Time to Conduct SWOT Analysis for Small Business

SWOT Analysis for Small Business
As a small business owner, do you know your business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats? Whether you are a new or established organization, you must understand this critical component of marketing strategy. SWOT-analysis helps accomplish all of this.

SWOT analysis for small business is vital and a robust process that evaluates your company and enables your future business decision-making.

According to Oberlo, more than 50% of small enterprises fail during the first year of operation, and over 95% of small startups fail within the first five years.

Before we get into the meat of the article, let us take a quick look at a few critical components. To begin, let us define SWOT analysis.

What Exactly Is A SWOT Analysis?

SWOT analysis is an approach that acts as an analytical tool to assess your business's performance or build a business strategy for any startup.

SWOT analysis comprises "Strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats. In addition, SWOT analysis includes both internal and external factors. Internal factors are those that businesses can control, and external factors are outside business control.

In the 1960s, Albert Humphrey of Stanford Research Institute created the swot-analysis method. Since then, this method has become one of the most valuable tools for business owners to start and grow their companies.

"A SWOT analysis allows you to identify the areas you could be focusing on to grow your business. You can use this insight to inform your long-term strategic planning, which will help you to draw up budgetary plans and identify hiring needs."

- Brad Touesnard, Founder & CEO of SpinupWP

A simple rule to follow is to create a SWOT analysis for small businesses when you are starting one and revise your SWOT annually. A SWOT analysis is conducted for an entire business organization or an individual project within the organization. SWOT analysis is often applied at the organizational level to accurately determine business alignment with its business goals and success benchmarks.

Why Do Small Businesses Require SWOT Analysis?

"It is impossible to accurately map out a small business's future without first evaluating it from all angles, which includes an exhaustive look at all internal and external resources and threats, and a SWOT accomplishes this in four straightforward steps that even rookie business owners can understand and embrace."

- Bonnie Taylor, chief marketing strategist, CCS Innovations

Unaware of a small business's strengths and shortcomings is a significant loss for the owners. It is essential for small business owners, as well, to anticipate both opportunities and threats.

Benefits of SWOT analysis for small businesses:
  • Gain a better grasp of your business
  • Address deficiencies
  • Ward off potential threats
  • Capitalize on opportunities
  • Leverage your strengths
  • Establish company objectives and ways for achieving them

Breakdown of SWOT Analysis:


Strengths

Strengths are the areas in which your business excels and enhances your business's success. Therefore, determining the strength of small businesses is a crucial aspect of the organization.

The following is a list of potential company strengths to consider:
  • What are your strengths?
  • What distinguishes your business?
  • What do customers appreciate about your business, product, or service?
  • In what areas does your business excel?

Consider a fictitious example of typical SWOT strength - a cake shop at the neighborhood market. The business may have several advantages, including outstanding taste, unique flavors, bespoke cakes, and helpful staff. These are only a handful of its benefits and can be highly beneficial in the long run.

Weakness

Weaknesses of a small business are another consideration to be looked at carefully. Additionally, weakness is a modifiable or controllable internal aspect of the firm. The following is a list of your business's vulnerabilities.
  • Competitors' strengths
  • Your company's weaknesses
  • Limited money and resources
  • No online presence (website)
  • No market plan

Opportunities

Opportunities are business opportunities that exist outside of your organization and that you can take advantage of to make money. You cannot influence opportunities; they are determined by industry or market conditions. However, opportunities assist you in increasing your sales. The following are a few business opportunities:
  • Is there any new market that is easy for your product or service
  • Lack of competitive areas
  • Is there any demand for your product
  • What are the possibilities of market growth
  • Social media presence

Threats

Threats are the final component of the SWOT analysis but are critical. Threats are external variables that can jeopardize the running of your organization. Recognizing and averting these dangers can save you a lot of money and time in the long run. There are a few threats to consider.
  • Changing customer needs
  • A new competitor with a low price
  • Negative press coverage of your business
  • New laws and regulations

How to Conduct SWOT Analysis?

Once you have a firm grasp on all four categories of SWOT analysis, you can go on to the next phase of posing a few questions that will assist you in developing a well-structured business plan for future growth. You will be able to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of your business initiative or organization.

Once you've completed SWOT analysis for small businesses and gathered all of the results, analyze each in terms of company requirements.

With the compiled information, you will be able to:
  • Create a plan that can enhance your strength as a small business
  • You can work over the weaknesses of a small business.
  • Utilize your strengths to be well prepared to diminish threats
  • Can take a deeper understanding of weaknesses and opportunities and identify the areas of improvement
  • Establishes a clear path for small businesses to challenge their competitors' marketing efforts and grow their consumer base

Once you learn the art of SWOT analysis and get well-versed with it, you will plan your business strategically. In addition, you will be able to explore new opportunities and improve your decision-making process.

Amazon Success Story – SWOT analysis

Amazon recently recognized the retail industry's limitations through SWOT analysis and stretched its borders to a more deconstructed form. Along with cloud computing and intelligent voice, Amazon reached out to third-party platforms such as suppliers and logistics to test the waters in the film and television sector. As a result, the company's business strategy is broadening. In 2008, Amazon began offering original material on Prime Instant Video, the company's mainstream media video platform available to Prime subscribers. It has done so by attracting new users and accelerating the growth of e-commerce and other new enterprises.

Bottom Line:

As illustrated in the preceding example, SWOT analysis for small businesses is a complete strategy for the growth and expansion of a corporation. We live in a competitive business world, where new business possibilities and risks emerge daily. As a result, corporate entities must perform it and analyze their strengths and weaknesses to prosper in the new normal and beyond.

FAQ:


Why do we conduct a SWOT analysis?

A SWOT analysis of a business organization identifies areas for improvement and areas of strength. A SWOT analysis paints a comprehensive picture of a business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

When should a business conduct a SWOT analysis?

SWOT analysis is essential before taking up any new business activities, considering expansion or modification, taking up any new initiatives, changing internal policies, changing the business plan or strategy, and many more.

How often should we conduct a SWOT analysis?

Threats and opportunities are inherently dynamic. A SWOT analysis is done every six months according to established corporate standards. However, it should be considered before embarking on any new company venture. It would be best to do it regularly, depending on your business's needs.

Spotlight

Craig International Ltd

Craig International is the complete procurement trading house solution to the oil and gas industry. With over 70 specialised buyers and bases in Aberdeen, Houston, Calgary, Cape Town, Doha, Dubai and Hamburg, Craig International combines international sourcing and rapid delivery to provide a truly world class service.

OTHER ARTICLES
INDUSTRY OUTLOOK, IMPACT

Small Business Grants: Get Free Funding

Article | July 11, 2023

Doesn't free money for small businesses sound wonderful? Thus, free money to small-medium enterprises (SMEs) is the core purpose of small business grants. As a small business owner, you are constantly looking for funding opportunities for small businesses to expand your enterprise. This requirement became even more desirable during the coronavirus pandemic. The following are the top challenges facing small businesses: Cash flow is limited or inconsistent Lack of capital raising No provision for unforeseen expenses Inadequate tax compliance Absence of a budget Combining commercial and personal finances “It’s almost always harder to raise capital than you thought it would be, and it always takes longer. So plan for that.” – Richard Harroch, Venture Capitalist and Author How About We Figure Out What a Business Grant is? A grant is a sum of money provided to a business for a particular purpose. There are several financing possibilities for small enterprises when applying for start-up business grants. You only need to know where to find it. Government (federal and state), charities, and private institutions all offer small business grants. Unlike small business loans, small business grants do not need a repayment. In addition, unlike loans, you are not required to provide security, are not charged late fees or interest, and are not required to give away any ownership of your business. As a result, grants for small businesses are an appealing source of finance for businesses. Small business grants are frequently awarded based on specific areas, industrial sectors, community groups, or types of enterprises. Grants come in various forms, including those granted by the government, those supplied by private firms, and those directed for specific groups such as women, veterans, or women. In addition, considering the current pandemic crisis, a new grant has been established to assist individuals negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The federal government does not provide start-up business grants; instead, its grant programs are often directed toward non-profit organizations or other government agencies that face financing challenges. COVID-19 Small Business Grants Several types of COVID-19 small business grants are available to mitigate the loss caused by the coronavirus to small businesses. First, government grants for small businesses provide economic relief from the loss of revenue. The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) administers federal small business funds for coronavirus recovery under the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-profit Organizations, and Venues Act. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Small Business Administration (SBA) provides financial help by introducing financial assistance programs like Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). However, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) concluded on May 31, 2021. Even after the termination of the program, you can still qualify for loan forgiveness. This program was a significant part of COVID-19 small business grants. As of May 10, 2021, the SBA has authorized $782 billion in PPP loans. To qualify for loan grants, you must establish the following: Maintaining employee and pay levels The revenues of the loan are used to cover payroll costs and other allowable expenses At least 60% of the earnings are used to cover payroll expenditures COVID-19 Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) The Federal government recognized the coronavirus's impact and introduced many COVID-19 small business grants, and Targeted EIDL was one of the leading financial assistance programs offered. The SBA makes targeted economic injury disaster funding available to small companies in low-income regions that have suffered revenue loss due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is more of a donation than a loan, as it is not returnable. The targeted EIDL offers up to $10,000 in advance if your firm is: Located in a low-income neighborhood Has sustained a higher than 30% economic loss Employ no more than 300 people Due to COVID-19, small business owners and qualified agricultural companies in all 50 states and territories of the United States are presently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan. Shuttered Venues Grant As of August 2021, the Shutter Venues Grant program is ended. However, later that month, the Small Business Administration (SBA) planned to establish a supplemental Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application for 50% of the initial amount, up to a maximum of $10 million. The Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-profits, and Venues Act established the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program, modified by the American Rescue Plan Act. The initiative, managed by the SBA's Office of Disaster Assistance, would provide over $16 billion in subsidies to closed venues. Eligible candidates may receive up to 45% of their gross earned revenue in the form of a grant. The maximum grant is ten million dollars. Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide emergency assistance for eligible restaurants, bars, and other eligible businesses impacted by the pandemic. This program compensates restaurants for income losses caused by the pandemic, up to a maximum of $10 million per firm and no more than $5 million per physical location. As of now, RRF is closed for new applications. Government Grants for Small Business Numerous government grants for small businesses have been made available for free by the federal, state, and municipal governments. However, accepting free government money entails a considerable bit of paperwork and is time-consuming and technical at the same time. Federal Government Grants for Small Business The federal government offers many other additional grants for small businesses along with COVID-19 assistance. Federal government grants for small businesses are generally available to firms engaged in research, technology, or health. The government agencies that support small company grants are the SBA, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Department of Agriculture. Let us find out which are the most competitive government grants for small businesses. Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) U.S. Small Business Administration State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) NIH Grants U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) State Government Grants for Small Business State offers government incentives to a small business that address the state's social or economic issues. However, due to the minor application set for state funds, competition may be less severe and easily accessible. Federal agencies occasionally award grants to state governments, which then distribute the monies. Below is few resources body that offers funding opportunities for small businesses: U.S. Economic Development Administration State Business Incentives Database Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) Private Small Business Grants While government grants are beneficial to small companies, the financing levels are insufficient. Occasionally, private corporations and charities step forward and provide small business grants. On the other hand, private business grants need separate applications and may have eligibility limits confined to specific industries. Numerous corporate-sponsored small business grants require applicants to compete in pitch competitions or something comparable. Unfortunately, few major private corporations provide substantial financial incentives to small businesses for joining (and winning) contests or pitch competitions. However, even if you do not win, you may receive a runner-up reward or exposure for your business. Below are few private small business grants available FedEx Small Business Grant Contest National Association of the Self-Employed (NASE) Visa Everywhere Initiative Wells Fargo Community Investment Nav's Quarterly $10,000 Business Grant Patagonia Corporate Grant Program Start-Up Business Grants A start-up business grant is money provided by the government or another entity to assist small businesses and organizations in establishing and developing their businesses. Initially, small business grants are often not accessible to launch a firm; nevertheless, they are available for specific businesses and owners. The following is a list of different sorts of businesses eligible for start-up small business grants: Innovators Rural Businesses Green businesses Women, veteran, or minority-owned businesses Non-profit organizations Here is an example of small business start-up grants 4.0 Schools fellowships Jack Daniel's pitch distilled Final Thought As the information above indicates, there are several small business grants available. However, applying for grants is time intensive and may result in your firm not receiving the money needed. Finally, explore the small business grant, whichyour business is eligible for. If small business grants are not a possibility for you, several alternative funding choices are available that fit your budget. FAQs: What can a small business grant be used for? Small business grants are used for a variety of purposes: to establish a business, to stimulate minority entrepreneurship, to support research and development in a particular industry, to bring innovation, and to assist businesses in the domains of science, technology, and health, the list goes on. How can I get a grant to start a small business? There are several websites and organizations where you may obtain small company grants, including the following: SBIR.gov USDA Rural Business Development Grants Small Business Development Centres Grants.gov National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) FedEx Small Business Grant Contest What distinguishes grants from small business loans? The primary distinction between small business grants and small business loans is that grants are not returned (with certain circumstances), but loans need to be paid back. In addition, grants are generally reserved for small firms, requiring more time to process and receive the funds.

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MARKETING AND NETWORKING

How Are Small Business Accounting Software Meeting Industry Needs Today?

Article | February 14, 2024

Introduction With numerous tasks and operations to take care of, from basic invoicing and billing to project management and tax calculations, small business owners find it a nerve-wracking challenge to keep track of all monetary transactions and manage accounts payable. In addition, the advent of digitization, the growing penetration of cloud-based solutions in the industry, and the introduction of cutting-edge accounting software, among others, are eliminating the extra use of paper, pens, files, and voluminous binders. Because of these small business financing trends, businesses and start-ups are increasingly inclined toward online financial management tools, such as small business accounting software, to handle their financial data. The small business accounting software assists them in examining their financial condition along with accurately recording businesses’ cash flow, generating reports, tracking transactions, monitoring account balances, billing customers, creating purchase orders, and much more. Owing to such compelling features, these small business financial management solutions are garnering massive popularity in the industry. Small Business Accounting Software: Emerging Financial Needs in the Industry Running a small business sometimes entails wearing several hats, such as sending emails, paying suppliers, invoicing, creating processes, and preparing financial reports. All these are essential tasks, along with the other small business operations, such as employee management and work management, among others. None of the additional responsibilities faced by small business owners are as crucial as accounting. Robust accounting processes are vital for keeping businesses in excellent financial condition and helping owners to make smarter decisions. Accounting software provides various features that can facilitate the smooth operation of the organization. From processing invoices to monitoring cash flow, here are the primary ways accounting software can assist owners to meet financial requirements for small businesses and promote growth. Automate Invoicing and Billing Due to the shortage of cash inflow, it is vital for small businesses to keep the cash flowing by billing clients and crediting customers on time. Accounting software assists small businesses in automating the billing process, enabling owners to create recurring invoices, send follow-up reminders, and accept digital payments directly from the invoices. It also assists in tracking all unpaid invoices and preventing accidental missing payments, thereby fending off potential losses. Expense Tracking A common accounting mistake that small businesses often make is failing to accurately track business costs and expenses, which causes a shortage of cash flow. The deployment of the right small business accounting software prevents this from happening and enables firms to keep track of all the spending and identify the source where the money is being spent. Efficient Inventory Management Proper inventory management is a crucial part of small businesses as they cannot stock products in large quantities due to the unavailability of a large amount of capital. Good inventory management is necessary to guarantee an adequate supply and deliver superior customer service. Accounting software aids small businesses in recording stock keeping unit (SKU) codes, monitoring goods, preparing reports, tracking products sold, and running reports on which items firms are doing well and which ones aren’t. Bank Reconciliation Small business accounting solutions simplify one of the most fundamental tasks of the company—bank reconciliation. It enables small business owners to access their bank statements directly from the accounting solutions, along with comparing bank statements, balancing debits and credits, and identifying any discrepancies at the end of each financial period. The Final Thought Maintaining correct financial records at all times is essential for the success of small businesses and start-ups. For maintaining proper accounts, these businesses need a system that overcomes the drawbacks of traditional accounting tools such as spreadsheets. With the introduction of novel accounting software integrated with artificial intelligence, big data, and other technologies, these financial management solutions are paving the way for small businesses.

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Technology

How Can Small Business Digital Transformation Opportunities Be Bagged?

Article | July 17, 2023

Small businesses are the backbone of the US economy, generating local jobs and innovation while encouraging entrepreneurship among minorities, women, veterans, and other community segments. As stated by Florida tax monitor data, small companies employ 48% of all Americans and generate 43.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). At the speed of light, the corporate environment is continuously moving to new digital technologies. However, many small company owners are unable to keep up with this small business digital transformation. In the opinion of recent Google-commissioned small company research, 80% of small businesses in the United States are not fully utilizing digital technologies. A few more reasons at play prevent small firms from adopting digital technology and falling behind on digital transformation trends. Ignoring digital benefits or refusing to adjust is a surefire way to fail in a constantly evolving digital world. "At least 40% of all businesses will die in the next ten years… if they don't figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies." — John Chambers, Cisco Factors Contributing to the Lag in Digital Transformation Race Keeping up with New Technologies Is Tough Numerous small business owners are unable to keep up with emerging digital transformation trends. Various digital opportunities for small businesses exist to employ in their operations. However, companies lack the will to leverage digital capabilities and so fall short of their full potential. In addition, limited resources create an impediment to digital adoption inside. Employee experience and digital skills are other significant impediments to SMBs adopting digital technologies. Small businesses need to overcome their fear of change to capitalize on the digital dividend, accelerate growth, and scale effectively. Change in Customers Behavior and Persona Changes in customer behavior and knowledge of SMB consumer personas are critical components of small business digital transformation and are the primary issue confronting small business owners. The most significant change that small companies anticipate in the next five years is a shift in consumer expectations and personas. Owners believe they understand their businesses since they are small or medium-sized business owners. Still, customers have a different perspective more than 70% of the time due to social and digital transformation trends. For the next five years, the top three consumer trends are expected to increase product or service customization, increased emphasis on customer experience, and higher expectations of quality or value for money. "Clients are going to expect a lot of personalization in their businesses; consumers are going to expect the same. To avoid data silos, having an emphasis on driving real-time information from customer data and sources is core for any company to become digitally native." – Bibhakar Pandey, Vice President & Leader of Customer Experience, Marketing Services, Capgemini. Need Assistance for Right Decisions Making technological decisions is challenging for small firms. Additionally, many business decisions are made by small business owners. Therefore, they must have the appropriate knowledge and help when making digital decisions involving various conflicting obligations. Because the costs of digital technologies are so high, it is critical for small businesses to have sufficient information about the value of sales, service, and marketing technologies to select the appropriate digital systems, upgrade digital skills, and provide adequate protection and security. In addition, the small owners need timely assistance to cope up with small business digital transformation. Digital Gap Small firms have several digital gaps in various areas, including internal skills gaps, financial gaps, and digital infrastructure shortages. Due to the utilization of high-speed internet connections and cloud-based technologies, these disparities are more significant for small businesses than large enterprises. The owners need to cope up with different stages of digital transformation in small businesses. However, there is no denying the link between digital and productivity, which is critical for productivity. Digital Transformation Approaches: Adoption and Upgradation to CRMs To evaluate client behavior, it is critical to implement and improve your customer relationship management system (CRM). In addition, businesses should leverage cloud-based solutions to strengthen their relationships with their consumers. According to Deloitte, SMBS that use CRM generate 44 percent more income than those who do not have a system or only have a rudimentary system. However, numerous CRM features, such as omnichannel customer care, marketing automation, social tools, and predictive analytics with automation are not part of the classic CRM model. "Right from the start, based on our ICP, we focus on what level of personalization and automation needs to be built out and what touchpoints like overlays, retargeting, and remarketing are to be done to convert the customer in the end and take them to the SQL stage." – Amitabh Ramani, Global Marketing Director, Jade Global. Adoption and up-gradation of CRMs will open new digital opportunities for small businesses. Improvement in Digital Infrastructure To fill the digital gap and be a part of digital transformation trends, small businesses must embrace high-speed broadband for small business digital transformation. In addition, adopt digital technologies in the workplace to enhance SMB productivity and connectedness. By incorporating innovation and technology, small firms may increase their competitiveness. Below are few actions that can be taken for more digitally engaged small businesses: Raising awareness of digital opportunities SME training and upskilling programs Promoting business innovation and the provision of new digital solutions Implementation of Sales and Marketing Tools In today's competitive corporate climate, the focus is firmly placed on the sales and marketing aspects of the enterprise. As a result, small businesses strive to capitalize on possibilities for personalized marketing based on prior interactions or sales and engage clients through customized marketing. Amaysim is an example of a company that focuses on customized marketing using a cloud-based marketing platform; they ensure timely marketing communication and connect with clients in real-time via SMS. Only one in every five small businesses uses digital tools or social media platforms to acquire new consumers or connect with existing clients. Incorporate artificial intelligence into different business processes, such as predictive analytics, automated product recommendations, and upgrade suggestions based on consumer behavior. Shift to Online Interactions Face-to-face transactions have decreased as a percentage of total sales, and the line between physical and digital is becoming increasingly blurred, resulting in behavioral adjustments. The purchase is moving due to internet channels, or you might say that more consumers favor online purchases over in-person transactions. With the increase in online sales, small companies also need to enhance their delivery services to keep up with the demand. In addition, the shift in communication channels to emails, social media platforms, and websites have altered consumer behavior about enquires and complaints. As a result, implementing CRM software for service interactions has become a necessity of the hour to ensure a fast response. Shift to online interactions of sales or any business operation is an escalating demand for small business digital transformation. Final Thoughts With the evolution of digital trends in small businesses, owners can leverage small business digital transformation benefits by using the techniques as mentioned above. Regular use of digital tools may help small businesses enhance their performance and adapt to dynamic business conditions and changing consumer expectations and the surrounding environment. Engage small companies in new digital prospects for success and business growth, resulting in a greater return on investment (ROI). FAQs Why is digital transformation important for small businesses? Digital transformation enables small businesses to ease out their operations, increases efficiency, automates workflow, helps to improve customer relationships. Adopting digital transformation enables to fulfill changing behaviors and needs of customers. What are the most significant trends of digital transformation? Here are few significant trends of digital transformation in the coming year 2022 that will impact the work culture of businesses. Improved connectivity (5G) AI technology Cybersecurity IoT Multi-cloud and APIs What are key areas of digital transformation? The key areas of digital transformation are as follows: Business process transformation Domain transformation Business model transformation Cultural/Organizational Transformation { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why is digital transformation important for small businesses?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Digital transformation enables small businesses to ease out their operations, increases efficiency, automates workflow, helps to improve customer relationships. Adopting digital transformation enables to fulfill changing behaviors and needs of customers." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the most significant trends of digital transformation?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Here are few significant trends of digital transformation in the coming year 2022 that will impact the work culture of businesses. Improved connectivity (5G) AI technology Cybersecurity IoT Multi-cloud and APIs" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are key areas of digital transformation?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The key areas of digital transformation are as follows: Business process transformation Domain transformation Business model transformation Cultural/Organizational Transformation" } }] }

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Small Business Advice

Small Business Financial Management: One-Stop Solution for Financial Hurdles

Article | September 23, 2022

Introduction Managing finances is crucial for organizations, especially small businesses, to create a stable financial future in which the business is less likely to fail. Small businesses and start-up companies have to face numerous challenges and even bear losses at their introductory stage due to the difficulties in maintaining proper cash flow. According to a study, around 61% of small business owners say that they face challenges in handling consistent and steady cash flow. Many start-ups undertake operational business activities after obtaining loans from different financial institutions due to insufficient cash flow and capital. Hence, to keep small business operations running smoothly, they need to optimize the inflow and outflow of cash and financial management. Small business financial management assists these start-up companies in reducing financial costs, facilitating the availability of investment, and planning, organizing, directing, and controlling financial activities. With competition intensifying in the sector, the need for financial management is becoming even more critical for small businesses. Why Are Financial Management Solutions Becoming Imperative for Small Businesses? Running a small business is not an easy task. Even if you have a great idea and a large number of people longing for your product or service, the financial difficulties of operating a small business can quickly escalate and hamper the business. A plethora of expected and unexpected issues, such as overhead costs, rising interest or inflation rates, impending tax deadlines, remediating damage from a natural disaster, and many more, can create insurmountable obstacles for small business owners. Whether it is insufficient cash flow or a lack of accurate monthly reconciliation reports, many small business finance-related issues can be avoided with the proper management of finance and reporting. What are the other small business money management challenges that financial management solutions can assist to overcome? Let's see: Poor cash flow management Managing a budget Planning future expenses Controlling debt Inconsistent cash flow Tips for Effective Small Business Financial Management Small businesses today are highly fragile due to excessive competition in the industry. Hence, start-ups and new companies have to invest a significant amount of money in order to keep their business fully functional and running. Right from accumulating funds to allocating and spending them, it is crucial for small business owners to have a transparent view of their financial position and business undertakings to engage in planning for efficient utilization of available resources. Effective financial management not only assists in managing small businesses' finance and rotating the cash invested in the business, but it also assists in analyzing revenue generation, formulating suitable financial strategies, and calculating adequate returns, among others. It is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of businesses, irrespective of their size. With an increasing need for managing huge funds, continuous transactions, daily cash flow, payrolls, and others, it is becoming even more critical for small businesses and start-ups to manage their finances effectively. Here are some of the vital tips that can help small businesses analyze and manage their finance effectively: Prioritize business financial planning Create a budget and stick to it Analyze cash flow Keep business and personal finances separate Focus on expenditures but also ROI Monitor spending Opt for a financial solution or service Final Thoughts With the fast-changing financial requirements of small businesses and the emergence of novel small business financing trends, entrepreneurs are emphasizing streamlining and managing their financial chores. To overcome a growing number of financial obstacles, leading financial solution developers are aiming at integrating advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics in novel small business financial management solutions. This is anticipated to create a strong demand for innovative financial management tools, such as small business accounting software, across the industry in the forthcoming years.

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Spotlight

Craig International Ltd

Craig International is the complete procurement trading house solution to the oil and gas industry. With over 70 specialised buyers and bases in Aberdeen, Houston, Calgary, Cape Town, Doha, Dubai and Hamburg, Craig International combines international sourcing and rapid delivery to provide a truly world class service.

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MARKETING AND NETWORKING, SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS

MyTradeZone.com Joins Certified Trade Mission to Hong Kong to Explore Business Expansion Opportunities in Asia

MyTradeZone | November 28, 2023

MyTradeZone.com, a trade and Social Networking for businesses, is pleased to announce its upcoming visit to Hong Kong from December 4th to 8th, 2023. Bachir Kassir, founder of MyTradeZone, will join a delegation of American companies to Hong Kong as part of a U.S. Department of Commerce Certified Trade Mission organized by IBS Global Consulting with the support of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the U.S. Commercial Service. The delegation, comprising a diverse group of American companies, aims to foster cross-border partnerships, explore export opportunities, and deepen economic ties between the United States and Hong Kong. The visit to Hong Kong presents an exciting opportunity for MyTradeZone.com to expand its global reach, tap into new markets, and establish key connections with Hong Kong's dynamic business community and trade associations. With Hong Kong's strategic location as a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region, robust financial services sector, and reputation as a major international trade hub, this visit holds immense promise for American enterprises looking to navigate the Asian market. Led by Tonya McNeal-Weary, Managing Director at IBS Global Consulting, the delegation will engage in a series of high-level meetings, networking events, and industry-specific forums during the five-day visit. These activities are designed to facilitate mutually beneficial partnerships between U.S. and Hong Kong businesses across various sectors. [MyTradeZone.com] is a disruptive business networking platform, and is like an always open trade show: • Businesses: Add company profile page. Showcase products & services. Network locally and around the world • Event Organizers, Trade Associations, & Networking Groups: Provide value-added offering to members & sponsors in a public or private setting • Creators & Group owners: Monetize your creations via peer-to-peer payment enablement • Advertisers and Marketers: MyTradeZone's B2B search engine offers highly targeted and cost-effective advertisements to both buyers and sellers • Business Professionals: Grow your professional network, chat, connect, follow, takes notes, share and collaborate As an official member of the delegation, MyTradeZone will have the opportunity to gain firsthand insights into Hong Kong's business landscape, explore regulatory frameworks, exchange best practices, and forge lasting relationships with key stakeholders. Additionally, the itinerary includes tailored site visits to cutting-edge facilities and industrial parks, showcasing Hong Kong's commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship. The visit to Hong Kong aims to enhance trade cooperation and seeks to highlight the enduring friendship between the United States and Hong Kong. As both economies continue to recover from the challenges posed by the global pandemic, this visit becomes even more crucial in reinvigorating trade ties and promoting long-term economic growth. About MyTradeZone.com MyTradeZone is a social networking platform for businesses. We are working on the next thing to disrupt business networking. MyTradeZone is a forward-thinking B2B media technology company reshaping how businesses connect and network. MyTradeZone's B2B search engine offers highly targeted and cost-effective advertisements to both buyers and sellers. MyTradeZone is also a perfect companion offering to trade show organizers and networking groups offering value added benefits to both members and sponsors.

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TECHNOLOGY

Trellix Achieves AWS Small and Medium Business Competency

Business Wire | January 29, 2024

Trellix, the cybersecurity company delivering the future of extended detection and response (XDR), today announced it has achieved the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Small and Medium Business Competency, recognizing the company as an AWS Partner with a unique focus on small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Achieving the AWS Small and Medium Business Competency differentiates Trellix as an AWS Partner, demonstrating proficiency and proven success in helping SMBs solve their business and technical problems. Trellix is equipped to handle these challenges with solutions designed around customers’ unique needs in mind, including consideration for SMB’s typical deployment models, level of IT capabilities and financing preferences, and local and industry requirements. “Trellix is proud to achieve the AWS Small and Medium Business Competency,” said Jason Andrew, Chief Revenue Officer, Trellix. “Our team is dedicated to helping businesses of all sizes achieve their goals, and our combined offerings with AWS empower SMBs with the agility, support, and innovation needed to do so.” AWS is enabling scalable, flexible, and cost-effective solutions from startups to global enterprises. To support the seamless integration and deployment of these solutions, the AWS Competency Program helps customers identify AWS Partners with deep industry experience and expertise. Along with an extensive partner ecosystem, Trellix accelerates technology innovation through machine learning and automation to empower businesses to build cyber resilience and stay ahead of the evolving threat landscape. The AI-powered Trellix XDR Platform’s open architecture and broad set of native security controls integrates with over 500 third-party tools to create multi-vector, multi-vendor event correlation and context, enabling faster detection, investigation, and remediation of threats. “We partnered with Trellix to explore new ways to automate investigations,” says Chuck Lerch, CXO Head of Cybersecurity, Cyberuptive. “In this groundbreaking work, we combined the Trellix XDR Platform’s rich data and investigative playbooks with large language models (LLMs) running on AWS to make comprehensive assessments of alerts. The results provide useful insights, demonstrating the value of focusing on security research instead of how to run an LLM at scale.” About Trellix Trellix is a global company redefining the future of cybersecurity and soulful work. The company’s open and native extended detection and response (XDR) platform helps organizations confronted by today’s most advanced threats gain confidence in the protection and resilience of their operations. Trellix, along with an extensive partner ecosystem, accelerates technology innovation through machine learning and automation to empower over 40,000 business and government customers with living security.

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SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

WTW launches tailored cyber insurance solution for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)

GlobeNewswire | January 30, 2024

In today's digital landscape, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face substantial cyber risks. It has become imperative to protect businesses from cyber threats. The challenge of obtaining suitable and affordable coverage is eased with SMEs' access to cyber solutions from WTW, a leading global advisory, broking, and solutions company. WTW's newest cyber solution is crafted to meet the unique needs of SMEs spanning industries in North America. Tailored for businesses with annual revenues under $50 million, including start-ups and pre-revenue accounts, this solution addresses historical challenges faced by SMEs in traditional underwriting processes that often favor larger enterprises. This has often left SMEs vulnerable due to limited access to affordable and robust coverage. In response to those concerns, WTW has strategically partnered with leading cyber insurance carriers dedicated to serving the unique needs of SMEs. The tailored solution provides quick and easy access to competitive insurance quotes through self-service quoting platforms. WTW has also allocated dedicated underwriting staff to focus on the specific needs of SMEs and offers policyholder resources, including tools and support to implement and maintain robust cybersecurity measures. "This moment signifies a transformative effort, dedicated to addressing the distinctive challenges SMEs face in the realm of cybersecurity. Through strategic partnerships with top-tier cyber insurance carriers and the delivery of resources, we assure SMEs access to affordable and comprehensive coverage. This initiative not only resolves concerns previously facing SMEs but also positions cybersecurity as an integral and manageable component of their business strategy and enterprise risk management," shared Jessica Klipphahn, NA Head of MM Cyber/E&O at WTW. About WTW At WTW, we provide data-driven, insight-led solutions in the areas of people, risk and capital. Leveraging the global view and local expertise of our colleagues serving 140 countries and markets, we help organizations sharpen their strategy, enhance organizational resilience, motivate their workforce and maximize performance. Working shoulder to shoulder with our clients, we uncover opportunities for sustainable success—and provide perspective that moves you.

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MARKETING AND NETWORKING, SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS

MyTradeZone.com Joins Certified Trade Mission to Hong Kong to Explore Business Expansion Opportunities in Asia

MyTradeZone | November 28, 2023

MyTradeZone.com, a trade and Social Networking for businesses, is pleased to announce its upcoming visit to Hong Kong from December 4th to 8th, 2023. Bachir Kassir, founder of MyTradeZone, will join a delegation of American companies to Hong Kong as part of a U.S. Department of Commerce Certified Trade Mission organized by IBS Global Consulting with the support of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the U.S. Commercial Service. The delegation, comprising a diverse group of American companies, aims to foster cross-border partnerships, explore export opportunities, and deepen economic ties between the United States and Hong Kong. The visit to Hong Kong presents an exciting opportunity for MyTradeZone.com to expand its global reach, tap into new markets, and establish key connections with Hong Kong's dynamic business community and trade associations. With Hong Kong's strategic location as a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region, robust financial services sector, and reputation as a major international trade hub, this visit holds immense promise for American enterprises looking to navigate the Asian market. Led by Tonya McNeal-Weary, Managing Director at IBS Global Consulting, the delegation will engage in a series of high-level meetings, networking events, and industry-specific forums during the five-day visit. These activities are designed to facilitate mutually beneficial partnerships between U.S. and Hong Kong businesses across various sectors. [MyTradeZone.com] is a disruptive business networking platform, and is like an always open trade show: • Businesses: Add company profile page. Showcase products & services. Network locally and around the world • Event Organizers, Trade Associations, & Networking Groups: Provide value-added offering to members & sponsors in a public or private setting • Creators & Group owners: Monetize your creations via peer-to-peer payment enablement • Advertisers and Marketers: MyTradeZone's B2B search engine offers highly targeted and cost-effective advertisements to both buyers and sellers • Business Professionals: Grow your professional network, chat, connect, follow, takes notes, share and collaborate As an official member of the delegation, MyTradeZone will have the opportunity to gain firsthand insights into Hong Kong's business landscape, explore regulatory frameworks, exchange best practices, and forge lasting relationships with key stakeholders. Additionally, the itinerary includes tailored site visits to cutting-edge facilities and industrial parks, showcasing Hong Kong's commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship. The visit to Hong Kong aims to enhance trade cooperation and seeks to highlight the enduring friendship between the United States and Hong Kong. As both economies continue to recover from the challenges posed by the global pandemic, this visit becomes even more crucial in reinvigorating trade ties and promoting long-term economic growth. About MyTradeZone.com MyTradeZone is a social networking platform for businesses. We are working on the next thing to disrupt business networking. MyTradeZone is a forward-thinking B2B media technology company reshaping how businesses connect and network. MyTradeZone's B2B search engine offers highly targeted and cost-effective advertisements to both buyers and sellers. MyTradeZone is also a perfect companion offering to trade show organizers and networking groups offering value added benefits to both members and sponsors.

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TECHNOLOGY

Trellix Achieves AWS Small and Medium Business Competency

Business Wire | January 29, 2024

Trellix, the cybersecurity company delivering the future of extended detection and response (XDR), today announced it has achieved the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Small and Medium Business Competency, recognizing the company as an AWS Partner with a unique focus on small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Achieving the AWS Small and Medium Business Competency differentiates Trellix as an AWS Partner, demonstrating proficiency and proven success in helping SMBs solve their business and technical problems. Trellix is equipped to handle these challenges with solutions designed around customers’ unique needs in mind, including consideration for SMB’s typical deployment models, level of IT capabilities and financing preferences, and local and industry requirements. “Trellix is proud to achieve the AWS Small and Medium Business Competency,” said Jason Andrew, Chief Revenue Officer, Trellix. “Our team is dedicated to helping businesses of all sizes achieve their goals, and our combined offerings with AWS empower SMBs with the agility, support, and innovation needed to do so.” AWS is enabling scalable, flexible, and cost-effective solutions from startups to global enterprises. To support the seamless integration and deployment of these solutions, the AWS Competency Program helps customers identify AWS Partners with deep industry experience and expertise. Along with an extensive partner ecosystem, Trellix accelerates technology innovation through machine learning and automation to empower businesses to build cyber resilience and stay ahead of the evolving threat landscape. The AI-powered Trellix XDR Platform’s open architecture and broad set of native security controls integrates with over 500 third-party tools to create multi-vector, multi-vendor event correlation and context, enabling faster detection, investigation, and remediation of threats. “We partnered with Trellix to explore new ways to automate investigations,” says Chuck Lerch, CXO Head of Cybersecurity, Cyberuptive. “In this groundbreaking work, we combined the Trellix XDR Platform’s rich data and investigative playbooks with large language models (LLMs) running on AWS to make comprehensive assessments of alerts. The results provide useful insights, demonstrating the value of focusing on security research instead of how to run an LLM at scale.” About Trellix Trellix is a global company redefining the future of cybersecurity and soulful work. The company’s open and native extended detection and response (XDR) platform helps organizations confronted by today’s most advanced threats gain confidence in the protection and resilience of their operations. Trellix, along with an extensive partner ecosystem, accelerates technology innovation through machine learning and automation to empower over 40,000 business and government customers with living security.

Read More

SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

WTW launches tailored cyber insurance solution for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)

GlobeNewswire | January 30, 2024

In today's digital landscape, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face substantial cyber risks. It has become imperative to protect businesses from cyber threats. The challenge of obtaining suitable and affordable coverage is eased with SMEs' access to cyber solutions from WTW, a leading global advisory, broking, and solutions company. WTW's newest cyber solution is crafted to meet the unique needs of SMEs spanning industries in North America. Tailored for businesses with annual revenues under $50 million, including start-ups and pre-revenue accounts, this solution addresses historical challenges faced by SMEs in traditional underwriting processes that often favor larger enterprises. This has often left SMEs vulnerable due to limited access to affordable and robust coverage. In response to those concerns, WTW has strategically partnered with leading cyber insurance carriers dedicated to serving the unique needs of SMEs. The tailored solution provides quick and easy access to competitive insurance quotes through self-service quoting platforms. WTW has also allocated dedicated underwriting staff to focus on the specific needs of SMEs and offers policyholder resources, including tools and support to implement and maintain robust cybersecurity measures. "This moment signifies a transformative effort, dedicated to addressing the distinctive challenges SMEs face in the realm of cybersecurity. Through strategic partnerships with top-tier cyber insurance carriers and the delivery of resources, we assure SMEs access to affordable and comprehensive coverage. This initiative not only resolves concerns previously facing SMEs but also positions cybersecurity as an integral and manageable component of their business strategy and enterprise risk management," shared Jessica Klipphahn, NA Head of MM Cyber/E&O at WTW. About WTW At WTW, we provide data-driven, insight-led solutions in the areas of people, risk and capital. Leveraging the global view and local expertise of our colleagues serving 140 countries and markets, we help organizations sharpen their strategy, enhance organizational resilience, motivate their workforce and maximize performance. Working shoulder to shoulder with our clients, we uncover opportunities for sustainable success—and provide perspective that moves you.

Read More

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