How HR Technology Can Help You Overcome Biggest Recruiting Challenges

How-HR-technology-can-help-you-overcome-biggest-recruiting-challenges

Every HR professional and recruiter comes up against certain obstacles when they are trying to hire new employees. Learn how HR technology can help you overcome your biggest recruiting challenges and take your recruiting strategy to a whole new level!

What are your biggest recruiting challenges?

Are you struggling to find qualified candidates? Do you have problems attracting passive job seekers? Wouldn’t it be great if you could reduce your time-to-hire? Are you trying to find an easy way to measure the ROI and effectiveness of your recruitment strategy?

If you are nodding your head yes right now, don’t worry – you are not alone.

Mentioned obstacles are the biggest recruiting challenges every HR professional and recruiter comes up against when they are trying to hire new employees.

Luckily, in the modern world of HR, there are vast technological solutions created with an intention to tackle these problems.

Read on and learn how to leverage HR technology to solve your biggest recruiting challenges!

Recruiting challenge #1: Finding qualified candidates

According to Glassdoor research, talent shortage is the No. 1 hiring challenge today. A shocking 48% of employers say they are having difficulty finding qualified candidates to fill their open positions!

talent-shortage

This lack of qualified candidates has completely changed the way we recruit. Compared to just a few years ago, candidates now have far more power during the job search. You don’t pick talent anymore. Talent picks you.
Consequently, finding and hiring the ideal job candidates has become the most pressing modern recruitment issue.

How can HR technology help you overcome this recruiting challenge?

Modern HR technology offers many different solutions for finding qualified candidates.

First, there are software programs with the possibility of posting your open job positions on multiple free and paid job boards with just one click. Posting your job opening on multiple job boards will widen your reach and increase your chance of finding the right candidate.

You can also reach more candidates with social recruiting tools. With HR technology you can create a specialized Facebook job tab and post and promote your job there, too.

Another great solution for finding qualified candidates is offered by Employee Referrals Tools. These tools offer the possibility of creating and automating employee referral programs.

Employee referral program is a system of utilizing and rewarding your existing employees for recommending high quality candidates for your company’s open positions from their existing professional and personal networks.

Finally, there are web sourcing tools which can help you proactively look for candidates. Web sourcing utilizes web search and scans millions of online profiles to retrieve candidates’ details including email addresses, resumes and more.

Recruiting challenge #2: Attracting passive job seekers

According to LinkedIn research, 73% of the global workforce is made up of passive job seekers, who are your best job candidates.

passive-job-seekers

Passive job seekers are the candidates that aren’t actively looking for a job, mostly because they are already employed. That means they won’t be visiting job boards and browsing your career site.

However, if you approach these passive candidates in a right way, they would be willing to accept the better job offer. Remember, a better offer doesn’t necessarily mean more money. It can be flexible working time, education, opportunities to grow, benefits, cool projects, and many other.

That’s great, you may think, but how can I reach them and convince them to apply to my open positions? This is where HR technology comes in.

How can HR technology help you overcome this recruiting challenge?

Recruitment Marketing Software offers a solution for attracting passive candidates. Recruitment Marketing Software can help you to attract passive candidates and build relationships with them.

First, you need to grab their attention by showcasing your employer brand, company culture and employee value proposition.

That is how you’ll draw them in and make them eager to join your talent pool. Then you can use different tactics of candidate relationship management to engage and nurture them until they are ready to be turned into your job applicants.

Recruiting challenge #3: Reducing time-to-hire

Time-to-hire is one of the most important recruitment metrics. Reducing time-to-hire is crucial for two main reasons: hiring the best candidates and saving money.

Let’s examine both of them.

First we will explain how is time-to-hire connected with the possibility of hiring the best candidates.

Well, according to research, top candidates stay available on the market for 10 days only. That means you have to speed up your hiring process, otherwise some other, faster company will snatch your top candidates right under your nose.

Second, reducing time-to-hire means reducing cost-per-hire too. Needing less human hours to fill a position makes your hiring strategy more productive and cost efficient.

How can HR technology help you overcome this recruiting challenge?

While already mentioned sourcing and Recruitment Marketing tools help you find candidates faster, there are also specialized recruiting tools that can help you significantly reduce the time of your selections process.

These HR technology tools designed to streamline recruiting operations and fasten selection process are called Applicant Tracking System.

With Applicant Tracking System you can automate, simplify and fasten many recruiting tasks.

These tools make previously time consuming tasks like resume parsing, disqualifications of non-qualified applicants, interview scheduling and sending personalized recruiting emails to your candidates fast and easy.

Applicant Tracking System also saves your precious time by building talent pools, which can be used to find perfect candidates for your future roles and job openings.

Imagine how much time you could save if every time you had a job opening, you had a pool of talent from which you can just pick the best candidates!

In addition, as the graph below shows, Employee Referral Programs are a great way for reducing time-to-hire.

employee-referrals-stats.png

Recruiting challenge #4: Improving the quality-of-hire

Speedy finding and hiring a qualified candidate doesn’t mean a thing if it isn’t finding and hiring your ideal job candidate. Ideal job candidates are the ones that will stick around and perform their best.

You need to find candidates who will fit in perfectly in your team and be able to thrive in your company culture, otherwise you will end up disappointed with their poor performance, early leave or termination.

That’s why it is important to hire the best talent by finding the perfect fit for your company.

How can HR technology help you overcome this recruiting challenge?

Research shows that 78% of recruiters who use an HR technology have improved the quality of candidates they hire.

Applicant-tracking-system-benefit-quality-of-hire.PNG

One of the most effective ways to improve your quality-of-hire is to utilize employee referral programs. Why is that?

Your current employees have a hands-on experience with your company culture, mission and vision. That means they can easily recommend candidates who make the best cultural fit for your company.

With HR technology, you can set up structured and automated employee referral programs, which will significantly improve your quality-of-hire.

Recruiting challenge #5: Measuring the effectiveness of recruitment strategy

More than ever before, modern HR professionals and recruiters are faced with a growing demand to demonstrate a clear link between their hiring practices and outcomes.

Management requires hard data and exact numbers, so evaluating and measuring the effectiveness of recruitment strategy has become one of the pressing pain points of modern HR professionals.

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They are aware of how the most important hiring metrics can significantly improve decision-making, optimize recruiting effectiveness and maximize the value of HR investments in recruiting process.

However, most of these HR professionals and recruiters struggle with HR analysis and data driven recruiting question and dilemmas. Which recruiting metrics are the most important for my company? How to implement, track and measure them? How to analyse and compare them?

How can HR technology help you overcome this recruiting challenge?

Modern HR technology such as Applicants Tracking Systems and Recruitment Marketing Platforms can automatically implement, track and calculate the most important hiring and recruiting metrics like time-to-hire, cost-per-hire, source of applicants, hire to applicant ratio etc.

Moreover, these HR tools can create customized, detailed reports on most important recruiting metrics which will make it easy for you to analyze every step of your recruiting process.

With data backed insights provided by HR technology in a form of easy to read reports, you can quickly notice which parts of your hiring strategy work well, and which ones have room for improvement. That way you can make better and more informed decisions and improve your recruiting process and productivity.

Other recruiting challenges and HR technology solutions

Above mentioned recruiting challenges are the most common among modern recruiters and HR professionals.

However, if you are faced with some other specific recruiting challenge, take a look at The ultimate list of best HR software. It will help you comprehend all the different aspects and solutions HR technology can provide so you can identify the one that best suits your needs.

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Items to have on-hand Before Enrolling with a Payroll Service

So, you’ve made the decision to consider an outsourced payroll provider. You may even have a few bids out to test the waters and see where products and fees align compared to your goals. However, before you enroll with an outsourced payroll service, prioritizing the organization of your internal payroll and human resource (HR) processes is crucial for easy sharing with a potential payroll provider. This will help streamline the process for you, your provider and your team. Here are some tasks to check off your list during the organization process and items to have on-hand before you sign your next contract:

Identify strengths and weaknesses in current operation

If you have been processing payroll in-house since the inception of your business, you have likely undergone significant changes in the way you process payroll and handle other aspects of your HR over time. When was the last time you updated your process documentation? Documenting your processes thoroughly is necessary to provide a clearer picture of your business to a potential provider. With documented processes, the payroll provider can better understand how you currently operate and any potential areas for improvement. As professionals who serve a variety of clients in size and industry, outsourced payroll providers will use your documentation, along with their experience with similar operations, to provide the best possible solution for your needs. Additionally, identifying your current system’s strengths and weaknesses, and your desired outcomes through outsourcing, will assist the provider in understanding how their product can best serve you.

Identify clear expectations for results and budget

After you’ve documented your processes and identified your strengths and weaknesses, you must set clear expectations, goals and benchmarks for how you envision an outsourced partner working with your business. If you enter into negotiations without a clear understanding of your expectations for the transaction, your chances of poor implementation, product fit, pricing structure are greatly increased. Do your research and learn what types of products are available, how they work, and how their price points compare with others in the market. Furthermore, should you receive a proposal or contract, perform a detailed examination of the pricing structure and any potential add-ons you may not expect or anticipate up-front, which could end up costing you big. Transparency will be key in a lasting relationship with your payroll provider.

Identify an ideal partnership

Not every outsourced payroll provider is right for every company. For example, if you are a small operation of 30 employees, a payroll provider who specializes in large multi-national corporations may not be a good fit, and vice versa. Small companies and start-ups will likely need more hands-on, approachable, and available customer service support during implementation, as well as throughout the relationship, to maintain optimal efficiency down the road. Larger companies will also need dedicated customer service, but may require a more robust platform to integrate with their various benefit programs and handle the complicated matters which can arise with hundreds of employees. Do your research, talk to peers in your industry, and identify which providers are likely to suit your needs and culture.

Prepare your staff

If you are switching from in-house to an outsourced payroll provider, and you have staff who are currently responsible for that function, consult with them on what this means for their position going forward and what expectations you will have for their position. If they are to serve as the liaison to the provider, bring them in on demos and negotiations. If their role is changing completely, provide plenty of time for training and transition. When implementing a new process or platform to improve time and energy output, engage the people impacted by this drastic change.

Get your paperwork in line

Once you’ve chosen your provider, prepare all relevant paperwork, documentation and contracts so they can hit the ground running with implementation of accurate data. The more prepared and organized you are inside your business, the easier implementation and start-up will be. Set aside time to ensure benefit provider contracts, federal and state documentation, and any unique employee circumstances are order. Implementation can be hectic and overwhelming, and the more organized you are, the better you will feel throughout the process.

Follow these tips before enrolling with an outsourced payroll service, and you will be more prepared and organized going into the bidding, buying and implementation processes.

Transform HR with Intelligent Automation

Written by Deepak Bharadwaj, General Manager of the HR Business Unit at ServiceNow.

Automation is everywhere. As the “new norm,” intelligent automation plays a key role in our everyday lives. From Lyft providing instant access to a ride and Alexa keeping track of the grocery list, intelligent automation is behind the scenes enhancing services and making our lives easier. With less and less effort required on our part, intelligent automation is quickly becoming the preferred way of doing things.

While the world moves towards increased automation, many companies and HR organizations in particular are striving to follow. However, many HR organizations still rely on manual and unstructured work processes. In a recent study of more than 1,850 business leaders, HR was named the department “most in need of a reboot” with only 37 percent of services being automated. This makes it not only difficult for HR teams to do their jobs effectively, but also reflects on the department overall and what employees experience when interacting with HR. The lack of automation in HR organizations is especially challenging given the dramatic rise in work loads in recent years. Struggling to keep up with the high volume of work, frenetic pace, and employee demands, HR organizations are realizing that emails and spreadsheets don’t cut it in today’s world of increased automation and that the time has come to update their systems.

HR departments want to provide excellent service, but are often bogged down with routine requests and tasks. To avoid these pitfalls, organizations should look at the facts, consider the benefits of automation, and make an actionable plan.

Intelligent Automation

Look at the Facts

The pace of work is rising each year. In fact, by 2020, nearly 9 out of 10 executives believe their companies will hit the breaking point in which they will need intelligent automation to keep up with work volume according to the study. Yet, less than half of business processes are automated, with HR and customer service the least. A surprising statistic considering their impact on the overall service experience and the important relationships they manage with employees and customers respectively.

Inefficient tools and manual processes are making it increasingly difficult for HR departments to do their jobs well.  In fact, 91 percent of survey respondents agree that skilled professionals spend too much time on administrative tasks. HR teams are drowning in unanswered emails and phone calls, unwieldy spreadsheets and stacks of administrative paperwork. Respondents also confirm this by reporting that managing employee relocations, leaves of absence, and onboarding are the least efficient processes. Without automation, tasks that should be streamlined and effortless are taking the most amount of energy and time. This leaves HR feeling drained and with little resources left to do their jobs well. As the world becomes more interconnected, the pace of work will also grow leaving companies with one choice – to aggressively automate their HR processes.

Consider the Benefits

When companies consider the financial and productivity benefits that automation delivers, there should be no hesitation to pursue this route. For instance, the study shows that highly automated companies are six times more likely to experience revenue growth than companies with low automation. When asked, executives highlighted some of the potential reasons for this enhanced financial performance including reduced costs (81%), increased customer satisfaction (78%), faster work completion (84%), and more time for strategic initiatives (74%). In other words, the more automated processes in place, the more resources and time HR teams have to do the work they want to do.

Automating HR processes can dramatically enrich the workplace experience for both HR teams and employees. When HR teams are freed from the mundane and drudgery of manual work, they have the opportunity to explore what matters – developing the skills to reach their full potential as productive employees. Instead of spending their days filling out forms, sending emails and updating spreadsheets, they can focus on building workplace relationships, exploring their creativity, and providing high quality HR services to employees.

Make a Plan

To avoid hitting the breaking point, HR organizations need to take action today. The following steps will help companies as they start down the path to full HR process automation:

  1. Identify HR processes that need improving. Make a catalog of HR services that could benefit from automation. Typically, these are services that have a high degree of repetitive tasks performed by HR or by employees and their managers. These could include simple services like tuition reimbursement, gift matching and employment verification to more complex ones like leaves of absence, relocation, onboarding and offboarding. Plan for dependencies on and touchpoints with other departments providing service including IT and Real Estate and Facilities.
  2. Prioritize services. Next, prioritize HR services in need of automation based on frequency, volume and impact. Create a prioritized roadmap based on these findings. For example, a critical yet infrequent natural disaster should be a top priority with automated processes in place for if/when these events occur. Similarly, the productivity benefits associated with automating onboarding in a high growth or high turnover organization can be significant.
  3. Work with teams throughout the transition. Employees are often resistant to change and need management to reassure them throughout the process. Actively seek employee input, answer questions, address concerns, and incorporate their ideas into the automation roadmap. Doing so will improve the final outcome.
  4. Follow best practices for change management. Organizational change is more than checking off a to-do list.  Executive support and active participation by both HR and employees and their managers is essential. By communicating regularly, companies can break down barriers, establish clear ownership, and ensure that every part of the business is engaged.
  5. Help HR thrive in an automated world. Ninety-four percent of business leaders believe automation will increase the demand for skills such as collaboration, creative problem-solving and communication. Yet many of today’s HR teams are inundated with manual tasks and may not have the skillset to thrive in an automated workplace. Ensure that proper training is set up to help HR professionals through the transition so they can feel better equipped and successful at work.

While many companies have started to use intelligent automation, research shows the pace is not enough to keep up with the rising amount of work expected in the coming years. HR teams will continue to do mundane and repititive tasks manually if companies do not speedup their automation roadmaps. By following best practices for successful HR process automation and organizational change, companies will start to see immediate results in costs and efficiency for HR along with overall employee satisfaction and productivity.

Why Machine Learning Services are getting Maximum Attention?

Machine learning is one the trending topic these days. Right now, it is a catchword in the field of technology. It defines major representations that how computer can learn in future. Basically Machine learning algorithms are trained with the help of “training set” data.  By using this machine learning algorithm, it gives answer to the questions. For example, in training dataset you will have given pictures of dog to the computer. Some pictures will say, “This is a dog” or some will say, “This is not a dog”. Then you can show a number of new pictures and it would start searching which pictures were of dogs. Every picture which is identify as a correctly or incorrectly gets added to the training set. In this way program efficiently gets “smarter” and better by completing its task over time.

A couple of years back; it was the time of social, mobile, cloud and analytics etc. Although these technologies are still important as they have very good place in digital strategies.  Nowadays big hype is Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data, Machine learning services etc.  It is observed from the various surveys that Artificial Intelligence is the future of Growth.  There are some Artificial Intelligence Consulting companies available which provide number of services in this field. Machine learning is a part of Artificial Intelligence.

Let’s discuss Machine Learning Services which are attention seeker. These services are as follow:

  1. Fraud Detection: In numerous fields, machine learning is much better to spot fraud detection cases. Fraud management has been very aching for the commercial and banking sectors. Due to plethora of payment channel such as credit/debits cards, kiosks, smartphones etc., this menace is increasing day by day. In the similar way, criminals have found out loopholes in these channels. So, it is becoming difficult for the businessman to confirm transactions. However, Data Scientists have been successful in solving this problem with the help of machine learning. For instance, PayPal is using machine learning to fight with these raiders. This company has tools which compare all the transactions and easily distinguish between legitimate and non-legitimate transactions between sellers and customers.
  1. Recommendations: If you are regular user of Netflix and Amazon, then you must be familiar with use of this term. Intelligent algorithms of machine learning are monitoring  your all the activities and compare it with the other number of users and as a result show you which thing you would like to buy. These product recommendation systems are getting smarter every time. Suppose you want to buy light shade jeans of a particular brand, during your search it will also recommend you light shades jeans of some other brands. It will definitely make your shopping better with number of choices.
  1. Natural Language Processing (NLP): NLP is an emerging trend which is almost used in every field. Natural Language with Machine learning algorithms can stand for agents of customer service and in fast way route customers to the information they need. Mostly it is used to translate incomprehensible legalese in contracts into basic language and help prosecutors to handle large volumes of evidence to prepare for a case.
  1. Healthcare: Machine Learning algorithms can practice more information and find out more patterns than the humans can do. Machine learning can recognize risk factors in a better way for sickness in a large population area. A company build Disease Prediction System name “www.AIvaid.com” which based on machine learning algorithm that is capable to diagnose the human health conditions and predict the disease report. There are plenty of symptoms and diseases dataset has been added and working it wonderful. Along with that, Personalized medicine is also one of the effective treatments which relay on the health data of the individual combined with predictive analytics is a latest research and diligently correlated to better disease assessment. For this purpose, supervised learning is used which permits physicians to list out  from more limited sets of diagnoses based on the  symptoms and genetic information.
  1. Smart Cars: IBM recently surveyed top executives and it is concluded that we would see smart cars on road by 2025. It will learn about its owner as well as its environment and integrate it with Internet of Things.  Thus it will automatically adjust its internal setting such as audio, temperature, seat position automatically based on the driver and itself fix problems, drive itself and also give advice about traffic and conditions of the road.

In the nutshell, we can say that Machine Learning is a buzzword in the world of technology. Machine learning services are wooing more customers due to its smart learning techniques. Self-learning algorithms are now routinely embedded in mobile and online services. Researchers are getting massive gains in processing power and the data streaming from digital devices and connected sensors to improve AI performance. For many organizations, providing machine learning services can be challenging. When machines and human solve problems together and learn from each other, AI full prospective can be achieved.

Designing Orgs of the Future: Organimi Releases Version 5 to Offer Flexibility to Diverse User Base

Organimi is a cloud based, easy to use, low cost alternative to traditional software org chart design tools that enables users to easily create and share org charts, photo boards, and directories. The Canadian start-up allows organizations of all sizes, industries, and workforce modernizations to organize how they communicate and collaborate wherever, and however they work.

Drawing on feedback from a growing user community across thousands of organizations including well-known brands such as Airbnb, eBay, and Kayak. Organimi developed V5 to simplify the process of creating an org chart and increase flexibility for modern organizations looking to create direct representations of complex organizations. They have also made it easier to share org charts with members across organizations to increase transparency and limit knowledge gaps.

“We listened and our users wanted more flexibility to accommodate their diverse needs for their organizational structures, so we opened up options to customize the tool to their preferences, simplifying the overall use case regardless of their organizational structure.”

-Eric Apps, Organimi Co-Founder

Organimi’s main users of the platform include: business owners, faith based and not-for-profit organizations, sales reps, account managers, consultants, educational organizations, government departments, agencies and other public sector groups and virtual organizations.

Organimi is free for up to 50 members. Sign up today at https://v5.organimi.com/register
Organimi is a cloud based, simple organizational chart maker. Based out of Toronto and Waterloo, Organimi is charting organizations of the future. The company founders have embraced the changing nature of the modern workforce to create software that is flexible to accommodate different organizational designs.

Contact: Nicole Ragno
Marketing & Customer Success, Organimi
Email: nicole.ragno@organimi.com
Web: http://www.organimi.com

4 Effective Ways to Cut the Costs of Running an Online Business

Many people nowadays decide to break the pattern of the usual company-bound jobs and start a business online. Running an online business can have great benefits for an individual in both a personal and a professional sense. Having an online business is a lot cheaper than starting an enterprise in general.

However, it is not free of charge. Sometimes people make mistakes at the very beginning that are difficult to resolve over time, for instance over-estimating profits or overlooking expenses. That is why you should try to run your business as effectively as possible and be knowledgeable of the ways to help you cut down your costs and make your business really flourish, and we are here to provide you with some.

  1. Lower your office costs.

If you decide to run an online business – there are usually two possible ways to do it. The first one is working from home, and the second one (if it is a business of a larger scale in question) is working in an office. If you are doing your job from the commodity of your own home, you will save significant amounts of money on utilities, insurance and taxes.

If your business, on the other hand, demands having some employees rather than working by yourself, you will most probably need to rent a space and those might be the biggest expenses you will encounter.

In that case, always look for the lowest lease prices in the least expensive neighborhoods, and have in mind that an attractive location doesn’t play a big role for you. Be practical and efficient instead of opting for an enchanting space in a pricey area.

  1. Decrease the advertising costs

Numerous studies have shown that small businesses usually spend 5% of their total revenue for advertising purposes. The figures can be even higher for those who are just starting out and need to think about conquering the market. That’s a whole lot if you have just started and still can’t guarantee how high your profits will be.

Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune on advertising as there are many other ways to make it work by simply making a Facebook page, tweeting about your business, creating an email newsletter, or employing cold calling techniques and asking for referrals.

  1. Go for cloud computing

For most online businesses, especially for startups, cloud computing is the most effective way to cut down capital costs as well as IT service related expenses. Cloud computing eliminates the requirement to buy and/or maintain expensive servers and decreases the cost of software updates.

Using the cloud enables you to have all-time access to all of the latest business application versions and gives you an opportunity to boost your bandwidth. If you decide on implementing this system, your provider will handle your data recovery issues and thus you won’t need to pay an expensive IT technician to do that.

  1. Learn how to prioritise

As a businessperson, you probably have a lot on your shoulders. That is why you can’t afford to lose any of your valuable time. The best way to achieve that is to make the best of your time by directing your activities and prioritizing.

It all comes down to good time management. If you set your goals straight and track your daily activities (and the ones of your employees, as well), this will streamline your work greatly and reduce stress, which will enable you to focus more on what really matters – making profit.

 
To conclude, running an online business opens doors to many great opportunities but inevitably brings a lot of risks, too. However, if you follow these steps and  your time and money right, you will reap the benefits in no time!

7 Tools That Will Help You Start a Home-Based Business

The traditional method used to start a business was to rent an office space and get down to work. However, the overhead associated with supporting an office right from the start was challenging and even detrimental in many cases.

The good news is that technology has evolved over the years to make it much more functional and practical to run a home-based business and even to grow your business substantially in a cost-effective way. As wonderful as running a home-based business can be, keep in mind that there are still obstacles that you will need to face and overcome.

Here are several effective tools that can help you better manage and grow your home-based business.

Basecamp

Whether you want to keep yourself focused on relevant tasks for practical efficiency or you are trying to manage a remote team in the most time-efficient way possible, Basecamp can help.

This app is an excellent resource for planning and scheduling, organization, accountability and more. You may never have to worry about meetings taking too much time or missing deadlines when you and your team maximize the benefits that Basecamp can provide.

Google Hangouts

As soon as you add your first remote employee to your team, you need to find an effective way to communicate. Google Hangouts gives you text and voice communications in one platform. There is even a video communication feature.

You can use it on your desktop and mobile devices seamlessly so that you never miss important communications with your remote team. Logs of conversations are also maintained to help everyone remain accountable. Because this is a free tool that you can start using immediately, it is ideal for small businesses that have two or more workers.

Freshbooks

Small business owners can spend an incredible amount of time on financial management and accounting tasks. However, this is an area that you need to excel at if you want to properly manage your money, budget for growth and more.

Freshbooks is a user-friendly application that has robust capabilities. It’s a perfect choice for managing your home-based business’ finances. It has easy functions for invoicing, tracking payments, creating reports and more. Because it is designed for small business operations, you may find that it has more applicable features that are relevant to your specific situation.

Wagepoint

Processing payroll each week can be time-consuming and stressful. This is a task that needs to be completed within a specified amount of time, and you can’t afford to make costly mistakes.

Wagepoint is designed to help small business owners simplify this task in an affordable way. It also ensures compliance with all relevant government agencies and can help you to process tax forms and more. Employees can even access their own compensation information to save you additional time when questions arise.

Close.io

Sales is a critical component to most small businesses. You understandably need to track leads and follow up with all potential customers in a timely manner, but you also need to close deals.

Close.io is a CRM tool that is designed specifically for small businesses like yours. You can manage conversations and email messages so that you never drop the ball. You can also set reminders, create reports and more in one convenient and streamlined platform. With applications available for multiple users, you can easily track the efforts of your growing sales team as well.

CoSchedule

Effective marketing for your small business requires you to create and execute a detailed, robust marketing plan in a timely manner. With CoSchedule all aspects of communications about your marketing plan can be stored in one convenient location. You can create marketing materials within this platform, manage your marketing team and create an on-going marketing calendar so that you never miss a beat.

Remember that timely delivery of marketing content is critical to generating superior results. Because this is a collaborate solution, your entire team will stay organized and aligned.

Groove

Customer service is essential for your customer satisfaction rating, loyalty, future sales, brand reputation and more. Groove helps you to streamline many aspects of your customer service activities.

For example, through this platform, your agents can create tickets based on phone calls, social media posts, email and more. You can track the tickets, analyze them and ensure that everything is tended to in a timely manner. This is an excellent tool that can help you and your team to stay on track so that nothing slips through the cracks.

Final Thoughts

Handling all aspects of your business operations properly and efficiently requires considerable effort, but you do not need to handle tasks manually. Technology is now available that can streamline and simplify many aspects of your operations from day one. Regardless of whether you have a one-man shop or a growing small business with several employees, these exceptional tools are wonderful resources that you can begin implementing right away.

5 Challenges of Doing Business Globally

A lot of people are eager to start an international business, without actually realizing all the challenges that this course of action entails. All they focus on are the positive sides like expanding to new markets, an access to a greater talent pool and prospects of future, even greater, expansion. Still, things are not nearly as easy as they may appear at first and here are a couple of downsides you might encounter.

The issue with company structure

In most English-speaking countries like the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, businesses are classified as a sole entrepreneurship, a partnership or a limited liability corporation. Needless to say, this affects how the company is registered but even more importantly, how it pays taxes. The problem with this issue lies in the fact that the target market you are attempting to approach may not have the same standard structures, which might cause a lot of problems.

Aside from this, your company needs to prepare its international structure. This entails making decisions on whether you run your company from a single headquarters or do you have autonomous offices and representatives all over the place. Needless to say, this also depends on how much autonomy you are willing to hand over to these overseas branches.

Cultural differences

Another thing you need to take into consideration is how cultural differences will affect your brand. For instance, opening a Hooters Bar and Grill branch in Saudi Arabia is definitely not a good idea. Still, not every such consideration is as straightforward as this comparison. Sometimes, these differences will be much subtler, yet this doesn’t make them any less devastating for your brand. For this reason alone, it might be a much better idea to use a platform such as 2 Easy in order to get some invaluable local contacts at your target location. These B2B connections might help you out establish your international office with much greater efficiency.

Local laws and regulations

Next, you should look out for local laws and regulations and the ways in which they match or differ from those from your country of origin. Sometimes, your business structure or model will be tailored to fit the needs of a local market, which could make your transition to an offshore location slightly more difficult. Sure, dealing with two separate locations can be hard but things will only escalate once you start taking more and more countries into your calculation. This is definitely something you have to think about in due time.

International pricing

One of the most controversial issues surrounding the global market is the fact that the price of the same product/service may differ depending on the target location. Now, different parts of the world have different average purchasing power, which means that stamping a single universal price on your product may restrict you in more ways than you can imagine. On the one hand, it could make your product too expensive for the local market or it could significantly lower the bar for your expected profit. The method of guiding your pricing strategy is probably going by the Big Mac Index when comparing the purchasing powers of different regions.

Issues surrounding marketing

Finally, due to the above-mentioned cultural differences, you might have a hard time using your marketing campaign all over the globe. Seeing as how the situation in the world is quite sensitive from the cultural standpoint, even some of the most innocent trends might appear quite offensive in some regions. Because of this, it is usually far better to come up with different variations for one and the same campaign than to try going with a one-size-fits-all solution. On the other hand, this might considerably increase your expenses.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, starting a global brand is far from easy, seeing as how the number of variables you have to keep an eye on drastically increases. Instead of having to worry about the legal issues of your home region, you now have to do this several times over. Furthermore, any reform you decide to enact suddenly gets layers and layers of potential complications. Nonetheless, for all those who don’t fear the challenge of overcoming these international barriers, potential rewards are always more than worth it.

Why Should Small Businesses Focus on Liquidity Management?

Making a profit is certainly the main objective of every business out there, but one of the more important factors people tend to forget about is liquidity.

Lack of profits can kill your business in just a few months. However, lack of liquidity, can destroy your whole organization basically in a heartbeat.

Actually, according to the best-selling author and business adviser, David Mellor, lack of liquidity is the second biggest reason why small businesses fail in the United States.

What is liquidity actually?

If you’re new to all of this “business lingo” you’re probably wondering what liquidity even is. In essence, it’s a term used to describe an asset categorized by how fast you can trade it on the open market, without affecting its value.

For instance, cash is a liquid asset. You can trade it for other goods on the market without its price being changed in the process. When you want to buy something – a car, a new home or office supplies – cash will certainly do the trick.

Cash aside, even if you have something valuable, like vintage furniture, jewelry, etc. you technically still have liquidity. However, since the price of those assets varies – some people lower the price to sell their assets quicker, for example – they are relatively liquid.

When it comes to your company, the most important thing is that you have enough assets to pay your debts on time. In most cases, this depends on how much cash you have available, in comparison to the liabilities of your company.

Why is it so important?

As we indicated before, on the surface level, it’s all about the profit. But your enormous profit margin doesn’t actually mean too much if you’re not able to pay off your current debts and use the rest of your funds to invest in your business and keep it afloat.

Having cash at your disposal gives you the freedom to make an investment and expand your business, when the right opportunity comes up. And no matter how unlikely it seems, you never know when a financial crisis may occur, so having some cash stashed away is almost a type of insurance.

In order to keep up with your liquidity, you need to track your liquidity ratio. Here are three most commonly tracked ratios among small business owners:

  • Current ratio

More commonly known as “working capital ratio” this ratio measures your liquidity by comparing assets to liabilities. If your company has a current ratio of 2:1, most financial experts would agree that you have a “financially healthy” company on your hands.  

  • Quick ratio

This ratio is used to evaluate your organization’s capacity to fulfill its promises. Some companies track quick ratio on a monthly basis, in order to identify negative trends and make some adjustments that will help them satisfy debt requirements in the future.

  • Operating cash flow ratio

If you want to measure operating cash flow ratio, you just need to add up all the cash taken from your operations and divide that value by your current liabilities. This ratio is used to assess whether your current cash flow is sufficient to cover your debts.

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How to increase your liquidity?

  • Finance through factoring

In this case, a “factor” is actually a financing firm that offers to pay out your accounts for a price. Essentially, these companies pay up front what your customer is due and take a percentage. If you have to pay a few invoices and you need the cash right away, this is a rather convenient option.

  • Taking a personal loan

This is perhaps the simplest way of increasing cash flow through your company. Of course, you have to be careful with loans and wait for the right moment to take it. In most cases, taking personal cash loans is the smartest option if you want to correct the liquidity of your business instantly.

  • Minimizing liabilities

If you don’t want to increase your cash flow, you can take the other route, and reduce the amount of money coming out of your organization. Some people simply have too much inventory lying around the office, and this can decrease your liquidity drastically. Therefore, you need to have a good strategy to make sure that your inventory is always ready to be sent out and sold.

Don’t get too comfy if your profits go up

When you’re dealing with liquidity, you have to be calm and calculated at all times. Simply put, you can’t let yourself get distracted by other, less important aspects of running a business.

Moreover, we should also point out that you can’t get too comfortable when your profits start going up. On the contrary, you always have to be aware of how much money you and your company earned is at your disposal.

Without knowing that, your business venture might fail without any particular warning signs when you and your partners expect it the least.

How Good Web Design Can Boost Your Business

How Good Web Design Can Boost Your Business

Whether as a striking web page, or a persuasive package, design can have a powerful impact on the world around us. The craft and creativity of web and graphic designers are practically everywhere – from books, product packaging, to websites, digital advertisements, and interactive installations. However, effective design is not just mere appearance. It’s a way to communicate in a contemporary way, to make everything – from logo, colours, to typography, and visuals work together by and large to capture the attention of potential customers and leave an abiding impression.

To be seen in the digital media you can use marketing technology, which offers several ways for boosting the business. However, first and foremost, it is imperative to build a website that brings information about the company, which is simple enough to find via all mobile devices as well as on desktop browsers. Also, while launching your website, you need to ensure you can answer these questions with a “YES”: Is your website easy to navigate? Are your website visitors able to understand what your business is about? Do you maintain high-quality services at a competitive price rate?

If your answer is “No” to all, then you need to improve your website design and layout, because a business owner should not only focus on content or design. What is more, an entrepreneur needs to advance the design, performance and, above all, make sure the web design is responsive. Experts from Web Agency Sydney point out that you need to improve its reach in order to grow your customer base, no matter the size of your business. Luckily, there are hundreds of options to boost your web designing part. We bring you some of these options to help you start.

Simplicity & Minimalism

Web design always opts for the most uncomplicated approach and gives importance to minimalism. Your target audience will not be attracted by a complex design, while the clean and flat design will strike the right nerve. Nowadays, most brands are using simple designs in their online business presence. Therefore, if you wish to improve your options, you should, by all means, avoid stuffing your website with long and complicated animations as well as with bulky website images. Additionally, you should keep in mind that an extravagant website may slack off your website.

Visual Appeal

More than anything, visual appeal can attract attention. It is the key to attain visitors, which will engage with your website. Captivating images and videos enhance the business operation and invite more customers. Some studies show that for users to form an opinion about a website takes about 50 milliseconds. In those milliseconds they are able to determine whether they’ll stay or leave. And, due to the fact that visual aids are 43% more effective in enhancing your credibility than other means, you should think of creating a catchy business logo (if not already) and visually appealing colors, which will help your brand stand out from the crowd.

Do the Thinking

Visitors are coming to your website to solve an issue they might have. Hence, your business website should provide the answer to their question as quickly and as easily as possible. You also need to show your visitors what they are looking for and what value it has for them. Why should they choose to make a purchase from your website? Is there a special offer? Make sure you follow your wording by a clearly visible call-to-action, such as “Find the right product, now!” The users should not try to figure out anything on their own. You need to do it for them.

Relevant Content

Every so often you should consider refreshing the content of your homepage and landing pages. It is the same story as with store window display, consumers don’t like to see the same thing time and again. You can immediately convey the relevant message and become up-to-the-minute retailer by freshening the offerings with some new deals, sales, and new content. On top of that, you should also take into account how important it is to provide your visitors with the ability to share your content. In that way, you will grant them the possibility to become your brand’s biggest marketing emissaries. Furthermore, your ranking on search engine result pages may greatly enhance with the sharing of your content.

There are no other mediums that have such a geographical reach than the website. And, if you do not have a clean, simple and functional design, then your competitors are surely winning your prospective customers. Being that you need to calculate your expenses and budget while developing a striking website you should reach out to a reputable web design company to provide you with an extensive number of business web design services. The website not only boosts your brand’s look, it also makes it alluring and impressive.