Benefits of Financial Outsourcing: How You Can Get Ahead

From simple bookkeeping, to management of your payroll, to analysis of your financial statements, outsourcing certain financial aspects of your company’s operations can make it easier to get ahead during your rapid growth years.

So let’s take an in-depth look at some of the benefits of financial outsourcing. You’ll get an idea of how having others take care of certain areas of your business can help you leverage your time and focus on making your company the best that it can possibly be.

Read more

Break Even Analysis Formula: Figuring Out Your Costs and Revenue

Do you know all about the break even analysis formula and how it helps your business stay on track?

If not, then it’s something that you may want to learn, because it will aid you in your financial decision-making for your company. This calculation is one of many tools that you can use to help your business remain successful from a financial perspective.

Let’s take a look at what goes into a break even analysis formula, so that you can get a clear understanding idea of how it impacts your business operations.

Read more

How to Increase Profit Margins: What You Can Do to Bring in More Money

The question of how to increase profit margins is one that an owner of any kind of business, big or small, asks his or herself throughout the life cycle of the company.

While you likely have a vision and a plan by which you want to approach that vision and make it into a reality, it can all be for nothing if you don’t have the profit margins to justify the effort.

So it makes sense that, in that context, you would want to do everything possible in order to make sure that vision is achieved.

But just what can you do to make things happen?

That’s the topic we’ll explore in this post, as asking the question of how to increase profit margins is one surefire way to secure your company’s future.

Read more

Business Financial Metrics Every Entrepreneur Should Know

business financial metrics that every entrepreneur should know

Business financial metrics are essential to learning how your company truly operates, so it makes sense that you would want to know absolutely everything that there is about them.

As an entrepreneur, you have to wear many hats and be knowledgeable in many different disciplines.

From knowing your product or service inside out, to being able to talk to your customers and clients, to showing the leadership skill that your employees need in order to bring out the best that they have, your role as the owner of the company is one that will demand everything you’ve got.

But it can all be for nothing if you don’t know about the different aspects of finance that serve to keep you in business.

This post will look at some of those areas, provide explanations about what each one is, and show you what you can do in order to make sure that your business thrives in these areas so that it’s able to thrive as a company.

So, if you’re ready to learn more about business financial metrics and what they mean for you, then keep reading this page.

Read more

Considerations for Starting a Business: Things That You Should Keep In Mind

If you’re entertaining the idea of owning your own company, then it’s important to know about the different considerations for starting a business.

Because getting a company off of the ground requires time, dedication, and resources, you don’t want to overlook anything on your path to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Starting a business involves much more than knowing what you want to sell and finding people who are willing to buy it. When you visit any business that you regularly patronize, whether it’s a small stand on the street corner or a large, big box chain, there are a lot of unseen parts working together to make sure that business is able to effectively serve its customers.

As an aspiring business owner, those are the things that you need to worry about in your own house.

So what are some of the considerations for starting a business? Keep reading this post to find out just what you need to keep in mind as you set out to run your own company.

Read more

Identifying Business Functions

Of the many things that you can do to ensure that your company is successful in the long term, identifying business functions is among the most important.

Being able to identify your business functions helps you to have a clearly defined path to guide your company towards.  You will also be to shape the roles of your team and the other people who help you get where you want to be as an entrepreneur.  Knowing about the functions of your business involves being at least somewhat involved in every aspect of your business; whether that’s by being hands on, merely acting in a supervisory role, or simply checking progress every so often.

So how do you go about identifying business functions so that you can better shape your company’s future?

Read more

Identifying Business Requirements

In operating a business, you know that it’s important that everyone benefit from the products and services that you offer, right?

That is why identifying business requirements is such an important practice.

With the time, resources, and manpower that often go into developing your offerings, the last thing you want to happen is for your efforts to go to waste as the finished product doesn’t fulfill any the needs that have to be addressed.

In order to do this effectively, it’s important to ask of your business:

  • What” are we doing?
  • Why” are we doing it?

With these questions on your mind, you’re well on your way to establishing the kinds of practices that will be beneficial to your operations in your long term.

This applies to what you do internally at face value, but it’s important to remember that the “what” and “why” are followed closely by the “how”.

How you end up doing things will directly affect not just your own team, but your customers and other stakeholders as well.

So, just how do you go about identifying business requirements?

Ask Yourself Who’s Involved

When I say that, I don’t just mean those among your personnel, but those among your customer base as well.

Every decision that you make likely affects your customers somehow. In some instances, the effects are so minute that the customers might not even notice, but you want to go into the decision making process with the mindset that everyone is going to be impacted. This will allow you to get their input on what should be included during the development process.

By gathering input and finding out what people expect from whatever it might be that you’re developing, you can create an offering that will address as many of those needs as possible.

This is an important step in the process of identifying business requirements if only because doing this early on will not only help you avoid potential setbacks like backlash and public scrutiny, but any potential issues with the product can be caught and addressed early on.

Look to the Future

When it comes to running a business, it never hurts to have a plan for where you want to be within a certain time frame.

It could be as frequent as month-to-month or as widespread as every five years, but having some foresight about how you want things to develop could serve as a sort of road map for where you want to go.

In all likelihood, some details on your vision might change. You may find that your vision was too ambitious and you have to scale back some expectations, or you may find that you can take on more than you initially believed you could.

Either way, looking forward is a good method for identifying business requirements simply because having a plan for future development will keep you on the task of reaching that goal. Having that goal in your sights will allow you to figure out just what tools you need in order to get there.

Run Tests

Even while looking ahead is a good way of identifying business requirements, you have to remain rooted in the here and now to make sure that everything continues to go smoothly.

That’s why, when introducing a change, either internally or externally, it pays to test something out before rolling it out completely.

It happens all the time in many industries:

  • Technology firms and car companies will build prototypes
  • Restaurants may roll out a new menu item in certain regions before deciding whether or not to go national
  • Software companies often have alpha and beta tests for their products before going to retail with them

These are just a few examples where it pays to test something in order to make sure that it has viability in the market, but running those tests is a good way of identifying business requirements.

So you should do it, no matter what your industry is.

The same practice can be applied internally as well. You may have new policies that you’re considering implementing, but rolling them out gradually to see how people within your company adapt to them is almost always preferable to putting them in front of everyone and simply saying “this is the way it’s going to be.”

It could be that something you thought might be a morale booster ended up doing nothing of the sort or that a new policy that you put into play helped in identifying business requirements that you weren’t initially aware were necessary.

With any endeavor that has the power to change the way your company does business, whether it’s an effect on employee morale or a complete operational overhaul, cautious steps are always better than rushing into it.

Your Business Requirements Affect Everyone

At the end of the day, every step in the process of identifying business requirements should be conducted with those who are going be affected in mind.

Whatever you are doing to change your company, it has to benefit as many people as possible while still being a viable idea, but with careful planning and the right implementation over time, you can certainly use those requirements to shape your business into something industry changing.

This post is a part of a series that helps you identify opportunities and problems within your small business.
Click here to read more related posts.

Identifying Business Drivers

Why Knowing What Drives Your Company is Important

As an entrepreneur, you owe it to yourself, your employees, and anyone else who has a vested interest in your company to make the business as profitable as you can. You can make sure that happens by identifying business drivers that will bring in more revenue as time goes on.

With the competition becoming more aggressive, making sure that customers continue coming through your doors can be a difficult enough task. Without growth, however, you could risk losing your market share through stagnation.

That’s why it pays to know what causes people to choose your services over what your competitors offer and to be aware of key business performance indicators/KPI’s.

Only by being fully aware of those driving factors can you foster growth and make sure that your company is able to not just weather tough financial times, but fully capitalize on the conditions of strong economic climates as well.

As you know, there are a number of factors that influence whether or not people come through your doors, so it isn’t as simple as pinning down a single trend, event, or practice that makes money and causes your business to thrive.

So what are some ways that you can go about identifying business drivers to help your business thrive?

Read more

Does My Business Need Workers Compensation Coverage?

This is a common question that many entrepreneurs ask when establishing policies related to their business.

It comes as no surprise that, with everything you’ve invested in your business, you want to be able to protect yourself, your assets, your finances and your employees as much as possible.

But is workers compensation coverage something that you should worry about?

What Kind of Industry is Your Business In?

Workers compensation entitles an employee who is injured on the job medical coverage as well as monetary compensation in exchange for that employee waiving their right to sue the employer in a court of law.

When it comes to whether or not such insurance is required, many people believe that worker’s compensation is something that is more relevant to some industries than other.

It makes sense, too.

People who work in jobs where they are constantly lifting, moving, and operating heavy equipment are more prone to injury than those who spend their entire working day sitting behind a desk.

Nevertheless, workers compensation is something that every business should have, even if the nature of your company’s work isn’t inherently dangerous.

It doesn’t matter if the people in your office never lift anything heavier than an ink pen, accidents in the workplace don’t necessarily have to be related to the work that you do.

When asking yourself the question of “Does my business need workers compensation coverage,” there are several different factors that you have to keep in mind to ensure that the level or coverage provided by your worker’s compensation coverage is adequate enough to protect your company and your employees.

Let’s take a look at what you need to consider:

  • What you can afford – The kind of insurance that covers your business in case of an employee’s injury works much in the same way that your personal health insurance does.If you think that you can’t afford insurance, consider a basic policy that covers things like property and injury at a reasonable cost.  It should be noted that, like personal insurance, a higher deductible means lower monthly premiums and vice versa. Keep that in mind when you shop for a policy.
  • Take a look at your business and the risk associated with it – Anyone who asks “Does my business need workers compensation coverage,” should know that looking at the level of risk their company faces will help determine what kind of coverage would be ideal for their situation.From determining just what around your work environment can pose a threat to the safety of your employees to determining how you can treat and perhaps reduce that risk, it’s adamant that you keep such factors under constant review.

This is so that you never pay for more coverage then you need, and at the same time, you have enough to cover any possible mishaps.

  • What are the local laws? – Many states require companies to be covered some way, so the question of “Does my business need workers compensation coverage” then becomes a matter of how much you need.The law is different in each state, so you’ll have to contact your local insurance commissioner’s office to find out just what you need and how you can go about getting covered so that you, your company, and your employees are all covered in case something happens

It’s important to be covered for incidents that you couldn’t possibly foresee.

Without workers compensation coverage, you open yourself up for lawsuits if someone happens to get injured on your company’s property.

Best case scenario: The ruling is in your favor, but you’ll still have lost money to attorney’s fees, and will have spent a large amount of time dealing with the issue.

Worst case scenario: a lawsuit from an injured worker brings about a number of costs that your company never fully recovers from.

When asking yourself “Does my business need workers compensation coverage,” take the time to think about what could happen without it and you’ll have your answer.

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

For more information on business analysis, business planning, and ways to grow your small business profitably, please check out our website www.portalcfo.com.  Follow us on Twitter @portalcfo

Sign up for our weekly blog email update to stay tuned for details on our upcoming teleseminar for maximizing profits in your business.