HELP! Who To Contact When Your Business Starts Showing Signs of Weakness

When it comes to business, you want your brand to be associated with strength. Why? Because with strength comes reliability and steadfastness. This is what customers, partners, and clients want from the provider of any product or service. It’s not all too surprising, then, that when times get tough, many business owners keep quiet or bury their head in sand, feigning that everything is going to plan. This, however, results in all sorts of problems that could have easily been avoided had the original issue been tackled head-on. This is why it’s so important that all business owners are aware that reaching out for help in times of need isn’t a sign of weakness. If anything, it shows humility, a strong sense of sensibility and proves that you put your consumers’ needs ahead of your personal pride. So, if things start looking a little problematic, here are a few sources of help that could turn things around.

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Professional Lenders

Lenders can help struggling businesses in a variety of ways. Let’s start with what is perhaps the most basic. If you find that your business has gotten into the rut of generating a negative cash flow (more money is leaving the company than the amount that is coming in), you’re quickly going to run out of funds. This is a situation that you want to avoid. However, as the old saying goes, you often have to spend money to make money. A lender can provide you with this initial investment which holds the potential to both tides you over during rough times, but can also be invested into various areas of your company to improve your products and services, or up your advertising campaign, resulting in increased sales and profits. You can then pay the lender back in small installments or at a later date when you have more cash to hand (depending on your contract or agreement). Next, lenders can help individuals who are already sinking into debt through irresponsible commercial spending or other dips in sales. First, you can attempt to negotiate with agencies who you have already borrowed from if you are struggling to stick to repayment dates. They may be able to postpone payments, reduce your interest rate or lower your minimum monthly repayments. Alternatively, if you have numerous debts, you could turn to an alternative lender and propose that they consolidate your debts. They will pay you out a lump sum, you can use this to clear your outstanding debts and then you only have one lender to pay back. This means you’re less likely to miss repayment dates, as there will only be one, which means fewer late payment fees and fines. This alternative lender may also be able to offer lower interest rates, meaning that you pay back less in total at the end of the day. When it comes to lending money, whatever you choose to do, just remember to maintain communication and stick to the terms and conditions of your contract as closely as possible.

Business Management Services

If you are running your business alone, you may find that things start failing, as you have too many responsibilities to complete all at once. How could anyone possibly expect to be capable of controlling product development, planning marketing campaigns, deciding on advertising, managing the books and all of the other things that running a business entails while still keeping on top of more menial, administrative tasks such as responding to emails, filing paperwork and staff comments or requests? These are just a few examples of things that have to be handled each and every day. It’s not surprising that so many businesses go bust in their first year when individuals attempt to do absolutely everything alone. So, if you are feeling swamped with work, it may be time to turn to a business management service such as www.asesoria-alicante.es/en/. These services can take over all sorts of distinct areas, freeing up your time to focus fully on projects that require your attention. Perfect! You get to enhance and expand your business without falling behind on the paperwork or administration. Think of all of the things that you have on your plate. Perhaps you need to deal with inheritances, donations, and successions. Maybe you also need to manage specific certificates or processes. You may have bureaucratic proceedings to focus on. A business management service could deal with all of these different things on your behalf. What more could you ask for?

Gap Analysis Tools

If you are unsure where your business is failing, you should make use of gap analysis tools. If you are unfamiliar with the phrase, it’s good to know that a gap analysis is also often referred to as a “needs analysis” or “needs assessment”. Whatever you decide to call it, it is essentially a process in which you analyse the “gap” where things go wrong between your business aims or goals and the real life results. Sometimes you will slip up in the least likely of places and these mistakes can be missed when looking at the big picture. But when problems occur, there’s a root cause of the resultant problem. Gap analysis identifies this, then allows you to confront the problem and rectify it, whatever it may be. This is especially effective for small businesses, as it can give you a good idea of where you need to invest your time, effort and resources. This results in less wastage. Conducting a gap analysis each time you reach a bump in the road can also provide you with real life situations to train up new staff members, allowing them to learn from past mistakes and recognise the best ways to deal with problems, should they arise again.

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Market Research Teams

If you’re having difficulties connecting with your consumers, there’s likely to be something more than sheer bad luck behind it. If you understood your target audience completely, your products would be flying off the shelves. A market research team specialize in finding out all sorts of essential information about the current marketplace and the individuals who you want to buy your products. Through a variety of methods, including activities such as surveys, interviews, questionnaires, seminars, focus groups and debates, you will be able to find out all of the information you need to know. From what your customers want and how much disposable they have to information in regards to where they currently spend their cash, what they like about your competitor’s services and where they think that you can improve. You can then apply your findings to your business practice, making it better and better. While you could arguably do this all yourself, it would take time. Market research teams already have contact with potential participants, as well as the materials to get the most out of the experience. They will also take a neutral stance, ensuring that you get the least biased and most reliable results possible.

Every business comes into trouble at some point down the line, so don’t be disheartened. Especially if you are just starting out. As you can see, there are plenty of different individuals, methods and tools out there and each could help to save your company from falling into debt or even going bankrupt. So utilize them to the best of your ability. They will provide you with the best and most effective ways to save your company in times of trouble and specialist knowledge could save you a fortune. It’s all worth the effort when it comes down to it.

5 Investments In You That Can Better Your Finances For Life

Financial security in life can feel like an impossible dream. No job is 100% safe, and every entrepreneur knows that sometimes businesses can fail. When you’re trying to teach your kids to make every penny count and plan for the future, it might be a good idea to consider your own investments as well. Some of the investments you should think about aren’t necessarily financial. But they will stand you in good stead for a healthy financial outlook.

Education

Education and qualifications are still considered highly by employers. Beyond this, studying can broaden your horizons. It can deepen your knowledge, and offer insights into other possibilities. Understanding the world around us gives us the toolkit to make smarter decisions in life. This can include your finances, your career, and even your business choices. Of course, those pieces of paper can also offer you a higher salary. An advanced degree still offers the best salary opportunities in employment. And those letters after your name could earn you a few more contracts if you were to go into business for yourself.

Too many people are put off continuing their studies believing it could save them money. Sometimes this kind of investment can reap far more rewards than just a fatter pay packet or position of prestige. For a start, there are many types of online master’s degrees so you might choose one to take your career in a whole new direction. Beyond this, you will gain the latest thinking and research on the topics that could most benefit you in your working life.

It is possible and proven that many high school leavers have financially done very well for themselves. However, it seems to be the exception, not the rule. If you didn’t continue your studies when you entered your career, why not pick up the reins again now? It’s a good example for the kids too. You’re never too old to improve your knowledge and understanding. And continuing professional development is often the only way to keep on track in your career.

Experience

When was the last time you wrote down all of the experiences you’ve ever had? Never? Now could be a very good time to start! Each experience can be considered valuable to an employer. It’s all about how you reacted and responded to each challenge as it arose. And why you chose to take on that challenge is just as important. Gaining valuable life and work experience can offer you more opportunities for your career. You can use it to stand head and shoulders above any other candidate for that job you always wanted.

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Don’t forget – you can continue to gain valuable experience right now. You might choose to take a month or two out of work to volunteer for a project that personally inspires you. Or maybe, there is something exciting developing at work that you could get involved with? There are plenty of reasons to gain as much experience as you possibly can. Perhaps the most important one is the opportunity to network.

The more people you work within different situations, the more people will potentially sing your praises. They might do this publicly through social media or references. Or they might casually name drop to the people that can influence your career. Beyond networking, you’ll gain confidence in your abilities, your skills, and your working practices or methods. You’ll learn more, and you’ll be able to detail your contribution.

Your contribution might be measured in numbers or currency. It’s important you record these details and maintain a detailed portfolio. Chances are someone who can influence your career or your business bottom line might see it. Make every experience count, and be sure to continue adding to it.

Economical

You might already practice frugality and teach your kids the value of it. Investing in your finances today might reap good returns in the future. Perhaps you’ve been looking at your pension pot lately? This is one of the most important savings or investment accounts you have. You can start your kids with a private pension fund now. How is yours going, though? If you don’t think it can fund the lifestyle you were hoping for, then it’s time to invest a little more into it.

To free up more cash for the future, you need to be frugal today. What big plans do you have before you retire? Which of these would you be willing to sacrifice so you can squirrel a little more away for retirement? These can be really tough decisions to make. Some of them might need to be discussed with the rest of the family. Of course, there are other ways to fund your retirement. Have you considered any of them?

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Your home might be the center of the universe for your young kids right now. But by the time you want to retire, they’ll be grown up, moved out, and have families of their own. Downsizing at retirement can sometimes free up a good sum of cash to make life easier at that time of life.

Some people prefer to use high-interest savings accounts to secure their future. There are pros and cons to doing this. The first benefit is that there are rarely any annual fees to pay to keep the account open. Your pension attracts annual fees that can turn into thousands of dollars every year. But your savings pot might be considered an asset, restricting your access to certain benefits and privileges. A pension is rarely considered in this way.

Ethics and Good Health

A good working ethic can be transferred to every part of your life. If you know how to maximize your time and energy, then you might already have a great work ethic in place. This can be applied to your finances and your health too. Working hard is supposed to reap rewards in the end. Indeed, working hard now might boost your career and better your wage packet in the future. This, in turn, could lead to a better pension pot too.

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As for your health? Investing in your health will help you to save money on medical bills in the future. It will also reduce the number of sick days you need to take, making you a preferred candidate for workplace promotion. If you work for yourself, you will suffer fewer losses from days off if you rarely succumb to poor health. Good health takes sacrifice, hard work, and investment. You need to avoid unhealthy foods, exercise regularly, and invest in good quality meals.

It’s not always easy to maintain a good work ethic. After all, we can’t choose our colleagues, and we definitely can’t choose our bosses! But no matter how unpleasant these people might be, it is still as much your responsibility to make the working relationship cohesive. Maintain your work ethics, and you’re less likely to encounter friction with colleagues.

Enterprise

Exploring other avenues can lead to financial gains. It’s important to have a backup plan, even if it is only treated as a hobby. Many people have blogs or sell things they make in their workshop. This is rarely a full-time pastime but instead is something they enjoy doing during their leisure time. However, if things went wrong at work, there is scope to fully monetize these projects and scrape by some income from it.

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It’s not easy to work two jobs at once, and it shouldn’t be necessary. However, it’s worth exploring other avenues to bring in a few pennies. Any enterprise that can become fruitful is worth developing. It’s good to show your kids different ways to generate an income aside from work too. It helps them become more creative with their skills, talents, experience, and abilities. Sometimes all it takes is an idea. Of course, investing heavily in something like this should be carefully considered.

You might not mind making a small loss for something you enjoy doing. After all, leisure pastimes are important for us all. They are worth investing in as well. But if you need to turn it into something profitable, it’s worth using some simple business tools. A simple break-even diagram might be all you need to see if an investment could help reap more rewards. Remember, your time should have a monetary value too.

Don’t forget – you should always be selling yourself as well. You have education, skills, and experience that are valuable to potential employers or clients. Don’t sell yourself short. Instead, detail these achievements on your personal profile. Social media websites like LinkedIn are ideal for this. It gives you a chance to network with other like-minded people and colleagues too. This small investment of time can lead to new jobs and better wages.

Investing in yourself is as important as any business or financial investment you might make. You are the most important asset you and your family have. It’s worth spending the time and a little money in developing that further!

 

Guiding Your Child Entrepreneur To Business Success

Some people are just born to be in business, and if you see the entrepreneurial spirit in one of your children, you’ll want to make sure they’re set on the right path to make a success of themselves. While there are plenty of youngsters out there making a name for themselves in the business world, behind every success story are dedicated parents who helped them along the way. Below, we take a look at some of the ways you can aid your child’s quest to run their own company.

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Encourage Their Passions

You’ll be encouraging your child in different ways, depending on how old they are. If they’re too young to really make a mark in the world (say, they’re still in school), then foster their entrepreneurial spirit by encouraging them to pursue their passions. If your business minded child is passionate about pets, then you might help them set up a dog walking/grooming business during the school holidays. If they are old enough to go into business (which is anytime over 16), then help them find what they really love doing, and base their business around that.

Help Them With Finances

A lack of finances is probably the biggest reason more people don’t go into business. If it’s tough for adults, you can bet it’s very difficult for individuals who haven’t yet had the opportunity to get a well-paying job and build up capital. Because they’re just starting out, they won’t need too much money – and that’s where you can come in. If you have the money to spare, give their small business a cash injection. If not, there are a range of loans available to you that you can then use to provide them with a head start. Alternatively, if at an early age you’ve spotted your child will one day be a business owner, you can start putting money into a savings account which they can then use when they’re older.

Teach Them The Rules

Your child might have money on their mind, but they won’t have the life experience that’s necessary to succeed in business. You can help this by talking to your child about all the other factors that go into running a successful company, such as man management skills, organisation, showing patience, and so on.

Invest in their Ideas

There’s only so much that your child will learn in school about business. They’ll have to get the ideas that’ll really make them stand out from other sources. By doing things like buying business books and taking them to talks presented by successful entrepreneurs, you’ll be doing your bit to give them the education that the school system just can’t provide.

Use Your Connections

Finally, use your connections to help your child get experience in the business world. They won’t have any connections of their own, but if you know a friend who has a business, you can set up an internship or part-time job and expose your child to the inner workings of the business world at a young age.

How to Keep on Top of Your Businesses Accounting

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Accounting is one area of business that sometimes even the most successful entrepreneurs get stuck on. They let things build up and get out of control. Then, when it comes to filing a tax return, they’ve got no idea where they stand and have to pay an accountant a fortune to sort everything out.

Even if you’ve got an accountant, it’s a very good idea to keep on top of your finances. This way you’ll always know where you stand, be prepared for any financial issues your business may face, and easily spot ways to save yourself money. Here are some great ways to keep your accounts organized and easy to manage.

Filing

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File everything. Keep a folder for invoices and another for expenses. Organize these into months and type. Then, make sure you use them. The best way to stop things getting lost is to file them straight away before you have a chance to misplace them.

Online

Saving things to the cloud is another great way to avoid losing things and simplify your systems. Saving everything online means it’s there when you need it, wherever you are, whatever device you are using. Keeping things on a screen in front of you also makes it easier to compare and spot issues. Compare your receipts and invoices to your financial forecast regularly to ensure you are still on track for your projections. If you aren’t, make the necessary alterations.

Spreadsheets

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Spreadsheets are so simple to set up; you can just download a template, customize it to your business and get started. Save your spreadsheets each month then when you need figures you won’t have to go trawling through invoices or do any sums.

Set Aside Time

One reason accounts get messy is that people simply don’t make time to look after them. Set aside an hour or two at the end of every week to look through that week’s paperwork.

Prioritize

As with anything else in business, some things are more important than others. You will have financial concerns and issues that need to be dealt with as soon as possible, and there will be things that can wait until your end of week admin slot. You need a small business insurance quote as soon as your old policy is coming up for renewal, but filing the receipt from a business lunch can wait. Write things down, so you don’t forget anything and try to prioritize your tasks.

Regular Maintenance

The accounting and filing system you use when you start your business might be fantastic, but it won’t necessarily keep working well once you take on more clients and your business grows. Regularly look at your systems, make a note of anything that could be better and find new systems. While having a routine is great, you don’t want to get so stuck in your ways that it hurts your business or inhibits growth.

Finances only get out of control if you let them. Try to set up good habits and learn as much as you can about economics and finance as soon as you can to avoid financial pitfalls and continue to develop a successful business.

How to separate your family finances from business ones

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Mixing work and our personal lives never ends up being a good thing in the long-run. Apart from the fear of having your two worlds collide, there’s also the issue of practicality. When setting up a business, it is considered wise to remove all and any traces of your personal life from the mix. This makes it easier down the line when the ol’ tax records are due and even before that. Separating these two makes it easier to track everything on either end and make sure that nothing gets buried in the paperwork.

Make it official

Simple as that, if separation is your goal, make your business official. Choosing what entity to go as is crucial because it affects your finances down the line and legal protection should you ever need it. Because of the gravity of such a step, it is paramount that you run this through your accountant, insurance agent(s) and your legal representative. Two options usually find themselves as a good fit for fresh companies, these are a limited liability company or LLC and an S corp. Both effectively function as pass-through tax entities, this means that taxes aren’t paid on a business level but passed-through to the tax returns of the company holders.

Open a separate account

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When that’s out of the way, the next thing that is recommended for any potential business is to open a separate account. This makes sure that all of your business expenses are separated from your personal ones, making everything transparent and easier to grasp once taxes are due. Another benefit is having the IRS deem your business as valid, as opposed to classifying it as a hobby if you kept everything on personal accounts. The idea of separate accounts can be expanded upon, making the process even smoother – investing in several accounts for the business itself, making each transaction visible in more than one spot.

Use different software

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This essentially ties into the previous idea. If you’re already focusing on separating the two, go the extra mile. It may be a hassle to get used to two different accounting systems, but it will grow into a huge quality of life improvement down the line. Ostracizing your accounts may seem a bit extreme, but it removes any possibility of having errors and mistakes pop up from trying to do your books last minute. Separate software leads to less opportunities for problems to arise and keeps you in good standing which is imperative for a business’ success.

Opt for a business credit card

This goes without saying, a business credit card is your best friend. Every expense, every transaction, every single solitary change in your finances is logged and kept. This may not seem like much, but having actual proof of a transaction is a godsend for anyone who’s had trouble with tracking finances. If you should ever be faced with an audit, these records will help back up your own logs and make the whole thing go a lot smoother. Should your business credit not be established enough to secure a card, work it out, at least try to use on of your personal ones for business to make it easier on yourself.

Consult professionals

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Although mentioned above, it still deserves a segment of its own, consult a professional. No one likes to be the person asking for help, but this is our livelihoods we’re talking about. Seeking out professional help at the beginning is still cheaper than doing something wrong and have your business finances embody the concept of the domino effect. A plethora of companies like Darcy Bookkeeping & Business Services offer free quotes to help you get an idea of where your company’s currently at and where it could go. With a seasoned accountant on board, all of the aforementioned steps get kicked into high gear. Think of it as learning to ride a bike, we all started with training wheels.

Tread carefully

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Even with all of these steps, the road will be difficult. By separating your accounts and keeping them that way, both sides of our lives are given equal opportunity to flourish without impeding the other. Make no mistake, business is all about playing the hand you’re dealt and seizing the opportunities you’re given. We may not be able to predict what’s coming over the horizon, but we sure can prepare for the worst. Just like any venture, a good plan will see us through and that is the point we’re trying to get across – be prepared.