Tweak Your Biz » Finance

Everyone knows someone who has a bad word to say about these two professional groups. I have experience of both, having been an estate agent and as a marketing manager at an insolvency practice. First, let’s get one fact straight. In every walk of life or profession you will always come across some bad apples. Are there any more bad apples across the insolvency or estate agency sectors than any other industry?  I doubt it very much. So why is there such a bad perception of both? Let’s…

If you’re a business owner, you’re swamped by competing priorities, not the least of which is dealing with constant competition, in a limited marketplace, with a limited budget. If the bad news is that you have to spend money to make money, the good news is that by being smarter with how you spend, you can get ahead of the competition and stay there. #1. Promote What Makes You Unique Your customers care very deeply about what makes you different. Why? If you and all your competitors were…

Most of us are struggling to make ends meet. The economy has slowed down, lay-offs are becoming a norm of sorts, and salaries are taking a hit. Financial security is a priority for everybody. Having a disability may seem like a hurdle in making economic progress, but with a few smart moves and concrete planning and research, those with disabilities can also lead a financially secure and satisfying life. Take Assistance of College Financial Aid Programs A college degree sharpens your skills and…

One of the most daunting aspects of setting up your own business is learning how to manage your books and complete your taxes. In my own experience as a self-employed writer, I’ve learned first-hand how easy it is to let day-to-day book-keeping slip down my list of priorities when I’m busy completing work for clients, marketing my business and networking. Unfortunately this resulted in spending a few frantic coffee-fuelled days before the deadline doing almost a year’s worth of financial…

If you’re considering accepting credit cards for your small business, the world of merchant payment processing might be a bit scary, but with a little knowledge, you’ll be more confident to choose the best provider for your business. Here are 8 terms you should know before getting started. #1. Payment Gateway If you plan to accept payments on your website, you need a payment gateway. Essentially, this is a service that will authorize credit card payments on your behalf, and include…

Managing the resources that go into accounts can represent a real Catch-22 for small and medium businesses. For many companies, a full time accountant is simply not financially feasible. Responsibility for issues like VAT returns and billing then falls to managers or directors. Managers and directors are typically occupied reacting to more pressing matters and so these accounting responsibilities tend to be put off. This results in cash flow disruptions and even  fines which ultimately…

Making a success of a personal business venture is not easy. 80% of small companies eventually fail, according to a BBC report of 2010. So why do new companies struggle, and how can small company owners try and ensure they become one of the ‘other 20%’. #1. An unrealistic business plan You will almost certainly have heard the expression ‘if you fail to plan, then plan to fail’. Starting a new company should mean that you engage in a meticulous planning exercise. Examples of areas your…

With the widespread use of cloud computing to store office files, aiding accessibility and sharing from any location, a much faster Web and universal network coverage, businesses now have the option of breaking free of set physical office locations in favor of Internet-based offices. Telecommuting, or employees working from home, is certainly an interesting proposition, and something that many businesses are actively pursuing. Reasons are primarily cost-driven. Office space comes at a steep…

It is now just over a year since the UK government launched its auto-enrolment workplace pension scheme. Initially rolled out to larger companies such as Tesco, it will soon be extended to include SMEs over the next five years. What have we learnt from the first twelve months? Is the scheme a force for good? Or superfluous bureaucracy and a strain on small business? Workplace pension scheme The scheme automatically enrols employees into a pension scheme, either the company’s own, or…

Conversations about recycling tend to revolve around domestic recycling issues – rinsing out tin cans for mid-week collections, but business has an incredibly important role to play in creating a sustainable future. Thankfully many companies embrace their environmental responsibilities, and there are a number of good reasons for doing so – ethically and financially. Sustainable business practices have recently been adopted by corporations as a work ethic as integral to their business plan…