If you are considering starting a small business the type of web page you should consider for your business can be a simple decision. Consider that your small business must have a web page. Why? Can you find your phone book right now? If you are going to try and find a business, more than likely, (over 85%), you are going to your smartphone, tablet or computer to find a business.
Here are some basic web page styles you should consider creating for your business:
All websites MUST!!!!!! No matter which website style you choose, you should include the following in your website creation:
Create a website for your small business that suits your business type. Change it up as your business needs change. Give thought and then care-and-feeding once your website is started to increase your chances to increase sales.
It doesn’t matter what type of small business you have, there are office tasks you have to complete to operate successfully. In this article we are going to discuss some key operations that you need to have in place to make your business run effectively, efficiently, and, most importantly, economically. We call this the three “E’s” to successful small businesses.
Method for tracking your business expenses and income. Maybe you are starting with only a few customers and keeping handwritten or developing your own spreadsheet seems sufficient. In time, as business grows, and your memory fades, you need to have a method to easily track your finances. Plan for business growth at the start with a method, or program that will meet future growth needs. Accurate financial records are needed for the dreaded tax season and to ensure you are being profitable. Several programs are available that are free and those you pay for, that will help you track your expenses.
Again, no matter the business you need the appropriate technology to operate your business. Technology includes devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers, or technology specific to your business offerings. The list goes on and on and greatly expands depending on the business you have. It is critical that you budget for a technology refresh throughout the life of your business. As technology advances occur rapidly, you need to refresh your technology on a regular recurring basis, often every 3-4 years. Refreshing your technology improves efficiency. Reduced time waiting on slow computers, or having to develop work-around's where technology outpaces your existing devices.
Internet Presence & Management
In this category we include email, web pages, and even social media if you are so inclined. Having a business web page and social media presence increases your reach to customers. Those that do business with you on a regular basis, and potential new customers often look online for contact information, to learn more about your business. Forget the idea that having a web page will increase your business overnight. From our experience, word-of-mouth advertising, then being easily found on the web is what builds your business. Chances are you will need business email to send invoices, communicate with customers, and to receive information about your business.
In any small business you will have suppliers that provide services and products to keep your business going. Develop relationships, shop around for suppliers that can provide you with discounts. If you are a consultant that travels, consider using the same motels to get preferred status as well as business travel discounts, and ease of tracking travel expenses. Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts in the beginning or if you have been a long time customer. Reducing your supply costs increases your profit margin.
Hard copy and electronic files need to be handled in a consistent manner to increase your efficiency, reducing time to locate what you need when you need it. Take time to develop a logical filing system, one that is not overly complicated. Include email filing as well. (See article on Email Organization) Include working methods that improve your effectiveness in accomplishing office tasks. Schedule time each day or a few times a week to focus on the filing and work systems to keep your business operating smoothly.
All of these ideas, or considerations, will help you operate your business effectively, and efficiently, which equals working more economically, saving you time and money. Set a reminder on your calendar every six months, maybe with a link to this article, to review each area presented and see where you can improve.
Outsourcing functions to operate your small business makes sense in some cases. As a small business owner, it is often difficult to let go of specific tasks, the thought of paying someone else to do something you feel you can do. Here are a few ideas to consider when trying to determine if outsourcing makes sense:
Outsourcing can make a lot of business sense to improve your business in several areas. Outsourcing will help you grow your business, increase customer satisfaction and provide you with time to focus on aspects of the business that are important to you.
Only a few days before the new year is here!!!! Following are a few ideas, tips to help you prep for 2019:
Create a schedule:
Prep for a fresh start for the New Year:
Meetings are an important part of getting work done, sharing information, and ensuring everyone is on their tasks. However, we often see there are too many meetings, and the majority are not productive - actually they are counter productive.
Things to consider about holding meetings:
1. It costs money! - Think about a meeting you recently attended. How many people were there? Then estimate how much each person makes an hour and add that up. Also consider time for IT support, admin work scheduling the meeting, and other tasks that must be accomplished to conduct the meeting. It all adds up to a realistic cost.
2. It takes time away from other work - There are meetings that are important, but consider you are taking employees away from their daily tasks to attend a critical meeting.
3. Technology has greatly improved communication - There was a time, before cell phones, online chat, email that meetings were critical to improving communication.
So when do you hold a meeting?
There are other good reasons to hold a meeting, but ensure they have a specific purpose, a deliverable that you can point to after the meeting is over.
When not to meet?
The next time you consider calling a meeting together ask yourself a few questions; "What will I learn from the meeting that I could not learn some other way?", "What is the deliverable to expect from the meeting?" Yes, you should have something to show from your meeting. (See our blog articles on agendas such as "Effective Meeting Agendas." Most importantly, "How much will it cost in money and lost time from work and is it worth it?"
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