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Monthly Archives: June 2017

Ways to Avoid Business Profit Biggest Killer

1) Plan your week before it starts. Block out your focused hours for marketing, research, administration, business planning, etc. But also allow limited time, to deal with interruptions and urgent matters, although these should be kept to an absolute minimum. Your business must run like a well oiled machine with no unexpected breakdowns.

2) Tell everyone around you, (yes, even your customers) when you are available and when you are not available. Remember, scarcity is a powerful marketing tool. Make yourself scarce.

3) Keep a record of all the interruptions and make it your goal to completely eliminate them by improving owner manuals, having an online manual with a frequently asked question area, changing systems or forms. You will notice a common thread with your interruptions and eventually you will be able to reduce them to a bare minimum.

4) Always plan any meetings for the end of the day. Meetings have a horrible habit of taking longer than they should. By scheduling them for the end of the day they will become focused and to the point, as everyone is keen to go home.

5) Remove the “I’m always available” sign. In this world of mobile phones and technology, customers believe that business owners should always be available to take their call or answer their email. If you decide to take every call or answer every email the moment it arrives, your business will suffer. Use voicemail and answer emails in a focused hour once per day.

 

Add Value to Your Services with These Tips

1. Mail or email an industry-specific article or link to your client with a personal, handwritten note saying “I thought you would find this interesting” etc.

2. Offer alternative forms of payment. Add value for your customers by providing them several different options when paying. Not everyone has a credit card or a PayPal account. When think about your business processes from your customer’s perspective, you’ll quickly realize the added value they receive.

3. Gift Cards, Loyalty Cards, and Prepaid Cards. Boost your business with new revenue channels and increase customer loyalty by offering a gift card, loyalty card, or prepaid card program. A more convenient alternative to gift certificates for your customers, gift card programs also help you build brand awareness. Loyalty card programs reward customers for purchases to keep them coming back.

4. Quarterly progress reports. Send your clients quarterly progress reports and outline what you accomplished together as a team and how you can help them get where they want to go next.

5. Coffee on you – Many of us “do everything except make” for our clients. Send your clients a coffee card with a note saying “today the coffee’s on me!”

6. A free sample. Give away free samples of your products or products of local retailers. For example a B&B with a great jam can give away free samples.

7. Client appreciation night. Give your client a movie night on you. Send movies and popcorn with a note letting them know how much you appreciate their business.

8. Celebrate some of the more unusual holidays during the year and give small inexpensive gifts – e.g. National Popcorn Day – give out popcorn (can you tell I like popcorn!).

9. Offer annual meetings to your clients to discuss business at no charge – review progress and goals together for the next year.

10. Partner with another like business and collaborate on a coupon to offer a discount to your clients.

 

The Advantages and Disadvantage of Business Credit Cards

As with any credit card, the most common pitfall of owning a credit card is the potential to overspend. It is always best to limit the amount of money that is charged on a credit card, whether in personal finances or business finances. Business start-up costs can be astronomical. There are also times when a company needs a few extra dollars to keep their utilities from being disconnected. If someone is not careful, they can easily charge their way into a deep pit of debt that could ultimately destroy their business.

The truth is that cash flow is always a problem for new businesses. Small business credit cards can make it possible for a business owner to pay all of their bills on time. The danger, of using credit cards to maintain a business’ cash flow, is when the owner is in a state of denial about the true health of his or her company. Unfortunately, some business owners become dependant on their line of credit and use it to prop up a business cycle that cannot sustain itself, ultimately leading to financial disaster.

On the other hand, acquiring a business credit card could also be one of the best decisions an owner could make towards the long-term stability of his or her business. When a business owner has access to additional funds to float his or her business during a short window of cash flow problems, that extra money could be just enough to keep the business alive to continue operations. An example of such a situation could be when the company’s bank intends to hold a deposited check until after the next payroll date. It is one thing for an owner to decide they can wait a few more days to be paid, but it is quite another thing altogether to ask a company’s employees to wait five days to be paid their wages.

Being able to access the financial means to keep a business steady and on sure footing can provide a terrific sense of security to the business owner.

The time when a credit card becomes especially handy to the business owner is when tax time comes; a business credit card can be a true asset. No one is better at finding accounting flaws than our federal government, and almost every new business is going to be audited in their first year.

If a company’s transactions are all done with a business credit card, then the company will have a permanent record of all of their business transactions. Having documentation of all of your expenses is vital, when dealing with the IRS.

The most important thing that a small business credit card can do is to provide you with the means to establish a reputable credit history with banks and lending institutions, so the business can gain access to higher credit lines than what the typical start-up company is afforded.