Advice on the Best Credit Cards For My Small Business

| March 6, 2019

article image
Learn why you don't need a formal company to qualify for a small business credit card. It's easier than you think. To The Point is your guide to maximizing points, miles, credit cards and becoming a travel hacker. Videos come out every Wednesday, so subscribe and click the bell icon so you’re the first to get insider tips.

Spotlight

Ceros

Ceros is a cloud-based interactive content creation platform. We empower marketers and designers to create rich, engaging interactive content without any coding.

OTHER ARTICLES

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." } }] }

Read More

A Complete Guide to Overhead Costs for Small Businesses

Article | July 28, 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

7 essential tips and suggestions for small business success

Article | July 28, 2021

The early days of growing your small business play a crucial role in your future success. At this stage, it’s important to make as much progress as possible (without biting off more than your business can chew, of course). That’s why all small business owners should keep the following “growth hacks” in mind. These long term growth strategies for your business will help you achieve your goals efficiently, allowing for sustained growth during this essential stage. This may sound simple, but it’s in fact a very useful piece of advice. After all, every small business owner wants to “grow.” Not all small business owners take the time to define specifically what that means.

Read More

Ingredients of a Marketing Plan That Are Essential to Make an Impact

Article | July 28, 2021

Each business endeavor begins with a well-defined business plan and, more crucially, a marketing strategy. An effective marketing plan is chock-full of different marketing selections for your firm and is a must-have if you want to get to your destination. But, unfortunately, the market is full of competition and uncertainties. It is estimated that about 20% of small businesses fail in their first year as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. After five years, 50% fail, and after ten years, 80% fail. Here are a few ingredients of a marketing plan that help you outshine in the diverse and competitive markets. A marketing plan is the first stage in establishing a successful marketing program. In addition, a marketing strategy serves as a road map for efficiently allocating precious time and resources to prevent wastage. A marketing plan includes a written document that describes an organization's advertising strategy, marketing techniques, tactics, promotional activities, and marketing efforts over a specific time. Market research, SWOT analysis, thorough information about its target consumers, competition positioning in the market, marketing plan budget, target market profile, distribution methods, promotional tactics, and marketing objectives are just a few of the ingredients of a marketing plan. Importance of Marketing Plan A marketing plan is vital because they make sales easier for any small business owner. When you target your ideal target customers, you increase the chances of generating leads and converting them into sales. Below is a few more importance of marketing plan: It aids in the effective management and accomplishment of your business objectives It facilitates cross-departmental collaboration and communication It contributes to the avoidance of future dangers and uncertainties It contributes to the success of marketing activities It contributes to reducing the chance of failure It enables the efficient and prudent use of resources while taking market opportunities into account Extensive Market Research Market research is one of the crucial ingredients of a marketing plan. Market research is the act of collecting and analyzing data to have a better knowledge of your consumers and the current state of the market. For marketing success, you must conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis compared to your competitors and a PESTND (political, economic, sociocultural, technological, natural, and demographic) analysis to better understand your competitors business's operating environment. Marketing research involves certain areas to be given utmost importance: The dynamics and trends of the market, including seasonality Vendors in whom you will place your trust Demographic information about customers, market segmentation, target markets, product needs, and purchase decisions Industry benchmarks What is presently available and what competitors are providing Current industry sales Robust Market Strategy The marketing strategy is the overarching company plan for attracting and converting new customers. It would be best to do a scenario analysis to understand your market position concerning your competitors clearly; only then can you develop a solid and successful market strategy. Market strategy plays a key role among all the other ingredients of a marketing plan and contributes to marketing success. A marketing strategy covers the 4Ps of the marketing mix: product, price, place, and promotion. In addition, a marketing strategy entails brand messaging, its value proposition, demographic information about its target customers, and other advanced elements. Below are few B2B marketing strategies: Social media marketing Search engine optimization Content marketing Search engine marketing/PPC (Pay-per-click) Referral programs Industry events Appropriate Financial Planning Another crucial element of a marketing business plan is financial planning. Marketing your campaign is a costly aspect of the business; it is necessary to have an appropriate and realistic budget plan to avoid financial wastage. Allocate your budget for each activity planned and manage your cash flow. For 67.4% of respondents, a limited marketing budget is the top marketing challenge facing small businesses. Plan your financing considering the organization's budget cycle, organizational events, seasonality, festivities, etc. The following points demonstrate why financial planning is essential. Prudent financial management Long-term view Profit and loss measurements To determine the value of liabilities and assets Utilization of Marketing Channels There are several marketing channels, but they are constantly changing and evolving. Therefore, due to a shortage of time and funds, select the appropriate channels. Choose the channel that is the most effective for promoting your products, services, and brand identification to potential consumers, depending on whether your firm is B2B or B2C. Channels provide a variety of purposes, that includes assisting you in discovering new methods to sell to your ideal client and help you to create experiences for your audience that help establish your brand reputation. Here are few channels that are utilized: Retail or Ecommerce Social media channels Email marketing Websites Referral channels SEO Word of mouth Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing Analyses of Competitors While a marketing strategy entails several analyses that aid in the operation of your firm, a marketing competitors' analysis is conducted concerning your competitors. You should be aware of your competitors and the distinctions between your products and services. Analyses of competitors are a crucial component of every marketing strategy. Conduct a competition analysis to learn about your competitors' goods, sales, and marketing tactics. Marketing competitor analysis is a critical component of any marketing plan since it helps differentiate your product or service from the competition. Competitor analysis enables the following: Identify market inefficiencies Identify market trends Create innovative goods and services Increase your marketing and sales effectiveness Conclusion: A sound marketing plan will help you generate leads. Ascertain that your marketing strategy is recorded. Numerous marketers assess the effectiveness of their efforts in relation to their objectives. This enables you to plan more effectively for the future and provides a clear picture of continuing changes. FAQs: What are the key ingredients in the marketing plan? Here are the critical ingredients of the marketing plan Extensive market research Appropriate financial planning Robust market strategy Utilization of marketing channels Analysis of competitors Clear marketing objectives What is a successful marketing plan? A successful marketing plan generates a positive return on investment (ROI), additional revenue, client lifetime value, and cost per win (sell), among other metrics. A marketing strategy is successful when it maximizes the benefits to your firm. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the key ingredients in the marketing plan?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Here are the critical ingredients of the marketing plan Extensive market research Appropriate financial planning Robust market strategy Utilization of marketing channels Analysis of competitors Clear marketing objectives" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is a successful marketing plan?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A successful marketing plan generates a positive return on investment (ROI), additional revenue, client lifetime value, and cost per win (sell), among other metrics. A marketing strategy is successful when it maximizes the benefits to your firm." } }] }

Read More

Spotlight

Ceros

Ceros is a cloud-based interactive content creation platform. We empower marketers and designers to create rich, engaging interactive content without any coding.

Events