Hidden Costs of Running a Small Business

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When running a small business, there is a lot that needs to be taken into account. Of course, one of the most important aspects is the financial side of things. If you don’t manage your finances well, this could quite easily spell the end of your company. Unfortunately, this happens more often than you’d think, and one of the reasons for this is because business owners underestimate the costs they face. So, with that being said, let’s take a look at some of the hidden costs associated with running a small company.

  1. Credit card fees – It is wise to give your customers the option of paying by credit card. After all, the more payment options that are available to a customer, the more likely they are going to be to place an order with you. Nevertheless, you do need to account for the fact that there are going to be fees in place if someone does make a credit card payment. In most cases, this will be around three percent of total charges.
  2. Cleaning and janitorial services – A lot of business owners forget about the fact that they are going to have to upkeep their business premises. After all, no one wants to be working in a mountain of dust. Plus, the way your company looks says a lot about your brand image. This is why you need to factor in janitorial services when working out your budget. Shop around for the best price and see if you can secure a good discount by paying a company on a yearly basis and taking on a long-term contract.
  3. Time – You know what they say, time is money, and that is most certainly the case. Time is one of your business’ most valuable resources, so you need to make sure you are using it effectively. If you are spending too much energy and time on tasks that could be delegated to another employee, then you could be costing your business money.
  4. Payment delays – Payment delays can significantly hurt your bottom line. It is as simple as that. When someone does not pay your business on time, it slows down your business, meaning you are unable to take on new orders or work as efficiently. The problem becomes even worse when you were waiting on the said payment in order to cover costs. After all, this can lead to interest charges, as well as fees for using your overdraft or bounced payments.
  5. Insurance – This is another cost that a lot of business owners simply forget to include in their financial plan. Your business is going to need public liability and employer liability at a very minimum. You then may also need insurance for injuries and illnesses, property, and negligence. Don’t make the mistake of simply going for the cheapest policy you can find. You need to have the right level of protection. After all, you are going to cost your business much, much more money in the end if you choose an insurance plan that does not cover you effectively.  

Ways To Enrich Your Career

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We all want to do well in life: whether that be in the traditional sense of getting married, buying a house and having children, or getting ahead in our careers. For many, a career is much more than just a way to make some extra income for their family; it’s a way of life. People choose jobs that they love, because they love to be doing a job and adding some value to society. We all want to be able to work at a place we care about doing something we love, and make the world that bit better in the process.

But how do you go about enriching your career? You might feel like you’ve hit the dreaded wall and cannot progress past the point you are at right now, but that isn’t the case at all. There are plenty of ways that you can make the most out of your job and make it work for you. Here are a few ways to improve and enrich your career this week.

Prioritize Your Tasks

The first step in improving the way you work is to learn how to manage your time in the most efficient way. If you have 10 tasks that need doing each day, make sure that you write them down in order of priority so that you do the most important things in the morning when you are fresh minded and have more time. It will mean that you won’t waste a huge chunk of your workday doing menial tasks which really aren’t that important.

Talk To Your Boss

Find out what your boss would prefer you to spend your time doing each day in order to make the most out of your working hours. It may also be useful to discuss different ways of completing certain tasks and exploring whether you could half the time it takes you to complete something specific.

If you feel like you aren’t progressing, talk to your manager and share your concerns. The likely outcome will be that your boss will offer you some sort of training or extra duties to broaden your knowledge and experience. This could open up doors for you in the future too and mean that you are able to climb up the career ladder or explore new avenues later down the line.

Find Ways To Automate Tasks

If you find that you spend half of your day just importing data into a spreadsheet to make a report, you might want to look into ways that this task can be completed automatically by using a piece of software, saving you from spending hours doing one thing, and freeing up time for other ventures.

There are often some great software applications that can handle things such as reporting, data input and even accounting to free up your time to focus on much more important tasks. By finding ways to automate tasks for the whole company, it will mean that you along with your team will be able to branch out into new areas and carry out more of the work that you love.

Enrich Yourself

Enriching your career isn’t just about what you do in the working day- it is also about going the extra mile with the rest of your life. To really push yourself in your life you can start a side project at home or even go on a course to widen your knowledge within your industry. It will not only be a great experience for you, but it will also open a lot of doors in your career path.

Alternatively, if you want to really challenge yourself and go above and beyond, you can take a few months out of work to travel. Travel not only broadens the mind and the soul, but it can also give you chance to see what it is that you really want in life. You could go and volunteer with endangered animals for a while and do some conservation work, or you could even go to a third world country and help give aid to poverty stricken people. There are always people in foreign countries who wish to learn English, so why not use your knowledge of your mother tongue and teach English to a group of children or foreign nationals? It will not only give you a lovely experience living and working in another culture, but you will bring back with you public speaking skills which are invaluable in any career path you want to explore.

How To Put The Boring Stuff on Auto-Pilot

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Life is short.  You don’t want to be bogged down by having to spend all your time paying bills, cleaning your house, managing your finances, and grocery shopping.  In this article you’ll discover five simple strategies to put the boring stuff on auto-pilot.

GROCERY SHOPPING

Grocery shopping is surprisingly time-intensive when you consider the time it takes to drive to the store, make your selections, pay at the checkout, pack your bags, unpack your bags, sit in traffic and so on.  A much more efficient solution is to order groceries online.  You can automate this process, by setting up a repeating list of regular items, which you can then add to at will.  This way, you know you have the boring basics taken care of but can still feel free to choose exciting treats for the week ahead.

BATCH COOK FOR THE WEEK AHEAD

Whilst food and cooking can be a passion for some, a lot of the time, particularly during the workweek, it is a laborious chore that isn’t about taste and creative expression – it’s about quickly putting something together as a result of being famished or time starved.  

A great solution, is to batch cook your meals in advance; as an example, you make a large portion of Spaghetti Bolognese at the weekend, that can then be stored in an airtight container such as a foodsaver bag that can be refrigerated or frozen – so, you can have a tasty and healthy meal ready in minutes.  This is a much healthier and cost effective option than to use ready meals, or rely on take-aways.  It may feel restrictive at first, but you can supplement the meals with tasty recipes such as this simple avocado toast.

CLEANING

Okay, not everyone can afford a cleaner but when you consider how many hours it can take to actually clean a house, it really isn’t many – the time intensity can be found more in organizing and sorting.  Therefore, it’s possible that you could pay a cleaner for just two hours each week and know the basic household chores will be taken care of.

AUTOMATE YOUR FINANCES

It can be very simple to systematize your finances.  A good idea is to set up your bill payments so they all leave your account on the date you get your first paycheck of the month (e.g. the first of the month).  Similarly, it would be a good idea to set up an automatic saving plan that also comes out on the first of the month – you could even divide this into specific sub-savings accounts.  This way, you know that your core financial priorities are taken care of, and whatever is left from your paycheck, is free to consume as you wish.  Not only will this save time but it will also save a significant amount of stress.

AUTOMATE YOUR BUSINESS

If you are a business owner, then you can use automated tools like Mailchimp, Buffer, and ThePaystubs.com to automate common tasks like email follow up, social media postings, and pay slip processing.  You may wish to consider taking advantage of the trend in outsourcing, where a lot of the more mundane tasks are outsourced to a virtual assistant, or even hire a more specialist virtual assistant, to help with more complex (yet boring) tasks such as accounting.