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Upgrades That Will Help Your Business Thrive

Once you’ve identified your goals and how to attain them, you can then grow your business in specific areas according to what you want to achieve.  The following 13 upgrades cover common areas of business that typically need developing:

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Upgrades That Will Help Your Business Thrive

Continuous improvement should be the primary goal of any business.  While it takes time and effort and some financial outlay, it’s crucial to continue growing and striving toward becoming the leader in your field.

This guide offers 13 ideas to help your business grow, increase your customer base, improve your productivity and boost your bottom line.

Start With A Solid Foundation

Before you commit to growth you should ensure your business is built on solid ground.  Here are some tips to help you begin:

Know your business – the use of tools such as benchmarking, market research and trend analysis will help you get a better picture of the factors affecting your business.

Take charge of your finances Make a commitment to understanding your daily, weekly, and monthly figures. Unless you have a dedicated accountant, you need to have a thorough understanding of your financial situation.

Prioritize your goals – identify those business goals which can be achieved relatively quickly and those which will require more time and financial investment. Make sure the goals you set are relevant and can be achieved in a realistic timeframe.

Develop a plan – once you’ve identified your goals, you will need to develop strategies to realize them and the best means of implementing those strategies.

Make your results measurable – work out how you are going to measure your results.  You may want to introduce devices such as a point system or desired percentage increase.

13 Ways To Upgrade Your Business

Once you’ve identified your goals and how to attain them, you can then grow your business in specific areas according to what you want to achieve.  The following 13 upgrades cover common areas of business that typically need developing:

Include reviews – today’s consumers place great value on the opinions of their peers when it comes to buying products. Upgrading your website to include customer reviews will help to increase sales and boost customer confidence. Be sure to include both good and bad reviews if you want to be taken seriously.

Upgrade your internet an upgrade to FTTP (fiber to the premises) now will pay big dividends for your business down the line and it doesn’t have to cost you anything.  Qualifying businesses connecting to high-speed NBN plans can enjoy a $0 upfront cost.

Computer Monitor and Other Remote Work Must-Haves

Introduce automation – there is a multitude of software and applications designed to reduce labor costs and increase productivity. Many are inexpensive and can free up small business owners, allowing them to focus more on growing their core business.

Increase your social media presence – rather than just a Facebook page and a presence on Instagram and Twitter, you should look at other forms of customer interaction such as articles, sponsorship, blogs, and webinars.

Start networking – as well as an online presence, you need to get out there more and attend industry-related events such as expos and seminars.  This is, not only to network with others in your field but also to forge new contacts with like-minded businesses, with cross-promotion in mind.

Create a rewards program – think of ways to reward your existing customers to maintain their loyalty and incentivize them to buy from you again.  These could include early access to specials and exclusive offers not available to the general public.

Create an email list – email addresses of existing customers are a valuable resource you should be taking full advantage of.  Send those on your mailing list regular reminders of what you have to offer, but make sure it’s valuable content rather than what could be perceived as spam.

Ask for feedback – another valuable resource is your customers’ opinions.  Ask them what they think of your products and then use this feedback to improve your product line and customer service.

Streamline your business – identify which products aren’t selling, which employees aren’t performing and any other areas that may be holding you back.  Make changes and be ruthless on behalf of your business.

Reduce overheads – look at ways to cut costs within your business such as transitioning to a remote workforce or outsourcing business processes such as payroll, HR, and bookkeeping.

Invest in your people – good staff morale translates into good customer service. Provide your employees additional training, advancement opportunities, and a fair wage to ensure a healthy company culture.

Improve your credentials – reduce your carbon footprint, introduce sustainable processes and practice corporate responsibility in order to retain and grow your customer base.

Increase cybersecurity upgrade your cybersecurity systems to make sure you are protected from the latest threats from hackers, malware, etc.  This is particularly important if you have a remote workforce.

Roughly half of all small businesses don’t make it past their fifth year of operation, so continuous improvement needs to be a priority from day one. Adopting just a few of the measures suggested here should help keep your business on trend, competitive, and above all, profitable.

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Business

How small businesses can overcome their supply chain challenges

Here are six tips to help your small business overcome its supply chain woes. Staying in control with effective supply chain management.

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Increase Your Income Streams with These Three Remote Business Ideas

Managing a supply chain is difficult for every business. Small businesses may have fewer supply chain requirements, but they also don’t have the financial clout of big operations, which suppliers are understandably willing to move mountains for.

Smaller businesses need to use their size to their advantage when dealing with supply chain challenges. While big companies are locked into mega orders and negotiating long-term partnerships, small operations can be nimble in the face of a dynamic market.

Here are six tips to help your small business overcome its supply chain woes.

1. Always pay on time

It may be obvious, but the first tip is always to pay your vendors in full and on time. Small businesses have enough supply chain issues to deal with. You don’t need to make new ones for yourself.

Manage your cash flow efficiently and keep track of all your payments. This way, you’ll ensure you don’t come into conflict with suppliers and end up paying interest or even potentially ruining business relationships and reducing your options moving forward.

Plenty of payment methods are available for small businesses to better organize accounts payable, including Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments that completely remove the need for cash or checks. Other benefits of ACH payments for your small business include scheduling payment dates and recurring payments, effective cash management so you can hold onto funds for longer, and reduced transaction fees.

2. Identify risk areas

Supply chains are often complex, containing a series of components critical to business operations. Make sure your small business has a clear and comprehensive list of everything it needs, along with multiple suppliers capable of sourcing each piece. Identify any potential risks in your supply where you may only have one or two viable sources.

It’s easy for small businesses to fall into the trap of finding a single supplier that handles everything they need and leave it at that. Unfortunately, this puts the fate of your business in the hands of one vendor. Any problems they have delivering their products is now your problem. There is no reason to introduce this level of risk to your operations, and a much healthier way to run your business is to always give yourself multiple supply chain options.

cropped view of worker with broken arm signing form for compensa

You never know if a specific product might become unavailable at short notice. However, as a smaller business needing lower quantities, you can use your agility and develop relationships with multiple suppliers. Try to find entirely separate vendors in different locations that do not work with the same manufacturers.

3. Stock management

Keeping track of your existing stock is critical regardless of the size of the business. You need precise numbers for everything you currently have in stock and estimates for current usage in order to restock in time and never is left short. Accurately forecasting demand is critical for businesses to effectively manage their stock and protect themselves from unplanned product shortages.

While it’s not always possible due to budgetary constraints or storage capacities, if you have a volatile supply chain, there are benefits in trying to increase your inventory levels. In particular, this applies to critical components that are harder to come by. You can do this by bulk buying when you have the opportunity or seeking financing options to invest more into your inventory.

4. Simplifying your supply chain

While it can help to offer a wide range of products, this places additional strain on your supply chain. More products mean expanding your supply chain, dealing with more vendors, and more complicated logistics. Where possible, remove or combine products to simplify your supply chain and save yourself time and headaches. Even larger companies are streamlining the products they offer, consolidating operations, and building supply chain resilience to limit future disruptions.

5. Managing logistics

Even once you source everything you need, you still have the logistical challenge and costs associated with getting it all delivered. With rising fuel prices, logistics costs are snowballing, and small businesses need to work hard to rein in the cost of moving their supply chain products. This may mean making larger orders from fewer suppliers to save money along the way.

6. Use supply chain tools

A range of supply chain tools can help businesses stay on top of their operations. While it may seem like overkill for your small business, Supply Chain Management (SCM) software can help you track inventory, manage logistics, and create a comprehensive real-time database of all your supply chain information.

Staying in control with effective supply chain management

Having steady, reliable, and fast access to everything your business needs is one of the most challenging parts of running a business. Unfortunately, even the biggest and most well-equipped companies in the world have supply chain struggles. But, by using your size to your advantage and identifying multiple sources for each type of inventory, you can remain in control even when inevitable supply chain mishaps occur.

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