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How Can I Keep My Small Business Going And Growing This Year?

It’s safe to say that one of the small business owner’s top priorities is devising and implementing growth strategies that keep the organization in a state of constant expansion. If this is one of your objectives for the year, note that there are many growth techniques you can implement to see the positive changes that will make your organization more productive and profitable. Here are a few of them:

 

  1. Update And Optimize Your Human Resources Department

The people you employ are definitely the biggest asset that your company has. This is the case for many reasons, including the fact that they are the individuals who complete the tasks and assignments that keep your company going and growing. Additionally, they are typically the “face” of your organization, meaning that they’re the ones who continually interface with the general public and clients on behalf of your organization. With all of these realities in mind, it’s imperative that you implement strategies that will keep your current employees happy and productive. This is one of the primary reasons that HR departments exist, so keeping this department in tip top shape is imperative once you realize that you want your small business to grow and expand.

 

There are multiple strategies that you can deploy to keep your HR department in great shape. One is utilizing dynamic software. Finding the right HRIS software for small business purposes is an important and empowering strategy for multiple reasons. First, doing so can help you automate a wide range of processes that were being completed manually. Once this happens, you can typically get more done in less time. For example, BambooHR’s human resource information system enables small business owners to store their data in a fast, simple way with one centralized system. Some of the elements to be considered when purchasing HR software include competitive price, encompassing feature set, dependable customer service, and usability.

 

  1. Develop A Savvy Marketing Strategy

In addition to optimizing your human resources department, make sure that you implement a savvy marketing strategy. This step is imperative because marketing functions as one of the primary modalities through which you make your brand known to both prospects and your current customers. This ongoing exposure fuels brand awareness, thereby increasing your company’s likelihood of attaining great outcomes like more industry authority and increased sales.

 

There are many strategies you can deploy to take your small business’s current marketing plan from average to awesome. One is by focusing on your online presence. Doing so will increase your likelihood of attaining the level of traffic necessary to fuel conversion. One of the key strategies that can be utilized to help you attain substantive traffic online is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO strategies can include anything from link building to keyword analysis, and small business owners who have taken the time to master this complex marketing discipline oftentimes wind up attaining page 1 ranking in the SERPs.

 

  1. Optimize Customer Engagement

Your customers are the individuals who make purchases from your organization. Therefore, they are the people who are keeping your small business in operation. As such, keeping them happy is imperative if you want your company to become and remain as profitable as possible. With this reality in mind, it’s important to implement customer engagement strategies which ensure that you can gauge whether your clients are really satisfied with the products and services you offer. One component of the customer engagement process is referred to as customer delight. This process is solely concerned with customer experience and feedback. It can involve things like the use of survey sites (Survey Monkey, for example) to anonymously collect feedback from customers regarding their experiences with and opinions about your brand.

 

Conclusion

Small business owners who have decided that they want to keep their organizations going and growing should know that consistently implementing key growth strategies can make the complex process of business expansion relatively simple. Use one, two, or all three of the growth strategies outlined above to increase your small business’s likelihood of undergoing dynamic expansion this year!

 

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Stock Investing for Small Business Owners

Small business owners relish the potential to earn a great deal of money running their enterprises. Budding entrepreneurs should be aware one positive thing. The wealth amassed from owning a small business isn’t contingent on earning massive profits each year. Consistently saving and investing profits — even modest ones — every year might build up the business’ value and the owner’s net worth significantly.

 

The Corporate Strategy

Often, what works for large corporations also works for small businesses. The approaches may be scaled down a little, but the overall strategies remain the same. One strategy involves taking profits and investing the money. This creates added valuation to the business while hedging against losses related to expenditures. The insurance industry presents an example of this strategy as interest on investments may offset payments on settled claims. A small business tracking its finances with a netsuite alternative could do the same thing.

 

Of course, a small business owner must be smart about choosing an investment strategy. By relying on safe investments, a small business owner might find his/her profits growing in a safe place.

 

Long-Term and Low-Risk

Putting a set percentage of revenue into aggressive, risky endeavors aren’t automatically bad ones. Long-term investments — even risky ones — might prove profitable. That said, would you really want to put a significant amount of business profits into risky vehicles? Lower-risk investments safeguards cash and allow the money to grow. A major corporation in dire need of building up capital could seek high-yield municipal bonds offer ing6% returns. These bonds, however, come with the looming risk of default. A treasury bond pays far less than 6%, but the odds of default aren’t exactly high.

 

Generally, long-term and low-risk investment strategies benefit the small business owner. Less risk has its rewards.

 

Diversify Assets

Certain approaches can undermine low-risk investments. For example, putting too much money into any single investment vehicle can turn low-risk investments into potentially higher-risk ones. Imagine if all of a business’ cash reserves were put into the stock market and the market crashed. For all intents and purposes, the business crashes with the market.

 

Savvy investors wouldn’t likely create a personal portfolio completely lacking in diversity. The same logical attitude frequently applies when investing a small business’ funds. Diversity the portfolio to reduce risk while allowing money to grow in different ways.

 

Match Approaches to Business and Investing

Matching business strategies and goals to your investment strategies and goals makes sense. That is, if you seek moderate growth in your business’ profits, think about seeking the same level of growth with the investments. It would be an odd strategy to try and grow a business carefully and then take the capital and put it into an aggressive growth venture known for occasionally serious losses. If you’re conservative with your business, then you likely would be more comfortable as an equally conservative investor.

 

Don’t Allow Trading Fees to Cut into Profits

In order to buy stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other assets, you must purchase from a broker. Brokers do need to make money for their services. Paying fees may be unavoidable, but you can cut down on the amount of money spent on trades. Before you sign up with any brokerage service, closely examine all the fees associated with the service. Seek out a reputable broker who provides reasonable fees that won’t cut into your initial buy too much.

 

Stay on Top of Taxes

Investments may come with tax obligations. Certain investments do fall under the category of nontaxable income, but this isn’t the case all the time. Taxes might need to be paid on dividends and capital gains. Keep all 1099s related to all investments because they will be needed at tax time. Failure to report any taxable income, even due to an honest omission, could lead to an audit or fines.

 

In short, be as careful with your investments as you are with your business. Make the two work together well contribute to improving your financial standing.

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Increasing Your Portfolio Across Borders

Unless you live in a cave, globalization hasn’t escaped your notice. While international trade has flourished, so has international investing. In the old days, international investing was a realm for wealthy and professional investors. It was risky and expensive. Besides, the U.S. was by far the world’s biggest economy, and investing here was better.

In 2017, investors who said that had to eat their hats. Using the S&P 500 as the domestic benchmark, U.S. equities rose by 21.83 percent. That’s not bad, but consider this: The MSCI ACWI EX US, a measure of the world’s stock market performance excluding the U.S., saw a gain of 27.9 percent. Europe, Asia, and the Far East recorded gains of 25.03 percent. Emerging markets enjoyed a stunning 37.28 percent rise.

For international stocks, the party is far from over, according to Nicole Coombes and Paul Fortin, due diligence analysts with Boston Private. “We are particularly bullish on international equities right now. They had a strong year in 2017, and we think that’s going to continue,” explains Coombes. If that prediction holds true, investors have a lot to look forward to in the international sector. Coombes recommends always having a piece of the international market. Here’s why:

1.Diversification

A well-diversified portfolio in today’s era needs to include more than U.S. investments. Investors need to hedge all sorts of risks, including to the U.S. economy and the U.S. dollar.

2.New opportunities

International markets, especially emerging markets, are full of fresh investment opportunities. Gains from fast growing economies, privatization, and loosening trade barriers are projected to continue far into the future.

3.Attractive valuations

No matter how good a company or its products, its stock has to be valued right to be a good investment. The international markets provide much larger opportunities for value investing.

Avoid country bias

American investors have 75 percent of their equities in American companies, even though they own 53 percent of the world’s stocks. This shows a definite bias towards U.S. stocks. Why?

Americans are familiar with American companies. They know Amazon, Microsoft, and the other S&P 500 components. Overseas companies are unknown, but they are where opportunity lies.

Equity prices in the U.S. stock market are looking expensive. Even with some recent pullbacks, the P/E ratio of big U.S. companies, and the valuation of the market itself, are far above the international average. With these high valuations comes the specter of a bubble not seen in international stocks.

Another reason U.S. investors shy away from international equities is a false sense that international investing is too complicated. The real problem may be more in line with international markets being unfamiliar. Though investing in unfamiliar territory causes some justifiable reticence, a ready solution is close at hand.

International stock funds take all the guesswork out of investing overseas. Professional money managers pick the best values, after countless hours of research, so you don’t have to. This takes away the problem of having to worry about investing in something you don’t understand.

The fund managers understand these markets. With the incredible performance of many international markets and their values still remaining low, international funds stand to outpace their U.S. counterparts for years to come.

Increase your profits with options

Options are a great tool to increase returns in flat markets. With the U.S. market seeming to slow down, it’s a good idea to branch out into other investment vehicles. One way to use options to capitalize on placid market waters is through a bull call spread strategy.

This spread involves purchasing a call option and put option on the same stock with the same expiration date, as Investopedia explains. Because volatility is expected to remain low until the expiration date, there is a high chance that the stock price will fall between the strike prices of the call and put. In that case, the investor profits from both positions.

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Investment Tips before Investing In Private Companies

Investors seeking to invest in private companies will admit that it is not an easy decision, owing to the risks involved, long-term investments and liquidity issues. Whether you are investing in a private company for the first time or you have invested in over 100 companies, it pays to learn the basics so that you don’t make mistakes. For starters, you need to understand what you want to gain from the investment, but don’t primarily focus on making money. Investors seeking to invest in companies should pursue projects that they are familiar with, have a passion for, and have background knowledge on so that they can easily make more money. Besides, investors should also consider these other things before investing in companies.

 

Have diversified strategies

You are not likely to be a successful investor if you put all your money in only three or four companies. Studies reveal that successful private investors invest in between seven to ten companies. In fact, angel investors have about nine years of experience, and they have an average of one investment per year. Therefore, you should identify the amount of money you plan to allocate to that class so that you can diversify your investments to increase success odds and reduce risks.

 

Talk to customers

You need to get more customer data so that you make the right investment decision. In fact, you should talk to not less than five customers who use the service or product. It will enable you to understand from the first-hand users of products or services the void that the brand fills as well as what they like about it. When talking to them, find out if there is an alternative product or service that they would use in place of the product or service. You should find out if they would still use the brand if competitors drop the prices, why they would or would not consider using another product so that you can gauge their loyalty to your product. Most importantly, find out from the customers if they can refer other people to use the product. Investors should pay attention to the kind of customers that the company has, and they can feel safe if the customers promote the product.

 

Know the exit strategy

You should understand the exit scenarios of the sector that you want. Consider how big the company needs to be and the margins so that it can go public or have an attractive acquisition target. Also, you should understand the options available to you as the investor when buying or selling specific underlying equity. Investors can be a short or long put strategy based on the rights to sell the specific investment.

 

Talk to an expert

Investors should talk to experts in the sector that they have interest in, to get advice on various issues such as the viability of the industry. You can look for financial experts in that sector rather than in other sectors because the later might not be knowledgeable in your business of interest. Also, you should ensure that you talk to an attorney so that you know legal requirements such as legal documents when investing in private companies. Let your lawyer see all the documents to get feedback. Investors should understand their lawyer’s points even if they don’t care about them.

 

Know the deal

Investors should know how the deal structure and the company’s valuation stack up against other companies in the sector. They need to consider the valuation relative to other companies depending on several factors such as growth rate, capital structure, revenue, risk profile, and net income. You should avoid companies with a high valuation.

 

Understand the business

Investors should invest in what they know, which means that they should use their products or services before they invest in the industry. An investor who understands a business has more confidence in the investment than one who doesn’t know about the company. Besides, you cannot invest in a tech business when you don’t have a tech background. You should understand tech trends and how technology is affecting various industries among other pressing issues before you invest in the tech business.

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How These E Commerce Trends Could Affect Your Business

Entrepreneurs know how important it is to keep up with the latest trends. These trends reflect consumer interests and how they are making purchasing. Those companies who are not staying updated with relevant research are likely to be outstripped by the competition.

The User Experience

Consumers tend to make purchases indirectly. They are not interested in watching a product advertisement. Give them something they want. This will contribute to brand repetition. When your audience needs a product from your industry, you will already be on their mind. Marketers refer to this as inbound marketing.

There are a few ways to accomplish this. Some marketers advise implementing games. Of course, users have a high expectation for video games since there are so many high-quality platforms. Another option is to write blog posts. Draw consumers to your website with information. Depending on your industry, you could hit on emotional themes throughout your blog. If you write about something related to the home or family, that could create emotional avenues.

Further, if you are focusing on the user experience, you will have to ask who the user is. If you are targeting millennials, the user experience will be a little different than if you were targeting an older generation. Millennials typically have a short attention span. They are going to leave your site if it loads too slowly or if there are big blocks of text.

Shoppable Videos

Consumers are generally more likely to watch a short video than read a short article. They do not require as much intellectual energy. Shoppable videos are in their infancy, but many predict expansion within the next few years. There might be PayPal checkouts within a video. It is difficult to anticipate exactly what this technology will look like, but it will be there.

Data

Data is obviously not a new trend. But the way businesses collect and interpret data is changing. There is technology known as a low-code platform. It categorizes all of the information relevant to your business so you can decide your future. Many platforms such as cloud foundry Kafka have capabilities that better help you improve your business strategy, market research, predictive analysis, portfolio management and much more. Since many of your competitors are using this technology, you will need it if you do not want to be left behind.

Collecting Information

When users purchase your product or play a game that you created, you should require some contact information. Of course, many will get impatient if there is a long form. You should just request their email addresses and names. Email addresses are more lucrative than you might think. Many entrepreneurs gather them to create newsletters. A newsletter will be a direct line of communication between you and your audience. This will be important if something ever happens to your social media accounts.

Mobile Commerce

Mobile browsing has actually overtaken desktop browsing in recent years. This has led many entrepreneurs to develop ecommerce stores that are compatible with the smartphone. However, some have noticed that there are not a lot of mobile conversions. That statistic might be a little misleading. Many consumers feel more comfortable making a purchase from a computer. People typically have both a smartphone and a laptop. You should optimize for mobile and do not be discouraged if you are seeing unbalanced conversions.

Develop Customer Loyalty

Consumers are not as interested in discounts as they used to be. Today, they are more compelled by useful technology and responsive websites. Further, many consumers will give their business to companies who share their values. Follow social trends and write about non-controversial issues. This will show your audience that you are more than a corporate entity.

It would have been difficult to predict how much the digital era has changed marketing. But it has a lot of potential. You can get the most out of it by following the trends and adapting your methods accordingly.

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5 Financial New Year’s Resolutions Suggestions for Your Business

New Year’s resolutions are not just for people. Small businesses could benefit from a good resolution plan as well. The irony here is small business resolutions are made by people with the intention of benefiting people. Someone owns a small business. The benefits won’t be reaped by the inanimate enterprise, but those who run it. And resolutions should lead to benefits.

Resolutions, in general, entail improving things in some way. An entrepreneur envisioning changes to a small business sees the need for improving things. The improvements, not too surprisingly, focus on boosting revenues in some way. Any deficiencies in the operation of a small business undermine the ability to generate profits. Whether profit motivated or not, a decision to improve a small business in some way can prove helpful. Here are a few resolutions a small business owner best consider during the next 12 months.

Building Up Online and Digital Footprints

Any small business that lacks a strong presence online isn’t going to connect with the maximum amount of customers. Customers commonly seek out information about businesses online. And “online” does not only refer to the search engines. Strong presences on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and more are required for even moderate success.

An entrepreneur that hypes a business on Twitter and Facebook multiple times per day would garner more attention than a business owner who does nothing. Granted, the daily promotional approach must be done right. Otherwise, the strategy could backfire. In general, a smartly executed daily online campaign should yield good results.

The social media platform does need to be personable. Reaching out to people in a truly social manner helps. Simply publishing expository information probably would fall flat.

Establish a Better Budget

A small business owner thrives when his/her enterprise delivers a good profit margin. Too frequently, proprietors focus on raw sales and customer numbers when seeking to increase profits. Sometimes, a little cost-cutting needs to be examined as well. A poorly-devised budget may be one that spends far too much on unnecessary things. Maybe the time has arrived to review new small business insurance quotes to acquire better premiums. Perhaps looking into alternative sources of energy is long past due.

Looking over the budget in relation to cash flow is something that should be done as soon as the new year arrives. If monthly revenues cannot reasonably be expected to increase by significant margins, serious thought must go into revising business’ budget. Otherwise, money will continue to be unnecessarily wasted.

Enhance Other Skills

In addition to honing primary skills, seek to build and improve secondary skills required to be a success at running a small business. If your speaking and writing skills remain a bit lacking, do what is required to enhance them. Such improvements would only benefit you. So, why not put the effort into enhancing these and other talents?

Increase Productivity Exponentially

Productivity takes many forms. In the business world, increased productivity may translate into both earning more money and also save money. A person who chooses to keep a business open one extra hour a day makes it possible to generate more revenues through servicing customers. An entrepreneur who performs certain duties him/herself rather than outsourcing things saves money on professional services. Profit margins may improve nicely as a result.

Increasing in productivity do need to be measured with a helpful amount of common sense. If you are not cut out for a particular task or can’t do certain things at a necessary level of quality, then the job should go to someone else. Areas in which you can be more productive should be where you focus your productivity increases.

Place Value On Yourself

Shockingly, not every small business owners put the right amount of value on their skills, services, and products. Why sell yourself and your business short? Not asking for prices commensurate with worth doesn’t make much sense from a business perspective. Some might feel uneasy about raising prices or charging higher rates.

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5 Important Business Trends set to Hit in 2018

The world is changing faster than ever and business owners have to work hard to keep up. New technology and social trends have led to massive shifts in the way that money exchanges hands around the world. Your company’s success will depend on your ability to weather the changes.

There’s no reason to be overwhelmed by the new trends. It only takes one or two hours per week to read up on what’s happening in the world of business. Here’s a guide to what is coming next in 2018.

 

(1) Social Media Becomes Even More Important

The rise of Facebook and YouTube as the content titans of the internet has had major implications for the business world. Digital marketing is now synonymous with content creation and distribution. Tons of people turn to social media for their daily entertainment.

You can expect this trend to continue with 2018 as the media world shifts towards a social-first distribution environment. It’s hard to imagine a world where Facebook Video gets more views than network TV, but the trend is moving in that direction. Just like TV replaced the radio, the internet is replacing TV.

 

(2) Blockchain Becomes Usable for Business

There has been an increasing amount of hype around “blockchains” in 2017. Bitcoin has become a valuable digital token and other projects like Ethereum and Steem are reaching sufficient maturity to appeal to big brands.

While you may not understand how blockchain works, you can figure out that it’s worth paying attention to. Keep an eye out for rumblings in your own industry about how the blockchain is going to change your world. New applications built off of this technology may lower costs and add new options for your business in 2018.

 

(3) Influencers Increase in Value

An influencer is anybody who can get a message out to a large audience. These kinds of people take all shapes and forms in the new media environment. Some of them are famous for capturing digital marketing trends, others are the superstars of TV and radio.

Wherever you can access influencers, do it. These are the new gatekeepers that can connect you to a lot of people. 2018 is likely to be the biggest year yet for independent influencers who can make or break your brand. Do everything that you can to get in their good graces and elicit their support.

 

(4) Competition Reaches a New Peak

There are a lot of startups being founded around the world. Each year of the 2010’s has been more and more crowded when it comes to getting funding and reaching customers. With so many new startups out there, 2018 may be the peak of competition for businesses around the world.

There are reasons to suspect that a minor recession is on the way. This economic event will force businesses to survive based on their real financial status. This will filter out the less sustainable businesses from the market.

 

(5) Employees Become Harder to Retain

The freelance economy is reaching a fever pitch. It’s never been easier for skilled workers to float from job to job and retain independence. The ones who do agree to sign long-term contracts will often expect significant perks like remote work arrangements.

When somebody has the power to retain their own freedom, why wouldn’t they? Be ready to make enticing job offers if you want to attract the greatest talent to your company for the long term.

 

Keep Up With The Trends

There is no way to make everything stay the same. All you can do is get better at handling the changes as they come. The world keeps moving, but the skill of adapting to change can grow within you over time. Prepare for these five trends and you can crush it in 2018.

 

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Companies Need to Get Ready for Security Automation

Data protection has always been a top priority for businesses. If the wrong person gets ahold of your clients, your business practices, or your internal structures, they can easily topple the business that you’ve built. However, as we’ve moved further into using technology and the internet for business, attackers have also moved on, and cyber threats are becoming more common and more dangerous. Security automation is the up-and-coming answer to this. Here’s some information on how you can use security automation to keep your business safer.

1. Cyber Threats Have Increased Dramatically

When technology first started entering the world of business, cyber threats weren’t much of a threat at all. They existed, of course, attackers trying to get into your business and steal information or money, but a security team only needed a few members to keep them at bay. Nowadays, organizations receive thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands, security alerts every day, and it’s impossible to scan all of them and do the small manual changes needed to get rid of them, especially with a small security team.

2. Security Needs To Focus On Important Threats

As mentioned, many organizations get substantially more alerts every day than they can possibly keep up with. Most security teams are made up of very skilled coders who are there to protect the business from focused, dedicated attacks, not to stare at a monitor for eight hours a day, trying to decide which alerts constitute an actual problem. Security automation gets rid of this problem by having the program deal with the small issues and passing on legitimate threats to the coders, who can then focus their attention on those.

3. Response Planning Can Be Improved Significantly

If security’s entire job is to sort through tiny issues, they don’t have the time to plan for potential data protection issues; they’re working on the ones they have right now. When a huge virus hits a company, or an attacker gets through the firewall, security needs every second they have to fight that issue, and having a previously established plan means they can address the problem immediately instead of  spending precious time coming up with a game plan before actually getting to work. Security automation gives your security team the time to plan for potential future issues so your company is prepared for the real security problems it may face.

4. Data Protection Is Even More Important Than You Think

You probably understand that your data is important — “data” spans a large amount of things, including trade secrets and internal numbers that help with growing your business. However, your data may not be protected as much as you think it is. Data protection is a complicated process, and one that is constantly changing as cyber threats do, which means you can’t afford to be behind the curve when it comes to protecting the most important pieces of your business. Security automation helps with this by continuing to move your business further into safety, something that needs to constantly be happening in order to be effective. Security automation not only helps with data protection now, but helps with it in the future too, because it can easily be updated with the most recent issues it needs to concern itself with — and that can be the difference between being safe and having your business stolen.

5. Infrastructure Should Be Automated

Though it may not right now, your software should have a central hub that sends out code, rather than every piece of software being individually coded. This is easily the most important thing you as a company can do to be prepared for security automation. If each piece of software is coded by itself, the engineers have to configure every piece every time they make a change; if the software is changed by itself when the engineers change a central code, it frees up a significant amount of time that could be used for much more important things.                                                                    

Security automation is incredibly important, and one of the most helpful IT inventions of the last few years. Its ability to keep companies secure is unprecedented, and all companies should be preparing for it, whether they’ve started to implement it or not. Data protection should be your top priority as a company, and automation technologies are seeking to help you with that.

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The Secrets of Communicating with Other Companies

Effective communication is essential to any good relationship. Business relationships are no exception. It is just as important for you to have effective B2B communications as it is to have efficient Business-to-Customer communications. By elevating the level of how you communicate with other companies from being only good and you will see many more . Below are a few components of communication that possibly could help your strategy become great.

Bad Writing Can Make a Bad Impression

Do you communicate with other companies via the phone mostly and use written or typed material sparingly? Or is most your communication handled non-verbally with emails or on your website or blog? Whether you rely heavily on writing or only do so from time to time, it is important that your spelling and grammar be correct. You also want what you write to be clear, meaningful, compelling, and professional from the opening sentence.

Here are a few other tips for better business writing:

  • Logical structure should include a beginning, middle, and end
  • Avoid too many passive verbs, like “It will be sent tomorrow”; use active ones instead, like “We will send it tomorrow.”
  • Stay away from run-on sentences
  • Be authentic and judiciously use humor to engage your readers
  • Write in a tone that is most appropriate for your audience

Have Consistency in Your Communication Strategy Consistently

Know what it is that you are trying to say and keep on with that message always. You want to properly integrate a consistent message with every single one of the outlets you utilize for communication. These channels would include social networks, websites, emails and so forth. You do not have to use the same exact words in the messages, but the voice used across the different channels, and the point you are making should be identical.

Also, establish a regular frequency for communicating with other businesses. How often you reach out to a company is of particular importance if at any time you made promises as to the regularity of communication between the organizations. For example, if you told another business of bi-monthly communications, and instead, you reach out quarterly, then it could send the wrong message which may translate that you do not deliver on your promises.

Personify Your Business and Let Your True Colors Speak

Your communication should have a sense of personality which would allow other companies to connect with your business. Allow your organization to be colorful and lively in communication. You do not want to be another static company that fails to build trust because they cannot hear your business’ unique voice in your communications.

In business, there are four distinct company characteristics or business personalities. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is used in other areas of life to define and divide people into four basic groups of traits. Which type best describes your business?

Relational

Group situations and external relationships drive the relational company characteristic.

Dominant

An objective-focused personality, this”Type A” personality is hardworking and straightforward.

Introvert

A highly analytical business personality, an introvert would give something much thought before taking any action, likes facts and data, and is rational.

Expressive

This extroverted personality type is competitive, a natural at sales, and due to an enthusiastic nature and outgoingness, would make for great training consultants or business trainers.

Switch Up the Format

You do not want to come across as boring, no matter what your business personality, when communicating with other companies. You want to provide companies with a potent media mixture. You can use webcasts, eFliers, blogs, Twitter tweets, videos, email newsletters, Facebook posts, and other mediums in an alternating or rotating way to keep your delivery fresh.

 

While what gets said may vary depending on the audience, B2B communication should not be approached differently from that of B2C communication when it comes to strategy. You can use good communications to ingratiate yourself with your connections. It may help if you remain consistent in your message and frequency, have a personal voice, use variety in the formats with which you communicate, and write error-free content. Then, like in the movie Jerry Maguire, you might have a business at “hello.”

 

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Expenses Businesses Forget to Budget For

An estimated eight out of ten small businesses fail within the first few years. One of the primary reasons for this relates to financial challenges and poor cash flow. While there are many steps that you can take to line up funding you need to get your new business off the ground, the reality is that your quest for startup funding is only as beneficial as your budgeting efforts allow for. More than that, once your business has become successful, budgeting continues to be important to its overall profitability. However, business finances can be complex, and more than 50 percent of small business owners outsource this task to a controller. If you are preparing to launch your business or you are already an experienced business owner, you can more easily create an effective budget when you include all expenses that will affect your business in your budget. There are some expenses, however, that many business owners fail to allocate funds for. By learning more about these expenses, you can more easily update your budget successfully.

 

Insurance

There are various types of insurance that businesses need. If you have a larger business with several employees, you may be required to provide them with health insurance. With this as a requirement, you may budget appropriately for it. However, you may also need insurance for your commercial vehicles, rental or property insurance for your place of business and more. You should budget appropriately for the premiums for these policies as well as for the deductibles. You never know when you will need to file a claim, but you should always be financially able to do so.

 

Marketing and Advertising

Marketing and advertising are the lifeblood of many businesses because they drive sales. As important as they are, some businesses regularly fail to allocate a healthy sum of money to this expense. As a result, marketing can be irregular and not as effective as it could be. As you update your budget, consider all ongoing marketing expenses, such as hosting fees for your website. In addition, create a complete marketing plan for the next year, and allocate funds necessary to execute this plan in a timely manner.

 

Professional Lunches and Social Events

In many business environments, socializing and networking is necessary. It can cost money to attend hosted lunches for industry organizations, to take clients to lunch and more. A savvy business owner will properly allocate a healthy amount of money to this expense category. This will prevent you from running in the red when you take advantage of a great networking opportunity.

 

Property Cleaning

The cleanliness of your facility can impact the health and well-being of your employees as well as the image you project to clients and customers. You need to budget for cleaning supplies and services on a regular basis. In addition, periodic commercial carpet cleaning may also be necessary to keep your venue looking and smelling great.

 

Property Repairs and Maintenance

Property repairs and maintenance may not be a regular expense that recurs each month. In fact, several months may elapse between when your company is burdened by these expenses. However, such expenses can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars when they arise, and they must be properly incorporated into your budget. Make a list of all major repair projects you have in mind, such as kitchen cabinet refacing for the break room. In addition, allocate some funds to cover periodic equipment breakdowns. When you take these steps, you can ensure that you have funds available to keep your property maintained in great condition.

 

Taking steps to improve your budgeting efforts can go a long way toward improving your cash flow and preventing you from running in the red. You may feel that many expenses are unexpected and cannot be planned for. However, you know that appliances will break down, that carpets need cleaning and that networking opportunities cost money, for example. By allocating some of your funds to each of these areas, you can create a more realistic budget that covers all of your expenses. These should be included in your initial business plan before you launch a startup, and they should continue to be included in your regular budget.

 

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