Problems With Profit? Address These Issues!

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When it comes to business, the aim of the game is always to turn a profit. You might have escaped the rat race and set up your own venture for reasons other than money, but unless you’re making more than you spend then it simply won’t be a success. For this reason, when profits start to plummet and making money slows down then it can be incredibly stressful for you as the owner. In some cases, it’s a relatively simple fix to get things moving again, other times it can be more sinister and be a clue that your company is on a downward spiral. Here are a few things to consider if you’re noticing your earnings aren’t as good as they were. 

Unreliable equipment

Most businesses will have equipment that they need to make their company run, it could be anything from industrial printers to ovens to forklift trucks depending on the nature of your business. When these pieces of kit break down, it can mean time and money lost in your company; while occasional breakdowns will happen no matter what you do, if they’re happening all the time then something needs to be done. It can be a struggle for smaller or newer companies, when you don’t have the cash up front to buy new and the most modern equipment then you might feel your only choice is to go second hand. But there are ways around this, for example you could hire equipment from a third party company. While there will be costs each week, month or year, if anything goes wrong and it breaks down then it will be fixed with no expense to you. Providing of course that you weren’t responsible for the breakdown. This gives you peace of mind, and later down the line when you’ve earned more money you can look into investing in high quality equipment yourself. Once you do, make sure your equipment is insured so that if anything goes wrong, a replacement or repair can be organized quickly. Having some form of backup equipment or making sure you’re ahead with work means if you are stuck without an item you need, you’re not losing money or letting down clients or customers with orders.  

Theft

Theft costs companies serious amounts of money. Maybe you’re a shop and thieves are putting smaller items into their pocket, or it perhaps an organized have managed to steal large amounts of stock, money or data. Always ensure that your premises are firmly locked up with proper security measures to try and avoid this, such as lockable shutters and a sturdy safe. Don’t keep excessive amounts of money overnight, even if you feel it’s safely locked away- you’re much better off arranging regular cash collections. 

Unsuitable marketing

When it comes to marketing, you really do  need to spend money to make money. It’s not enough to have a good business selling things that people want, with so much competition out there you need to get the word out there to the right customers. Marketing can be expensive but its something within your control, you can work with a marketing agency who will put you on the right path to success and have the skills and experience to make that happen. It can be annoying as a small new company to have to spend huge amounts of your budget on promoting, but without it you simply won’t succeed. The last thing you want is to have to dissolve your company due to silly mistakes made on your part. If you’re noticing a decline in sales, it might be a case that you need a new strategy or some new marketing materials.

Legal issues

As a business, there are all kinds of legal obligations that you’re responsible for- and if you neglect any of these things there can be serious repercussions. Perhaps an employee or customer slips and falls on a wet floor where no sign was put down. Maybe a customer has an allergic reaction where ingredients weren’t properly listed, or you employ someone without running strict enough background checks and they’re not entitled to work in the country you’re in. In many cases, these can be very easy mistakes to make but put your whole company in serious jeopardy.  For this reason, it’s important to make sure that you have the right insurances. If legal proceedings are ever taken against your business, you won’t end up out of pocket- it covers your back if the worst were to happen. Legal issues can be incredibly expensive, if you’re not insured there’s a huge chance it will end in bankruptcy. 

Poor customer service

Customers expect a good standard of service when they shop with a business, you’ll know this as a customer yourself. If you received a rude or cold response from a company, would you return or would you shop elsewhere? Business is highly competitive, so whatever it is that you do or sell, there will be plenty of others out there doing something similar. Train staff so they’re dealing with matters of customer service correctly, and make sure everything is handled in a polite and timely manner. Many businesses rely on repeat custom to make a profit, so don’t overlook the fact that poor customer service will result in lower profits.

5 Admin Mistakes That Cost Your Business Time

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Business administration is an essential function at the core of a company. It’s a complex process that includes the organization or resources – equipment, people, money, and premises – and the management of all business operations and decisions towards common goals – which have been defined in your strategy. For a lot of new entrepreneurs, business admin can either refer to the bureaucratic side of sides or the operational performance of all tasks. But what most newcomers to the business world fail to understand is that the administration of a business is the combination of bureaucracy and operations. To put it simply, your admin is what keeps your business running, both in the eyes of the law but also for your team. For a newly formed company, getting things right can take a lot of time; however, if you have sufficient budget and resources, you can afford the learning curve delay. For a solo entrepreneur, however, time is at the essence, and failing to understand your administrative responsibilities could affect your growth dramatically.

You don’t know how to choose your tools

Every business needs equipment, whether your team works with heavy machinery or with digital tools. More often than not, industry sectors that rely on engineering machines and large equipment have detailed guidelines to support new entrepreneurs in their investment choices. However, office-based companies don’t receive such support and often end up in a tricky position to figure out which of the many software tools available are the best suited to their activities and processes. Working with the right tools can save you tremendous amounts of time and money. However, it can be difficult to spot inadequate tools without running comparative performance tests – which is something you can do if you ask to run a handful of tools on a simultaneous trial. 

You don’t know how to manage team duties

Finding the best applicant for the team is a long and involving process. Team recruitment and management are vital factors in your growth. However, if you don’t have any automated HR and payroll solution in place, you’re likely to struggle to keep track of your team duties. Small businesses that grow to hire their first employees tend to misinterpret the importance of HR software tools, as it’s a solution that isn’t suitable for a one-person business. Unfortunately, you can’t rely on manual processes at the end of the month to manage wages, sick days, and holidays. Indeed, it is a time-consuming operation where the smallest mistake can have dramatic consequences.

You don’t know who supports your business

Investors only support big companies, right? Wrong! Small businesses, solo entrepreneurs, and startups can develop a practical approach to fundraising. It is a mistake to assume that you need to get big to get the capital you need. Indeed, there are countless online fundraising platforms from Kickstarter to AngelList can that introduce startups to a peer-to-peer community. After all, nobody said that finding an investor is all about relying on one funder! Crowdfunding strategies let your target a broad audience. Additionally pitching events also welcome new businesses. Investors are keen to discover the successful company of tomorrow; in short, don’t be afraid to pitch your idea even if you’re small! 

You don’t know how to pick an office

Too many new entrepreneurs hit a brick wall when they try to find the best office space for their company. Busy city locations are often too expensive for SMEs and startups. On the other hand, while semi-rural premises are a bargain, they can be difficult to access for employees who don’t have a personal vehicle. But, it’s time to embrace the 21-st century business environment by asking yourself one crucial question: Do you need an office space? Indeed virtual offices are not only a popular and cost-effective solution, but they also allow businesses to choose the best talent for their team, regardless of location. 

You don’t know about business structure

Most entrepreneurs spend a lot of time defining their business idea and market strategy. But when it comes to figuring out what is the best legal structure for their business, new entrepreneurs are not aware of the different options. However, your legal structure can affect your management style, your tax duties, your financial choices, and your market positioning. If you are unsure which of the 3 legal business forms – sole proprietorship, general partnership, and corporation – is the most suitable for your project, you should seek professional advice. Making the wrong decision can be devastating. 

There are a lot of administrative questions aspiring business owners need to answer. Unfortunately, more often than not, enthusiastic entrepreneurs can get confused about their admin processes and waste a lot of time and money with ill-fitting solutions. There is no way around it: If you’re going to launch a business, you need to surround yourself with professional advisors.

Blunders To Avoid When Buying Business Equipment

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Buying equipment for your business? Here are a few common mistakes to avoid when acquiring new business equipment.

Skimping on quality

Everybody loves a bargain, but you should be careful of putting cost before quality. Equipment that is poor quality could reflect badly on your brand if it’s seen or used by customers. Meanwhile, poor quality tools could provide less accurate results. Such equipment could also negatively affect the morale of your employees if it makes their job harder due to less accuracy or less comfort (for instance, cheap office chairs may not be very ergonomic and may make your employees uncomfortable). On top of this, you could even end up paying more in the long run in maintenance as such equipment is more likely to break.

Splurging on gimmicks

On the other end of the spectrum, you should also avoid spending unnecessary amounts of money on equipment beyond your needs. Such equipment could be unnecessarily complex and could actually make life harder for yourself. For instance, if you’re looking to buy a drone for your photography business, consider whether you really need an all-weather drone – not only could it be more expensive, but it may have more complex controls.

Not considering rented equipment

It could be more financially sensible to rent certain equipment rather than buying it. This could include single-use machinery such as an air conditioner for a short-term construction project – you may be better off looking into portable air conditioner rental rather than buying an air conditioner. Renting machinery could also be more financially sensible for very expensive equipment if you can’t afford the upfront cost of purchasing it and don’t want to take out a loan.  

Overlooking energy efficiency

You should also be careful of overlooking energy efficiency when buying machinery. If equipment isn’t energy-efficient, it could cost a lot to run in energy bills. Energy-efficiency can also be important for the reputation of your business. In most cases, newer equipment is greener than older equipment. For instance, newer computers tend to be more energy-efficient than older models.

Failing to include your team in decision making

If you’ve got employees, you should make sure to include them in decision making when choosing which equipment to buy – especially if they’re going to be using the equipment. They may even be able to help to research new equipment. By acknowledging your employees’ preferences, you’ll make them feel more appreciated and you can avoid choosing the wrong equipment.