Large corporations use outsourcing to offload their non-core operations so that they can focus on what they do best. Small and medium size businesses can benefit equally from outsourcing. Many small business owners do not feel comfortable with outsourcing thinking that it does not provide them sufficient benefits or they don’t like losing control of their business operations. This could be a mistake. When done properly, outsourcing can help small business owners grow by focusing on core operations.
Small businesses spend significant money on IT infrastructure. Traditionally, they have owned the IT assets themselves and have to carry the burden of capital purchase and ongoing maintenance cost. However, there is a paradigm shift occurring in the IT industry with what is commonly known as cloud computing. This has the potential to dramatically change the way small businesses operate their IT infrastructure. With cloud computing small businesses no longer need to own the IT assets themselves. Instead, they can rent these assets on as needed basis and only pay for what they use. You can think of this as analogous to buying electricity from utility company.
Many small business owners consider the cost of electricity as fixed and do not pay much attention to it. They receive a monthly bill in the mail, make a payment and move on with their daily business. For some, even if they want to do something about it, they feel helpless thinking that they do not have many options to save on electricity, other than to cut the usage.
While this may have been true in the past, many options have opened up recently that can help small business owners save money on their electric bills. Some of the options are driven by the elimination of monopoly and rise of competitors. Companies such as commercial electricity suppliers British Gas have been very proactive in helping business owners with ideas and presenting them with alternatives that can be tailored for specific situations.
Here is a quick question – When was the last time you checked your electric bill? Do you remember how much it was? If you are like most small business owners you do not pay attention to how much you are paying towards electric bill. You take it for granted that the electricity expense is fixed and there is not much you can do to bring that expense down. This could be a mistake because even a small monthly savings of $50 in electric bill can add up to substantial amount at the end of the year.
Get your salon equipment right, and the rest will follow. Of course, all stylists are looking to strike a balance between low cost salon equipment and high end products, but there doesn’t necessarily need to be a trade-off between the two.
You can save money and retain your favourite supplies – it’s possible! But it’s also possible to get creative with your boutique’s budget. Read on for more information on how to revitalise your salon for next-to-nothing.
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Technology has become an integral part for all businesses these days. Whether you are operating a multinational corporation or a small mom-and-pop business you cannot build a successful business without integrating computer technology. While technology can be a great boon to grow your business, it can become equally frustrating when something goes wrong with it. Just think about the last time you called customer support of a company and you heard the representative say – “I am sorry, but my computer just crashed. I am afraid I cannot help you.” This type of situation can not only leave you and your customers frustrated, but it can result in lost sales.
If the economic downturn of the last few years has taught anything to business owners it is to stay flexible and nimble. This applies to large corporations, but it has been even more critical for small business owners. After all, small businesses are working on a shoestring budget and do not have much room for error. I discussed the actions small business owners can take to become flexible in earlier post. I also showed a framework that can help you reduce costs in a systematic fashion. It involves looking at various costs and eliminate, rent, share and optimize them in that order.
For small business owners one of the biggest costs and impediments to being flexible is the real estate expense – either owned or leased. Lately, some entrepreneurs have come up with novel approach to help you reduce this cost, while still letting you keep the appearance of having full service office. Let’s look at how it works and what you can gain from it.
Unless you have been hiding in a cave for the last couple of years you know Greece is on the verge of economic collapse on the scale not seen before. The unemployment rate is a staggering 22% and they are expected to default on their loans unless they receive yet another round of financial help from their neighbors and EU partners.
While it may be tempting to think of Greek situation as unique, it is not far-fetched to think of an analogous scenario for small businesses. After all, as we show below the reasons behind Greek crisis are prevalent in many of the businesses – both large and small. That’s why Greek crisis holds important lessons for business owners in how not to get into the financial disaster. Below is our attempt to explore reasons behind Greece’s failure and how they apply to small business owners.
Pricing is both an art as well as science as we discussed in earlier post on Ten Commandments of pricing. There is no one right way to determine the price of products or services you are selling. To a large extent, the price is based on the value customers perceive to get from the product and what they are willing to pay for it.
The law of pricing says that you should charge each customer the exact amount he/she is willing to pay for it for maximum profit. This is how auction system works. You let each customers announce how much he wants to pay and pick the highest bid. While it would be ideal to determine the price in this fashion, in practice it becomes a challenge to sell your products this way. That’s why it is necessary for business owners to come up with an advertised price and augment it with other ways such as coupons to attract more customers.
So what factors do you need to consider when pricing your products and services?