A new year is upon us, and for many of us that means taking inventory of our lives, deciding where we can improve and making resolutions to guide us through our journey to improvement.
While we typically think of resolutions as personal promises, the sentiment can and should extend to professional organizations. By making company-wide resolutions, small business owners, managers or individuals in other leadership roles can promote growth, increase the bottom line and improve company morale.
Not sure what types of resolutions you should make? Here are seven that will be important for a strong 2018. (more…)
Former Congressman Chris Chocola once said that one of the earliest lessons he learned in business is that balance sheets and income statements are fiction, and cash flow is the true reality.
Investopedia defines “cash flow” as the net amount of cash that moves in and out of a business. Cash flow is positive when liquid assets are increasing and negative when they are decreasing. There are only two main ways to increase your cash flow, and that is to bring more revenue in (increase sales) and/or to keep less revenue from going out (decrease your expenses). For this article, I will expand upon both concepts further.
Bringing In More Revenue
There are a variety of ways you can increase your revenue, and what makes you a strategic business owner (with a thriving enterprise) is the fact that you’ve developed your own secret sauce (business plan) to do so. Some ideas to bring in more revenue include, but are not limited to, the following: (more…)
By Eric Rosenberg
Kaizen is defined as “a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices” and personal efficiency. The word literally means “improvement,” but has taken on a more important meaning in the world of business.
Large Japanese companies like Toyota have long touted the benefits of Kaizen, and it has slowly moved into the corporate culture at companies around the world. Now even small businesses take notice and try to apply the philosophy of continuous improvement to their business. No matter what size organization you are a part of, your team can almost certainly benefit from Kaizen. Here’s how: (more…)
By Jennifer Lobb
Despite the fact that the fourth quarter rolls around at the exact same time year after year, the realization that it’s just around the corner is always startling. In fact, every year as Labor Day bookends the far end of the summer, I find myself asking “how did we get here already?”
We are, of course, “here,”and if you’re a small business owner, it’s time to pencil in a few important tasks to help you navigate the Q4 craziness.
1. Talk to Your Staff
It’s tempting to label this as “evaluate your employees,” because that’s something you’ll want to do as well, but your efforts should exceed evaluation. Your employees are on the front lines and often offer the most candid and useful feedback when it comes to “everyday” tasks and processes. They also are likely to be the ones who have the most frequent, and therefore most insightful, feedback on client or customer relationships. (more…)
By Gerri Detweiler
Perhaps you’ve got a hot idea for a new business and decided it’s time to turn a dream into reality. Or you’ve given up on finding your dream job and decided to create your own. No matter what your motivation for launching your own business, the journey ahead is no doubt both exciting and scary. Where do you start?
The first thing you’ll want to do is lay a solid foundation for your venture. Here’s a step-by-step list to get you started.
1. Choose a business name. Think this one through carefully. Not only do you want to make sure it will be unique and memorable, you’ll also want to make sure it is legally available. Just because there are other businesses with similar names doesn’t mean you can’t use it, but be careful. If your business name is similar to another business — particularly one in your geographic area — your business credit profiles could get mixed up with one another. While you are at it, check domain names, social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Do a Google search. Before you make your final decision, consider a trademark search to avoid any legal challenges down the line. If your business name is too similar to another, you may not be able to register that name when you create a legal entity. (See step 4.)
2. Choose your business address. It’s OK to register your business at your home address, though some owners choose to use a service such as a UPS store to give their business a location separate from their home address. Keep in mind there will be situations — such as filing a tax return — where you will have to provide a physical address for the business.
3. Get a business phone number. You may not have to get an expensive business landline from your local telecom, but you do need a number to give out to clients and customers, and it should sound professional. You may be able to use a service like Google Voice or get a virtual business telephone service or answering service. (more…)