10 tools to improve the productivity of your startup team

THOMAS OHR | July 10, 2018

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Being productive, fast and efficient is crucial for the success of any company, but especially for startups. With a large amount of open source tools and affordable applications, today it’s easier than ever before to improve your productivity and to optimize your workflow for fast growth. But if you’re just starting out, it might be challenging to choose the right tools for your startup. If you are a budding entrepreneur, we’re herewith providing you with a little overview, which will hopefully help you discover some useful tools for your growing team. A visual collaboration tool that creates a shared perspective on any project. Trello’s boards, lists and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your startup life in a fun, flexible and rewarding way. It can be used as a very simple Sales CRM, for basic HR processes, product development tasks, office management, or to simply keep track of team/startup goals. The basic version of Trello is free, and the app can be synchronized across all your devices.

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OTHER ARTICLES

Top social media tips to boost engagement for small businesses

Article | April 20, 2020

The way businesses and brands connect with their customers has been transformed by social media.Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media networks can provide business owners with a cheap and effective way to talk directly with their customers, build brand awareness and grow their business.In these uncertain times, when the coronavirus is presenting businesses with unprecedented challenges, there has never been a greater need for strong and regular communication with customers.However, the benefits of social media are often overlooked by start-up businesses due to fear of the unknown, who regard it as yet another time-intensive task to add to an already long to-do list. With this in mind, Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, has published a new guide to help small businesses better understand how they can use social media to promote their business and boost their bottom line.

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A Complete Guide to Overhead Costs for Small Businesses

Article | July 29, 2021

The first and crucial part of building your small business is setting up finance for your business. Overhead costs for small businesses are also included in this broad category of business finance. An old proverb, “You need to spend money to make money,” gels perfectly with the business notion. Business owners spend a lot of money creating a product or service, which is considered “direct costs.” Some expenses are not directly related to the creation of a product or service but aid in the operation of your business; these are referred to as "overhead costs" or "indirect costs." However, from an accounting standpoint, overhead costs are not considered expenses at all. Small business owners have a lot of costs to consider especially overhead costs. Here are a few examples of overhead costs: a business license, accounts payable, invoices, office supplies, accounting, and legal fees, bank fees, and many more to pen down. Business owners are behooved to be careful and make sure that their expenses should not outweigh their income. Business overhead is one area that most businesses face, and it is worth investigating further and managing it accordingly. Overhead expenses consume most of the remaining space on your profit and loss statement. However, cutting your overhead costs will improve your business finances. Let us further discuss few aspects of overhead costs and how to reduce overhead costs for small businesses. What Are Overhead Costs? Overhead costs are the indirect but requisite expenses for running a business. These costs do not directly generate revenue for the company, but they do not change as your business grows. Overhead costs must be borne even if no products or services are produced or sold for a period and cannot be be avoided. Here are few examples of overhead costs for small businesses: Electricity bill, gas, water, internet, etc. Rent for office spaces, warehouses, etc. Business licenses and permits Marketing and advertising materials. Office supplies Lawyer fees Salaries and wages Loan interests Insurance for vehicles, employees, and properties. Property taxes The key is to keep track of your overhead costs and not let them interfere with your efforts to grow your business and turn a profit. Once your concept of direct and indirect costs is cleared, the calculation of overhead costs becomes relatively easy. Types of Overhead Costs The overhead costs are divided into three main categories that can directly affect your small business fixed costs, variable costs, and semi-variable costs. Fixed costs are easily trackable. Below are few types of overhead costs for small businesses. Fixed Overhead Costs The majority of your business expenses fall under fixed overhead costs and do not change regardless of the profit earned by the company or change in the level of output; it remains the same each month. Fixed costs are easily tracked and managed as well. Fixed costs are pretty predictable and are required to keep a business running smoothly. Few examples of fixed overhead costs Renting a manufacturing facility or a corporate office. Insurance. Fixed asset depreciation expenses. Mortgage payments. Administrative salaries. Property taxes. Software subscription fees. Fixed overhead costs are stable and do not deviate from the amounts budgeted for them. However, there are a few exceptions, such as if sales exceed what the company budgeted for, in which case fixed overhead costs may rise as new managers and administrative staff are hired. More employees are added to the company. Similarly, if you decide to purchase a few additional pieces of machinery to increase production, this will result in a permanent change in fixed overhead costs. Variable Overhead Costs Variable overhead costs are those that change depending on the business activity, such as sales volume. Variable costs rise as your sales rise and fall as your sales fall. Variable overhead costs, as opposed to fixed overhead costs, vary from month to month. Here are some examples of variable overhead costs: Legal expenses. Overtime. Shipping costs. Consultation fees. Office supplies. Commissions. Maintenance of equipment. Unless the number of workers increases or decreases with production volumes, the labor involved in the production, or direct labor, may not be a variable cost. Semi-Variable Overhead Costs Semi-variable overhead costs have qualities of both fixed costs and variable costs. A business may incur such costs at any time, though the exact cost will vary depending on the level of business activity. Utilities are classified as a semi-variable expense. These costs are only fixed up to a certain level of output. For example, the office’s electricity bill is a monthly cost but varies as per the season. Semi-variable overhead costs include: Utilities (power and water costs). Company vehicle expenses (i.e., gas). Travel expenses. Hourly wages. Ways to Reduce Your Overhead Costs Go Paperless Going paperless is a simple way to save money. Although it may not appear to be a high cost, paper and ink do add up. Instead, adopt technology such as a cloud-based system to store all of your vital corporate data online. This will save you time and money while also allowing you to keep track of details for a more extended period. In addition, going paperless is cost-effective too. However, going digital also reduces clutter and makes it easier for business owners to stay organized. In the event of a computer or program failure, make sure you have a backup of all your documents. Going paperless is an intelligent decision to reduce overhead costs for small businesses because of few advantages such as being environmentally friendly, easy access, and digital file system easy to organize. Create a Systematic Purchasing Process It's a good idea to appoint one person in the company to handle, examine, and authorize purchases so that he can see all the expenses that management plans to incur before they're paid. In addition, negotiating contracts and placing office supply orders should be the responsibility of this person. By putting one person in charge of purchasing, that individual can devote all of their time to finding the most incredible deals. The individual in charge of purchasing should be a skilled negotiator who is not hesitant to ask for a discount. Request that your purchasing manager go shopping for better prices on the things you buy frequently. Consider rewarding your purchasing agent with a bonus if they achieve specific cost-cutting goals without sacrificing quality. Lease Equipment Purchasing equipment such as computers, photocopiers, and other necessities every year is a significant expenditure. As a result, leasing equipment is frequently the best option for businesses looking to reduce monthly costs. Renting or leasing equipment makes it easier to upgrade to newer versions of computers and other equipment. Additionally, while leasing, costs such as equipment repairs and maintenance will be reduced if not eliminated. Tax benefits are frequently available for equipment leases. In addition, depending on the lease, you may be able to claim your payments as a business expense by utilizing specific legal provisions. Leasing equipment is one of the most productive ways to reduce your overhead costs for small businesses. Market to Your Existing Customers Marketing to your existing customers can be a good strategy to reduce costs. This step reduces your marketing costs and shows that you care about rewarding loyalty, which gives your brand a boost. Customers who are happy with your products or services are more inclined to tell their friends and family about them, and word of mouth is still the most effective marketing method. Organic promotion from peers is more likely to be trusted by potential customers than paid advertising. Choose a Business Credit Card That Suits You Choose the best business credit card that suits you for your business expenses. Your company can benefit from credit cards in several ways. For example, Cash-back benefits, travel miles, or a point system are all available on cards targeted for corporate use. When buying office supplies and paying for travel expenses with a credit card, these incentives can pile up quickly. First, examine the annual fees and interest rates associated with your credit card. Then, it could be time to apply for no-fee credit cards with lower interest rates. Choose a credit card that is ideal for your company, particularly in credit limits, interest rates, and fees. This could be one of the methods to your cost-cutting. Frequently Asked Questions: What are typical overhead costs? Overheads are business costs associated with the day-to-day operation of the business. Accounting fees, insurance, advertising, legal fees, interest, labor burden, rent, supplies, repairs, taxes, travel expenses, phone bills, and utilities are examples of overhead expenses. How do you calculate overhead costs for a small business? Divide the total overhead costs of the business in a month by the monthly sales to calculate the overhead rate. To calculate your overhead rate, multiply this figure by 100. A lower overhead rate indicates greater efficiency and profits. Are overheads fixed costs? Typically, overhead does not fluctuate with increases in product production, which is why it is a fixed cost. Mortgage or rent for buildings such as the corporate office are examples of fixed costs. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How to write resolutions for small businesses?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Examine all aspects of your small business from the previous year to create a solid list of resolutions for the coming year. Consider your successes and failures and work to alleviate them." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is a resolution for a business?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "In business, a resolution is a proposal made during a meeting of the company's shareholders or directors. It is discussed, and its approval represents an official confirmation of any action that the company will take. Resolutions are classified into four types: elective, extraordinary, unique, and ordinary." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why should every business have a resolution?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Resolutions help to focus your efforts and energy on new goals and reaching new heights. In addition, resolutions enable business owners to understand where they can increase efficiency and grow over the coming year." } }] }

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4 Innovative B2B Marketing Strategies That Make an Impact

Article | July 19, 2021

You and your team have worked tirelessly for years, developing innovative products or services to fulfill the needs of other small businesses (in your own specific niche and beyond). You’ve even created—and deployed—a robust marketing strategy, and are using a whole host of proven B2B marketing tactics in your quest to turn promising leads into loyal clients. The challenge? Competition is fierce, so sticking to basic marketing tactics isn’t always enough. If the goal is to generate more B2B sales among new and existing clients, it may be time to harness some of that same creative energy you used to revolutionize your industry’s offerings in the first place to take your small business’s marketing strategy to the next level (thanks to the pandemic, you may be planning to update your overall digital marketing strategy anyway—so the time to do think specifically about B2B marketing has never been better).

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How to Structure Your Business: 9 Tips For Structuring New Businesses

Article | April 8, 2021

To help you develop a new business structure, we asked business leaders and entrepreneurs this question for their best tips. From determining your level of involvement to adopting innovative business structures, there are several tips that may help you develop your new business structure.

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Spotlight

Lavan Financial Group

Lavan Financial Group a unique business consultancy purposed to impact small and medium-sized business and increase success rates. We are invested in the long-term success of small businesses empowering clients to drive sustainable business performance by delivering; Unrivaled funding choices, developing an aligned capital structure.

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