Working out an effective marketing budget

“How much should I spend on marketing?” Most small business people ask me this question at some stage. Many small business people find working out how much to spend on marketing a tricky exercise to calculate. Generally there are five ways to work out a marketing budget for the year. Remember that these are marketing budgets, not advertising budgets. Marketing covers everything you do in your business that creates awareness,…  Read more

Efficient business systems really pay off

Too many businesses fall over because the owner has not established efficient business systems. This typically happens because the business owner is so caught up in the day-to day running of the business that the fundamentals of good business management get forgotten. Often too it must be said that the owner simply doesn’t like bookkeeping or other administrative tasks, so these get put on the back burner. The symptoms are…  Read more

Should you lease or buy equipment?

Many small business people wonder whether it’s better for them to buy or lease capital equipment for their businesses. Your options regarding leasing or buying depend upon the nature of your particular business, but there are nevertheless a few guidelines you can follow to help you decide what you should do. If you have the money available, and the item is really necessary to your business, then it will usually…  Read more

Bookkeeping Basics for Small Business Owners

On average, small business owners spend 10 hours each week recording, organizing, and processing financial transactions – everything from accounts receivable and payable, to employee payments, expense receipts and supplier invoices. While the process may be time-consuming (and tedious!), effective bookkeeping is the foundation of sound financial management – which in turn, is the lifeblood of your business. Feeling overwhelmed by mountains of paperwork and complex calculations? Here are three…  Read more

Combat interest rate rises in three easy ways

Rising interest on debt can be a curse when running a small business. However, there are some quick and easy policies you can start using to combat interest rate rises. Individually, small steps can add some value to a business, but when combined they can make significant differences. Think of your business like a car in development. Improved aerodynamics, fuel injection and weight loss might separately increase fuel economy, but…  Read more

Strengthening your balance sheet

Your balance sheet (now more correctly called a Statement of Financial Position) reveals a great deal about your business, including the total value of your assets – the things you own; how much you owe to others – your liabilities; and the level of your solvency. These three aspects will be studied carefully by lenders and investors − and by buyers if you intend to sell your business. But they…  Read more

5 Cheaper Ways to Advertise Your Business

Advertising is an essential component of success for any business. Proper advertising ensures more sales, but if you choose the wrong options, it can be a very expensive proposition. Let’s look at five ways you can reduce your business’s advertising expenditure without affecting your results. Referrals A referral program encourages your current customers to send their friends to your site, and to earn rewards for their efforts. It’s a great…  Read more

5 Reasons Your Business Needs Facebook Ads

Facebook ads are a great way for small business owners to get involved in online advertising. Compared to competitors like Google AdWords, they are easier for beginners. Here are five reasons to consider using Facebook ads. Targeting Facebook ads allow you to target specific demographics. You can target campaigns based on age, sex and location to place your ads before the right audience. Facebook uses members’ interests, the pages they…  Read more

Use your Accounting Software to Boost Sales

If you think accounting software is just for tracking expenses and generating financial reports, you’re losing out on an opportunity to improve your bottom line. By taking advantage of insights provided by your software solution, you’ll benefit from a more informed approach to marketing and customer service – and by making the most of all the ways your software can improve productivity you can take meaningful action to increase profits.…  Read more

Lessons from three pricing stories

Times were tough, so John decided he had to drop his prices below his competitors. The results seemed gratifying. Business picked up quickly and when John looked round his shop he could see his sales staff were always busy with customers. Then came the call from his accountant. “Aren’t the sales figures great?” said John, getting his bit in first. ‘Yes”, said the accountant, “impressive sales indeed. That’s the good…  Read more

What to Look For In A Payment Management System

Quick and efficient payment options benefit both small business owners and their customers. Consumers are used to flexibility – cash, check or charge? – when buying from large retailers. If you’re a cash-or-check only operation, consider how many sales you may be losing – and how your business would grow if your customers could pay with debit or credit cards. If one of your goals is to start selling online,…  Read more

5 Apps for Tracking Small Business Expenses

Did you know that 50% of small business expenses are generated on the go? It’s no wonder the majority of expense receipts end up shoved in coat pockets or an old shoebox. In spite of all of the high-tech options out there, 47% of small businesses are still using spreadsheets for expense management, leaving room for errors that could really hurt their bottom line come tax time. Why not take…  Read more

Boost Revenue with Mobile Solutions

Could you improve your closing rate with a mobile app? If you own a tablet or mobile phone but aren’t taking advantage of mobile sales tools, you’re missing out on the opportunity to shorten your sales cycle and boost your bottom line. From CRM apps to invoicing and payment technology, there’s a mobile solution for your small business that can make it easier to convert prospects to customers – and…  Read more

How to Survive the Emotional and Financial Devastation of a Job Loss

The loss of a job is one of the most devastating things a person can go through. The results of a job loss can be long lasting and the implications go far beyond the financial. While losing your job will most likely put your financial life at risk, the emotional consequences can be just as damaging. When you consider that most of us spend more time at our jobs than…  Read more

Identify your break-even point

Without knowing your break-even point, you can’t make informed business decisions. To cover the costs of your business you need to sell enough goods or services to reach your break-even point. Knowing where that point is, and how long it will take you to reach it, can be fundamental to your success. This especially true if you’re thinking about starting or buying a business. Calculate fixed and variable costs The…  Read more

Insights from your Profit and Loss account

Most small business people would agree that their Profit and Loss account (now more correctly called a Statement of Financial Performance) is among the easier – if not the easiest – financial document to understand. It’s typically presented in two parts. The top half of the statement reveals the various sources of income the business has received for the period covered, such as a quarter, half year or full financial…  Read more

How to create good habits in business

If you’re like most small business owners, there are never enough hours in the day to complete every task on your list. Often you’re faced with prioritizing what you need to do right now – deal with a customer, meet a deadline, attend an event – and the things you know you should do for the ongoing growth of your business. Scheduling time to attend to these business activities on…  Read more

10 Money-Saving Tips for Freelancers

While working at home as a freelancer sounds like the ultimate dream for anyone who tires of the rat race, freelancers still have more than their fair share of financial matters to worry about. In fact, perhaps the most important trait that any freelancer should have is the ability to be fully responsible and accountable to themselves, and saving money is something that you will be wholly responsible for. 1.…  Read more

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