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Ensure Your Company’s Finances Are Running Smoothly

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 12, 2018

The financial stability of your business is paramount to its success. Without the money to back it up, your business is no more than an idea. For those entrepreneurs whose ideas have flourished into a business, it’s important to keep the company’s finances the priority. It can be achieved through relationships with investors, ensuring you have an accounting department and keeping the company organized overall. The financial stability of the company will not only ensure the business runs smoothly but that it retains employees. After all, it’s the employees that make up the business and further its success. For more information about keeping your business’ financial stability top of mind, continue reading.

Investor and funding

No matter the business, investor relations are crucial to maintaining the company’s financial health. Unless you have the wealth to back up the business yourself, which is the exception to the rule, your company needs investors. It’s important for companies to learn how to maintain strong investor relations, and one way of doing so is staying in constant contact with them. Don’t only approach your investors when there is a financial crisis, as this will make them feel like ATMs. Moreover, act like you are big business. You must first believe in the success of your business before convincing investors to believe in it. Keeping investors in the loop, especially with the company success, will let them see the company’s potential and could even lead to further growth. Bank loans are yet another type of funding for your business, though, this too, means the bank is investing in your business.

Accounting

Maintaining an accounting department will make sure that the company finances are being constantly tracked. This department can inform the company when financial changes are required. The accounting team is responsible for the money going in and out of the company. Furthermore, this department is in charge of employee’s salaries. Paying employees via wire transfers is the role of accounting. They can determine whether a wire transfer or an ACH transaction is more beneficial and what choosing one over the other means. Therefore, every company to have an accounting team.

Staying Organized

 

Smart entrepreneurs stay organized. As one example, you need to keep on top of your goals. Don’t lose sight of them for your company’s success. When there are a lot of tasks, take the similar activities and do them as a batch. Answer your emails all at once and then focus your attention on another task. Prioritize each day what must be done first and go from there. Try not overwhelm yourself with too many tasks in a day, as this will lead to chaos. Another tip for entrepreneurs to stay organized is delegating tasks. Know when there is too much to do and get people to help you out. Doing so will ensure there is no backlog of tasks and no one person is too overwhelmed. Staying organized will further ensure the financial stability of your company as tasks are being completed and the business progresses.

For a company to expand and succeed, its financial well-being is incredibly important. While entrepreneurs are responsible for starting the company, they must realize that they require assistance to keep the company running smoothly. One of the most crucial areas of assistance is financial, as a financially stable company leads to a successful company. Investors and an accounting team are two necessary factors for financial wellbeing. Lastly, entrepreneurs must learn to stay organized. When facing any turmoil, an organized company will run much better than one where everyone is in chaos.

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Using Processes and Standard Operating Procedures to Remove the Guesswork from Employee Performance

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 10, 2018

For true business success, it’s important to focus on the processes within the business to improve overall performance. Similarly, with an administrative focus, the core back-office part of the organization gets attended to which ensures everything keeps humming along.

Here are a few of the ways that using processes and standard operating procedures helps make employee performance more predictable.

Systemization Stops Staff Winging It

Creating reliable systems using a standard operating procedure (SOP) that provides clear instructions for employees to follow reduces random errors. Whether staff are sharing a desk, doing shift work, work from home or they’re a freelancer handling a few tasks on behalf of the company, when there’s an SOP to follow, confusion disappears. Staff have a reference to refer to and follow whether their predecessor still works for the company or not.

Standard Operating Procedures Protect the Business

Standard operating procedures protect the business from the loss of key personnel who take their working knowledge of the department’s systems with them. Whether they change companies, retire or are forced out, when there are detailed SOP’s, the company is covered.

Let’s face it, disgruntled employees are not going to want to train their replacement if they’re not leaving of their own accord. So, having a record of processes and procedures avoids a tense situation getting worse. New employees don’t have to learn from the departing staff how to do their job. There’s another way.

What Should Be Contained in a Work Instruction?

The work instructions for a role should break down each significant task to the actions required to complete it. Use the assumption that there’s no one present to teach the new member of staff or person with a fresh promotion what to do in their new position. Any documentation should be approached from this perspective while factoring in the likely experience of someone in the role, i.e. don’t teach them how to do things they should know already.

While documentation is useful, walkthrough videos are often the fastest way to get someone up to speed on how to complete a detailed or complex task. This is especially true for tasks that are completed on a computer without an offline or manual component to them.

Administrators Keep Back-Office Operations Humming

Along with standard operating procedures, the administrators in the business ensure important tasks get completed. Without these detail-oriented knowledge workers, pretty soon the company would begin to have operational difficulties. They dot the i’s and cross the t’s in the background and are only noticed when laying the law down.

A good example of administration in action is the role of a healthcare administrator. This is about leadership, maintaining ethics in the organization, making strong strategic decisions for the long-term gain, and measuring performance across the organization. When a healthcare facility lacks a healthcare administrator, it won’t be long before they run into difficulties because they’re like a ship without a rudder. Incidentally, studying the Boston College MHA opens the door to a career as a healthcare administrator which is emotionally rewarding and pays well too.

Combining the benefits of carefully chosen processes and reliable standard operating procedures ensures employees have what they need to push ahead with confidence. Backed by solid administration at the corporate level provides a solid foundation to ensure the company doesn’t drop the ball while looking forward towards growth. To be successful, a business must strike the balance between their administration, process management and support for their employees, so they can do what they’re being paid for. 

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Reasons Why Business Functions Should Work Together for Overall Success

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 9, 2018

There are many essential functions of a business, and if they are fragmented, it soon becomes apparent in productivity and success levels. Departments should not be seen as a standalone entity within a company, and this is where several organizations make the most significant mistakes. Not one person or team is responsible for the success and failures of a business, but it is often highlighted this way when communicating internally and externally. Not only does this spark demotivation within the company, but also there are also several functions that are classed as non-profit making that does not get the same recognition as the profit-making sectors. It can cause internal conflict and over time will affect the overall success of the organization.

So why is it important to combat segregation in companies and get people working together and taking responsibility as a whole for business operations? Take a look at the reasons why you should encourage collaborative working environments to get better results.

Productivity increases

When people begin to see the benefits of working together, productivity naturally increases throughout the company. Although different sections are responsible for various projects, the end goal is the same for everyone. Once you get management and workers to see this end result as the same objective, you can help to bring everyone together to achieve it. Collaborative working brings people together and gets everyone asking questions and seeing how they work more efficiently so other departments can work with them to bring ideas to fruition.

Taking responsibility 

If people take responsibility for the whole process, they can then start to feel a part of the entire project from start to finish. In some companies, it is apparent that most employees either don’t want to take this type of responsibility on or they are have not been given a choice. When workers are encouraged to take more action, they can help to resolve issues, not only in their individual department but also in other working processes. For example, if the finance department experiences delays in processing expenses as they are not getting the information on time, they could, in turn, have to delay filing a tax return online which would have implications further down the line. In this case, workers and departments would have to take responsibility for meeting deadlines and helping to get information across more effectively to avoid issues. The finance department could also help in highlighting these issues rather than allowing them to happen without consequence. 

Improves communication

In many companies, there is still a strong influence of individualism and separation between departments. In some cases, this attitude can result in people not taking responsibility for the results of a project after it has passed through their section. With this type of thinking, communication starts to break down as people become cut off and defensive over their work. Encouraging a collaborative environment can help to reduce this narrow-minded behavior in a workforce. Ensuring everyone is communicating and information transition is fluid between departments helps to bring everyone in on projects and opens up a channel of conversation and working practices can be discussed openly to bring improvements in productivity and motivation.

There are many reasons why everyone needs to come together for better working conditions and increased productivity, so ensuring your business promotes this will see you reap the rewards for the future. 

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How Processes and Finance Intersect in Business

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Every business is a collection of processes working together in harmony to help create a better outcome. Without useful processes that employees can follow, the operational efficiency of a business falls apart and eventually creates anarchy inside the organization, where no one knows what is going on.

The same can largely be said about finance. Without sensible policies, smart approaches and well-intended processes, the finances of the business begin to come apart at the seams.

Purchasing Procedures

The larger the company, the more involved their purchasing procedures tend to be. While they may have started out dealing with a single supplier for everything, it later became obvious when a procurement specialist came onboard that this wasn’t the most efficient approach to follow for best results. That can be said whether seen from a product range, pricing, procurement availability or single point of failure standpoint.

When a strong process is created that governs how major purchases are reviewed, researched, put out to competitive bidding, deals structured and purchase completed, it helps avoid costly mistakes that ultimately hurt the profitability and bottom-line of the company. To avoid expensive financial mistakes, it is a good idea to have someone in the company who is well qualified in the subject of finance.

Studying for an online master of science in finance provides a solid financial background to rely upon in many business situations. The program at Northeastern University provides broad financial knowledge covering corporate finance, financial management, statistical analysis, and investing. The Northeastern University Online course is also easier to access because it is built around studying from home (or the office) in free pockets of time.

Efficient Accounts Receivable

With cashflow being critical to businesses, having good processes and procedures for staff to follow with accounts receivable frees up senior qualified finance staff to focus on financial planning. While cash flow forecasts are useful to follow, when the finance team doesn’t follow correct procedures to build relationships with customers, so they can chase down debts and pull in payments promptly, the accounts receivables can quickly get out of control.

While receivables sit on the balance sheet as an expected asset, at some point they must be written off when confidence fades leading to serious doubts that the balances are collectible. Following solid financial processes reduces the likelihood of bad debts because more ledger accounts are cleared ahead potential business insolvencies. The last point is especially true during a recession where a steady hand must be kept on the receivables to avoid steeper losses.

Financial Projections

Even with reliable financial projections via managerial accounts on special projects or a cashflow forecast for the central business activity, following dependable processes is key. Without a consistent set of procedures to develop all the information sources to create a cashflow forecast, accountants are left scrambling for accuracy.

New investments using free cash based on a semi-accurate cashflow forecast avoids excess cash sitting idle losing money to inflation. Therefore, an improved forecast and, by extension, effective processes, end up indirectly making money for the company because it better informs investment decisions and avoids excessive lock-up periods on short-term investments.

The process isn’t everything on the financial side of a business, but it certainly helps avoid problems. Without processes that managers can rely upon and other staff can follow, a business won’t run efficiently and momentum is lost in the pursuit of growth and greater market share.

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Harnessing the Business Potential of Latin America

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 2, 2018

When considering the emerging economies of the contemporary world, many businesspeople dont look beyond the rise of China and India as eastern powerhouses - centers of exporting opportunities as well as technological advances that if harnessed correctly can produce lucrative profits. Latin America, though, with Brazil and Argentina especially representing countries with huge economic potential, are by and large markets that are easier to tap for western investors, especially given the cultural similarities and relative lack of red tape compared with Chinas business environment. Here are some pointers for those looking to set up a business in Latin America.

Learn Spanish and/or Portuguese

Spoken across the whole landmass of southern and central America, these two languages form the backbone of the collective Latin American culture and will get any prospective businessperson far in terms of communicative success. Far easier than getting to grips with Hindi or Mandarin, Spanish (spoken in Argentina) and Portuguese (spoken in Brazil) can be learned in easy night classes in your home country before you touch down in Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires.

While English remains the international language of business, youll be surprised to learn that you may not get too far speaking solely English in Latin America. This is, in part, why the business potential of these countries has yet to be tapped. Moreover, as a businessperson, youll be aware that communication and mutual understanding and respect are crucial in building a trusting, cooperative relationship with people, so having a little of the local lingo under your belt will be highly valuable come the important handshakes.

Beware Of Local Culture

When investing your time, money and business efforts in another country, its best to have a basic understanding of the unique cultural challenges that might arise over your working relationship. For instance, there may be levels of political and economic corruption in Brazil and Argentina. Be wary of the areas of business in which you may have to accept losing a little money to factors such as corruption - it should be offset by the profits you make by harnessing these emerging titans of the Latin American economy.

On top of the business environment, there are also cultural aspects of being aware of. All of these idiosyncrasies can be learned through interaction with locals and deep research into each country you plan on working with. Itll avoid your becoming unstuck through in-experience, but youll also have some cultural touchstones from which to build business understanding and relationships for years to come.

Take Advantage of Regional Finance

They may not have the international clout as other major and emerging economies, but Latin America has its own distinct economy that runs quite self-sufficiently through the development of financial technologies and institutions large and small. Take Bonsai Finance, where small to large business and personal loans can be easily orchestrated online for those in need of capital to set up a business. Another example of an established brand is MercadoLibre, the eBay of Latin America thats just as successful and popular as its better-known counterpart.

Whether you take advantage of these services, or you use some from your home country instead, setting up a business in Latin America will involves cashflows and interaction with their homegrown financial institutions - and will almost certainly require setting up a Latin American bank account - so having an overview of the economic and business services available to you in Brazil or Argentina will stand you in good stead when it comes to managing your money when on the continent.

Know the Currencies Well

This is a crucial area of business set-up that new businesses getting a foothold in Latin America should consider wisely, perhaps consulting with financial and money market analysts in order to assess the vulnerability of new business to currency fluctuations. Famously, the Argentinian Peso took a dramatic turn towards hyperinflation in the mid-1980s and had since seen fluctuations as successive regimes have attempted to fix the exchange rate to the dollar to increase imports and exports.

The Brazilian Real, meanwhile, enjoys a relatively stable existence when compared to its Argentinian cousin. Nonetheless, it pays to get to grips with the historical shifts in the currencys value and the policy of governments. The fluctuations can be as profitable as they can be damaging; knowing the history of these changes can give you some power of decision-making you can use to avoid mishaps and enhance your profits when the currency is performing well.

Trail Blaze with Ambition

Latin America has had a steady arrival onto the global business. So little modern and agile western businesses have taken a foothold in the emerging, colossal economies of Argentina and Brazil - such investments are seen as risky or difficult, but the truth is they can be some of the most lucrative in the world.

As well as offering some the happiest and most spiritually resilient people on earth, Latin American countries also offer rich culture, fine wines and a fun, friendly and unforgettable atmosphere for international business. Furthermore, if you establish the right links, youll have friends in high places wholl be able to protect you from the worst of the fluctuations that occur on the continent, allowing you to continue being ambitious and headstrong with your business development in Brazil and Argentina, or beyond into Venezuela, cultured Chile, or the farming nations of the north.

Latin America has often been touted as a risky but potentially lucrative center of business hopes that too few business people have shown an interest in. With some of these pointers under your belt, why not head over to Buenos Aires or Rio de Janeiro - two of the most unashamedly glamorous cities on earth - to start establishing contacts and harnessing the business potential of this wonderful and diverse continent.

Regardless of where your next business venture takes you, approaching any situation with preparedness, wherewithal and research can ensure you can develop and expand your business in the most beneficial way. 

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