5 Easy and Sustainable Strategies for Small Business Success

Smart businesses can find a profitable niche, discover their core differentiator or excel through a combination of smart business decisions, enthusiasm, and productive work.

In this article, you will find five success strategies for your small business that are not only easy to implement but also sustainable.

 

1. Internal Analysis

If a small business has a pool of unproductive workers, it will lose valuable revenue and growth and success potential. Many small businesses tend to be so impressed by their products that they often fail to examine themselves internally, which ultimately leads to failure.

An effective internal evaluation will reveal what you are not doing well so that you can make a course correction before it becomes an emergency. For this reason, it is important to check your bias when performing an internal analysis so you can be impartial and address any issues.

2. Effective Planning

Creating a good business plan will help you, as a small business owner, to rethink important issues and understand potential problems and how to deal with them.

Without a good business plan, you will not be able to plan for the future. Make sure your business plan is coherent and realistic, based on credible information and accurate forecasts for the future to avoid your small business failing due to poor planning.

3. Good Financial Management

Financial management is most effective when used to improve your business. Based on their many years of experience, they confirm that good financial management is the core of a successful company.

Financial management affects all aspects of the business, from management of cash flow to tracking business performance to managing important financia purchases such as new premises or comprehensive business insurance to protect your business.

4. Strategic Delegation

Many business owners burn themselves out easily from trying to shoulder all their company’s responsibilities. The first years of founding a company can put a heavy strain on personal life.

Financial difficulties may also occur until the company is profitable, which may take several months and even years. There is no management competence that is more decisive for your personal and professional success as an entrepreneur than learning to delegate.

5. Leverage Your Unique Selling Point (USP)

You need to know what your Unique Selling Point (USP) is and how to use this to your advantage to gain the consumers interest over your competitors. Your USP could be the thing that sways a consumer to spend their hard-earned cash with your company rather than your biggest competitor, so it is important that you know what your USP is and how to market it.

Your business’ USP should be the driving force behind all of the marketing or branding that you do for your business. Whether it is in your logo, or a new advertising campaign or a social media strategy you should be making rue that all you do communicates that USP to any consumers.

It is also not recommended that you change your USP too much, or at all, as this is likely to have an impact on your brand and your image in the consumers’ eyes.

How Small Businesses Can Save Money on Healthcare

The biggest challenge for small businesses that want to offer health insurance to their employees is the cost. It becomes even more difficult if the business has a higher fluctuation rate. Small businesses have to balance profits with business costs. Of course, the health of any organisation’s staff is very important. However, small businesses do not have to go bankrupt as a result of healthcare costs. Below are ways small businesses can save money on healthcare.

 

If You Have A Company Healthcare Plan:

Review Contracts with Providers

Investing in a company health insurance plan is usually a very wise ideas for any business for a variety of reasons. For example, on average business lose 6.3 working days per employee each year which can, of course, result in huge costs to the business. When you add the costs of all for these absences up, it is likely to amount to around the same, perhaps even more, than a company-wide health insurance policy would.

If you already have a contract with a provider, consider carefully reviewing the full terms and conditions as well as the coverage you get. This may show many ways businesses can save on various contract terms. Comparing the value of the existing plans with the other options available can reveal the company’s need to change its plans.

Employers can also save money through the use of one consistent contractor rather than many, and they can conclude contracts that are focused on performance goals to keep suppliers on track.

Negotiate Better

Most small businesses believe that their new annual premium is set in stone. The fact, however, is that smaller firms of larger size often have more leverage than they would expect. In a 50-to-100 personnel range firm, for instance, many employees fail to realize they can negotiate their health insurance premiums.

Insurance companies will usually give reasons for raising small business payments such as the personnel is ageing. However, a good broker can also indicate reasons that the insurer will consider reducing the rate. Asking questions such as “Have any claimants left the company? Is the company’s health improving?” usually gives some leverage.

 

If You Don’t Have A Company Healthcare Plan:

 

Consider Wellness Strategies

If you don’t have the funds to implement a company health insurance policy, then consider other methods of ensuring your employees are fit, healthy and feel cared for. One such method is the introduction of company-based wellness programmes.

By offering wellness strategies for your employees you are giving them the helping hand that they might need to take better care of themselves. Not only does this help their health and wellbeing in the long run, but it will also help the reputation of your business as you will be seen as an employer who cares about their staff’s wellbeing.

 

Provide Health Education and Support

You can also implement classes or educational resources on the various ways that your employees can look after themselves.

For example, it would be wise to educate employees about the various types of private health insurance they can invest in for themselves and their families, such as standard health insurance, family health insurance or even dental insurance. This way employees and their employees will be covered in the event that they get sick or need specialist care.

You can also help to educate your employees on physical and mental wellness, as stated above, and on their general health. For example, you may consider implementing healthy eating alternatives in canteens, ensuring you educate them on hot to maintain a healthy work life balance, promoting walking to cycling to work or offering discounted gym memberships as an employment perk.

Should You Save for Retirement or Pay Off Your Student Loans?

Financial experts advise that retirement savings should come before student loan debt is repaid. However, to this, you will need to establish financial stability in your life before you become attempt to tackle student loans, even if they have a high total or interest rate.

So, here are some tips for both so you can decide which is more important to you.

 

Paying Off Your Student Loans

The faster repayment of your student loans has additional benefits that go beyond financial viability: no longer having monthly student loans can be mentally liberating. You will no longer have debt handing over your head for years at a time.

If you speed up your payments, your student loans will be offset faster, and you can free up money for other goals. Paying off your debts early can also help improve your credit rating which will be very beneficial when it comes to trying to apply for credit or take big life steps such as get a house.

If your student loans have a lower interest rate, you may be able to invest your money in a different way that would add more money over time. Many experts advise you not only to invest but also to save money and set up an emergency fund before making additional payments for student loans.

You should consider refinancing your student loans if you have a good credit rating and stable profits. You can reduce your interest rate, merge several student loans into one monthly payment, and lower the average monthly student loan payments.

 

Saving for Retirement

On the other hand, you may decide that saving for your retirement is more important to you in your early 20s, as it is for many people given the current economic situation.

One of the good thins about saving for retirement is that you are able to do this at your own pace and you won’t have anything looming over you saving you need to save, and you need to do it now. You are also the one in control of your retirement goals so you can decide how much you want to save up and how, which makes the process much easier and less stressful.

For example, a quick and easi way to save money is to have a current account that offers great value, good interest and a savings pots feature. By doing this you will be able to set goals and save your cash easily into one (or several) different goals at one time.

You may also want to consider using an automatic savings feature offered by many banks. With this feature, every purchase you make is rounded up to the nearest £ and that extra few pence from every transaction is put directly into your savings fund. This way, you are saving without even really noticing or thinking about it.

 

Traditionally and for good reason, the best advice is to always pay off debt because the interest rate on borrowing money is higher than what you can earn in a savings account.

However, only you know what is best for you, and hopefully this article has given you some advice on both options so you can make a decision more confidently.

Choosing a mortgage advisor

If you are looking for a mortgage, finding the one that suits you is likely to involve an array of choices. Repayment or interest-only? Fixed-term or variable?  And that’s before you’ve even considered how much you can borrow or the length of the mortgage.

 

To cut through any confusion and doubt, you might take the prudent decision to consult a mortgage advisor. But that, too, involves choosing one – so, how do you do it?

 

Confidence

 

When someone is advising you on such a significant financial decision as a mortgage, you need a high degree of trust and confidence in your advisor.

 

Your advisor will be making recommendations about the mortgages likely to be most suitable for you and, once you’ve given the go-ahead, may help to manage your mortgage application.

 

Regulation

 

To give you confidence in making such an important choice, always ensure that your mortgage advisor has the necessary authorisation, which must be granted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to practice as an independent financial advisor.

 

Regulation by the FCA helps to ensure that your advisor is fully up to date and properly equipped to offer suggestions and recommendations about your mortgage and that they continue to act in your own best financial interests.

 

If anything goes wrong with your mortgage application or, the loan that is arranged is unsuitable for your circumstances, you are protected by an ability to complain to the Financial Ombudsman about the advice you received from your mortgage broker. If your complaint is upheld, you may be entitled to compensation.

 

If you don’t seek advice

 

If you don’t seek the help of a mortgage advisor – also known as an independent mortgage broker – you are relying upon your own judgment only. That might result in an unsuitable application being rejected by the lender you choose. Meaning you will need to start the whole process again – as well as the lender potentially leaving a credit search on your credit file.

 

Alternatively, you might arrange a mortgage that is unsuitable for your financial circumstances – and leave you with the expensive, long-term consequences of your decision.

 

The specialist knowledge of a mortgage advisor

 

By consulting an independent mortgage broker, you also gain an inside track into the mortgage market.

 

At the very least, that gives you access to a much wider network of potential lenders than you are likely to identify using your own efforts alone.

 

Many mortgage advisors are aware of deals which are not generally available directly to the public – this may give you access to favourable terms and conditions which you might not otherwise find for yourself. By taking on a lot of the research and paperwork on your behalf, an independent mortgage broker is also likely to have the expertise and knowledge of knowing just those lenders with the greatest likelihood of accepting and approving your mortgage application.

 

Your circumstances

 

A mortgage advisor knows whether particular aspects of your circumstances or history might make getting a mortgage more difficult. If you have a poor credit history, for example, if you have previously settled County Court Judgments, if you are self-employed or still completing a probationary period in your job, these might all put off some lenders.

 

Your independent advisor, however, knows which lenders might still accept your application by matching your particular circumstances to his or her intimate knowledge of the available mortgage market.

 

Choosing a mortgage advisor is important. And while it may take a little time and effort to select a broker, once you do, you can feel confident that you are working with someone whose aim it is to find you the most appropriate mortgage deal for your own unique financial circumstances.

Energy Industry: Why Use Temporary Buildings?

The energy industry deals with the production and distribution of energy. This industry also includes fuel extraction, manufacturing, and refining. It does an excellent job for the entire world since almost everything leans on electricity. Most advancements involve technology, which depends on electricity. Many stores can not function because they have many machines that rely on electricity as well. An example of such a machine is the coffee maker in your favorite coffee shop. 

 

Benefits of Temporary Buildings in the Energy Industry

Temporary buildings are of great importance in the energy industry because they can be used as storage for power station parts. They also can act as excellent accommodation for some functions of oil refineries. These temporary buildings can be insulated and built to be strong enough to endure sunny, windy, and rainy weather, which works well for the energy industry.

 

Temporary buildings in the energy industry are typically easy to construct and do not need a lot of labor. All they need is a base that is strong enough to anchor the building’s frame. They are ideal for remote places because these temporary buildings for the energy industry use less construction materials than an ordinary traditional building would require. This makes it easy to transport them and construct in remote areas. 

 

The construction of these temporary buildings is not timely. Many companies provide these temporary buildings and some of them finish your building within a month. This helps you in quick planning for setting up an energy station.

 

Temporary buildings in the energy industry are usually well-insulated. This ensures the temperatures are comfortable enough for people to stay in. Since the temporary buildings are insulated, no cooling or heating systems are required, thus saving you energy and money. The insulation makes these structures energy-efficient and therefore useful in the energy industry. Some of these buildings are made of fabric that is coated with PVC. This helps you save on electricity costs because the structures let natural light through.

 

Temporary buildings for the energy industry are built to be reliable and energy-efficient. This is because they are used to shelter large crucial parts and house some processes of refining oil. They are usually built close to the power station because the materials they use are heavy and are better off not being moved around much. Windmills have large parts and it is best to assemble them close to the site where they are being set up than transporting them when assembled. No vehicle could carry an entire windmill.

 

Conclusion

The energy industry can be termed as the most critical industry. Even the healthcare industry relies heavily on energy in the treatment of patients, and you would expect it to be the most important. Cancer treatment, laser eye surgeries, and comas require large amounts of energy as the devices used to treat them consume a lot of energy. The education industry also relies heavily on power.

 

The Top 2 Policies You Need To Protect Your Management Consulting Company

 

Even though the profession of a management consultant is not new (the first management consulting firm was created in 1886 by Arthur Little) many still do not fully know what a management consultant does on a daily basis. 

 

If we look at the big picture, a management consultant is your one stop shop when it comes to improve company’s operations and performance and solve any problems that arise. A management consultant reports and advises directly to senior management. A big part of their job is collecting data and aggregating that data into digestible reports that allow to pinpoint potential (or existing) problems. 

 

As you can see, the job of a consultant is multi-faceted. If you are a management consultant yourself, we don’t need to tell you all the different jobs you do – driving to and from client’s side, collecting data, managing relationships etc. But most importantly businesses, big and small, put the future of their companies in your hands. A lot is at stake and a simple mistake or an incorrect advice can lead to your client loosing revenue, employees etc.

 

So what happens then? What happens if distraught client who lost profit following your advice sues you for damage? 

 

One of the most essential insurance policies you can have is a Professional Liability Insurance for Management Consultant (also called Errors & Omissions) insurance. Professional Liability insurance was designed to protect businesses who provide professional advice or services for a living from lawsuits. While the insurance policy can not guarantee you won’t get sued, it will help cover the expenses related to the lawsuit. In the next section of the article we’ll talk more at length on what this key policy covers. 

 

Of course a Professional Liability policy will not protect your business from everything. Let’s take a look at the important insurance policies for a management consultant. 

 

Professional Liability – The policy that we mentioned above, is one that will protect/lawsuits are by far the most common and costly for businesses like yours. The PL policy will cover the costs associated with defending your case – cost of hiring an attorney, miscellaneous legal and administrative fees and of course the settlement. It’s important to remember that even if the lawsuit is baseless and is thrown out in court it would still cost money to defend yourself. The cost of attorney alone can amount to thousands of dollars. The Professional Liability policy will cover these costs regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit. 

 

Please note that this policy only covers lawsuits/claims alleging professional wrongdoing. 

 

General Liability – This policy also covers lawsuits from third parties, however unlike the Professional Liability policy, the coverage is only for general lawsuits. These include claims such as libel/slander, advertising related, property damage of the third party etc.  A General Liability policy is very important because many clients will require its’ purchase as part of your contractual obligations. This policy contains a few notable exclusions, common in the insurance industry, however it is one of the broadest policies available. These exclusions include war, malicious intent such as assault and battery, and illegal actions. The policy is usually written based on “all risk” which means that everything is covered unless specifically excluded.

 

Conclusion

The policies above are the cornerstone insurance products that every management consultant needs. General Liability and Professional Liability while seem similar, could not be more different. In fact, each policy excludes the types of claims the other policy covers. This means that a General Liability policy will deny claims related to professional wrongdoing and vice versa.