Tuesday, February 21, 2017

How to Streamline Your Business Costs



Running a business can be a complicated task. Each new asset that you bring into your business has the potential to cause just as many headaches as it alleviates. If you’re not careful, a business’ infrastructure can become amazingly complex, which can make it difficult to manage, and even lead to losses. 

Because of this, there is a great amount of truth to the fact that sometimes simpler is better. Streamlining your business and simplifying its processes can generate more revenue, while eliminating the many of the stresses that come with owning a growing business...

Digitize your operations


There are so many digital tools to help business owners that it would be impossible to list them all in this article. 

To keep it short, being able to move as much of your operation onto a digital format will help you streamline your process, and enable you to get rid of physical property that is becoming dead weight to your office’s operations. 


Although the initial jump might be difficult, taking steps to digitize any aspect of your business operations will pay off in the long term, and can help set you up for future growth. 

In particular, check out this article about how cloud-based enterprise resource programming systems have enabled businesses to benefit from widespread inventory personnel management without needing to house their own servers (thus saving server and IT costs).

Understand that employees can represent your business


Marketing and advertising are both crucial aspects to running a business that many people don’t want to deal with. 

Because of this, many companies find themselves spending more to build their customer base than they actually have to. However, if you’re looking to improve your business’ image in the world, without adding significantly to your advertising budget, then don’t forget one of the most useful assets of your business: your employees. 

Understand that each of your employees is representing your business in some way or another, so why not follow this through to its logical conclusion and have them literally represent your brand by wearing it. 

Gifting branded swag to your employees makes them feel appreciated, while also allowing them to represent you when they are not at work (read more about how branding your employees can be a valuable tool.)

Improve employee engagement


As we stated above, employees are the most valuable asset that a business can have. However, failing to utilize your employees in an innovative way will ensure higher turnover rates, while also preventing your employees from reaching their true potential. 

Working to increase the levels of employee engagement in your business means that employees will take more personal ownership for the work that they do, and will often come up with creative solutions to problems that you might not have even realized were slowing your business down. 



Improving employee engagement, whether through bonuses, raises, or business culture, can help your personnel gain a better degree of independence that can remove headaches that you, the owner, have to deal with.

Let the internet find customers for you


Keeping a consistent consumer base is a crucial aspect of doing business, and also one of the most challenging prospects for a company. However, using the tools that are afforded by the modern world can make this process a lot easier. 

Using social media platforms and optimizing your business for modern search engines opens up your business to a wider range of customers than you could hope to reach without digitization. 

Properly utilizing the internet to bring in consumers can take a great deal of stress off of your sales team, and can streamline your sales pipeline.


Fewer, but more meaningful, meetings


Although meetings can be a great way to make everyone feel involved with what is going on in the business, too many operational meetings can slow everything down and make it feel like there is little progress being made. 

Cutting down on the number of meetings in your business will give people more time to make progress on their actual work. On top of that, focusing on making each individual meeting more impactful, rather than trying to have more meetings, will yield more efficient results.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Give Your Customers Payment Options for a Global Market



It's simply good business to provide your clients choices for paying. These choices can consist of payment plans, handling credit or debit cards, web payments, checks, cash, money orders, cashiers checks, automated withdrawals or Western Union payments.

" Individuals have the tendency to fight that which is pushed upon them. Individuals have the tendency to support that which they help to produce," states author Alex Bender. 

I am certain you can identify with this quote and so can your clients. When you contact an overdue client and request payment in full you will not get as far if you called and presented a several various alternatives for payment plans.

Merchant Services


Business owners consume a considerable amount of time providing their service or product to their clients and customers. When it comes time to receive payment for these things business owners use direct billing or more likely employ merchant services. Setting up a secure payment solution is not difficult but it must be done right. 



Receiving online payments, credit card/debit cards, or other online payments require you to employ professionals with a long track record. Paysafe's payment processing allows you to grow your business by being able to take payments not only locally but globally. Make sure your merchant services can deal with payments from every country and lanquage.

Payment Plans a Necessary Option


If you have never put together payment plans in the past I have some recommendations for establishing practical payment plans for your clients. Something you should do is to make certain your client understands you comprehend that every case is different. 

Also you will take into account their capacity to pay, the amount overdue, their payment history, length of time they have been a customer, their loyalty, and precise reasons why the account is overdue in figuring out a payment option with them.

Creating Payment Options


Make certain your clients understand creating these payment arrangements is not something that may be done all the time; you're doing it now given that there is an issue and you wish to solve that issue. 


Frequently, clients take advantage by charging more services or products and simply making the regular monthly payment. This is something you want to discourage. You can prevent this by putting every contract in writing with a starting date and an ending date. 

It's a good idea to stay out of the financing business because the costs of keeping track of it is costly. Keeping clients on a monthly paying in full plan is the best option.



A number of organizations have guidelines about payment plans. This might consist of not going into payment plans by one consumer more than once per year or mandating a 15 percent deposit for all new payment plans.


Make Your Invoice a Priority to Your Clients


With the economic climate in a weaken state and more customers not able to pay their charges. The goal of establishing payment plans is to at the very least get paid something instead of absolutely nothing. 


Most clients will take a look at all their charges and after that decide on which ones will get paid that month based upon what is primary to them. 

It is your role to make your invoice essential to them and provide them sensible alternatives so they will pay it monthly. You wish to efficiently describe policies and procedures that will help provide your clients with choices when they can not pay completely. 

Something to keep in mind if you do not like the idea of providing payment plans. If somebody owes you money, they possibly owe others money and who ever does something about it first or provides a service, will get paid first.


When putting together your payment arrangement:


  • Look at your clients history previous to your call
  • Have 2 or more choices for payment plans in mind prior to the call
  • Repeat everything to the client
  • Get it in writing and have your client endorse it
  • Follow up and follow up

Once you set up the payment choices and plans that meet your clients needs you will be able to serve your customers better. They will frequent your business more if they know they will be treated better. This creates loyalty and even more business for your company.



Sunday, February 19, 2017

Can You Get Control of Your 4 Biggest Stressors?






More than half of Americans report health conditions caused by, or linked to, severe stress. From heart health to mental illness to diabetes, many of the major challenges of our modern society are linked to an overabundance of stress in our daily lives. 

As much as we know about the detriments of stress, it’s a different story for most of us to truly get control over stress in our lives. Instead, we run an endless juggling routine, trying to keep any one thing from overwhelming us.

Well, we’d like to shine a light on 4 of the most common stressors in modern life and help you find some solutions for how to gain control over them in your life. 


#1 Stuff


This might seem beside the point at first. After all, while excessive things that lead to hoarding behavior or heavy debt might be a problem, there’s nothing wrong with a nice house and nice things, is there?

Of course not. However, you might be surprised how much of an emotional toll it takes on us. Many modern minimalist movements claim that the mere fact of ownership can be a daily burden. 


Clutter happens in our lives for many reasons, but often there’s an underlying mental reason. Things stay around because they’re unfinished projects, because we’ll fit in them someday, because they have sentimental value or we feel obliged to hang on to them. 

All of these things act as daily visual reminders of other things that we should be doing. They become tasks that are hovering over us, whether that’s simply cleaning up the house or reaching our weight goals. 

Most people who adopt minimalist philosophies and practices claim that the first thing they notice is that stress is lifted off their shoulders. Still feeling skeptical? Give it a try yourself. Here’s a handy article with some tips on becoming more minimal. 

#2 Money


With 8 out of 10 Americans in debt, money is one of our most common stressors today. It’s the cause of numerous divorces, mental distresses, and sleepless nights. It’s also the subject of thousands of self-help books and shows, podcasts, and apps. 

One of the biggest causes for financial stress is retirement planning. Although we all know we should do it, about 30% of Americans have precisely 0 dollars saved for retirement.

There are many ways to help get out of debt and get control over your financial stressors, but we’re going to boil it down to just two simple things: (1) Re-evaluate your expenses and learn to cut back. 


Sure, you want to be able to provide certain luxuries, but it’s best to get back to basics and examine what you actually need. Live like a college student for a few months and see how much you can save. Eliminate eating out. Bike to work and get rid of one of your cars. 

Whatever the extra luxuries in your life, they’re not usually worth the stress of more debt. (2) If you have complicated finances, call in a financial advisor. It’s in their best interest to get you in control of finances. 

They can help you with refinancing, consolidating debts, and working out a strategy to help you build a better financial situation. 

#3 Work


Work is a necessary part of life, and as much as we look forward to the day of retirement, we’re stuck working until we can save enough to make retirement possible. However, work can provide a lot of things: purpose and rewards, achievement and community. 

It’s important, though, to recognize when work is more trouble than it’s worth. Here are some ideas to make sure that work has positive effects on your life without too many negative ones:

Form bonds with coworkers. This can relieve stress and help you share big project burdens when they come. 


Be proactive. Even when you’re buried under mountains of paperwork, be thinking about creative solutions to your burdens, and move forward on them with positivity. 

Knowing that there’s a solution forthcoming makes the stress much easier to bear, and your supervisors will appreciate it. It will also put you in the habit of reaching for a job and job position that you really want. 

#4 Health


Stress may be an inevitable part of life, but there are many physical things that you can do to manage it. Everything from the way we eat to the amount of activity that we get each day will help us manage stress in the body. 

Furthermore, smart health practices that help you keep control of stress promote overall health and prevent disease. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress, start with the basics. 

Prioritize your sleep, eat healthier food instead of binging on junk, and pick an exercise that helps you feel better and try to get it in a few times a week.

Remember that there are positive and negative stressors in your life. An occasional busy period could be good for you. However, learn to recognize chronic stress and fatigue for what it is. Here’s a guide that can help you identify different kinds of stress in your life.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

4 Ways to Protect Your Business Capital and Investments



A growing business like yours could have considerable capital and investments. This puts your business at risk for equally significant losses through lawsuits and other claims. 

These four strategies will help you to protect your business capital and ensure that your business can continue operating, generating profits and employing a dedicated team of workers.


Incorporate


If you have functioned as the sole proprietor of your business, you should incorporate before making any major investment. Incorporation separates you from your business. Under the law, there are different types of corporations, such as a limited liability corporation. 




An LLC protects your personal assets from a lawsuit filed against your business. The other types of incorporation procedures are S incorporation and C incorporation, which are geared toward companies with employees and two or more co-owners or partners.

Establish a Holding Entity


As you grow your business, consider separating it into a holding entity and an operating entity. The holding entity owns all of the assets, investments and capital. The holding company then leases the assets and capital to the operating entity. 

The operating entity conducts the day to day business operations. This type of a business structure is ideal for corporations that could be faced with costly or frequent lawsuits, such as restaurants or grocery stores.

Get Professional Advice


When your business is considering making an investment, such as the purchase of land or a building, it is a good idea to speak with a lawyer. 

A business lawyer can advise you on the tax implications, environmental regulations and other issues related to big business investments. A professional, like those at Carter West, know that these sort of things can be hard to navigate, especially if you’re new to it all. 

The legal advice that you receive will allow you to make an informed decision about where to invest your corporation's profits.

Set Up a Blind Trust


If you are the owner or CEO of a large company with considerable investments, consider setting up a blind trust. 

The blind trust would be operated by an independent entity. All investments would be controlled by that entity, and the profits would be put into a trust controlled by the entity. You and your beneficiaries would be able to receive remuneration through the trust.

These four steps will help to protect your business and its assets and investments. Because of the complexity of these actions, it is best to work with a lawyer. 

An experienced lawyer will make it easy for you to understand these legal issues and solutions.


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