Article | April 15, 2020
Accounting professionals throughout the Americas are operating in unprecedented times with the impacts of COVID-19. With information changing daily on government stimulus packages, many of our accounting and bookkeeping partners are quickly adapting and helping their clients navigate through these tough times. Technology (especially the cloud) has enabled firms to seamlessly work-from-home and collaborate across the country. As well as find new ways to help their clients. Here are three reasons why moving your practice online allows you to better operate and support your small business clients during this time.
Article | April 15, 2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc across the globe from a public health and economic standpoint, Facebook has stepped up to offer relief to small businesses suffering financial loss. The number of U.S. unemployment claims increased by more than 3 million in just one week, and numerous small businesses, nonprofits and other companies are losing money due to quarantine mandates. In response, Facebook recently announced that it plans to provide grants to small businesses to help them rebuild revenue as the economy slows. Below, examine Facebook’s offerings for small businesses and elaborate on how small businesses can apply for aid from Facebook.
Article | April 15, 2020
Coming up with great business ideas is one of the most important things you will need to do as an entrepreneur. You can have all the confidence and training in the world, but if you don’t have an idea your customers can get behind, your organization isn’t going to go anywhere. So, what do you do when you’re struggling to find your Eureka moment? It takes many business leaders a lot of time and effort to find the idea that’s going to make them the next Bill Gates or Elon Musk. While there’s no guaranteed way to ensure lightning strikes, there are a few tips you can follow to improve your chances of getting the right inspiration.
Build Your Education
Going to college and earning your degree is not just a way to improve your resume, it also trains you how to think in different ways and look for unique solutions to problems. Going to college to earn a business degree can help you to develop your confidence, your understanding of your industry, and your ability to brainstorm. All you need to do is find a private lender who can finance your way through school, and you can use this period of your life as a crucial time for personal and professional growth.
Record Every Idea
Sometimes, we are too harsh with ourselves about what we identify as a good idea. Sometimes, a concept can come to you in the middle of the night, and by the time you’ve reached the next morning, you might have already convinced yourself it’s no good. Rather than ignoring moments of inspiration, take a note of all ideas, whenever they come to you – no matter how silly they might seem. Getting used to this process of considering every idea will help you to avoid ignoring any concepts that could be a lot more impressive than you think.
Start with the Problem
One of the best ways to guarantee that your business will be a success, is to work backwards from a problem your customers already have. The chances are you already have an industry and target market in mind for your business, so start exploring the market and finding out what competitors have to offer. Are there any gaps that aren’t being addressed? What kind of problems do you notice customers in your marketplace talking about all the time? Is there anything you can do to solve these issues for your customers? How are you going to offer a result where no-one else could?
Be Better than the Competition
Sometimes, you do not need a brand-new idea, all you need is a way to be better than the solutions already on the market. For instance, rather than designing a completely fuel-efficient car that does not use any fossil fuels, a lot of automobile companies started working on hybrid cars that could offer a combination of performance and eco-friendly functionality. Find your most significant sources of competition in the market and ask yourself what you could do to make the solution even better for your audience. Ideally, you shouldn’t get too focused on being the cheapest option when you’re just getting started. Most of the time, larger companies have more supplier options, so they can fight you on price quite easily.
Leverage Your Passions
The best business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs are often the people who started with a hobby or an idea and turned that into a career. Ultimately, you’ll always accomplish more in your business if you’re doing something you genuinely care about. With that in mind, you should always choose an industry that appeals to you when you’re building your new company. Think about what kind of products and solutions you’re usually excited about. Ask yourself what you’re good at, or what you can do that no-one else can. If you launch a business, you are passionate about, you will be much more likely to keep pushing forwards, even when your company faces a difficult stage.
Do Not Restrict Yourself
You do not have to choose a specific business idea and stick to that no matter what from day one. Spend some time brainstorming concepts, and do your research to find out which idea has the highest earning potential, or which is the most exciting from an innovation perspective. Once you’ve built your business, you can also begin to think about how it can grow in the future. For instance, just because you start your career creating gluten-free bread for people with intolerance doesn’t mean you have to stick to just bread forever. As your company evolves, you can move into new markets like pasta and pastries, or even spread around the world.
Keep Exploring New Ideas
Even once you have chosen an idea you want to pursue as a business owner, that does not mean you should stop coming up with ideas. Constant innovation and creativity are how most businesses stay ahead of the competition. Encourage your entire team to share their thoughts on how the business can improve, and have regular meetings where you can discuss new opportunities and avenues. Just like people, companies can evolve and change over time, give yourself the freedom to grow at the pace that suits you.
Article | April 15, 2020
For small businesses, this is cause for alarm. Lacking the time, IT expertise, and deep pockets of major companies, the small businesses that make up the foundation of the economy are sitting ducks — especially considering that 43% of all cyberattacks target small businesses specifically. In order to help small and midsize businesses get ahead of this issue, Congress passed the Small Business Cybersecurity Act in 2018. In essence, the act required the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to make small business cybersecurity a bigger priority, offering free and accessible resources appropriate for companies of all sizes. The act resulted in the Small Business Cybersecurity Corner website. Launched in 2019, it provides a centralized source of everything from information about dangerous cyberattacks to employee training tips. By all accounts, the NIST has met its mandate by making cybersecurity less confusing and risky for the businesses that suffer the most. Now it’s up to those small businesses to take that advice and run with it.