5 Things to Add to Your Small Business Wish List

ELVIS MICHAEL | October 27, 2015

article image
As a small business owner, you should create a wish list of things you need to strengthen your position and reach your long-term goals. This list of objectives should be formulated with clear guidelines, realistic expectations, and outstanding values. Your business goals should be backed by dependable employees to better ensure that you deliver the greatest value to your customers.

Spotlight

Kwik Trip, Inc.

Our Mission: To serve our customers and community more effectively than anyone else by treating our customers, co-workers, and suppliers as we, personally, would like to be treated and to make a difference in someone's life. Kwik Trip is unique in the convenience store industry. Family-owned, we treat our associates and guests like family. Since we first opened our doors to guests in 1965, we’ve put down strong roots in the communities we serve. As we have grown, we’ve added new and fresh abilities to offer the high-quality products at a low price by making many of the things we sell ourselves, keeping costs low and eliminating the middleman’s markup.

OTHER ARTICLES

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." } }] }

Read More

9 Resources To Help Black Owned Small Businesses

Article | August 5, 2021

What is one resource to help black-owned businesses succeed? To help Black-owned small businesses continue to succeed, we asked CEOs and business leaders for their best tips. From looking into local chapters of Black Business Association to the Black Owned Everything website, there are several resources that can help the continued growth and success of Black-owned small businesses for years to come.

Read More

Best Practices for Small Businesses to Nurture Leads with Email Marketing

Article | July 28, 2021

While social media marketing strategies are increasing in popularity globally, email marketing remains one of the best ways to build leads for your small business. Every $1 the average business invests in email marketing makes a return-on-investment (ROI) of approximately $49. This makes email marketing a lucrative investment that can connect your small business to your customers. Email marketing also carries other advantages. It’s affordable for businesses with limited digital marketing budgets, it doesn’t require special equipment, and anyone can learn how to succeed with digital marketing.

Read More

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." } }] }

Read More

Spotlight

Kwik Trip, Inc.

Our Mission: To serve our customers and community more effectively than anyone else by treating our customers, co-workers, and suppliers as we, personally, would like to be treated and to make a difference in someone's life. Kwik Trip is unique in the convenience store industry. Family-owned, we treat our associates and guests like family. Since we first opened our doors to guests in 1965, we’ve put down strong roots in the communities we serve. As we have grown, we’ve added new and fresh abilities to offer the high-quality products at a low price by making many of the things we sell ourselves, keeping costs low and eliminating the middleman’s markup.

Events