Posts Tagged ‘small business’

Scheduled billing for clients

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

For small to medium sized companies the procedures behind the way they conduct business is more intimate due to the fact that they are dealing with smaller clients. The first thought that should come to mind is to reduce the sticker shock they receive if you send them monthly invoices. You should help manage their expectations and avoid invoicing a client immediately.  What happens to the client in this situation is that they could become frightened and uncomfortable due to the fact that an entire project can be mounted on top of them all at once.  Under certain circumstances the vendor can find themselves in heated discussions where they must justify the work they’ve provided in order to rationalize the costs associated with the project.

The best technique to practice in order to avoid any problems when dealing with clients would be to have a set schedule/plan that would allow for sufficient time between invoices. A client is more likely to look at the costs rather than what services a company has provided for them at first glance. A company must develop a rhythm for invoicing that would allow the clients enough clients to take in the full picture of the services provided and the costs that follow them.

Depending on the size of your invoices and the ability for your clients to handle them within their budget, you’ll want to find the perfect “sweet spot” for choosing your frequency.  In most cases this will fall between two and four weeks but just determine what feels right for you and tweak it until you find the right balance.

Cloud Computing

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

With recent advancements in technology small business have been able to increase efficiency and reach a much broader audience. Most small business owners have put forth an investment into keeping their company technologically competent. Servers are becoming more commonly purchased by smaller companies due to the sheer benefits and control they provide. Now a single server can be running multiple virtual servers on itself in order to carry out more functions. Servers also offer more control and convenience over the company. Small companies can have full control of their data, the ability to access that data from anywhere, and overall improve the flow of their business practices throughout their infrastructure. A server can also allow the company to work remotely, all workers can log into their own computer it also limits the possibilities of errors. Workers can carry out their tasks and receive help from other workers since they are logging into the same server. Security is another added benefit for a company to purchase their own server, having multiple people’s computers on the server will ensure that none of their data becomes compromised. Maintaining your own server also allows changes to be made at your own pace so that the data is available and alterations can be made directly without the use of a middleman.

Client Infighting

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

For a small and expanding company it’s important to establish the consistency of its clientele base. When venturing out into the business world it is commonly found that you will work with other small business owners such as married couples or prior friends. These types of clients have certain weaknesses such as getting divorced or questioning who amongst them has the most authority over the others. As a business you must be able to stay neutral when entering awkward positions and treat the parties involved equally. One of the most crucial components of professionalism is to remember to never play favorites when playing a role as a vendor of services. Other factors that may come up with ex-partners or couples who have been divorced are the complications in the way you do business by dividing the services amongst the pieces of the company. It is in these circumstances that you must not choice one over another and know the key people that you must deal with in order to keep the client’s business. For small business remaining in a professional state may lead to potential clients down the road if the company has split or changed. Decisions between the vendor and client must always be well thought out as well as brought to the attention of everyone who is involved. By keeping neutral and staying within the legal boundaries when dealing with touchy situations will help to avoid any snags or disagreements you might be stuck between.

By the Hour

Monday, May 10th, 2010

iStock_000001908687XSmallWe currently live in a day and age where we are demanded to carry out procedures in an almost instantaneous manner. However we can contrast the differences between the local gas station attendee and business tycoon with his own office. You can venture into any local establishment such as a bank or store and look around to see the effects of billing people by the hour. Our society is built upon the foundations of the working class which is motivated under the ideals of paying for only the specific amount of time and services to ensure a faster turn around time. It is this system of functionalism for both the employer and employee to use this technique that is based on simply supply and demand. The company will merely pay the worker for the number of hours accomplished and the worker will become more motivated to completing these given tasks in a more timely manner. People paid on salaries are usually less motivated due to the fact that they are getting income no matter what the circumstances may be. Workers who function on a salary are usually more prone to letting projects pile up with the idea that they will be able to put everything off until a later date. It is now a more common system that is seen throughout the industries that people are slowly being weaned off salaries and pushed into a mercenary style of work.

Is A Virtual Office Right For You?

Friday, July 24th, 2009

virtual officeThere have always been professionals who earned their living by working from a home office, but these were usually writers or other entrepreneurs. Recently however, more and more people are choosing a virtual office as their main place of work, even running large companies and multi-million dollar businesses without the benefit of an actual office site other than their computer in their own home. Is this the best choice for your business?

Of course, each business owner is unique, and only you can decide if working outside the confines of a physical office will work for you. The benefits of reduced overhead cost, no maintenance, and the ability to easily work at whatever time of day you choose make a virtual office seem desirable. This assumes that you are a self-motivated individual who works well on your own without others to drive you to get your work done! If so, you may enjoy a virtual office and the freedom that it gives. You may also prefer to hire employees who work from home, as you are then able to seek workers from nearly any part of the country and thus increase your available pool of talent.

Working at a distance from your employees can pose challenges with insurance benefits, schedules and deadlines, so you must stay on top of things if you hire employees at a distance. But if all goes well, you might be glad you chose a virtual office for yourself, your company, and those in your employ.

Profit From The Economic Downturn

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

profit economyThe economic downturn seems to continually turn downward with no up in sight. The U.S. seems to reside in a recessional hole the size of the Grand Canyon and there seems to be no help in sight. Despite gloomy forecasts and dismal returns, small business owners can find success in these trying times.

Advertising is essential the growth and profitability of any business. Costly advertising is no doubt out of the question for small business owners but there are many inexpensive ways to create interest and reach new customers. The internet is a fantastic tool that allows small businesses to utilize free or low cost methods to advertise. With rough economic times, business owners need to lower costs and strengthen creativity to become profitable. Promotional ideas, both on and off the internet, could be useful in enticing new and former customers toward a small business.

Also, with a large number of competitors, customer service could prove the reason many chose one business over another. Thus, greater focus and impeccable customer service could be the difference between bankruptcy and profits. The recession has forced many large companies to cut labor and reinvent their way of doing business, but a small business can adapt more quickly and find smaller, more specialized markets. They can become profitable.

The Internet Can Be A Small Business’ Best Friend

Friday, July 10th, 2009

internet small businessIn today’s economy, many are weathering difficult times. Some may have just started a small business while others are looking to entrepreneurism as a means to overcome layoffs and other unforeseen pot holes on the road of this economy. To all who have started a small business, the internet can be an invaluable tool in helping their small business.

With the invention of so many internet tools used to broadcast individuals and better social networking, social media has drastically expanded. Using the internet, small business owners can get their name out there easier. The internet also provides in many cases an easier way to buy and sell product. Building a website based on a small business’ needs and goals can help jump-start or expand the business. Successful websites will create more loyal customers and provide easy access to anyone searching the brand or business.

Popular search engines can direct people to a small business’ website when key words match. In that way, a small business can reach a targeted demographic (or possibly reach a new demographic) and effectively broadcast their brand. With the internet and small business, possibilities are nearly endless and small businesses that use the internet successfully will no doubt find greater success.