You did it! You have your own business going; it may not be much but it is enough for you. But you see to keep your business going, you need customers and unless you are a huge success and have a product or service like no other, you need to attract customers. Whether you run online bookkeeping services, sell clothes or design websites, you need to market your business. Here is how you can start marketing your small business.
- Social Media– There is no getting away from the influence of social media today, whether it’s in your personal life or business. If you want your business to be successful, you have to maintain a significant online presence. Consistency is important for marketing on social media and it is always better if you focus on one or two sites instead of every one of them. The more active you are, the more leads you are likely to get from your social media sites and the best part is that it is all free.
- Email Marketing– Email marketing is effective and inexpensive with a large reach, making it a great marketing tool. Despite the new methods of marketing, most business owners, even online bookkeeping services, still prefer email marketing. Email people on your emailing list frequently, but not too often for it to be effective.
- Blogging– Blogging provides many benefits- you get to establish yourself as a leader in your industry, market your small business freely and rise up in the ranks of Google Search as Google favours sites that are regularly updated. Including links to your blog posts on your preferred social media account is also a good marketing move.
- Paid Advertising– Small business owners often hesitate to invest in paid advertising sites especially if they have limited marketing experience. If you are however ready to try paid advertising, we would recommend Facebook marketing as a good place to start. It is easier to manage and you can start with a small daily budget that you can decide on after discussions with your online bookkeeping services or in- house bookkeeper. Paid advertising however can be a bit tricky and is a matter of trial and error.
The essence of business has remained unchanged, however the means of doing business has changed over the years; from online bookkeeping services to retail, everything has been affected. Technology and the internet have changed the way businesses work and function, bringing about unforeseen changes and introducing trends in business management. Today we will take a look at a couple of recent trends emerging in employee management and payroll processing.
- Automate Your Systems– Automating processes that can be automated can save you a lot of trouble and time. This is more efficient, effective and also saves time and money. Automate processes like payroll, inventory management, HR, bookkeeping etc so that you can focus on core business tasks and grow your company.
- Different Types of Employees– There are different types of employees in the business sector today- part time, short time, contract; you can select the type based on your requirement and the skill set. Of course, the remuneration and benefits for these employees is different from that of regular employees, but modern software and online bookkeeping services are designed to accommodate such employees and pay them accordingly. 1099 contractors are also becoming increasingly popular.
- Link Payroll and Accounting Software– All manners of businesses are slowly moving to the cloud. With all your data on the cloud, it makes sense to link your different systems and allow them to work together. Aside from being efficient and time saving, doing so will also allow you to have access to employee details from a single location.
- Allow Staff Access– Businesses are finding it easier to allow staff access to their individual payroll data. This facilitates transparency and employees know details like their hours worked, number of PTO hour etc. Staff will have access to only their data which means you don’t have to worry about them getting access to sensitive information like employee details and online bookkeeping services data.
The world of business is a constant state of flux; if you want to be successful, you have to be informed and always stay on top of things. Technology is changing the way the world thinks and functions.
Doing business today is a lot easier today than it was a couple of years ago, but it is also more complicated. While bookkeeping and accounting has become easier to handle, they are also complicated because you have to figure out how to get it done, decide which way to go- keep things in-house, outsource or hire contractors or part time employees. To top it all off, you have to make sure you are always one step ahead of your competitors. Yes, it is not easy, but identifying whether you are ready for online small business bookkeeping services is not that difficult; here is how you can figure it out.
- All of Your Employees Don’t Work Out Of a Single Office– Thanks to technology and the internet, most companies no longer need their employees in a single office. Maybe you have multiple offices, maybe you offer different work options; whatever the case, if your company engages employees in different situations, outsourcing will fit in just fine into your design.
- Your Business Uses Cloud- based Services– If your business already uses cloud- based services, online small business bookkeeping services will fit right in. Outsourcing bookkeeping is also a good option for companies that are just about considering moving into cloud- based services as well.
- Bad Experiences with Bookkeepers– Numerous businesses have had bad experiences with bookkeepers. If you seem to be just burning through bookkeepers, maybe it is time you consider outsourcing to small business bookkeeping services. Not only will you receive professional services, you will also have access to a number of experienced bookkeepers and accountants.
- You Are Worried About Security– If you are worried about data security and rightly so, online bookkeeping services are your safest bet. Not only do such companies invest in the best data security systems, they also have a reputation to maintain which means they take their job very seriously, which obviously means your data is safe.
- You Are Scaling– If your business is growing steadily, it will reach a point where you and your hired team will not be able to manage it. Online small business bookkeeping companies, on the other hand, are built to handle such scenarios, which means they can scale as well without you having to worry about hiring or training new employees. It is a win- win situation.
The franchisee business is booming; not only is there an increase in the number of successful businesses offering capable individuals franchise opportunities, the number of individuals wanting to start franchisees has also increased, like fast food joints, restaurants, online bookkeeping services. One of the reasons many business owners like the idea of selling franchise rights is that this system allows you to grow your business at a faster pace than you could achieve on your own. If you run a successful business and want to sell franchisee rights, there are a few things that online bookkeeping services companies suggest you ask yourself first.
- Will Your Business Attract Franchisees?
While most businesses are franchise-able, it is not necessary that it will make for a good franchise. For a business to appeal to entrepreneurs, it has to be unique and offer services that set it apart from other similar businesses. Besides, which entrepreneur wants to invest in a business that may not be successful?
- Will Your Business Be Easy To Set Up And Replicate?
When an entrepreneur seeks to start a franchisee, he is looking for something that is not complicated and has clear cut directions. So if you want to franchise your business, you should have a simple system with well documented instructions, procedures and solutions for common problems and issues. It also helps to have online bookkeeping services and other non- core business help set up.
- Will Your Business Succeed In All Locations?
A good franchise will succeed in all locations with a sizable population. Some businesses are successfully in a particular location, but may not flourish in another; if your business is one such, it cannot be franchised.
Franchising is “in”; if you have a business that can make for a good franchise, go for it. However you should make sure you have the infrastructure, like online bookkeeping services, payroll, IT, and a reliable system of checks in place, because a mistake at any one of your franchisees can damage the reputation of your entire business, so know what you are getting into. There are federal and state laws for franchising; read up on them all and take care to follow them. If you do it right, this can be the best thing that happened to your business.
Running your own business is a stressful job; in fact “stress” soon becomes your middle name. Sadly after a few years of stress and a couple of run-ins with other business owners, all equally if not more, stressed out, you decide that the stress is a part of the business package, so there is really nothing you can do about it. While stress in small doses is good for you, long term stress turns on the fight- or- flight mode frequently and for long duration, which can cause a lot of damage to your mental, emotional and physical health.
The long term effects of stress are lowered immunity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, emotional instability, irritability and loss of appetite. The future doesn’t seem to be pretty from here does it? But you can change all that; you can turn your life around and reduce your stress.
- Exercise and Proper Diet– Exercise is a great stress buster. It not only enables you to handle stress, it also equips you to bounce back from the ill effects; so get in a bit of exercise every day. You may think that you don’t have the energy to exercise, but you will find yourself energised after a good 20 minutes of exercise. Lay off the junk food; start eating healthy with proper meal timings. A healthy body is often the first step to a healthy mind.
- Laugh More– “Laughter is the best medicine”, we have all heard that often enough, but never really believed it. Well, laughter is one of the best medicines for stress; in fact studies have found that just the anticipation of laughter greatly reduces stress hormones in our body. So stop looking so grim and laugh more, smile more.
- Share Responsibilities– You don’t have to carry the weight of the world. Find someone to share your responsibilities, allowing you to focus on core business tasks and growing your business.
- Outsource Non- Core Business Tasks– Outsourcing has been found to alleviate the stress of business owners greatly. You will no longer have to worry about non- core business functions like bookkeeping and payroll; you can rely on online bookkeeping services and financial outsourcing companies to take care of things for you. All that means lesser stress for you.
Stress is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to take over your life and stop you from enjoying it. So do whatever it takes today to get a handle on your stress levels- watch a comedy film with your family, go out for a run or hire online bookkeeping services; it is after all your life and you get only one chance to live it.
Most small and mid- size business owners are out shopping- shopping for online bookkeeping services providers; who wouldn’t? They are cheaper, more efficient, productive and most importantly, relieves you of the headache of maintaining your books, which means you can focus on core business functions.
However before you decide on an online bookkeeping services provider, you need to understand that there are three different types of such service providers. Understanding these types will leave you in a better position to decide which one best suits your needs.
- USA Based Online Bookkeeping Services– Companies that are entirely based in the US fall in this category. Such companies are reliable and have strong business foundations. They are generally quick to respond to queries, provide good customer service and quite efficient.
- USA Based Stay- At- Home Bookkeepers– You will find that quite a number of bookkeepers and accountants run their businesses from home; all that they need is a sturdy internet connection, a laptop and a phone. Stay- at- home bookkeepers are preferred by numerous business owners because they are cheaper since they don’t have overhead costs. The only problem here is that since it is mostly a one- man show, the bookkeeper can get bogged down and in case your bookkeeper falls sick, you have no one else to turn to.
- Offshore Online Bookkeeping Services– There are numerous offshore online bookkeeping services available nowadays. While there is a lot of scepticism about the wisdom in outsourcing financial records to offshore services, they are preferred because they are cheaper than US based service providers.
Outsourcing your bookkeeping to any online bookkeeping services is risky business. The only thing you can do is do your research, talk to your peers and analyse your options before taking a decision. What works for one may not work for another, so choose wisely- know your business and your bookkeeper. Remember that it is vital that you can trust your bookkeeper.
Outsourcing bookkeeping and accounting is the norm for present day business owners. It is convenient, fewer chances of mistakes and time saving; but for all its benefits, how safe is it to give online bookkeeping services access to all your financial records? With rampant data theft and scams, who can you trust and is anything ever safe?
We understand your fears and worries; unfortunately, aside from handling your accounts and books yourself, there is no way you can ever completely be at peace. That is why online bookkeeping services have stringent security measures in place to ensure that your data never falls into the right hands. Here are some tips on how you can ensure that you choose the right accounting or bookkeeping firm.
- Do Your Research– Never rely on what the firm or representatives of the firm tell you. Always thoroughly research the firm, their background, dig up reviews, talk to people who have worked with them before and take an informed decision. Take as long as you need; this decision is not to be taken lightly.
- Prepare a Legal Document or Contract– Make sure that you draw up a legal document or contract before you begin working with the service provider. Get professional legal help if you have to. Address your security requirements and concerns in the document so that both parties are on the same page.
- Encryption Techniques– To ensure your data is kept safe when transmitting over networks, use encryption techniques.
- Extra Security Measures– Insist that your service provider takes extra steps to ensure security like restricted access to data, screening of visitors, limiting personnel access to data transfer points etc.
You can also ask your online bookkeeping services provider, the following questions to make sure you know what you are getting into.
- Physical security measures in place at the place of business
- Details of encryption methods used on the site and at portals
- What happens to files when the work is done
- Network security
- Company policies on data breach or data theft
Data security issues are here to stay; as long as every industry is computer and internet dependent, there will be those who try to gain unlawful access. So be wise and choose your service providers carefully.
Running a company is no simple feat. There are so many things you have to attend to- you have to check your inventory, make sure you have enough supplies, pay your rent, pay your employees, take care of your customers, market your product or service- the list of tasks is endless. So is it any wonder you work yourself to the bone everyday and still find that you haven’t completed all your tasks for the day?
Well things don’t have to always stay that way. You can automate a couple of your regular business functions. Interested? Here are 4 business functions to automate to make managing your business a lot easier.
- Payroll- Payroll processing is not easy- you have to pay your employees the right amount on the right date, fill in the payroll forms with the IRS, calculate the correct tax amount and pay them on time. Not only is it time consuming, the scope for errors is also high and payroll errors are expensive, because you may end up having to pay fines or penalties. The solution- online payroll services. Eliminate the errors and save time.
- Bookkeeping- Another tedious and time consuming task with lots of scope for making errors that you absolutely cannot afford. Save yourself the trouble. Get a good accounting software or try online bookkeeping services. It will be worthwhile.
- Marketing- Whether you like it or not, you cannot afford to ignore marketing. Every business needs a sound marketing plan that will drive traffic to your site and increase sales. Fortunately there are a number of marketing automation software that you can use if you would like to handle it personally, or else you can always avail of the services of a marketing company.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – What good will it do your business you don’t have a healthy relationship with customers? But again, it can eat into your time, which is why getting an efficient CRM software is a good option. CRM software will allow you to interact with prospective and existing customers, track sales leads, appointments, contacts and conversions, while at the same time allowing you to manage your business better.
Automation and business outsourcing are becoming increasingly popular. Make the best of the opportunities available to you.