Category: Entrepreneurship

Stock Control Administration in a Small Business

Stock Control Administration in a Small Business

Proper stock control administration is an essential requisite for any small business.

Stock control plays a crucial role in the daily operation of a small business. There are a number of administrative tasks associated with stock control which, depending upon the size and complexity of the business, are either part of an administrator’s duties or carried out by a dedicated stock controller.

Why is Stock Control Important?

When it comes to small businesses, many of them sell products which are either made in house or supplied from elsewhere. There is a risk here of losing track of the stock available, which can lead to missed orders if sufficient stock isn’t at the immediate disposal of the business.

The role of stock control shows how much stock you have at any given time, and provides details of the system employed to keep track of stock at every stage of the production process.

 How is Stock Control Implemented?

When it comes to administration of stock control, it is important to have different staff responsible for stock than the ones responsible for finance. This is for security reasons and serves as a preventive measure against fraud.

A range of paperwork associated with stock needs to be processed in order to properly maintain a stock control system. This typically includes delivery and supplier notes for incoming goods, and requisitions and issue notes for any outgoing goods. Further, purchase orders, receipts, credit notes and return notes also need to be maintained and processed.

Methods of Stock Control

There are a variety of systems available for the purpose of stock control in a small business. The most commonly used is the traditional paper based system. This can be very time consuming and provides records which are inflexible and lack the level of information a computer-based system can provide.

If the stock control system is simple, it can be built simply on spreadsheets or some other computer database. For more complex systems, a computer software purchase might be required. These can be bought off the shelf, but the software generally costs thousands of dollars and might be too expensive for a small business.

An alternative to computer software is online systems which are not only more cost-effective, but also allow small businesses to access and monitor their stock information from anywhere they want.

Maintenance of Stock Control

Once any of these stock control systems has been set up, it is important for the figures to be checked systematically. This can be done through “stocktaking,” whereby an audit of stock is conducted on a regular basis. Alternatively, “rolling stocktake” can be employed through an ongoing programme of checking stock.

This is to be constantly on the lookout for any instance where the figures do not add up. Any such event might be indicative of security problems or a failure in the system and needs to be properly investigated.

Advantages of Newsletter Marketing for Small Businesses

Advantages of Newsletter Marketing for Small Businesses

It is a challenge keeping your business’s name in front of your prospect, but if you want to be successful it has to be done. You also have to get former customers to use your business again and give you repeat business. Cold calling is another effective way: by calling the prospect and asking if they are ready to buy. If you don’t like cold calling there are other alternatives.

Newsletters are public relations material. Big corporations use them. They are great at reminding customers about your company. According to Herman Holtz, in his book, Great Promo Pieces, (Wiley, 1988), “Tiny businesses turn out their little newsletters to promote their fledgling ventures, but thousands of newsletters are produced by supercorporations, nonprofit organizations, and even governments to help them promote their own activities and carry out their missions.” Newsletters are a great way to remind customers to buy from you.

There are advantages of marketing with newsletters.

 Newsletters Allow You to Build a House List

Have some way to capture all of your prospects’ and customers’ mailing addresses. You may ask for their addresses when they come into your business, or give them a coupon for filling out an address card. Ask customers if they want to receive a newsletter from you.

Newsletters Can Offer More Details

With your newsletter you will be giving the prospect a lot of useful information. It is not the place to be boring so offer the customer detailed information about your business. You can have helpful articles about your line of business that will help them, or you can interview some of your employees. You can get a lot of information into your newsletter, far more than you can a brochure.

Your Newsletter Will Have Low Competition

Your small business newsletter will not have to compete with other small business newsletters. Your newsletter is written in a way that will offer helpful information to your customers.

The Newsletter is Respectable

The newsletter is respectable and it is highly read, and some newsletters are even distributed to paying subscribers. They tell us when the next meeting will be, who made partner, they give us financial planning information, and they give us great diet tips, and tell us how to remodel our kitchen. If your company has information to offer you should consider writing a newsletter.

Newsletters Allow You to Target Customers

Newsletters are highly targeted public relations material. They will bring more repeat customers, and turn prospects into clients. With your house list you can target your customers wisely.

Large companies take pride in having a professional newsletter, but a small business can have a professional newsletter too.

Cloud Based Phone System for Small Businesses

Cloud Based Phone System for Small Businesses

Cloud based phone systems bypass traditional PBX systems in terms of cost and features. Find out how small businesses can benefit from new phone systems.

Advantages of Cloud Based PBX Systems

Easy Set-up

Hosted phone services are easy to set-up and use – it’s just like plugging your phone to a computer. Services are instantly activated. The simplicity of a user-friendly interface is characteristic, allowing users to change phone numbers, add seats, log in/out of call queues and other functions by themselves. There is no need for a system administrator and the server monitoring and maintenance required with traditional PBX systems.

Savings on Equipment Cost

Conventional phone systems involve the use of private branch exchange (PBX) equipments that allow offices or homes to make connections among the internal telephones. This may involve thousands of dollars to set-up. With cloud based PBX and VoIP systems which are hosted phone services, no costly infrastructure that can become obsolete in a short time is needed. A monthly subscription plan that is suited to the needs of the users is all that is needed – no upfront payments or costly investments on equipment are required. Common problems with subpar wiring, switches or improperly configured equipment are also avoided.

 Flexibility

Cloud based phone systems also offer greater flexibility in configuration. Whether you are operating a company with 7 or 20 employees you can enjoy a full-featured phone system similar to those of large companies. One can easily mix and match phones suitable for each individual while providing a communication system with large enterprise features.

Cool Features

The best features that can enhance business are offered by cloud based phone services such as toll-free numbers, teleconferencing, three-way calling, rules-based call routing and answering, dial-by-name directories and music-on-hold. There are a number of options you can choose to make your small or mid-size business office seem like a large enterprise.

Aside from phone calls, internet fax service that gives users the ability to send and receive faxes through the internet without a fax machine may be an option. Users can transmit documents online, sign and edit their faxes digitally, and receive text and email alerts whenever a new fax arrives.

Stay Connected

With its call forwarding features virtual phone systems can allow you to stay connected since calls can be routed to any phone anywhere in the world, and not just to a phone physically wired to an in-office PBX. Staff members can receive business calls whether they are working in the office, at home or on the road.

Easy Disaster Recovery

When problems occur such as loss of internet connection or power occur a hosted PBX system can easily route calls to cell phones, home phones, or any other phone. It can also allow calls to go to voice mail.

Small Business Advice: Before You Ask for Advice, Ask Yourself These Questions

Small Business Advice

Perhaps sales are lagging for no apparent reason, or your industry is undergoing tremendous changes. No matter what the reason, some small busines advice is required.

But from whom, why, and for how long? Those are the hard questions. Hopefully, this article can help you navigate the small business advice question, giving you more information to make the best decision for your entrepreneurial venture.

What Type of Small Business Advice Do You Need?

You need to know your goal, before you can figure out how to get there. Do you know exactly what you need to accomplish, and what the problem actually is? Are sales lagging, customers not walking in the door, high staff turnover, or your marketing techniques not working?

There are a myriad of rasons why your small business may be faltering, and why you need advice. Make sure you know exactly what is wrong, before you start looking for professional help.

Once you have determined the exact issue you need to address, it sholdn’t be too hard to figure out what type of professional you require, whether it be financial, himan resources, marketing, legal or technical.

What Control Are You Willing To Relinquish to Receive Small Business Advice?

In order to hire someone to review your entrepreneurial practices, improve them and give you fair small business advice, you’ll need to relinquish a fair amount of control. Are you able, or willing, or do that?

Once, I worked for a combination pub and restaurant, who was offered a free small business advice consultation; a complete review of the problems and issues in the business (although any solutions would cost a fee, of course). But the actual review of the business practices was, at times, so invasive, it was difficult to keep the business running.

Make sure you are fully aware of what any busines advisor will be reviewing and why, and then schedule accordingly. Any professional dealing with the day-to-day issues of running a small business will need to see both your busy and your slow periods for an accurate assessment – but first ask what exactly that entails, so that your business isn’t left scrambling.

What is Your Small Business Advice Budget?

Simple, and obvious. But really, really important. Many small business consultants will offer a free consultation, as the business I mentioned in section #2 did. However, actually doing something about any problems will cost money, and depending on the problem, may add up quickly.

Be sure to openly discuss fees, extras and contingency plans with any consultant you talk to, before making any sort of commitment.

Finding Someone to Provide Small Business Advice

The last task on your lsit is to locate a small business advisor, which shouldn’t be terribly difficult. Talk to other entrepreneurs in the area and see who they use. Alternatively, you can contact your local Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau or business networking group for referrals.