Business Reorganization Consulting

Going through the process of restructuring your business can be difficult enough that you should consider business reorganization consulting in order to make sure the process goes smoothly for everyone involved.

With the economy being the way it is right now, many businesses of all sizes and industries are changing the way that they operate.

Some are scaling back on operations by reducing staff or changing locations to cut costs.

Others are repurposing their staff and consolidating roles

During economic times like this, it isn’t uncommon to see mergers and acquisitions occur so that a company on the brink of failure can keep its doors open. Nor is it uncommon to see a company completely rebrand itself and radically change its offerings in order to weather an economic downturn.

Regardless of the reason why your company is changing the way it does things, having business reorganization consulting can make sure that you’re able to turn your company around and get through the restructuring process without missing a step that could come back to haunt you later.

So what are some of the areas that you need to cover when you’re restructuring?

Let’s take a look.

Key Areas and Characteristics

No one walks away unaffected when it comes to reorganizing a company. From the executives at the very top to the newest entry-level hires, everyone is going to feel the impact of this major event one way or another.

As a result, this fact extends to all areas of your company as well. Departments and practices like management, marketing, and accounting are all going to change in some way. Beyond those, you need to consider areas like:

  • Your Assets – How will these be affected when you reorganize?

Depending on the nature of the restructuring, some might remain intact, but others might have to be sold in order to generate revenue during the restructuring process. If some of your assets are underutilized, it might be in your best interest to dump them and keep them from becoming liabilities.

  • Basic Operations – Restructuring means taking a look at every part of your business, including the everyday practices that turn the wheels of the company.

In some instances, you’ll have to ask yourself if certain aspects of your operation can be outsourced for more efficient, more cost-effective output than what your company currently produces.

  • Your Reputation – Business reorganization consulting would, in part, advise you on how to maintain your relationship with your customers through effective public relations that assures them your restructuring will do nothing but benefit them.

As you know, customers vote with their dollars, so you want to do everything that you can to make sure that you don’t lose your base as your company changes its operations.

  • Your Plan – Without a strong business plan, you’re not going to get anywhere. That’s why it’s important to know exactly where you’re going as you work through your restructuring. You can use it to assess the current state of your business and establish goals that you want to reach, as well as a timeline for when you want to reach them.
  • Your Debt – Business reorganization consulting will help you make sense of your debt and how it relates to your plans to restructure.

It’s important that you have a strong understanding of your debt obligations at all times, and that means, among other things, carefully monitoring payments that you make on it.  It’s possible that, in analyzing this part of your business, you will have to rely on some negotiations with your creditors.

It’s important to make sure that all of your affairs are in order when you’re reorganizing your company’s operations and the areas discussed on this page are just a few that you’ll need to be familiar with during the process.

With business reorganization consulting, you can make sure that each area of your business gets the attention it needs during restructuring, so that you’ll be able to adopt new business practices without any trouble.

With all of the work it takes to rearrange the way your business operates, the last thing you want is to make a mistake that could potentially jeopardize the process. Good business reorganization consulting can make sure that happens.

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

For more ideas on how to grow your business, please check out our website.

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How to Obtain Funding for a Business

How to obtain funding for your service business

How to obtain funding for a business is something that is on the mind of every entrepreneur who has ever had an idea for starting their own enterprise, and with good reason. In order to get anywhere, regardless of the stage that the company is in, you need to be able to successfully manage your finances down to the last penny.

For the average startup, this applies to being able to get the enterprise up and off the ground. Established businesses need effective money management for growth and expansion. In a long-standing business, managing finances has everything to do with holding on to market share and keeping competitors at bay.

Proper business funding is essential to everything from day-to-day operations on up, but just what is the answer to the question of how to obtain funding for a business?

Well, let’s take a look at some of your options:

You could receive funding for your company through equity financing

If equity financing is the route that you decide to take in order to finance your company, then you should know the basics behind this practice.

  • Equity financing is the same as getting investors on board with supporting your company. You agree to allow these investors to purchase part of your company. They give you money for operations and they, in return, receive a percentage of the profit that comes in
  • This approach for securing funding means that you can come across a large amount of money on which you will not have to pay interest but, at the same time, you lose some control in your enterprise.

Investors who own a large enough part of your company may have some input into how things are run, so you want to think about who you approach if you decide that this is the answer to how to obtain funding for a business.

If handing over part of your company to an investor doesn’t sound like an appealing option, then….

You could look at taking out private loans

When business owners are trying to figure out how to obtain funding, this is often the most common approach.

This comes with its own unique characteristics, of course:

  • By borrowing money from a bank or finance company, you can obtain the kind of capital you need to get going without having to give up a controlling interest in for company.
  • Your company’s profits belong to your company and no one else.
  • Like with any other kind of loan (such as a car loan) you will have a timetable by which you have to pay back what you borrowed. That loan will, of course, carry interest with it.

When it comes to getting a loan from a bank or finance company, you should also know that doing so requires a lot of research.

Lenders are hesitant to extend loans to first time entrepreneurs because of the level of risk associated with running your own business for the first time.

You can increase your chances by constructing a strong business plan that will outline how your company will be run. You should be aware of the fact that, even if you are successful, you may have to put up collateral.

When figuring out how to obtain funding for a business, these are two ways that you can approach it…

But, in a few instances…

You can obtain a grant

Free money that doesn’t have to be paid back; how does that sound?  In answering how to obtain funding for a business, this is the most attractive option.

This is what a grant is, in essence. Since grants are given to an entrepreneur and don’t have to be paid back, this is the best way to find a business but, of course, there are some things associated with grants that make them harder to come by than any other source of funding.

  • Some grants may not give you full funding, but what you do get may still be substantial enough to get you going.
  • As stated, the money is yours. There is no paying it back.
  • Grants are only given to enterprises that are applicable, meaning that your company has to be in a certain field or sector to even be considered. This usually means something like a non-profit organization
  • You will likely have to abide by certain conditions once you begin your operations

Because grants are free money given only to certain enterprises, they can be harder to find and harder still to obtain.

If a grant is your answer to how to obtain funding for a business, then you want to get started on applying as soon as possible, because the application and approval process can take time.

Which one is right for you?

What’s right for one kind of business may not necessarily be correct for another, so you want to think about your source of funding very carefully when you are running your business.

Take a look at the kind of business that you want to run and what you need in order to make your vision happen.

Your startup might not require the things that others need in their daily operations, so look at every area of your business, from personnel down to supplies, and you’ll get a general idea of how much seed money you need.

Once you take that into account, the task of answering the question of “how to obtain funding for a business” gets a little easier.

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

Contact us for more information on how we can help you grow your business. Follow us on Twitter @portalcfo

How to Enhance Business Performance

When you’re running your own business, one question you’re constantly asking yourself is how to enhance business performance?

If it isn’t, then it should be!

Starting your business and making a name for yourself in your given industry is a tough enough task, yes, but you should never, ever rest on your laurels once your business is off the ground and earning money.

As with any kind of operation, there is always room for improvement. There is always something that you could be doing better, more efficiently, and in a way that you will win over more customers and bring in more revenue for your company.

Businesses like yours involve a lot of different moving parts that work together to make the entire venture run smoothly, and things will only become more complicated as your company grows and expands with time.

You need to learn how to enhance business performance while your company is still young. If you don’t, then the road ahead will be that much harder as time progresses.

Let’s take a look at many of the different things you can do to optimize your company’s performance and you’ll see just how involved the process of getting the most out of your company can be.

Sharpening Your Talent

Your company wouldn’t be anything without the talent that goes into selling your products and services.

Whether you have a team of employees, or your company is a single-person operation, the skills used to persuade potential customers to part with their hard earned money requires that your talents always be in the best possible shape in order for you to have the competitive edge.

With that in mind, know that there are several things you can do in order to keep your skills current:

  • Follow industry-relevant news and developments like it’s your job because, in a way, it is!

In just about any industry, things can change at the drop of a hat. The latest and greatest can quickly become obsolete. The last thing you want to happen is you having to play catch up because you weren’t aware of a development that affected the whole industry.

  • Take continuing education, because graduating from school doesn’t mean that you stop learning. In order to keep up and make sure that you’re using the latest bit of knowledge related to your company, you should look into enrolling in classes every now and then.
  • Learning from your mistakes is practically “how to enhance business performance 101”. Everyone stumbles at some point in their lifetime, and it’s no different in business.  You want to be sure that any shortcomings you’ve faced in the past are looked at closely so that you know what went wrong and how to keep it from happening again.

It’s important to note that dooming yourself to repeat a mistake can ultimately lead to failure or, at the very least, stunted growth as a company. Whenever you make a mistake, you should note it regardless of how insignificant it might seem. You’ll be glad you did later.

Make Use of All Resources Available to You

Some entrepreneurs have already figured out how to enhance business performance by going beyond their immediate circle and outsourcing certain aspects of their business. There’s no reason you shouldn’t do the same.

Whether it’s because the service in question is too specialized, but highly necessary to running a business, or because outsourcing it means fewer resources used than would be the case if the task was taken on in-house, doing so can save you time and money.

In figuring out how to enhance business performance, many companies have turned to outsourcing services like:

  • Accounting
  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Marketing
  • Payroll

With important aspects like these being handled by other companies outside of your own, you can easily focus on what makes your business work and how your customers can best benefit from what you offer. You won’t have to fumble around with things that require a certain level of expertise in order to pull off effectively.

Build Your Alliances

In a way, this tip harkens back to the previous one about sharpening your skills.

Every entrepreneur wants to know how to enhance business performance, but few realize that one extremely effective way to do this is through networking, building alliances, and creating mutually beneficial relationships with other entrepreneurs.

In the world of business, it pays to have as many allies, contacts, and partners as you can. You want to take every available opportunity to attend events, seminars, and conferences where you can meet people who will be able to help you in the development of your business.

Whether these people are potential clients, suppliers, business partners, or even industry veterans who can offer you some help and guidance, it pays to put yourself out there and see how others will be able to help you.

You never know who you might meet!

Giving It Your All

When running your business, you should never skip out on anything that could help your company move to the next level.

You want the product or service that you offer to become synonymous with the industry, but you can only do that with business performance and management that will take in every advantage available as an entrepreneur.

From making sure that the people working for you have the skills and equipment they need to do their jobs, to looking at your resources and planning ahead, your company’s day-to-day practices are just as important as your long term plans.

In figuring out how to enhance business performance, you need to look at all possible avenues to be sure that you’re employing the best possible practices.

By doing everything within your power to make your business the best that it can be and promoting it enough that people know your name is one that should always be on their minds, you will be well on your way to a successful and long term existence as a business.

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.

How to Fund a New Business

The question of how to fund a new business is one that any entrepreneur will ask his or herself sooner rather than later.

After all, how are you going to be able to do anything in the world of business without the right funding to get the wheels in motion?

Think about all of the things that a business needs in order to run and you’ll quickly see why it’s important that you not just secure funding for your enterprise, but that the funding you secure will be enough to help see your business through its formative period once it’s up and running.

You need start up funding to cover things like:

  • Equipment
  • Payroll (if you aren’t the only person involved in running your company)
  • Licensing
  • Office space
  • Insurance

The costs don’t end with just these essentials either. While you may be able to find more cost effective alternatives in many instances, not including any one of the important aspects of business operation could ultimately mean that your company ends up suffering in the long run.

So how do you fund a new business, knowing that it involves so many different aspects from the start?

Well, let’s take a look at some of your options.

You Could Get a Bank Loan

Many entrepreneurs go the traditional route when funding their startups by appealing to banks for loans or lines of credit.

Money extended to you by a lending institution like a bank can help get you started but, if this is the path you decided to take in order to secure your seed money, you need to be prepared.

Banks want to be sure that the money they extend to startups will be returned to them, which is why you need a strong business plan.

It’s no secret that startup businesses can be a gamble, so you need to have proof that your business venture is something that will be worth the lender’s trouble.

You Could Try to Apply for a Grant

For many reasons, grants are more difficult to obtain than loans when you’re looking to fund your business.

Funds available to distribute via grants are often very limited, as are the types of businesses that the federal government will extend grants to.

Grants can also be available through local governments and organizations depending on where you live but they often have many of the same strict reporting requirements as federal grants.

If pursuing a grant is an avenue you’re interested in when figuring out how to fund a new business, you should know that a business plan can help you much in the same way that it can with pursuing a loan.

The federal government wants to be sure that any money they extend to a new business owner won’t go to waste, so you want to come up with a plan that is as detailed as possible if you want a fighting chance at securing a grant for your business.

To learn more about small business grants, you can go to the official website of the US Small Business Administration.

You Can Try to Find Investors

When thinking of how you can fund a new business, have you thought about appealing to potential investors who can provide your company with startup capital?

Look for business-minded people who might take an interest in your enterprise and make them partners.

In this scenario, you may have to cede some level of control but you will get money to fund your company, so it’s up to you to determine whether or not that trade off would be worth it in the long run.

You Could Try Contract Work

Starting and running a business, even planning to do so, is a full time job. In figuring out how to fund a new business while it’s going, you might not have time for a traditional 9 to 5.

Depending on the size of the company you plan on starting, however, you may be able to use money that you earn through freelance and contract work to supplement money that your startup brings in.

The flexibility of freelance work means that you would be able to dedicate a good amount of your time and energy to running your company while gathering some extra revenue at the same time.

Finding the Method That’s Right for You

While there seem to be countless answers to the question of how to fund a new business, the options listed here are some of the most widely practiced among entrepreneurs who want to find the right amount of funding to get their business ventures going.

It’s important to remember that anyone who was a stake in your business wants to be sure that they won’t end up losing anything on the deal.  Therefore, your investigation into how to fund a new business should include some reassurance that stakeholders will come out on top at the end of the day.

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.

How to Reduce Operating Expenses in Business

Cut costs

You can never have low enough overhead. Many entrepreneurs are always trying to figure out how to reduce operating expenses in business.

Let’s take a look at why you should reduce operating expenses in your business and what doing so can ultimately mean for a business owner like you.

1. Why Do You Want to Reduce Overhead?

With economic times being as unpredictable as they are, there are a number of reasons why you might want to keep your overhead as low as you possibly can.

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

  • Customer demand for your goods or services isn’t what it used to be – It could be that what you provide is seen as something of a luxury that people feel as though they can’t afford to use at the moment. Or perhaps there has been a perceived decline in your product’s quality.

Regardless of the reason, people aren’t buying in the amounts that they once did. This could lead you to trying to figure out how to reduce operating expenses in business, among other things.

  • Revenue is down across the board – This could be tied to the decreased demand or could be influenced by other factors like you being unfamiliar with what your competitors are doing.

Either way, decreased revenue could have you scrambling to figure out how to keep your head above water long enough to work out a way to get a strong cash flow going again.

  • Revenue isn’t being used efficiently – Do you often find your business is spending money in areas where it doesn’t need to be?

Wasteful spending is every bit as much a hindrance to growth in business finance as it is in personal finance, so it makes sense that you want to look at ways to keep that sort of a spending to an absolute minimum or simply eliminate it outright.

2. What You Need to Know Beforehand

What many business owners don’t realize in figuring out how to reduce operating expenses in business is that doing so can often carries risks. This makes the process of lowering your overhead more trouble than it’s worth and could potentially leave you worse off in the long run than you were when you first started.

Before you think about ways to reduce your company’s operating expenses, there are several worthwhile questions that you have to ask yourself.

Namely:

  • How will my customers be affected? – Everything that you do should ultimately benefit your customers in some way.  If the actions that you take in reducing your company’s operating costs could conceivably alienate the people to whom you provide your services, then your plans will definitely need to be reevaluated.
  • Will the quality of my products suffer? – Offering product that is inferior to what you used to provide cancels out anything that you achieved through reducing your overhead. If they don’t notice right away, your customers will notice the decline in time and take their business elsewhere.

You want to make sure that your offerings remain the same so that you can keep your customers happy.

  • Will it put me at a disadvantage? – You always want to be able to keep up with your competitors, so your strategy on how to reduce operating expenses in business should never undermine your competitive edge.

If lower overhead means fewer offerings, a reduced service area, fewer business hours or anything else that competitors could take advantage of, then you need to rework your business plan to lower your expenses without having to resort to any of those potentially harmful measures.

3. What You Can Do

Knowing what you do about how your business can be negatively affected by lowering your overhead, keep in mind that there are still several ways to go about continuing your business while remaining profitable.

The question of how to reduce operating expenses in business without being detrimental can be answered in some of the following ways:

  • Look at your employees – It makes sense that most consumers hold good customer service above anything else when considering where they will spend their money. That’s why you want to look at your employees as a way of reducing business costs.

How is that done, exactly?

Train your employees and keep them happy!

By providing a high level of training, your employees will know how to deal with certain situations and will be able to meet the needs of your customers.

Show your employees how important they are to the company’s mission and you’ll keep turnover, which can lead to high costs for your business, low.

  • Consider outsourcing some business functions – Every business relies on important services like information technology (IT) for communication purposes, and accounting for bookkeeping purposes.

In figuring out how to reduce operating expenses in business, one thing you could look at is outsourcing these important functions to professionals who specialize in these areas.

With respect to IT, outsourcing can save you money be lifting the burden of having to maintain, install, and update equipment and software, as well as having to devote time and resources to dealing with troubleshooting.

With respect to accounting, having a consultant carry out your company’s financial oversight will allow you to take advantage of expert bookkeeping that will be able to oversee financial record keeping much more efficiently than you might be able to were you to take care of it yourself.

Outsourcing both IT and accounting are textbook examples of how to reduce operating expenses in business because they allow you to get business critical services while avoiding payroll expenses and other taxes you would incur if you had these professionals as part of your regular staff.

  • Look at your production costs – How much is it costing you to provide your services to your customers?

You want to look at the materials that go into what you provide, as well as your relationship with the suppliers who provide you with those raw materials.

Are there alternatives that you can use in your production without affecting the quality? Do you have a strong enough relationship with your suppliers that you would be able to renegotiate the terms of your contract?

Many times, figuring out how to reduce operating expenses in business can be as simple as forming and maintaining strong business to business relationships with other companies.

Other times, it’s a matter of finding alternative ways to do something that you’re already doing.

  • Conserve energy – This may seem like a very basic premise, but take a look at how much good reducing your energy bill can do and you’ll see why it’s such a good idea.

By taking small steps like turning off devices when they aren’t in use, using lower wattage light bulbs, and generally conserving whenever the opportunity presents itself, you can see a dramatic reduction in one of your recurring bills.

These are just a few of the measures that you can take to keeping your company’s operating costs low. You just have to remember that when it comes to figuring out how to reduce operating expenses in business, you want to look for examples that might be unique to your industry on top of the examples illustrated here.

Keeping your overhead low without sacrificing quality of service or withdrawing the affections of long time customers will go a long way towards helping your bottom line.

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

Check out our website at www.portalcfo.com for more tips on how to grow your business profitably.

You may also be interested in Learning How to Reduce Operational Risk.

How to Use EBITDA to Value a Business

EBITDA to Value a Business

If you’re an entrepreneur who wants to know how to use EBITDA to value a business, then you should know all about this calculation and how it can help you strengthen your business in the long run.

When it comes down to it, EBITDA is designed to do three main things:

  1. Provide a rough estimate of the company’s cash flow from operations
  2. Provide a means by which the worth of different companies can be compared
  3. Illustrate how much money is available to the company in order to help eliminate debt

EBITDA, which stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, is something that companies in all kinds of sectors rely on in order to accurately gauge their strength as it relates to profitability.

It’s with that in mind that you want to approach your business practices with the mentality that you’ll be selling your company one day.

If you approach them in that way, you’ll be able to use EBITDA to not just know how much your business is worth, but determine what actions you can take to make the business a more attractive prospect in the future.

Take a Look at Your Company’s Equipment

When you want to figure out how to use EBITDA to value a business, one place to typically start is the equipment that the company uses in order to carry out is operations.

Does your company mostly have standard equipment?

If so, how old is it?

The age and condition of the machines you use to get work done can have some bearing on your company’s overall worth.

Likewise, if you have specialty equipment that not everyone in your field possesses, this can have a positive effect on your EBITDA and the overall worth of your company at the end of the day.

Your Reputation is Important

Another important factor in determining how to use EBITDA to value a business can rest in how your business is perceived.

Do you have a large number of repeat customers?

Is a lot of the business that you do the result of positive word of mouth?

While your services and offerings are important, the way that the consumer perceives you is an all-important part of determining your company’s worth.

If you have a large enough customer base that relies on you time and again, that could easily increase how much your business is worth. The buyer will be getting those repeat customers along with your company’s name and equipment.

Location is Everything

Part of a business valuation may be an assessment about where your offices are located. When thinking about how to use EBITDA to value a business, look at your location and how it can affect your revenue.

Are there other companies similar to your own nearby? If so, who has been there longer?

Are you close to your main customer base?

Are you in an area of highly sought after business real estate (e.g. a downtown vs a rural location)?

Much like buying a house, the location of your business can play a large role in how much a buyer is willing to spend. Short of packing up and moving, there’s little you can do about your location but knowing that it has an effect on your company’s worth can help dictate how you’ll proceed.

It All Comes Together In the End

Each of these factors, as well as several others, are all important to determining the worth of your company before you decide to sell it because each of these factors can outwardly affect your earnings.

Knowing what you now know about how to use EBITDA to value a business, you can make adjustments so that your company worth more in the eyes of potential buyers.

Whatever you do to improve your practices, it’s important to keep these things up as the years pass. Not only that, but you should also work to reduce risks associated with your business because doing so could mean that any buyers that you meet will be more eager to jump in when the time comes.

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

 

https://portalcfo.com/2017/10/13/need-strategize-business-growth-planning/

 

How to Reduce Business Overhead: Tips for Cutting Costs Without Losing Customers

cost cutting tips for your business

How to reduce business overhead is something that many entrepreneurs like you thinks about when it comes to running a company.

And with good reason.

How to reduce business overhead is a question that’s been on the minds on entrepreneurs like you since people first started running their own businesses. It also becomes something that more and more people ask when economic times are less than ideal.

With much of the world still recovering from a time of economic turmoil, it’s an especially important question for owners of small businesses.

How High Overhead Hurts You

High overhead means that you spend more on business upkeep than you do on development and growth. Profit margins might be razor thin in the cases of many smaller businesses, meaning that every dollar has to count towards something meaningful.

But what are you supposed to do?

Besides eating into your revenue, rising overhead can cause you to raise the costs of your products and services to keep up with the increase in operating expenses. It goes without saying that if you raise your costs then your customers may jump ship and go with what your competitors offer instead.

Rising costs go hand in hand with the expansion of your business; that much is inevitable. As your company grows over time, you’ll undoubtedly have to hire more employees in order to keep up with customer demand.

Beyond that you may need to do things like order supplies in greater quantities, open additional branches, increase marketing, and move offices in when you have more employees.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Four Things You Can Do to Cut Costs and Stay Ahead

There are several things that you can do to minimize the costs your company takes on and enjoy the benefits of the increased revenue as a result.

  1. First, you have to know what your operating costs are – When it comes to figuring out how to reduce business overhead, it’s important that you know exactly what you’re up against.Take a look at your current costs with the most up-to-date numbers that you can acquire. This will give you an accurate assessment about what you’re spending to keep things moving behind the scenes so that the needs of your customers are met.You can also go a step further and get the same information from previous years. Chances are that comparing the current information with past information will show a trend in costs rising over time.If the changes that you see are drastic, then you know immediately where you can begin making changes as far as how to reduce business overheads are concerned.
  2. You can negotiate with other companies – It doesn’t matter what kind of business you run, you likely have to use some kind of service to process payments. Likewise, you need a company that provides you with supplies.If you have strong business to business relationships with these other entities, then it could be to your advantage to try and lower your costs by negotiating terms with them.The competitive nature of these industries means that they might be willing to work with you so that you reach a cost effective solution and they retain you as a customer.
  3. You can outsource some services to specialists – One way to cut costs is to let professionals handle certain tasks that your company needs.In finding methods on how to reduce business overhead, some companies have turned to outsourcing important functions like bookkeeping and information technology maintenance and support.Companies that provide these services excel at them. By having them do it, you can save yourself time and money so that your own company can do what it does best.
  4. Evaluate your true need for an office space – One mistake that you can easily make is buying more of an office space than you truly need to run your company.Take a look at how much space is available to you versus how many employees your company has. There’s a chance that they could occupy a smaller space without much of a change in the way that your company operates.

Beyond that, another way that you could be reducing business costs is by promoting a work environment where employees can use a virtual office setup if they’re so inclined.When you want to figure out how to reduce business overheads, consider having an arrangement where employees can work from their own homes.This provision can promote productivity by allowing your employees to work in a place where they are most comfortable, when they are most comfortable doing so.When this happens, you not only benefit from better work output but you may cut utility costs and have a reduced need for furniture and equipment at your office

Cutting Costs Should Never Come at the Expense of Alienating Your Customers

In the end, the question of how to reduce business overheads can extend much further than what’s brought up in this post. The truth of the matter is that there are countless things that entrepreneurs like you can do in order to minimize operating expenses. Whatever you decided to do, however, it’s important to remember that you always have to weight the risks of cutting costs against the rewards for doing so.

When figuring out how to reduce business overheads, you should do what you can reasonably get away with. Your cost cutting measures should never negatively impact the way you serve your customers or your ability to meet their demands. Keep costs low and customer satisfaction high, and your company’s name could easily be on everyone’s lips before you know it.

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

International Business Growth Strategies

As an entrepreneur, you’ve probably considered establishing a business in an overseas market and, as a result, have wondered what some viable international business growth strategies are.

It’s no secret that, figuratively speaking, the world is getting smaller.

As communications technology continues to improve, developing nations undergo the transformation necessary to come into their own on the world stage. The opportunity for entrepreneurs like you to tap into these markets is there if you know what to do.

You should know that international markets are different from their domestic counterparts by their very natures for a number of different reasons.

There are advantages as well as disadvantages associated with these differences and it pays to know about them before you commit resources from your business to establishing a presence in a foreign market.

Let’s take a look at some of the unique aspects related to doing business internationally and you’ll get a good idea for what you can do to make sure that your company is successful in its overseas endeavors.

  • The stability of the country – This mainly applies to countries that are still developing. It isn’t uncommon for these countries to experience political instability that could threaten your ability to conduct business within its borders. When coming up with a plan, you want to do thorough research on the country that you intend to carry out operations in and make sure that the risk of doing so is low enough that you’ll be able to conduct business there successfully.
  • The local laws related to doing business – Before you started your company in the US, you knew all of the laws related to doing so, right?

It makes sense then, that part of your international business growth strategies would involved being well-versed on the laws of the country that you intend to do business in.

From reporting standards, to hours that employees work, to what you are and aren’t allowed to sell, the standards are likely going to be different from what you’re used to. Even if the difference is trivial, it’s worth knowing about so that your company works within the law.

  • Currency rates – This should be a huge factor in your international business growth strategies, regardless of what your industry is.

You need to keep an eye on currency rates because no two currencies are exactly alike and that’s an important thing to keep in mind when dealing with international customers.

By keeping these things in mind, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a successful business on foreign soil. After you consider these factors, several truths that go with business success in the US can apply, at least to some degree, to foreign markets.

  • Make sure that your processes are as efficient as possible – When meeting the demands of your customers, your service should be as quick and efficient there as it would be here in the US.

Take the time to establish relationships with suppliers and vendors to make sure that your products will also get into the hands of your customers as quickly as possible and you will easily establish a reputation as a company that puts people first.

This can easily apply to the concept of customer service as well. You want to settle any disputes that might arise quickly and fairly. Turn a situation around and win a customer back after something has gone wrong and you will have no problem with establishing trust with other people who want to use your company’s services.

  • Be versatile – No matter where you are in the world, the simple fact that everyone has different needs applies. This is something you need to consider when devising international business growth strategies.

Do some market research to find out what people in the country that you are targeting want. Your company may be able to meet the needs of several demographics in the area. If it can’t, you may be able to develop a product or service that can.

By looking into who you are serving and what they need, you may very well find an untapped niche that be cornered early. Your company’s name could then become synonymous with a particular offering as a result.

  • Establish partnerships – In order for your business plan to be viable, your international business growth strategies should involve a partnership with someone who already has a strong presence in the country where you’ll be working.

Try to find a business whose offerings can be supplemented by your own, as you want to establish a bond that can be mutually beneficial without the eventuality of a competition emerging between your business and your partner’s.

Once you work with a household name long enough, your product can eventually branch off on its own and you’ll already have loyal customers who can fuel your continued success in your new market.

When it comes to international business growth strategies and making a name for yourself in other countries, the endeavor can be a mixed bag of familiarity and uncertainty.

Wherever you decide to go in order to expand your business, you want to be sure that the venture is something that is viable and, beyond that, you want to take into account things like local customs, potential language barriers, and taxes before you fully commit.

If you gain a firm grasp on these things before you establish your business and include them as part of your international business growth strategies during the time that you conduct and expand your enterprise, then there’s no telling how far you’ll be able to go.

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

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How to Reduce Business Debt

how to reduce business debt for service business owners

Once you’ve got your business up and running profitably, you probably want to know all about how to reduce business debt, right?

Depending on the kind of debt that it is, it could be eating into your cash flow and keeping you from expanding the way that you want to. It makes perfect sense that you want to get rid of any business debt you accumulate as quickly as possible.  Keep in mind that in some cases, there is debt that is “good” for your business.  We will discuss “good” business debt in a future post.

In many cases debt is inevitable, especially during the earliest phases of a company’s development.

Fortunately, that debt doesn’t have be something that constantly hangs over your head and keeps your enterprise from being the best that it can be.

Let’s take a look at some of the different strategies that you can employ to reduce your company’s debt.  You’ll see how you can gain peace of mind through business debt reduction.

  • Work with your suppliers – In figuring out how to reduce business debt, one of the first places that you should look should be the suppliers from whom you buy raw materials

If you happen to be behind on supplier payments, you want to work out a payment plan with your suppliers that will help you to get current with them.

Your company most likely depends on what your suppliers sell you, so you want to settle any outstanding debts with them first and foremost.

Doing so will make sure that your relationship stays strong and that you continue receiving the items you need to provide your own goods and services.

  • Sell, sell, sell – In order to reduce debt, you need to increase revenue. That much is obvious. There are several ways to go about doing that; the most straightforward of which is to increase your sales volume and move more product and services than you have in the past.

Offer incentives to your customers to get them to buy more, as long as its viable for you to do so. As you manage to sell more products, you can use the additional revenue to reduce your company’s debt.

  • Restructure – When many business owners try to figure out how to reduce business debt, one thing they often fail to consider is how much restructuring might help them reduce debt.

From selling surplus inventory and unused equipment, to cutting back on excess around the business, there are a several small, but significant things that you can do to get closer to your goal of eliminating your company’s debt.

  • Reduce Your Operating Expenses – This could fall in line with restructuring, or be its own strategy entirely.

Think about the things that always cost your money around your business.

You have your utilities like electricity and water, as well as services like your internet connection. Furthermore, you have the office itself, which you most likely pay to rent.

While it’s true that these things are the cost of business, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to reduce them.

If it’s realistic for you to do so, consider moving to a smaller office or switching service providers for more cost-effective solutions. The money that you save could be reallocated to tackling your debt.

Likewise, you could consider alternative scheduling for your employees. If you encourage them to spend time working from home on their own schedules for part of the time, you can ease a transition to a different office.  Likewise, you may not need to purchase, power, support, and maintain as much equipment around your office.

  • Look over your taxes – Speak with your accountant, CFO, or any other financial expert that you employ and they can help you figure out how to reduce business debt.

One way that they might do this is by going over what you pay in taxes and making sure that you are counting all of your eligible deductions throughout the year.

It pays to do this often because tax laws are always changing and new ways for businesses to take advantage of tax breaks are always popping up.

You want to make sure that your annual tax bill is always at its lowest possible number, so that any money left over after you pay the IRS can go towards reducing your company’s business debt.

Keeping your debt under control is one of the most important things that you can do as a business owner, so you want to make sure that you’re taking every step that you can to pay back creditors and keep outstanding balances from impacting your company’s bottom line.

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

For more ideas on how to grow your business, please check out our website at www.portalcfo.com.

How to Reduce Operational Risk

how to reduce operational risk in your business

The question of how to reduce operational risk is one that should be on the mind of every last business owner. It doesn’t matter if you run a hot dog cart or a multinational conglomerate. It doesn’t matter if you’re the only employee or you employ a workforce that could populate a small city.

Whoever you are, whatever you do, you need to know about the many different ways your company is constantly exposed to operational risk. You also need to know what you can do to reduce risks so that they aren’t as much of a hazard to your company’s success.

Doing so is necessary to maintaining a competitive advantage. It also ensures that your company is able to keep a strong presence in its sector. Because no businesses are alike, the risks that they face will differ, so this post will take a broad look at how to reduce operational risk. By the end, you’ll be able to take the principles of what’s discussed here and apply them to your own business practices. This should allow you to reduce the impact of the losses that your business could incur as a direct result of risk.

4 Steps – How To Reduce Operational Risk:

Step 1:  Managing Equipment Failures

For all of the good that technology has done for the world of business, the equipment that you use to conduct your operations can still break down. Depending on the severity of the failure, you could face crippling losses in revenue.

It’s because of the fact that technology has become so intertwined with businesses that extra steps have to be taken to:

  • safeguard information
  • make sure all equipment works properly
  • ensure alternate plans are in place in the event of a failure

If your company relies heavily on information technology (IT) infrastructure like a computer network, then make sure that programs and hardware are up to date and protected by the best security that you can afford.

If you operate in manufacturing, transportation, or any other industry that relies heavily on machines with a lot of moving parts, then the question of how to reduce operational risk can be answered by adhering to regular maintenance and making sure that small issues are addressed quickly enough that they don’t become large issues.

Step 2:  Keep Strong Business to Business Relationships

Your business wouldn’t be able to survive without the work of other businesses. Whether you rely on another company for supplies, shipping, or anything else that you need to count on in order to run your own enterprise, it pays to keep strong relationships with other companies.

In thinking of how to reduce operational risk in this respect, you have to look at common risks like miscommunications, accounting errors, delivery failures, incomplete or missing legal documents and vendor disputes as ways that business to business relationships can expose your company to risk.

With this type of operational risk, you want to make sure that you and your vendors and suppliers are always on the same page when it comes to your transactions. It never hurts to double check figures and make sure that invoices, quantities, and other aspects of the business to business supply chain are correct.

Doing these things can keep your relationships strong and reduce the likelihood that errors common in these sorts of interactions will have negative effects on either side of the transaction.

Step 3:  Having Adequate Insurance

You want to make sure that, in the event that something does happen, your business has the proper insurance it needs to cover the event.

It could be anything from property damage to a personal injury, but having an insurance policy that covers something that could negatively impact your business could mean the difference between a minor and major disruption in your business operations.

When thinking about how to reduce operational risk as far as your insurance coverage is concerned, go over your existing insurance policies and make sure that all possibilities are covered. It pays to consult with a representative of your company’s insurance broker to guarantee that you have all of the coverage you need.

From property insurance to liability, there are a number of different types of insurance that you can get to cover your business. Make sure you have them all and risk won’t catch you off guard.

Step 4: Know the Regulations

If you stay up to date on state and federal regulations as they relate to your business, then you take a huge step towards knowing how to reduce operational risk.

Whatever it is that you do, you want to make sure that all of your business practices are well within the confines of the law of the land in which you operate.

Things like health and safety standards, employee wages, licensing and certification, taxes, and permits all have an influence on how you’ll run your business. Don’t let ignorance of the law lead to trouble later down the road.

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.