Why Small Businesses Have Better Customer Service

March 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Small Business

No matter how small or big a company is, it simply must have a department for customer service, or at least an owner who takes care of customer service daily.

Even small businesses have the capability of having great customer service at hand. Don’t laugh; this is true. Let’s take a quick look at the various differences that we can find in customer services in small businesses compared to customer services in bigger companies.

In actuality, bigger companies actually have a bigger chance of failure when it comes to customer service. When customers call bigger companies with complaints, they actually hardly ever hang up the phone with a feeling of contentment or satisfaction in their bones. In fact, they end up hanging up the phone before they even reach an actual human through the automated system that they are connected to in the beginning.

Because of this, customers tend to lose their interest in the company because their complaints are never taken care of in a smart and timely manner. Small business owners, on the other hand, have a bigger chance of dealing with personalized complaints and resolving them faster than bigger companies do.

Additionally, bigger companies come with policies for their own protections, usually set in fine print, which the customers tend to ignore as they purchase their products.

Smaller business owners, on the other hand, get to stand by their products and services or are simply dedicated to the growth of their business that they get to deliver much more satisfaction than what their customers may have expected. This could easily lead to brand loyalty.

Every single customer must be treated in the exact same way, though, and customer care must be given the way you would wish to receive it yourself. Customers are normally lost when they are not satisfied with something, but don’t let this get you down and don’t ever become rude to a customer. Being polite is the key to success because the customers’ needs really need to be met. Who knows? They might even refer you to other potential customers if you are extra polite and respectful, no matter what.

The ultimate role of customer service is to provide customers with support whenever they encounter problems or have queries. If you treat them as person instead of a case number, then they will be more willing to return for business with you in the future.

Because of all of this, small business owners tend to have a greater advantage. Small business owners get to focus on more of their customers and therefore have the edge in getting them to return. Bigger companies keep getting more customers by the day, so they tend to lose concern with the older ones. Take full advantage of being a small business and do extremely well in customer service, in order to grow to your maximum potential in no time.

Small Business Finance Resources

March 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, Small Business

If you wish to be a personal small business, but have absolutely no idea where you can get the small business finance resources that you need to being, then you should take several options under consideration to aid your current situation.

Go to your local government agency to see if they have government small business loans on offer. Several government small business loans can be applied to on different levels (local, state, or federal) in order to receive business loans for you to begin with. You can even avail of micro loans or disaster relief loans to build up your business after a natural disasters has occurred or basic short-term lending business loans.

If you are a veteran of the military who once served in the army, you can be granted veteran small business loans. Simply go to your local veteran’s chapter to find out if you are qualified for business loans to begin your business.

If you are qualified for business loans, you can avail from small business loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA0. The SBA works with private financial institutions and offers these business loans with a minimum interest rate for those who qualify for them.

If your business deals with agriculture, then you can be granted small business loans through the USDA. Their website can help you find all the things you need to know on small business loans, along with what you will need for the application thereof.

A lot of small business loans cater specifically to the female gender. Various states offer these business loans via small organizations, non-profits, and business corporations.

Other small business loans are also provided for minority groups. The MBDA, for examples, caters specifically to minorities and takes a look at their situation to see if they qualify for small business loans. They may even give resources and tips to help start your business.

Small business loan grants can also be offered by corporations, non-profits, or the government. This kind of business loan does not need to be re-paid; however, there are some grants with certain rules on how the money is allowed to be spent.

Various small business loan resources are available for various situations. Simply take a look at all of your options to find out the ideal resource for your needs and wants.

The Benefits of an Online Business Accounting and Bookkeeping Course

March 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Accounting and Bookkeeping

Are you wishing to find whole new career options? Are you lacking time for a full-time course in your local colleges? If this is the case, then online learning might just be the solution for you.

The most well-known online degree courses tend to be in the business accounting and bookkeeping fields. With these courses, you will be able to find various online programs offered by accredited schools with various costs. Whether you wish to earn a degree or a diploma, you can find the perfect option for you to suit your own time schedule.

Qualified accountants or bookkeepers are always needed in every business, so deciding to follow this career path has a wide window of job opportunities for you in the future, regardless of whether you decide to work alone or need personal business accounting and bookkeeping skills for your business to run smoothly.

The best thing about taking online courses is that you can simply adjust your learning schedule to the schedule that you already have, without worrying about kids or adjusting work time. The majority of online schools have classes on offer that you can do at your own steady pace; plus, minimal computer knowledge is required to take them.

There are a slew of online schools that have business accounting and bookkeeping courses on offer, so it might be a little hard for you to make a decision on which one to pick. First and foremost, you should take a look at the school’s background and see if they are recognized and accredited as a legal online learning institution.

If the school you choose isn’t accredited, then you’ll simply be wasting both money and time in trying to earn a diploma or degree there since it won’t help you at all with finding a job in the future. Another great thing about online learning is that it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than traditional programs that can be found in local universities and colleges.

Cost is another factor you will want to look at when choosing your school. Internet searches can be done for online business accounting and bookkeeping courses; then you can go through all of them and compare costs as you look. Keep in mind that cost shouldn’t be the primary factor in helping you make a decision. Cheap courses aren’t necessarily great choices.

Once you have done your course and gotten that diploma or degree, you should start looking for jobs in that particular field. The added knowledge that you have gained through online learning should make this an easy task for you to find jobs in the business accounting and bookkeeping field.

Start taking a look at local business accounting firms and simply keep going from there. Regularly check the advertisements in newspapers, as well as with your local Employment Security Commission, in case there are job openings that you could qualify for.

If you would rather work for yourself, you can also start your own business, if you wish and offer business accounting and bookkeeping services to local business in our vicinity, as well as to business owners that can be found online.

You will have all the freedom you wish as you work at home at your own time without dealing with a set schedule. It is advisable to start off with a lower rate until you earn a certain reputation and just raise the rate by time with loyal customers who have created buzz about your service to their friends and garnering you the profits that you deserve.

How to Start with Bookkeeping and Business Accounting

March 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Accounting and Bookkeeping

Once you have received your accredited school diploma or degree in bookkeeping and business accounting, you are more than free to start your very own business. The first thing you will need to do is decide if you want to start your business at home (which is the cheapest solution) or if you would like to rent an office space in your local area.

A basic home office is ideal, if you wish to offer services to clients online. If you wish to deal with business owners in your local area, however, you may want to set up an office somewhere to exude a more professional ambience.

Extra spaces at home that are currently unused can easily be turned into a decent home office, where you can meet clients. Depending on how much money you have to start your business, you may also want to set up a separate office elsewhere.

If you live in a rural area, you may want to rent some office space in town, for your customers’ convenience. Office space rent for bookkeeping and business accounting may cost a lot of money, but this should be easy to make up for once you have several clients lined up. For the best results, set up your office space in a good area with high traffic, so word regarding your business will spread faster; then, you will have potential customers lining up in absolutely no time!

In the beginning, you can simply start your business accounting part-time while keeping another full-time job until it starts to blossom and your reputation grows towards a wider client base. Soon enough, this will be able to take care of your entire income.

Ensure that you deal with every legal aspect when it comes to owning a personal business: file a license, take care of tax paperwork, etc. You will also need to produce several business cards, in order to advertise your services and gain clients faster.

Decide on which services you wish to offer and how much these services will cost. Usually, loyal customers prefer to pay a lump sum fees for things that they need taken care of at an hourly rate; keep this in mind.

Take under consideration the time you will need to finish each job and how much money you need to make per month to earn a profit. You will want to charge lower rates compared to your competitors when you start off and until you get enough business through the door to prove that you have high qualifications in business accounting and bookkeeping.

A lot of benefits can come with owning a personal business, and business accounting and bookkeeping services are always high in demand from local business owners and offline and online single entrepreneurs. Tailor your offered services to meet their needs; always be professional and honest; and soon enough, you will need to hire a couple of people to help you get all the work done.

Small Business Advertising for Free

March 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Small Business

If you currently began a small business and wish to make it grow but only have a minimum amount of money for advertising, do not fret. There are still various options for you to give your business the advertising it needs – completely for free!

The World Wide Web offers many ways to create buzz in advertising campaigns all around the world. Here are various ways, in which the internet can be utilized for free advertising in your small personal business:

1. Send out press releases.
Press releases can be written and sent for service and product advertising, event promotion, or new product launches. They are a very simple way to help promote your company and can be sent to numerous online directories all at once. Some companies will post them for you free of charge, though there are some that may cost you as much as traditional advertisements.

2. Become a forum member.
Message board forums may seem like a tiny way to advertise, but it really isn’t. There are several boards that will give you the opportunity to link your website on their profile signatures. Those who then visit this forum may become curious and click on the link to see what you have to offer and then spread the word to others who may be interested in what can be found therein. If you find certain message boards that go well with your own products, you can even post something on the forum to let others know that you have whatever they need and how they can obtain it. You will, however, have to check with the forum’s terms of service first to see if they allow this or not.

3. Start your own blog.
With the right marketing skills, your blog could garner the attention you want and make people return every now and then to see what is new in your business. They could then send other individuals from their blog to yours and the links will then get passed to their friends and so forth.

4. Join a social networking site.
Social sites will give you the opportunity to join groups of people of the same interest, with whom you can then communicate with. You can then put yourself in as the “go-to” person in a certain niche and add links to your own site where you can then promote your services and products.

5. Make use of article marketing.
Write articles on other websites, which have links to your own site to get more traffic onto your domain. Use keyword phrases in your article that can help with search engine optimization to attract the customers that you wish to attract.

It is quite easy to find various free ways for small business promotions; they can even be offline ventures of your own. Every business simply needs to have their own space on the internet, since it can greatly develop a following, no matter which demographic you are targeting.

How to Save Money on Business Accounting and Bookkeeping Costs

March 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Accounting and Bookkeeping

At the beginning of your personal business, you most probably tried to get all the work done on your own, in order to save the most money. And although this may have worked out perfectly fine, you must have found yourself losing track of little details as time went by, such as managing the tasks of your bookkeeping and business accounting software.

Once you have reached this point, you will have no other way out but to hire employees o take care of the little tasks. A lot of business accounting firms can be found in local telephone directories that are willing to deal with all of your business accounting finances.

However, the downside is that this may cost a lot of money. If you still consider yourself as a fresh business, you may not be able to pay for such outside expenses; therefore, the best way to deal with this is to consider hiring full-time or part-time employees who can take care of your bookkeeping and business accounting for you at a more reasonable cost.

Before you set out to look for the perfect employee, you will want to think about what responsibilities you will assign to this person. The most important thing you may want your accountant to do is keep intricate and correct records of all your business income and expenses. For this, you may want to provide them with modern bookkeeping and business accounting software for easier account management.

On a regular basis, you will want your employee to make scanned financial reports that show how much your business has earned and spent, in order to keep track of where you currently stand.

It is essential that your employee is someone who can be trusted since they will be in charge of handling money and paying your bills for you. They should be able to keep track with banking records and ensure that your monthly balances are covered.

If you have several employees, your personal accountant can take care of payroll, as well, to save you both time and trouble. Also, if you need a business inventory, this person can keep track of stocks, determine certain prices and get orders done.

As your business continues to grow and your employee gets used to how things work, you can keep adding more required duties. Depending on how long this person works for you per week, they can get simple tasks done in the process, like answering the phone, talking to customers, and filing.

Costs for a personal accountant are usually $15 per hour. Benefits can be added to attract employees, if needed.

In conclusion, when comparing the costs of outside employees to inside employees in charge of bookkeeping and business accounting records, you are sure to prefer having a personal accountant – both in terms of cost and quality.

Find the Ideal Accounting Bookkeeping Program for You

March 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Accounting and Bookkeeping

Regardless of whether you run your small business from home or from a tiny rented space in an office, it is absolutely essential to keep an accurate business accounting and bookkeeping record. This record will be extremely beneficial for the government’s tax details, as well as keep you up-to-date on how your business is working out in the financial department.

To keep track of this record the most efficient way, most people will make use of accounting business computer software in place of traditional paper documents. By using accounting business computer software, the process will go by much faster and the business owner will be able to ask quick questions regarding certain income and expenses.

There are some people who decide to put off buying accounting business computer software for the sole reason of not knowing which accounting business computer software is ideal for their business needs. Additionally, those who own small businesses usually already have a lot of things to take care of without having to think about complex accounting business computer software programs. There is also always the fear of choosing the wrong accounting business computer software to take care of their overall finances.

All of these reasons are perfectly understandable since the owners of small businesses simply cannot afford to make mistakes in bookkeeping; this could, after all, get them into heaps of trouble when it comes to the IRS and could potentially even runt hem completely out of business.

Choosing the perfect accounting business computer software right from the start will be much easier if you put your business under careful consideration. What factors you must focus on will differ from one business to the next.

If your small business comes with a number of employees, integrating certain payroll options is a must, whereas a one-person company does not need this option. If you have employees, you will also need to keep track of how long the employees go to work. This single factor could in itself get rid of certain accounting business computer software options.

The surefire way to make sure that your chosen accounting business computer software is a good match for you is by making a complete list of what you would need your accounting business computer software to do. This would include the kind of business you are in, as well as how big your business is.

A lot of manufacturers of accounting business computer software will give you the opportunity to simply install a single copy of their accounting business computer software for its price. If you have several computers running in your business and only have one accounting business computer software license, you may have to buy one copy per computer.

Retail accounting business computer software is also available and comes with a limited number of free customer support. This will require you to ask which services come with your purchase. Accounting business computer software that is too complex could cost you more as time goes by due to several issues with support. Well-known accounting business computer software usually comes with limited free support, though, along with a toll-free number.

Every small business in today’s society must take a careful look at their expenses, so it is important to have a specific budget in mind when purchasing accounting business computer software. And, although it may be important to keep that budget in mind, it is also important that you don’t spend too much on it in the long run. Buy accounting business computer software that you really need, but don’t be a cheapskate about it.

Helpful Accounting Tips for Small Businesses

March 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Small Business

Without a doubt, the best thing to have on your personal in-house team is an accountant; however, not every small business owner has the funds to actually have one. In this case, you can do the accounting yourself or make use of certain employees to take care of particular accounting tasks.

It is of the utmost importance to keep your business finances separate from your personal finances to ensure that things are kept straight once tax time arrives. Avoid confusion and never mix these two finances together.

It is also essential to keep records of every business transaction, as well as all the accounts receivable. Once tax time arrives, you can then add these figures together easily without going through various accumulated paper scraps.

It is also advisable to instantly balance your books instead of waiting for various transactions to happen and then balance them later on. Several business owners tend to procrastinate, making this task seem far too difficult than it actually is.

Check every financial statement that you have, in order to figure out if you’re spending too little or too much. You may find out certain ways to cut your business costs or to budget more items for your small business.

You shouldn’t wait for tax time to arrive before checking up on new tax rules and regulations. Doing this right away may help you save more money once you actually need to file your taxes.

Accounting software should also be used as much as possible. There are a lot of varieties out there that can help you keep track of your information all in one place. In a majority of the cases, you would just need to type in essential information and it will take care of the calculations for you. These are used by most accountants, so you should put them to use, too.

In case original invoice copies get lost, it is smart to keep copies of each of them. If you are using software on the computer to do so, make sure you have back-ups of your files, in case something unaccountable happens.

Research should also be done on all feasible deductions on your business tax. There may be some items that you can completely deduct, while some can simply be depreciated. Tax strategies also tend to differ from small businesses at home and independent businesses away from home.

Accountants do have the ability to lessen your headaches up to a point, but you don’t necessarily have to hire one. If you do not have the money to do so, simply take pleasure in the fact that not all is lost with so many resources available for you as a small business owner.

All about Outsourcing Business Accounting and Bookkeeping

March 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Accounting and Bookkeeping

With the quick growth of the internet nowadays, many more opportunities have come up and the amount of people who have started their own businesses has risen significantly. Whether you work at a small office or at home, chances are that you could do with some help in business accounting and bookkeeping.

Like many others, you can do things yourself with the help of modern bookkeeping and business accounting software. If this does not sound appealing to you, however, you can always choose to outsource your needs; just be very careful when you do.

It is important to take extra care when choosing a firm when it comes to business outsourcing and it is best to find one that is capable enough to do the work the right way from the very beginning. Making mistakes in bookkeeping and business accounting can get you into big trouble with the IRS, possibly causing you to completely lose your business.

Because of this, it is of the utmost importance to do some thorough research on the firm’s background before choosing one. Before you make your final decision, converse with other owners of businesses first and ask them for possible referrals.

It is extremely essential that you completely know what it is that you need done before getting an outside firm to deal with your bookkeeping and business accounting. Do you need someone to help you on a long-term basis or do you just need someone to teach you how to use your new bookkeeping and business accounting software?

If you know that you are already lagging behind with your record keeping, it would be smart to outsource until you get back on track. Once you know exactly how much help you will need, get an estimate of what this will cost you.

Temporary help usually costs more than signing up with a long-term contract. Outsourcing can prove to be a very good financial move, as long as you take heed and pay very close attention to the tiniest prints in the contract before signing it.

Contracts are usually not needed when it comes to temporary help, but it would still be smart to have the conditions down in writing, regarding how much the services are and what services the agency will provide you with before you pay for anything.
Make absolutely sure that the person you hire knows exactly what you expect and need from him. It may take them some time to completely understand you and it may take some time to get the right work done, so patience will definitely help you in the road ahead.
Business accounting and bookkeeping are elements that most businesses dread in their operation. Thankfully, outsourcing can help make everything a little easier, as long as you know exactly what it is you are doing.
If you take the time off to check on company’s backgrounds, ask for referrals, and compare companies, you should be able to find a firm in no time that you can trust and confide in.

How to Create Big Brands with a Small Business

March 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Small Business

Owners of small businesses tend to scoff when they hear the word ‘branding’. Branding is hardly ever a part of small businesses since every coin needs to be watched to ensure a turn in profit.

However, in reality, no matter how big or small the business, a brand can be found inside of them. The only thing you have to do is find a way to make your company’s brand stand out against your competitors.

Owners of small businesses tend to dismiss branding because it seems like an unaffordable factor. What they don’t know is that branding can actually help make you look like an expert in your niche in the eyes of your audience, making your profits skyrocket higher than other factors in your business strategy could.

It may be true that big businesses turn major profits with their company brands, but it isn’t particularly a necessity to spend a lot of money on it. Branding is the sole factor that sets companies apart from others, even if they offer the same kind of services and products as you do.

Whether it comes from your great customer service, your unique logo, your top quality in products in the market, or the buzz that your niche generates, brands are important. Just watch television next time and pay more attention to the television commercials that come on.

Do you notice any particular company brands in these commercials that are put on the air? State farm insurance, for instance, has a catchy commercial jingle stating that, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” It may sounds like a mere jingle, but it is also their ultimate brand, as it invokes trustworthy feelings within the viewers.

There is no need to spend a truckload of money to get a company brand. All you have to do is decide what you want to be seen and create a motto or tag line that would be perfect for your particular business.

Another example is Payless shoes, which also stand out compared to their competitors mainly because customers get to pay less for shoes compared to other stores. Payless shoes have created a whole new brand within their business name itself.

Branding does not require you to break into your bank funds. Just find out the strengths of your product and your company and go from there. Your business will eventually grow and the image of your company will develop into a brand that will help you stand out from the rest of the competitors that you are up against.