Maintain interest in your company’s brand

marketing and promotion mugWhile many companies may be placing the majority of their marketing efforts into bringing in new business, it is perhaps even more important to maintain the interest of customers after they have made an initial purchase. With any luck, doing so will help to establish a loyal base of clients and boost your long-term profits.

There are many ways this can be done. Here’s a look at some of your options:

Loyalty schemes

Running a loyalty scheme is one fantastic way to ensure that your business’s customers have the incentive to buy your goods and/or use your services time and time again. Competition in many sectors is particularly tough at the moment and you can’t assume consumers will always give you their custom. [Read more…]

Creative Ways to Fund Your Small Business Idea

Sometimes more difficult than coming up with a business plan or idea for your small business, is obtaining the funding necessary to get your business up and running. Whether your filing for a California corporation online or trying to start an LLC in Michigan getting your business off the ground is the first hurdle, but even after the initial investment the capital required to keep your business running usually requires some time. Thankfully, today’s technology and resources allows for some creative ways to raise capital for your small business that does not require a traditional loan from a bank. [Read more…]

The Value of Forensic Accounting

forensic accountingThe field of forensic accounting has become more prominent in the public eye due to the increase in high-profile corruption and fraud cases.  To illustrate, the UK-based bank, Barclays, is the fourth largest bank in the world, with operations in over 50 countries; they recently received a wealth of negative publicity concerning its manipulated reporting of interest rates, which go into the calculation of Euribor and Libor rates.

It has been suggested that Barclays are not the only bank to have misreported interest rates; there have been numerous other reported cases of banks misreporting, including UBS and The Royal Bank of Scotland, as well as the accounting scandals at Enron and WorldCom. [Read more…]

Setting Up Your Home Business

 

Looking for a job can be a tough and lonely time. How many afternoons have you spent looking those job listings online and sending out cover letters and CVs? Probably too many already.

It’s no surprise that in such situation home businesses are flourishing: 23 percent of the country’s businesses are now home-based, according to data from the Federation of Small Businesses. Rather than looking for a job that doesn’t seem to be there, many people have resorted to going it alone.

But before taking this step, planning is essential. And this involves all aspects, from a business plan, to the logistics and the actual configuration of your ‘home office’.

What kind of enterprise can work in that empty room, then? Professionals such as IT consultants, graphic designers or freelance writers can give their best in such a quiet and independent environment. Party and wedding planners, as well as online sellers can make the most out of what the internet has to offer: for the former, outreach and networking is made easy by all the social networks out there, while the latter can benefit from free, popular sales websites where their items will be visible to buyers around the world. Whatever the business of your choice is, advice from friends who are experts in the area will be vital.

Once a business model is chosen, it’ll be time to deal with more practical matters: setting up the office itself can actually be one of the fun bits. The challenge also lies in dealing with narrow spaces and restrictions: a wall can be enough to rely on for your shelves, and you can easily push a table against it. Photos, decorations and souvenirs are all welcome, but try to stay on the professional side just in case you welcome future business partners at home. Also make enough room for your computer and printer, and keep a comfortable armchair for guests too, so that they’ll feel welcome in your home-office.

Finally, if you think that showing your home address on your business card doesn’t look credible enough, there is a simple enough solution to represent your home-business in a professional manner: virtual offices give you a business address, professional call answering and the possibility to rely on external meeting rooms if the meeting is a particularly important one. If you think that your home business could benefit from this service, click here to find out more about virtual offices.

photo by: smemon

Payroll Outsourcing For Beginners

payroll outsourcingIf you’re in charge of a company and thinking about what you can outsource that would be efficient, and an overall benefit to your company, payroll outsourcing could be your answer. All it means is that you hire another company to handle your payroll processing. There are some details to it, however, that will help you figure out whether it’s really for you and your business.

How Payroll Outsourcing Works

Different companies you hire may have solutions that vary slightly, however it is mostly the same types of processes. The packages offered vary by number of employees, being small business (1-20) medium business (21-100) or large business (101+). Some companies may offer other solutions as well.

  • You can have your outsourced company fully manage your payroll process, so you can have a completely efficient payroll while you’re able to be hands off with it and hands on with your craft or other aspects of your business that you do best. You will still have a say in certain options, such as input method and documentation, but it is put in place to allow you to not worry about the hassle of handling the payroll task.
  • You can also opt for a service that allows you to have full control over your own payroll, but you receive the help you need, when you need it, from experts. There are companies that offer this package that will offer you full training that is continuous in order to keep your skills fresh and new, and help with everything you need, and only the things you need. If you’re new to outsourcing your payroll, this may be the method you should choose until you find a company you really trust to handle your sensitive finances.
  • You can also find a package that will allow you to integrate your payroll with your HR system, which will save a lot of time and effort, minimizing your record-keeping practices by wrapping them all into one package.
  • One more (but not the last) package you’ll be able to find is one where the company sets up a network through your bank with the separate accounts and PINs, and all you have to do is send the company the net amounts that you’ll need paid to which account. This works well if you want to keep an eye on the actual money but want as little as possible to do with the process. The company will have to work directly with you, and you’ll know which person in the company is handling the finances at the time, giving you an extra sense of accountability and security.

There are other packages that are offered, and they all work slightly differently in order to provide you (the business owner) the most comfort, security, and convenience possible.

 So, Why Should I Outsource Payroll?

You should outsource your payroll if you find yourself not having time to do everything you wish you could do. You’ll need to make a list of things you’d like to not do and ask yourself (for each) “does it need to be done?” and “could someone else do the task justice?” Payroll passes the test of those two important questions. Benefits of outsourcing payroll include:

  • Getting a task you don’t want to do off of your hands
  • Putting said task in the hands of experts
  • Giving yourself the time to make your business more profitable
  • Choosing a package that offers you security and comfort, so you don’t have to feel entrusting of another company handling your funds

How Does Pricing Work for Outsourced Payroll?

Prices vary with packages, but it’s easy to find affordable prices that cost between $1 and $3 per employee. With prices like that, it’s not difficult to have a flexible package. Maybe you’ll want to start out only using the payroll service for a certain department, and then switch it over to the rest of the departments and employees later once you feel fully comfortable with it and can afford it. With the types of pricing and packages that payroll-outsourcing companies have begun to incorporate, it’s easy to find a package that’s affordable and easy to implement. To get an exact quote, it’s best to simply contact a payroll outsourcing company such as Moore Pay that you think may be worth hiring, and letting them know your situation and asking for help figuring out the package and pricing that’s right for you. Now, you know how payroll outsourcing works, what benefits it can bring to you and your company, and how much it can cost you in the end. There are plenty of tasks you can outsource, but the majority of them don’t need to be outsourced, because you can add them to the workload of one of your employees that you’re training for leadership, or you can go without the task altogether. Payroll doesn’t fit in those categories, and it would benefit you greatly to look into outsourcing that one.

Have you had any experience payroll outsourcing or does your company outsource payroll?

What is the right type of printer for my business?

brother printerThere are many different types of printer a business can choose. From compact A3 printers to small, inexpensive inkjet printers there are plenty of options available. The reason why this is the case is because they have all been designed to suit different needs. However, while this is a good thing because there are lots of items on offer, finding the right one can be tricky. Here, we will explore more what type of printer you should buy depending on your business.

The normal home business

If you run a small company from home, then a printer is essential, but as you may guess, you do not need to spend a fortune. A home printer is often required to carry out just about every task well without needing to be particularly great. A small home business will benefit from a color inkjet printer with an inbuilt scanner. You can buy a good inkjet printer from a reputable retailer for as little as £60.

A budding photographer

A photographer is only as good as the equipment they own. Even the best photographer in the world can be made to look average if they have the wrong camera and printer. At the same time, especially for amateur photographers, budget is often a concern. If you are a budding photographer who also wants an ‘everyday’ printer, consider an all-in-one printer. However, if you are a professional, take a look at a high quality A3 inkjet printer because this will offer the best results.

A larger business

If there are several computers that all need to link up to the same printer, you need to make sure you put in more research. In any case, for a larger business the printer needs to be quick, have a decent amount of memory and get a good job done without using too much ink. The printer will need to be wireless because you will not be able to physically hardwire several computers into one printer. In this case, a color laser printer is a cost-effective solution for a larger business. Not only are laser printers quick, but they are able to handle multiple instructions.

It is important that you research the right type of printer before buying one for a number of reasons. Therefore, make sure you take the above guide into account when looking for your next printer regardless of what business you run.

Photo by yvesdesprit