Is Your Small Business Following the Rules?

You know as well as anyone else running a small business how much time and effort goes into such an operation.

With that in mind, one of the keys to success is to be sure you are following all the rules along the way.

The failure to do so can result in you losing money and even being shut down at some point if things get out of hand.

So, is your small business playing things by the book?

Make Sure You Do Not Commit a Major Mistake

In running your company by the book, here are some areas to make sure you do not mess up:

  1. Paying your taxes – It goes without saying that paying your taxes is something you can’t miss. So, have you been up to speed on paying taxes? It can be easier than you may think to make a key error when it comes to taxes. For instance, you filed late and got hit with a penalty. While the penalty may not seem all that bad, it is still money you would not have had to pay if you were on time. Another problem is when you incorrectly file your taxes. Whether the error was something you did or your tax preparer, it can lead to a possible audit. Worst of all is if you do not file for one reason or another. This can lead to a sizable fine if you are not careful. Last, be cognizant of the small business tax deductions you are eligible for. Not getting them all can mean less money in your pocket at the end of the day and more that the government gets to enjoy. Always do your best to get your small business taxes filed on time and correctly. 
  2. Track commissions – When you have a sales team, you more than likely offer commissions. That would be for their selling efforts. Be sure to properly track such commissions. By making sure the commissions are tracked and recorded, you can meet ASC 606 compliance. If you are not up to speed on this important piece of business law, now is the time to get on it. You do not want to end up behind the eight ball and playing catch up with compliance. 
  3. Workplace health – Finally, also make it a point to stay on top of health in the workplace. This is specifically for you and your employees’ healthcare needs. Do you offer health insurance? If so, make sure you have someone with the experience to oversee all the documentation and so on. The last thing you want would be billing errors and more. Also be sure to document any injuries on the job. Yes, workplace accidents are not uncommon. They can include slips and falls, auto accidents driving for the company, being hit by an object and more. While the main concern is the care the employee needs, you also want to be sure you are not opening up for a lawsuit.

As you review the rules of being a small business owner, are you confident you are meeting them?

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3 Tips on Continued Small Business Growth

Do you see your small business in a pattern of continual growth?

If you are not sure or even say no, don’t you think you need to address this matter?

By positioning your small business in the right direction, you can reap the rewards for years to come.

That being the case, where should your focus be when it comes to small business growth?

Doing what is Best for Your Small Business

In positioning you and your company for good things, hone in on these areas:

1. Being smart with money – How good of a job have you been doing when it comes to business finances? Your company can’t be all that successful if money is a continual issue. That said you want to be smart with the dollar. There may be times where you could use a little financial boost to improve your business. If this sounds like your company, where will you go for help? One thought to consider would be to apply for a revolving line of credit. If approved for that line, you can tap into those funds at a pre-approved limit when necessary. Use the money for what you find to be your most pressing needs or needs. Speaking of being smart with money, also make it a point to watch how you spend. Spending too much can be costly to your business in various ways. Look for deals and avoid the temptation all too often of using a credit card for business expenses.

2. Giving your customers what they want – You also need to focus in on great customer service. Not only does that mean serving folks when they come to you or visit online but offering them deals. Many consumers look for bargains. If you are not providing customers with discounts, you could end up losing some of those people. Finally, always take the time to get valuable feedback from your customers. See where it is you can in fact improve your offerings to them.

3. Keeping tech in in your business – It goes without saying that tech continues to evolve. As a result, you can’t afford to be left behind. Make sure you are doing all you can with technology on a regular basis. Given many folks use tech on a daily basis, you have to expect they want you to be tech-savvy. That is when it comes to running a business. There are many ways tech can help you further your business. For example, do you have a business app? Having an app can connect you with countless consumers on a 24/7 basis. That connection can lead to more sales and revenue on a continual basis. If you have a business app, it is simple for consumers to download it on their phones. When they do, they can visit your website when they want to. If you have an online store, they can buy goods or services via their phones. That is technology you do not want to miss out on.

As you assess how best to grow your small business, be sure you are doing all you can to have growth in mind.

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Frank Enrico Andreoli Montreal – Reasons to Work as a Family on a Business

Many will tell you that starting business with your family is a bad idea but the reality is that whilst there are risks, this is a good thing to do. For brothers Frank Enrico Andreoili Montreal has been the city where they have found great success in their business endeavors and both have often commented on the fact that being family is what has brought them such success. Many will cite the potential conflicts which families can have but these two brothers are proof that whilst there may be some challenges, ultimately addressing this as a family is a far better move than going it alone or with someone from outside the family. 

If you had been thinking about launching a family business, here is exactly why it will be the best decision that you have made. 

Staying Close

The reason why many think that running a family business is a bad idea is because throughout history we have seen examples of these businesses going wrong and splitting the family up as a result. The truth of the matter however is that these are fragile families in the first place, and the closure of the business was nothing more than the catalyst. As long as rules are set out and adhered to, families can actually find that they become closer based on the fact that they now have a shared interest and they have to spend more time together on the business. 

Loyalty 

Even the most loyal friends can turn their backs and make bad choices, but when you are working with your own flesh and blood the chances of this happening are almost zero. If you are in a family with any member who you suspect could do something like this then you simply will not be looking to go into business with someone like that in the first place. Only you know your family properly and that is why you would always make that smart decision from the get-go. 

Decision Making 

Another myth with regards to operating a family business is that decisions are tough to make, this is not at all the case and in many instances you will find that a family member is more likely to back down and concede a little, for the greater good of the business or out of love for their family member. Decisions are made quickly and they are made with the consensus of the entire family, this is yet another benefit of running this type of business. 

Ultimately the key to the success of a family run business is that there are ground rules which have been put in place from the very beginning. These rules will help to divide power and assets, as well as the financial side of the business. As long as these rules are in place, the family run business is going to be a force to be reckoned with.

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William West Seegmiller – How Small Businesses Can Cope With A Second Lockdown

For those small businesses which have survived so far this year the prospect of a second lockdown is one which will no doubt strike fear. There are however some positive signs to bear in mind with regard to the potential lockdown and the first point is that this will not be as hard a lockdown as the first one. Another great point here is that small businesses can learn lessons from the previous lockdown. This is something recommended by business guru William West Seegmiller in order to ease the pressure and ensure that they have a clear route to survival and possibly even success during the next potential lockdown. 

If you are worried, here are some tips which could help you out.

Smell What is Selling 

There is a very real possibility that you will have to start selling things that you perhaps usually wouldn’t, simply to get some money coming in. We have already seen what type of products people love during this time, things for their home. Be it loungewear, board games or hobby accessories, businesses have already learned what their best sellers are. This is the first place for you to start if lockdown kicks in.

Gratitude 

Many of the businesses which have been doing well during this time are those who understand the gratitude which they have to show to customers. Not only does this help with long term reputation but it can also be something which keeps those customers coming back to you in the short term. This doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, just something which recognizes that customers are spending money in your business, when often they do no have to, especially when so many are financially tight. 

Taking on the Market

We have seen so many places go out of business and that means that there are customers there looking for a new supplier of goods. This is why it may be that you have to branch out into other areas to secure some more money coming in. 

Online Option 

Switching to an online system has been a godsend for so many small businesses this year and this is something which your business must consider using. The key here is to simply make your business accessible online, you don’t necessarily have to launch an online arm of your business. This could be something as simple as taking orders via WhatsApp or Facebook, anything that makes your business more accessible to the local consumer. 

Let Them Know 

Despite the giants like Amazon doing so well, we have seen a real shift in attention to small business and many consumers are trying hard to support them. As a small business you should be letting people know exactly who you are, as there is often confusion amongst consumers. This doesn’t have to be a big deal, a simple ‘thank you for supporting small business’ could be enough to remind people how grateful you are and to let them know that you are a small business. 

Employ some of these tips so that if we do see a second lockdown, you will be on the front  foot.

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What Are You Doing Positive for Your Business?

In keeping your business in the best position to succeed, are you doing all the actions for it to be successful?

Some small business owners drop the ball when it comes to taking all the steps needed for success. As a result, they can end up on the outside looking in when it comes to the business world.

With that thought in mind, how will you keep your business headed in the right direction?

Don’t Endanger All You Have Worked for

In putting your business in the best place to succeed, here are some areas to pay close attention to:

  1. How you handle finances – You can’t have a successful business if money is continually an issue. That said be sure to closely keep an eye on business finances. While you may go through the occasional struggle or two, it can’t go on again and again. Look for any notable red flags when it comes to company finances. This can be continued bad sales, less customer interaction, revenue falling and more. Your job is to get control of the situation before it gets out of hand.
  2. Knowing who you hire – It is also quite important you know the individuals you are hiring. While you may get an occasional hire or two wrong, do not make it the norm. This means you pay attention to who you are hiring. By doing background checks, you can often avoid hiring people not well-suited for you. Not only does this mean their qualifications, but also any notable issues they have. One such issue would be their driving record if you are hiring delivery drivers. If they have a bad driving record, do you in fact want them working for and representing your business? You can go online and do a citation lookup. This will help give you a better idea of any red flags. That is when it comes to hiring one with a questionable driving record. Also, check references to see if these potential hires come with good recommendations. This would be from people who know them outside of family.
  3. Spreading your brand’s message – How good of a job have you been doing when it comes to spreading your brand’s message? If this has been an issue, now would be a good time to change this. You need to use all the tools at your disposal to get the word out. From your company website to social media to a business app and more, do not be shy. The more consumers to know about you, the better chance you have to bring in added sales and revenue. You may also consider doing some customer testimonials. This would be with some customers who’ve really taken a liking to your business. Letting them spread the word to other consumers can never hurt. Last, make sure your brand message highlights you are up to speed on tech. As many consumers today use and expect the latest in technology options, you do not want to be behind the curve.

In doing positive things for your business, could you in fact be doing more?

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Technology Tips For Your Industrial Business

It’s easy to consider the tech tools that directly relate to your industry, but relating the power of digital technology to your operation can do your business a lot of good as well.  If you learn how to champion today’s digital mediums, there’s no stopping the potential of your industrial business.  

 

Start the development process by doing a little research of your own.  Read through this brief compilation of a few tech tips that will help your industrial business take its mission to the world.  

 

Work on developing your website

 

Your industrial business needs a presence online to present a good fight to the competition.  People work in digital terms, and your business needs to rise to the occasion.  Make your website a place for answers.  

 

Your business website should be a reliable source of industry information, and you should be updating its pages regularly.  Use high quality media to engage users, and make sure your loading speeds are fast.  

 

Take advantage of social media’s popularity 

 

Take your industrial operation to social media, and get into the mix of the world’s social happenings.  Something as simple as a few social media sharing icons can boost the connectivity of your company.  This pipeline maintenance company added sharing buttons at the bottom of their page to make it easy for interested users to share their interest with friends/family.  

 

Also, you can’t respond to what people are saying about your company if you’re not taking part in the most popular social media platforms.  Set up shop on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, and work your social media profile like you work your business website.  Keep relevant, up-to-date content on a regular feed. 

 

Design your digital content for mobile

 

While building your collection of digital content, you’ll want to build for a mobile audience.  Smartphones, tablets, iPads, and other mobile devices are officially the most prevalent method of accessing the internet today.  

 

Play to your audience, and invest in mobile optimization.  Make certain your website, your blog, and other vital content is designed to display and function with ease on a range of mobile devices.  

 

Learn to incorporate the concepts of SEO

 

Search engine optimization has been around for a few years now, and it basically focuses on how to design content that will rank well in the SERPs (search engine result pages).  

 

Ranking higher in the SERPs makes your digital pages easier to find for users looking for information that is relevant to your industry and operation.  Learn how to use the concepts of SEO to boost your brand online, and create more useful digital content.  

 

Always be available for communication

 

Communicating with your digital audience is critical to the process.  If you really want to make an impact on people, your industrial business has to communicate.  

 

Design built-in ways for users to send messages, requests, emails, or phone calls your way, and follow up with an answer as soon as possible.  Make it easy for people to feel connected to your business.  

 

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7 Merits of Hot Water Systems For The Chilly Weather

This may sound impractical, but we have found various ways of achieving that heat in today’s world. You can always light a fire. You have warm clothes. You have room heaters. Most importantly, you have a hot water system to give you a proper warm hug at the beginning of every day. No good day stats without a hot shower, right!

So, these winters, get yourself the right warmth and buy a hot water system.

If you feel like a hot water system is just a few thousand dollars of wasted investment, think again. Following are 7 reasons why a hot water system is not just a necessity but also a good investment:

Consumes Less Power

When people buy a new gadget or machine, they are often worried about the electrical bills soaring high. However, with a tankless water heater, you save more energy now than ever. Without a tank, no energy would be needed to keep the stored water hot because there is no storage, to begin with. Secondly, you have one way of purchasing a solar-powered heater nowadays.

Stays Longer

A hot water system with an internal metal tank has a shelf life of 8-9 years; nonetheless, with an instant hot water system, you can go up till 15 years. Not a recurring investment, you see! To check out some of the best water heating systems, visit website.

Instant Water

Gone are the days when you would need to spend 15 minutes on the insulation rod to work. Instant heaters give the expected output within seconds. Plus, you don’t have to wait. Not just energy, instant water heaters save your time and money too.

One-time Investments

You don’t want to bind yourself down to a machine that needs manual intervention or too much maintenance with a professional mechanic. Tankless water heaters seldom go bad. Why? Because they don’t have a bulky internal system. No tank means no rusting. They connect with your existing pipes. They work on the principles of coil heating, so you only need to check them once before every winter.

Takes Less Space

You could just fit your instant hot water system on a vertical wall if there is a socket and a pipe opening nearby. This means you won’t need to make extreme changes and space for your instant hot water system to fit.

Uninterrupted Hot Showers!

Everyone likes a good warm shower at the end of a tiring day; however, imagine being in there, having a nice relaxing time, and suddenly, outcomes of the cold water. Not just your time, but your whole vibe would be ruined. You may even catch a cold. Hypothermia and frostbite happen too often! Thus, you should get yourself an unlimited supply of hot water.

The simpler the machinery, the lesser it would confuse your requirement of hot water. Tankless instant water heating systems deliver hot water, not just fast, but also consistently. So, you would never be in for a rude shock ever again!

Environmentally Harmless

Non-tank hot water systems are environmentally friendlier since they do not have gaseous emissions or toxic metal fillers.

We hope you know now that a hot water system, and especially, a tankless instant hot water system is a must-buy for the winters. You only need to buy a piece of good equipment once. Then, you can enjoy your hot showers for a decade and more to come.

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4 Ways To Reduce Your Business Costs

in today’s wacky business world, everyone is doing everything possible to reduce business costs. The more creative that you can get, the more of a competitive advantage you’re going to have as far as lowering your overhead and maximizing your profits. Creativity is going to be the key concept though because everyone already knows what the standard operating procedures are if you’re trying to trim expenses.

Keeping that in mind, consider four creative ways to reduce the business costs that you may not have pursued before. First, there are various ways to approach inventory management that keep costs down. Then, there is the reduction of administrative costs. After that, you can choose better advertising methods. And finally, you can offload your overhead in many clever ways. If you work your way through those four concepts, you can see the potential for dramatic business cost reduction.

Inventory Management

Start with inventory management. When you work through cost reduction strategies that start with inventory, it’s a win across the board. With less stuff on hand, you have to pay less for storage. With less stuff on hand, you have to pay less for maintenance. There is a balance that you have to find, though, as just-in-time and just-in-sequence warehousing techniques can stumble if there is a significant disruption in your supply chain. Notice that the pandemic fits in this slot. 

Reduction of Administrative Costs

Next, you want to get creative with reducing administrative costs. Two of the biggest money wasters in your company are going to be managers and meetings. Once you figure out how to reduce the time spent on meetings and improve efficiency, you’ll see your bottom line start to improve automatically and naturally.

Choose Better Advertising Methods

Figuring out better digital promotions is a huge part of keeping business costs down. Try to prioritize social media for business. The amount of money you have to spend on Social media is significantly lower than if you went through other channels. If you use word of mouth to an appropriate degree through various online platforms, you can save almost all of your advertising budget for the high impact activities that require significant investment.

Offload Your Overhead

Finally, figure out creative ways to offload your overhead. In many cases, this means outsourcing. In today’s world, you can outsource a lot of your virtual work to places where the cost of living is lower. You can find plenty of high-quality workers in situations where you can pay them a fraction of what those same employees would cost elsewhere. Yes, you want to buy local products when possible, but when it comes to outsourcing virtual work, utilizing the power of the Internet to go global is where the smart money is.

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NECESSARY SKILLS OF A MARKETING ANALYST

Everyone dreams of opening their startup to enjoy being the co-founder of a company. However, running and operating a business is not one person’s cup of tea, irrespective of expertise, and knowledge. You can only establish a successful business with a team of experts belonging to different departments. Therefore, you begin to look for a finance manager to handle finances and a marketing analyst to assess performance and results.

For many people, the marketing department is all about creativity since all the creative people work here. They are producing stellar videos, engaging pictures, and whatnot. Surprisingly, in 2020, marketing is not the same. Now, marketers have to work with data and statistics to predict upcoming trends and devise a marketing strategy. 

In this digital era, data dictates everything, from your internal operations, target audience, to your next marketing strategy. Do you think everyone can deal with these complexities?  Of course, not. Marketing analysts have knowledge and expertise in managing these tasks. If you wish to become one or want to hire one, here are all the skills of a marketing analyst that you should bear in mind. 

1. Statistical Knowledge & Experience

Marketing analysts display in-depth knowledge of playing with numbers. They hold the bag for documenting data and researches to acquire information about your customers. Similarly, they gather all the statistics about trends and different markets you are trying to penetrate. It will give you insights into who your competitors are, the potential barriers to entry, customers’ purchase patterns, and everything you need. 

Are you still thinking what does a marketing analyst do? Alongside using available data, they also collect primary data. They design customer surveys, questionnaires, while also collecting data from focus groups and in-house analytics. Honestly, this works like magic at the time of product development, allowing you to design a product that reflects customer needs. 

2. Develops Creative Resources 

Have you heard of content marketing? It is an integral part of a company’s marketing strategy but is also evolving with time, and to keep up with it, marketing analysts come into play. They are familiar with the most common formats of modern marketing. Hence, they generate content by understanding the target audience in different directions. After understanding customer behavior, they come up with appropriate content strategies. 

Alongside blogposts, these analysts create videos, podcasts, live streams, infographics, whitepapers, or anything that appeals to the target audience. You have to make sure your marketing campaigns are catering to your customers rather than running after trends. Different strategies require different skills and software, but do not worry; marketing analysts have the knack of every tool. 

3. Engages in Data Interpretation 

With overwhelming tasks, you might not have enough time to even skim through lengthy reports. Simultaneously, overlooking vital information, growth opportunities, and market research are imperative for businesses’ success. Marketing analysts compile all their insights into impactful reports that are not overly complex and immediately available to use.

Thus, their job does not end after interpreting data. They should have the skills to create comprehensible reports and deliver in way management can understand. It can become possible with the help of storytelling and data visualization techniques. Likewise, they have to identify the most critical information and lead by using visual media and digital ads.  

4. Provides Competitive Analysis 

Are you aware of what your competitors are doing? You might be so busy with your business practices that you do not get a chance to look over the competition. Fortunately, marketing analysts can take care of competition on your behalf since it is crucial to see how competitors are progressing. They identify your competitor’s position in the market by assessing their market share. 

Likewise, they will take a dig at their pricing policies and marketing strategies to gather information for forming your marketing strategy. If you end up charging more than the competitors, your customers will take only seconds to switch to available substitutes. This competitive analysis also makes you aware of competitor’s harmful actions against your brand, allowing you to take immediate action. 

5. Analyzes Engagement Campaigns 

Believe it or not, modern marketing strategies are dynamic with the need to change and evolve with market conditions. You would notice changing search engine regulations and target-audience preferences, making it essential to keep up with it. Marketing analysts always have an eye on campaigns through analytics and by regularly searching for marketing trends

They can pay attention to small details, including the number of visitors, duration of visit, and bounce rate. Thus, they can also improve the overall website quality and its performance on the search engine. Since all this is happening through analytics, it guarantees promising results, leaving no room for mistakes. 

Final Thoughts, 

No matter how much effort you make, it is impossible to become the jack of all trades. Therefore, to keep up with modern marketing practices, you have to look for a marketing analyst, allowing your marketing campaigns to reach heights. If you are wondering why these analysts are necessary, have a look above to see the skills they possess and the amount of difference it can make to your business.

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TWONIL – Reasons a Small Business Should Use a Marketing Agency

I was chatting to a couple of friends of mine who are part of the team at the TWONIL marketing agency, a brilliant option for anyone looking to go into digital marketing incidentally ( plug, plug). We were talking about how the biggest culprits for not investing in digital marketing are small businesses and how there are many out there who could do very well if they use such a service. Mainly  we were discussing the reasons why so many don’t opt to use an agency and it is not that they aren’t marketing but rather they have taken the decision to do it in-house. 

There is nothing wrong with this of course, but there are many reasons why a small business should look to invest in a digital marketing agency, let’s take a look. 

Results 

Many will point to the costs which a marketing agency will charge them as a reason as to why they shouldn’t invest but to counter-balance that you have to look at what that extra investment will deliver. These guys spend their days and nights working in marketing and the results which they will be able to achieve compared to what a company can deliver in-house is significantly better. Businesses may think that they are saving money by not investing in marketing but the truth is that if they go for a digital agency they are going to make a far bigger splash, and much more money. 

Speed

Something else which these experts in marketing are going to be able to deliver is speed, once again just because this is their bread and butter. These agencies are going to be able to deliver stuff in a quarter of the time that a business could thanks to their knowledge, their contacts and their experience. 

Time and Productivity 

Having members of staff in a small business is of course costly and it is important to remember that in the main, social media or advertising is not what  they were hired for or what they were supposed to do. This means that for every minute which is spent on marketing, that is a minute lost in terms of their productivity and what they should be doing. Small businesses cannot afford low levels of productivity which is why outsourcing this to an agency will make the most sense. 

Competition 

Competition between small businesses is rife and they must do everything that they can to eat up every small slice of market share. Because of the results that investing in a marketing company will deliver, small businesses can really help to get ahead of the competition with an aggressive strategy which brings in more people and more money, tipping the scales in their favor versus the competition. 

In-house marketing is understandable and commendable, but hiring a marketing agency is always going to be the smartest option for any small business.

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