How credit reports can help your business succeed

It is crucial for any business owner to possess solid information. Whether it is techniques for increasing sales, trends in the market, or the current economical climate – your business needs to know as much as possible to continue growing. However, there are two aspects of your business that can’t be influenced by reading Forbes or watching CNBC. You could even check out how take coupons can improve your business. The delicate tasks of hiring quality employees and granting customer credit require you to dig a little deeper. In these instances, you owe it to your business to perform proper credit checks. Continue reading “How credit reports can help your business succeed”

POS software for your business

POS software for your business

Any business should have their POS (point of sale) system. In charging clients with the services or the thing they bought, it’s a usual practice to give them a proper receipt that’s electronically recorded. Anyone transacting business legally should have a print out explaining the charges including the taxes. Software companies even bank on this idea, building a million dollar industry as the number of businesses increase over the years.

If you’re a self-starter running a small business on a part time basis, POS is the last thing in your mind. Large retailers who can spend thousands of dollars not only in software but also in hardware can prioritize POS while start-up businesses still have to use reliable Excel sheets. If you want to look more formal and legitimate, you should consider getting a point of sale system.

Luckily there are free POS softwares. Just download the software and run it in your system. There are even reputed software that gained the fame of being free without any malware or bugs. Outright organizes all expense tracking of your business and ensures that everything is in order, so that there are little or no mistakes at the end of the day.

But before you download such free software and integrate them in your business, think of the consequences you are putting yourself into. For one, you have to consider that a free software usually doesn’t have the ability to network the information. It’s a complicated process that any free software just can’t handle. Granted your business is growing and you have to streamline the processing of individual transaction records, you don’t want to spend lots of time copying and pasting the information. As time means money and productivity, it will literally cost you hundreds of dollars in productivity. And if something goes wrong with your computer or software, you can just hope that someone will help you with fixing the problem.

On the other hand, paid POS software could really be expensive for now. But again, you have to consider the big picture. When you pay for something, you will have access for help and other updates. At the start it could be mean serious investment but you’ll have to work with it until you can recuperate the costs. Plus, streamlining information when you become a company saves time and effort.

Considering the ups and downs of free vs. paid POS softwares, it’s obvious that you should opt for paid service. However, you don’t want to start spending too much in your operation. Even though how great a business plan is, you still need to test the waters if you want to know if the business will flourish. You can try testing a free software until you will know its time to transfer to paid service. As your business flourish, always consider that someday, you might want to have software that’s perfect for your business.

POS softwares may be a small part of your operation, but that same operation will assure you of stability of operation. You and your clients will no longer spend time scribbling things on paper or encoding them in Excel. Whether using a free or a paid service, you’re assured that POS software are there to give you more time to concentrate in your business.

Solid ways to reduce home office costs

Solid Ways to Reduce Home Office Costs

In an increasingly competitive business arena, one of the major challenges facing small business owners is how to effectively manage operating costs. While certain expenditures remain fixed, many variable costs, such as those incurred in running a home office, are often overlooked. By implementing these seven proven ways to reduce home office costs, small business owners can free up extra funds and put them to more effective use.

1. Be aware of business climates: Almost anywhere you live your home and home office will be subject to seasonal climate changes that can lead to extra costs in terms of heating and air conditioning. If you are spending a goodly amount of time in your home office and are not meeting face-to-face with clients, you should set the thermostat on savings mode and dress according to the climate, i.e. layering clothes and wearing sweaters in the winter months and lighter loose fitting clothes in the summer. If you face extremes in either winter or summer consider a space heater or window AC unit to control the climate in your office rather than the entire house.

2. Choose a dedicated “get-it-done” day: As a natural result of running your business from home there will be times when you need to leave your office to run business related errands. Being that running errands on a daily basis can cut into your productivity, you’ll save time and money by designating one day of the week errand day. To make the day more productive you’ll want to keep a running to-do list, prioritizing your errands and creating the most efficient route to save on time and gas money.

3. Shop smart for office supplies: While stocking up on supplies ahead at the big box store might seem to be the most cost-effective way to shop, patronizing office supply stores such as Staples and Home Depot can give you extra advantages. For one thing, they offer rewards cards and programs which can give you additional savings through rebates, coupons and special notification for upcoming sales. An added benefit is that these stores are now offering small credit lines to small businesses which can improve cash flow and help you establish business credit which could come in handy down the road.

4. Print less: To print or not to print. With a touch of a button any document can be delivered almost instantly at your fingertips, in black and white or full color. But the question is, does that document really need to be printed on a page of paper, which is no longer cheap, to do the job? If the document in question is just for research, when you’re done with it flip it over and print on the flip side and you’ll have cut printing costs by ½. Even when it seems like printing is the only option, resist the urge and try to make the document work anyway. This habit alone can save you big time on toner and paper. Should you need to send documents to clients for approval or signatures, sending them electronically eliminates both postage and faxing costs, which can really mount up quickly.

5. Make your own scratch pads: While scraps of paper can make for some awesome paper airplanes, they also make excellent scratch pads. Just cut them into quarters and you’ve created the poor man’s Post-It for leaving notes or messages. Staple a stack of these together or fasten them with reusable paper clips and you’ll be surprised at how much money you can save.

6. Green your office: Another money saving strategy is to buy energy saving items and equipment. If you find yourself performing multiple tasks such as scanning documents, making copies and sending faxes, consider buying an all-in-one machine as they are usually less expensive, take up less space and perform needed tasks as well if not better than their stand-alone counterparts. You can also save money by using recycled ink and toner cartridges. Also, If you are using a landline in your home office you can save money by using your cell phone for making and receiving business calls. You can save even more by using Skype or a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone service to make local, long distance or even international calls. Be sure to shop these services as they can vary in price and quality.

7. Go virtual: At some point as your business grows you may need extra help to service your client base or perform specialized tasks that are beyond your abilities. Hiring virtual assistants is an approach you should seriously consider. Being that you can hire help on an as needed basis and, due to the current job shortage, you will be able to find qualified people to assist you at very reasonable rates. If you have a legal matter, such as the need for legal contractual agreements or other specialized documents, consider hiring a virtual lawyer on a job by job basis, as opposed to incurring the expense of keeping a traditional brick and mortar lawyer on retainer.

Things to know about insurance companies before you make your final decision

Things to know about insurance companies

If you have never purchased insurance before or if you are buying new insurance for the first time in a while, then there are a few things you should know. While some of these things may seem obvious to you, we have had many people come to us with questions recently and we want to make sure that you and your family are keeping yourselves safe while also saving your hard-earned money. A lot of these things insurance companies wouldn’t like you to know instructional strategies and we think that knowing them is going to help you in making the best decisions.

Random Cancellations

This is something that pertains to health insurance. Let’s say you become injured or ill and then you suddenly are left with the bill even though you should have technically been covered. How could this happen and why does it happen? Well, whenever a claim is made, your insurance company is going to go back and view several years’ worth of medical records. If there is anything that shows up inconsistent, they have the right to completely cancel your insurance; leaving you with the bill.

This is why it’s extremely important that you are consistent whenever you fill out applications. Even the smallest error can hurt you in the long run and getting a lawyer isn’t exactly cheap. If you don’t know how to answer, ask or leave it blank or say “I don’t know”.

Claims that Go Unnecessarily Denied

If you find yourself in a situation where your claim has been denied, you should look at the paperwork you signed. Find a location that supports your claim being signed. Many companies will actually pay for your attorney or lawyer fees to take them to court. This, however, is not something they are going to advertise so check the fine print before you pay for your own legal fees because they can add up quickly and we know how hard you work for your money.

Talked into the Wrong Coverage

If you find that you have been talking into a type of coverage that does not actually cover the things you were looking for; your insurance company is going to be forced to pay for those things. However, you need a way to prove this so make sure everything is in writing. Fighting a company is tough and the more evidence you can find the better.

Higher Prices Does Not Mean Better Coverage or Service

Many people seem to think that the more they are asked to spend each month on insurance, the better the coverage is going to be. This is not the case. When you shop around, not only should you be looking at prices but also at exactly what is covered. Sometimes the reason you are spending more is simply because a business is more popular. So, do your research and ask for recommendations because there may just be a better company out there than the one you are currently using or planning on using.