How to Effectively Lead and Motivate Salespeople

Group of friendly businesspeople with male leader in front

 

With the advancement of technology and globalization today’s business world is a fast developing environment in which companies need to be in a constant state of change in order to achieve positive results. This rule is the same when it comes to sales management, thus there must be continuous evolution to keep up with the innovations and competition that are always arising in the market.

Although it may sound like a simple thing to be done, changes are not that well accepted by everyone. In the sales management scenario, according to the 20-50-30 rule, “20 percent of people will embrace change, 50 percent will be neutral, and 30 percent will resist change”[1]. It is clear that change is not an easy process, so a strong driving factor must act to help the changing process, and this factor is a good leader. A leader will inspire his followers to embrace change by highlighting the importance of the new process and the relevance that the team will have on that matter. The leader will motivate his team to accept it by showing that the leader himself also accepts it, and the followers will end up doing the same since they trust their leader. Plus, since one of the sales manager’s main attributions is to “develop a clear line of sight between sales actions, sales goals, and business outcomes”[2], a well-developed plan outlining all of the above will show that they know what they are doing.

Prepared leaders will focus their effort on those who want to embrace change, and present little or no resistance, to start working on the project. After doing that, the leader will try to gain the support of the neutral ones, which will come easier after they realize that 20 percent of people are already engaged in the new process. Last, the good leader won’t waste time trying to convince those who already have a resistance to change since they likely won’t accept it, so, unless they are necessary to the team, the leader shouldn’t count on their support. To accomplish this, the sales manager needs to lead his/her sales people both individually and collectively.

Individuals

The most crucial factor that is directly related to a sales team success is the manager’s skills to lead and inspire the team to get the best results from every team member. Regarding individual salespeople, the manager has to deal with every member in a different way because different approaches motivate different people. If the manager, simply tries to push the same leading style to all team members he will not get the best possible performance out of them. This happens because people have different personalities, experiences, and abilities, so the aspects that drive them will also be different.

To achieve optimum effectiveness in leading individuals, sales managers can utilize a technique called Situational Leadership. This technique allows the leader to suit his leadership style to better fit his team members, which can be defined by tracing when he will have a relationship-oriented approach or a task-oriented approach. In the first case, the leader would be more supportive to his team members in order to develop and sustain a positive work relationship. In the second case, the leader would be more directive since his main goal would be to accomplish the task.

When using this technique, the leader can define which leading style he is going to use in each situation to each team member. There are four main styles that can be adopted: Telling, Persuading, Partnering, and Delegating. In the first one, the sales manager is high task-oriented and low relationship oriented, which will make him very direct and unsupportive. In the second one, the leader is high-task oriented and high-relationship oriented, which will make him very direct and supportive. In the third one, the sales manager will be low task-oriented and high relationship-oriented, which will make him very supportive, but he will provide limited direction. In the fourth one, the leader will be low task-oriented and low relationship-oriented, and he will be unsupportive and will provide little to none directions.

When sales managers apply this technique they get a much higher performance from their team members. Tailoring leadership styles to each specific salesperson and situation can better inspire and motivate people to achieve their goals, which is the major part about being a sales manager.

Sales force

On the other hand, when it comes to leading entire sales forces the strategy must be different. The sales manager needs to focus on building a strong and cohesive sales force, which demands the development and maintenance of a results-oriented Sales Force Culture. In this topic, Sales Force Culture can be defined as the “total of values, attitudes, and behaviours that are shared by members of the sales force and that are expected of and reinforced to new members”[3].  It is mandatory for sales managers to make sure that all their sales force is always working in accordance to these principles to get to a common high-productivity standard.

In order to achieve this high-productivity standard, the sales leader can reinforce the Sales Force Culture through four internal marketing “E” behaviours: “energizing, enabling, and empowering your team members, and ensuring that they achieve objectives and are recognized and rewarded for their accomplishments”[4]. Following these “E” behaviours, sales managers will be able to develop “E” employees, which can be characterized by being trustworthy risk takers, supportive, suggestive, and total customer satisfaction driven.

Another important aspect regarding leading sales forces is leading sales meetings since they are a major factor to determine how successful a sales force is going to be. When leading a sales meeting properly, the sales manager is able to considerably improve the team’s numbers by motivating the staff to give it all to achieve their goals. Sales meetings can be used for man purposes, such as strategy planning (in which many members attend in order to define the team’s overall strategy), recognition (in which public recognition is awarded to members by demonstrating their value to the company), training (to inform and train the team about the company’s products or practices), Motivational (which is all about increasing the team’s morale and bonding between the salespeople), and feedback (which changes the scope from the manager’s perspective to the team’s perspective of how things are going).

Leading a sales force is a highly important task to any sales business. If done correctly, it can shift the company’s paradigm and cause a major impact in every single staff member, as long as the right techniques are applied and the sales force culture is being duly taught by the sales leaders.

 

[1] MACKENZIE, H.F. (Herb). Sales Management in Canada – 1st ed. (Toronto/ON: Pearson, 2008), p. 313.

[2] http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottedinger/2013/06/25/how-great-sales-leaders-coach/(access: 10/10/15)

[3] MACKENZIE, H.F. (Herb). Sales Management in Canada – 1st ed. (Toronto/ON: Pearson, 2008), pp. 320.

[4] DRAKE, Susan M., Gulman, Michele J., and ROBERTS, Sara M. Light Their Fire. (Chicago/IL: Dearbon Trade, 2005), p. 3.

Image – https://www.graphicstock.com/stock-image/group-of-friendly-businesspeople-with-male-leader-in-front-239350

4 Business Lessons to Learn From the Olympics

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The Rio Olympics have officially started. The world is taken by the nice and warm frenzy over the hundreds and hundreds of hours of high-level sport performances. Athletes have been preparing themselves for years for what is about to happen in the next brief 19 days, and the planet will certainly be delighted by what they have to show.

Although the Olympic Games are a sportive event, it is also a multi-billion dollar business that has one of its scopes to infuse some heat into the city-host’s economy. Some of the largest companies in the world spend millions to show their brands during the event, such as  Coca-Cola, Visa, and GE.

Okay, if you are running a small business, there’s nothing really important to learn from the whole thing, right? Wrong! There are plenty of valuable business lessons that can be learned by studying the behavior of the main stars of the show, the Olympic athletes. They are the champions, they are the best, and they know how to win and succeed, and that is essentially what business is all about. Here are four business lessons for you to put into practice today.

  1. No room for amateurs

Olympians are the toughest athletes on Earth. They are the best of the best in their respective fields as they work awfully hard for it. All the athletes competing in the Olympic Games live and breathe sports 24-7, no exceptions. They train, eat, sleep, rest, and live thinking about how to continuously excel at the sport they are participating in. This is no different from the business world because businesses must strive until their very limit, to get a glimpse of reaching success. If you are the kind of businessperson that is 100% business from Monday till Friday but then turns off the switch during the weekends, you would have some a harder time in making your business succeed.

  1. Every winning team needs a winning captain

Leadership is a must when it comes to team work. Undoubtedly, the most important aspect of any team is the human element, but the team leader is the one that can bring order to chaos and motivate the team when challenges seem unbeatable. In several occasions team leaders see themselves facing an imminent defeat and have to take immediate action to change the game, especially in the Olympics where the competition is so fierce. They motivate the team towards change and adaptation to adverse scenarios. Business leaders are also the sparkle needed to incinerate inertia into action, and push the team to the right direction. When everything seems to be crumbling, the business leader needs to step in and present fast solutions to overcome the obstacles.

  1. Ethics are a classic

I can’t stress enough on how badly the business environment needs to learn from sportsmanship. Countless companies believe in winning at all costs, which often include the breaking of rules as long as they don’t get caught. On the other hand, when it comes to sports, the topic is completely different. Olympians have shown their true greatness in many occasions by helping their fellow athletes when they fell down on track races, for example. Olympians compete with grace as well as fairness, because they know that is the only way that is worth winning. I’m not saying that you should call your biggest competitor right now, and tell all about your revenue model’s secret. But what about compliance? What about due diligence? How many companies get caught committing acts of fraud every year? Fair play is the only way to guarantee your business will be allowed to strive without fear.

  1. Never give up

This is probably one of the most important lesson we can learn from the Olympics. Do Not Give Up. Ever. Olympic athletes are globally known for always pushing it to the limit, even when everything seems to be lost, when that last step feels like it’s a mile away, or when that ultimate centimeter seems to be a kilometer long, Olympians don’t give up. They keep on trying, keep on pushing, and keep on BELIEVING they can still win. That is what’s in the very core of being an Olympic champion, and that’s exactly what businesses must do to succeed. Every company goes thru some very tough times, but what differentiates the greatest businesses in history from the regular businesses, is that they never give up and keep persisting despite the pain and misfortune. That is the most important thing your business can do. Remember, even if you crash into a hurdle, just pick yourself up and continue running forward because you will someday get over it.

 

Image: https://www.graphicstock.com/stock-image/vector-illustration-showing-the-progression-of-olympic-triathlon-showing-an-athlete-starting-171394

How to Get Rid of Bookkeeping Chaos

Perplexed accountant looking at huge piles of documents held by his business partners while doing financial reports

I’m amazed by how many companies still spend tons of time to organize their business’ books. Every time a source document needs to be tracked or that a bank statement needs to be included in an account reconciliation, it is the same story all over again: total chaos.

When it comes to small business the situation is even worse. Usually, the business owner will be responsible for organizing the majority of the books himself, which can be a nightmare for people with no Accounting/Bookkeeping background. The amount of time and money that is wasted in this mess is huge, especially when added up at the end of the year. Good thing is, SlickPie is here with some valuable tips to help putting an end to that chaos.

The very step you can take to improve your company’s books is to digitize all documents your company has. That’s right, even that $2 parking receipt from 7 months ago or that restaurant bill from that business dinner, make it digital! Documents that are stored in digital formats are much easier to handle and to access. This change alone can save tons of time for you every single month.

Another necessary change to enhance your books organization and security is to upload your data to the cloud. By doing this companies can save their information on external servers that can be accessed at anytime from anywhere. Some cloud service providers such as Welcome Networks offer military-grade security for virtual desktops so small businesses can enjoy a hacking-proof storage environment.

Yes, the measures previously mentioned are highly important to help you overcome the bookkeeping chaos, but the most important thing you can do about that is definitely implementing an online accounting software instead of the old fashioned offline desktop systems. These online programs allow you to send invoices, create bills, do bank accounts reconciliation, see financial reports, and many other benefits using the cloud. SlickPie free online accounting software even provides businesses with exclusive resources such as source document upload to make sure their financial books are always kept accurate and organized. SlickPie also allows you to keep a close eye on your transactions through cash flow statements, balance sheets, and all other pertinent records registered in the system, and you can do this using any device connected to the internet.

By implementing these actions your company will save time, money, and it will be much more secure by keeping organized books synched to the cloud. The bookkeeping chaos that most small businesses face on daily basis can be easily avoided if the right solution is chosen, so give SlickPie a try and see how tangible results will come after the very first month!

 

Image: https://www.graphicstock.com/stock-image/perplexed-accountant-looking-at-huge-piles-of-documents-held-by-his-business-partners-while-doing-financial-reports

5 Business Lessons to Learn From Pokémon GO

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You must have heard about Pokémon GO. I mean, if you have used any social media channels, accessed any business portal, or even stepped foot in any slightly popular public place in the past couple of weeks, then you must have heard about it. But in case you’ve just got out of whatever hibernation chamber you’ve been living in and have no idea of what Pokémon GO is, I’ll give you a brief.

Pokémon GO is an augmented reality (AR) game developed by Niantic for mobile devices. The game was released in the US, Australia, and New Zealand on July 6th, 2016. Despite the fact that the game was officially released in only three countries on that date, millions (seriously, millions) of people used “alternative” ways to play it all around the globe.

The game is based on the Pokémon franchise (*shocking*) and the main goal for the players is to catch all the 150 little monsters (a.k.a. Pokémon) from the original Pokémon game and that exist in this first version. That’s pretty much the same style of original Gameboy versions, right? Wrong. There is one small detail this time, the players have to catch them in the real world! This is possible thanks to the augmented reality technology in the game, which uses a mix between a map system with real life locations and virtual features that make the little creatures appear on the player’s phone screen as if they were right in front of them in the streets.

OK, now you know what this crazy thing called Pokémon GO is all about, but why is it causing such massive impact all over the world? What is triggering this sort of behaviour from customers? And more important, what can you learn from this phenomenon to leverage your business to grow? Check it out:

1. Taking risks is the price for success

Pokémon is a franchise owned by The Pokémon Company, which is partially owned by the videogames giant Nintendo. Nintendo was facing some big challenges to compete in the domestic consoles market with its Wii U against Sony’ PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, so they had to come up with an alternative source of income.

Nintendo has been leading the portable games scenario since their first Gameboy was launched decades ago, and leading by far. However, the exponential growth of mobile phone gamers led them to rethink their strategy in the segment. In what is arguably one of the biggest risk-taking actions in the company’s history they decided to launch their franchises on phones two, which could end up jeopardizing their own handheld dominance with the Nintendo 3DS, but they did it anyway and they delegated the production and development of the game to Niantic and they just hoped for the best. As you can see, the decision paid off big time!

2. When innovating, be disruptive

Augmented reality has been around for fairly quite some time now, but this is the first time that it’s really hitting the masses. Several other companies tried to pull off a hat trick by implementing augmented reality into their services somehow, even the almighty Google with its Google Glass took a shot and didn’t succeed. Apparently, augmented reality wasn’t going to get into customers’ hearts and companies pulled off investments in it and started investing in virtual reality instead. You can tell by now that AR wasn’t the problem, innovation was.

AR is an innovation itself, but it’s a mean rather than an end. It’s a mean for people to get more benefit from another activity, in Pokémon GO’s case that activity is entertainment. Pokémon GO managed to deliver an over satisfying experience through AR to customers, and this was the first time this was ever done the right way. Fans were provided with the possibility of crossing the virtual-real barrier and play their beloved virtual game while interacting with their cities in real life, and this can be considered a disruptive innovation since it likely changed the AR scenario for good.

3. Branding, branding, branding

Branding plays a huge role in Pokémon GO’s success. Chances are if another game would’ve been released having exactly the same characteristics of Pokémon GO it would hardly achieve the same results. The Pokémon brand has been carefully nurtured for 20 years by Nintendo. Pokémon fans were treated with massive amounts of new videogames, new little monsters, new cartoon episodes, new card game collections, new toys, and new pretty-much-anything-else related to Pokémon. The fans have an active voice in the franchise’s future and they absolutely love it.

The majority of the people that are playing Pokémon GO are in their mid-late 20’s, and that’s not hard to figure since they are the same fans that originally turned Pokémon into a worldly-known name 20 years ago. Their passion for the game/cartoon was so strong that it remained in them for all this time, and has emerged now with the advent of Pokémon GO. Turning a brand into something that customers love and are loyal to for years and years to come, that should be every company’s goal.

4. Social proof is the new rule

In a society in which no one goes to any restaurant before Yelping it, asking a friend, or hearing about it in social media, social proof has become the new standard when it comes to credibility. Most likely you know a few people (if not a lot) that are totally addicted to Pokémon GO and are playing it night and day. They are on you Facebook feed, in the malls you visit, in the parks, and basically everywhere else, making Pokémon GO one of the greatest examples there is about the power of social proof.

“If everyone else is playing then it must be at least worth trying the game out”. That’s what is triggering the interest of most non-Pokémon fans out there. Most people see the incredible social presence Pokémon GO is having and they automatically see it with positive eyes, especially when they see influencers playing it. The hype naturally (no ads!) created about Pokémon GO is so big that it’s almost impossible to resist downloading the app just to check what the game is all about, and that’s how things start. The best salesperson in the world is a happy customer, and that’s one of the main reasons for why Pokémon GO is spreading across the globe so fast.

5.  Reduce the barriers and they will come

Niantic was brilliant on this matter. Pokémon GO is such a simple and easy-to-play game that its learning curve is almost a line (oh, so funny). All players have to do is download it and play it right away. There are no formal tutorials or anything like that because the game simply doesn’t need them. That is a huge incentive for people with all sorts of backgrounds to start and to keep playing the game. It’s just pretty straightforward fun like in the good ol’ days.

Another major point here is that Pokémon GO is free-to-play. That’s right, this globally hyped game is free to download and play from the App Store and Google Play Store. This eliminates the risk on the customers’ perspective since they have literally nothing to lose if they don’t like the game (besides the five minutes it takes to try it out). Customers need to feel comfortable while making the decision to use your product, and eliminating the adoption barriers is crucial for that.

Bonus 

The idea behind Pokémon GO came from an April Fool’s Day prank made by Google (that teamed up with Nintendo and The Pokémon Company to make the prank). In 2014 the search engine company told the world that a real life job called Pokémon Master was being offered by Google. Applicants should access Google Maps to hunt for Pokémon spread out through all sorts of places including, cities, deserts, and forests, but everything was just a joke (you can watch the prank video here). Niantic was owned by Google at the time and they liked that idea very much. Two years later they launched Pokémon GO, a game that broke the record for the most downloads from the App Store and added 7.5 billion dollars to Nintendo’s market value within the first week from its release. Guess who’s laughing now…

 

Image: https://pixabay.com/en/pokemon-pokeball-pokemongo-red-1513940/

 

 

 

Take Advantage of The Summer Season and Boost Your Business Productivity

Clockwork

Summer season is in full swing and along with it comes the slowed down demand for most B2B companies. Business owners are travelling, referral levels have decreased, and leads are getting cold. In a scenario that may seem hard for small businesses to strive there’s actually plenty of opportunity to improve productivity and establish advantages over the competition in the long run.

A good example of an aspect that can be improved by companies during off-season periods is virtual infrastructure, and one of the key components that can make a massive difference for you is, your accounting systems. Regardless if you are talking about small businesses or big enterprises, paper-based systems or Government-grade software, every company needs to be able to process and keep accurate track of its transaction, and this should be done in the best way possible to assure the money is coming and going where and when it should be.

Most small businesses currently handle their day-to-day accounting operation in spreadsheets or have desktop-installed software. The internet revolution has yet to make a major impact in the way small businesses do their accounting operations, but changes are coming fast… really fast.

Online accounting has been around for a while now, but its adoption only started exponentially growing in the last few years. Companies are no longer satisfied with the limited resources that traditional systems can provide to end users since many of their competitors are already offering much more.

The main advantage that any reliable accounting software will provide your company with is online invoicing. Instant invoicing can be done by using previously set templates or by creating a new one at each time, which will allow you to get paid right away. This feature alone can already bring huge benefits to you and to your customers, and it is one of the leading reasons that motivates businesses to migrate to online accounting.

Still, some accounting systems also offer other features to improve your business productivity, such as accessing all sorts of financial reports at any time so business owners can get in-depth analysis of how their companies are doing. This is a killer advantage point against competitors that still use paper-based systems since real-time insights these digital reports provide will enable you to make faster and better informed decisions. Some powerful and useful features that also make a big difference are bank reconciliation, purchase orders, transactions history, source document upload, and sales tax reporting and management.

Most options available in the market are a bit of a challenge for small business owners to master due to the high complexity involved.  These programs are developed by large corporations for large corporations, overly bloated with features that are usually too deep and technical for a small business owner to understand. If you are a fan of modern and intuitive software interface, you will certainly run into challenges when trying to get these programs working for you.

Pricing is also a concern cited by small businesses about most online accounting software since many of these software charge a monthly fee that can vary to up to $150 a month. This may not seem much, but these expenses add up quickly and can result in a year end that will cost your businesses anywhere from $500 to $2,000. This is the amount of money you could invest into growing your business instead of wasting it if you simply choose a better alternative to QuickBooks or Xero.

It’s time to seize the opportunity and boost your business productivity during this summer season by implementing an easy-to-use online accounting software, SlickPie. Free Cloud Accounting software is the way to go for any modern small business looking for better ways to save resources, so take advantage of it today and improve your results.

Online accounting definitely brings more value to your business and, most importantly, to your customers. It is not just a trend that is being followed by the most notable companies, it is a new industry standard that has emerged to stay for good.

 

Image: https://www.graphicstock.com/stock-image/clockwork-141029

Awesome New Source Document Upload Feature

Doing your transactions in SlickPie cloud accounting software has always been a delight. Sending invoices, creating bills, or even handling employee receipts seamlessly have become easy tasks for thousands of small business owners and freelancers all around the globe. Now, SlickPie has the pleasure of introducing another delightful new feature: source document upload!

Source documents are extremely useful to have at hand in case you need to track what originated a certain transaction to occur, or even to access further receipt information not registered in the transactional digital data and can be a time and life saver during gruelling auditing process if your business need to go through CRA, IRS and tax authority of your country.

The first step for you to take advantage of this awesome benefit is to login to your SlickPie account and select one of the available transactions from the left menu highlighted in yellow in the following image:

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Now you can choose between uploading a document to a previous transaction from your company’s history, or you can start a new transaction and attach the document to it. In both cases the procedure will be the same, all you’ll have to do is to click on the highlighted “Clip” button:

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Then a pop-up window will show up with a big green “Choose File” button for you to click on. After that you’ll just have to select the file you want to upload from your local database and then click on the “Done” button at the bottom of the pop-up window.

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After doing this you will notice that the “Clip” icon will have changed from showing the number “0” into showing the number “1”, which means that your transactions has one document attached to it. You can attach multiple documents to the same transaction to keep your finances always organized.

And that’s it! SlickPie’s new source document upload is so simple and easy-to-use that you’ll be able to start taking advantage of it right away. This feature is just one of the many benefits that using SlickPie’s cloud accounting software can bring to improve your business performance and help you assure that your finances are always on the right track.

Enjoy SlickPie delightful experience today!

Go For Unique Trends To Scale Biz Growth!

New entrepreneurs and small businesses are constantly searching for new technologies and cost-effective software to compete, grow and achieve success in their respective industries. In this ever-growing competitive environment, it is essential to keep up with the runaway pace and this is only possible, if you keep a tab on novel trends and identify technological innovations that are happening across the world.  Let’s take a quick sneak peek to know why there is a need to move on to unique trends to rev up your business revenues.

Embrace Avant-Garde Technologies: To be well-organized, productive and competitive simultaneously, it’s very essential for small businesses to develop better products and services in line with top trends and new technologies popping up in the industry. It’s necessary for small businesses to adopt cost-effective technologies for greater agility and reduced complexity. For example: Office 365 lets you work effortlessly anywhere at any time. With this, you don’t need to worry about securing your data, as it perfectly controls and gives you more mailbox storage.

Strategically Convey Compelling Value Proposition: Make sure that you clearly communicate your brand’s strategy to your target customers, employees, investors and business partners. Follow this thumb rule – to never disappoint your customers. Always try your best effort to meet customers’ expectations and deliver products or services consistently. In business, never follow your instinct, get into the customers’ shoes, talk to them, get their feedback and accordingly reinvent your end product and services to attract more loyal customers.

Protect Your Intellectual Property (IP) Rights: The most essential and valuable asset for any brand or company is its Intellectual Property Right. IP rights are considered as the most important intangible asset because the success of a company is largely dependent on protection of its brand and IP. Therefore, it’s recommended for new businesses to take proactive measures with regard to preserving their IP rights from any kind of unauthorized usage. Steps you can take are usually specific to your profession. For example if you are a photographer, though you would be unable to fully stop others from copying your images but you can take steps that will make copying images more difficult by using techniques like watermark, hidden layers, tiling, disabling right-clicks etc.

Online Accounting For Organizing Your Finances: Say goodbye to traditional accounting practices as accounting requirements are now better fulfilled by online accounting software. It lets you organize and track all sales/review or send invoices/do taxes or manage all your accounting needs in a seamless way. For example, SlickPie’s Software offers remarkable features and offer time saving tools that empower entrepreneurs to manage their business flawlessly.

Online accounting features

Computing Is No Longer Restricted To Personal Computers (PCs): Computing on smartphones, tablets and even smart wearable devices have impeccably surpassed PCs now! As people now have more access to internet connectivity on their smartphones, the industry insiders feel that going in for mobile computing can turn out to be the best choice for small businesses. Today, everyone loves spending more time on their mobile phones to research about the upcoming purchases, hunt for best deals, discounts and compare price-points of products and services offered by various companies in the digital space.

UNIQUE TRENDS FOR ACHIEVING QUICK GROWTH IN BUSINESS

Unique Trends For Achieving Quick Growth In Business

 Start Your Own Website: Social media is in. Everyone counts on it excessively as it aids in creating and popularizing your products and services. But, if you don’t own a website, then, you may be lagging behind your business rivals. There are plenty of players in the market that create websites. Once you have website, just ensure that it is mobile friendly and works well. For example: WordPress.com allows you to create your website or blog for free.

Participate In Conferences, Trade Shows And Exhibitions: Though social media is termed as the most prolific medium to create your brand visibility, however, sometimes you can also participate in conferences as a key speaker and even book your stall in exhibitions and prominent trade shows where you get a chance to meet new prospects that you can further turn into new customers.

Get Listed On Online Directories: To be able to find new customers and let customers find you, it is important that small businesses must get themselves registered on online directories so that search engines can help your brand show up in top pages.

Secure Your Business From Cyber Threats: No matter how big or small your company is – you are still prone to cyber-attacks that are incessantly occurring every now and then. It’s better to prepared in advance and learn to know – how you can secure your data. Learn more about securing your brand from cyber fraud or attacks or any other common threats you might come across online.

Developing and developed economies of the world now have access to numerous technologies that can support small businesses and entrepreneurs in scaling their business growth. To be more organized and efficient than ever, it is up to you, how you decide which types of technology is right for your business.

Increase Your Business Income In Six Simple Steps

As a small business owner, it’s essential to be constantly attentive towards finding novel profit-making opportunities. To understand, what it really takes to actually survive in the competitive environment and become a profitable enterprise in a shortest possible time, it’s now time to get creative and focus more on ways to quickly ramp up your business.

Here are some nifty ideas that you can essentially consider to increase your company’s profits.

  • Know who your target customers are: In every business, “Customer” is king. As a company, your job is to make things easier for your customers always. You need to get into customers’ shoes to find out – what they like and don’t like about your company’s services, what improvements they are looking in a particular service/product or software and understand more about their specific needs. Talk to them, understand about the issues they are facing and ask for their suggestions to make your product, service or software more customer-friendly. Reach out to your customers quickly and offer them additional services to intensify their biz growth.
  • Go for online accounting: Cloud based online accounting is certainly the most preferred way to go paperless in today’s times. Hopping on to simple yet effective online accounting software will definitely makes things better and helps you to manage your cash flow on your own. Currently, there are number of accounting software available in the market that offers financial management solutions for all types of businesses. Despite offering distinctive features, it also allows customers to track their finances, send automated invoices and retrieve receipts with a single click. Plus, it allows customer to access software from anywhere, at any time.
  • Invest in a cost saving technology: For small businesses, technology advancements are not just a matter of convenience, but a way to save money, ramp up sales, market their services, and retaining target customers. Instead of putting more money in expensive yet complex technology to run your business smoothly, it is important to cash in on cost saving technology to offer seamless experience to the customers and increase your revenues.
  • Social media marketing for small business: If you are active online, there are chances that you can achieve your goals better than anyone else. Social media is the most effective and powerful medium to popularize your products or services without paying additional cash to advertising agencies. You can focus on brand development, marketing and engage customers in no time. Either you are tapping the business-to-business (B2B) category or business-to-customer (B2C); social media has a massive reach across the globe. Social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are helping small businesses to convey their message across masses.
  • Optimize your web presence: If you are running a website, it’s best to work more on the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics to enhance your presence on top pages of Google. If your SEO is well in place, you will be able to attract more customer traffic to your website. Furthermore, there are more chances for people to find you online which will radically improve presence and lets you convert every click into profits.
  • Moving from ordinary to “unique”: Are you looking to stand out from the crowd? The only way is – you need to think of out-of-the-box ideas to create a unique selling proposition of your end product.  Keep innovating often to build that exceptional image of product or service on the customer’s mindset that will eventually help you to stay ahead of ever-growing competition and allows you to build a better brand visibility in the market.

5 Hidden Nuggets You Need To Know About SlickPie

As a small business owner, I always struggled with the limited time I’ve had. While, I was writing the framework for SlickPie, one of my first goals was to ensure that the end product is super user friendly and which assists in getting the work done in a shortest possible time. Whether it’s about saving time, easy access or flexibility it brings to the work, SlickPie always endeavors to offer best from the rest.

If you haven’t tried this yet, here are 5 hidden nuggets that you need to be aware of; while using this avant-garde cloud-based accounting software that certainly has more power to radically improve the way you do business…

  1. Always Attach Source Documents

Storing receipts and documents in an old shoebox or a filing cabinet are a passé now. Now, you don’t need to keep the hard copy of the bill from your internet service provider anymore. Just attach the PDF copy that you received by email to the bill transaction you created and keep it in the cloud forever for easier access. Also, take a picture of the parking fee that you just paid with a credit card and save that image with the expense transaction in SlickPie. It helps you in saving time and there is no better way to go paperless and audit-proof your business in a seamless way.

attach source docs in Slickpie cloud accounting

2) Create Notes

You did a photography gig for a client and you had to do some additional work so, invoice amount may be more than what you guys originally agreed upon, all this can be documented for your client to see in “Notes – Visible to Customer” as well ininternal “Notes” that are visible only to you. Use this gem extensively to your advantage so that you can remind yourself even after 6 months, what happened and why invoice amount was different.

Notes - SlickPie online accounting

3) Proactive Monitoring to Deal with Unpaid Invoices

How many times, you have to call the client for non-payment of an invoice? Has it ever happened that the client claimed to have never received the invoice? I personally feel that such problems can create severe cash flow problems for your business. So, next time you call and they claim of never receiving the invoice, send them this screen shot that you can find under “Notes” to counter the claims they’ve made. It clearly shows when an invoice was seen and by whom.

viewed invoice history4) Review Sent or Not Sent Invoice?

How many times you have come across a situation when you wonder if an invoice has been sent or not? A little nugget in SlickPie, “Resend” makes it easy for you to determine it quickly. Check “Notes” to see in detail when a specific invoice was sent. You can also filter out all the invoices that have already been sent from your side.

invoice sent or not

5) Activate Online Payments

Data in SlickPie at an aggregate level shows us that invoices that had ‘Online Payments enabled’ are getting paid within 48 to 72 hours which is immensely different when compared with invoices that are being paid with checks. If you deal with loyal clients, who send you payment by check on regular basis, it may be a risk worth taking but, for most small businesses, ‘Activating Online Payments’ will help you to get money in your bank account quickly.

online accounting for freelancers

I hope you will find above-mentioned nuggets helpful in terms of managing your business in a best possible way. Whether you are starting your new venture or already have an established business, SlickPie offers an advanced pack of features that will certainly help in taking your business to new heights.

Biggest Accounting Challenges Faced by Small Businesses

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According to studies by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), accounting is one of the major points of struggle for small businesses. Whether if you are an entrepreneur managing everything by yourself, or a business owner with a hired accountant, you are probably familiar with how challenging the ever-changing regulations can be. So, in order to help you make the best accounting decision for your small enterprise, we prepared a list of the 4 most common accounting pain points and tips on how you can solve them:

  1. Taxes

With businesses often closing down due to CRA or IRS penalties, it is no wonder entrepreneurs don’t take tax time lightly. If you don’t have any prior tax regulation experience, complying with all the legal requirements can be a challenge.

Luckily, the internet is full of tips to help you get your tax affairs in order. The IRS website has a great section to help you out: you might find its tax calendars and notifications especially useful as a newbie.

However, taxes are not just about inventory and transactions, simple things like where and how you register your business can have a big impact on your annual tax bill.

While sole proprietorship is among the most common business entities, registering as a corporation might be a better fit for you, as some deductions can save you from higher taxes in the long run. This ultimate guide to business structure can help you make that decision.

Lastly, if you figured your home is the best place to register your office, make sure to keep all personal and business expenses, bank accounts and credit cards separate. It’s always in your interest to consult with a tax lawyer or CPA.

  1. Paperwork

As your business grows, so does the number of employees, transactions and ultimately paperwork. Keeping good track of it can save you a lot of hustle as failing to declare some transactions may result in a penalty. However, despite this being a relatively reasonable assumption, in practice it is very challenging to control every single receipt that goes through your business and this is where technology can be of great help.

Look for better and faster way to do business. One leading accounting firm in Vancouver aggressively use PDF to Excel tool whenever they need quick access to the data from PDFs, thus saving hundreds of hours. This technology can convert PDF receipts, balance statements and other financial data into Excel, saving you precious time when transferring PDF data into an accounting. Saving paperwork is very important to us at SlickPie and we build this software ground up so that you can always attach source documents with a transaction. Next time you get a bill from your hydro company, just attach with the transaction in SlickPie and keep that record in the cloud. There is no better way to audit proof your business today and introduce efficiencies in your work flow.

  1. Cashflow

Having readily available cash is one of the basic accounting principles for any business. With a limited cash flow, a business cannot pay for all daily expenses.

Keeping track of bad debts can save you a lot of stress and money. Very often, business owners are too busy to keep track of all of their clients’ payments. Once again, a good accounting software can help you keep your receivables under control. Make sure you check this report frequently in SlickPie to catch bad guys before they become a major problem.

Quick tip for this scenario would be to check your client’s’ credit record before doing business with anyone, though I realize not all small business owners have the time and money for this extra effort.

Another source of bad cash flow is the lack of tune of credit terms. For instance, if your suppliers ask you to pay for inventory within 15 days and your customers have a 30 day period to repay their debts, you can end up with a negative cash flow. Obviously, the best solution would be to negotiate and get those terms in sync.

  1. Payroll

Payroll is another problematic accounting area for small business, and it really comes as no surprise. There are 3 choices in this situation: either handle payroll on your own, hire an accountant, or use a software.

If you decide to handle everything by yourself, there are several steps you need to take:

  • Define your worker as an employee or a contractor
  • Have them complete legal paperwork for appropriate deductions
  • Define pay period
  • Define employee perks and compensation plans

Once you have it all set up, make sure to keep your payroll system up to date as the whole responsibility lies solely on to you.

We are here to help. Start using SlickPie online accounting today to help your business overcome these and many other challenges!