Edmonton Business Advisor

How To Pay Yourself As A Business Owner

As a business owner, you have a lot of business responsibilities and several expenses to take care of. The decisions that you take has an impact on your business operations. One such important decision is to determine how to pay yourself. If you are finding it difficult to get an answer to this question, then here are a few useful tips that can help you to take the right decision.

Understand Your Business Structure

Your pay will depend on the type of your business structure. You can have a sole proprietorship, a partnership firm, a limited liability company, or a corporation. You will either receive a draw or a salary based on your business structure. A draw is a portion of the business’s profits that you get, whereas a salary is a fixed amount that you can pay yourself on a regular basis.

  • As a sole proprietor, you are the only owner of your business and own all the assets and are liable for all the business liabilities. You do not get paid like any other employee in your organization. You are free to decide the amount that you should pay yourself every month.

  • A partnership firm owned by 2 or more business partners that have the same legal rights pertaining to their business. A part of the profits is distributed to the partners depending on their job responsibility or their share of investment. Partners can discuss the amount they should be receiving and can pay themselves accordingly.

Know Your Productivity

Suppose you need to hire someone for doing the job that you do. Ask yourself how much would you pay that person. This will help you determine how much you should pay yourself. To determine the pay, consider the industry standards or compare your organization responsibilities with other organizations of similar sizes located in your city.

Consider the Profits

Before taking a draw, you need to take a look at the profits your business earns. If your business is hardly making any profits, you can reduce your draw or income so that your business can function easily without facing a crisis in the future. Similarly, if your business is earning a lot of profits, you can increase your draw amount too. Most business owners limit their salary to 50% of profits. So, you can consider the same percentage to draw your salary.

However, if you have any business expansion plans, you will need extra funds in the future. You will also have to hire new employees for business expansion and pay them salaries. Make sure you keep all these points in your mind while deciding the salary you want to pay yourself. Don’t end up paying yourself too much as it will only lower the business reserves and affect your expansion plans.

In order to churn out higher profits for your business, you can consider talking to an Edmonton business advisor who can share tips to increase your profits. An Edmonton business advisor can suggest you ways to enhance your business profits and further guide you on how to pay yourself as a business owner.

Methods To Compete Against Larger Competitors

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Compete With Top Brands

Small businesses can feel intimidated by larger companies which in turn can make it difficult for them to survive the competition. So, how do you compete with these top brands? Well, small firms have their own advantages such as quick decision making and implementation, strong employee-customer relationship, co-ordination between different departments and so forth. By making the most of the opportunities available, small businesses can certainly challenge large competitors.

If you are a small-scale business owner who wants to be successful, then here are a few methods to compete against larger competitors:

1) Know your Customers

One of the biggest problems that customers may face with larger companies is getting their problems resolved quickly. Therefore, use this to your advantage and give yourself an edge over the competition by focusing on personalizing the experience for each of your customers. If there is any problem to be rectified, get it settled quickly. Also, understand your customer needs, shopping preferences and put that information to use. Take feedback from your customers and provide them with the right offerings. This will generate brand loyalty that will benefit your business.

2) Train your Employees

Make sure that the new employees that you have hired are trained effectively. Provide them with opportunities so that they can take varied responsibilities and expand their knowledge and expertise in that field. The training process will additionally help your employees to understand how the work has to be done and thus, enable them to enhance their productivity. Also, do not forget training your existing employees. It’s recommended that you have training sessions for all your employees from time to time.

3) Focus on Differentiation

One of the best ways to stand out from the competition is to provide something which is different from others. If you are a local small-scale business owner, then see to it that you have something different. For instance, if you run a local boutique, then sell a collection of unique items which is difficult for your competitors to get. Some important parameters you can use to differentiate your brand from other include quality, performance, price, technology, uniqueness, variety, delivery, and durability.

4) Use Proper Technology

Every small business can operate and make their brand large with the help of technology. Make use of tools or software such as CRM applications as well as business intelligence platforms so that you finish your work accurately and effectively. There are many software companies that offer a free version for a limited time or small-scale operations. Therefore, take advantage of such software and upgrade them as your business operations scale up.

5) Take Calculated Risks

One of the biggest benefits of being a small business is the flexibility to make changes to your business model without any major disruptions. Although it is important to be consistent in your business, you can take small risks and make the necessary changes as per the market’s demands. However, before you take any risks, ensure you have a contingency plan in place. Take calculated risks by analyzing the external factors such as opportunities and threats and also the internal factors such as your company’s strengths and weaknesses. This will enable you to decide whether it’s worth taking the risk or not.

For more tips on how to compete with top brands, get in touch with a business professional who will understand your current business position and help you to formulate strategies based on your organizational objectives.

Grow Your Business Using Social Media

How To Use Social Media To Grow Your Service Business

Do you want to know the best ways to leverage social media for your service business? Do you want to maximize your service offerings to a larger audience? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you have come to the right place. In fact, with social media, you not only maximize your reach but also acquire new clients and scale your business operations. Furthermore, by interacting with your followers, you understand their needs and online behavior. This enables businesses to offer better services to their clients.

If you own a service business, read through these tips that will help you to grow your business using social media:

Use the Right Platforms

Businesses that have ample opportunities to take great pictures of their work such as landscaping or architecture firms can reach the audience through Instagram and Pinterest. If you provide services like plumbing or HVAC repairs, then utilize social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more effectiveness. In fact, these three platforms along with Instagram and Snapchat are the most common social media platforms. The number of people you can reach with the help of these platforms is immense. Therefore, complete your social media profiles and engage with your followers by providing educational and interesting information with respect to the services provided by you.

Update Your Content Regularly

You need to regularly interact with your followers. If you do not have sufficient content, then consider sharing content. Use different types of content such as images, blogs, videos, infographics, GIFs, etc. to keep your followers interested. Make sure that you keep your customers updated with fresh content quite often. Therefore, prepare a schedule for a month in advance and accordingly post content from time to time. In case you find it difficult to come up with new content, then take the assistance of a professional digital marketing to help you create new content pieces regularly.

Update Them on Your Company Happenings

While promoting a service business on social media, your approach should make your customers avail your services. Therefore, educate your customers on who are you are and what you do. Post relevant case studies and information that can resolve their doubts. This way you build trust in the minds of your prospects. In the future, if they need services offered by you, then they will directly contact you for the same. Moreover, keep your customers updated on your upcoming discount, offers, promotional events and so forth.

Start with Social Media Marketing

Use social media for creating ad campaigns. Social media marketing will allow you to gain new customers quickly. When you conduct social media campaigns, see to it that you target your audience correctly keeping in mind their demographics, interests, geographical locations, etc. For instance, if you have a service in Edmonton, ensure you target individuals residing in Edmonton. The cost of advertising, targeting options, types of ads, etc. vary according to each social media channel. Nevertheless, social media marketing when done right is cost-effective and is sure to help you get new clients and enhance your brand image in the digital world. As a result, it helps you to grow your service business quickly.

Following these points will surely allow you to grow your business using social media. However, these are just a few ways that will help you to develop your business. With the increase in the number of people on social media channels, you certainly don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to connect with your potential clients and use social media to take your service business to new heights. For more tips on how you can grow your service business, consult a professional who has the expertise to guide you to take the right business decisions.

Business Consultation

How To Recruit Top Talent?

When you’re hiring, you’ll realize that the competition for the top talent is intense. This is because building a great team is a priority for every business. However, attracting the best talent to your organization is a challenge which must be faced head-on and tackled creatively. It is no longer about just reading through cover letters and resumes.

If you’re looking to hire new employees to your team, then consider the productivity level of your candidate. Your business flourishes only when your employees are productive, motive and supported by the employers. Keep these tips on hiring the best talent and attract the top talent you desire accordingly:

Look out for Diversity

See to it that you are hiring diverse talent from different backgrounds and personality types along with different strengths and talents in order to provide you with a new perspective. Fresh and diverse talent in your office will help your organization expand quickly. Hire a team who is not only creative but also productive.

Make the Best use of Social Media

Social media profiles have become standard tools for researching and evaluating talent. Instead of looking at their resumes, go through their LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media profiles for a better understanding of their backgrounds. Candidates’ social media profiles highlight their personal experiences and interests that tie into their professional lives and skills. This will help you realize whether the candidate is applicable or not.

Ask for Referrals

Take advantage of your industry contacts, association memberships and trade groups for recruiting candidates. Use extensive telephone networking. Bring people in for interviews before you have an available position. Also, use online or mail distributions to send out these out. Follow up on every good lead. You can also consider starting a periodic company newsletter to keep your lists of customers, employees and interested people up-to-date about the company happenings.

Market your Company

Instead of typical, drily written job description, create a witty and visually appealing job description that can be shared on social media. Provide a way to the candidates to easily submit their resumes on the company website. Your job listings must sparkle with a personality so that your potential customer thinks that ‘this organization is for me.’

Another way to market your company is by telling your existing co-workers to do so by sharing their positive testimonials with the prospective candidates.

Expand the Search Area

Due to advancements in cloud computing and video conferencing, recruiters are no longer limited to the geographical proximity. If your company is situated in a competitive hiring market, then search for talent in a less comparative market. As technology allows smooth collaboration and communication if employees no matter where they are located, you don’t have to worry about losing top talent because of the location of your company.

Follow these tips on hiring the best talent and stretch yourself beyond the comfort zone of existing procedures and behaviors so that you achieve the desired results. If you need any help with the recruiting process, connect with a business consultation for expert recruiting solutions.

5 Tips For A Successful Service Business

5 Tips For A Successful Service Business

A service business is different from a product based business. You do not have standardized products and so the services provided for each customer will be different. Each individual will have a different need and you have to provide him with quality services accordingly. The customers are always looking to get faster and convenient services. If you fail to do so, your competitors will do it for them and therefore, you may end up losing customers. For any small business, losing even a single customer can be a costly affair. Hence, it’s important to know how to run a service business and develop it over time. To help you run your service business successfully, here are a few tips that you can consider.

1. Set Your Objectives

Before you begin with any business, you need to set objectives. Objectives are short-term action plans that help you to achieve your organizational goals. They should be for a specific period of time, realistic, and achievable. For example, your company’s objective can be to get 20 new customers in the next 2 months. In this objective, ideally, you should be getting 10 new customers each month to avail your service which is quite achievable. Before you set your objectives, ensure you have a plan and execute it to perfection. It’s also recommended to have a contingency plan in case something goes wrong halfway through.

2. Know Your Customers

Since service business depends majorly on customers, it is important for you to understand the needs and preferences of your customers. Talk to your customers or take feedback to know what they want, their expectations from you and what motivates them to avail your services. Keep a record of their needs and train your employees to provide them services based on customer feedback. A firm that listens to its customers and provides services accordingly is more likely to develop loyal customers.

3. Meet the Deadlines

If you agree to complete the project by a certain date, you must be prepared to meet that deadline even if it means sacrificing your personal time. Offer to go that extra mile at no additional charge. When you complete the work on time and in a professional manner, it gives the impression that you are a reliable service provider and that customers can count on you when they require the same service in the future. As a result, a long-term customer relationship gets established.

4. Use Your Personal Network

Use your personal network to promote your service business and get new customers. You can ask existing customers to refer your services to others if they liked it. Updating your social media accounts and attending social events or trades exhibition will let people know about your services and expand your network. By building and expanding your connections, you are certain to get more references for your service business and plus, it helps to enhance your brand image as well.

5. Retain Your Clients

Getting a new lead is easier than retaining a customer. You need to keep up with the quality work and maintain good relations with your customers. A service business that is able to retain its clients will go a long way and become successful. Also, when your existing clients are delighted with your services, they become brand advocates and hence, will suggest or recommend your services to others. Therefore, retaining your clients is an important factor to take your service business to the next level.

In order to make your service business successful, you need to continuously work on providing quality services, maintain long-term customer relationship and match your customer expectations with changing demands. For more tips on how to run a service business, connect with a professional who will guide you based on your specific service business.

Business Consultant

How To Take Calculated Business Risks

Every decision you make in the business world has some risks, whether you’re launching a new startup or expanding your current business firm. However, without risk, your business will probably remain stagnant. This is because only when you are willing to risk your business will you reap awards. Moving out of your comfort zone will make you realize your capabilities to survive the competition and may even allow you to gain a competitive edge in the market. But, if you are worried that you hit rock bottom, then here are some tips to take calculated risks.

Identify the Risks

Organize brainstorming sessions and devote it to identifying the risks you are about to face. A large part of taking calculated risk involves pinpointing the potential negatives and forming plans to eliminate these risks. By evaluating risks in advance, a business firm can prepare for a future course of action and carry out the necessary activities by averting or reducing the risks. Consider the cost and business benefits along with the possible loss. In other words, consider whether it is worth taking the risk or not.

Anticipate what can go Wrong

Before executing any plans, be aware of what can go wrong. At times, there can be certain mistakes you make or errors may take place while going ahead with your plans. Anticipating these errors will make sure that you are mentally ready to handle the consequences. Accept all the possibilities of failures and find ways to creatively tackle it like an impactful backup plan. In short, keep a contingency plan ready.

Learn to Say a “No”

At times, you may have to say “no” to good opportunities. Do not agree to every opportunity that comes your way. It’s best that you focus on the very best opportunities that come your way especially when the going is tough. When you accept every opportunity, you won’t be able to give your best to your existing clients. It’s important to hold on to the existing clients than providing them with sub-standards services and losing them. Therefore, say a “yes” to new clients only when you have sufficient resources and the bandwidth to provide quality services.

Consult a Professional

Are you unsure whether to undertake a risky task or not? If yes, then consult a business professional for advice on taking risks. A well-experienced and skilled professional will ensure and analyze your current business condition and then come up with the best solutions based on your company’s need. Additionally, a professional will guide you in making vital decisions and manage business risks better in the future.

You should continue to take calculated risks as being stagnant is not going to get you any further. It’s important to remember that you will not gain anything unless you try something new. The business environment is dynamic and as an entrepreneur, you need to look further ahead and identify newer ways to grow your business.

Business Consultant

How Can A Startup Build Their Own Sales Team

When you’re starting a business, you may be the sales manager, marketing executive as well as the lone salesperson. But over time as your business expands, you’ll need additional people to look after the sales of your company. In other words, you need a sales team. A sales team isn’t just responsible for building your bottom line. They are also your front-line troops as they are the ones with maximum interaction with customers. Therefore, apart from hiring the right people, it’s important to train them effectively to interact with customers, understand consumer behavior, and eventually convince customers to purchase your product or service. Here’s a look at a few tips on how to build a sales team from scratch.

Hire the Right Salesperson

Hiring the right person to look after the sales of your company is the first step towards building a sales team from scratch. This can free up your time and energy for other important tasks. But, see to it that you don’t hire several sales people at once. Start with a small team of 2-4 people initially. It becomes easy to manage and monitor the performance of a few people.

Conduct Training

Once you have the right sales executives for your business, see to it that you train your members effectively to deal with different types of customers and perform better. Let them have a thorough knowledge of your business. Make your employees familiar with the company’s terms and conditions, policies, and processes. Also, introduce this freshly recruited bunch of members to the existing team of employees of your organization. Give them adequate training about the work they are supposed to. See to it that your training is impactful and dynamic for your new employees.

Measure Sales Productivity

The simplest measure of sales productivity is to calculate the revenue earned by each salesperson. Just divide the volume of sales by the number of salespeople in your team. This will allow you an average sales productivity figure and let you know how the average salesperson in your organization is doing. Moreover, you can find out how each individual salesperson is doing compared to the average sales productivity. Also, set benchmarks or standards for your sales team as a whole. Let them know what is expected from them and on what parameters their performance will be evaluated. Thus, your sales team will give their best to achieve their target.

Motivate your Sales Force

Want to improve your sales? Then keep your sales team happy. Motivate them to perform better by providing monetary as well as non-monetary benefits. Encourage them by providing the required assistance wherever necessary. Understand the difficulty that they are going through and help them to overcome the obstacles. Also, do not set high-standards but be realistic in setting your targets.

Ultimately, sales is about building relationships with your customers and for that you need employees who are able to deliver the best. If you want to grow and develop your business, then ensure you have a dedicated business development or sales team. For more information on how to build a sales team from scratch, contact a business consultant who will help you to build your sales team based on your business needs.

Ways to Manage Multiple Businesses Efficiently

4 Tips To Manage Multiple Businesses

Multitasking is not easy. It may seem easy at first but when you get into doing the tasks, you will find out that some of the tasks have not been paid attention to. Therefore, if you are finding difficulty in dividing your attention and making your businesses successful, then this is the right article for you. For entrepreneurs, managing multiple businesses is a daunting task. Here’s a look at some ways to manage multiple businesses efficiently.

1. Create a Schedule

Managing your time and effectively utilizing it to manage all your businesses is something you need to learn. Handling multiple businesses is not easy and you may have realized that you are paying a lot of attention to one business than the others. This is likely to happen when you cannot divide your time in order to give equal attention.

You can consider scheduling certain days of the week to each business. You can assign more than one day to the business that requires more attention. Be certain that you follow your schedule and dedicate a particular day for one business only unless, there is an emergency and you need to alter your plans.

2. Delegate to Reduce Workload

Delegating work to your employees will be beneficial as you will be able to focus on other core competencies. In addition, delegating work can help you create future leaders within your organizations and plus, your employees may even have better ideas or suggestions to propel your business in the right direction. Ensure you recruit your employees smartly so that you can entrust them with more responsibilities. Also, you can outsource certain business operations such as accounting or human resources management. This way you can reduce your workload and additionally, your business can benefit from professional services of other business.

3. Analyze your Businesses Separately

Analyze which business make requires more attention. If your new business is in the infancy stage, then you will have to place more emphasis on it over the others. Similarly, some business may be undergoing a difficult time and so, you may have to give it more time. Analyzing your business tells you which part of which business is weak or which business is running to its optimum potential. This way you can concentrate your efforts accordingly and ensure each business is managed effectively.

4. Training People for Better Output

Training your employees will offer them with the right expertise and they will be able to perform better. As a result, you do not spend more time on a particular business. Also, when you train your employees, they understand all your business processes and hence, they won’t waste time in consulting you for day-to-day activities. Furthermore, your employees’ productivity improves and you do not have to explain different procedures or processes repeatedly. Different businesses have different clients and if proper training and development are provided, it becomes easy to deal with various clients as well. This helps in quick decision-making and manage your multiple businesses efficiently and effectively.

These are a few ways to manage multiple businesses efficiently. Follow them to enhance your profitability. In case you need more guidance regarding managing multiple businesses, it is recommended that you consult a professional.

Business Financing

How To Finance Your Business

If you want to grow your business and increase its profitability, then you need to have sufficient finance. Your business operation will remain stagnant if you do not have funds. In such a scenario, you will be requiring funds from external parties such as banks and other financial institutions. However, banks are not the only source of finance for your business. Listed below are a few business financing options.

Create Business Plan

You need to create a business to determine your future course of action. This plan should include what business you are entering into, who are the competitors, your target audience, the products and services you will offer, etc. You will know the approximate amount of funds required to start with your business operations. Also, in the future, your business will go through a stage where the production and expenses will increase. Thus, you need to make an estimation of your expenses. Having a business plan will not only help you in making the right decisions but also in making financial projections. A business plan is shown to potential investors so that they get a better idea of the financial position of the company in the coming years and decide whether they go ahead with funding your business. Therefore, you need to provide clear, accurate, and useful information in your business plan.

Crowdfunding

If you have a unique or an innovative business idea, then crowdfunding can certainly help you raise funds. Crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter can help you raise funds at a relatively low cost. You need to set the amount of fund for a specific period. The visitors on these websites will then pledge to pay money for your projects. However, crowdfunding is for a short-term period and you need to provide some incentives for pledging. For example, if you pay a writer $10, then you get a book in return.

Credit Cards

If you are in immediate need of funds, then credit cards are the best option. They help you to overcome any cash flow problem for a short-period of time. However, you need to ensure that you make payments on time and do not fall in the hole. At times, people are unable to make credit payments on time and as a result, they attract interest rates. This will only increase your debt amount. Therefore, be careful and use it wisely. Do not take excess credit if you won’t be able to pay it on time.

Family and Friends

Ask your near and dear ones if they can help you in any way. Make sure you provide them details about your business to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Also, give them a time frame when they can expect their money back. No matter how strong your business plan appears, remind them that there’s always a chance that their funds may be lost. Provide them with all these details in writing and ensure they are aware of all the possible consequences.

Angel Investors

Investors that invest in early stage or start-up companies for a 20 to 25 percent return on their investment are angel investors. These investors have strategic experience and the ability to provide tactical benefit to the company they are investing in. Hence, when you pitch your business idea to angel investors, ensure you have a strong business plan.

Being able to generate finance is essential when you are expanding your business. These are a few business financing options that you can choose from. Other financing options include factoring, pledging your future earnings, loans from financial institutions, going public, microloan, etc. To know more about financing options for your business, it is recommended that you get in touch with a professional.

Build Customer Relationship

How To Build Customer Relationship

Customers can make or break a business and so every business needs to ensure that their customers are loyal to their products and services. Hence, it’s important that businesses develop efficient customer relationships. Developing, establishing, and maintaining good relationships with customers is known as customer relationship. If you want to grow and take your business to the next level, it’s necessary to understand your customers and provide them with what they want. Plus, you cannot afford to lose out on any customer and hence, you need to create a favorable relationship with your customers. Here are some ways that show how to maintain a good customer relationship.

Build Your Network

You need to have a strong customer network. A strong network means connecting with as many people as you can. Every potential customer can be converted into a consumer for your business. Stay in touch with your regular customers and ensure they are aware of what other products or services are provided by your business (especially if they are new to your services). If your existing customers are more than satisfied with your offerings, then ask them to recommend your product or service to their family, relatives, and friends. This helps in widening your customer network.

Learn About Your Customers

It is essential to know the needs and demands of your customers. Feedback is a great way to communicate and learn about your customer’s tastes and preferences. Also, taking customer’s suggestions and implementing them in your offerings goes a long way in building good customer relationships. The more you know about your customers, the better offerings can be provided than your competitors.

Stay in Regular Contact with Customers

Having good customer relationship depends on how often you connect or contact with existing customers. Social media is an excellent way to engage and connect with a vast majority of customers at the same time. Moreover, it’s convenient and you can know what people are talking about your products or services. Stay in regular contact by replying to comments on your blog posts, sending emails or SMSs regarding new offers, following them on social media platforms, etc.

Practice inbound marketing as it costs significantly less than outbound marketing and is generally considered as a lead generation tool. Inbound marketing uses channels like blog posts, ebooks, and whitepapers to get in touch with customers and interact with them. Sharing content on the web and social media helps you engage with online communities. Inbound marketing is known as pull-marketing as opposed to push-marketing which is used in outbound marketing.

Exceed Customers’ Expectations

Making customers loyal is not an easy task. When a customer purchases a product or service, he is expecting a certain level of satisfaction by consuming it. If the product or service meets his expectations, he will be happy. However, when you provide him more than what he wants, he will be delighted that you have exceeded his expectations. You can exceed customers’ expectation by providing excellent after sales service, free service up to a certain period, complimentary product or service, etc. Exceeding customer expectations helps you build a long-term customer relationship as customers prefer purchasing your products or services the next time they buy a similar product or service.

In today’s world, customers demands are changing at a rapid rate and thus, you need to be on your toes to cater to them. The moment your customers find someone providing them with better products and services, they will quickly switch over. Hence, you need to have customers who are loyal to you and do not desert you away. This is possible only when you start focusing on building a strong long-term bond with your customers. In case you need further guidance on how to maintain a good customer relationship, it is advisable that you get in touch with a professional consultant.

1 2 3 8