Small and medium-sized businesses are often tempted into thinking that they don’t need to market their products or services. This complacency usually arises when the business has a loyal set of customers and growing revenues and profits. The company owner thinks that when the firm already has more customers than it can handle, it would be a waste to spend on business development.
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Every small business needs an easy to use and reliable accounting software that tracks the company’s finances accurately. Entrepreneurs cannot afford to spend a great deal of time on monitoring their firm’s accounting records. What they require is a robust software package that is capable of providing the reports and data needed to run the business efficiently.
Fortunately, there are a number of high-quality small business accounting apps to choose from. Here is a brief description of three.
Every business owner needs to monitor his company’s cash flow very closely. In large organizations, this task is usually delegated to the CFO. Even if there is an entire department handling a company’s cash resources, it is essential for the CEO to remain directly involved in this activity.
Every business needs to establish a strong emotional link with its customers. The best way to do this is to create a business brand that conveys those qualities that you want your product or service to represent.
Companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft have built brands that embody their corporate values and which help them to attract new clients. A business with an effective brand strategy can gain a tremendous competitive advantage and even charge a premium on the basis of the trust that its name evokes.
But how can you build your business brand and what exactly should it convey?
Small business owners often struggle to retain their most competent workers. Why do good employees leave? It is true that some employees quit for better-paying jobs or to join a company that offers them the opportunity to utilize their specialized skills. But there are many who leave simply because they are not happy in their current job.
Getting your loan application approved by a bank is not easy. After the great financial crisis of 2008, banks have tightened their credit norms and instituted a practice of scrutinising each request for funds very carefully. Consequently, small businesses find it increasingly difficult to obtain a bank loan or a line of credit.
A successful business often tends to add costs indiscriminately. Business owners get blinded by the fact that their company is rapidly growing its revenues while maintaining a healthy bottom line. This lax attitude percolates down to employees who start incurring expenditure that does not provide any real benefit to the organization.
In many instances, company staff do not even provide customers with a basic level of service. They are so caught up with their daily activities and with managing increasing revenues that customer complaints and feedback get ignored.
An established business that is planning to grow its volumes invariably requires cash to finance its expansion. Given the fact that there are hardly any companies that have recorded a rapid increase in sales using their own funds, it is important to develop a strategy to secure money from external sources.
Experienced entrepreneurs know that the challenges in raising funds are many. Here are some guidelines that you can follow to make the exercise simpler.
Every small business prepares a budget on an annual basis. For some companies, this exercise provides a dynamic and powerful tool to monitor financial and business performance during the course of the year.
But for other firms, preparing a budget is merely a routine activity that is carried out without much thought or deliberation. The companies that adopt the latter approach are losing an opportunity to plan and grow their businesses in a structured manner that allows corrective action to be taken as the year progresses.