Top social media tips to boost engagement for small businesses

| April 20, 2020

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The way businesses and brands connect with their customers has been transformed by social media.Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media networks can provide business owners with a cheap and effective way to talk directly with their customers, build brand awareness and grow their business.In these uncertain times, when the coronavirus is presenting businesses with unprecedented challenges, there has never been a greater need for strong and regular communication with customers.However, the benefits of social media are often overlooked by start-up businesses due to fear of the unknown, who regard it as yet another time-intensive task to add to an already long to-do list. With this in mind, Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, has published a new guide to help small businesses better understand how they can use social media to promote their business and boost their bottom line.

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Culture Trip

Culture Trip is a global hyper-growth startup operating in travel, media and entertainment. We create stories that reveal what is unique and special about a place, its people and its culture. In-house creative teams work with a global network of more than 300 freelance creators to produce articles, videos, photography, illustration and animation.

OTHER ARTICLES

SIMPLE BASICS FOR SMALL BUSINESS STARTUPS

Article | March 4, 2020

There is a vast amount of people who are realizing that branching out on their own in a business venture is well worth leaving behind being the backbone for someone else’s gain. Working for yourself is definitely not easy and the hours are well beyond the normal nine to five grind of being someone else’s employee. However, for a lot of new business startups, it’s worth the risk. With so many people joining the new business sector, how do you keep your own investments from tanking? It’s a super frequent question that every small business owner asks in the beginning and answers aren’t as hard to acquire as you would think.

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Things Every Small Business Owner Needs to Know About the SECURE Act

Article | March 4, 2020

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE) is part of the government’s spending bill that includes numerous provisions intended to strengthen retirement security across the country. It is designed to open up opportunities to segments of the workforce that was previously not covered in retirement plans. In addition, the bill attempts to bring more flexibility to selecting retirement plans for small businesses in particular. The bill is part of a larger government spending package, signed into law in December 2019. The reforms could make saving for retirement easier and more accessible to many Americans. It particularly increases access to tax advantages for young families and prevents older Americans from outliving their assets.

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Treasury management at SMEs - Still too neglected?

Article | March 4, 2020

Treasury management or more generally Supply Chain Finance management is still a neglected topic at many SMEs. While large international corporations make the investment into expensive treasury management solutions (often part of their ERP solution) and even setup their own In-House Banks, this is considerably more difficult for the mid-corp segment and even more so for the smaller segment of the SMEs. Often SMEs lack the funding, time and expertise to deploy those platforms and often those platforms lack the flexibility required by an SME. Nonetheless in this globalized competitive market with fast moving cash, even SMEs are in need of an effective treasury management. Every SME has its own specific challenges, due to its specific payment cycles and cash reserves. Nonetheless most SMEs (estimated to about three-quarters) still do their treasury management via (complex) Excel sheets, requiring a lot of manual effort. This gap forms a big opportunity (in Europe SMEs account for more than half of all gross value added) for incumbent banks and Fintechs to offer easy and user-friendly tooling for this. In recent years, more and more Fintech players try indeed to provide an answer to this gap, often via SaaS platforms, which connect easily to the customer’s banks (via Open Banking APIs) and for which the setup cost is limited. The gains for an SME in optimizing their treasury processes can be very substantial. A good treasury management can reduce costs in multiple ways: Reduce working capital by reducing the time to collect money from customers, by reducing inventory and/or by paying suppliers only at the payment due dates. Reduce unpaid invoices by a better follow-up and good debt collection techniques Reduce penalties (such as administration costs or late-payment interests) due to late payments and indirectly also improve the relationship with suppliers. Reduce effort (resource workload) for financial management, like the follow-up of payments of incoming and outgoing invoices, automated generation of payment instructions for incoming invoices… Optimized cash management allowing to keep on your current account only the required cash amount to run your business, thus allowing to invest excess cash, but also to avoid requiring short-term debt when too much cash is invested (and blocked in medium- to long-term assets) Reduce foreign currency costs and exposure risks by keeping the right reserves of foreign currencies, applying hedging (like swaps or options) techniques, correctly taking forex rate fluctuations into account in future cash flow predictions… Reduce transaction commissions for bank transactions, by selecting the right banking products, but also by using the right banking partner(s) (especially for international foreign currency payments big price differences exist between different banking parties) Reduce cost of fraud by improving control, transparency and accountability via a pro-active, automated monitoring of all cash flows, allowing to detect anomalies as soon as possible … This can be achieved in multiple ways: Setup and optimize the processes and tooling with the help of specialized services companies (like e.g. the offering of BelPay) Setup or acquire software solutions (often in the form of SaaS offerings, i.e. Treasury in a Box) for cash & liquidity management, like invoice generation and follow-up (including invoice and payment matching), debt collection, incoming invoice processing (including payment), cash pooling, cash forecasting/capital planning… These software tools allow a more pro-active treasury management and reduce manual effort by automating certain steps in these processes. Examples of such platforms are HighRadius, Gtreasury, CashForce, Kyriba, Nomentia, Monite, Pair Finance, AiVidens… But there are also more specialized tools, offering only a specific service, like debt collection (e.g. Virteo, recovr, Pair Finance, TrueAccord, CollectAI, CollectionHub, inDebted, Attunely…), digitalization (through OCR) of paper invoices (e.g. Tangentia, Contract.fit, Metamaze, Klippa, SimpleOCR…), expense management (e.g. Payhawk, Rydoo, Expensify, Spendesk, Pleo, Circula…), account aggregation and payment initiation (e.g. Isabel 6/Ponto)… Capture revenue by allowing customers to pay for products or services in a way that is most efficient for them and for the SME, allowing to increase sales, but also to ensure the best possible payment ratio. This includes solutions like digital onboarding and management of Direct Debits (e.g. via Twikey or DigiTeal), including a Pay button (e.g. via Twikey or POM) in invoices which allows to pay the invoice with a pre-filled credit transfer, card payment or other payment option, integration with PSPs (like Adyen, Mollie, MultiSafePay, Ingenico, Stripe…) for online payments, digital invoicing allowing to combine invoicing and payment (e.g. PEPPOL platform or offering invoices with immediate payment option via UnifiedPost, ZoomIt or Doccle), "Buy Now, Pay Later" solutions (like Klarna or AfterPay) or new solutions like PSD2 Payment Initiation or the upcoming new scheme of SEPA Request to Pay (SRTP). Improve integration between accountancy software (and/or accountant) and the cash management solutions and associated bank accounts. Solutions like Silverfin, TOCO, Yuki, OkiOki, Billit, Furoo, Clearfacts, Billtobox, sevDesk, Candis… can provide (a part of) a solution to this. Usage of solutions for cash management (e.g. international cashpooling, sweep accounts…) and more general treasury management services offered by banks to their customers. These can be incumbent banks or new Fintechs, which specialize in the niche of serving SME customers. Examples are Tide, Qonto, Azlo, Arival, Fyrst… Reducing costs of international payments and forex transactions via new Fintech offers, like XE.com, TransferWise, CurrencyTransfer.com, WorldFirst, iBanFirst, Ebury…, but also via specialized software tools, like Kantox, FiREapps, Money Mover, Acumatica… Get cheaper financing via specialized credit institutions and banks (e.g. OakNorth, CapitalBox…), by issuing commercial paper (short-term paper) or long-term debt, via crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending (e.g. Funding Circle, Auxmoney, LendingCrowd, Iwoca, Look&Fin, Crowdcube…), via Credit Lombard loans or inventory-based loans (e.g. Finventory) or via invoice factoring (e.g. Edebex, Previse, Optimum Finance, GapCap, BlueVine, BillFront, Crowdz…). There are also more and more marketplaces and comparators assisting SMEs to find the best financing option, e.g. Funding Options, BusinessComparison, Crowdz… Improve risk management (like currency risk, interest-rate risk, market risk, credit risk, counterparty risk…) via trade finance, like bank guarantees (cfr. Ebury), via better authorization and fraud detection mechanisms (detecting patterns and anomalies) or by better assessing counterparty risk (e.g. DueDil, InsideView, PitchBook…) Apply tax optimizations, by optimizing for different tax regimes worldwide and also optimizing for tax deductions (like e.g. generate revenue on entities which have collected losses in the past) Clearly the Fintech market for SMEs is in full evolution, but still quite immature. As a result dozens of offers exist, making it very difficult for SMEs (which was one of the reasons in the first place they work with Excel) to select the best and right offering(s) for their company. As such there is a big market for consultancy and other services firms, specialized in helping SMEs to improve their treasury management processes.

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A Comprehensive Handbook on Small Business Human Resources

Article | March 4, 2020

Human resources are a subjective term to each individual and a business entity. Many small firms overlook human resource departments, believing them to be time-consuming, so they do not engage human resource specialists to assist with business operations. Instead, they attempt to manage the tasks either directly or by delegation to current workers. However, human resources benefit both the business and future workers. This blog gives information on small business human resources in detail. According to connecteam, 54% of small firms manage employment and other human resource activities on their own to save money; nevertheless, this type of management presents several challenges and frequently blows up in their faces. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, human resource management professionals will see a 10% increase in employment between 2016 and 2026. HR is crucial in a small business from recruiting and retention through payroll and benefits. The shortcomings in any of these things result in: Penalties for non-compliance Inadequate talent Inefficiencies that cause your manufacturing cycle to slow down Above mentioned points define that you cannot underestimate the importance of HR support for small businesses. Employees are one of a corporate organization's most valuable assets. So, it is needful to protect them. Therefore, human resources requirements for small businesses are essential. Let us Know What Human Resource Management is The Small Business Association (SBA) defines human resources as: "The people who work for a company or organization" "The department of a company that is responsible for managing those resources." Human resource management (HRM) is concerned with your workers, whether they are hired, managed, or require other types of direction and support. Human resource management involve significant duties; some basic human resources requirements for small businesses should be considered and fulfilled. They are those who establish the tone for how employees interact,resolve conflicts, and collaborate. There is a new trend in human resource outsourcing, and some small businesses are deciding to outsource a significant component of their human resources. Responsibilities of Small Business Human Resource Management Recruitment and selection Education and development Compensation and benefits Retention of employees Creating an atmosphere that is safe, healthy, and productive Cross-organizational communication Benefits of a Human Resources Department Ensure a safe and healthy work environment Attract and retain high-caliber individuals Maintain compliance Access Human Resources Anytime, Anywhere Improved Onboarding Access to Employee Benefits at Large Corporations Contribute to Time and Energy Savings Fundamental Component of Human Resources For small businesses, employing dedicated people in meaningful work can enhance performance, loyalty, and retention. Thus, in combination with the human resources manual for small businesses, the human resources department supports them in achieving their goals. This is accomplished, however, by increasing workplace happiness, making judicious use of existing resources, and developing an efficient expenditure model. by boosting workplace satisfaction, judiciously utilizing available resources, and establishing an effective expenditure model. With the clearly defined human resource policies and best practices for small businesses, you can assist workers in their growth and in contributing their expertise and knowledge for the growth of the firm. Whether a small or a large business, the success of a corporation is highly dependent on its ability to manage both internal and external stakeholders successfully. The HR department very well accomplishes this. Below Are Some Human Resources Requirements for Small Businesses. Employee Records Maintaining employee records is an essential aspect of the human resources manual for small businesses. Having it done guarantees that your business complies with labor rules and is protected in the event of a future issue. Regardless of your business's size, it is requisite to gather and maintain these three papers for each employee to protect yourself and your company. I-9 File: The US Government utilizes this form to determine and verify the eligibility of your personnel to work in the United States. Personnel General File: This section covers the paperwork and certificates obtained from workers throughout the employment process. This includes resumes, verification of training, W-4 forms, payroll information, and disciplinary actions. Medical Records of Employees: This file may contain doctor's notes, information on a disability, or information about a medical check-up. The information contained inside is confidential and must be kept secure against unauthorized access. Employees Guidebook Employee's guidebook is a vital aspect of small business human resources element. The handbook includes an idea of expectations, best practices, and requirements. It also includes: The organization's vision, objectives, and values The code of conduct The anti-discrimination rules The safety and security regulations The non-disclosure agreement Work schedules (covering how to monitor time, take leaves, and notify management of leaves) Other general information not required by law Posters That Are Required The nation's or state's laws in which your business operates may require you to publish information at your place of business or in an easily accessible location. Additionally, the Department of Labor (DOL) requires posting certain labor law posters in the workplace. Parting Words While many business owners believe that small business human resources costs are redundant, a human resource department may have a significant influence on your workers' well-being and the success of your firm. Unfortunately, many employees quit their employment due to poor or non-existent human resource management. Frequently asked questions: Does a small business need human resources? Every business, regardless of size, must have a human resources department or at least one person dedicated to HR duties. HR simplifies many duties for business owners, allowing them to focus on other critical elements of operating the firm. In addition, human resources can do a variety of tasks that other employees are unable to. What are the essential human resources requirements for small businesses? Human resources are the bedrock to your organization because it is responsible for hiring skilled workers who appreciate your corporate culture. The most critical human resources requirements for small businesses to succeed are: Employee documentation Required posters Employee handbook Employee development and training Employee benefits Hiring process { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Does a small business need human resources?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Every business, regardless of size, must have a human resources department or at least one person dedicated to HR duties. HR simplifies many duties for business owners, allowing them to focus on other critical elements of operating the firm. 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Spotlight

Culture Trip

Culture Trip is a global hyper-growth startup operating in travel, media and entertainment. We create stories that reveal what is unique and special about a place, its people and its culture. In-house creative teams work with a global network of more than 300 freelance creators to produce articles, videos, photography, illustration and animation.

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