A small business guide to mastering accounts receivable

JOHN SHIELDSMITH | March 9, 2020

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Most companies go out of business because they run out of cash. One of the biggest factors that can impact a business’ cash flow is how well they manage their accounts receivable. A well-oiled accounts receivable process can save you much pain down the road. But first, let’s take a look at what accounts receivable is. Then, we’ll tackle how you can better manage it and get the most out of it.

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The Retail Champion

The Retail Champion is a boutique retail consultancy offering 121 mentoring, consulting, training and coaching to independent retailers and business owners worldwide. Created by TV expert Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion offers structured programmes based on Clare's 2 best selling business books - The Retail Champion - 10-steps to Retail Success and How to Sell to Retail - The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market. I

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15 Spring Cleaning Tips To Revamp Any Small Business Website

Article | April 9, 2020

Spring cleaning isn’t just for the home. If you run a small business, spring is the ideal time to take a fresh look at your website and do some tidying up. Your business website needs an update from time to time to ensure it looks good, functions correctly, and supports your marketing goals. With this in mind, here is a 15-point checklist for spring cleaning your website, covering website performance, content, and usability.

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8 Small Business Resolutions for the Fiscal Year - 2021-2022

Article | July 28, 2021

2020 was a year of unprecedented incidents to the world as well as businesses. Now when the year is winding down, it is a time to get back on track with a bang. It is time for reassessment, better preparations, new opportunities, intelligent business strategies, and reshaped small business resolutions for the year 2021 and beyond to fight against new business challenges. 2020 had been the toughest for business owners, and 2021 is more demanding and challenging, especially for small businesses. However, small business owners must consider external and internal factors when planning for the upcoming years with a new set of contemporary small business goals. You have come a long way despite the setbacks and challenges thrown at you by unforeseeable circumstances, and you have gained a new set of experiences. Are you ready to return to business with a bang and build a more substantial business in 2021? If so, here are a few small business resolutions for 2021 to help your company thrive in the fiscal year. Review your business goals and plan A good business plan acts as a roadmap for business success. Hence, it is vital to review your business plan and goals at the start of every financial year. Then, keep this as your primary fiscal year 2021 budget resolution. Evaluation of your business plan helps you assess your last year's progress, failures and helps you to focus on the areas that need your attention. With every passing year, small business goals keep changing as per the current situation and try to adapt to the new changing business trends. Therefore, your plan needs to reflect the latest goals that small business owners plan to accomplish. It is essential to review and update your business plan focusing on the latest financial goals and marketing ideas to grow and taste success in 2021. Reviewing and updating a business plan is one of the first considerations of small business resolutions. Make online presence As the world has become more digitalized, the need for a small business to have an online presence has become essential. Having a website proved to be an asset for small business owners during the COVID-19 crisis because it allowed them to connect and stay in touch with their customers. Establishing an online presence makes your business visible, reachable and allows businesses to engage with customers. Establishing an online presence is one of the most popular and requested small business resolutions. Having an online presence entails developing a website as well as posting and engaging on social media accounts. Once your small business has an online presence, create content about your products, services, and offerings through your blogs and social media platforms. Re-evaluate your financial situation Botched financial management can cost you a big deal; that is why it is necessary to re-evaluate your financial situation every year to plan your business finance according to the current situation. Re-evaluating your finances is one of the intrinsic small business resolutions for the systematic workflow of the business. Here are few financial resolutions: • You can identify areas for improvement by reviewing your spending each month. • Pay down high-interest credit card debt. • Securing a flexible source of financing that provides you with quick access to the funds you require to grow. • Invest more money in the future of your company (short-term and long-term goals). Tune up your customer service Exceptional customer service is critical for modern and digitalized businesses of the future. According to the report, customers are more likely to become repeat customers due to the company's excellent customer service. Small businesses may provide excellent customer service, but it is necessary to improve it constantly. Therefore, small business goals must consider 2020 mistakes and attempt to avoid them in the future. It is predicted that soon, customer service will be more important than price, product, or service in a customer's decision. Therefore, ensure that your customer does not have a negative experience; negative experiences leave a long-term imprint on the customer's memory. As a result, your business may suffer severe consequences. According to Harvard Business Review, investing in new customers is up to 25 times more expensive than investing in existing ones. Enhancing your customer service is an essential aspect of small business resolutions for the upcoming year and beyond. Refresh your marketing strategy Marketing happened to be the backbone of business strategies, especially for small businesses during the pandemic. However, every year, new marketing trends emerge, and small businesses should be aware of these business trends and adjust their marketing strategies accordingly. Therefore, refreshing your marketing strategy is one of the imperative small business resolutions. Be inventive in your marketing strategies. Analyze the success and failures of your marketing efforts over the previous year and update your current marketing plan aptly. However, make sure that your business objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Email marketing is considered one of the best marketing tactics for small businesses. Besides, it is the primary channel for lead generation for 89% of marketers. It is consistently ranked as the single most effective tactic for meeting their awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention goals. Expand your network It is vital to invest time to build your networks. Small business owners often ignore this aspect, but it is a pressing priority of 2021. Make connections with other entrepreneurs, meet your competitors, pay visits to your suppliers, and keep a record of everyone you know. It is propitious to expand your network because it allows you to form relationships with others and encourage them to refer customers to you via viva voce. In addition, networking can lead to the discovery of new clients, opportunities, vendors, collaborators, service providers, and even new friends. Below are few techniques that can help you to expand your business network: • Take your current network to the next level. • Locate networking events. • Set objectives for the event. • Maintain symbiotic relationships. • Look for new faces. Review your insurance coverage Even if cash is tight or revenues are down, small businesses should not ignore their insurance needs. Small business insurance is one of the most essential components of safeguarding your livelihood, yourself, employees, and even customers. Hence, small business owners must have comprehensive insurance coverage and regularly review and update their coverage as their circumstances change. Ascertain that you understand what is and is not covered. Furthermore, as your company grows, you should review your coverage regularly. Few insurance agents will review your current policy and make recommendations based on your company's specific needs, as well as identify any discounts you may be eligible for. Besides, once you have determined what type of policy or policies you require, you can compare prices from various insurance companies to find the best value. Prioritize and upgrade company culture The hallmark of any successful business lies in making the workplace great and healthy for work. So if your small business relies on the work of employees, focusing on prioritizing and upgrading your company culture as well as nurturing your employees, is an excellent resolution for 2021. The previous year was stressful for both employees and employers, which can harm workplace productivity. It is crucial to foster an inclusive and empowering work environment. Take a survey to find out what changes employees would like to see in terms of culture, and then create a company culture that reflects their needs. Employee satisfaction leads to productivity and innovation. In addition, employees are more motivated to take pride in their work and the company they work for when they feel safe, respected, and have a sense of ownership. FAQs: How to write resolutions for small businesses? 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. What is a resolution for a business? 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. Why should every business have a resolution? 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. { "@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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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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Top 12 Email Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Article | June 18, 2021

The world of marketing has changed with the advancements of modern technology. Today’s marketers use several digital platforms to outreach their prospects. Are you a small business owner and hesitant to try email marketing? Let me ease you with successful email marketing tips for small businesses. Email marketing is the best marketing channel to drive leads. Email marketing remains a popular and lucrative medium yet underrated business expansion techniques with varied mediums to share your information and news. With varied mediums to share your information and news, email marketing remains to be popular and lucrative medium yet underrated business expansion techniques. Many small business owners are under the impression that email marketing is ineffective and is for the big business owners, still small business owners can gain a lot from email marketing. Email marketing is the most effective marketing channel for connecting with the audience. To reap -a high ROI, it is time to bring these email marketing techniques to practice. Why is Email Marketing Important for Small Business? Start-up businesses and small businesses are low on budget and cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars on costly marketing platforms. But aggressive marketing strategy is required to reach maximum people and appear on SERP. Here is the important part of an email, email marketing is cost-effective and engaging new customers as well as retaining the loyalty of older customers. In addition, email marketing is a transparent and honest form of marketing tool. Email marketing fulfils small business needs by helping to reach your target customers, send personalized messages based on customer actions, and promote relevant services to them. Email is extremely versatile and allows marketing, relationship building, and expanding your customer base with well-planned small business email campaigns. As per data from Pew Research, about 92% of adults in the United States use email. Thus, if you want to be competitive in digital marketing, you must take up email marketing. Email Marketing Benefits for Small Business Email marketing benefits your small business in many ways. Here are few ways where it can help you. Email marketing can be personalized for your leads, and in turn it gives a boost to your sales. It is easy to set up. It can be automated, saving you time. You can segment your audience and share semi-personalized emails to them, like sending targeted emails to your audience. You can send promotional emails or new releases. It helps in building a relationship with your leads. Lead generation and lead nurturing. Here are the top 10 email marketing tips for small businesses to enhance the performance of your next marketing campaign. Top 12 Email Marketing Tips for Small Businesses Stay compliant When using email marketing, it is important to be compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act. As per the CAN-SPAM Act, consumers are protected from getting unsolicited emails. Make sure you use the opt-in and opt-out form on your website, where users can choose to subscribe and unsubscribe at their will. Be sure to send emails only to people who have subscribed to your email list. It will help if you abide by the guidelines to avoid any significant fines and other sanctions in case you miss. Personalize your emails When sending an email, keep the style and tone friendly and go beyond just using the subscriber’s name in addressing or subject line. You can follow few more personalized techniques, such as Send anniversary emails. Send behavior-triggered emails. Send personalized videos. Segment your audience and then send personalized emails to give a personal touch and grab their attention. This way, email marketing strategy for small businesses will be more effective. Make signup easy Registration is the most important step among email marketing techniques. Make signup on your website as easy and as accessible as possible. Use an embedded signup form to make the registration easy. Include signup forms on your homepage, blogs, contact page, and your footer, and other places of the site where customers are likely to visit. You can collect all their details and offer them special discounts. This step will help you build a quality email list and capture contact information about the interested audience. Segment your email list This step is one of the significant steps of email marketing tips for small businesses. Once your email list is ready, segment them based on customers’ interest and their characteristics. Segment your list according to your customer’s age, preferences, location, and previous purchases made. A segmentation list is important because each customer differs from the other, having unique needs. Now send a personalized email with special offers and discounts as per these segmented lists. Creating your email segment list will enable you to drive more ROI and effectively target your audience. Write captivating subject lines The subject line of an email is a very crucial aspect of email marketing. It is an important part of the email. Create a stunning and catchy subject of the email because it acts as the first impression on the user. Make sure to keep the subject line short and specific. Try to generate unique and impressive subject lines that raise curiosity and trigger recipients to open an email and not take the chance of missing it. Once you develop a good number of ideas on the subject line, you can go for the A/B testing method. Promotional emails Promotional emails provide special offers and discounts to attract subscribers and customers for your services or products. The main aim of sending promotional emails in email marketing is to convince customers to make purchases. Promotional email offers incentives to drive revenue and sales for a business. Promotional email content and design should be focused on persuading the recipient to act. Make your emails mobile-friendly and optimized for purchases Around 70% of the population use a smartphone for the maximum of their activities, so it is necessary to make sure your emails are mobile optimized. Make sure your email marketing campaign is mobile-friendly and is an effective email marketing technique for small businesses. Format the content of the email correctly and ensure its adaptability to several applications, regardless of where it’s being used (desktop, tablet, mobile) or on which browser. It is important to analyze open-rate, unsubscribe rate, click-through rate, and user action rates for your small business email campaign. This is one of the trendiest and highly in-use email marketing tips for small businesses to gain success . Automated emails Make sending automated emails for small businesses a top priority in 2021. Email automation saves a lot of time. Once an automated email campaign is set, it sends automated relevant emails to the users when a specific trigger is met. Sending automated emails is one of the best email marketing tips for small businesses and is a powerful email marketing technique. Set up an automated welcome email for new subscribers, which will help you to build trust with your new customers. You can make use of email marketing software options to automate B2C and B2B email marketing tasks. Through automated emails, you reach to right people with the right message and at the right time for your small business marketing. Make your emails easy to read/scan Your subscribers are busy people, so make sure your emails are easy to read, not very lengthy, and stick to your user's experience theme. Users will open your email and scan it without spending a lot of time reading the full content of your email. Make sure your content is interesting crisp, and stands out. Use valuable text in the form of bullet points, subheadings, keywords or gifs, or infographics that cover the maximum of your valuable content in just one look. This email marketing tip for small businesses gives your email a chance to stand out from other emails in the client’s list. Design your emails around your brand Design your email that reflects your brand. Make sure your email is instantly recognizable. Follow your brand guidelines for font, image, styles, color palette, and make sure they are consistent with your brand. To make your emails user-friendly, use similar elements as per your website design. Track engagement and monitor results You will be able to send the right information to the people who are engaged the most, which is possible only when you track the engagement. It is important to track various metrics, monitor your email campaign’s success, and take corrective measures required to improve the success. Small businesses need to track the below metrics for their email campaigns: Open rates Click-through rates Conversion rates Referral traffic Bounce rates Unsubscribe rates Monitoring results is a continuous ongoing process. First, monitor the analytics information in email marketing to know what works and what does not. Be consistent with your editorial calendar Be consistent in sending emails to customers from your email list. You can do this by creating a schedule for your email campaign that helps you plan and execute your marketing campaigns. Be sure to contact your recipients more than once a month to keep them interested and subscribed. Not hearing from you for a longer duration hampers the email campaign leading to a significant drop in the subscriptions. Observe consumer behavior and tailor your plan accordingly. Wrapping Up Email marketing is one of the best ways to reach target customers, keep customers informed, and prospects engaged affordably and easily. Email marketing techniques are one of the most effective and beneficial marketing strategies for small businesses to improve their ROI, increase customer engagement, generate leads, and grow business. To launch an email marketing strategy for your small business, pair it with the above email marketing tips for small businesses and benefit from successful email campaigns in 2021. Frequently Asked Questions: What are the types of marketing emails? Email marketing is nothing but sending commercial emails to promote services or products and develop relationships with potential customers or existing clients. There various types of emails sent are welcome emails, promotional emails, lead nurturing emails, email newsletter, sponsorship emails, transactional emails, brand story emails, and many more. Every brand is different, so tailor your email marketing strategy accordingly. Why small businesses need email marketing? Email marketing helps small businesses increase brand awareness and credibility, contact customers, and provide them with up-to-date information about your business. Email marketing helps to generate leads and turn them into sales. The biggest benefit email marketing offers to small businesses is that it allows reaching the right audience at the right time. Is email marketing still effective for small businesses? Often small business owners are under the impression that email marketing for small businesses is not effective, and it is just for big business owners. On the contrary, email marketing is the most impactful marketing channel for small businesses connecting with the audience. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the types of marketing emails?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Email marketing is nothing but sending commercial emails to promote services or products and develop relationships with potential customers or existing clients. There various types of emails sent are welcome emails, promotional emails, lead nurturing emails, email newsletter, sponsorship emails, transactional emails, brand story emails, and many more. Every brand is different, so tailor your email marketing strategy accordingly." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why small businesses need email marketing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Email marketing helps small businesses increase brand awareness and credibility, contact customers, and provide them with up-to-date information about your business. Email marketing helps to generate leads and turn them into sales. The biggest benefit email marketing offers to small businesses is that it allows reaching the right audience at the right time." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Is email marketing still effective for small businesses?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Often small business owners are under the impression that email marketing for small businesses is not effective, and it is just for big business owners. On the contrary, email marketing is the most impactful marketing channel for small businesses connecting with the audience." } }] }

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The Retail Champion

The Retail Champion is a boutique retail consultancy offering 121 mentoring, consulting, training and coaching to independent retailers and business owners worldwide. Created by TV expert Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion offers structured programmes based on Clare's 2 best selling business books - The Retail Champion - 10-steps to Retail Success and How to Sell to Retail - The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market. I

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