Tablets are more than just high tech toys, and in fact can have many applications for small business owners who choose to integrate the technology into their business models. The wonderful thing about them is that, thanks to downloadable apps and other tweaks they can be applied to a huge range of different tasks with a little programming and imagination. Here are a few ways that business owners are already utilizing tablets to help streamline their operations. Mobile sales platforms. The more places you can make transactions the better, especially if you plan on taking your products on the road. Many businesses use tablets for this, as with simple sales management software they are able to catalog transactions as well as process credit cards and log digital signatures. Some adventurous business owners even use tablets to log transactions using bitcoins, but whether your business is ready to use cryptocurrency or just wants to branch out how and where it can accept payment is up to you. Collecting and

Many will point out that altruism is it’s own reward, and that is certainly true. The value one gets out of helping another person is truly the unique and special feeling that it brings. That being said, there are plenty of other good reasons why a small business should consider ways of giving back to their communities, not all of them solely based on the positive moral quality of those who help others. These benefits include positive PR, networking and . There are as many ways of making a positive community impact as there are businesses, so finding a way to participate that you are comfortable with can be done with just a little thought and a few helpful suggestions. Do you run an artisanal business? If this is the case, consider holding a weekend craft demonstration. Inviting a group to check out your creative processes is a wonderful way to give back, especially to younger generations in order to inspire the next skilled craftsmen who will

We have often said that relationships are the key to successful business. Creating strong alliances with people who you can trust to be there for you makes doing the tough job of managing an enterprise that much easier. Keeping things easy is only one aspect of what makes relationships important, however. Small business owners should also consider the fact that they can actually save money by promoting stable long term  relationships with their vendors. The vendors who supply your business with the essential products that it needs to function should be considered to be more than just people who sell you things you need. Look at your vendors as an extension of your business. Just like the equipment you use to be productive and the employees you coach to perform their best, the vendor relationships you have should be actively maintained. Stronger vendor relationships save time. For one thing, it takes time to shop around. Comparing and contrasting pricing, product quality and customer support all take time and

Small business owners with bad credit must pay close attention the the cash flows of their businesses, as not only are they vital for making payroll, obtaining supplies and financing any number of operational necessities, they also are a major factor in applying for bad credit business loan alternatives which can be important growth boosters in lieu of traditional loans. In the hustle and bustle of a typical office day, small business owners can have their attention fought over by many conflicting commitments, all equally vital to the overall health of the enterprise. However, a real danger that can potentially set a business back is pursuing sales, but slacking when it comes to the often tough work of making collections on outstanding payments. Business owners can fall behind on their collections for any number of reasons, from allowing extensions on payments, forgetting about them, to being distracted by other areas of their business that specifically demand their personal attention and expertise. Whatever the case may

A small business’s website will often contain an order form or other type of application that can turn the web traffic the page gets into leads. Besides the obvious benefit of creating more business, lead creation forms can also give small business owners some self -reported information on who is visiting their website and converting. Business owners can be surprised to find that their service appeals to a demographic on the web that does not frequent its physical location, and the information they gather surrounding a lead allows for a finer picture of core client bases to emerge as well. More fields means more information, but more “friction”. Business owners should respect the utility of an application for gathering information on customers. While you may only need a couple of questions answered in order to determine if you can do business with a prospective applicant, it may behoove you to also ask information regarding their age, sex, location, contact information or whatever you need to know

Business owners should constantly be looking out for ways that they can market their products to more people within their demographics. One of the strongest ways to do this is by identifying locations where you can retail your products that are complementary to your business model and highly trafficked by those in your demographic. To start out using this technique, business owners will need to approach the task form a place of strength. In order to convince other retailers that your product has a place within their location, you need to prove that you are intimately familiar with your target demographic and can demonstrate that the demographic that appears in a potential partnered location will overlap with your sweet spot. Having market research and an analysis of your own sales record to show will get your foot in the door and help to convince a partnering location to try your products out. Where does your target demographic go? Where do they spend their money, and

Snowy weather has made its mark on small business sales in the new year, with reports of lowered revenues compared to last year’s Winter. The culprit is obvious: the polar vortex of cold air that has set in over much of the country, leading to record cold temperatures, heavy snow falls and congestion of infrastructure. When whole work forces have been stuck at home due to excessive difficulty traveling, it can be tough for small businesses with already limited cash flows to strain to meet their obligations to their employees and customers. Additionally, many of the customers that might otherwise frequent their businesses have been discouraged from spending time outside, leaving businesses hungry for the volume that they would otherwise have expected. Should small business owners slow down their plans? While small business owners have recently been reporting a heightened level of ambition and optimism, the limits imposed by the weather have some considering abandoning their expansion plans. The Wall Street Journal has reported on the

There are so many components that go into the management of a small business, each one of them vitally important in their own ways. However, one of the most important by far is the physical location of a small business (assuming that it has one). Where your business is actually located can make a big difference on what kind of foot traffic it will get, what times will be the most busy and who will be passing by. Another big potential impact is the rent that you are paying and the agreements that you have signed into the lease. Here’s what small business owners need to consider before they sign a lease for a brick and mortar location. Don’t put the cart before the horse. If you aren’t ready to get started doing business out of your location, don’t sign a lease. Often, small business owners will find a location that they fall in love with, but don’t have inventory or any clientele, yet sign a

Small business owners often have wildly varying opinions on Yelp. Depending on who you ask, it’s either a great tool that can help them to gain exposure and connect with their local customers, or an unfair playing field wherein a single negative review can hurt business and exposure is meted out to those who are willing to pay for it. Regardless of your opinion on it, Yelp is poised to partner with Yahoo in an attempt to bolster their local search game, as currently, Yelp is the major player in local business listings. In truth, small business owners should loan attention to their Yelp profiles regardless, as they are a potentially major source of referral business. Now that Yahoo is getting into the mix, the exposure that Yelp profiles get is poised to increase as Yahoo funnels their share of web traffic into the site. Get your business’s profile up to snuff now, and your business may stand to benefit from the strategic partnership. Fill

All small businesses have to pay attention to where their products are selling, and where they have potential to grow. Sometimes, business owners have to take a step back and re-imagine who their products appeal to and where their demographic is in the best position to notice and purchase them in order to continue to grow their sales. A perfect example of small business owners discovering a strong new market for their products, almost unintentionally, can be seen in an article from the Concord Monitor, which details cases of small businesses expanding sales through innovative techniques and product placement. One of the cases examined related the discovery of a strong niche for the product “sinus plumber”, a strong nasal spray originally marketed in health food stores. By placing sinus plumber by checkout areas within hardware stores where impulse buys often occur, the product was able to sell much more strongly. Wondering at the robust sales, which represented 40% stronger demand than non-hardware and auto stores, the

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