Tech-Forward Business Tips

tech-forward

In this digital age, the need to show that you’re a tech-forward business is becoming more and more apparent. With so many companies taking steps to use advanced technology in the day to day running of their business, it’s important you know how you can keep up or get ahead of the game. With that in mind, here are 7 ways to ensure your business is tech-forward:

Have A Well Designed Website That Is Easy To Use

One of the easiest ways to show that you’re a tech-forward company is to have a well-designed website that your visitors find easy to use. Whilst this sounds simple, often it is something that can only be achieved with a talented designer and web developer. Although it may cost a lot, the upside to outsourcing your website to a team is that you can tell them exactly what you have in mind, and they’ll take the time to make your dream site come to life. If you have the skills to produce your own website, great. If not, get professional help. It’s worth the investment. After all, you wouldn’t think twice about employing an accountant to help you get your business finances right if needed.

Be Tech-Forward & Use SEO To Bring In New Customers

Whilst people may not see that you’re using search engine optimisation to bring in new customers, it’s a great way to help your site appear in the top search results on sites like Google and Bing. Taking the time to learn the basics of SEO will definitely take time, but it will be worth it when you’re bringing in new traffic to your site on a daily basis. To learn the basics of SEO, you can visit this guide here.

Automate Key Processes In Your Business

Using automation services is one of the best ways to ensure your business is running efficiently and effectively. Whilst you can’t automate everything in your business, it’s a great way to group together tasks that you find you’re having to repeat on a daily basis. Whether it’s automating your emails and social media marketing, automating your procurement process or your client onboarding process – you’ll be grateful for all the time it frees up.

Create A Strong Social Media Strategy

business website,tech-forward

Social media is a great way to get more visitors to your site, as well as the perfect opportunity to build a community around your brand. Whether you prefer to use Instagram or Facebook, having a strong social media strategy will help you stand out among your competitors. Take the time to analyse what your competition is doing, look at your goals and put together a tech-forward social media strategy that will help increase your brand’s visibility.

Once you’ve started building an audience, you’ll really be able to see the difference it makes to both your pageviews and your conversions. If you’re new to social media, you can view this handy guide here.

Use Live Video To Captivate Your Audience

Live video is a great way to connect with your audience on social media. Whilst it’s not for everyone (personally I loathe being on camera but see the benefits), video is one of the most common forms of media and is something that should be worked into your marketing strategy moving forward. Whether you regularly go live on Instagram, you share your tips on a live video on Facebook or you venture into the world of live video on YouTubeyou’ll be surprised how much it will help you build strong connections with your potential customers and clients. I’m working on this one!

Develop An App Alongside Your Website

If you want to embrace technology and get ahead of your competitors, thinking about how you can create an app that compliments your business model is a great place to start. With most people owning a smartphone, having an app is the perfect way to reach a new audience. For more information, you can visit the following website: https://www.intellectsoft.net/blog/enterprise-mobile-application-development-explained/. Whether or not you need an app will depend on your business but it is worth looking into.

Host Webinars, Workshops And Online Courses

A great way to show that you’re tech-forward is to host webinars, workshops and online courses. If you have the knowledge to share this is not only a great way to earn passive income, but also the perfect opportunity to increase your profile as an expert in your industry.

Whether you start hosting online courses filled with tips and tricks, start webinars that address important issues in your industry or you host live workshops where people can show up and learn something valuable. You’ll be able to show your tech-forward and doing everything you can be an innovative company.

Are you looking to make your business more tech-forward? What changes can you make to ensure you’re ahead of the competition? Let me know your plans in the comments section below. I know I need to up my game somewhat, especially with video. It’s a work in progress.

Business Finance: Avoid These Pitfalls

Business Finance: Avoid These Pitfalls

When people have never owned a business before it is easy for them to get carried away by the financial side of it and make some glaring errors. This is part of the reason that nearly 50% of businesses fail in their first year, and why another 50% of those left have ceased to trade before three years. Some of these businesses are underfinanced to start with, and then compound the problem by not being sensible with their money. It’s easily done, trust me. I learned a few hard business finance lessons in the beginning.

People starting new businesses have to be prepared to take risks and to work hard for long hours without much reward in the early days. Just look at some of the billionaire business people that started with very little and you will see that is was several years before they started to spend money of any significant amount. It is this that contributed to their huge success, and here are a few of the tips people like them have given when it comes to the finances of a new business.

Keep Business And Private Bank Accounts Separate

This can be a really important rule to follow, especially as your business starts to grow. Pay yourself a set amount and remember that you have to live off that. If money is building in the business finance account that is good because you will have the funds for further investment to make it grow even more.

It can be convenient to have everything paid from your business account but it can also be easy to lose track of just how much you are spending. This can lead to too much money disappearing and then when you have a business finance bill to pay you will not have the money.

As the business improves, you may be able to increase the amount you take as a wage, but don’t rush into that until you are sure the sales are consistent.

Do Not Spend Big Money On Equipment

It is only natural that you want to be working with the best equipment, but don’t rush out and buy new computers or anything else. Manage with what you have or buy used until the business has made some profits, and then you can invest some of those. You do not need everything at once either. It can be tempting to buy all new office furniture, for example, but you can buy a new desk one month and a new chair further down the line.

Some new business owners take on business finance leases and hire purchase agreements before they have made their first sale. Then the business takes longer to get off the ground than they hoped, but they still have to make those monthly payments. Often these agreements are for items they could have waited for, but once you have signed on the dotted line, you are liable for that debt whether your business succeeds or not.

There are some expenses that are very important such as the building of a user-friendly and engaging website. Things such as this should have priority if you want your business to succeed.

Don’t Make Large Personal Purchases

Making large personal purchases, such as a new car, can send your business under before it even starts.  Even with separate bank accounts one for business and one for personal matters, there may be occasions when you need to dip into your business funds, but that should never be to fund a large personal purchase.

The luxuries can come later when you have made some money, but in the meantime, manage with the car you have and your business will stand more chance of success.

There are times when a personal purchase in unavoidable, but then you need to be able to pay for it out of the money you take each month and not put an extra burden on the business bank account.

Don’t Forget The Tax Man

None of us like paying tax, but as someone once said ‘I would love a tax bill of a million pounds because think how much money I would have made to get that’. It is a fact of life that the bigger your profits are the bigger your tax will be. In the UK, it depends on whether you are a sole trader, a partnership or a limited company as to when your tax bill will be due, but it will be far better if you have saved for it.

Put some money into an account that pays you interest, so that your tax makes even more money for you. Some people invest it into premium bonds in the hope of a big win while it is waiting to be paid.

Because the laws change every year, it is best to use professionals to calculate and guide you in matters relating to tax.  For some professions, there are HMRC disclosure facilities if an error has been made, but for others, a mistake could be the trigger that starts an investigation into your affairs, and that is more likely to be avoided if a professional has dealt with tax matters on your behalf.

Small business owners have many tasks to do and this includes bookkeeping and accounts among them. You should consider outsourcing these jobs for several reasons. It will free more of your time, you will know they are being done correctly and outsourcing them is the cheapest way to access the expertise these type of tasks need. I wouldn’t be without my accountant!

Forget The Business Credit Cards

Business credit cards can seem a handy thing to have, but they can also cost you a lot of money. They can give you a false sense of security when you are buying things with them, but knock you for six when you see how much interest you are being charged.

Suddenly those office supplies you bought can double in price if you are not able to pay the full balance every month. As a new business you need to steer clear of as many debts as possible, and that includes business credit cards.

Business credit cards are just like any you may have personally. They are one of the most expensive ways of financing anything and you are better off without them.

Save For Emergencies

Get into the habit of saving a small amount each month. This will soon start to build and then you will have an emergency fund if a disaster happens. No one can predict a flood or fire for instance, or what if you have a power cut the breaks your computers. These things happen to businesses every day, and although you should have insurance to cover them, the payout will take a while to happen.

You need some money behind you so that you can be up and running again with as little delay as possible, and then when the insurance pays out you can replace what you have had to spend.

Enough to cover three months expenses seems to be the amount most business people aim to keep behind them, but anything is better than nothing.

Have A Budget For Your Business

You should have a budget for your business so that you know what the outgoings are going to be every month. This will make it easier to plan for and let you see if you have anything spare to spend or invest. If you can have a realistic prediction of your income, that will help you to plan your budget too. If the sales exceed your expectation, that is great, you just do not want the expenses to do the same.

The main part of your job is to steer your business to success, and you can only do that if you are aware of all the money that has to be paid out, and what is likely to come in.

Master Your Finances

It is far easier to lose money than to make it, and too simple to spend more than you have. No one would ever suggest that you do not need to raise some finance to help your business grow, either by a bank loan or from some other financial institution, but you should only do that if it is really needed. This all needs controlling though and learning to master your money is crucial if you do not want to face financial ruin.

Have a clear budget plan, steer away from unnecessary debt, save for unforeseen circumstances and keep a line between your own and the business finances, and you are well on the road to avoiding many of the mistakes that some new business owners make. With financial worries out of the way, you will be able to concentrate on growing your business instead of wondering how this bill or that bill will be paid. Putting all their efforts into the growth of the business is how people such as Bill Gates and Richard Branson became so successful, and there is no reason at all why you should not do the same. We will not all become billionaires as they have done, but for most people, making a good living from their own business is all they are after.

 

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