5 books every small business owner should read

ERIC MICHAELS | August 4, 2015

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If you are preoccupied with running a small business, then you probably have little time to read. You may even think that reading is a poor use of your time with so many pressing matters on your schedule. According to one of the greatest books on business, this mindset is holding back your company's growth.

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Ways to Protect Your Small Business Against Supply Chain Disruptions

Article | August 9, 2021

COVID-19 had a drastic effect on businesses worldwide. It affected small businesses in various ways, and owners faced unpredictable supply chain disruptions. However, the coronavirus pandemic proved to be a blessing in disguise. The supply chain executives attempted to sustain critical operations during the pandemic. This put their inventiveness, resilience, and adaptability to the test. In addition, the pandemic revealed areas of the supply chain that needed improvement, and it served as an actual test of corporate values and purpose. Supply chain disruptions can impact small businesses in various ways, including increasing expenses, reducing revenue, eroding market share, or causing production challenges. All these factors have the potential to impact a company's bottom line adversely. According to the Institute for Supply Management research, over 75% of the 628 firms questioned reported supply chain delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the same study, 57% of respondents indicated higher wait times for orders with Chinese suppliers. The global supply chain has been a lifeline for the response, ensuring critical medical supplies, food, and other critical commodities reach those who need them the most in time. Challenges Faced by Supply Chain The coronavirus caused a supply chain breakdown, adding a few more obstacles to the already existing ones. Supply chain disruption takes a variety of forms and sizes. Supply chain and operational expenses creep up from several sources and so become prohibitively expensive. In the absence of visibility and accountability for reducing them, operational expenses might rise. Demanding forecasting during the worldwide pandemic added another degree of complexity to the supply chain difficulties of many small businesses. COVID-19 shattered predictions for a variety of merchants and suppliers of consumer goods/services, putting them in the position of choosing how much inventory to hold or create at any moment. Global supply networks are fragile and are collapsing in the face of multi-country disturbances. Talent shortages across the supply chain and operations continue to place a high premium on human labor. A lack of flexibility hampers the inability to meet client expectations for personalization and customization. The resilience strategy was built on outmoded technologies, impairing visibility and decision-making. Risks in the Supply Chain The coronavirus has disturbed businesses and, more importantly, caused supply chain disruptions, altering consumer behavior, supply chains, and routes to markets, knocking businesses off balance. Businesses must move quickly and boldly to create and execute a short-term tactical strategy that will mitigate threats to human health and ensure the continued operation of global supply chains. This may be accomplished with robust data and analytics to comprehend complexity, anticipate possible disturbances, and develop a swift reaction. Methods for mitigating supply chain risks comprise the following: Prepare resources and assembly far in advance to act as a buffer against a brief disruption. Provide incentives to supply chain vendors who ensure operational continuity. Monitor the situation and take the necessary response/contingency steps. Utilize a recovery strategy to re-establish the original supply chain and mitigate the damage swiftly. Impact On Supply Chain The impact of coronavirus supply chain disruptions is severe. Small businesses' supply chains will be crucial in promptly, safely, and securely delivering goods and services. Numerous businesses worldwide rely significantly on manufacturing and supply chains in China, Southeast Asia, and other low-cost countries. However, recent global changes have compelled these businesses to reassess their supply chains, stability, and reliability in the face of an uncertain future. Over 30% of small companies indicated that supply chain interruptions had a material impact on their operations as per the estimates.Another third reported a negligible effect. In addition, over half indicated that the disruptions' effects are worse than three months earlier, while just 6% reported an improvement. The impact of supply chain disruption includes substantial and operational disruptions. These disruptions range from minimizing the impacts of reduced supply to managing disruptions to logistics providers and obstacles to achieving their contractual commitments to consumers. COVID-19 emphasized the critical nature of supply chain resilience to develop more robust long-term operations. As a result, the future repurposed and reshaped supply chains will have to include resilience and adaptation into their calculations. COVID-19 is causing supply chain interruptions in 94% of Fortune 1000 firms. 75% of firms have had a negative or significantly unfavorable impact on their operations. 55% of businesses want to reduce their growth forecasts (or have already done so). Here Are A Few Ways to Mitigate Supply Chain Disruptions For Your Small Business Locate Backup Suppliers and Vendors Identifying backup suppliers and securing them is critical for resolving supply chain problems on time; backup suppliers are the glue that holds a robust supply chain together. Unfortunately, numerous small enterprises rely on a single source for raw materials, resulting in the demise of many small firms. Manufacturers may safeguard themselves against supply shortages by arranging for backup sources in advance. To mitigate potential risks, manufacturers should consider selecting backup suppliers from various geographical regions. This will ensure that local material shortages and disasters have a minimal impact on order fulfillment. Still, it will also aid in developing a relationship with them to step in when needed. Finally, consider asking suppliers to carry business continuity insurance, equipment failure coverage, and other types of insurance to help decrease the probability of order fulfillment being halted. Incorporate Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) A supply chain breakdown may be a rude awakening for any small businesses that are operating normally. Supply chain management encompasses not just raw material sourcing but also the end-to-end flow of products and services and the planning and administration of operations related to sourcing, procurement, conversion, and logistics management tasks. Utilize cutting-edge technologies to assess possible supply chain risks. For example, consider adopting AI-powered mapping and environmental analysis solutions and aggregation applications that give global overviews and cyber threat assessment systems. Tools for supply chain risk management exist to assist you in tracking and controlling your supply chain. These tools may significantly improve the efficiency of order intake, shipping, ordering supplies, and inventory management. In addition, as supply chains grow more cloud-based or automated, it becomes increasingly important to use software to monitor your supply chain risk management program. Customers Should Be Informed For many small businesses, supply chain disruptions are unavoidable, and they will impact the products and services you expect to deliver. However, in this situation, it is critical to have clear communication with consumers. Keeping in touch with your consumers is essential for protecting your brand and the relationships you've worked so hard to build. Transparency with customers is critical when dealing with supply chain disruptions. Before customers make an order, be open about the reasons for the delay and potential difficulties, and communicate with them proactively about what is happening with your business and how you react. Never, ever leave your consumers in the dark. Bottom Line The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost everyone in every country on Earth. However, not all breakdowns are internationally recognized, and supply chain disruptions are unavoidable. However, by carefully preparing your reaction, assessing possible supply chain risks, and identifying backup suppliers and vendors, you can help prepare for even the most extraordinary circumstances. Frequently Asked Questions: What is supply chain disruption? A supply chain disruption occurs when the manufacturing process of items and their distribution to clients are disrupted. Disruption brings everything to a grinding halt - the traditional spanner in the works. A supply chain disruption occurs when a sudden shift or crisis — whether local or global — has a detrimental effect on that process. What are some of the causes of supply chain disruption? Here are some of the causes of supply chain disruption: Natural disasters, Transportation failures and delays, Political, economic, climate, or cyber threats, Pandemics, Product problems, and Price fluctuations. How to handle a supply chain disruption? You can handle a supply chain disruption by: Diversifying supply base, Identifying backup suppliers and vendors, Creating a supply chain emergency plan, Communicating with your customers, Incorporating supply chain risk management (SCRM) and by Adopting risk evaluation tools. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is supply chain disruption?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A supply chain disruption occurs when the manufacturing process of items and their distribution to clients are disrupted. Disruption brings everything to a grinding halt - the traditional spanner in the works. A supply chain disruption occurs when a sudden shift or crisis — whether local or global — has a detrimental effect on that process." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are some of the causes of supply chain disruption?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Here are some of the causes of supply chain disruption: Natural disasters, Transportation failures and delays, Political, economic, climate, or cyber threats, Pandemics, Product problems, and Price fluctuations." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How to handle a supply chain disruption?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "You can handle a supply chain disruption by: Diversifying supply base, Identifying backup suppliers and vendors, Creating a supply chain emergency plan, Communicating with your customers, Incorporating supply chain risk management (SCRM) and by Adopting risk evaluation tools." } }] }

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Simple Security for Every Small Business

Article | February 10, 2020

If you’re a business owner you really have your hands full, every day, with the minutiae of running your business, balancing your books, orders, employees, scheduling, inventory, servicing customers, payroll, taxes well, you get the idea as you’re living it every day. You might read that and think that I’m crazy, and that you do take security into account, and your office and systems are secure. Frequently, it’s not in the day to day operation of your business which is why we have statistics like this: In the first 6 months of 2019 alone, over 3,800 data breaches were reported, with over 4 billion records being exposed as a result. If you broke it down evenly, that would be over 20 million records stolen every single day this year.

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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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5 Reasons why SME's are struggling to stay in business

Article | February 17, 2020

As we enter a new decade, 58% of small businesses in the UK anticipate a plateau, or for their business to struggle in the year ahead. Only 1 in 4 predict to see growth. A new report, which surveyed 1,000 small business owners and sole traders across the country has been carried out by financial technology experts, Takepayments Limited, unveiling a snapshot of the small business landscape in the UK. It uncovers key challenges for small businesses in 2020 and tips on how business owners can secure a more consistent cash flow. Below the report unveils the five biggest reasons why SME’s are struggling to stay afloat in a digital era;

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Businesses of all sizes entrust Moove-it with their innovative technological endeavors. Our design and development team works alongside our clients to deliver high-quality software solutions in a wide array of industries including: healthcare, finance, IoT, education and real estate.

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