it needs to be equipped with the right tools to succeed. For eCommerce websites especially, a marketing automation strategy is vital for improving sales opportunities. And building and implementing this kind of strategy has never been easier than without the aid of web sales marketing automation solutions.

When devising any strategy to follow, you should set certain goals that need to be achieved and be able to measure your progress towards completing these objectives. This holds true for web sales automation strategies as well – setting clearly defined goals is the first step towards success:

1) Increasing the number of inbound leads.

With the help of a good web-sales automation solution, you can expand your opportunities for attracting inbound leads. This is how you can fuel your lead generation through marketing automation:

  • You can identify your anonymous site visitors and gather a wide range of data about them.
  • Real-time reports allow you to track each one of your leads individually.
  • You can set up notifications to inform you when a visitor completes a certain action
  • Gathered data allows you to optimize your landing pages, audit your website for a better user experience and add identified leads for lead nurturing.
  • You can also prioritize your inbound leads and group them into categories based on their preferences.

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What’s the Easiest Way to Resolve Work Conflicts?

What’s the Easiest Way to Resolve Work ConflictsHave you ever witnessed – or even experienced – a workplace dispute that seemed to get worse any time somebody tried to intervene? Even good intentions are not effective in resolving work conflicts sometimes. Trained managers who have the focus to mediate have demonstrated time and time again that they can succeed in supporting the aggrieved parties to reach an amicable agreement.

If your managers know how to handle problems between employees, they will find it much easier to motivate their teams and protect against hits to productivity. However, according to a 2008 survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD), 66% of respondents reported that their managers needed to improve interaction levels with their staff and 27%  stated that their managers had received no training whatsoever in dealing with workplace conflict. This suggests that there is definitely room for improvement within UK businesses on the use of mediation and skilled practitioners in managing difficult situations.  A study in the U.S. found that an overwhelming majority ( 85% ) of employees at all levels experience conflict to some degree.  Furthermore, it was found that U.S. employees spend 2.8 hours per week dealing with conflict, so these issues are proven, not surprisingly, to be affecting workplaces all around the world.

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How to Market Your Small Business Successfully From the Start

How to Market Your Small Business Successfully From the StartIn the early days of a start-up, you have to wear pretty much every hat possible. You have to develop your products, sell and support them, keep your accounts and other legal documentation up to date, and never take your eyes off cash flow. All of which, plus managing a few people, takes up lots of time and energy.

Marketing is one of those things that are a bit ethereal. It’s not concrete. It doesn’t deliver immediate results. It’s so intangible that it’s easy to push it to another day. Isn’t it?

You may want to reconsider doing that. Ignoring your marketing could be the biggest risk to your company’s survival. There’s still time to get started though, if you keep a few of these tips in mind.

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7 Pieces of Small Business Advice You Should NOT Take

7 Pieces of Small Business Advice You Should NOT TakeAs the owner of a small business, you no doubt receive a lot of advice on how to run your brand from friends, business associates, management books and leadership TED Talks, and blogs, but a lot of that ‘conventional wisdom’ is not worth taking. Here are 7 pieces of small business advice that you should NOT listen to.

1.) “There’s No Additional Room for Your Product (or Service) in This Market.”

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, nor do you always have to go to a completely empty area to start or enhance your small business. Starbucks wasn’t the first company to sell coffee at retail, but they were able to win the market by not just selling coffee. They sold an “experience” along with a wide array of coffee products as well as pastries. And despite the dominance of Starbucks, there are many other boutique coffee retailers across the country, even though there may be a Starbucks on the next corner.

You don’t have to come up with a completely novel idea. Just look to fill a niche that has a large potential market.

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Six Ways to Boost Your Credibility and Close More Deals

Six Ways to Boost Your Credibility and Close More DealsWhen it comes to sales, be a product of the product. If you don’t use the product or service you’re selling, why should your prospect? If you sell Hondas, don’t drive a Jeep. These six strategies will help you build credibility up with prospective customers and clients – and also ensure you make some money in the process for your business.

1. Determine quickly if you really can help.

I recently got a call from a prospective client who wanted help completing interviews. It took me about 2-3 minutes to find out that their budget was too small for me to work with. I politely offered a referral to another firm that might be able to do the job. I didn’t want to waste any more of their time, and I didn’t want them to waste any more of mine.

A good salesperson should know the type of customers they work best with, and if the people they are meeting with are the right kinds of customers for their organization. After a few questions, you should be able to determine if it makes sense to keep talking. If not, end the meeting.

2. Address concerns completely.

When a concern is brought up, don’t skip over it. Stop for a moment and consider what could be causing it. Is it a real objection?  If so, take a moment to prepare your response.  Then fully address the concern with the customer.  For example, if a prospect says your price is too high, focus on showing the value of your product or service. Frame your price in terms of the immediate and long term benefits the person or company will receive.

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5 Safety Precautions to Practice While Relocating to a New Office

5 Safety Precautions to Practice While Relocating to a New OfficeWhat possible harm can possibly befall you while shifting to a new office? Plenty! It’s a little like moving to a new home- there’s plenty of chaos and minor or major injuries that might occur if the workers are not careful enough. Unfortunately, this happens even when professional help is hired by the organization. Here is a compilation of safety precautions you can refer to in order to better minimize risks.

Let the heavy equipment be handled by experts.

First things first – let the moving firm handle all the heavy equipment in your office. They are the ones paid for the job and have a certain degree of expertise and control over the same. They also have different tools as well as the manpower to lift, carry and load them in vehicles and transport them easily to the new location. Let them do their work and steer clear of any mishaps by attempting to lift equipment that is clearly beyond your capacity!

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