Recession-Busting Tips for Small Businesses


It’s an understatement to say that the current economic slowdown has created some uncertainty about the future.

To manage this uncertainty, small business owners are probably taking rational steps to protect their business, such as trimming excess expenses and eliminating unnecessary spending.

However, cost-cutting isn’t the only strategy survival – rather, businesses can also focus on maintaining current revenues and priming the pump for future revenues.

But how can a small business do this?

Simple: one secret weapon to not just surviving, but thriving during this time, are the tens of thousands of talented and professional freelancers available for hire right here on Elance.

Here are a few ways freelancers can help your small business thrive:

1. Focus on Key Customers

You want to keep the revenues you do have, so it’s time to make sure you are closer than ever to your most valuable customers. Hire freelancers to call and connect with your customers, write and conduct surveys, design and execute direct mail campaigns to recognize and thank your top customers, or design special customer promotional offers to thank your customers for their past business.

2. Hone Sales & Marketing

As you look to bring in new streams of revenue, you’ll no doubt target a new segment of customers. Consider hiring a freelancer to re-write your sales and marketing materials, re-design or upgrade your website, help you launch a blog, build and execute an online marketing campaign, produce a radio ad, or simply update your customer newsletter.

Now is a great time to make noise and attract new customers while your competitors stand paralyzed by the economic environment.

3. Maximize Employee Productivity

Let’s face it: there are way too many tasks that get in the way of your employees spending time on activities that can really impact your business. Think about empowering your people to delegate these some of those distracting activities to freelancers.

Tasks such as conducting competitive research, sourcing customer leads, entering data into your database, sorting through inbound email, writing articles for your blog or website, or any other administrative task is ideal for delegating to an online remote worker.

The bottom line is that freelancers are a flexible, affordable resource to help you survive and thrive.

Have you hired a freelancer to help you weather the economic climate, or are you a provider that is helping businesses thrive? Let us know what you’ve done by leaving a comment below.

Beginners Bookkeeping For Small Business Owners


On the road to building a viable business, certain things are not to be compromised. Your small business needs a robust foundation and a great deal of support to thrive.

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The foundation is made up of important pillars such as a flexible workforce, a digitally-savvy marketing team, a knowledgeable IT desk, a business website hosted on servers with sufficient resources and featuring a domain name that communicates brand values, business insurance and a well-rounded leadership structure.
Equally important though, is a robust bookkeeping process. Regardless of how all the important fragments enumerated above line up, poor bookkeeping can hinder the business from making any progress. In worst case scenarios, the business will fail.
Profit tracking, cash flow and paying tax are important aspects of a business, and are the key reasons why you must keep an eye on your bookkeeping. A lot of businesses that fail do so because they overspend and don’t track their cash flow closely enough.

Sorting through receipts, invoices, taxes and other bills may seem like a lot of work in the early days. To help you stay in control of your bookkeeping, here are guides especially for you.

Create a system for proper documentation:

It is very important for you to always send out invoices and issue receipts when due. You need to also keep tabs on all the bills that you have to pay and be in control of your company’s finances.
The good news is that there is help to keep up; you can make use of tools like our online invoicing software right here on Cloudbooks.

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Time to Organize:
No! It is not sensible for you to keep stashing those receipts together in a basket besides your desk as your business keeps expanding.

Make it easy on yourself by sorting the different documents out in files. Start by getting
a) A lever arch file
b) Plastic punched pockets
c) A set of dividers, labelled for each month

Religiously keep each document where it belongs- invoices, bank statements, employee expenses, phone bills and whatever other documents you use in your line of business.

You could also create an Excel sheet. it may seem like a lot to ask to do daily entry, but once you make the habit of making a record of every transaction, it becomes easier to keep track of all you do. Using software like the Microsoft Office 365 makes it even easier for you to enter data anywhere, on any of your device.

It will also save you a lot of mental stress to use an online document management services to help you keep your house in order. You may then customise the categories or use their pre-set categories as you file away.

Be careful how you handle your cash:
It is tempting to use the cash you have at hand for daily expenses. If the cash is from your business sales, ensure you remit it to your business bank account.

Aside from the discipline it gives you as a money manager, it makes it easy for you to also keep track of your sales.
It is absolutely imperative that you have a true record of your business ins and outs.

Separate your accounts

It is easy to muddle together personal expenses with business expenses, especially when you just start your business. It will save you a lot of stress to separate your finances by keeping your personal expenditures out of your business expenses. This is sure to save you a lot of trouble. To start with you need to have a separate account for your business. If you do not have separate accounts, then you should be disciplined enough to carefully highlight what you spend on your business and record it accordingly (in the appropriate journal or sheet) going through your bank records. Plan to get a business account as soon as possible.

If you keep separate accounts, then your work is partly done. You may, however, still find yourself drawing from your business account for personal use or using your personal funds for your business. The key thing here is to have a record of all these transactions. Beginner bookkeeping suggested making regular weekly or monthly drawings in the form of a wage/salary to meet personal needs, instead of withdrawing frequently or at random times, which makes it hard to keep track of the withdrawals being made.

You should also keep track of when personal funds are being used to fund business supplies or services. If you need to fund the business from personal money then consider it a loan to the business, and do it in a lump sum, rather than ad hoc.

Reconcile your accounts

Having a properly reconciled account is the ultimate goal in bookkeeping. Reconciling your account is when you compare two accounts and make sure they are in agreement. This is what you do when you compare your bank statements with the financial records you have been keeping.

It is important that there are no discrepancies between the numbers you have recorded and the ones from your bank statement.
If all this seems too much for you, there are lots of great tools and resources to facilitate and educate. Technology has made keeping the books easier than ever; so make use of it!

11 Simple Ideas To Grow Your Business In 2016


11 Simple Ideas To Grow Your Business In 2016:
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Do you want your business to make more money in 2016?
Of course you do! Well now is the time to make that a reality.
We’ve put together 11 simple ideas that can make your business more profitable this year.

Stand Out This Year with a New Logo

Excite Customers with a Fresh Homepage

Convert +48% More by Being Mobile Friendly

Convince Customers with Stellar Copywriting

Beat Your Competition with Better Design

Sell 24/7/365 with a Beautiful Online Store

Engage Your Community with Exciting Articles

Rank on Page 1 of Google and Be Found

Develop Your Mobile App (No Coding Required)

Reach New Markets by Translating Your Website

Automate and Fix Tough Problems with Software

Have a better idea?

Post it Now