Business owners who are planning new product releases or are trying to make sure they are getting a good deal from their current suppliers must loan enough time from their busy schedules in order to ensure that they are finding a good deal. In order to make it easier for them to get started shopping around,  we’ve put together a top five list of the most helpful tips for finding and negotiating with a supplier. Think locally. When looking for a supplier, one who is on the other side of the country is going to have to charge you higher shipping costs, raising the price of the product you are purchasing. It’s better to find a local supplier, if possible. Start out by using your network of business contacts to see if someone you know has any suggestions to refer you. A referral can potentially be beneficial by coming with a discount or a perk for the person who referred you or even for both of

An office is a space dedicated to functionality. The easier it is to find the tools you need to do your job within this space, the better. For many small business owners, the office is their classroom, war room and zen temple all in one, necessitating that they be comfortable in their space as well as able to quickly access anything they need in order to maintain their productivity during the day. However, just because the office is a utilitarian space, that does not mean that it has to be visually bleak and devoid of any personality. Some tasteful and not overly distracting decoration can make you feel more at home in your office, not to mention make a better impression on employees, business partners and potential clients who visit it for whatever reason. What usually stands in the way of decorating an office for small business owners is time. The challenges that a bad credit business loans to a manager in terms of budgeting

The holidays represent a great time to be a small business owner, as more business around this time of year means that you will be able to create more revenues. However, criminals are also aware of the increase in business volume around the holiday season, and target in particular businesses that handle a large amount of cash around this time of year, including retailers and other service providers like limousine and taxi services. Invest in the security of your small business, and the safety of you and your employees identities and credit, by taking the following steps to stay secure this year. Document Shredders can safeguard sensitive information. When you throw out documents, you are creating an opportunity for thieves to salvage potentially sensitive information about your business and your employees. This can be avoided by investing in a document shredder, which will destroy any records leaving your business. In general, shredding documents is a good safeguard, but for businesses that collect a large amount of

According to a 2012 Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business poll, 36% of US small business owners are not comfortable with their company’s debt. With more than one business out of four worrying about their finances, it’s time that small business owners start thinking seriously about how to conserve their cash flows and what they can do to reduce financial obligations that they already have. Take a good look at your current budget.  If your debt keeps on piling up, that means your business’ budget isn’t balancing out like it should, indicating something is going wrong. A budget plan that has worked for years needs as much adjustment as a plan that has just been implemented if they are both performing poorly. Revise your budget to reflect the company’s current financial situation, with an eye open for expenses that are not creating revenues.  Include cost categories for paying back the debt your company has now accrued.  It is a good idea to use accounting software in order

  A survey by the American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor showed that small businesses owners are making growth a top priority, not content to let their revenue streams remain unchanged as time goes on. As you continue to take on more and more clients, you will begin to recognize that your small business is not as small as it once was. You will want to look for new hires in order to manage the volume of business you can now enjoy. With so many components to your business which will need to be broadened, how can this be accomplished so that your business can expand in a smooth and professional manner? Digital Marketing. Digital Marketing is rapidly becoming one of the most important ways to spread the word about your company to the paying customers you’re looking to attract. Small businesses specifically choose social media as a prime method for marketing because it offers a multitude of easily accessible and free of cost tools that

Small Business 101: Building a Strong Brand

Thursday, 05, December , 2013 by

Imagine that your business is a hockey team. Through all the chaos on the ice, your fans are still able to identify your players and cheer them on because of their distinctive appearance. This is the way you should think about your branding efforts, as the means by which your business’s fans can identify you and cheer your business on. Your brand is comprised not only of your name, logo, slogan, company colors, and product but also includes the total experience that customers have while interacting with your small business.  The way you handle customer experiences and what you choose to post on social media sites will also become part of your brand, .  In a word, your brand is the identity of your business.  It encompasses all that you stand for and that which the public will come to associate with your company. For these reasons, you should be aware of your own core values, the UVP, or unique value proposition that you give

Tips for Small Business Training of New Hires

Wednesday, 04, December , 2013 by

According to Intuit’s Small Business Employment and Revenues Index, employment at some of the smallest businesses in the US increased last month – small businesses added 10,000 jobs in November. If you are among the small business owners that have recently decided upon new hires, you know how long and complex the process can be.  You have already invested the time and resources into locating the perfect addition to your staff.  You’ve posted job opening advertisements, networked with your friends and colleagues, read numerous resumes, met face-to-face with candidates and spent a considerable amount of time deliberating over your prospects.  And now, you’ve finally made the decision to hire.     Yes, you’ve gone through a lot to find exactly what you’re looking for, but the process is not over just yet.  Do not forget the importance of providing effective training for new hires.   A well-trained employee is essential to the smooth operation of your small business.  Lack of proper  training can result in inefficiencies in a small business

Why America Loves Small Businesses

Tuesday, 03, December , 2013 by

The polls don’t lie – America loves its small businesses. A survey by the Pew Foundation conducted in 2010 found that 71% of Americans view small businesses favorably, while only 25% view large corporations favorably.  Along these same lines, a 2012 Public Affairs Council survey showed that 88% of Americans view small businesses favorably and 53% of Americans hold a “very favorable” view of small businesses, while only 16% view major companies in the same light.  Moreover, 68% of Americans said they would prefer to do business with a smaller, local company even if it would charge somewhat higher prices! What is it about small businesses that Americans find so irresistible? Living the Dream.  Your small business is a picture of the American Dream.  It is symbolic of the freedom and opportunity we are given in this wonderful country.  Not only can you dream big, but you have the right to follow that dream and make it a reality.  When doing business with you, your

3 Powerful Tips for Getting More Referrals

Tuesday, 03, December , 2013 by

According to a recent study by Constant Contact, 82% of small businesses say that referrals lead new shoppers to their business. The reason why referrals are so effective is that they come from a known and trusted third party as opposed to coming from some other more distant or more biased source.  For example, if a good friend or a family member recommends a particular physician, isn’t it more likely that you would choose this doctor over one that you have only heard about as advertised over the radio? The answer is usually yes, as referrals are generally recognized as the most persuasive form of marketing. What are some ways in which you can make sure to get the referrals you need to boost your business? When the time is right – ask.  When you have particularly pleased a customer, take the opportunity to ask him or her to mention your company’s name to friends.  The positive experience your customer has had with you will

A good small business does its best to make sure the customer is always satisfied.  Customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance now more than ever, with social media sites and review websites like Yelp allowing for customers to share instant feedback with the public. In addition to all that you already do in order to please your clientele, make sure that you show your thanks and appreciation for their business, especially during critically important times like the Holidays.  Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and showing your customers that you value their business and appreciate them as individuals will keep them happy and satisfied proponents of your brand. How can you show your customers some appreciation?  Here are a few tips: Say Thank You.  This may sound simple, but it is important to thank your customers for their business.  Showing verbal appreciation goes a long way to make your customers feel valued.  In addition to thanking customers in person, you can send thank you emails that

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