17 Ways Your Small Business can Save Money Now

17 Ways Your Small Businesses can Save Money Now

It’s amazing how much you money you can save by just making a few changes. We are all in business to make money, not spend it needlessly.

There are two ways to make more money: increase income and cut costs.

Yes, every business is going to have some overhead and costs of doing business, but if you can make small changes that cut costs, it will reflect positively reflect on your bottom line.

Here are 17 cost-cutting tips from iCredit Signapore:

  1. Reduce energy costs – switch off machines at night; buy energy-efficient bulbs and equipment; invest in a smart temp control
  2. Save on travel expenses – shop around for cheap hotels and air fares, even gas!
  3. Negotiate current contracts – shop around for less expensive office supplies, cleaning service, etc.
  4. Outsource some tasks – is it more prudent to have a full-time staff member that you have to give benefits to rather than an independent contractor?
  5. Have fewer live meetings – use free tools like Skype or Google Hangout and Google Drive/Docs to collaborate
  6. Work remotely – develop a virtual team or try a co-working space
  7. Switch to cheaper software – research available options
  8. Utilize interns – contact your local college or university. They all have internship programs. You don’t have to pay them if they are getting college credit.
  9. Hire carefully – have a strong screening process to make sure that the person you are hiring has the right skills. The more skilled the individual, the less time you’ll have to spend training them. (Or go the intern route.)
  10. Rent out unused space – start-ups are always looking for co-working spaces.
  11. Use project management tools – getting well organized saves time AND money.
  12. Go paperless – scan and put it in the cloud.
  13. Buy used equipment and furniture – not everything has to be new!
  14. Share services with other businesses like senior management or IT departments.
  15. Get on the cloud – having to maintain your own servers is costly. Cloud computing is more secure and someone else does the maintenance.
  16. Review your marketing spend – define your key performance indicators (KPIs) and data and analytics. What’s working and not working. See if you can do it more effectively.
  17. Switch to VoIP technology for your communications – can save on long-distance phone costs.

 

17 money saving tips for your small business
Bonus Tip!

18. Get FREE business mentoring from Greater Phoenix SCORE! We can put a team together for you that will serve like a board of directors for your business. And yes, it’s FREE! Click here to schedule a mentoring session.

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How to Produce Creative Content for Your Small Business Newsletter

How to produce creative content for your small business newsletter

Special Delivery:  Attracting readers for your newsletter may seem like the biggest struggle when building your subscriber list, but how about ways to keep that subscriber base active and engaged? If you’re at a loss for how to maintain your current subscribers, we have a quick list of some creative ideas to keep your newsletter fun and engaging.

Start a series

A series is a great way to build both trust and anticipation with your readers. Not sure of what to include in your series? In general, a series should be a way for you to share information that builds your reputation as a trustworthy professional in your field. To do that, you can either create an all new series to highlight a particular facet of your field, or you can reformat some of your older blog posts to fit the purpose (which is an awesome way to drive traffic back to your site).

Share information from another source

This might sound a bit backwards, given that you’re trying to drive business and engagement for your own company. But, from a reliable source, it can lend credibility to you and your business. For example, you might share a published study or news story that’s relevant for your readership. That’s an excellent way to demonstrate that your company is in the business of helping its customers — beyond the scope of your products or services.

Hold contests

Holding a contest can have multiple benefits. It can boost engagement with your customers and serve to highlight your products or benefits. For example, if you have a clothing business, holding an “outfit of the week” contest can show off your clothing line and drive traffic to your social media channels. It’s also a great way to have fun and build a strong community between your customers and your business.

Tips, tricks, and FAQs

Offering a bit of inspiration in your newsletters can also help to increase customer engagement. Going back to the clothing company example, offering tips or tricks for styling certain outfits can inspire your customers to try something that they may not have tried otherwise. Along with that, a quick list of some common questions that you’ve received is an excellent method of providing information to your customers in an easily-digested format.

Tell a story

What better way to prove how awesome your product is than to share how it made a difference to another customer? Or, you might tell behind-the-scenes stories about your business, such as how you overcame a big struggle or why you opened a storefront in your hometown. Sharing stories and testimonials in your newsletter can build trust in your business by personalizing it for readers.

Conduct polls and surveys

Get your readers involved by using your newsletter as an opportunity to ask for feedback. Solicit your subscribers’ input about new products, ways to improve, even blog post ideas. Their opinions can help you better your business — and simply asking for that feedback will make your readers feel like their opinions matter.

Ready to get started? Use this list of creative newsletter ideas to produce content that will keep your readers coming back for more.

About the Author: 

A regular contributor to the GoDaddy Garage, Stacey Hartman has been with GoDaddy for more than eight years. She loves helping customers with SEO and business distribution via GoDaddy’s Search Engine Visibility and Get Found tools. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, gaming, reading, and baking award-winning cheesecakes.

 

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12 Steps to Creating an Inspiring Strategic Plan – Part 2

(This is the second of two articles by Ray Madaghiele highlighting this powerful 12-step strategic plan process.)

12 Steps to Creating an Inspiring Strategic PlanEnergize and engage your employees with an inspiring strategic planning process the helps everyone get clear, get organized, get going, and get results. That’s what successful businesses do.

Here are the remaining steps of the 12 steps of the strategic plan process cycle that, done right, tends to amplify and accelerate the success of any organization:

Get Organized…

  1.  Do Some Soul Searching –Warren Buffet said “In the business world, the rear-view mirror is always clearer than the windshield.” When you reflect on and understand your Strengths, Possible improvements, Opportunities and Challenges (SPOC Analysis) as an organization, you can chart the best course toward your goals and figure out the actions needed to reach your company vision.
  1.  Focus Your Energy –What you focus on expands and grows stronger, so, focus your attention on your desired intention. Oprah Winfrey said “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
  1.  Chart Your Course –Companies that use strategic planning to set only financial targets are missing out on some of the most rewarding benefits and possibilities. Establish goals that will be inspiring and energizing, not just financial targets to achieve. Involve your employees in the process before you get too far down the path.

Get Going…

  1. Prepare for Ignition –Jack Welch said, “When it comes to strategy, ponder less and do more.” Much of strategic planning is about building potential energy, similar to that of a roller-coaster climbing a hill, then kinetic energy takes over as the roller-coaster rushes down the hill—as you put your plans into action!
  1. Keep the Energy Flowing –Napoleon Hill said, “All natural laws and all of nature’s plans are based upon harmonious, cooperative effort.” Gain enthusiastic support and buy-in for the plan by involving ALL employees in the process. Assign everyone a piece of the puzzle to help keep the plan alive. Everyone collaborates to deliver 24k Gold ServiceTM that improves loyalty and profitability.

Get Results…

  1. Measure Your Progress –“Robert Kiyosaki said, “My measure of success is whether I’m fulfilling my mission.” Measure how well you are doing in achieving your mission, vision, and goals. Establish performance targets that let you know whether or not you are on track to achieve the results you desire. However, keep your plans like malleable clay with the flexibility to ebb and flow with conditions.

About the Author:

Ray MadaghieleRay Madaghiele is Chief Inspiration Officer at Business Energizers, a division of TLC, an organizational and human excellence company.

On May 26, 2016, Ray will be facilitating a powerful SCORE workshop titled “A Strategic Planning Process that Energizes your Business” where he will teach how to engage your employees in this 12-step process. Register and learn more at https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07ec05wk3w52f25fea

Ray is the author of the book Energize Your Business: Engage Your Employees with an Inspiring Strategic Planning Process. Learn more or purchase at www.EnergizeYourBusiness.biz . Ray is donating 10% of profits from book sales to the SCORE Foundation.

 

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Getting the Best Results from LinkedIn

LinkedIn-graphic

Practically everyone knows about LinkedIn now, but not everyone uses it well or even at all.

Why? Hearing how it works is one thing; most of us learn by doing. Right?

There are a few main aspect of how and why LinkedIn is important. Business owners use it to find competitors, customers, employees or even suppliers and vendors. Others looking for contracts or jobs explore the range of opportunities LinkedIn offers through their services. Salespeople now find LinkedIn to be a resource to garner glimpses of companies and potential leads for their products and/or services.

Let’s focus on Business Owners. Many features of LinkedIn cross over, the importance of personal profiles, business pages and even showcase pages can be key features in building your business. LinkedIn has become one of the world’s most respected business and professional resources. Most often when you have a question about a person or company where do you go? Google, right?

Google yourself and/or your company. Do you do that often to see what shows up? If you are on LinkedIn and don’t have a personal website or have your company website set up with appropriate SEO features, then more than likely you will notice your LinkedIn profile as being in the top Google results. That should be enough to cause panic. Relax, it just means that you need to develop great profiles.

When you look at your profile status, is it All-Star quality? What does that mean? It means your profile meets the professional standards LinkedIn requires for the best opportunities for you. The better you fit in, the more you can stand out. It’s like learning the rules before figuring out how to bend or break them. Of course, you may possibly not even know them.

What if you did? Would you be more attractive to potential customers? You look for it in others, right?

SCORE presents many opportunities for business owners to learn and practice important business development features. This LinkedIn workshop goes a little deeper with a hands-on practice of the material being presented. Facilitating that kind of environment can be a little challenging, so the class size is limited. You’ll also get a copy of the workbook being used.

Join us! Sign up for this hands-on session, – at SCORE Tuesday, May 24 from 12 – 4pm, before it fills up. Bring your laptop and jump in, explore – get your questions answered. Click here to register!

Smartphones are discouraged. Tablets might work if you have a keypad.

ZenBenefielAbout the Author:

Zen Benefiel is an accomplished author, coach, facilitator and speaker with Masters degrees from the University of Phoenix in Business Administration and Organizational Development. Zen is a blogger, social media expert, trainer and web developer since 2000 with a collection of works at www.zenbenefiel.com. Zen is also co-host of 2 Small Biz Guys talk radio show on Star Worldwide Networks.

 

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Welcome Greater Phoenix SCORE’s new President: Jay Gladney

Jay Gladney, new president of Greater Phoenix SCOREWhenever the leadership “baton” of an organization is passed to a new person, we always wonder what does person have in mind for the organization? What is his or her vision for the group? What do they bring to group in the way of experience, etc.?

On May 1st, 2016, the role of president of Greater Phoenix SCORE transferred from Andy Beran to Jay Gladney. Those of you who have been involved with SCORE in the last years is familiar with Andy as he’s hosted many of the large events. Here you get to meet Jay:

Jay’s Background:

Forty seven years of service in the U.S. Intelligence Community—23 as an Air Force officer and non-commissioned officer focused on intelligence collection and analysis—and 24 years with Defense contractor organizations supporting the Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I) mission area (including 18 years with Oracle Consulting up to the position of Regional Vice President). Associate Professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Senior-level information systems engineering professional services executive and project/program manager.  Co-founded and served as CEO for a telecommunications consulting partnership. Had P&L responsibility for an Oracle consulting group engaged in support of the Intelligence Community.  Managed software development teams for successful commercial software. Developed and taught project management courses. An Oracle University-certified instructor for Oracle Project Manager and Oracle Team Lead courses.

His Vision for Greater Phoenix SCORE:

To make the Greater Phoenix SCORE Chapter better known, more relevant, and more effective in supporting the establishment, growth, and profitability of small businesses. It is our goal to become the primary business advisory and coaching resource for Phoenix small business owners.

Also on the board are Bill Morgan, VP of Operations; Patrick Ingram, VP of Client Education; and Doug Hughes, Treasurer.

Jay, and all of the officers, are a Certified SCORE Mentors.

Click here to schedule a free mentoring session with a mentor near you!

 

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12 Steps to Creating an Inspiring Strategic Plan (Part 1 of 2)

12 Steps to Creating an Inspiring Strategic Plan

Energize and engage your employees with an inspiring strategic planning process the helps everyone get clear, get organized, get going, and get results. That’s what successful businesses do.12 Steps to Creating an Inspiring Strategic Plan

Here are the first 6 of 12 steps of the strategic planning process cycle that, done right, tends to amplify and accelerate the success of any organization:

Plan to Plan…

  1.  Set the Right Energy –It all begins with “planning to plan” (the invisible 12th step) which lays the foundation for a successful strategic planning process. Before you take the first step, it is crucial to select the right facilitator, design the right process, send the right message, and create the right atmosphere that resonates with your organization’s culture.

Get Clear…

  1.  See Where You Are –Many leaders are trying to run their organizations with “flat spots” that decrease productivity, produce inefficiencies, and impede growth. A strategic plan is vital for any start-up or seasoned business. It is like a trail map and compass for hiking in the wilderness. But to begin any journey, you first need to know where you are.
  1.  Remember Your ‘Big Why?’ –Knowing your core purpose keeps you centered on what’s most important—during good times and challenging times. The purpose of your organization is like the seed of an apple. No one knows the potential yield of your organization and how much can be produced in the lifetime of your company.
  1.  Infuse Your Culture –Values are your guide for weathering ethical dilemmas. They become the fabric for weaving good sound decisions. Values should be at the core of all the decisions employees make. They show what your company stands for.
  1.  Know Your Business –Clearly defining your mission helps you know what opportunities to say “yes” to and which to say “no” to. Once you have created your mission statement, you will have defined the limits of what you will focus on as an organization. W. Clement Stone said “When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it.”
  1.  Envision Your Future –When you create a clear vision, it expands the collective thinking of your organization to encompass greater possibility and influence. A lofty vision is energizing. It excites everyone involved. It generates hope for the future. Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Ray Madaghiele is Chief Inspiration Officer at Business Energizers, a division of TLC, an organizational and human excellence company.

On May 26, 2016, Ray will be facilitating a powerful SCORE workshop titled “A Strategic Planning Process that Energizes your Business” where he will teach how to engage your employees in this 12-step process. Register and learn more here.

About the author: Ray Madaghiele

Ray MadaghieleRay Madaghiele is the author of the book Energize Your Business: Engage Your Employees with an Inspiring Strategic Planning Process. Learn more or purchase at www.EnergizeYourBusiness.biz . Ray is donating 10% of profits from book sales to the SCORE Foundation.

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