Tasks To Outsource to Virtual Assistants

Portal CFO Virtual Assistant

If you are serious about your business and want it to grow, you are going to need to hire help. However, you may not have enough work to hire a full-time or even part-time employee. For this reason, many small business owners start by hiring virtual assistants.

A virtual assistant is someone who works from home, helping multiple clients run their business. They can do a variety of tasks, including:

  • Accounting and bookkeeping tasks. This can include almost anything that pertains to your bookkeeping, including entering numbers into your accounting software, payroll, and even doing your taxes. You may want them to take care of your invoices. They can create them, send them out, and make sure that you are paid on time.
  • Content Writing. Any piece of content that you send out can be written by someone else. This includes content on your website, your blog, your emails, social media posts, and much more.
  • Data entry.
  • General errands. Many virtual assistants shop online for their clients, answer phones and emails, and much more.
  • Marketing is very commonly done by virtual assistants. They can help with your email, social media, blogging, and even your traditional marketing. Many help by responding to comments and messages.
  • Many virtual assistants plan events and parties that you may be hosting. They can even book travel arrangements and other things when you have to travel to give talks.
  • Receptionist duties. You can hire a virtual assistant to answer your phones, schedule appointments, confirm them, and other duties that you may hire a receptionist for.
  • Research.
  • Website development. If you don’t have a website, they can design the perfect one for you. If you do, they can improve it, so you get more notice.
  • And so much more.

A virtual assistant can do almost anything that you don’t have the time or want to do. In fact, many say that you can’t grow your business until you hire help. There is only so much one person can do.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more valuable articles to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.

Reliable Business Analysis Techniques

business analysis techniques

Every entrepreneur should review and monitor their operations on a consistent schedule to anticipate whether or not they will achieve their set objectives. Performing a business analysis will help you determine the position of your business, in line with set goals, to help you adjust your strategies where necessary. Analyzing your business operations with established business analysis techniques will provide insight on the type of approach you should adopt to achieve a desirable outcome.

Here are some of the business analysis techniques that can promote success if you implement the right option within your firm.

PESTLE Analysis

Several factors affect the success of every business establishment, and that includes environmental aspects. A PESTLE analysis is a summation of all the prevailing conditions that affect the operations of your enterprise in the environment it is operating in currently. PESTLE is an acronym for;

  • P – Political
  • E – Economic
  • S – Social
  • T – Technological
  • L – Legal
  • E – Environmental

Each element that constitutes the PESTLE analysis will affect the decisions you make regarding the activities of your firm. The implication, in this case, is that adopting PESTLE analysis can reduce the impact of each of the elements it constitutes on your company’s operations.

User Stories

In the modern world business owners are more conscious of the tastes and preferences of the end user. In that case, user stories business analysis focuses on the needs and requirements of end users, which results in the development of custom products and services.

Once business owners collect relevant information regarding the end product that users desire, they can develop an ideal solution for them and that is the objective behind user stories business analysis.

Brainstorming

Employers and employees who hold brainstorming sessions on various occasions increase the probability of achieving better outcomes in their daily operations. You also need to note that brainstorming business analysis technique applies to other concepts such as PESTLE analysis, SWOT analysis, among others.

Brainstorming sessions give employees and their managers an opportunity to share smart ideas while seeking solutions for underlying issues, which eventually yields positive results.

Remember, running a business does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more valuable articles to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.

3 Parts of A Growth-Oriented Business Plan

Business Plan Portal CFO Photo

Every business owner, executive, or leader in the corporate world should have a plan of action on how they intend to steer their organizations towards the achievement of specific objectives. As such, a business plan becomes one of the most critical documents that highlights the key areas you should refer to because it promotes success when you implement the details therein accordingly. Here are three parts of a growth-oriented business plan.

Metrics and Milestones

Most employees prefer working towards a specific goal, and the execution of a particular strategy will require close monitoring of performance over time. Metrics and milestones act as performance indicators that keep you on course as you execute the business strategy you adopt. In your growth-oriented business plan, metrics and benchmarks will be in the form of numbers, dates, names, and teams.

Strategy

There are many distractions in business, and if you are not careful, you will lose focus on what you should be pursuing. A master plan ensures that all your engagements are in line with what will help you realize growth. Without a blueprint, your business plan will be ineffective because you will most probably end up doing what you should avoid, and failure becomes imminent in this case.

You may imagine that you are knowledgeable in a particular line of business as you start, but the strategy you embrace can reveal some of the underlying weaknesses that can pose challenges and drive you out of the market as well.

Execution

A strategy is only as good as the point at which you execute or implement the same. The implementation of your growth-oriented business plan entails the decisions, approach, and steps you take to make a particular strategy work. If you want to realize the successful execution of the strategy you adopt, come up with the procedure you will follow, which will act as a business dashboard for future reference and review.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more valuable articles to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.

Business Growth Planning: 5 Tips For Small Businesses

Tips for Small Business Growth

When you think about business growth planning for your business, what does this mean to you? Is growing your business the same as seeing an increase in your income? Does business growth simply mean increasing how many sales you are obtaining?  It is critically important that you are able to understand what business growth will actually mean to you and how it can fit into the transformation of your business.

In order to create a solid business growth planning strategy for your small business, we encourage you to keep the following  5 tips in mind:

5 Tips for Business Growth Planning:

#1: Review the performance of your sales team. Is everyone meeting their sales goals for the month? Do not be afraid to make changes when you think they are needed.

#2:  Make sure you keep notes of everything that needs to be done on a daily basis. If you are having trouble staying on track, do not be afraid to use outsourcing.

#3:  Try to obtain better methods of receiving your products and services. Try to find lower prices and better deals.

#4:  Accept feedback and opinions from your employees on how certain procedures can be handled more efficiently and effectively.

#5:  Use surveys and questionnaires to find out how they like your products and services and what things they do not like.

Running a business does not need to be complicated!  Keep it simple!

For more valuable articles to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.

Business Advice: Improve Productivity By Boosting Employee Morale

Boosting Morale in Your Workplace

There’s no longer any debate about the powerful correlation between boosting employee morale and productivity. It’s a belief that’s confirmed by science, and that can also be easily observed in the workplace. Engaged employees take more ownership of their jobs and this is reflected in their performance. Smaller businesses, where every single role is so important, should place even more emphasis on having a company culture that motivates employees. Here are three ways to boost morale and get the best from your team.

1. Create A Fun, Positive Environment

Making the space for fun will allow you to break the stress cycle and create a positive environment. Integrate icebreakers or team-building activities into staff meetings to promote bonding, creativity and a more relaxed atmosphere. Providing opportunities for your team to volunteer or support a charity can be a wonderful way to build cohesion while helping your community. Celebrating a major milestone with a pizza party or an outing at a mini golf course can be another chance to increase employee attachment to the company. By having fun together you can energize your employees, helping them to be more engaged and productive.

2. Reinforce The Importance Of Their Work

It’s important to communicate to your employees why their work matters. Morale goes up when they remain connected with the company’s vision, and with their own impact in the bigger picture. Use plenty of positive reinforcement by recognizing what your employees are doing well and expressing its value. You can also share positive testimonials or other useful measures of the company’s success, to make employees feel motivated to contribute to more success. If they can link their daily work to the goals of the company, they will be more motivated to meet and exceed expectations.

3. Provide Empathetic Leadership

Employee satisfaction is at the heart of having good morale. The importance of empathetic leadership is increasingly recognized as a factor in helping employees feel more supported and engaged. Take the time to solicit feedback from your team and validate their perspectives. Make them feel included in important decisions and maintain the lines of communication open. Empathetic leadership will improve performance by contributing to their satisfaction and engagement with the company.

It’s often said that people are the most important asset in a company. Focus on boosting employee morale by creating a positive environment and you will be rewarded with a team that’s energized, committed, and ready to perform at their best.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more valuable articles to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.

Business Advice: What is Cash Flow?

Portal CFO Cash Flow Chart

Accounting is one of the most complicated pieces of a business. This is especially true as a business grows. Aspects such as assets, liabilities, debts, costs, revenue, and profits must be accounted for in both their monetary and non-monetary forms. Of course, looking at these components of a business is important for estimating its value. However, according to Investopedia, this estimation of value can be misleading as it often obscures one of the most essential pieces of a business’ long-term sustainability – cash flow.

What is Cash Flow?

Cash flow, at its simplest, is a measurement of the money that goes in and out of a business. It ignores non-monetary, unpaid, and pending assets, revenues, debts, and liabilities. The primary objective of measuring cash flow is to get an idea of the amount of money available for spending. This includes money received from customers, bank loans, investments, and shares.

It is important to note that any money that has not yet been transferred, i.e. accounts receivables or unpaid bills, are not included in measurements of cash flow. Income and expenses are only measured when the money has been received or paid. 

Cash Flow and Growth

Working Capital

In a recent article, we discussed signs a company is ready for growth. One of the qualifiers was working capital. Capital, or cash, allows a business to hire more people. This often leads to more effective and efficient work, and consequently, more growth. Additionally, cash gives businesses more avenues for marketing and better tools for managing daily operations, further increasing reach and efficiency.

Most importantly, working capital allows a business to do basic upkeep of its services and products. This is especially important for brick and mortar businesses that have high overhead. Lack of cash tends to stifle a business’ ability to sustain itself, which decreases a business’ ability to jump-start or maintain growth. A lack of working capital also tends to scare off potential investors and lenders, which can lead to a downward spiral of insufficient funds.

As such, it is crucial that you regularly review your books to ensure that the income generated by your business is higher than its expenses. Otherwise, a lack of cash could lead to critical issues later down the road.

Final Thoughts

Accounting is a complex, but extremely important part of maintaining a healthy, growing business. Cash flow is no different. Remember to keep a close eye on the funds that go in and out of your business. The present and future viability of your company depend on it.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more interesting topics to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.

Tips to Provide Good Customer Service

Portal CFO Customer Service Photo

Good customer service should be a priority for you – from the first moment that you meet a new customer until they leave your store. You need to give them a reason to buy products and services from you (and to keep coming back). Though many business owners worry that it is too hard, the truth is that it is doable. Here are some tips to help you provide good customer service.

Smile.

Customer service starts with a smile. Greet your customers as they walk through the door. This will start their visit off on the right foot. Are you talking on the phone with customers? Even though they can’t see you, you should still smile. It brings a pleasant tone to your voice.

Listen to your customers.

Most people don’t properly listen to people when they talk. However, you need to give your undivided attention to your customers. They will know when you are paying attention and when you aren’t.

Focus on staff training.

If you have employees, you need to make them understand how much good customer service means to you. Make sure that they receive proper customer service training so that they know how they should handle clients, especially when problems arise. If your employees have the right tools, it can only help your business.

Respond quickly.

Most businesses have a policy where they return all phone calls and emails within one business day. Are you able to do that? If not, make sure that you let your customers know this beforehand. Most customers don’t mind waiting as long as they know how long it will be.

With a positive, responsive attitude, excellent training, and a service mindset, you can provide good customer service. It’s a simple tool for creating better, long-term client relationships.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more valuable articles to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.

 

The Importance of Regular Business Analysis

regular business analysis

It is easy to get caught up in the daily minutia of tasks and checklists.  That is why it is important that you keep your company’s vision and mission front of mind.  Quarterly and yearly reviews are great and critical to business success, but so are monthly, weekly, and even daily check-ins. While it is unnecessary and impractical to do a full business analysis on a daily or even weekly basis, brief surveys of how daily operations line up with the bigger picture will ensure that your organization is moving in the right direction.

Better Employee Engagement

According to Anthony Smith, one of the ways you can keep your employees happy and productive is by giving them a clear understanding of the overall goals of the company. Employees who are given tasks to complete without any context are less likely to be engaged with their work and, thus, more likely to be a detriment rather than a benefit to your organization. Regular reminders of your business’ objectives will help keep your team focused on your long-term goals and allow them to feel as though they are contributing to a greater purpose.

Focused Customer Relations

It is easy for businesses to lose sight of the company’s core values in favor of short-term gains. Temporary profits, however, rarely translate to sustainable long-term growth and is likely to exhaust your team and alienate your clients. As such, it is critical to keep your company’s values front of mind when thinking of ways to grow your business.

A great way to do this is by focusing on what your existing customers appreciate about your business. This will ensure that when developing new offerings, you are in tune with the core values and aims of your growing business, keeping both your team and your customers happy.

Final Thoughts

Regular mission, vision, and goal reviews help keep your team and clients on the same page. When everyone is clear on how they fit into the overall scheme of the organization, they can make better decisions. Feedback from all levels of the organization becomes much more useful and fewer mistakes are made.

Additionally, employees are more autonomous in their work and clients receive higher quality services and products. Taking care to do regular reviews will help steel your business against short-term fluctuations and prime it for long-term success.

For more ways to grow your business profitably, check out our website at www.portalcfo.com.

3 Signs Your Company Is Prepared for Exponential Growth

Exponential Growth Photo

Do you want to take your business to the next level but still aren’t sure if you’re ready? Read on to discover three signs that your company can handle exponential growth.

#1:  Your company has enough capital to expand

One of the first things you should do is make sure there is enough working capital for the company to scale. Sit down with your trusted accountant and financial consultants so they can analyze your finances and provide advice. If you don’t have enough money, you can always try to get a loan from a bank or a capital investment from individual investors.

#2:  You have the right people in place

Are you confident that your employees can take on additional roles and responsibilities? Smart founders hire a team of workers who excel in areas that they do not so they can help implement their growth-driving initiatives.  If your company has a distributed workforce in various cities or if you have a small, tight knit group of employees in one location, a strong team of highly skilled employees will improve your chances of helping the company grow over time.

#3:  You have a well thought out strategy

Lastly, you should not consider scaling the company if you do not have a strategic plan for what you’d like to accomplish and how you’d like to get there. For example, do you want to expand into new geographical markets or offer new products? Would you like to focus on vertical integration and improve your profit margins? Develop a well thought out strategy that includes your overall goals and vision for the company and share it with the team so everyone is on the same page. In conclusion, businesses with the right strategy, working capital, and a qualified team will be well prepared to handle exponential future growth.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more valuable articles to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.

Why Taking Care of Employees is Good for Business

Increase Employee Engagement

The concept of “good company culture” has been thrown around a lot in entrepreneurial and small business circles in recent years. There is a lot of talk around increasing employee engagement through recreational spaces, company retreats, etc., but do tactics like these actually make employees more productive? More importantly, is it a good use of time and resources to implement strategies that increase employee welfare? In this article we will discuss why focusing on workers’ happiness and welfare is absolutely critical in the success of a growing business.

Point of contact 

Much of the time, the individuals we hire for our companies act as the middleman between us and our clients. Whether we are operating a business to business or a business to customer endeavor, the employees with direct contact to our clients contribute greatly to the image of our company.

If our employees are chronically unhappy in their roles, it will be evident in the way they handle dealings with our customers. Similarly, a happy employee is highly likely to provide excellent service to our clients. As such, it is important to ensure that we not only treat our employees with care and respect, but that we also hire individuals whose values, missions and visions align with those of the company.

Employee Engagement

Just as our external focus should be on acquiring and maintaining a loyal customer base, our internal focus should be on acquiring and maintaining a loyal and robust team. As mentioned earlier, we should ensure that we hire individuals whose values and visions align with that of our companies. Properly vetting employees so that we avoid the high cost of having or replacing ill-suited and often unproductive workers is critical to the health and longevity of a business.

Not only is it important to focus on having a team with matching values, it is crucial to make sure that existing employees feel heard and understood. Recreational areas, retreats, and other fun perks are nice, but actually listening to our employees’ concerns and suggestions is even better. Doing this will allow employees to feel like their contributions matter and are of value to companies they work for.

The focus on company culture may be cliche, but the results of employee engagement are not. Happy employees create pleasant workplaces which translate to happy customers. Time and resources spent on productive employees is definitely worth it.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more valuable articles to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.