3 Tips When Your Home is Your Office

Whether you have been working from home for years or this is something new to you, the goal is to be productive.

That said do you feel like working from home is in fact working out for you?

In the event you need to make improvements on your home working situation, it would be wise to review things.

So, what is working and not working for you when your home is your workplace?

Finding Success from Your Home Office

In working out of your home, here are three tips to make things work out better for you:

  1. Make organization a priority – You won’t find much success working at home if organization is an issue. With that in mind, take a look at your setup to see how organized it is. Can you find the items you need on a regular basis to get the job done? This can be not only technology items you need but also paperwork. Having your papers organized is critical to success. The last thing you want to do is having to oftentimes search for missing documents and more. Come up with a system that works for you and allows you to find what you need without any hassle.
  2. Make room to operate – If your home workspace is congested, odds are you could find it hard to get work done. Take a look around to see if you need to make more space for yourself. For example, is your desk always seemingly cluttered? If it is, now would be a good time to do some reorganizing. If you use headphones to talk to clients, do videoconferencing and more, a headphone stand is key. This not only frees up some space on your desk, it will better protect the equipment. Also look at making sure you have space for clients if they come to your home. Along with being organized, you want to be sure clients feel safe and secure in your workplace. If they do not, it could lead to some of them refusing to do business with you moving ahead.
  3. Make the schedule work for you – Some people get the notion that individuals working from home are on a call 24/7. Since you are likely not a doctor where you may well be on call, come up with the right schedule for your needs. Overdoing it can lead to making mistakes; have a negative impact on your health and so on. The key is to work in moderation and know when you need your breaks. When not having to report to an office, warehouse or be out on the road on a regular basis, you have more flexibility. Come up with the schedule that your body and mind adapt to. That schedule still makes you quite productive when all is said and done.

When it comes to working from home, consider it one of the perks of life.

Yes, while you may miss having others around at times, you may in fact be more productive. That is not having all the typical workplace distractions and so on.

So, is working from home working out for you?

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EDI Supply Chain Solutions, What EDI Can Do For Your Business

Supply chain solutions are a critical aspect of making sure that your business maintains great relations with customers and partners. One particular aspect which all companies need to focus on are EDI supply chain solutions, something which we are going to take a deeper look into today. There are many ways in which these technology is able to improve your performance in the supply chain and EDI offers a wide range of benefits for all companies which fall within it. 

Here is exactly how EDI works in the supply chain and what benefits it can offer your business. 

In a Nutshell

In a nutshell EDI technology in the supply chain allows for the fast passage of information via a standardized format. This technology has long been used in industries like shipping, and in a world which is defined by digital and ecommerce channels, it is the ultimate way in which your business can exchange information with others.

What Are The Benefits of EDI Technology in the Supply Chain?

The reason why this technology works so well is because many companies look to use it, and they do so because of the huge range of benefits which it is able to offer:

  • Cost Savings – There are many ways in which your business can save money through the use of  this technology. There are no delays with this kind of technology, your information will be passed on accurately and quickly to your partners. The lack of mistakes thanks to the automation process is also something which is going to save a great deal of money. And finally there are no longer costs in labor or materials which are involved with the sending of information. 
  • Security  – It is critical that we are able to maintain the security of sensitive information when sending and this is exactly what EDI technology is able to do. EDI solutions are actually designed with this in mind and only authorized users will be able to transfer information. 
  • Speed and Accuracy – The speed and accuracy of the sending of data doesn’t just help you to save money, it will also ensure that you can increase productivity within the business and focus on the most important aspect of its day-to-day running. 
  • Improve Relationships – When you offer this kind of data interchange with your partners you are going to ensure that they receive information in a timely and accurate fashion, which is also free from errors. Ultimately this acts as a vital tool in the management of your relationships with your patterns in the supply chain. 

This has been technology which has helped out so many sectors over the years and in the modern day it is critical that all businesses within the supply chain are able to offer EDI technology. There is no faster, more accurate or more efficient way of exchanging information with your partners, and the benefits of using this are clear for everyone to see.

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Businesses Which Equipment Financing Companies Can Help

Equipment financing companies offer businesses something slightly different when it comes to helping them secure funding. What these companies specifically do is offer funding solely for new equipment for the business. This means that your company can free up capital which it was going to spend on equipment, to keep for other aspects of the business. Furthermore using these funds you would still be able to get lines of credit elsewhere. Another reason why many will look towards equipment financing is that they are much more likely to be approved, based on the fact that the money loaned is going directly towards a tangible asset. 

So what exactly kind of businesses could benefit from this kind of financing? Let’s take a look. 

Restaurant Business

As anyone in the restaurant business will tell you, equipping a kitchen is no small ask and that is why they will often need funds to help them get their kitchen equipment up to scratch. The cost of ovens alone are enough, and that is before you factor in any additional equipment such as pizza ovens to support the business. For this reason this is often an industry which will seek out equipment financing. 

Adventure Companies 

Another type of business which requires extra funding to get set up are adventure companies, which of course have to rely on pretty pricy equipment in order to get things off the ground. Whether it be the buying of ATVs, jet skis or even an airplane, there is absolutely no doubt that these kind of companies desperately require some additional support in order to offer their customers the very best experience. These companies will often rely on the specific financing for these kind of vehicles. 

Manufacturing 

No matter what you happen to be manufacturing, there is absolutely no doubt that getting things set up and off the ground is going to be expensive. The sheer volume of machinery inside these factories is incredible and that is why they depend on this kind of financing in order to get going. One thing which these companies in particular can count is the fact that those machines are incredibly powerful and owing to the volume of output it isn’t long before they have paid for themselves more than once over. 

Brewery 

In recent years we have seen microbreweries become incredibly popular and if we take a look at just some of the equipment which they use in their industry, the costs are pretty high. Most microbreweries are small operations and they simply don’t have the funds to invest in all of that equipment. Having said this, in order to get set up they are required to invest in so much of the equipment otherwise they just can’t produce what they would like to. This is yet another industry which relies on this kind of funding to get things rolling. 

This is a fantastic option for businesses to consider when it comes to getting themselves started.

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4 Ways Technology Saved the Economy during Covid-19

Humanity has seen epidemics and pandemics like the Spanish Flu, H1N1, yellow fever, and Ebola. All these disease outbreaks taught resilience to humankind. They impacted life very harshly but, in the end, were eradicated by humanly persistence and motivation to survive. Every pandemic gave rise to new avenues that proved helpful for humanity to mollify the hardships. Some transformed the way people interact with inhabitants of other continents. Some changed the traveling protocols. At the same time, some highlighted the need for enhanced medical facilities and quick response systems to a virus outbreak.

COVID-19 is certainly a pandemic that this generation will remember for quite some time. It has disrupted human life in an unprecedented way. Reduced connectivity and social interactions worsened the agony of sudden lockdowns. The world has seen the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. According to the United Nations, the global economy realized a loss of a whopping $8.5 trillion in output due to COVID-19. Not just the developing countries, but even the developed countries had their GDP plunged to -5.0% in 2020.

It sounds depressing, and indeed it is. When 90% of the global economy was under lockdown, what else could someone expect? The economic downturn has pushed approximately 34.3 million people below the poverty line. Cutting a long yet disheartening story short, COVID-19 burnt the world economy to ashes. In such hard times, technology came forward to save the already bad situation from getting worse.

Countries have shifted to digitalization in no time where they might have taken years to return to normalcy. It was the only method to a viable economic exchange during the lockdowns. All leading economic engines, from banking to trade, transformed their operations to adapt to digitalization. Although many sectors were already reliant on technology, the complete dependence arose from the pandemic. This article sheds light on how technology saved the economy during Covid-19.

  1. Digital Banking

Digital banking is not new to an ordinary user of banking services. It has been there for over decades. However, market penetration and customer base for digital banking services were negligible as compared to branch banking. Digital banking has seen a paradigm shift during COVID-19. According to McKinsey, COVID-19 has accelerated the growth toward digital banking by at least two years. Additionally, Scotiabank estimates that 60% of people who have shifted to digital banking options will not return to branch banking even when this pandemic recedes.

The world saw a practical blend of business administration, banking, and information technology. There was a sudden hike in demand for online MBA information technology programs mainly because the corporate sector adapted IT-banking cross products. Consequently, they included options like mobile wallets, remote customer acquisition, app-based biometric verification, and digital credit scoring for loan origination. These revolutionary banking options have made it quite improbable for customers to return to traditional branch banking the way they used to be.

  1. Digital Marketing

The COVID-19 quarantines and lockdowns have entirely revamped the way businesses reach their target customers. Outlets, showrooms, malls, and markets were all closed. Customer footprint was nearly zero in marketplaces. That is where the traditional approach transformed into a digital one. Digital marketing gained unparalleled prevalence than ever before. According to research, 61% of the marketers reorganized their short-term marketing strategies to adopt digital tools.

COVID-19 situation has increased the overall online traffic by 35%. In such an online world, 14% of shoppers are now purchasing only through social media – not even considering brands’ official online stores right now. Digital marketing saved several businesses from going bankrupt. Marketers spent a staggering amount of $100 billion on just digital marketing in 2020. Then, we can only assume the amount of business it must have generated. In such testing times, digital marketing provided effective customer touchpoints to keep the companies alive.

  1. E-Commerce

The stock price of Amazon soared by an astonishing 70%. The wealth of Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, has increased by $75.6 billion. When everything was struggling, Jeff Bezos’ net worth rose by a mind-boggling $11.5 million an hour during the pandemic. That’s too much to brag. Well, this is the case with almost every leading e-commerce based company.

The global e-commerce sales in 2020 were around $4.28 trillion it is an increase of 27.6% from the previous year. Such an exemplary expansion in e-commerce became possible through embedded finance technology which serves as the backbone for e-commerce machinery. It caters to the payments made during e-commerce sales. The most significant barrier to e-commerce success was the lack of secure payment channels. But Embedded Fintech has provided a viable solution.

  1. Big Data and AI

Organizations, businesses, and even countries that never forecasted a shock-like COVID-19 suffered a tremendous loss. They didn’t have a contingency plan to tackle the atrocities of a virus outbreak. That is where they realized the importance of big data management and artificial intelligence to create useable data interpretations. Moreover, the global shift toward digital marketing, online banking, e-commerce, and digital trade radically increased the importance of big data and AI.

The big data market is rapidly growing at a promising CAGR of 12.3% since the wake of COVID-19. The application of big data and AI in economic endeavors is proving financially prolific. Comprehensive data visualization generated through AI algorithms provide efficient help in decision-making. Authorities can chalk economic restoration plans using these data trends.

Conclusion

No one can stop anything like the COVID-19 pandemic from happening, but we can take preventive measures. We cannot guarantee something like this will not happen again. COVID-19 has already extended to yet another year. We never know for how much longer it will remain in our life. That is where humanly survival instincts come into play. We maximize our survival chances by adapting to the external situation.

Similarly, our economies can recover and survive if we incorporate technological marvels into them. These times place a significant emphasis on assimilating technological advancements into traditional economic functions and business domains. We have to transform our banking channels, marketing orientation, trade philosophies, and data utilization. Only then will our economies be able to match pace with this evolving global landscape.

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Why You Should Consider Selling a Startup

There may come that time as a small business owner that you decide it is time to move on from your current venture.

With that thought in mind, do you know how to prepare your startup for an acquisition?

Making sure you get it right is critical as you look to move forward in your business career.

A sloppy preparation can leave you unable to sell your startup or sell it at a much reduced price than intended.

So, what has you thinking it is time to prepare to sell?

Moving on from Your Small Business

When thinking it may be time to go about selling a business, here are some reasons you would consider such a thing:

1. Challenges in your industry – Depending on the line of work you are in, you may see stagnation in your line of work. While a few bumps in the road are not uncommon, you do not want to be in one where trouble seems to be coming at you all too often. As such, you may decide it is time to get out and move along to something you hope will be more prosperous. Keep in mind that a sluggish industry could make it a little more difficult to sell. Then again, some people may jump at the chance to get a business at what they consider a good price.

2. You lost drive to continue with a business – For one reason or another, the drive you had each day is not what it once was. As a result, you can’t justify continuing on with your business. You want nothing but success for it and determine someone else at the helm would be better. The idea of someone coming in with a fresh approach and more may well be what you deem is best for business.

3. Personal matters in play – Through no fault of your own, you may be dealing with a serious health matter. Or, you could have suffered a serious injury. This would be one that prevents you from handling work now and for the foreseeable future. With that in mind, you decide selling is in the best interests of the business. While these issues do not come up all the time, they can sway one to decide now is the time to turn things over to others.

4. Now is the best time to sell – The one scenario many business owners would likely welcome is there is not much left to do. You’ve gotten to a point and time where your industry is doing quite well. As such, you figure why not sell now when things can’t get much better. Getting out while on top can leave you with a nice payout. It can also mean the feeling of you helped contribute in some way to that success.

5. Time to relax – Last, if you’ve gotten up in years and done pretty much all you wanted in business, now may be the time to retire. The hope is you have gotten to a financial point in life where that is doable. If so, give yourself a little pat on the back for all that hard work and success.

In considering selling a startup, you may well find now is the time to do just that.

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3 Tips to Being a Smart Small Business Owner

For many individuals, the idea of owning their own small business can be quite appealing.

From making your decisions to setting a schedule around your needs can be appealing.

That said operating a business takes smarts, good money management and even some luck.

With that being the case; are you cut out to be a good small business owner?

What will it Take for Success?

In looking at what it will take when it comes to operating a business for years to come, here are three areas of focus:

  1. Money management – How good of a job you do with money management will go a long way in determining a level of success. With that in mind, do you tend to do a good job of overseeing your finances? If not, now is the time you need to focus on that. Bad money management can doom a small business from the start. Given challenges small businesses face, especially in the early years, be on top of your money. That actually starts before you even open up your business for the first day to customers. If you are looking at acquiring a startup company, make sure you do your homework. Doing so will help you to find the right startup at the right price. Know that there are services online to help you with the search. By having that help, you are in a better position to find the right small business venture to move ahead with. Once running your company, look for good deals in working with vendors. Also be smart to avoid running up sizable debt. Make it your business to manage finances the right way.
  2. Overseeing employees – If you will need to hire people to help you operate a business, make the best hires. While some bad hires here and there tend not to be the end of the world, you do not want it to become a habit. Knowing you have the most qualified folks and they give you their best efforts each time out means a lot. Of most importance, it means your customers are getting good service. As a result, many are likely to stick with you for years to come. Also make it a point to treat your employees well. In doing so, you build a level of trust and most will go the extra mile for you.
  3. Promoting your brand – Last, how successful can you expect your business to be if too few consumers know it? That is why it is so important to get the word out from day one. Make sure the consumer world knows all about you and your brand. Use all the resources at your side to help spread the word to consumers. You might even want some customers to do some testimonials, tell family and friends about you and so on. Of all the key jobs you have to do in running a small business, being a good promoter is one of the critical ones.

When a small business is a big part of your life, how good of a job will you do in running it towards success?

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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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