5 Core Benefits of Using CRM Software for Your Business

Technology is evolving at a mind-boggling pace, pushing companies to embrace innovative solutions and tools at every turn. Supposedly, these innovations are all meant to be useful and not merely transient tech fads that will go out of style only to be replaced by yet another trendy add-on. Some, however, have stood the test of time, even though companies aren’t always prepared to embrace them from day one. CRM, or customer relationship management software is the perfect example.

This solution is a universally acknowledged digital toolbox of useful features that every customer-facing business needs. It comprises so many necessary functionalities, that you’d likely need at least a dozen other tools to work in unison if you were to replace it and retain your levels of productivity. Now, if you’re looking to achieve more than retaining productivity, but taking it to the next level together with your business, then CRM has some major benefits you shouldn’t ignore.

Access to customer and performance data

Wherever you look, companies talk about utilizing data and analytics to their advantage, but few actually know how to filter the swarms of information they collect, let alone create sensible reports without bias. The same CRM tools you use to track customer interactions and employee communications allow you access to piles of useful data as well as meaningful reports that help you understand what you could be doing better. 

  • CRM helps you compile crucial customer information to create ideal customer profiles and track customer engagement across the board.
  • You can create actionable reports based on the data your CRM extracts to make smarter decisions in the future.
  • You can leverage CRM forecasting thanks to the collated information on your customers and employees. 

On its own, data can do very little for your business. When it’s paired with a robust CRM platform and all its add-ons and features, that same data has transformative power to take your business forward.

Seamless communication and collaboration

Thanks to its flexible nature, CRM software is designed to work well with other tools you use across your organization. One of the most common communication platforms most businesses use includes the Google Workspace, and of course Gmail. Whether you use Gmail exclusively to communicate internally and externally, or you combine a separate CRM with Gmail, you can improve your communications with the right extensions.

All it takes is choosing the best Gmail CRM extension that will help you integrate and share all of your contacts, so that all team members can access them easily and track all interactions seamlessly. A tool such as Shared Contacts for Gmail working together with your CRM makes it easy for your business to avoid communication delays and mishaps internally as well as externally. Everyone can use the same address book through your CRM extension, and you can manage editing permissions for added control over your processes.

Automation of menial work 

Another great perk of good CRM software is that your teams no longer have to waste their precious time on repetitive, menial tasks that can often be disruptive, energy-consuming, and time-consuming to boot. With the right CRM automation protocols, your employees can focus on mission-critical assignments while your software takes over the rest.

You can automate everything from labor-intensive tasks such as data entry, all the way to creating reports and sales performance assessments that can elevate your business productivity. With the right integrations for social media and the like, you can monitor all automated tasks without any hassle, and even set up automatic alerts to get notified of any relevant changes. 

Better customer experience

The name says it all, so it’s natural to expect that your CRM software should benefit your business in terms of customer acquisition, retention, and overall satisfaction. With all the listed perks, it’s easy to understand how your customers, and thus your business, benefit:

  • Utilizing customer data and accurate profiles helps you improve all customer-facing communications, content creation included.
  • CRM platforms enable simplified personalization so that you can make your customers feel special at all times.
  • With all the right tools and features, your CRM will help your teams avoid communicating with the same people on multiple channels without planning to, and similar mishaps that often occur without a unified communication platform.
  • With all the correct contact information available, your employees can follow up with customers in time, check in on them when necessary, make personalized offers, and build those relationships for the long haul.

Scalability and cost-effectiveness in one

When it’s time to grow and scale your business, you need the technology that has the capacity to not just grow with you, but also to empower that growth from within. CRM tools are typically designed to leverage cloud technology in order to remain flexible and scalable without wreaking havoc on your business performance mid-growth.

If anything, CRM tools enable growth by helping you manage your resources efficiently, recognize performance gaps in time to prevent issues, and use actionable insights specific to each department to fuel growth. 

Few tools can match the multipurpose nature of your CRM software, especially when you consider how many integrations and features you can put to use with it. Although primarily customer-centric, the software is intended to improve your overall business performance on every level, helping you leverage all your assets (people, time, and budget) in smarter and more efficient ways. 

Your company will inevitably try out new tools and some of them will be impressive and highly functional. However, chances are that you’re underusing your current CRM toolbox and that you could be boosting your performance simply by rethinking how you can maximize your CRM’s potential. Keep these perks in mind, and you’ll surely be inspired to find new and creative ways to leverage it for your company.

Tips for Buying a Recruitment Business

Starting a brand-new venture is an exhilarating decision, but it might prove to be too much for so many in the current economy and competition. The fact that the recruitment industry is growing is inspiring many to kick-start their agencies, but if you’re more inclined to purchase an existing agency, then you might stand a better chance to succeed. You can use the business’s current reputation, expand on its image and client base, and not to mention the key people that have brought the business to life.

There are many options you can consider, from investing in a franchise that might be location-specific, all the way to purchasing an entire agency to expand the business with your expertise and know-how. Some mistakes are inevitable, but you can definitely avoid most. Here, you can learn more about buying an existing recruitment business, to make the most of your investment and set your new company up for success under your own leadership.

Consider keeping the core decision-makers

Assuming that you’re looking to purchase a stable business with a strong bond with the local community, you should keep in mind that people make that business much more than the brand name alone. It might be tempting to let go of everyone in charge and all the core staff, but this is not always the most prudent way to go about the purchase. Instead, consider discussing the option of retaining some, if not all of the key workers, especially decision-makers.

You can still run the business and grow it as the main investor and the CEO, but the existing recruiters and managers staying on will be your greatest assets. They are the ones with all the client connections and successful case studies. Talk it over with the seller and see if there’s a way to work it into the contract. 

Do your homework

You might be excited about the transaction and the negotiations might have been long already, but you should never land on a deal before you do all the necessary research. Collecting industry data to understand the trends and forecast any changes, understanding the existing client relationships with the agency, and getting to know the staff properly will decide the future of the business.

Think of it as another workplace and assess its levels of safety, both for the short and the long term. Can you say with some professional certainty that this business has a strong future with the local community and its existing client base? Are there any gaps in the onboarding/offboarding strategies the agency is using both internally and in the talent selection process for their clients? Make sure to understand the ins and outs of the business before you buy it.

Get location-specific legal guidance

Knowing the industry is one thing, but the process of buying a business has so many intricate, legal steps that you should always ask for professional guidance on the matter. Not to mention that each country has its own unique legal frameworks in place for such transactions precisely. If you’re looking to buy a Sydney-based business, you’ll need to work with experienced lawyers in Sydney whose expertise will help you protect your investment.

They not only know the local market, but they also know what kind of potential legal difficulties you might be looking at upon inspecting the company. Working together with financial experts, you can see if the company has a clean track record, with no fraud looming in the background, and of course, all taxes and contracts are taken care of. 

Consider a non-compete

Once again, when you work in a competitive city like Sydney or New York, there are many recruiting agencies to go around, which both means having many opportunities, but also many competitors. You don’t need another one when the seller decides to use their expertise and the recently obtained wealth to start yet another business in the same sector to compete with you. 

Make sure your purchase agreement has a non-compete agreement or a clause attached to it, so that you can protect the intellectual property you’re buying with the business itself. This agreement is one way to protect your newly acquired business from losing relevance immediately upon purchase, or coming across yet another setback on your way to growth.

Analyze your motivation and goals 

Having ample funds at your disposal to invest in a venture is a great way to advance as a professional, but you should be certain that you’re doing this for the right reasons. Ask yourself: are you experienced and respected enough in this business to run a company of that size and scope? Do you have the funds to keep the business running smoothly upon purchase?

Will you really, measurably benefit from purchasing this agency? Do you understand what it takes to run an agency, especially if this is your first attempt at running a business? Such questions might sound harsh, but they’ll help you evaluate your goals and driving force before you make the purchase. 

From the fine print in the agreement all the way to your financing plan, preparing yourself properly for the purchase will help you get started with your new company on the right foot. Remember, despite the fact that the industry itself is flourishing and there’s plenty of business to go around, it’s still up to you to make sure your company thrives, despite its pre-existing reputation and success. Use these tips to be certain that you’ve done all the work before you sign on the dotted line. 

Going Green? Managing Your Sustainable Business Transformation

Values are, or they should be, at the very center of any business. They dictate your customer relationships, your employee selection processes, and every element of your business strategy. Now that we have so much knowledge about our carbon footprint and the many ways in which we’re harming the environment, there’s no excuse for companies today to stay silent. Nobody can be Switzerland in the face of the climate crisis. 

For that and many other reasons, businesses are now striving to change inside and out, to recognize the crisis and their part in contributing to environmental damage, and above all, to make a difference. Embracing that responsibility starts with how you manage your business from within, so that your HR and business management experts can create and slowly implement smarter, greener strategies. 

This process can take a while, since the shift is far from simple for many industries. Here are a few ways to make this transformation easier on your business and to lead the way in eco-friendly management.

Align your goals and procedures

First and foremost, for your HR department to be able to work on implementation, you need to determine how well your current processes match your sustainability goals. Perhaps you’ll need to switch to digital accounting tools and go paperless, if you haven’t already. Maybe you can adapt your collaboration model to be more flexible and encourage remote work, carpooling, covering public transport fees, and the like.

For many companies, your health and wellness strategies will need to change in order to meet these new standards, too. Some businesses dealing with toxic or dangerous substances need to introduce more stringent protective procedures to ensure employee safety and to prevent environmental damage or hazards. It all begins with aligning your procedures with the goals you want to achieve.

Choose better waste management

In Australia’s most developed, urbanized regions, growing companies often have trouble dealing with waste in its many forms. From energy and water waste on the premises if you have an office, all the way to all kinds of material waste if you have a construction site, rapidly growing companies need to develop better waste management solutions to match their industry’s needs.

For instance, effective waste management in Australia often means utilizing dedicated waste management equipment as well as procedures. On-site crushers and balers, recycling stations, and many other waste processing tools allow employees and business owners to reduce waste and empower reuse and recycling. Wherever your business might be, it’s crucial to follow this mindset and find efficient ways to reduce waste at every turn. 

Employee motivation and training

Most workers will choose your business over others with equally appealing offers precisely because of your values. However, you also need to live up to those promises and standards you present to them in your job ads, which often means motivating your employees through regular and consistent training opportunities. 

This is a chance for them to grow as professionals, giving them immediate value, but it also helps them become a better, more cohesive team working towards the same goals. Training in better, eco-friendly office practices can make your business far more sustainable over time. 

Ongoing assessment and adaptation

Surely, if you’re based in a highly developed region like Australia or New Zealand, you’re most likely responsible before your community, but also before your government when it comes to your sustainability initiatives. There are certain location-specific standards you need to meet and possibly exceed.

To learn whether or not your business is in line with those expectations and standards, you need to be in the loop. For starters, organize regular quarterly assessments to evaluate how well you’re doing with your goals. Your HR managers can then present the results to the employees so that they can together come up with additional ways to change for the better. 

Perhaps you can implement greener office design solutions, switch to LED lights, introduce more recycling stations, or even compost stations for food leftovers. Of course, you’ll also need expert legal advice on how to move forward and implement government-approved methods to go green. 

Know who your partners are 

Choosing your employees with care is one way to go about implementing sustainable practices and building value-based relationships. On the other end of this spectrum of bonds, you have your partners, who should be aligned with your values, too. Do your marketing partners, manufacturers, suppliers, or any other vendors take sustainability seriously? What are they doing differently from others in their niche to make your relationship rooted in shared care for our planet?

So many businesses have hidden policies with harmful effects on the environment. It’s essential to weed out the ones that don’t meet your criteria and start working with those who care as much as you do. Turning a blind eye is not an option, since the world is brimming with experts whose goals are the same as yours – you’ll just need to take your time to find them. 

Sustainability isn’t a linear path, nor is it a one-time goal that you accomplish, and leave be. It’s a continuous learning curve that requires flexibility in how you manage your business and your relationships. It starts with training, equipment, and policies, but it never truly ends: the moment you set your foot on the path to sustainability, that’s the moment your business will need to learn how to succeed in the face of constant change. 

Embrace innovation and emerging technology in your industry, hear your employees out whenever you can, and you’ll soon have a growing green strategy that will help you reposition your business towards smarter, more sustainable goals. 

Top 5 Destinations for Relocating from Hong Kong as an Investor

There is no denying the benefit of obtaining a second passport and residency rights in a country other than your own. From having the ability to leverage the passport to travel the world or enjoy the benefits a country has to offer to its citizens, all the way to obtaining a right to relocate your life and your career when you see fit, having a second passport is the best way to make it happen. This is something that property investors from Hong Kong are increasingly looking into in recent years, and especially in recent times during the unstable political trends taking place in the city-state.

While the Hong Kong real estate market remains an appealing prospect for new and seasoned investors, it’s important to start looking beyond its borders in search of more lucrative opportunities – ones that bring other benefits to the table such as permanent residency or even citizenship. Let’s take a look at the most promising destinations you can relocate to as a Hong Kong real estate investor.

Canada

Over the decades, the Canadian real estate market has remained steady and relatively unwavering in the face of new socio-economic trends, which makes the country and especially it’s biggest cities some of the best locations for overseas property investors. Not only does Canada enjoy a stable economy in its own right, but it also has numerous investment opportunities for those seeking to monetize rental homes as well as to flip properties for a profit.

This is because tourism in Canada is high on a year-round basis, but also because many people from around the world are relocating there and are looking to purchase homes of their own. That said, keep in mind that low-cost real estate in Canadian cities is virtually non-existent, so get ready for a cumbersome first investment.

Spain

Among the more affordable investment destinations in the world is Spain, a somewhat unstable economy that has left many amazing properties vacant and ripe for the picking by a skilled investor from overseas. But the best part about investing in Spain’s real estate market is that the local government allows investors to apply for a golden visa and gain permanent residency by buying property worth as little as 500,000 euros. While Spain is more expensive than Greece or Portugal in this regard, the country offers expedited golden visa applications and allows investors to obtain permanent residency much faster, making it easier to relocate in a hurry should the need arise.

Indonesia

Some investors might not be looking to relocate to a faraway destination, and are looking for lucrative real estate opportunities in countries that are closer to home. Luckily, the Southeast Asian market offers many prospects, of which Indonesia might be the most appealing one due to its year-round tourism and rapid urbanization.

That said, acquiring real estate as a foreigner might be tricky without experienced help, which is why Chinese investors are getting in touch with reputable firms such as Invest Islands to get the legal guidance necessary to obtain a property quickly, keep the law on their side, and relocate to this paradise country. The country’s proximity to Hong Kong makes it especially appealing to Chinese investors, as you will be able to stay close to your other assets and manage your portfolio with ease.

Portugal

Next to Spain, quite literally, Portugal is yet another European country that might be appealing to foreign investors because of its year-round tourism and the increasing urbanization of its coastal regions where people from around the world are vacationing in greater numbers. 

Add to that the fact that more and more people are looking for a home in these sunny and warm regions, and you have a promising destination with a long-term ROI potential. This real estate market is all about buying cheap properties and renovating them to appeal to the modern buyer, though, so it will take some time and hard work to monetize the investment. 

Turkey

Finally, the biggest city in Turkey, Istanbul, is currently one of the top investment hubs for foreign investors in the world, simply due to the recent political turmoil that has deterred many business leaders from investing. This is your opportunity to capitalize on a market where properties are extremely cheap, and the prices of labor and materials are low, which means that you will be able to flip a property with minimal financial waste and offer it to the millions of tourists pouring into the city on an annual basis.

Wrapping up

As property investors from Hong Kong are increasingly looking to diversify their portfolios into foreign markets, it’s important to find the destinations that not only offer favorable investment terms, but also provide other valuable benefits. Consider these countries for your growth strategy and invest in a destination where you can relocate with ease.

5 Benefits of Buying a Franchise

Many people would like to start their own business but lack the means and resources to do so. Entrepreneurship is a great way to ensure a profitable career and a solid retirement as well. However, not everyone can afford to build and grow their business from the ground up. Fortunately, you can run your own business even without having to start it on your own.

The best way to achieve that is to buy a franchise. Franchises are supported by brands or a trademark also known as franchisors. In other words, they supply you with whatever you need while you run their franchise. That being said, here are a few benefits of buying a franchise.

Lower costs

For those of you who lack the funds to start a business, buying a franchise may be a good alternative. You only have to pay the fixed costs of buying yourself into a developed business model, i.e. franchise, which can be quite less expensive than developing a business all on your own.

Moreover, the operating costs of running a franchise are also reduced, as the franchisor provides you with marketing strategies, consumer base, brand awareness and training for employees. That way, you don’t have to come up with any strategies on your own or fund them solely from your own pocket as well.

Be your own boss, but not on your own

Running a franchise business is excellent for entrepreneurs who don’t have any previous experience in running a business. If you’re indecisive about going forward because you lack the know-how, then a franchise is the right small business idea but for you.

Simply put, you get to run a franchise business but you get continuous support in form of advice, planning, strategizing and anything similar from a franchisor. They will provide you with the know-how and teach you everything you need to know about running a business.

Help the local community

Franchising business is beneficial for the local community, as well as for the local economy. When a franchise business opens up, it creates more job opportunities. A franchisor will hire local employees instead of bringing them from abroad.

Also, other businesses, such as bookkeepers, lawyers, electricians and others in the area have a tendency to thrive when there’s a franchise nearby. What’s more, franchisors prefer to maintain their good reputation and will not hesitate to participate and donate to local charities.

Source: The UPS Store

Brand’s reputation

As mentioned before, franchises are supported by trademarks or brands, which means that you basically operate under the franchisors name. This elevates your franchise on the local market due to franchisors brand awareness and reputation.

What’s more, consumers are likely to recognize your franchise due to the brand name or trademark and will be more willing to engage with your business. In addition, applying for bank loans or financial support from investors is more likely to go through due to your franchisors established reputation on the market.

Seamless operations

Running a franchise business is much simpler when a franchisor has your back. In other words, stocking your business with inventory, ordering products, categorizing and organizing is quite more efficient. A franchisor has an already developed system in place. That means that they know what and why it works, and you only have to follow through.

Furthermore, you have developed marketing campaigns and strategies you can utilize to promote your franchise. When all activities are combined, they ensure a smooth and seamless operation of your franchise. The only thing you must do is oversee the process and ensure everything is going well.

 

Buying a franchise is more suited for entrepreneurs who lack the resources or the knowledge to start their own business. A franchise business will complement your ambition nicely and allow you to grow in the business world.

 

10 Most Common Accounting Mistakes of Small Business

Many of us already know how time consuming and also expensive the errors are in accounting, if you make a mistake in the financial statement of your small business. You definitely need to stop making some common accounting errors to protect the small business of yours. Find an Local Accountant in UK, to do the accounting tasks of your small business for you.

As according to Buzz2fone.com, accounting error is very common but one should avoid any mistakes. There many things one can do to avoid this

Here are 10 common mistakes you should be avoiding:

  • Errors in Data Entry

All business transactions you record have to be complete and accurate. With erroneous information entries in account books, an inaccuracy of financial health becomes prominent. You will file government forms incorrectly which can lead to penalties.

  • Omission Errors

If you fail to enter a business transaction it will result in serious accounting mistakes. As you haven’t recorded some business expenses, it can lead to no tax reductions.

  • Too Much Time Spending on Tasks

Wasting too much time in an accounting process is not applicable as that time can be used to generate revenue. As you are small business owner you must focus on how to bring more money to your company.

  • Trashing Receipts

If you throw away any receipts, it destroys the proof of any transaction which might be required in some time. Receipts are required to show consistency in accounting books. To prepare for an audit, receipts are very important.

  • Mixing Business and Personal Funds

You must avoid using same accounts for both personal and business purposes. It can create mess your finances. Confusion of transactions will be big and it will be very difficult to handle.

  • Assuming Profits and Cash Flow as Same

When you are managing your finances you must treat the cash flow and profits differently. Though both cash flow and profit deal with the income and the expenses, measuring of money is different for them. Sometimes international business owners confuse these two and think that they have more money than they actually do.

  • You Haven’t Reconciled Your Financial Books with the Bank Statements

Do not forget to make entries in your account book every time. You must double check your books to ensure their accuracy of data. When you fail to reconcile your Money Visual Personal Finance, finance books and productivity, it could lead towards such errors that might stay unnoticed for a longer period of time. It becomes harder to correct the mistakes if you leave them for long time. You can catch the mistakes earlier with bank statement reconcilation.

  • Failing to Go with the Budget

It is important to plan ahead of time but when it comes to running a business people often overlook that aspect. It is easier to plan your next move if you create a budget. Budget focuses on your goals. It helps to increase profits. With budget you get know where your money is coming from and also where it is going to. Adapting small business seo services to change becomes easier for you if you make a budget.

  • Not Measuring The Progress

Never forget to notice the bigger picture of your business. You must know how you are doing in your business because otherwise you won’t be able to improve it. When you measure your seo business performances, you can spot both weak and strong points in your process.

  • Ignoring Signs of Needing Any Help

You must know when it is time for you to pass your accounting responsibilities to Accountants Services in UK. As your business grows you must delegate your tasks. You don’t earn money from accounting even if you invest time in accounting. Pass your bookkeeping responsibilities to an expert.

 

3 Secrets to Reducing Your Employee Churn Rate

Reduce your employee churn rate with these tips.

Replacing an employee can cost as much as 20% of their yearly salary. The higher up their position is, the more expensive it is. That’s because you need to factor in paying recruitment agencies, covering for the vacant position, and the time lost to those responsible for hiring.

A low employee churn rate is key to maximizing your potential and growth.

When you have a lower employee turnover, you can focus your resources on researching and launching new products and services, improving the working environment, and investing in employees’ development instead.

It also boosts your employer brand, which is crucial if you want to win the war for talent. Brands with a strong employer brand lower their cost to hire by 43%.

But how do you reduce your churn rate?

It starts by looking at the employee journey. How can you improve it? What steps can you make to create a more inviting atmosphere for employees whether they’ve been there five weeks or five years?

Let’s take a look at three important parts of an employee’s journey, and how small changes to them can reduce your employee turnover rate.

Plan your onboarding process for early success

Happy employees are loyal employees. To create this sense of loyalty, you need to make them feel valued. This starts from their very first day.

However, not every company manages this – 42% of employees have no computer or device to work from on their first day. Worse, some employees don’t even have a desk on their first day! While this is only part of the onboarding process, it’s an important part of setting your employee up for success, especially when 20% of employees leave within the first 45 days.

Contrast that to the 69% that will still be with a company three years later if they go through a positive onboarding process, and you can see why a good onboarding process is so important.

A negative experience reflects badly on you: it makes you look disorganized, and like you don’t value your employees.

It’s therefore imperative that you you spend time planning the onboarding process for your new employee before they start. Don’t leave it all until the last minute, as you may find that there are some issues – like purchasing new equipment – that will take days, maybe even weeks, to sort.

Also ensure that their company account and logins for any relevant software are set up before they begin. That way, all they need to do on their first day is click to activate their new account. They can then start using the software straight away.

Once they’re all set up, don’t just sit them down and present them with a list of objectives. Include them in the decision-making process. Have some projects ready for them to work on, but listen to them and ask them what they’d most like to work on, too. That way, they immediately feel like their thoughts and opinions are valued.

The objective of an onboarding process is to help the employee get to know the company, its products, and mostly importantly, the culture and their colleagues.

Everyone in the team should be involved in making the new team member feel welcome. This could include scheduling introduction meetings with the new starter, or assigning them a buddy to give them a tour and answer any day-to-day questions.

Group inductions can be intimidating for new starters, so focus on one-to-one sessions instead. This creates more space for the new hire to ask questions.

Efficient scheduling solutions make organizing these one-to-one meetings a breeze, and avoids the risk of two member scheduling a meeting at the same time. Scheduling meetings before someone starts also reduces any awkwardness over the new hire having to approach people to schedule meetings – it’s all there ready for them when they first start.

Invest in training and mentorship

Training and mentorship are crucial parts of an employee’s progress. They can boost their skills and help them to work out which career path is for them.

For mentors and those conducting training, it reinforces their skills. They can even learn from those that they teach. It’s also great networking for everyone – you never know where your next great opportunity will come from.

Despite this, only 44% of companies offer a mentorship scheme.

Mentorship benefits employees at every stage of their journey. Don’t let the fact that someone is already a manager convince you that they already know everything they need to know. No matter how long someone has been managing for, there’s always a new strategy or technique they can try to motivate their team.

Training can be both internal and external, so be open-minded about the best place(s) for employees to build their skills. The best person to train your marketing team may not be someone who’s been there for years – it may be someone who can offer a fresh perspective on your strategy and help you to keep it relevant as algorithms continue to change.

Conduct exit interviews

Exit interviews are an often overlooked but incredibly valuable part of an employee’s journey. They give you the opportunity to examine why employees leave, and identify areas where your company may be failing them. Without this information, you can’t make positive changes to improve the working environment.

Conducting exit interviews using a framework makes it easier for you to quantify results. You can then pick up on reoccurring problems or praise. The more often something is raised, the more important it is to address.

Some questions you could ask include:

  • How employees feel about the working environment
  • What their commute is like
  • What their relationship is like with their manager
  • How well they get on/work with their team

Using this information, you can start discussions with remaining team members about any common threads. You can then make informed decisions about how to better suit employees’ needs and (hopefully) prevent more from leaving for the same or similar reasons.

You can also home in on positive comments that are made, finding ways to further enhance these experiences. For instance, if employees benefit from flexible working hours, you could look into allowing them to work from home if they can’t already. If they like how the team encourages self-development, you could look into courses or events for the team to further develop their skills.

Employees are your business’s biggest – and best – advocates. If they share negative experiences with their social circle it reflects badly on you and may even cause you to lose customers. Leaving them with a positive overall feeling is therefore crucial. Exit interviews are just one part of this. Others include how the rest of the team reacts to their departure, handover periods, and anything else that happens on their final day. While you can’t control all of this, exit interviews help to cement your positive employer brand by showing employees that you care about their wellbeing from the start of their journey with you right through to the end.

When an employee speaks highly of you when they leave, they’re more likely to return for a future position, or even to recommend roles to their friends and family. Since referrals are one of the best ways to hire the right person for the job, this can make a huge difference to your hiring process, and further improving your employer brand.

Conclusion

It’s your responsibility to offer employees opportunities to learn, grow, and be more efficient in their role. Employees will then be more loyal and motivated, and turnover will decrease.

It’s also important to remember that there are many other elements that can impact employee satisfaction. Internal promotions, 360 feedback, and open communications are also key to reducing employee turnover. And don’t forget to make the technology that they need available to them!

These investments and changes to company culture make a big difference. After all, reducing your employee churn rate can be the difference between business growth and stagnation.

Create a better employee experience with calendar sync

Simple, repetitive tasks quickly add up to days wasted every month. This means employees achieve less and businesses don’t grow as quickly as they could.

Discover how automation and calendar sync could save you and your team time (and money!) in our new white paper. Download your copy today!

Source: 3 Secrets to Reducing Your Employee Churn Rate | The Cronofy Blog

Highly Effective Tips for Business Success for Startups

Highly Effective Tips for Business Success for Startups

“Starting your own business is like riding a roller coaster. There are highs and lows and every turn you take is another twist. The lows are really low, but the highs can be really high. You have to be strong, keep your stomach tight, and ride along with the roller coaster that you started.” – Lindsay Manseau, Photographer and Entrepreneur

According to Problemio, there are over 28 million small businesses in the U.S. However, the problem is almost 50% of startups fail during the first year. And the chances of reaching the end of the road only increase with each year on the market.

But why do so many companies face the risk of failure? The answer is not so simple although it all comes down to the issues entrepreneurs haven’t anticipated. So in order to get acquainted with corporate requirements and preventing possible business threats, we offer you a list of highly effective tips to help you secure the startup success and enhanced growth.

Know Your Goals

One of the biggest reasons why small businesses fail is because they didn’t research market demands. Before anything else, entrepreneurs need to be familiar with the industry, target audience, and competition. Who is your perfect customer? How are your products or services different from the rest? What is the ultimate business objective? And is the time for launching your business right?

Offer People a Deal They Can’t Refuse    

When first starting out, it’s important to offer quality. The business should be built around consumers because they are the backbone of every successful brand. Instead of focusing on sales, research what people need in the moment and then invest and promote deals customers will prefer.

Don’t be Afraid to Outsource     

Outsourcing has become the industry standard. Nowadays, those who wish to reduce costs, enhance customer experiences with the business, increase productivity and improve the quality of products and services in general, turn to outsourcing. Outsourcing back office operations, front office processes and marketing business processes are the main and highly rewarding options startups should definitely include in their business plan once the company begins to gain a broader awareness.

Keep a Close Eye on Cash Flow

The major liability that can ruin both a small business and a large enterprise is cash flow. As according to Nelson, a real estate business owner,  you need to have a clear idea of where the money goes and why. The business expenditure should be aligned with the main objectives while retaining a portion for unplanned situations. In other words, keep in touch with your accountant and have backup cash reserves as a safety cushion in case of shortfalls.   

Surround Yourself with a Motivated Team

The employee expertise is equally important as their motivation to complete tasks on time. Look at your staff as a well-oiled machine working towards a common goal which is, you guessed it, business successes. However, don’t forget that they are also people with hopes and dreams. Meaning you need to treat them with respect, include them in every step of the way, and provide opportunities for further occupational growth.

Share Your Success

It’s crucial to be transparent with your employees and customers. People feel more related and open to entrepreneurs who are not afraid to share their successes stories. Not only that transparency could help you raise productivity, but it can also build the necessary trust between a business and its audience. Plus, exchanging stories and listening to other ideas provides a chance to learn something new and to form loyal relationships along the way.

Leverage Technology into Your Advantage

Automation is the key to optimizing business processes. Digital technology and mighty software solutions can help to prevent human errors, enhance collaboration across departments, and better engage consumers. The good news is that you can take advantage of free online programs and affordable systems specifically designed to support SMBs. Just be sure you are picking the right tool for your business. Identify areas within your company that consume a lot of time and effort and use them as references.     

Learn to Move On

Taking care of every single thing and micromanaging projects can be stressful and damaging for the business. Some mistakes are bound to happen but if you want to overcome bumps on the road, learn to move on and trust your team to efficiently complete tasks. To put it simply, learn from mistakes but don’t fixate on problems.

Meet Your Investors

The majority of startups require investments to kick the business off. If you can relate, it’s recommended to find out what investors prefer and where can you find them. Doing online research is a good start, but still, work your way up in the entrepreneurial community and get involved on social media platforms. But before you contact investors, try finding or getting in touch with your mentors. They can tell you if your idea needs some touch-ups and prep you with the essentials investors expect to get from thriving entrepreneurs.  

 

Final Thoughts

“What I learned from Rockefeller that’s off-the-hook important is: You need to know exactly where you stand in a business at all times. Measure everything, because everything that is measured and watched improves.” – Bob Parson, GoDaddy Founder

All you need to succeed is a strategic head and a passionate heart. You need to be aware of everything that’s going on with your business at every moment. However, that doesn’t mean you should be too controlling and focused on every single detail.

Also, once the company experience successes, try not to become greedy. Remember, if you build your business on knowledge, respect, and a well-designed strategy, you will diminish the risk of becoming just one of the businesses who couldn’t keep up with evolving market requirements. Good luck!

The Stress Factor: What the Online Rhetoric Doesn’t Tell You about Business Growth

Author: Terri Hiskey, Vice President, Product Marketing, Manufacturing Portfolio at Epicor Software

You don’t have to search far on LinkedIn before you come across phrases like ‘I’m a results-driven go-getter’, ‘I thrive in a fast-paced environment’, ‘I’m a best-of-breed strategic thinker’, and ‘I have a track-record for generating business growth’. The list goes on.

But beyond the online show, a lot of people–and the organisations that employ them–actually find business growth rather stressful. And that’s the case even though many organisations are constantly looking to grow their businesses by expanding into new territories, developing new product lines, or boosting their profits.

According to Gideon Neiman and Marius Pretorius in their book Managing Growth, business growth puts a strain on resources. It often requires employees to work harder and faster, and needs managers to make quicker and more accurate decisions. Business growth also involves change–whether that’s integrating new locations, new colleagues or new products into existing processes, and this too can make growth more challenging. As part of its global growth survey, Epicor has looked in more detail at the realities of business growth, in order to better understand how different organisations across the globe cope.

By surveying over 2,000 business professionals across the world, we found something that LinkedIn’s online show of pride doesn’t give away. While one-in-three business professionals find growth rewarding, two-in-five actually find it challenging, one-in-five finds it stressful and one-in-ten even finds it painful. Perhaps these things are easier to admit on an anonymous online survey than on a public LinkedIn profile page!

Stress

The realities of growth are therefore more complex than they may at first seem, with stresses and challenges playing a significant role in employee experiences as the businesses they work for develop. Nevertheless, with businesses generally feeling optimistic about their growth prospects (scoring an average 7.2 out of 10 for optimism), they must come to grips with these realities to make the growth process easier.

While a certain amount of stress can be stimulating, it can also be incapacitating for businesses or employees for whom it is not manageable. For example, in his work on stress in business, Jim Taylor, Ph.D. from the University of San Francisco, explains that growth can put employees under psychological pressure to perform, and that in turn can give people more energy and endurance, sharpening their thinking and focus for the intellectual demands they face. However, as soon as demands begin to exceed capabilities and resources, business growth (and the stress it brings) may become debilitating for workers and the businesses that employ them.

Stress may be a by-product of growth, but businesses want to grow. So, what can they do to help make the journey easier?

Our research shows that businesses turn to a variety of methods to help them keep on top of the stresses and challenges they face while growing, and demonstrates that different members of the workforce have different opinions on how to make business growth a better experience. Not surprisingly, two-in-five (38%) members of staff questioned in our study believe that business growth could be less stressful with better leadership. On the flip side of this, 37% of directors and managers think that the challenges of growth can be largely overcome if employees worked more efficiently.

There are differences too, between different sized organisations–with a quarter of large organisations (with over 1,000 employees) tending to feel that growth would be less stressful if their business model was more flexible, and only 16% of small organisations (with under 100 employees) feeling the same. Smaller businesses, after all, tend to find it easier to adapt, making change less difficult to manage. Larger organisations on the other hand tend to have to work harder at evolving. They have more internal processes to follow, and more stakeholders to involve in strategic decision making, which is an inevitable aspect of growth.

Across the board there is widespread recognition that implementing better technology is key to a business’s ability to cope with the stresses and challenges presented by growth. Making use of the latest technology can help businesses work more efficiently, and even help them expand into new geographies, without having to make huge investments in staff and facilities. This is especially true in the manufacturing sector, where intelligent enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are helping organisations to bridge the top floor with the shop floor. By doing this, ERP systems allow for better data flow–for example between sales teams, machines on the production line, shipping partners and customers–as well as automating otherwise manual tasks to cut time to market.

Almost half (47%) of business professionals across the globe agree that technology is an important factor in overcoming the challenges of growth, with those that are in a position of power tending to feel even more strongly about this fact. 54% of CEOs and 52% of directors and managers believe that technology helps them overcome the stresses of growth. However, just 37% of staff who are less senior agree.

It’s possible that more senior staff have a better understanding of the business benefits of technology change, because they have a clearer idea of the business’s growth strategy and the ‘end goal’ that technology will help them to reach. Less senior employees however, tend not to be involved in the decision-making process, making it harder for them to see the value in change. They may also be over-burdened by increasing workloads and have little patience for learning how to use new technology on top of their daily grind.

Technology change can moreover threaten the organisational culture of the workplace–it can change the work environment by transforming tasks and processes, and providing greater visibility of those tasks, something which will understandably make staff nervous if they don’t feel they have a personal and professional stake in the changes being made. Organisations that do chose to embrace digital transformation on their pathway to growth must therefore do this in a manner that will allow all members of the workforce to understand the reason for the business’s investment, to overcome resistance from staff.

While it’s certainly true that some business professionals do thrive under the pressure of growth, beyond the online rhetoric, and the year-on-year increase in output or profits, there’s a deeper, more human experience of business growth too. While some find it rewarding, others find it challenging. The most successful high growth organisations are those that have flexible systems, are able to constantly adapt to new and better business models, and are able to bring their staff onboard with changes along the way. Investing in technology is a good way to meet these three growth requirements and tackle the challenges of growth head on.

Good Accounting: The Base for Any Growing Business

Imposed by internet “experts”, the “get rich” business model trend puts all of its focus on planning, branding, and marketing. Though crucial for any growing organization, these strategies are only as profitable as they are built upon sturdy financial support. Though being the only practice that effectively manages your budget, accounting is greatly overlooked by new-fangled business advisors. Its importance, however, is just as paramount as ever.

In fact, flawless bookkeeping is the most solid foundation an aspiring business can procure. Without it, any kind of ROI, progress, or growth would be impossible. Here’s why.

  • Staying on Top of Your Expenses

Running a business is never an easy feat, nor an inexpensive one. Particularly for those entering the market, the costs of launching a startup and running a small company can be overwhelming. However insignificant it may seem in the greater scale of things, even a single pen comes with a price that needs to be included in the overall calculation and run through the books. You might never lose sight of large expenses, but if not properly managed, pennyworths may widen the gap between how much your business spends and how much it earns.

  • Managing Cash Flow

Most commonly, these financial nuances are what makes or breaks a business. For no other reason but profitability, an ambitious entrepreneur has to be aware of every coin that comes in or goes out of the company. If well-situated, small business runners can choose to button up their numbers and keep their books on their own or outsource this sensitive task to an accounting firm. The choice is entirely yours, but it is the one you’ll have to make. Without accurate and transparent books, cash flow management is not possible, and without proper cash flow management, no business can move forward.

  • Evaluating Performance

Speaking of moving forward, accounting is essential for a reason or two more. Staying on top of your books means being aware of everything that happens under your leadership, which enables you to gauge the effectiveness of your current workflow and predict future performance with greater certainty. When clean, financial books will tell you exactly where you stand and in which direction you can go from there. After all, acquiring that kind of insight is what being business-savvy is all about.

  • Planning Ahead

Despite being overly superficial most of the time, the so-called internet experts are right about one thing: a business decision is only as good as it is data-based. Filled with numbers, your books are the ultimate source of financial information, and they should be leveraged as invaluable intelligence bases. With one glance, you’ll know everything about your future options, and be able to set projections, adjust goals and plan strategically.

  • Investing and Growing

If aspiring from a small-sized to a fully-grown business, the investment is the one word you should never use lightly. Every decision you make along the way, every marketing campaign you start, and every project you plan on developing will leave a noticeable trace on your budget. Before choosing to improve by investing in a new business venture, you need to know if is such an investment even possible and whether or not it will be profitable in the long run. Calculations of this magnitude cannot be done without good accounting.

Ultimately, successful businesses know no difference between small expenses and costly investments, and both are impossible to keep track of without an effective bookkeeping system. Whether it comes to applying for loans and filing for tax returns, hiring new people and expanding to new markets, or simply purchasing office supplies and throwing office parties, good accounting is what makes a small business opportunistic and eligible for further growth.