Tag Archives: Business

Small Businesses in Florida Rank Among the Most Polite in the US

Restaurant business ownerFlorida ranked among the top 25 most polite states in the U.S. based on invoices of small businesses in the Sunshine State, according to FreshBooks.

The list analyzed the politeness of small business owners through the use of “please” and “thank you” on their invoices. It considered almost half of small-sized enterprises in Oklahoma to be polite, while those in Florida achieved a 12% politeness percentage.

Starting a Business

While courteousness plays an important role in a business, existing and prospective business owners need to acknowledge other key factors for the success of a company. Marketing campaigns, for instance, should be a focus of any business especially start-up firms.

These campaigns should include online strategies such as digital advertising or website design in places like Naples, a service offered by firms such as Customer Finder Marketing.

Those who plan to set up a new company will also need to think about the type of legal structure such as a sole proprietorship or limited liability. If you are considering a franchised business, a proposal in the state’s legislature will make it easier for you.

Franchise Owners’ Rights

The Small Business Parity Act aims to broaden the protection of owners of franchised enterprises in Florida, by leveling the playing field between corporate franchisors and their franchisees. More than 40,000 businesses in the state will benefit from the proposal.

A certain benefit of the bill would protect franchise owners in the state from unfair termination of their contract with the national franchisor. This will also allow franchised business owners to transfer or sell ownership. In case of legal disputes, the legislation would require the conflict to be resolved in a court in Florida.

Conclusion

This year marks another opportunity to set up a new business in Florida. Marketing and good customer relations will be important, while those who seek a franchised business are expected to have better protection.

What Can A Full Stack Developer Contribute to Your Business

Person developing codeYou may have heard about this breed of “all-in-one” programmers. There have been lots of appraising talk about these full stack developers for business intelligence that even giant tech companies like Facebook are betting on and employing them.

What Do They Do?

In layman’s terms, a full stack developer is someone who knows how to code at every level of a computer, from front to backend. They understand the fundamentals of server processes, databases, and user interface functionalities.

A Good Match for Small Businesses

Being a “jack of all trades” in web development, full stackers make a good match for small businesses who can’t afford too many IT professionals. Larger companies often can hire teams of developers, thus each member can specialize in one process. Full stack engineers, on the other hand, can take care of all the coding and designing for start-ups. They bring a lot of knowledge and expertise to the table and can do many processes by themselves.

Skills to Check

Full stack developers know several languages, platforms, and frameworks. While they’re a minority, they exist – a kind of technological geniuses, one may say. A candidate has to prove his expertise in the following areas:

  • Back-end – PHP, Ruby, Python, API development/design, etc.
  • Front-end – JavaScript, CSS, SASSS, SML, Bootstrap, etc.
  • Database – MongoDB, MySQL, XML, Oracle, etc.
  • System/Infrastructure – Sphinx, UX, load balancing, server security, etc.

Focus on the programming languages that the developer knows. For the client side, the most important are CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. For the server side, check for their knowledge of PHP, Python, or Ruby on Rails.

While it is understandable for small business owners to feel hesitant with new, trendy things, hiring a full stack services provider may just be one of the best decisions they’ll ever make. From designing, developing, and deploying IT solutions, you can count on them to increase productivity throughout your entire organization.

Should You Keep Your Property When You Sell Your Business?

A property being soldThese are some of the questions that business owners ask if they plan to exit their business in Utah. At the same time, they need to deal with the prospect of selling their property or company premises.

Is this year a good time to sell my business in Provo? How will the corporate tax cuts affect a possible company sale in Salt Lake City? You need to get answers to these questions, so you can make an informed decision.

Advantage of Selling

The advantages of a simultaneous sale of your business and company property include more liquidity on your investment portfolio. You would have more funding sources to pay off your urgent financial obligations to business partners and creditors.

If your business premises only serve a particular function, such as for manufacturing purposes, then you should consider selling it along with your company within a specific timeframe. While the U.S. government reduced the corporate tax rate, you should still expect some tax implications of an outright sale.

Financial Requirements

Small businesses should take note that it takes between six and nine months on average to complete a sale. Before you look for a buyer, you should have an organized set of bookkeeping or accounting records. Some buyers may ask for forecast growth estimates within five years, so consider doing that as well.

Capital gains tax, if there is any, will depend on how long you have been the business owner. You may pay a 15% tax if you have the ownership for more than a year. In other cases, it could go as high as 20% if you are in the highest tax bracket.

Business owners must think twice and consult a professional adviser about their plan to sell their company and property, as the pros and cons of selling will both depend on your case.

Business Success: What You Need To Do Before Buying A Franchise

Business franchisingFranchising has become the preferred business format among many entrepreneurs around the world. It has provided small business owners with the resources necessary to compete against large companies that dominate the retail industry.

In Australia, franchising began with the introduction of franchised fast food brands from the United States, such as McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and KFC. Since then, franchising has continued to grow, and now most of the franchise systems in operation are home-grown, with several of those even making their way into international markets.

Franchise brokers like Transworld Business Advisors Australia are making it easier for Australian entrepreneurs to get into franchising. It should be noted however that not all franchised businesses succeed, so it’s of utmost importance to evaluate a franchisor’s offer and assess the risks. Before deciding on which franchise you are going to buy, do these three things first.

Ask for financial data showing performance

Learn all you can about the franchise, including how other franchisees perform considering their location. Review the business plan and if available, a profit and loss statement for other units in the franchise network. You can also get in touch with current and past franchisees and ask them how long it took for them to see a return on their investment.

You may even do some sleuthing to see where the proposed franchise site will be to check if there is enough foot traffic to guarantee sufficient revenue. When considering purchasing a franchise, don’t forget to consider the operating capital, operating costs, number of customers you need to serve to generate profit, overheads such as franchise fees and loan repayments, and other factors.

Assess the franchise documentation

A successful franchise should be able to provide you with comprehensive documentation that includes information about operations. Aside from this, it should also have information about:

  • Brand identity – guidelines about the brand and collateral to help you maintain brand consistency
  • Training and procedures – for your induction and for instructions on running the business as well as hiring and training employees
  • Marketing campaigns and collateral/promotional materials – to enable you to do local area marketing
  • Communication platforms – website, social media, and other platforms used to communicate with customers and with the franchisor

Make sure to assess the documentation to determine the franchise’s competence, organisation, marketing strengths, and priorities when it comes to employees and customers.

Seek professional advice

Buying a franchise is a major undertaking, one in which seeking expert advice would be wise. The Franchising Code of Conduct requires franchisors to tell interested franchisees to take financial advice to make sure that you fully understand the terms.

So for our last tip, get advice before making a decision. This can be a franchise consultant, lawyer, or financial advisor specialising in franchising. You need to understand all the risks so you can make an informed decision and choose the franchise system that’s best for you.

How to Grow and Make Your Business Successful

Man pointing at a dollar currencyYou have a great business idea and a source of funding for your star-up. You take the plunge, and before you know it, your enterprise is flowing smoothly. Clients begin coming in, and orders are placed in droves.

And then, it begins to plateau. Then it trickles. The initial success is now waning. And you are afraid one day it would just stop. What do you do?

One of the most difficult parts of business is keeping it alive and well. The key is to strategize and know the tricks of the trade. That way, you can grow your enterprise into something that is long-term as it is profitable.

Here are a few key aspects you would want to do to reach your business goals.

Do marketing

Marketing is a crucial part of making any business successful, so make sure you have a plan in place. It covers a lot of things that can get your business rolling, such as marketing online, in radio and TV. It has but one purpose: you need your prospective buyers to know what you are selling.

If done properly, you can say hello to higher sales and a better business reputation. If you are unsure of what marketing strategy to employ, you can contact marketing firms such as conceptmrk.com who can help you figure out what you need.

Keep costs down

One of the most important mottos in the business industry is “keep costs down and profits high.” Find the best way to cut on extra expenditures without compromising the quality of your products. For example, paying your vendors right away can keep you from paying interest.

Avoid paying retail prices as well, always but wholesale. Soon these vendors will become loyal to you and might even start giving you good deals. That way, you get to minimize costs and not skimp on the items you get.

Doing these things, and more, can keep your business thriving for a very long and profitable time. Make sure to invest wisely.

Small Business Loan: 3 Factors That Determine Your Qualification

Small business loan application form and a penYou have found an excellent financial institution that can give you a loan. You have also checked their interest rates, reputation, and customer service. Now is the time to work on your qualifications.
Venture Bank shares some tips that will help you know the areas to concentrate on to ensure the success of your application.

A good credit rating

Considering the sensitivity of the lending business, financial institutions never compromise on the credibility of the borrower. Building your credibility is a good way to pass this test. You can achieve this by making sure you and your business have an impeccable credit score before approaching the bank for a loan. This proves that you honor your financial obligations. Remember that financial institutions are wary of customers with a poor credit score and regards them as high-risk borrowers.

Have collateral

It always helps to understand that banks are in the business of making money. Therefore, you would not expect them to give you a loan based only on trust. They have to know how they will get back their money in case you default the payments. Collateral or security is one way of assuring them of your commitment. It is also a way to show them that you believe in the potential of your business. Remember that your collateral can be an asset or a guarantor.

Have your legal and financial documents ready

Before visiting a bank that provides small business loans, it is important that you ‘get your house in order’. There is a lot of documentation involved before you get your loan. The bank will require your legal and financial documents. They check these records to verify the authenticity of your business and your ability to pay. Having them ready will prove your sincerity and commitment.

Finding the right financial institution to solve your financial challenges is important. However, ensuring that you are the right candidate for their loan programs or offers is likewise imperative. These factors will help you know what it takes to qualify for a loan that will make your business more profitable.

 

Ways to Make Your Brochures Stand Out

Bundled brochuresEven with the Internet and social media, in particular, changing the landscape of advertising and marketing, print media still has its special place. Printed brochures, for instance, remain to be a perfect way for businesses to get the attention of both existing and potential clients. They also allow businesses to inform their customers of great deals and upcoming events.

It pays to ensure that your print brochures would have maximum impact. They should not be just simple pieces of paper relaying information about your company. Below are some tips to help you ensure that your brochure design stands out:

Use creative cuts.

For you to get your audience’s attention, you need to think of innovative ways to raise their curiosity. Unusual cuts such as die cuts could be all you need. With this, you can experiment with imageries, shapes and other eye-capturing components that can entice your clients. A brochure that only relays bits of information through the cuts will keep people flipping the paper to keep reading what is inside.

Try out textures.

There are two kinds of textures: those that are visual and those that are physical. Both types of textures could work in the place of using solid colours. You can use patterns to create texture, depth and variety. You could also make use of embossed paper to give your brochures a sophisticated and rustic feel.

Use graphics.

The current advertising trends dictate that less is more. Instead of writing pages and pages of what your business can offer, you could choose to use graphics. Pictures can relay tons of information, and with today’s custom printing technology, the outcome of your prints will be glorious.

With a bit of creativity, your brochures will bring home the intended outcome. They will not end up ignored or somewhere in a pile of unread mail. Dependable printing companies understand tested trends and could help you choose a design that can boost the performance of your marketing campaigns.

3 Ways to Leverage Visuals Effectively for Your Website

SEO Paradigm on a Laptop Screen

Visuals have always been and will always be important to the success of digital marketing campaigns. However, simply putting one on a page will not do. You’ll need to use it effectively to gain the most benefits.

Experts on graphic design from Utah cite the following ways on how you can use visuals effectively to your advantage:

Site Design

Your website will make the first impression and would likely be the place where a potential customer spends most of their time on. This is why you better make it worth their time. The logo, menus, header, and the text all represent visuals. The style you use will reveal the brand personality you want to portray.

The visuals must aid with the content you publish, not take away its importance. People visit your website to get more information and share it through their networks. Set a visual pattern and a theme to enhance your brand message and convey it the way you want your audience to perceive it.

The Importance of Alt Text

This is the text that describes a particular image on your pages. This isn’t only useful for explaining visuals, but it enables your target audience to find you when they have a query. Including the alt text is favorable to you because it makes it easier for search engines to index that page and show it on relevant results pages.

Direct Attention

Visuals can serve as directional cues on a website. Arrows, lines, and even eyes grab the attention of a visitor. Once this happens, it’s easier to lead that person to a link and page that will likely convert to a higher rate. This also points to particular aspects of your website that you want to focus on.

These are only a handful of ways to effectively leverage visuals; implement these to get the results you want and improve the conversion rate of your website.

Online Retail Thriving, But Doesn’t Signal End of Physical Stores

Online retail information on a computerTraditional physical stores, where items are neatly displayed and shoppers line up to the cashier, will still be relevant in the retail industry despite the growing popularity of the e-commerce sector.

That is, however, if owners of conventional retail stores learn how to adapt to changing consumer trends, as they have to deal with challenges beyond monitoring competitor prices from online retailers.

Here’s what pricemanager.com found out and wanted to share with you:

Triple Threats

Sharmila Chatterjee, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, said that traditional retailers currently face three challenges that hurt their chances of keeping up with the rapidly emerging e-commerce business.

Lack of focus on customers’ experience, avoiding core competence, and failing to see online stores as complementary businesses comprise these challenges. Chatterjee based these concepts on her own experience in dealing with physical stores.

Her insights may or may not be applicable to the entire industry, but we can’t deny the fact that some of the biggest retailers in the US are feeling the pinch. Macy, Payless ShoeSource, RadioShack and Sears are just some companies that have closed or plan to shut down their stores nationwide.

Retail Closures

Brick-and-mortar retailers have closed more than 2,800 stores so far in 2017. However, Chatterjee believes that the sector may still survive if businesses aim to maximize their advantage over online retailers.

Walmart, one of the country’s biggest retailers, serve as a good example. The company’s digital strategy for sales allowed it to achieve a 1.4% growth in revenue during the first quarter, as online sales rose 63% year over year.

By treating e-commerce as an added edge instead of a threat, Walmart made sure its business will continue to be afloat.

The traditional retail sector still has certain advantages, provided they don’t lose business to online retailers due to their failure to recognize customer needs beyond price discounts. If you own a brick-and -mortar shop, then you must find a way to keep up.

Simple Eco-Friendly Practices Your Company Can Adopt

Man showing the plantIn the face of the environmental challenges the world currently faces, many businesses are embracing eco-friendly practices to tackle the problem. The destructive effects of global warming are already being felt across the world. There are simple techniques that can help your company become part of the solution.

Include a garden in your building

A landscaped garden not only makes your business stand out, but it also helps save the environment. Besides giving a boost to the overall design of your building, a garden also helps boost air quality. Oakleigh Manor says that plants help in reducing carbon dioxide levels and pollutants in the environment, like nitrogen dioxide and benzene. On top of that, plants keep temperatures down. Contact landscape gardeners in Essex today and do your part in saving the planet.

Encourage recycling

A lot of the environmental pollutants in the environment today are items that are easily recyclable. For instance, each year tonnes of tyres are discarded. If your company is in the tyre business, recycle them into valuable products such as fuel gas, asphalt, and tyres. You conserve the environment in the process.

Adopt an environment protection policy

Businesses can no longer afford to sideline environmental protection while planning and implementing their strategies. Adopt measures to reduce or eliminate carbon emission and incorporate them into your business vision. Take action to reduce waste, improve energy efficiency, and extract raw materials sustainably.

Embrace green energy

Look for alternative sources of energy to power your workplace. Make use of wind energy, solar power, or other eco-friendly energy sources. You can also make use of electric cars in your company, to reduce carbon emissions.

Promote environmental protection efforts

Be active in encouraging any eco-friendly practices among your clients and community. For instance, give discounts to customers who use recyclable bags in your store. Conduct environmental awareness campaigns and training. Take part in planting more trees in your community. You not only help reduce global warming but also attract environmentally conscious customers into your business.

Businesses have a central role to play in taking care of the environment. By actively participating in the creation of a greener, more sustainable economy, you can help combat global warming.