Businesses are becoming increasingly mobile as the technology begins to become available which allows people to remain productive while working remotely. Over the past few weeks our conversations with potential clients have all included the one simple question of which phone should I get next? This question may seem simple, but the truth is there is no right answer. The best way to approach the decision is to consider the three major operating systems. The three major operating systems are Apple's IOS, Google's Android, and Microsoft's Windows. Apple IOS is by far the most coveted and difficult to talk about because Apple owners are typically addicted to the device and do not consider criticism. The IOS platform is great for people who want to have an easy to use trendy device which they can discuss with friends. Unfortunately with Apple you typically live and die by the… Read more!
The goal of this blog is to help business owners improve their profitability, and this particular post stems from a major expense for most employers. One of the largest expenses for any employer is the cost of providing employees with health insurance. South Carolina has a new alternative to Blue Cross Blue Shield called the South Carolina Health Cooperative. Their website is http://schealthco-op.com/ and for small business owners in South Carolina it is worth the time to research. Like anything there are positives and negatives so it is up to the business to research and determine if it is the right fit for their needs. The positives are the cost, the doctor’s network, the education and the ownership the members have in the cooperative. The cooperative does not have nearly the overhead of traditional companies so the savings can be passed on to the… Read more!
Many companies have to fight negative publicity at some point during the course of business. Sometimes a public event can be the source of embarrassment or a public review is critical. Unfortunately, today’s social media has allowed everyone to become a critic and that criticism can cause negative results inside of search engines. The only way to combat negative perception is to generate positive press to counter the bad press. Search engines consider the relevancy of content when ranking pages so newer more timely press can push older press down the search engine results. If the average search engine user only looks at the first two pages of results then current content is the most important. Generating new press can be accomplished two ways both of which are equally important. The first method is an organic approach which involves responding to the criticism and… Read more!
Sales commissions are often a difficult thing to balance and manage for any startup company. The sales people want their commissions yesterday and the business is afraid if they do not pay the sales commissions immediately the sales people will stop working. However, a business needs to understand the process of generating revenue, entering deposits, reconciling books, calculating commissions, transferring funds if necessary, and finally paying the sales people their commission. A business generates revenue from clients and looks to pay sales people a commission for bringing that business to the company. In a perfect world money would be paid by the customer and the sales commission would be immediately deposited into the sales person’s bank account. However, the reality of the situation is that money does not typically enter a company on a single day. Revenues typically trickle in over a 30 day… Read more!
Branding a company is never easy, but in a world which is largely becoming digital the challenges facing a company with branding become increasingly difficult. In the past branding relied heavily on interactions which occurred between consumers and service providers or vendors in person. Businesses relied on brick and mortar stores to attract customers and provide them with an experience while service providers utilized personal interactions to build a relationship and brand their company. As the world shifts into the next digital age where online shopping and social media will collide to produce a new shopping experience many businesses are trying to find ways to re-brand themselves or continue to build their real world brand in a virtual setting. The first concept a business must form is who their customers are and how will they interact with the company over the internet. For vendors… Read more!
This post is going to be brief because we have an employee out and I need to work on pressing matters within their workload. I often talk about workflows and processes inside of businesses, but the current situation for us has added further emphasis to the need to script employees' daily tasks and workflows. When the unexpected occurs and an employee is out sick or quits the company needs to be able to fill in seamlessly so the clients' experience is as unchanged as possible. Scripts allow other employees who may or may not be familiar with the work to step in and fill the void left by the absent employee. The best thing one can do when growing a business is script everything from the begriming then work with the scripts and improve them as the business grows. Again I apologize for the brief post, but next week will… Read more!
This week’s post will be short because there is no exact answer to the question that has been posed all week by clients. How do you know when a potential employee is a good fit for the company? For most business owners finding quality talent which also syncs with the work techniques and attitudes of the other employees is an incredibly difficult task. Many fortune 500 companies have begun using extensive personality profiling to place employees in the optimal role for their personality, but for most businesses this is not an option. The first step to having successful employee integration what their company needs, and set reasonable expectations for that employee. Too often people hire an employee with the intention of them filling one role, but within a very short period of time the person is filling multiple roles which are often disconnected. For… Read more!
Starting a company is not as easy as people think. The first step is determining what type of entity the business is to be structured as. Partnership, limited liability company (LLC), s-corporation, c-corporation or sole proprietorship are the typical choices, but there are other less used types. The choice of entity has great effect on the owners and/or investors taxes as well as liability. Before going any further let me say this is not written by an attorney or accountant and professional advice should always be sought when starting an entity. The choices made in the beginning will affect the start, growth, and exit of the investment so it is important to tie up loose ends and stay on course as the business grows. Liability is a word many people have heard but few fully understand. To be liable for a business essentially means… Read more!
Business owners start companies for a variety of reasons, but at the core is the entrepreneurial spirit of believing that anything is possible. Businesses start as ideas which a person believes will fill a void in a marketplace and provide people with a good or service. Some businesses start out well capitalized and some begin on a shoestring budget, but either way the first years are trying and the light at the end of the tunnel seems to get further away until one day the owner looks up and realizes they have made it. The business cash flows on a monthly basis, the owners can begin to draw salary, pay off debt and eventually the equity owners can earn a distribution or dividend. This is the moment where many business owners look around and try to determine exactly what it is they have created. For some owners the work… Read more!