Growing Your Business with an Innovative Business Solution

Grow your small business sign

Grow your small business signA successful business is a culmination of processes that ensure a quick and efficient delivery of any product to the market. This way, you keep your clients happy and build customer loyalty. Improving business processes to eliminate weaknesses and inefficiencies is the key to conquering the market.

With the help of reputable procure to pay solution providers, you can stay ahead of the curve and grow your bottom line. Harnessing the power of such technology lets you streamline your service delivery and customer satisfaction.

Cultivate good relations with suppliers

Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business and as such, it defines the level of success a company achieves. It’s only natural for vendors to give priority to customers who are quick to honour their invoices. With the help of a procure to pay solution, you can streamline your procurement process.

It means you can automate the payment process and ensure that your suppliers are paid on time without unnecessary delays. Such a move markets you as a key account in the eyes of suppliers and it comes with various benefits and entitlements.

Improve customer satisfaction

As the business landscape changes, so do the needs of your target market. As such, you need to dedicate a considerable amount of effort and resources to meet these growing needs. By automating most of your repetitive tasks, you can dedicate more effort to creating custom products and innovations for your customers.

It means that you can tend to these growing needs without hiring an army of workers. That way, you improve efficiency while keeping your operating costs low and affordable. Maintaining a small yet highly efficient team of workers ensures that you deliver the best possible services to your customers.

Efficiency is at the heart of every successful business, as it lets you get the best bang for your buck. Streamlining your operations helps to lower your operational costs and improve service delivery.

What You Need to Know to Open a Second Branch

coffee shop

Cafe owner standing at counterYou’ve always wanted to open another restaurant, especially when your restaurant business has been doing well and attracting a lot of customers. If you think it’s time for another expansion, you need to consider several things, the first of which is funding for your expansion plans.

How Lending Companies Can Help

There are companies from which you can get a loan for your second restaurant.  They offer alternative lending schemes that can focus on staffing needs for your new branch. With experienced and qualified people working for your restaurant, your customers will keep coming back to enjoy your food and service.

You need necessary supplies like kitchen utensils and food supplies. These allow you to serve your customers well and alternative lending services can provide you with the money for these. Also, alternative lending services can provide you with money for marketing your latest restaurant.

What to Do to Get a Loan

So what do you need to do to get that loan? First, you’ve got to come up with a business plan for your new restaurant. Lending companies would like to see how you are going to use the loan.  Then you have to decide the best way to get your loan.

You may choose to apply for a small business administration loan (SBA) or find an investor to put his money into your new restaurant.  Just make sure you choose the right source for your loan.

If your problem is financing, that shouldn’t stop you from opening another restaurant. You can always find an investor or a lending company that can fulfill your dream of further expanding your restaurant business. When you find one that can help you, you will find your dreams of expansion come true.

Tips on Upgrading Your Beauty Salon

Beauty salon scene

Beauty salon sceneBeauty salons are expected to increase in revenues to $58.7 billion by 2019.  To stay competitive, most business owners have opted to renovate their beauty salons.  Finding the means to upgrade beauty salons need not be a struggle, for some companies like ARF Financial, a financial loan company.  Here are ways on how to upgrade your beauty salon’s services and products.

Continuing Education

An in-house training program may amp up the sales of the beauty salon.  Learning how to efficiently do that French manicure may significantly reduce nail polish costs in the long-term.  Also, being trained how to professionally interact with the clients may boost income by clients returning.

Expansion or transfer

Securing another location or transferring to another site may lead to higher brand visibility if the location is favorable.  Also, it is worthwhile to study your services to be on par with the demographic market in an area.  For example, married couples with children at home or the largest households spend 31 to 37 percent more than average on personal care services such as haircuts, manicures, and facials.

Upgrade of Services

This may also be a better time to up the ante by providing mobile personal services for massage or make-up.  This is especially lucrative for events like weddings, debuts, or pictorials.

Website

Having a website can initially draw prospects.  Here, your client base becomes limitless.  In the website, producing a spectacular lookbook of diverse clients can add to the website’s appeal.  Also, a website may also be used for selling not only your services but your products as well.

Sometimes, it feels refreshingly good to feel and look beautiful and glamorous.  A beauty salon is not only a place for improving the physical look.  It is also a place where a person can feel confident, relax, and unwind all the stresses of their lives.

Steps to Take in Selling Your Small Business

Business agreement with blurred handshake in the backgroundSmall business owners who are on the market to sell their business are advised to discuss their business’s salability with industry experts. This is one of the most important steps for any business seller as it allows you to evaluate your business performance before putting it up for sale.

You have probably heard of stories of people encountering challenges in the selling process and saying something like, “I’m selling my business in Provo, but no one seems to be interested in buying it.”

As a rule of thumb, you have to make sure to show buyers that your business has been operating for a minimum of two years and provide the data on your profit for those years of operation.

Below, Utah Business Consultants share steps you need to take in selling your business to potential buyers:

Decide on the portions you will sell

Once you determine that your business is saleable, you need to decide whether you will sell all of it or just put up parts of the business for sale. Most often, large companies sell parts of their business as a strategy to acquire new businesses that will complement their existing units. This allows companies to focus on the divisions that represent the company’s vision and let go of the portions that are not part of the company’s core operations.

Decide on acceptable payment options

Set a minimum sale price for your business, so you can better decide among the many offers you may be receiving. Once you have set a minimum price, you have to decide on the payment terms that are acceptable to you. For example, a buyer wants to settle the payment through installments. What would be the arrangement in the schedule of payments and how would you structure it in a way that both of you will benefit.

Discuss tax implications with the buyer

Once you have a buyer for your business, take time to sit them down and discuss the tax implications of the sale. If you decide to sell all of the business and not just some of the assets, it becomes the buyer’s responsibility to tend to the liabilities that come with the business itself. Make this clear to the buyer so that he knows the potential liabilities that started from the time your business began operating. This prevents any misunderstanding between the buyer and the seller of the business and promotes an ideal working relationship if you decide to help manage the business after selling it.

Chinese Online Retailer Sets Sights on U.S. Market

A woman using a laptop

A woman using a laptopA $68-billion Chinese e-commerce giant plans to stir further competition in the U.S. online retail market, which will test Amazon’s dominance in the industry.

New York-listed JD.com Inc. floated its plans to expand in the U.S. by the second half of 2018. However, a major challenge involves the U.S. government’s protectionist approach on foreign business.

West Coast debut

JD’s debut in the U.S. will happen via a logistics launch in Los Angeles. It may rely on Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which is a company shareholder, for initial support on operations in the biggest West Coast city. JD CEO Richard Liu said that partnerships with U.S. companies might be an option for a likely multiple-entry expansion.

The company’s entry in the country serves as one component of its international expansion, as it also looks to set up business in several countries near China. For American e-commerce firms, JD’s plans only highlight the need to adopt strategies to remain relevant among shoppers, such as offering point-of-sale or POS lending or competitive pricing strategies.

Challenging entry

While JD embarks on an ambitious drive in the U.S., Liu believes that the road ahead will be a challenging one. An increasing number of trade barriers serve as a deterrent not just for JD’s investments, but also for other Chinese companies as well, he said.

Liu believes that a protectionist approach will negatively affect the U.S. economy. Still, the company expects to use its alliance with big local companies to achieve its plan. Once it succeeds to do business in the country, Liu targets overseas operations to account for 50% of company revenues in the next 10 years.

JD will still have several clear hurdles before it has a chance to challenge Amazon’s market leadership. However, the Chinese firm’s keen intention to do business should serve as a signal for smaller players to think of ways on how to stay competitive.

2 Boulders that Hinder Startups from Moving Forward

Man writing the startup info

Man writing the startup infoSome 90% of startups fail; a startling piece of statistics considering there’s no dearth of learning resources out there telling entrepreneurs how to succeed.

Some of the reasons startups are slow to gain traction are straightforward: there is no demand for the product or service; quality is poor; or the business processes need improvement.

Here are a couple of other causes for startup shutdowns entrepreneurs may not have realized.

Cash Flow Issues

Large capital firms can withstand the impacts of delinquent clients but not small businesses who are working on a tighter budget and very limited credit. While startups can avail themselves of small business loans here in Ogden, the infusion of additional capital must be married with sound cash management.

To end that perpetual struggle to make payroll and pay bills, try the following:

  • Refrain from ex-deals or trade. A mutually beneficial exchange can be a good idea but not if cash flow is an issue.
  • Accept credit card payment. This is one way to receive cash fast and cut down on receivables that take forever to collect.
  • Use credit cards.  It’s always a good idea to pay slowly. One way to keep cash in your bank is to use credit cards. That’ll give you 30 more days or an option to pay in monthly installments.

Bad Timing

In his Ted Talk, entrepreneur Bill Gross shared that he looked into so many startup stories to determine why some succeed and others fail. His findings came as a complete surprise. It was timing that mattered the most.

Product idea, team, and execution were found to be very important but the startups that survived their early years in operation had one thing in common: They launched at the right place, at the right time, under the right economic and social conditions.

The Airbnb idea, for example, could have easily failed. Who would want to rent out his home to a stranger? Airbnb succeeded though because it was launched after the recession hit, so homeowners welcomed extra cash in their pockets.

It is important for an entrepreneur to look at the conditions within the business and the environment in which it operates. Is your team ready to outsmart your business challenges like cash flow? Is the market ready for what you have to offer?

Retirement Planning for Small Business Owners: 3 Things to Get Started

A retired coupleWorking for many years, especially if you own a small business, is no easy task. You have staggering responsibilities, from coming up with a business strategy and thinking about your employees to choosing the right equipment for the job and making sure your customers are satisfied with your work.

You deserve to enjoy the fruits of your labor, which is why you need to start planning for the time when you hand over the reins to someone else. Having a good financial plan for retirement is important so you can make the most of your post-work years.

In addition, considering everything you will leave behind is a necessary step when planning for the future and securing the welfare of your employees. Here some things to think about before finally settling down into retirement:

Envision Your Goal

Setting the aim of your business and being able to identify your end goal is critical when it comes to planning your retirement. It’s your decision if you’re going to give the business to family members, sell it, or close it altogether.

Deciding on this will be the basis for how you’ll arrange your retirement. Once you have a goal in mind, you can consult a financial advisor and evaluate all of your personal savings, business savings, and how you can achieve a comfortable retirement life.

Be Wise When it Comes to Investments

It’s important to consider your investments once you have a strategy in place. Small business owners are reminded that investment portfolio diversification is important. Whichever forms of investment you choose, they should be able to provide you with a stable income during your retirement years. Once you have your retirement money, you will need to be careful with how and where to spend it.

Consider Organizing a Retirement Plan

Your age is a contributing factor on how big your savings should be. It’s important that you understand how to manage your money in retirement and how to liquidate your assets in the event that you choose to sell.

According to a survey, Millennials are more confident in retiring simply because they started early by having a business at around 26 years of age (on average). It has given them more time to expand their business and earn more, which is why they have created a more convenient retirement plan.

Now that you have considered all of these factors and started planning your retirement strategy, it is time for you to set it in motion. Once done, go ahead and take that long vacation you’ve always wanted.

Marketing Strategies to Consider in the Digital Age

Marketing Strategies

Marketing StrategiesThe past few years have been a time of radical change in the marketing world. The advancement of technology across all industries created a stronger sense of inter-connectivity, and consumer trends evolved, soon after, to meet these developments.

Although social media marketing is not a new thing, it saw an exponential increase in importance in the last few years; a trend which experts now agree will only continue to grow. This creates a unique opportunity for companies to roll-out new strategies to spread brand awareness.

Here are some marketing strategies to consider for the digital age.

Augmented Reality via Social Media

At the moment, we’re seeing AR on platforms such as Facebook’s 360° photos, where users can point their smartphone at a particular direction to reveal a virtual billboard or play a video. Snapchat has also recently been used to promote movies, with studios releasing special animated filter that displayed elements of the movie being promoted.

Aside from offering a very different experience to users, augmented reality, or AR, has other advantages. With the rise of location-based, targeted marketing campaigns, companies can soon leverage AR to display an ad on a social platform whenever a user is at a specific geo-physical position.

Live Video Streaming

With advancements in online video streaming, companies have been able to leverage live video streaming across multiple platforms to engage their customers. Experts agree that this trend will continue, and even grow further, in the next few years.

Most often used by social media influencers, live video streaming also enables customers to comment on their concerns and issues, offering companies a chance to respond in real-time.

As consumer trends push towards more personalized marketing, live video streaming enables companies to reach their customers in a more organic and transparent manner. This creates approachability in a company’s branding that resonates with current trends, and will be effective in creating a solid customer base.

Voice Search Optimization

Studies show that nearly half of all search queries are now made on mobile devices. Because mobile devices make voice-typing much more convenient, most users are now foregoing typing words in search queries. This means that voice searches are changing the way marketers view SEO.

Voice searches use a more natural and conversational phrasing than regular SEO, which usually utilizes keywords arranged in a barely intelligible sentence. With the prevalence of voice searches, companies need to leverage this and optimize their content to be more voice-search friendly.

Influencer Marketing, but…

Be cautious when using influencers on social media. Although the trend is alive and well, most analysts are still unsure about how long influencers will remain relevant in marketing. Most of the concern lies in the difficulty of measuring the ROI of an influencer campaign, as it is difficult to properly quantify the amount of “influence” an influencer wields.

Despite this, the influencer marketing trend still generates strong interest with companies. One study showed that 84% of marketers used influencer campaigns in the last couple of years, with analysts predicting this number to double in the coming months. One of the strengths of influencer marketing is its ability to utilize the current trend of personalized marketing by presenting products in a more natural and less “staged” manner.

Personal Marketing

Perhaps the most important aspect of any marketing campaign in the digital age is creating more personal, almost one-on-one marketing strategies that target the individual user. As discussed throughout this post, consumer trends are now less focused on company-centric, brand-specific ads. Today’s consumers are drawn more towards customer-centric marketing campaigns, as these campaigns promote a sense of approachability in relation to a company’s brand.

One-on-one marketing is still a long way’s away, but experts agree that the next few years will see advancements in technology that will make this possible. Personalizing your company’s brand creates transparency, which is something that today’s consumer’s value. Customers want to feel that your company cares about them – and creating a marketing campaign that addresses their personal needs and concerns is an effective way of generating larger revenues for the digital age.

Predictions for the Australian Economy in 2018

Economy

EconomyAcross the board, the Australian economy ended 2017 on a reasonably strong note. The economy did grow by 2.5% last year. This is, however, lower than the expected 3.25% growth predicted by the RBA.

Analysts are optimistic but cautious when it comes to the economy in 2018. Our international partners, like the U.S. and China, are maintaining strong economies, though their own growth is sluggish. For its part, Australia is poised to enjoy growth in multiple sectors, although there are areas of improvement that need to be addressed.

Rising CapEx and Millenials

Corporate capital expenditure or CapEx is set to increase in 2018. With the effects of the 2009 financial crisis finally decreasing, corporations are enjoying higher profits and renewed business confidence, to the point that analysts are forecasting an increase in their expenditures. These expenses are expected to boost economic growth.

But how do millennials factor into CapEx? As one of the largest generations in history, the world’s millennials are approaching an age where they are becoming major consumers. Because of this, millennial trends such as sustainability, clean energy and impact investing are becoming areas of key interest for corporations. Spending in these sectors is expected to rise, especially for companies who want to keep up with a new and growing customer base.

Weak Household Consumption but Strong Government Expenditure

The current expectation for household consumption remains uncertain, due largely to weak wage growth of the past year and high consumer debt. Experts are also citing rapid technological changes negatively affecting productivity growth in various sectors, which limits wage and productivity growth.

However, forecasts put wage growth at 2.5% for 2018. This means that, if the prediction is accurate, an uptick in household consumption could be seen as the year progresses.

This is in contrast to the forecast of strong Government expenditure. With CapEx boosting economic growth in multiple sectors, the Australian government has the necessary capital to reinvest in key infrastructure projects. This will ideally accelerate employment growth further, curbing unemployment rates and boosting consumer spending power.

Worldwide Trend in Business Investments

With our international trading partners going through steady, albeit sluggish, growth in their own economies, Australia is set to enjoy the recent upturn in global trade. Coupled with an increase in mergers and acquisition activity, business confidence is robust.

As one of our leading partners in trade, China has been able to ride the momentum of last year’s economic boom through accommodative monetary and fiscal policies. The United States is expected to have a more expansionary fiscal policy, despite the recent tax reform in their country.

The increase in mergers and acquisitions in Australia has seen companies try to consolidate their markets and customer bases, leading to general corporate growth. This consolidation of different industries under umbrella corporations has been instrumental in innovating new and/or disruptive technologies, which in turn has contributed to corporate growth and business confidence.

These mergers and acquisitions are predicted to continue in 2018, with analysts hoping that this will lead to bigger investments as business confidence remains high.

All these factors, of course, remain predictions. A string of internal and external factors can definitely skew the outcome of forecasts. However, if political climes in our trade partners remain stable, and if global confidence in business investments remains high, Australia could be poised to ride the economic upswing of 2018.