Smartphones have gone from being a novelty to near ubiquity in the past few years, and their relationship with everyday lifestyle is one that bears consideration, especially on the part of small business owners, where the introduction of this technology has made it so that almost every aspect of their business can be effected, for better or for worse. On the plus side, smartphones mean new markets, new ways to get things done and new ways to stay in touch, largely making small business management The cons: Less face time, potential security threats. The use of smartphones to organize your life is one thing, but the almost endless amount of functions that can be performed on a smartphone means that they can quickly go from beneficial tools into rabbit holes of distraction. According to a blog post from Experian, the average American already spends 58 minutes a day on their mobile devices, but that number could be much higher for the chronically phone addicted. One problem

Chaos is a given in the world of a small business owner, since every week there is another issue to deal with, opportunity to take advantage of and idea to act on all at once. The great part about being an entrepreneur is the ability to manage any situation that arises in your own way, creating a high degree of  flexibility that can make problems that would be much more difficult to handle in a corporate setting seem trivial. On the other hand, keeping track of decisions that you make should be taken seriously lest you find yourself three calls down the line forgetting what your endgame was supposed to be. Take the time to write things down. Even the best laid out strategies can turn into major sources of problems if they aren’t managed correctly. One suggestion for helping remember and keep track of ideas in the moment is taking a second to physically write them down. Whether it is on a tablet, or a

The cloud, free CRM tools, and digital calendars can help small business owners reach levels of organization and efficiency that would be impossible without the benefit of technology. However, much in the same way that e-books can never truly replace a paper copy for some bibliophiles, the utility of physical note taking should not be ignored by small business owners, even in the event that they are also using digital organizational aids. There are multiple reasons to take notes, and in lieu of pen and paper, many tablets support handwriting style data entry, which for some business owners compounds even further on the utility of physical note taking by converting it into organized digital outlines. It can help business owners remember important points more easily. The act of physically writing is linked to stronger retention of information, and according to lifehacker, allows for a deeper connection with the meaning behind what is written in comparison with typed notations. In business, when recall of important details is

Many small business owners, even those with well developed social media and web presences, will have disorganized email accounts. The reasons for way too much mail in an inbox can vary, but one common reason for business owners being constantly bombarded is that they have used the same email address through multiple stages of their business’s growth. This leads to many automatically triggering emails, since a common staple of B2B marketing is direct email. In addition, invoices, automatically renewing services and social media accounts may all be depositing into the same email account. In order to find what you need to find, there are some tools that you can use in order to make yourself more organizationally efficient if you have been using Gmail to process important communications for your small business. Break up your mail into categories.    If you are using a single master account to control multiple aspects of business development, a smart idea is breaking your inbox into categories. By identifying where

It can be tough to know what the best way to gather and sort customer information is, but given the fact that the more you know about your customers, the better you are able to make sales, it’s an important area for small business owners to work on. What can they do in order to keep track of who they are working with? Here are a few ideas for gathering and cataloging information on who is driving your sales numbers. Create a follow up to your lead forms. A lead form should really only collect the essentials, since the longer and more complicated that it is to fill out, the harder it is going to be to get visitors to the site to take the time to fill it out at all. One solution to this issue is to make extraneous fields non-required, but even the site of a long and daunting lead form can deter people from taking the time to fill it out. You

Small business owners have strong entrepreneurial instincts, and often, a lot more ideas than can even be fit into a single business. Expanding your operations into a side business can be a great way to bolster your incomes from your primary operation, or to pursue a passion that your other business is able to support. Like many other aspects of running a business, the key to ensuring that your secondary business is able to be successful is highly reliant on both the time you put in to planning it as well as the time you are able to allocate to managing it. If you are not able to commit to doing it the right way, a secondary business has the potential to drain your cash flows and jeopardize your primary business. Keep the cash flows of your businesses as separate as possible. Not only is it important to keep the cash flows of your businesses separate because of the potential for funds to go missing or

Running a small business isn’t easy, and it doesn’t get any more simple if you have bad credit. Since credit issues can seriously hamper small business loan approvals, business owners need to be more strategic about how they apply for capital. While there are loan alternatives for business owners with bad credit out there, making judgment calls about when to use financing and when to improvise is part of your role as a manager. Fortunately, just because you are short staffed, that does not mean you can’t keep your business running until you are able to make another hire, as long as you are able to effectively prioritize and redistribute workload. Identify your main priorities and then match them with the competencies of your remaining staff. You may find that you need to put a part of your business on hold in order to take care of your most important priorities. In this case, you need to be clear that you understand what your main priorities

When you’re running a business, every minute of your day becomes a valuable and finite resource. Conserving your time and using it effectively is at the heart of a strong management ability, so taking a little time to set up more efficient business processes can turn out to be a great investment in the long run. One of the things that most business owners do every day is send and receive emails. While business emails are most often short and to the point, they do still need to retain a polished level of grammar and vocabulary. Writing something that sounds great and gets straight to the point takes time, however, and if you are writing the same kind of emails over and over, you should consider creating an email template that can save you the trouble of crafting these letters from scratch every time. Understand when not to use a template. If you are communicating with a client or business partner, sometimes it’s not a good

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