23 Small Investment Small Business Ideas for Chicago, IL, USA

| March 9, 2018

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Here are the list of 23 Small Investment Small Business Ideas for Chicago, IL, USA. Small scale business ideas to start your own business in USA 2017.

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Our approach puts you and your needs first. With specialized expertise and more than 30 years of experience, we deliver innovative tailored solutions that get and keep your building performing at its highest level. Through our Total Cost of Ownership approach, we partner with you and your team to identify current behaviors, define strategic goals, and achieve essential performance objectives. From our flexible maintenance agreements to on-site, full-time technical staffing, we optimize building performance through: Total Facility Automation, Mechanical Services, Proactive Maintenance, and Energy Conservation.

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What are Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses?

Article | June 9, 2021

December 2019 was just the start of something sudden and drastic change a world was about to witness and changed the pattern and working of business completely. Covid 19 has been a major economic shock for both large businesses as well as small businesses. Marketing their business became difficult and was even more difficult and challenging for small business owners. The impact of COVID-19 was enormous on small businesses. Pandemic was a time to come up with new marketing strategies for small businesses. Here are few promising marketing strategies for small businesses during COVID-19. Effects of the pandemic on small business Small business was the hardest hit due to the onset of the pandemic and effects of the pandemic on small business has been severe. The unprecedented nature of COVID-19 brought up widespread closing of businesses, factories, and stores around the world. Temporary closure of businesses due to pandemic reflected income losses to business owners due to inactive months. As per a recent study, 34% of U.S. small businesses are still closed. COVID-19 continues to be challenging for small businesses forcing them to shut down their business permanently. As per the recent survey, about 22% of U.S. small businesses have closed in February. Effects of the pandemic on a small business stay the longest. Customers being reluctant to rush to stores for their purchases considering their safety has reduced the business for small business owners. As per the survey conducted by McKinsey, almost 47% of small business owners are concerned about their sustainability in the market, and about 57% of the owners are concerned about the lack of customers. What are the challenges faced by small business during the pandemic? COVID-19 magnified the pre-existing challenges of small businesses along with the addition of more challenges. The new challenges faced by small businesses during the pandemic are money management, work-life balance and fatigue, government regulations, client dependency, and going for an online platform. However, the Small Business Administration (SBA) of the federal government came forward to help businesses. The federal government enforced the Paycheck Protection Program Act (PPP), by the CARES Act, aided the small business loans with the fund. Switching to digital is a new need of an hour to ameliorate the involvement of new and existing customers and having social media presence. Sharing the best marketing strategies for small businesses to overcome the challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Best Marketing Strategies for Small Business Get Website for Online Presence Do you need a website for small businesses? The answer is yes. Websites are like a business card to reach out to the customers; with the absence of a website, you will be missing out on the major chunk of the market. Simply by making your online presence you will create the most important asset for your small business. It is a channel where you will exhibit the information about your brand, who you are, where are you, what can you offer, and how potential customers can reach out to you. You can grab traffic information from your website through a search engine. The data and analytics provided such as how many people visited your website, time duration spent by people on your webpage, demographic details of your visitors, and many more enables the success of your website. Google My Business Listing Google My Business is an effective part of digital marketing strategies for small businesses. It is cost-effective for small businesses and gives your business visibility on Google and beneficial for targeting local customers. Google My Business provides you with a free set of tools increasing your reach with higher online visibility. Google My Business is affordable for both small and large businesses. With good reviews from the customers or if you rank in the top 3 of Google My Business listings you can pull many leads, and gain credibility and trust for your business. Email Marketing Email marketing strategy is an important and critical part of marketing strategies for small businesses and works best during the COVID-19 pandemic. Email is the highest converting channel that helps in nurturing leads. Email marketing for small businesses is cost-effective and involves showcasing new products, important business updates, special offers, prompting your recipients to click through your website. Other benefits that email marketing for small businesses offers are easy to automate, immediate communication, easy to track and optimize, and easy to set up and run. Content Marketing Content marketing during COVID-19 for small businesses has been at the center of business marketing strategy. Content marketing is creating and publishing high-quality content including, articles, emails, online courses, podcasts, and videos to reach out to the target audience. Content marketing is a must for small businesses because it is highly result-oriented. Content marketing helps small businesses to create trust and long-term relationships with customers and potential prospects and gives better exposure to your products or services. Blogging Blogging has proved to be one of the successful marketing strategies for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting up a blog will help you generate organic traffic and increase awareness for your brand, in return will improve your website’s rankings on the search engines. Blogging is a part of content marketing offering information about relevant topics to customers, in your case, it will be about your business. Starting a blog is important for small businesses because it helps you think in new ways, it is great for marketing, it allows you to share your expertise, and it creates a 2-way conversation. Google AdWords More than 40,000 search inquiries are made on Google every second, so you can imagine the reach of audience your business can gain. Advertising on Google is of great worth for small businesses. Google AdWords is considered a more expensive and competitive form of marketing tactics; they are paid ads but are also one of the most powerful marketing strategies. In Google AdWords, Google assigns a quality score to your Ad depending on your Click Through Rate (CTR), relevance, and landing page your ad sends traffic to. Google AdWords gives you immediate results and ranges up as per your budget. Using Social Media Platform Using social media marketing is relevant and non-negotiable for small businesses because it helps to build wide awareness for their brand. Today’s world is social media savvy. Social media platforms have no more remained just a fun platform to socialize or connect with but have turned into a powerful tool for business reach by engaging with potential customers. Presence on social media can help small businesses to build up a rapport with customers, gain an opportunity to promote their products or services to larger audiences. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are a few of the social media platforms that are highly active, hence proves to be one of the easy marketing strategies for small businesses. Use the Power of SEO Business slowed down in the pandemic and businesses are reluctant to commit. Once an impressive website is developed, search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the impactful marketing strategies for small businesses. SEO is a time taking strategy to show the results but in the long run, SEO marketing strategy surely brings you the desired success. SEO is to optimize your website and content for google search engines so that your business ranks higher on searches. Higher the rank on google search higher the chances of traffic drive to your website and higher the chance of your website being clicked. With the practice of the above-mentioned strategies for small businesses during COVID-19, you will bring a boost to your business. FAQs What are the marketing strategies in COVID-19? The world has heavily relied on technology as in the age of COVID-19. New marketing strategies have been brought fore-front to leverage the business growth and reach. Email marketing, content marketing, blogging, SEO, are marketing strategies to name which are emerging as powerful promotional tools. Is Email Marketing effective for small business? Email marketing has been the biggest benefit for small businesses during the pandemic due to its cost-effectiveness and use of time. Email marketing is the most impactful marketing channel during this time because it allows business owners to build relationships with new customers, past customers, and leads. How Content Marketing helps small business? Content marketing is a key strategy to introduce your business to a new audience and increase brand awareness, reach, and domain authority. Content marketing during COVID-19 for small business is becoming important for small businesses majorly for generating leads and sales. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the marketing strategies in COVID-19?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The world has heavily relied on technology as in the age of COVID-19. New marketing strategies have been brought fore-front to leverage the business growth and reach. Email marketing, content marketing, blogging, SEO, are marketing strategies to name which are emerging as powerful promotional tools." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Is Email Marketing effective for small business?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Email marketing has been the biggest benefit for small businesses during the pandemic due to its cost-effectiveness and use of time. Email marketing is the most impactful marketing channel during this time because it allows business owners to build relationships with new customers, past customers, and leads." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How Content Marketing helps small business?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Content marketing is a key strategy to introduce your business to a new audience and increase brand awareness, reach, and domain authority. Content marketing during COVID-19 for small business is becoming important for small businesses majorly for generating leads and sales." } }] }

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How to Apply a Tax to an Invoice

Article | July 8, 2021

There are currently millions of pages of legal tax law on the books, creating challenges for business owners of all stripes. Even those with relatively “simple” business models are often wondering whether they are paying their taxes correctly and on time. One of the most common challenges faced by business owners is whether or not to apply taxes to an invoice. Invoices often represent a significant portion of all financial transactions. When you issue one, does this create a tax obligation for the issuer? The recipient? Both? Neither? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is one that is highly situational. Whether you need to pay taxes on an invoice will depend on the legal status of both parties involved, the nature of the invoice itself, and a variety of other factors. Having accurate and correctly taxed invoices will help your business improve its reporting and payment cycles, along with other functions like invoice factoring. Because applying taxes to an invoice can be difficult for some people, you may want to consider working with a professional accounting firm.

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5 Best Practices for Small Business Owner Taxes in 2020

Article | February 20, 2020

Your clients are counting on you to shepherd them through the often-onerous process of filing both their business and personal taxes. This can be particularly tough for small business clients, many of whom may just be starting out and have yet to put into place the best practices to limit their company's tax liability. Hopefully, your clients are using cloud-based software and other technology to more efficiently and accurately track their receipts and finances, making it easier for you to square away their taxes this year. Of course, businesses will also require guidance to help them avoid problems that go beyond accurate record-keeping. Here are five ways you can help smooth out the filing process for your small business clients this tax season:

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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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Air Force One

Our approach puts you and your needs first. With specialized expertise and more than 30 years of experience, we deliver innovative tailored solutions that get and keep your building performing at its highest level. Through our Total Cost of Ownership approach, we partner with you and your team to identify current behaviors, define strategic goals, and achieve essential performance objectives. From our flexible maintenance agreements to on-site, full-time technical staffing, we optimize building performance through: Total Facility Automation, Mechanical Services, Proactive Maintenance, and Energy Conservation.

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