Imagine a situation where a company could increase its service abilities and core competencies, grow its business revenue and reduce its cost structure. Does this sound impossible? Well, it isn’t. In fact, a number of small business owners and entrepreneurs do it every day. They effectively increase their capabilities and grow their business while reducing costs. How is this done and why is it so important for small business owners to know about it? It’s outsourcing and it allows companies to control their day to day operating costs while improving efficiencies and growing sales. Every small business owner must wear multiple hats. Finding the time for all the responsibilities of running a business can often be an exercise in futility. Freeing up that time means more valuable time spent closing on business opportunities. So, what are the best functions to outsource for small business owners?
Outsourced Marketing Increases Business Opportunities
A number of small businesses have excellent products and services, but aren’t able to maximize on their opportunities for sales in a given market. Outsourcing marketing allows companies to control their marketing costs while ensuring they concentrate their sales efforts on qualified leads and opportunities. It allows companies to better control their marketing budgets and expenditures while ensuring they have the time available to close sales.
Outsourcing Payroll Reduces Operating Expenses
Using an outsourced payroll company helps to lower a company’s day to day operating expenses and ensures they won’t be penalized for late or incorrect tax filings. Outsourced payroll companies are tax and government regulation experts and are up to speed on the most relevant tax codes. They manage all aspects of the company’s payroll and will ensure timely deposit of funds by direct deposit.
Outsourcing Accounting Improves Receivables Collection
Keeping customer accounts up to date and in line with their terms can often be extremely time consuming and costly. To alleviate this concern and free up time, a number of small business owners outsource their receivables collection and invoicing to an outside accounting firm. This allows them to benefit from a professional firm able to follow up on receivables collection and address any outstanding issues relating to invoices.
Small business owners must be able to continually lower costs and close on business opportunities. It amounts to freeing up time and allowing business owners to concentrate on business growth. When small business owners and entrepreneurs can concentrate on what they do best, the company as a whole will thrive. These outsourcing functions allow small businesses to reduce operational expenditures and improve service.
September 13, 2010 No Comments
It’s that time of the year again: zombies, pirates, and ghosts, oh my! Halloween is a great holiday for children and adults alike. Kids love the costumes and candy, whereas adults love it because, well… when else is it considered socially acceptable to have cobwebs, pests, and dead things lying around your home? Time to make the most of it and get to decorating!
1. Spider Webs
Spider webs are one of those must-have things for Halloween. On this here site, you can find spider webs galore. There are webs that stretch across doors and windows, webs that glow in the dark, ones that hang across ceilings… the list is limitless.
2. Roaches and Rodents
Your Halloween home wouldn’t be complete without roaches, rodents, and other creepy crawlers. Be über nasty and get a variety. The next step up would be to leave open food containers lying around for a few weeks prior to Halloween. But don’t say you haven’t been warned: pest control is expensive.
3. Rodent Silhouettes
Thanks to rodent silhouettes for windows, even folks who don’t get the privilege of coming into your home can see what lurks within.
No Halloween would be complete without a decomposed body, would it? This skeleton can be hung or laid out on the ground.
5. Crime Scene Kit
Skeletons might be common Halloween décor, but you can add a touch of realism by creating a gruesome crime scene with it. If they call you morbid, they’re just jealous of your originality.
6. Zombie Chowing Down On Human Head
The human fascination with flesh-eating, dead people is something that psychologists are still trying to figure out. Regardless, zombies are all the rage this year. It appears as though he is rising from the ground, making it the perfect front yard prop.
7. Dangling Bats
In case webs, roaches, and rats aren’t enough, the bats dangling from the ceiling will provide the finishing touch. Halloween is once a year, so it’s time to go all out.
8. Skeleton Table Pieces
This is a set of three skeleton table pieces to prop on the kitchen or coffee table. One skeleton covers his eyes, another covers his ears, and the third covers his mouth. “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”
9. Skeleton Door Cover
Undoubtedly, this will throw some much-needed humor into the ghoulish mix. Guaranteed, nobody has ever seen anything like it. The perfect cover for your bathroom door: a skeleton reading the newspaper on a toilet bowl.
10. An Utterly Terrifying Mask
Aside from turning your clean, cozy home into a filthy deathtrap, the other great thing about Halloween is something that no self-respecting adult wants to admit to themselves. It’s hidden there in your subconscious. After all the headaches and stress they’ve caused, you want to scare those little neighborhood brats. Don’t deny your perfectly natural urges. BOO!
September 8, 2010 No Comments
Today is the last day that you can get “Everything Halloween” at 20% off. So if you need to stock up on spooky deals, then head on over to DollarDays right now, and make sure that you fill your shopping cart with the creepiest goodies you can find.
September 8, 2010 No Comments
Want to advertise the services that your small business provides with low cost marketing? Look into Social Media! Social media provides a forum for businesses to create an online presence that extends beyond the walls of your storefront and into the lives of your potential customers. A social media campaign that is executed correctly can build your clientele and spread the word about your business often without negatively impacting your bottom line or taking money out of your pocket. Below are some tips to leverage free social media sites to boost your business.
Create an Online Presence
There are many social networking sites out there that offer the ability for small businesses to create an online profile describing your services. Leverage all of those sites and ask that your employees sign up and associate themselves with your business. The more your potential clients can learn about your business, its employees, and its services, the better chance you have of them feeling comfortable enough to trust you with their business needs.
Consistency Is Key
There are many sites out there that target different audiences, but it is important that on each site, the message about your business is consistent. LinkedIn, for example, targets business professionals who often have established business contacts and a wealth of experience. LinkedIn is used by busy professionals to build and grow a network, and often to find job opportunities. Facebook, on the other hand, is a more social tool that is used more for entertainment then true business transactions. Create a presence on all of the social media sites that you can, but ensure that you consistently brand your business with a common message across all platforms. You do not want to confuse customers or potential clients who have accounts on all these sites.
Your Message is Contagious!
Social media is a great way to quickly spread the word about any promotions that you are offering and will surely get customers in the door. Advertising a promotion to your Facebook “fans” or to your LinkedIn “connections” or to your Twitter “followers” has an infectious and contagious element to it because each of your contacts on those social media platforms have their own networks, and often your message can reach beyond your own contacts and to the networks 2 or 3 degrees away. Advertising a promotion through social media is a quick way to get some “buzz” around your business and what you can offer.
Everytime you update the offerings of your small business, be sure to update all of the social media sites on which you are listed. You never know who may be lurking on those sites and looking for something specific that your company has just begun to offer. Stay current, do not let your content get stale, and you will be sure to lure in key customers who are seeking your new services.
Social media is a growing industry and the business world is still realizing its benefits. Following these few tips can help you to stay on the cutting edge and ensure that you do not leave your potential new clients in the dark. Good luck!
How has your company used social media? Can you give us a link so we can see an example?
September 6, 2010 No Comments
How to Sell Wholesale Jewelry – September 2, 2010
Selling wholesale jewelry is an economical choice for sellers as it is typically lightweight and rather small, keeping shipping costs low and negating the need for special storage. For one who is interested in selling wholesale jewelry, five tips are provided. A reliable source for the jewelry is key. A sample of the jewelry should be ordered before deciding to sell. Fake items should be avoided. More than one photo should be included for each item being sold. And, current best-sellers should be researched to see where the market lies.
September 3, 2010 No Comments
Frugal living means making the most of the resources available to you. Some people are frugal because their resources are limited, others because they have a parsimonious character, but being frugal is smart. It saves you money, it can help the envirotnment, and best of all you don’t necessarily have to always meditate on money to be frugal. A little planning and forethought can go a long way to avoid waste and save money.
When the home needs repairs, people call the repair man. Whether it is a plumber, electrician, carpenter or more specialized technician for air conditioning, heating or appliances, it is usually expensive. After all, these technicians have trained and need to be paid for their services. There is another option for someone who can take the time and make the effort. Find a do-it-yourself class, for example in plumbing, and learn how to do the minor repairs yourself. This will save you a lot and, if you want, let you help your friends and family. If you are not in an area where a class is easy to attend, try the internet.
Plumbing is the most important function in a home. When the toilet or drains don’t work, the house is almost inhabitable. You can make sure that your septic system works, your drains are unclogged, your pipes don’t leak, your taps function properly and your toilets flush correctly. These are relatively simple things to do that will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Once you have an idea of how to deal with clogged sinks, dripping faucets, leaky pipes and plugged-up toilets, you will not have to call a plumber again. In some cases, you can fix the problem yourself even before the plumber calls back to make an appointment. Duct tape, a coat hanger and a kitchen knife will not get the job done. You may need to make an initial investment in a few tools, fortunately they are not expensive:
Two sizes of tongue-and-groove pliers
Two sizes of tubing cutter
Hand auger (plumbers snake)
Closet auger especially for toilets
You will not only save money, but you will get a great feeling that you are keeping your home running smoothly. You may even decide to branch out and start other types of repairs. Some other tools you may want on hand are a hammer, screwdrivers, utility knife, safety goggles, work gloves, drill driver and a toolbox to keep them clean and handy. Do you have any other DIY suggestions to help make the most of frugal living?
September 2, 2010 No Comments
There are a whole host of fun and frightening things available wholesale. Whether stocking your shop for the big Halloween sale or trying to snag a discount on the perfect gifts for the prankster in your life, these items are sure to start people screaming.
10) Spiders on Strings
A classic for scaring skittish friends and little sisters. Having a bunch of these critters around makes for a truly creepy-crawly experience. Dangle one over the bathtub for an bigger fright!
9) Motion-Activated Decorations
Depending on the theme, a good motion-sensor decoration can scare the pants off unsuspecting trick-or-treaters, unwelcome guests, and overeager salesmen. Nothing says “boo” like a cackling skull or a spider that shouts “Happy Halloween!” when someone opens the door.
8) Eyeball Candies
Be they hard candy, chocolate, or flavored gummies, eating things shaped like eyes is off-putting. Sprinkling a few of these treats into a candy dish is a great way to catch party guests off-guard.
7) Rubber Hands
Fake body parts are always a fun shocker. A caseload of rubber hands could keep a prankster going well beyond Halloween. Wary trick-or-treaters will be wondering if it’s safe to reach for candy with one of these laying in the dish.
6) Vampire Costumes
Vampires are scary. But are Twilight vampires? After your living room is invaded by a dozen gaggles of teenagers dusted in glitter and wearing Edward Cullen wigs, the answer could very well be yes.
5) Hazardous Material Labels
Fun for sticking on your lunch container on Halloween, April Fool’s day, or any time you don’t want your co-workers stealing your dessert. The truly scary thing about these is that they’re available in bulk in the first place!
4) Inappropriate Adult Halloween Costumes
Halloween costumes are one thing, but it’s truly scary when it’s possible to buy an entire case of French maid outfits.
3) Inappropriate Kids Halloween Costumes
Scarier than Mom and Dad dressed as a Sexy Pirates is the idea of the kids dressed as belly dancers, pop stars, or fictitious serial killers, or a guy who is about to chop someone’s head off.
2) Fake Blood
The possible uses for a bulk order of fake blood outside of a TV crime drama are best left to the imagination. If that imagination is yours, the neighbors had better watch out.
1) Swords & Knives
There are legitimate reasons for individuals to want to purchase swords and knives. But there’s something disconcerting about the idea of a bulk order of machetes.
September 1, 2010 No Comments
It probably won’t come as a surprise that managing cash flow is perhaps the biggest concern small businesses and entrepreneurs face daily. Regardless of the size of the company, or where it is along its stage of life, every business owner is burdened by the time consuming issue of cash flow management.
Given the state of today’s economy, with customers extending credit terms and taking longer and longer to pay, this is likely the most pressing concern for small business owners everywhere. However, there are solutions to managing cash flow. There are ways to mitigate its impact and free up valuable time so that small business owners can get back to concentrating on what they do best. These approaches are simple, straightforward and can be used in both good and bad times. In fact, they become one of the most important aspects of growing a business and increasing gross profit. Interested in knowing what these approaches are?
Pursue Prepaid Customer Accounts with Bad Credit
Every day an invoice goes unpaid is a direct cost to the business owner. Since most businesses use business credit lines or loans to finance their day to day operations, they must pay a yearly interest rate to borrow that money.
When customers take too long to pay, not only is it difficult on cash flow, but there’s a cost to it as well. One of the best ways to alleviate that cost is to get paid faster. The easiest way to accomplish this is by selling product to bad credit accounts who must prepay before receiving product. Prepaid customer accounts are excellent sources to alleviate cash flow as they are rarely pursued by the competition.
Incentivize Early Payments with Discounts
Don’t just go after those customers who must prepay, use incentives with the best customers to get them to pay sooner. Provide discounts and prompt payment incentives across all customer accounts. This will incentivize these customers to pay sooner and help in managing cash flow.
Negotiate Discounts for Early Payments with Vendors
Be sure to secure discounts for prompt payments on your own invoices. When cash flow isn’t a concern, make sure to benefit from the savings accrued by paying your vendors sooner. It will help over time and keep more money inside your business. Managing cash flow is really about saving money when possible and this is an excellent way to keep more of your company’s money.
Managing a company’s cash flow can not only be frustrating, but a drain on resources as well. However, these simple approaches not only reduce its impact, but point the way to additional savings. They are used by a number of companies who view them as best business practices.
August 30, 2010 No Comments
Our current economy seems to be forcing us to be frugal. Save money where you can and try to curb your impulse buying. A good exercise is to write down every penny you spend for an entire week, you’ll be amazed where you can cut back a little.
So how we can cut back on our current expenses?
Take a look at car pooling to work whenever possible. Some companies actually pay you to use alternative transportation or car pools. This can really cut back on fuel costs plus put a little extra in your pocket.
Some banks have an automatic savings plan where they take your ‘change’ and put it in a savings account. Others will give you one dollar every time you use your bank card for a transaction. This is a great, painless way to set a little aside and it adds up pretty quickly. Although you aren’t spending less, you do have a little stash ‘just in case’. And if you don’t bank at one of these institutions, throw your change in a coffee can and leave it until it’s full. You will be amazed how much money a coffee can holds!
How about all those errands you run? If you make a trip every day or two, think about waiting and doing all of your driving around on one day of the week. Map out your trip so you are not backtracking. Start at the farthest destination and work your way back home. Try to make appointments for same day too. Haircuts, doctors, servicing the car. These all add up to extra cash!
Now let’s look at freebies, deep discounts and some retailer secrets!
For example, January and July are the best times to buy furniture and prices will be rock bottom. If you can plan around those times of year for your purchase, you will save a considerable amount of money. Buy furniture in packages if you can. You will get more for your money. Sometimes retailers will ‘throw in’ an additional matching piece.
If you are planning to replace your stove and can hold off purchasing it right away, try to plan around annual sales. Major appliances are often a good deal in September and October. You can get last year’s models at a bargain price so stores can make space for the new model year. Look for rebates on these items as well.
Don’t be afraid to buy floor samples or scratch and dent items. Most times there is very little visible damage to any of the pieces. If the damage is visible, there are ways to hide or camouflage it. In any case, you may save up to 50% on a refrigerator or washing machine.
If you do your homework and plan ahead you can really save a bundle.
August 26, 2010 No Comments
Click on the image above, and start saving today.
August 25, 2010 No Comments