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Reducing losses and risks are goals that you as an owner or manager must set in assuring the safety and well being of all in the business. Small business owners and managers place a high value on the well-being of your employees. Family members and personal acquaintances may be part of the business and even hired employees will become almost like family as time goes by.

 

Nobody wants accidents to happen in the workplace. A serious fire, a permanent injury, or the death of an employee or owner can cause the loss of profit or even an entire business. To prevent such losses, you don’t have to turn your business upside down. You may not have to spend a lot of money, either. You do need to use good business sense and apply safety prevention policies. There are reasons why accidents happen. An accident always has a cause and a reason why. Once you know why an accident happened, it is possible to prevent future incidents.

 

There are four basic elements to all good safety and health programs. These are as follows:

 

1) The manager needs to lead the way, by setting policy, assigning and supporting responsibility, setting an example and involving employees.

2) The workplace needs to be continually analyzed to identify all existing and potential hazards.

3) Methods to prevent or control existing or potential hazards are put in place, maintained, and updated.

4) Managers, supervisors and employees need to be trained to understand and deal with worksite hazards.

 

Regardless of the size of the business, the plan should use each of these points to prevent workplace accidents and possible injuries and illnesses. Developing a workplace program following these four points is a key step in protecting you and your workers’ safety and health. If you already have a program, reviewing it in relation to these points should help you improve what you have.

 

Following this four-point approach to safety and health in your business may also improve efficiency. It may help you reduce insurance claims and other costs. The plan will certainly give you a way to express and document your good faith and commitment to protecting your workers’ health and safety.

 

This approach usually does not involve large costs. Developing a health and safety protection plan does not have to be expensive and generally does not require additional employees, especially in smaller businesses. Safety and health can be integrated into your other business functions with modest effort on your part and will become part of the daily routine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Benefits of Outsourcing In Small Businesses

 

Before we can begin discussing the benefits of outsourcing especially in small businesses we must fully understand what outsourcing is and what outsourcing is not (as many people often confuse it with off-shoring, a similar but different thing).

 

So what is outsourcing? A fairly recent addition to business terminology, outsourcing in a business is the delegation of certain non-core operations to other separate entities that specialize in those operations. Put very simply, outsourcing means giving away certain tasks which though imperative to the actual business, can be better managed by another industry which specializes in that task.

 

Outsourcing entails transferring management control and decision making power to the other industry as well. This means that there is a lot more interaction, and information exchange, coordination and trust between the outsourcer and its client, making it different from the established buyer-seller relationship.

 

Now that we have established what outsourcing is, let’s focus on what it is not. Outsourcing is commonly confused to off shoring, which is the relocation of an entire or part of a functional unit of the business to another nation, whether it remain in that business’s control or not. Outsourcing is usually limited domestically. In many cases, such as telemarketing, the company wishes to employ the service of overseas call centers. Thus when outsourcing crosses national borders it is called offshore outsourcing.

 

So why should companies outsource? There are plenty of benefits of outsourcing, especially for small businesses. The main reason for outsourcing is the cut in costs, as they don't have to provide benefits to their workers, and have fewer overhead expenses to worry about. Many businesses prefer offshore outsourcing, as it allows them to utilize the low labor costs of countries such as India and Malaysia.

 

Outsourcing also allows smaller businesses to focus on core competencies, and relieve themselves of the peripheral ones. Thus they can concentrate on providing better quality products and service. Even if the quality does not improve, the cut in cost allows for greater productivity. This increases the overall economy in total. Not just that, the business can produce good quality products without having to employ a large amount of people. Thus lowering their overall labor charges and employee benefit.

 

The best facet of outsourcing though is the ability to employ professionals to get the work done. In areas such as advertising and telemarketing, it is usually more cost effective, and productive to hand over the task to a separate company and pay them accordingly. Thus instead of handling their own affairs in a substandard manner, they can employ professionals to carry out the process efficiently and effectively. And once the outsourcing company is assured that its client is managing perfectly, it can focus on creating better products and services.

 

For small businesses, outsourcing allows them to work with the minimum of labor and equipment expenditure. For example, a small firm outside city limits can outsource its transport, thus making it unnecessary for it to acquire buses, cutting the cost of fuel and saving its resources. Another prime example is telemarketing and advertising.

 

Many companies prefer to outsource this facet of marketing to professional call centers and advertising agencies, thus eliminating the need to form an entire unit devoted to this task. Not only that, but because the outsourcing client has a fully established infrastructure devoted especially to the service provided, there is no necessity for a small business to invest in developing its own internal infrastructure to accommodate that service.

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of a Small Business Credit Card

 

Small business plays a vital role in today’s economy.  It is now easier than ever to establish a new business.  According to the US Small Business Administration, small businesses pay over 45% of the US private payroll. Small businesses also employ over half of all private sector employees and provide 60-80 percent of new jobs. With millions of small businesses in the US alone, virtually all financial institutions now offer small business loans to qualifiers for a percentage. So why apply for a small business credit card?

 

Keep Track of All Your Small Business Expenses

 

The first and most obvious reason for a small business credit card is to separate personal finances from business related purchases. With your small business credit card, you can make all your transactions by phone, internet or in person. Then get periodic statements detailing all of your business expenses.

 

Business credit cards are accepted virtually everywhere that you shop.  Covering business purchases with employee’s personal money can get very messy.  So instead of relying on cash, use a business credit card.  Most credit card issuers offer a credit limit for employee cards as well as different methods to monitor how the card is used. 

 

You no longer have to dread the year-end nightmare of trying to track where and when you spent your money. It’s like having all your book-keeping done automatically for you!  In a digital world, why should your business have to collect every last printed receipt?

 

Establish Your Small Business

 

A credit card with your business name on it gives your business credibility.  A business credit card looks a lot more professional than paying from your own wallet. It also gains the respect of financial institutions.  Just by owning a business credit card, your business can build credit.  So when you need that business loan, you will get the best interest rate and qualify for higher amounts.  As your credit builds you might also qualify for a lower interest business credit card. 

 

So even if your business doesn’t have a 6 figure budget, a business credit card could help your business grow.  You never know when your business might suddenly need extra money.  Office equipment might need immediate replacement.  Without a business credit card, financing could drastically interfere with your daily routine. 

 

Earn Rewards with a Business Credit Card

 

You can also save money and earn rewards.  Certain business credit cards give you cash back on all your purchases.  Other cards give you varying cash back percentages depending on where you shop…gas stations, grocery stores, office supply stores, etc.  A cash back business credit card is a great way to increase your profit margin.

 

Other cards give you airline travel rewards just for using your credit card.  For instance, if your company has frequent business plane trips, then small business credit cards that offer travel miles, hotel accommodations or travel insurance are most suitable. This type of credit card could give you travel discounts, free flights, free companion travel or upgraded flight seating. 

 

Not only does a small business credit card provide convenience and rewards, it also helps to build business credit for the future of your company as you watch it grow!  Research the business credit cards available and find the card that best suits your business needs. Finance your business for today and tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

The Number One Reason For Small Business Failure!

 

Nearly half of all small businesses fail within the first two years of operation. The number one reason for business failure is inadequate planning. The second reason is under-capitalization.

 

So before you mortgage your house, or go into debt financing your business, you need to know if your business is going to do more than survive -- you want to know if it's good enough to thrive! Here are three things successful businesses that have stayed in business for five years or longer have in common:

 

1. The idea. A successful business start-up always starts with an idea. Something that makes your business stand out from all the rest. So how do you know if you've got a good idea?

 

You've probably got a good idea if you can answer yes to any of the following questions: Does your idea provide the solution to a significant problem for your target market? Does it satisfy a need or want? Does it create an opportunity?

 

The most successful businesses either fix problems (either real or perceived), or they increase your customer's pleasure. They create a repeat need for a product or service among the target market.

 

2. The market. Your chances of survival are better if you can answer the following questions with a yes: Is there already a market for your product or service? (It's much easier to fill a need than trying to create an entirely new market.) Can your target market afford to buy your products or services? (If they can't afford it, it doesn't matter how great it is, you won't sell any!) Will your target market perceive your product or service as valuable? (If they want it, but don't think it's worth what you're selling it for, you won't make any sales.)

 

3. Your ability. Do you have the people, the resources and the knowledge to be able to consistently provide your products or services to your target market? Can you maintain a competitive advantage? Do you have enough manpower? Can you purchase the supplies and materials you need over the long run?

 

Your first step always is to create a solid business plan. Your business plan is more than an essay on "Why I deserve to get funding for my idea" however. Don't spend all the time creating a business plan and then toss it in the bottom drawer of your desk. Your business plan should be a living, breathing roadmap that helps you make sure you're on course and reaching the goals that you set for your business.

 

The second step to business survival is getting enough financing. Although the term "bootstrap entrepreneur" describes most small business owners, having enough capital to be able to keep your business afloat is vital to your survival.

 

If finding financing is a problem, either because you don't have enough credit or equity, or there are other problems, take the time to look into the resources that are available in your community. There are a wide variety of grants and loans (including microloans) for entrepreneurs, if you know where to look, such as Chamber of Commerce.

 

Find a mentor. Most entrepreneurs have great skills and abilities, but no one does everything well. You probably already know what your strengths and weaknesses are. (If not, there are many resources and tools that can help you figure it out!) Rather than ignoring your weaknesses, find a mentor who can help you either build your skills in your weaker areas, or offer advice for getting what you need.

 

 

 

 

 

The Value of Web Presence for Small Businesses

 

Undoubtedly, the internet can make the difference between a successful small business and one ignored by customers. Due to the global nature of the Internet surpassing physical frontiers between nations, and even making it unnecessary to use printed business cards when they can easily be hosted online.

 

Web presence can make small businesses more competitive from any angle, allowing you to understand new trends, as well as discover opportunities and problems without wasting time. A small business with Internet presence improves your opportunity to connect with a number of suppliers and customers that otherwise might not be possible in your local area.

 

Furthermore, traditional printed business cards including an Internet address, not only opens a new range of possibilities to succeed, but also is a way to increase your communications, showing an appealing professional appearance, no matter how big or small your business or company is actually. Magnetic business cards often create a long-lasting marketing image.

 

In fact, you will be surprised to see prospective clients seeking what they want through search engines. Others might check for URLs in business cards instead of browsing the printed yellow pages, because a web presence translates is synonym to having a shop or booth in every corner of the world, where every individual or small business can have the same presence as the big enterprises.

 

Of course, budget, skills, knowledge and other Internet resources determine the performance of every small business online. However, it will always be beneficial to develop your business web presence if you want to get customers from every location around the world or, as a practical alternative, you can create online business cards for you, your partners and employees.

 

On the Internet, you will find a number of websites offering both services, development of your web presence and creating your online business cards, ranging from low-mid prices to those unaffordable for people who are just starting a new business venture. However, you do not need a big budget to start.

 

There are a number of free Web hosting services that will gladly give you web space to develop your presence. If you have no idea how to create a website, they usually have facilities called online tools or web site builders, allowing you to create a nice looking page with just a small amount of information regarding your small business, products and services.

 

If you do not feel comfortable with those tools, there are other options for you. If you want to create only a business card that looks like real printed business cards, you can always get free or cheap web templates, coming in a variety of designs and only requiring your information to be uploaded, which will create your web presence instantly.

 

 

 

 

 

Unsecured Start Up Loans For Small Business

 

First-time small business owners usually are chary of unsecured start up loans. This is because the time frame for making a profit is not definite whether or not there is a properly thought out and lucrative business plan in place for the future business.

 

When profits or revenues do not materialize per plans, as in most cases, there is danger of default on loan repayment. When this happens credit rating of the person involved gets degraded as unsecured loans are granted on the basis of credit and borrowing history of the business owner.

 

And if there is bad credit history behind, he/she can very well forget that small business loan. Let’s discuss some more aspects of unsecured small business start up loans.

 

Some Facts

 

If the credit history of ‘to be’ small business owner is good, unsecured start-up business loans are easier to avail as compared to other business loans. But it is better to go for secured loans against property or equipment affiliated with the business.

 

Secured loan not only keeps personal credit rating intact but poses lesser risks for the business owners, because they can use the hypothecated equipment to generate a profit for the business. As a result the loan can be paid back on time. Not just that, secured loans are for longer tenure and come with lesser interest rate burden, thereby lowering the cost of loan.

 

But if you have decided to apply for unsecured small business start-up loans, you should be careful about the requested amount. Remember, the more you owe on the loan (including interest), the more will be the money which you have to repay.

 

If you are not exactly sure how well the business will do in the first year and want to keep your credit rating good, it is best to request a small amount for your unsecured start-up business loan. This will make sure that repayment installments are small and if you are punctual in repaying, you can always ask for more, which will be gladly given.

 

Before you apply for an unsecured business start-up loan, there are several things that you should keep in mind.

 

First of all, you will need to convince the lender that it is a good decision to issue the loan to you. Since unsecured loans are based on your credit and repayment history, you will have to convince lenders that you can handle your personal finances in an organized fashion. Good credit record will put lenders at ease since they will be able to see your repayment history on your credit report.

 

Since lenders will be looking at your credit report, you should maintain a positive report as far as possible. If you know that you owe certain lenders, you should try to settle these debts or set up a payment plan with your creditors. This will be visible on your report.

 

Before you make any final decisions about unsecured start-up loans for business, be sure to speak to an accountant or a representative from your local bank. This will make sure that you are applying for the right loans which would help your business to develop quickly and steadily. You must not take a decision unless you are convinced.

 

 

 

 

Ways Your Small Business Can Benefit From a Virtual Assistant

 

Hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) can be one of the smartest business moves you will ever make.  A good VA will be able to assist you in handling your administrative workload, allowing you more time to focus on growing your business and generating revenue.  Here are just ten of many ways that a Virtual Assistant can provide much-needed support to your small business:

 

1. General Administrative Support

If you ever wished you had an administrative assistant on call, a Virtual Assistant may be the perfect solution for you!  VAs can provide general administrative services such as word processing, data entry, spreadsheet and database maintenance, desktop publishing- the list goes on and on.  In fact, if you could give it to an administrative assistant, you can give it to a Virtual Assistant!   

 

2. Invoicing

A Virtual Assistant can facilitate your invoicing, ensuring that your clients receive timely, accurate invoices.  By partnering with a VA to prepare your invoices, you can gain a tremendous amount of time each month to focus on other aspects of your business that require your specialized attention.

 

3. Email and Voicemail Management

If you get large numbers of emails or voicemails, a Virtual Assistant can manage your inboxes.  They can sort through the spam and reply to messages that don’t require your attention, leaving you with fewer messages to wade through everyday.  A VA can also provide you with a consolidated report of voicemail messages, allowing you to return a number of important phone calls from a single report.

 

4. Online Marketing Management

A Virtual Assistant can assist you with your online marketing plan.  They can manage your pay-per-click campaigns, post  articles, submit your website to search engines, add your website to online directories, create banner ads, prepare and send email newsletters, etc.  Since VAs make their livings online, many of them keep abreast of the latest trends in online marketing.

 

5. Customer Response

Use a Virtual Assistant’s services to keep existing and potential customers happy and returning.  A VA can effectively and efficiently handle customer questions and complaints in an appropriate manner.  By providing your customers with a timely, helpful response, a VA can help you build a stronger relationship with your customers.

 

6. Event Planning

Nothing is better than a well-planned event.  Enlisting the help of a Virtual Assistant in coordinating your seminars and company functions can take a tremendous amount of burden off your shoulders, allowing for stress-free coordination of your events.  They can make arrangements for the location, speakers, catering, photography, etc- and notify the attendees, too.

 

7. Internet Research

A Virtual Assistant can efficiently perform internet research, consolidating the information you seek and saving you both time and money.  A VA can use their extensive research skills to your benefit, providing you with incredible value by investigating requested topics and providing the results in the desired format. 

 

8. Calendar Management

Managing a busy schedule effectively doesn’t happen by chance.  Team with a Virtual Assistant to help you stay atop of important dates, appointments, contacts and events.  They can help you stay organized and prepared each day, with minimal effort on your part, reminding you of obligations and events ahead of time.

 

9. Project Management

Large and small projects alike can be managed by a Virtual Assistant.  A VA can keep your project on track by organizing and coordinating resources, objectives, deliverables, etc. They can relieve the everyday stress of project management while ensuring that deadlines are met and progress continues.

 

 

 

 

 

Web Advertising for the Small Business

 

If you run a small business, advertising costs must be figured in as part of your overall expenses. If you have received quotes for phone directory ads, business association block ads, and mostly any other print media, these costs are quite high. So, what if your budget is small, perhaps negligible? Will you be left outside of the advertising arena or are there other avenues to help you get the word out? The answer in one word is: yes. Let’s explore ways you can “get the word out” through online means…yes, via the internet!

 

The rise of the internet has spawned an entire industry with it. You may remember in the late 1990s stories of dot.com companies who made a fortune and then went bust. The “irrational exuberance” of that era has, thankfully, passed by and in its place is a much more rational, but very lively market.

 

Today’s biggest players online are search engine providers led by Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Between them, these three search engines dominate the market. Mostly everyone today searches the internet for products sold by small businesses to large corporations and these are the people you want to target. Indeed, while Christmas season sales typically increase around 4% year over year for “brick and mortar” retailers, the internet has been seeing year over year increases of 30% and higher! No small business operator should exclude the internet when crafting a marketing plan.

 

By selecting the advertising plan that works for you, you can have your ads appear on web sites in your local area or across the world and be charged a small amount per click. In other words, you don’t pay for advertising unless someone clicks on your ad and goes through to your site. To keep clicks from getting out of control you determine the price per click and the amount per day, week, or month you are willing to pay. No busting of your small business budget!

 

Banner or text ads on select sites can also be helpful for your small business. If there is a web site you like and you suspect that a lot of your customers would frequent that site, contact the webmaster to learn what his advertising charges would be. Perhaps in exchange for submitting a few helpful articles, the webmaster would waive your advertising fee altogether. Or, at the very least, accept any other help you could provide [moderating a forum, answering questions, etc.].

 

Another way of getting the word out is through your own web site. No, you don’t need a web professional to establish your site, but it does help to have someone who can guide you through the set up process. At the very least a few pages is what you will need, so set up costs shouldn’t be terribly expensive. In addition, figure on paying monthly hosting and domain name fees but these expenses should be no more than $100-$125 per year. Pay a little extra for a web professional who can help you optimize your site [make it search engine friendly] and you’ll get your money back much quicker. Finally, check with your accountant for small business tax deductions.

 

Select the marketing plan that works best for your small business. A mixture of all four points is a great plan of attack for many small business owners…just like you!

 

 

 

 

You Can Have A Successful Small Business

 

Owning and maintaining a very successful small business can have its challenges but if you know what you are doing, everything can really work out great for you. There are many helpful tips that you should learn, if you are the owner of a small business and then by learning about these tips you should have the ability to have a very secure and profitable future.

 

Knowing how to operate a small business properly will give you and your employees much relief in knowing that their positions are stable and secured. Your employees will be much happier, as will you, if you do all of the right things and play your cards right. In this article I am hoping to teach you a little bit more about managing a small business so that you will be a success. Having a small business definitely has its own advantages and some of those will be included throughout this article.

 

It is very important for you to learn more about what it takes to run a small business successfully so that if you or someone you know becomes interested in opening your own small business, you will be much more knowledgeable about all aspects of it. Another great thing about owning your own small business is that usually this means you will for sure have many more awesome customers that will tell others about it and continue coming back themselves. You will have a reputation for owning and managing a very reputable, friendly and affordable, yet small business.

 

A small business would typically go over very well because there will be enough customers to continue keeping you with plenty of customers and when people are on vacation in your area, they too have probably already heard about your small business and many of them will choose to come into your small business and will be quite pleased by the friendly employees and the great prices. Check out the other small businesses in your area to see what it is they are doing to draw in more new customers, do not copy them but definitely kind of take a few little suggestions and ideas from watching others with more experience.

 

Advertising is something that most businesses do, which you as a small business owner will as well at some point in time, however, even without the professional advertising, your small business will still be successful due to all of your loyal customers that absolutely adore coming into your wonderful store. All it takes to have a very successful small business is friendliness, determination, customers that count on you and a good knowledge about business management will always make for a better chance at success.

 

A small business could typically go over very successfully, as long as you first do some homework over managing your own business, as well as talking with other small business owners because the more experienced people could really provide you with a great deal of helpful information and some tips that can almost guarantee your small businesses success and longevity.

 

 

 

 

You May Have A Successful Small Business Idea

 

You surely know that a small idea can lead to a great business success. The first movement is to think of an idea that would be suitable for the business market. After coming up with the idea, the next step is to put that idea into action. Of course, this is a very difficult step and having the idea is only the start of the journey. After that you will have to face many obstacles before being able to carry on with your business project. This is just the beginning of this process and there is a lot of questions you will have to answer before even start.

 

Some of the main aspects you have to concentrate on when you have business ideas are the abilities and gifts you can pour into the business. It is very important for you to be identified with your business project. Those ideas should be based on activities and actions you take pleasure in doing. For example, if we suppose that you dislike working in the open, landscaping business would not suit you.

 

On the other hand, if you like working with children, setting up baby-sitting or tutoring business would be an excellent idea. In this case, without any doubt you business will be more successful because you will have put your mind, effort and also your heart on it.

 

Another vital step is to analyze the needs of a specific product or service in your region before setting up your business. Do people of your area need your product? Are there other business like the one you are planning to start? You should ask yourself whether or not you are the only one offering that service or product. If you are not, you will have to analyze the competence you will have to face. You have to think whether the service you are offering is one that customer would repeat, or if it is a one-time specialized service. Obviously, the former are more likely to succeed than the latter.

 

There are other aspects you have to take into account. These aspects are described below:

 

- One of them is that if the idea is unique, you will reign the market. But if there is much competition, it will be difficult to enter into the market.

 

- A second point would be if you can offer quality from the very beginning, otherwise, you won't succeed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

- Finally, you have to think about your capital to start your own business. There are many business ideas that require little investment and bring great profit. Some demand research, such as daycare service, and others need a large amount of money to begin the business. So take this recommendation into account before investing all your money in a small business idea.

 

 

 

 

To your Success

Aldrin Leonel

 

 

 

 http://aldrinesquivel.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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