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Small Business tips

5 important COVID-19 lessons for startup owners to get crisis ready in future

“A big business start’s small” – Richard Branson

Truly said by Richard, in order to get big, a business owner has to make some small smart steps that can take his business towards success. Well, these steps can only be considered to be in the right direction if the leader of the company has made all his research and learned from the lessons taught by the market and its survivors.

 

Looking at the current situation, when all the conventional businesses have come to a halt and are facing downtime due to COVID-19 lockdown, there are still some ventures having a swift flow in their business revenue. Well, these are the enterprises that have foresighted to be prepared for such situations and took some preemptive measures by learning from the past economic history.

 

Analyzing these businesses and studying the changing market scenario, below are some lessons curated for the small business owners to help them make their startup stronger enough to deal with such critical situations in the future. 

Business learnings for startup owners from COVID-19 pandemic 

  • Digitization is the basic business need

With the government imposing social distancing orders on the citizens, the only businesses having an online presence are the ones having hope for their business to at least earn or keep themselves operational in one or the other way. Taking about the e-commerce market or apps like food delivery or grocery deliveries, these niches are the ones that took over the market and the only reason behind it is the online availability of their business and the easy access to their services. 

 

Taking this as a note for the newbie owners, making the right investment in the digital infrastructure indeed becomes important for better survival in the future market. Try to focus on making an online presence of your business through marketing, making your services available to people irrespective of their geographic location by developing an app, or a website or uploading your products to online stores. 

 

  • Flexible business plans 

It’s very important for a business to have a plan and a business model, as that is what defines the base of business operations and goals for its workers. But as there is no fixed formula to success, there is no assurance that the same business models would work in every situation and time. 

 

Defining a flexible business model that could be mold based on the situation and would help make the business more profitable than before is what we call smart business planning. 

 

Learning from the example of Zomato, the food delivery app has reformed its business model based on the COVID-19 lockdown situation and has added grocery delivery and other essential delivery services to keep up the business rotation as the delivery of food was currently not operational. The exceptional thought of the Zomato team is a thriving representation of their flexible business model which helped them survive even during the crisis. 

 

  • Re-skilling the workforce in a different environment 

The workforce is an asset to any business. In order to make any business stronger, it’s essential to make sure that the team working behind it is ready to work in any situation or environment. 

 

The lockdown made many businesses and their employees to work from home and adopt a way of working they have never experienced before. Taking the lesson from the difficulties that these businesses face in terms of coordination and productivity, it’s a hint for the upcoming business owners to enact such training programs for their employees which help them work under any critical environment.

 

Doing this, the employees working with the company will develop such skill sets and practice which help them continue with their work irrespective of the situations around and keep the business moving. 

 

  • Forecasted disaster plan

Well, this is something every business owner should add to their list while planning to start their business. Disasters and uncertainty are a part of today’s lifestyle, so accepting it as a new normal, a business owner should always have a separate plan for situations like today. 

 

Whether it’s about money, employee welfare, business failures, or natural destruction, having an action plan for it could help the business owner to make quick decisions as per the thoughtfully created disaster plans. This would also help them to face lesser drawbacks due to the conditions in comparison to what they could have faced in the absence of such plans. 

 

Following this, many SMEs are achieving 90% business productivity even in the pandemic, as they have already calculated their challenges and have planned for the necessary solutions whether in terms of technical support or employee wellness.

 

  • Best opportunities come during the crisis 

Have you ever noticed that our mind works faster in the time of trouble? Yes, the changing situations make a person think about the alternatives to do the work to maintain his/her existence. This is the period which makes us aware of the problems we would have never thought of otherwise and carve out some innovative solutions that could change the business’s future. 

 

Talking about the current crisis, the new delivery solutions like drone delivery and the surging new app features for contactless delivery services are a symbol of the innovations that have evolved due to critical situations around the world and are acting as a solution to the problems that people are facing during these hard times. 

 

So it’s a tip for the startup owner, to always look at the crisis as an opportunity to learn or develop something new and implement it for the business and community welfare.

 

Summing Up

Building a company from scratch is indeed a task where even experienced entrepreneurs strip down, as the only thing that can help these aspirant startup owners is perseverance, innovative thought, and the continuous lessons for the outer world. 

 

The above-mentioned pointers are real learnings for a newbie owner. Planning and working while keeping these factors in mind can prove to be very beneficial for any business owner and his team to fight against any odds like the COVID-19 epidemic in the near future. 

 

Author Bio:

James Vargas is an experienced business expert, consultant, and manager at Get Everything Delivered, startup consulting, and team building services. He has 1.5-decade corporate experience and is tailoring the best project delivery and team training practices to the businesses and startups to generate great revenue for their business.

Categories
Small Business tips

How to scan business receipts and invoices like a Pro

Are you one of those busy small business owner who finds it really frustrating to keep all your receipts and invoice in a place, transactions and file it properly. We get it, it is not a fun thing to do, along with other priorities that you are running into.

It is not a task that is not easy to delegate, further it is vital to keep business receipts and invoices for 3 – 5 years for compliance reasons, and you may be asked by taxing or government agency for auditing purpose. So it is very important to hold onto your business receipts and invoices.

Even with smartphone, just taking a photo of your receipt may help. But with thousands of photo you take, it is going to be really difficult to keep track of you receipts in your phone photos, not an efficient way to manage your receipts or bills.

But fret not, now with some cool business app this can be quick and easy task. There are quite a few apps available which will let you efficiently take a quick snap of the receipt and invoice and store securely in a cloud server. There even app which will extract the information like date, vendor and amount from the receipt, so that you don’t have to enter them manually. Accuracy of it will differ based on the quality of your camera and receipt.

Here are the list of apps which will let you take picture of

Expensify

Expensify is the world’s leading app for expense receipt scanning & management, and business travel. One of the best apps for manage your expenses.  However not budget friendly for an average small business owner with group cost starting at $5 per user.

Expensify can identify and categorize every receipt, and can also instanteously submit business expenses for further review and approval. With sophisticated features like business credit card reconciliation, multi-level review and approval workflows, and automatic syncs with all major accounting apps, Expensify will definitely reduce time required for expense management for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Learn more at https://www.expensify.com/

Zoho Expense

Zoho Expense (which starts at $3 per month when invoiced monthly for 10 users and is additionally available in a freemium version), an awesome expense tracking tool that does well at its core set of functionality and can be tailored to meet the needs as much as most customers will require. Another advantage with this app is the options of software that comes as part of the Zoho One plan, which is billed at $30 per employee per month—an pretty good deal.

Learn more at https://www.zoho.com/expense/

myBooks

myBooks app will let you scan the receipts from phone camera and safely store in the accounting software. You can use your web app to review. It is fully integrated accounting software with expense management, it will be of great help for small business owner to manage their entire financials with myBooks

Further you can upload your bank statements and identify all the expense directly from that. Once expenses are created then you can attach the receipts for record keeping purposes.

Learn more at https://www.zetran.com/mybooks/

Shoeboxed

Shoeboxed is an excellent app for receipt scanning and keep track of your mileage expenses. This is a very good tool for tax time, there is an option to note, which expense are tax deductible.

You can create receipts from your phone and send it directly to your colleague or tax preparer. You can also send receipts and accumulated business cards and other relevant documents to Shoeboxed in a prepaid “Magic Envelope” for digital scanning. Envelopes also comes with free shipping both ways. All documents submitted to Shoeboxed is reviewed by human eyes

Learn more at https://www.shoeboxed.com/

Smart Receipts

You can scan your receipts into Smart Receipts and can create detailed reports with this app. Another distinguishing feature of Smart Receipts is private labeling services. With these options, your company can create a white label customized expense reporting app for your clients and users.

Smart Receipts has fully customizable reports which can be downloaded in ZIP, PDF and CSV formats, you will be able to create excellent reports for your personal finance tracking as well as for your employer’s needs. It allows you to choose from over 20 different default data types (including dates, cost, tax, receipt types, comments, payment options, etc.) to help you get the perfect report, saving you many hours of time reviewing expenses and letting you back to things you actually care about.

Learn more at https://www.smartreceipts.co/

Conclusion

So there are many options to manage your receipts just from your phone or a computer, the important take away point is consistency and discipline in maintaining your receipts. These tools will simplify the process a whole lot, however the process has to be done religiously and regularly to make sure, you stay on top of your receipts and business invoices.

Categories
Small Business tips

Top 10 Business Apps For Small Business Owners

Top 10 Business Apps For Small Business Owners

If you are an entrepreneur, you cannot deny how much help you sometimes. In fact, it is essential to entrepreneurial success that you ask for help now and again. Often however, you will not get this help in human form. This is no surprise in a world that has gotten rapidly digitized. Your friends are busy anyway as everyone is today. So, if you are caught up in such a situation, what can you do?

There are a lot of apps available online and dedicated to the small business owner. You can even get free online accounting software on the web. These apps are not just a handy help but are result oriented and extremely efficient. If you would like to dig in, then here are top selections of apps to help your business grow.

  1. Mybooks

MyBooks is a cloud based online accounting software designed for small businesses. It has a beautiful invoicing template, is affordable and allows you import your bank into the software so that all your accounting takes place in the same platform. MyBooks helps you manage all your business finances on the go.

  1. Square

Square helps your business by allowing you integrate payment systems into your smartphone. If you are in an industry where your customers have to pay using credit cards at the point-of-purchase, Square can help you deal with this quickly especially if you are low on budget. The app is useful for turning your smartphone into the point-of-sale machine on the spot.

  1. Skype for Business

Microsoft offers Skype for business to allow small businesses organize virtual meetings with up to 250 people attending at the same time. It also contains file transfer features as well as chat. It is a great tool for meeting with clients or having a quick office meeting with employees if you are not at the office.

  1. Best Small Basecamp

This is a project management app and apparently the most popular. It is also quite easy to use. It allows you to chat in-app, attach files, make checklists and watch how you progress with a project. The app also helps you to keep your team together by allowing you create calendars that clarify how far you have gone with a project.

  1. Rescuetime

This is a time management tool that helps you curb distractions and keeps you glued to your tasks. It allows you see precisely where you spend your time and allows you set goals that target your productivity.

  1. Evernote

Evernote is a tool that allows you to clip information that you found useful for your business from around the web but that you are yet to go through or that you want to keep because you think they are especially useful. You can clip these pieces, add to them and tag them all in one application.

  1. Pocket

This is an alternative to Evernote. You can use Pocket to save articles, blog posts, videos and anything else that catches your fancy so that you can come back to them when you have the time.

  1. Wunderlist

This is an effective to-do list tool. It allows you to create task after task and share them with your employees. When tasks are completed, the app syncs automatically to show the stage of the job at hand.

  1. Toggl

This is a time management tool that helps you track your time by the seconds. It is especially useful if you bill your clients hourly. You can track multiple projects and clients at the same time making it a very valuable tool.

  1. Trello

Trello is a visual project management tool. It allows you create lists and to use cards to indicate the status of projects. You simply drag the card from a list you have completed to a list that you are currently working on.

https://zetran.com/mybooks

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Small Business tips

Financial budgeting for your small business

FINANCIAL BUDGETING FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS

Rosette Mugidde once said, ‘Budgeting is not just for people who do not have enough money. It is for everyone who wants to ensure that their money is enough.

As this is an era where small businesses are progressively being made, it is important to understand the Concept of Financial Budgeting for your business, no matter how small you may think it is.

A Financial budget is a plan for the coordination of resources and expenditures in a business. It helps in the control of the inflows and outflows of cash and the overall financial positioning of the business. Basically, it involves a setup that guides safe cash flow and in the long run, a smooth business. It is only wise and advisable to employ good budgeting skills and take advantage of these features.

A crippled budgeting will not only cripple the business but will eventually kill it.

That is why I have put together some methods to help you budget the finances of your small business.

METHODS TO BUDGET THE FINANCES OF YOUR SMALL BUSINESS

Various methods exist to budget the finances of your business, some of which are;

1.KEEPING SPREADSHEETS

A spreadsheet is usually a sheet of paper that shows accounting or similar data in rows and columns. A spreadsheet is also a computer application program that simulates a physical spreadsheet by capturing, displaying, and manipulating data arranged in rows and columns. Spreadsheets are used to keep budgets but they can be tasking and time taking.

Using spreadsheets will require you to be settled and not get confused with the numbers. However, if you can’t keep up with spreadsheets, my other budgeting methods below can work for you.

2. Online accounting software:

As a small business owner, online accounting helps you track expenses and sales, thereby facilitating the running of your business. This software program also helps clients save their time and money and perform tasks such as data entry, audit and the likes.

3.Business accounting software

A similitude of the online accounting software, which includes various applications that record and process accounting transactions within various modules such as accounts payable, accounts transferable and the likes.

An example is MyBooks, a Quickbooks alternative, and which is a cloud-based online accounting software designed for small businesses with a friendly invoicing template and among other uses, helps to import your bank into the interface so you can interact with your bank conveniently.

4.SEND YOUR MONEY ERRANDS

It is important to know where your money is going into, and your money will only go wherever you send it. Maintain a Capital Expenditures budget, where you plan and set apart the amount needed to purchase any capital expenditure, for example, a processing machine that will stay over a long time. Also, a budgeted balance sheet and a cash budget will do.

5.The 60-20-20-10 METHOD

As a small business owner, it is possible that you have no employee to pay; this doesn’t imply that you swallow all the profits realized from the business at the end of each year. The 60-20-10-10 is a budgeting principle for your finances such that 60% goes to spending; 20% goes to savings; 10% goes to investing and 10% goes to donating to charity. Employing this principle is also a method to budget the finances of your business.

I know these tips helped you and I’m glad they did. Enjoy the finances of your business henceforth, as you budget them wisely.

https://zetran.com/mybooks

Categories
Small Business tips

How to avoid small business financial mistakes

How to avoid small business financial mistakes

A business, whether small or large scale, has pillars on which it stands. Accounting and bookkeeping are one of those pillars, and a faulty bookkeeping practice will bring down the whole business as is the case when a building’s pillar is removed. If you own a small business or you are just starting a new business, it is necessary for you to set up a good bookkeeping and accounting practice.

Often, you will not be able to do this on your own. You will need the expertise of seasoned professionals to help you succeed with your accounting and bookkeeping. It then becomes essential to practice outsourcing of this vital part of your business. There is the need, in most cases, an urgent need, for businesses to outsource their bookkeeping activities to experts who have been specially trained for this purpose. Bookkeepers can help you achieve your financial evaluation goals with ease.

If you are wondering what makes bookkeeping so important, then you should read on and find out reasons why you should outsource.

  1. Bookkeeping Services Reduce The Workload On Business Owners

Looking at all the aspects of business like marketing, personnel management, processing, sales, logistics and so on, businesses will be better off if their owners outsource their bookkeeping to trained bookkeepers. That way, they can concentrate on the other aspects of the business and work more efficiently. Small business owners, in particular, will cherish the extra time they get in return as they are usually bagging different roles at a time.

  1. You Want To Do Best What You Know How To Do

Just as not all people can be doctors, not everyone is good with the numbers. In fact, I know more people who don’t like dealing with numbers. You can be a business owner with a good business but struggle with your bookkeeping and keeping of financial records in general. You will realize how much you need the expertise of bookkeepers.

  1. Bookkeeping Services Provide You With The Accurate Financial Situation Of Your Business

The job of the bookkeeper is to collect, collate, analyze, calculate, record data and report the financial information to the business owner. In essence, bookkeepers and accountants can assess the financial situation of your business more than anyone else. This is what they are trained to do. As a result of that training, they are able to deliver accurate and precise information, thereby promoting the business.

  1. Bookkeepers Help Business Owners Count The Cost

Bookkeepers can also take the place of financial counselors and answer the questions of the business owner on some financial issues. Business owners need such sound financial advice to help them steer the course of their business towards attaining the financial stance that they aim for.

With a bookkeeper or an accountant handling your financial affairs, you can put your mind at rest and enjoy the freedom that comes with outsourcing which means giving you time to actually enjoy doing your job.

 

Categories
Small Business tips

Time saving methods and steps for managing small businesses

TIME SAVING METHODS AND STEPS FOR MANAGING SMALL BUSINESSES

The default time allotted to every human on earth is twenty four hours. It is however a common phenomenon that this time is never enough. This is so true for small business owners. These entrepreneurs have a lot to do and to put into their businesses and as a result, they always feel like time picked the marathon shoes and has refused to wait for them.

In a world where it is now agreed that time equals money, it is essential for small business owners to know how to utilize the time they have and thus produce efficient results at the end of each day.

 TIME SAVING METHODS FOR MANAGING YOUR SMALL BUSINESS

Can time be saved?

Can you ever catch the racing time and cage it in a box?

Great men and women of the business world that we all read and talk about today are great because one of the skills they have is that of saving time. They have the same twenty four hours in a day that we all do but often they produce more efficient results. Why the marked difference? Yes, you guessed right. They are very efficient at saving their time.

We have distilled for you some of their methods.

Below are some of the time saving methods for your small business that we have put together to help you and your small business grow and produce more efficiently.

1.Engage The Use Of Online Accounting Software

Your business transactions can now be done faster with the evolution of the free online accounting software and business accounting software that are in vogue now. You don’t need to expend hours and days, racking your brain about transactions and cash flow when you can have a software program that runs the errands for you. Mybooks, for instance, which is a QuickBooks alternative, helps you take care of your accounting so that you can focus the rest of your time on other aspects of your business.

 2.Plan Your Time

A building without planning will never be successfully built because planning is the essence of life. You can plan your day in a way that every necessary thing would be achieved in that day and the unnecessary things would be avoided. You need to have a schedule or a to-do list that shows you the activities you have for each day. As your business grows, you can employ a personal assistant to remind you of activities on your schedule. Your business might involve some time consuming processes and if you use most of your time to do unproductive activities unintentionally, your productivity will of course suffer. This is another reason you should plan. Organize your activities in such a way that you remove the unproductive tasks and save them for last.

3.Employ More Hands

Sometimes, extra hands really help lift some luggage off our shoulders. As a small business owner, there are various aspects of your business that need your attention. You are your own accountant, sales person, auditor, brand ambassador, product designer and so on. The truth is that you cannot do everything alone if you want to be efficient.

Service providers exist all around to help you out and at affordable prices. You do not need to be operating on a large scale before you employ extra hands. If you use social media assistants to organize your social media for example, you will discover that the time you spend on social media will be removed from your planning and this can allow you to move on to other things.

4.Use Time Saving Machinery

Apart from the online accounting software and other business accounting  software that can help handle the finances of your business, you may also need to employ the use of some equipment that are specially designed to save time and produce efficiently. For instance, if you are a baker, a cake mixer would be faster than the regular manual mixing. It will also help to enhance your speed and accuracy.

Such time saving machineries are assets that will benefit your business for a long time and something you should invest in. Maximize these methods and enjoy saving your time.