Employees at small and mid-size firms spend more than half their days on necessary but completely unproductive tasks, according to a survey by business phone system Fonality. Roughly 14 percent spent their time duplicating information, including forwarding emails, calling to confirm information and dealing with spam and unsolicited phone calls. With so much time wasted, it’s difficult to know how to streamline your day to stay as productive as possible. Here are a few automation and productivity hacks to help keep your office focused: Read More →
The best retail stores have a recipe for success that combines unmatched customer service with a product mix built to meet consumer needs. But why limit the customer experience to in-store visitors? A 2013 study by eMarketer estimates U.S. consumers spent $37.44 billion on retail purchases made via smartphones and tablets. More than sales, your Web prospects offer valuable insight into future marketing strategies. Taking an offline and online approach to leverage the customer experience can catapult your retail business to greater success. Read More →
The following article is excerpted from Entrepreneur.com.
Don’t Overpay Your Taxes: 5 Can’t Miss Small-Business Deductions
It’s tax time and whether they know it or not, small-business owners might be leaving hundreds, even thousands of dollars off the table.
“Numerous businesses overpay their taxes every year by overlooking various tax deductions,” says Michael Raanan, a former IRS revenue officer who is president of Santa Ana, Calif.-based Landmark Tax Group. Read More →
As an entrepreneur, you tend to be all things to all people. You are the chief executive officer as well as the chief sales person and the chief light bulb changer. One of the keys to being a successful start-up owner is to understand you do not know everything. You need to surround yourself with good people who are experts in the areas you are not. Hiring an accountant will prevent you from making costly mistakes and may even help you make more money.
Keep The Feds Away
If you plan to have employees, then payroll and taxes become a significant issue. You can hire a payroll company to handle your payroll but they charge for the service and often need a cash reserve for new companies. Payroll and taxes are two areas you want to do right. People depend on their paychecks to survive and the IRS can charge as much as 25 percent in penalties for not depositing payroll taxes properly and within the allotted timeframe. Make sure your accountant has payroll knowledge during the hiring process.
Running Your Business
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants has defined some best practices for accountants. An accountant organizes data and processes financial decisions. At the end of the day, you want to know how much money you make and how to make more. Your accountant’s job is to organize your revenue and expense information in such a way that you understand where your money comes from and who you need to pay. This allows you to make informed decisions about creating new revenue streams or cutting old expenses.
There is a difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant, one of the most important being that a bookkeeper does not prepare financial statements. When applying for a loan, you need financial statements. You also need them to attract investors, write a business plan, and for almost any other function of running a business. An accounting degree is not necessary to be a bookkeeper. But a degree and certification is necessary to become an accountant.
Make Even More Money For You
For-profit businesses can take a page from the nonprofit sector when it comes to the financial officer’s role. One of the jobs of the accountant or the financial executive is to find more money for the company. One of your accountant’s job functions need to be researching other funding streams, including grants, government contracts, and other paperwork heavy revenue opportunities.
Web Project Manager
Only 24 percent of businesses currently report plans to implement a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policy in their workplace, according to a survey conducted earlier this year by CompTIA. Nevertheless, BYOD is considered a tech movement of the future as professionals wield multiple devices to get their work done. Businesses are starting to realize the advantages of implementing a BYOD policy, but the slow enactment of this setup may be because it creates a number of intellectual property questions relating to content created on these devices. As a result, businesses need to understand the ins and outs of intellectual property rules and how they should address this subject in their respective BYOD policies. Read More →
Text marketing is very cost effective for small businesses. With the right text marketing company on your team there are no big start-up costs to worry over, so getting started in this new wave of marketing is simple and easy for you to do. It is also very easy to get a mass amount of phone numbers without a lot of effort or hassle so it is affordable and effective.
You can pay businesses for lists of phone numbers, and essentially “spam” people. This is not the recommend way to do things. You are wasting your money and really annoying people, which can have a negative impact on your company, even when you mean no harm.
Or you can collect them whenever someone buys your product or uses your service. This is a great way to garner repeat business, especially if you offer lucrative discounts or deals in your texts. You must always make your marketing list an opt-in offer, meaning people choose to receive messages on their ell from you.
Redbox is a great example of a business that uses text marketing to its advantage. They however are not the only company to do this. Many other types of business find that it is beneficial from them, too. This includes restaurants, clubs, bars, supermarkets, retailers and even financial intuitions. Financial institutions take advantage of this type of marketing as well. Many consumers receive regular text messages from many companies with products they use on a regular basis. It is a great way to save, especially in these times of economic hardship for small businesses.
Give Them What They Want
In order to get people to take advantage of the text marketing is to include links to your site, or links with coupon codes. This is nice because the majority of people today own smartphones which they can use to access the link and purchase something right when they receive the text. Make your offer one that ends soon and one that must be taken advantage of at this moment to benefit from. Make sure that your message offers a call to action and beneficial concepts to your company.
A Cheap Way to Market
Again, this provides little cost to the business owner, outside of their text marketing plan. Because each person that receives the text will be charged according to their carrier’s data rates. It is also a great way to ensure that customers come back, most people take coupons and throw them away, or lose them. But nobody is going to do that with their phone, a text message will always be there and prevent them from missing out on learning more about your product or service. In conclusion, text marketing is extremely cost effective for small businesses. There are no printing fees for fliers or posters, and it is much easier to come up with a short 20+ word text message than hiring someone to design marketing for your business. It provides repeat customers who will love the deals and promotions you may offer through the text messages. At the end of the day, saving money is the key objective of everyone. This provides a very good way to do it, while simultaneously increasing your businesses traffic and sales! All for the low cost of a text plan from your local phone carrier.
Get in on the Fun
There is not a more affordable way to market than with text marketing. Make sure that you do not miss out another day on an affordable. Easy way to reach many people without effort.
WALTHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–New Year’s Resolutions are not just for setting personal weight loss goals. According to new survey data from Constant Contact®, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTCT), 53 percent of small businesses make New Year’s resolutions every year and 23 percent make them every few years. As for their success rate in keeping their business resolutions: one third (33 percent) say they are successful in keeping them, while 65 percent say they are sometimes successful in keeping them. More than half (53 percent) say keeping business-related resolutions is easier than keeping than personal New Year’s resolutions, while 27 percent say it is harder. Read More →
Sixty-seven percent of small business owners expect to see some sort of increase in business in 2014, according to a survey by Sensis digital advertising. Strategic, focused branding plays a vital role in growth, so make sure you understand the signs of poor branding practices and establish a logical and appropriate counterattack. Read More →
Why do people succeed? Is it because they’re smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither. Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable 3-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success.
A self-described average guy who found success doing what he loved, Richard St. John spent more than a decade researching the lessons of success — and distilling them into 8 words, 3 minutes and one successful book.