Category Archives: Top Business Tips

Seven Top Tips For Expense Management To Enhance Profitability

If being in business were easy, everyone would do it. Those of you running your own companies already know how hard it can be.

But as the next problem drops into your lap, take comfort from the fact that nothing in life can be worthwhile AND easy at the same time.

But it is possible to bring a little more ‘easy’ into your business life by looking outside the box when it comes to boosting the bottom line; to doing a bit of ‘bobbing and weaving’ around your cost base.

Here are seven top tips to help you to do just that.

  1. Invest in an accountant. Understanding how the tax system works, and how a small business can operate legally within it, can reduce the tax bill your company pays. We know some people running businesses who do their own accounts, and we always say that’s a mistake. For a start, the task eats up time, but generates no revenue. Better to do work for customers, and call in a good accountant who understands not only how tax works, but also how it works in relation to your own circumstances. That way, you’ll pay as little as is legally possible.
  2. Turn stuff off. We know of a senior manager who didn’t turn his desktop computer off for more than three years, even when he went on a fortnight’s holiday. Perhaps he worked in one of the offices in our picture? Think of the electricity being wasted by lights burning in unoccupied offices, and other computers humming away to themselves when no-one’s there. Turning off appliances that aren’t in use reduces energy bills. And whilst we’re talking about reducing energy costs, it’s worth looking at investment in renewables. PV panels or solar water heating on the roof can make a significant contribution. (And all of those care kind to the planet and good for your CSR reporting too)
  3. Drive differently, or not at all. Microsoft’s latest suite of business software, Office 365, includes the option for employees to have Skype for Business accounts. As the software becomes more widely used, and its ability to put people in the same room on a virtual basis becomes more accepted, you could save twice. The first saving is on the cost of running vehicles; the second is eliminating the potential ‘dead’ time involved in driving to see clients, when employees are being paid but earning no revenue.
  4. Keep a tight rein on stock. When you see shelves full of stock in your warehouse or offices, try to imagine it as piles of money – but it’s money you can’t use to pay bills or staff; money you can’t buy more raw materials with. As a result it could be seen as a waste. Keep stock levels as low as possible to satisfy customer demand, and you’ll have more cash in the bank with which to support and grow the business.
  5. Don’t get cosy. When did you last review the prices wrapped up in the deals you’ve had with the suppliers you’ve been working with for years? Are they still competitive? How do you know? For that matter, were they ever competitive? It never hurts to have a chat about how there might be ways to trim costs. Perhaps a supplier might be able to offer a slightly different material that would do the job for you but at a better price. If you don’t ask, you won’t know.
  6. Measure and control. Use a money management app to bring your expense management onto a formal and efficient footing. There are a range of products designed to suit everyone from sole traders, where we started more than a decade ago, to versions for small businesses, SMEs and corporates employing thousands of people. All have features applicable to the size of business they’re aimed at. The only way to find out if they’ll work for you is to give them a real-time, in-business trial. They could revolutionise your expense management systems just as effectively.
  7. Remember the other budget. This is about time, and how you’d be well advised not to drive yourself too hard by pumping too much of yours into the business, because you can’t order in any more. By streamlining processes with the help of available technology and working practices you’ll be able to achieve more in less time, which will enhance your quality of life as well as your health. And that will enable you to keep a sharp focus on the way you run your business – being tired or overworked can lead to expensive mistakes. Don’t let that happen to you.

7 Tips for Creating an Effective Website for Your Business

Your business website is a platform for reaching out to your customers and potential customers. You want to engage your customers with your site through offering them useful information while highlighting all that you offer.

Consider the following 7 tips for creating an effective website that serves your business well:

Look at Your Site from a Potential Customer’s Perspective

Try to look objectively at your website the way a visitor to your site looks upon it. Is the site too ‘busy’ looking with annoying pop-ups, graphics, grating sounds or music, and long blocks of uninterrupted text? Is it difficult to navigate your website? Is it difficult to find your contact information? Does your site truly represent what your business is all about, and represent properly the products and services you offer?

Have Quality Content on Your Website

Content is vital to your website. However, this content must be useful and current information that is relevant to your visitors’ needs, questions, concerns, and interests. Why would they bother to stay on your site if you only offer them fluff – content that’s focused on the hard sell? You must offer site visitors quality information, advice, tips, articles and resources that speaks to their reason for visiting your site in the first place.

Incorporate White Space

Make your web pages clean-looking and less crowded with ample white space. White space breaks up chunks of text, which makes reading easier. White space contributes to the organized, orderly look and feel of your website. White space enhances the elements of your site that it surrounds.

Keep Your Page Layout Conventional

A conventional page layout is less confusing and irksome. It promotes easy and efficient reading and viewing on your website. Conventional page layout presents an orderly structure for engaging with content on your site – whether text, video, audio, graphics, and photos. Too complicated of a page layout can confuse your visitors. It can make their perusing of your site an annoying exercise.

Search Bar Simplicity

People often like to search sites via a conveniently located search bar. They don’t want to go on a hunt to find that search bar. In their frustration to find it, wherever it’s buried, they may give up and exit your site. Therefore, make your search bar highly visible.

Test, Test, Test

On a regular basis, test your website. Make sure the search bar is functional; make sure all tabs on the navigation bar are functional and lead to the right pages. Check that all links you’ve embedded into your site are working. In addition, make sure that all video you offer for viewing is clear, and the same goes for any audio files. If e-commerce is part of your website, make sure that your shopping cart process is secure, addresses privacy concerns, is easy-to-use, and processes transactions efficiently.

Update Your Content

Keep your website fresh and current with updated content. Update on a regular basis, whether daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on what your business focus is and what you offer in terms of products and services. If you have a blog on your website, do regular postings. In addition, keep your website updated with new and informative articles.

Follow the above 7 tips for creating an effective website. These tips will help make your website visually appealing and user-friendly. They will also make your site a go-to place for quality informative content – and with all this, you’re better promoting your products and services and taking your business to new levels.

Top 10 Best Ways To Market Your Business With Top 10 Lists

Basic top 10 lists can do a lot to market your business online, simply because they have ideas your market seeks. When you share the top ideas, especially when you’re part of the list, you show up on searches for other parts of the list. You’re ON the list, therefore they find you too.

When I started building my business there was a guy who did nothing but write Top 10 Lists of anything he could think of. His lists directed people to his favorite top ten of whatever he wrote about, and usually those were specifically things he was interested in. I may never forget my favorite of his lists. He had one that was called Top 10 Hotdog Stands in Denver. I remember driving home one afternoon from a meeting, hungry, tired, frustrated because the meeting didn’t go particularly well, and there it was hanging over the sidewalk, a sign that said, “Custer’s Hot Dogs”. I’d never been to the place, but I love hot dogs, so I had read the article. I remembered that Custer’s was number 3 on his list, so I pulled in and parked.

That was the best Hot Dog I remember ever having. I went back to my computer, looked up his website, and started looking for the other Hot Dog Stands he recommended. WOW! Those were some amazing Hot Dogs. And, I’ve been back to several of those hot dog stands since, even though his website has been totally gone for nearly five years. If I’m in the neighborhood, I still stop at those Hot Dog Stands. That’s good marketing!

If you’re looking for a great way to market your business, I’m telling you, “Top 10 Best Lists” are the WAY to go.

Ten Top 10 Best Lists You Could Write to Market Your Business

  1. Top 10 Biggest Competitors
  2. Top 10 Newest Concepts
  3. Top 10 Easiest Ways to Accomplish a Goal
  4. Top 10 Most Scenic Places to Do
  5. Top 10 Most Functional Habits of Leaders
  6. Top 10 Most Effective Ways to Get It Done
  7. Top 10 Busiest Days of the Year
  8. Top 10 Simplest Step-By-Step Programs
  9. Top 10 Phrases to Search in Your Industry
  10. Top 10 Marketing Ideas for Your Niche

Now just change the words that come after Top 10 and add your own thoughts, then write your top ten list to market your business online. Easy, peasy, right?