Tag: Small Businesses

Small Businesses Management: Cost Reduction Through Outsourcing

Small Businesses Management: Cost Reduction Through Outsourcing

Every company endeavors to save money. It’s merely a function of remaining viable in an ever increasing competitive marketplace. For small businesses looking to improve their overall cost structure, there’s always a question of how reducing costs might negatively impact service. However, by outsourcing some company functions to professionals, companies can not only reduce costs, but drastically improve their service capabilities, all the while improving their potential for growth. So, what are some of the services a company might consider outsourcing?

Can a Company Outsource Accounting?

For those companies that are simply too small to afford an accounting department, but big enough that they should, there are plenty of outsourced accounting firms that can manage the company’s cash flow, in addition to the receivables and payables. In fact, it’s often the best way small businesses can keep track of both their incoming and outgoing payments. Nobody likes to get involved with something unless they have the time to do it properly. Outsourced accounting firms are best able to help, while allowing businesses to use resources elsewhere.

What Are The Benefits of Outsourced Marketing?

It’s a guarantee that small businesses don’t have the marketing budget of their larger competition. In fact, for some businesses, marketing itself is often seen as black magic. Being front and center in the eyes of customers, is what makes or breaks companies, and every business must use whatever marketing resources they can to improve their market presence. Outsourced marketing firms have the ability, expertise and know-how to provide timely sales leads, improve customer retention and grow business, all at a fraction of the cost of a full time department.

Should Companies Use Third Party Warehousing to Reduce Costs?

For companies that want to lower their warehousing costs, this can be accomplished through the use of third party warehouses. These warehouses allow companies to both receive and ship product at a fraction of the cost, while ensuring those shipments are properly managed. Typically, there are cut off times where shipments no longer take place. Regardless, using a third party warehouse is a huge savings over renting or buying warehouse space, and paying employees to receive and ship out product.

Can a Company Outsource its Sales?

While many are aware of the benefits of outsourcing marketing, few are aware of the benefits of outsourcing their sales efforts. True, marketing and sales are one and the same, but in the case of marketing, companies are looking for sales leads. In the case of outsourced sales firms, they close on those leads. Some firms do both, but some don’t. This is different from a distribution model where a company sells direct to a distributor who then marks up the produce and resells it. In the case of outsourcing sales, a company would pay the sales firm a commission on each sale.

Aside from the ones mentioned, there are other business costs that can be reduced. For instance, many companies use temporary labor, and turn a fixed cost, into a variable one. Outside firms not only reduce costs, but also free up valuable time, allowing the company to concentrate on more useful endeavors. Provided companies keep a pulse on how their business is being managed, they shouldn’t have any issues using outside help.

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.