Category - Entrepreneurship

7 Out-Of-The-Box Ways To Cut Down Business Expenses

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For every business, especially a small one, it is a mission to survive in today’s unstable economy. Every dollar counts, so every possible way that you can cut down your business expenses can really matter when it comes to your overall profits. However, in order to succeed in this, it doesn’t have to mean that you need to make drastic changes and reinvent everything. It actually comes down to much simpler steps that you need to make in order to decrease your expenses and improve your bottom line.

Many businesses focus way too much on quick growth and forget about preserving what they already have. Don’t make the same mistake. Here are 7 out-of-the-box ways to cut down your business expenses.

1.Reduce production costs
Reducing material costs and making the best out of your resources are common sense solutions for every businessman. There are some great ways that you can do this. You should track and asses how successful your business operations are so that you can decide how to best make use of the resources that you have. Define your goals when it comes to performance, and provide your employees with incentives when they meet them. One great thing that you could do is sell remaining paper, metal, fabric and cardboard, or find a way to use it for creating a new product.

2.Be an example to your employees
It goes without saying that the way you behave as a business leader reflects on everyone else in your company. Your task is to teach your employees the proper values, by doing the best you can in order to save money. The fact that you might be a successful businessman doesn’t mean that you need to spend what you’ve got on luxury hotels and expensive dinners. When your workers see that you are spending money without a care, they will follow that example. So, make sure that you convey the right message to them when it comes to business expenses. There are plenty of apps available (like BillGuard, DollarBird, Level Money) that can help you in this process by tracking your spending.

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3.Implement virtual technology
Operating via virtual technology can significantly reduce your business expenses. When you hold virtual meetings, you cut down on travel expenses. Personal contact is, of course, still very important, but you can make use of it only in the situations when you can benefit the most from it. Furthermore, you can make use of modern technologies such as Basecamp and Google Drive in order to centralize business documents, and eliminate the need for their paper versions.

4.Make use of the space that you have
You need to make an assessment of how the space in your offices is used. It’s a great idea to use space for more than one purpose. A meeting room can also work as a break room, and a storage room can also hold your fax and copy machines. You can combine or centralize various functions of departments within your company. Furthermore, according to the experts, you should maintain your space as best as you can, in order to improve efficiency.

5.Partner up
Collaboration with a partner company is always a great way to save money. Find a business that targets the same audience and offers the same services, so that you can make use of opportunities that you would otherwise have to pay for. You might be able to gain access to VIP events at conferences, and many other assets that you can benefit from. Make sure that your partners care about your company as much as you care about theirs.

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6.Focus on a particular niche
It’s especially important for a small business to narrow its focus on a niche of particular services and projects. This way you can make sure that you do more quality work instead of focusing on quantity. Your productivity will certainly improve, as well as your bottom line. Subcontracts are another way of narrowing your focus. This way you can actually take up more projects instead of turning them away, but spend much less due to subcontracting.

7.Make use of time strategies
It is essential that you optimize how productive your employees are, and waste as little time as possible. You should schedule activities on a daily or weekly basis, and promote compliance to the schedule. Set reasonable expectations for when certain tasks need to be completed. Provide incentives to employees that meet the deadlines. Schedule meetings, and let your employees know how important it is to be on time, follow the schedule of business, and adhere to deadlines. Use an app such as FocusBooster as an aid for them to concentrate on the tasks at hand. An app such as Paymo can help you track how much time your employees are spending on certain activities.

Cutting down business expenses can be essential for your business to keep its head above the water. Businesses that focus too much on growth tend to forget this. Consider these 7 tips to make sure that you aren’t spending more than necessary, and make your business thrive.

What To Choose For Startup – iOS Or Android?

iOS Or Android

Globally, Google and Apple are two leading tech giants, but still, there is a plenty of debate on which operating system has the upper hand. Before starting any mobile app development company, first, you require to understand the advantage of an Android app or iOS app and then understand the certain feature under other parameters. This approach will definitely help to get the conclusion whether they choose Android or iOS app development for their startup.

In order to make right choice here in this blog, we make some in-depth analysis to deeply compare android and iOS app development

Budget

In order to develop Android app due to fragmentation one required more money and resources. Or if you thinking to outsource the work to a reliable third party mobile app development company still the cost of development is higher in comparison to iOS. Additionally, in comparison iOS app development company charge lower than Android because this platform includes several pre-crafted interfaces. IOS app only run on few device that why the maintenance and corresponding cost is quite low.

Along with that, the quality of iOS is better than Android. Android app has more bugs even after launching the app they fix the bugs timely. The launching of iOS is costly it around $99 yearly while for launching android app one should spend only $25 yearly.

Budget

Targeted Audience

First, know your target audience before choosing the development services. The user of iOS app mainly belongs to development company like the US and Europe who spend more because these phones are of high quality and one need to spend money for downloading an app which usually all class of people cannot afford it. While an Android app is free because it targets the audience of all countries even those who has less spending capabilities and for downloading app people don’t have to spend amount.

Targeted Audience

Demographic Reach

The owner should decide the demographic reach of their app. The Android market spread among all countries of the world it has around 80% global reach, which ultimately raise the possibilities and opportunities to reach out a large number of peoples. While iOS app services in comparison to Android may not prove effective for your company. It is better when you want limited demographic reach.

Demographic Reach

Revenue Generating Capability

In Android app mostly revenue generate by displaying ads on different sites while iOS app generates revenue from their audience and the user who have good buying power because an iOS app is generally paid. So decide your revenue strategy of the app, it helps a lot in hiring the app developer to get the work done.

Revenue Generating Capability

Security

Android is an open source operating system which means it is available in various sources. But it open sources features it has a risk of some security threats and viruses. However, iOS has available on limited sources so it is more secure in term of virus and security.

Security

Release Cycle

Android has simple approval guidelines, so the launching process is faster and quicker while for launching iOS app one required to follow various strict approval policies to get approved and released.

Select Best for Your Startup

At this point, you may have speculated that by and large it is more lucrative and less demanding to being creating applications for iOS since they gain more, you can get your application to showcase quicker, and cost of mobile application development is lower. Another essential purpose behind beginning utilizing the iOS stage is that when you are building up another application there is a critical expectation to absorb information to comprehend what is working and what is most certainly not. On the off chance that you need to do that crosswise over two stages or notwithstanding for Android improvement stage alone, which is substantially more difficult in light of the fact that fracture, it makes application advancement restrictive with respect to both cost and time.

In the event that your organization is a start-up and your capital is constrained, then iOS is the best option to start on the grounds that in addition to the fact that it is less expensive iOS also conveys another advantage to organizations which are influencers and PR. For more push on your application, the opportunities are far more prominent when you create for iOS.

If you have a target audience of developing countries or lower salary zone, then it is better, to begin with android since they visit application stores for Android all the more frequently. Another main reason behind beginning with Android is the point at which you are altering a component of the Android working framework that is not available on iOS, for example, the particular equipment the application will keep running on.

At the point, when is it an opportunity to move to another stage? Development is the essential explanation behind moving to another stage. When you have depleted or hit a minimum amount on one stage, then you can focus on the gathering of people statistic of a moment stage to build your aggregate number of clients.

Above these following point, consider might be useful enough in deciding the app development services for their startup. This point might clear you’re almost all concepts from deciding the targeting audience to launch. So know it all depend upon you choose which meet out with your requirements and best for your startup…

What are the categorizations of mobile application development tools?

What are the categorizations of mobile application development tools

We are seeing a great rise in the acceptance of mobile apps in every business domain. But, many businesses getting these apps built are experiencing challenges in reaching their target audience. The key challenge is the presence of multiple platforms and devices. Developers face challenges in devising such applications which have similar look & feel across all operating systems and devices.  There are different operating systems; each of them using different technologies and even, a single platform runs on different devices with different versions/subversions, such as Android.

An ideal mobile application development platform is one which offers all essential tools, technologies, and the required documents helping app developers easily build an app. It is also supposed to have the necessary framework which is used in creating B2B and B2C applications for specific platforms. Also, the platform should offer middleware servers. Middleware servers connect and synchronize data with the backend system. They remove the duplicate work by allowing businesses to write and maintain data at a single place.

A mobile application development platform needs to consist in following characteristics:

mobile application development platform

Integrated Development Environment (IDE) – An IDE offers plug-ins, visual editors, property and form builders, debuggers and score control integration.

Development and debugging support – Obvious support for generating platform specific code, platform devices, and emulators, etc.

Multiple device OS and integration support – Support device-specific code optimization, run time and feature integration.

Support for packaging and provisioning the end product – The tool set should have great support to package apps based on native and hybrid technologies. Also, it should have the feature of packaging apps for the platform using single code. It should have the capability of signing an inbuilt application and provisioning the adaptability of the single application.

Middleware server – Middleware server is the back-end server of app possessing the integration of services, support of security features, transaction management. Also, it holds management of component of device registration. The middleware servers also take care of mobile resource management (MGM).

The integration of Enterprise apps – Here ERP, CRM and other system serving at back-end are integrated with the app. The integration also provides support for prebuilt data transformers, data-mappers, data-chunking and server-side cache.

Remote management and security support

An ideal toolset also needs to provide support for OTA (Over The Air) based app management and data encryption. When categorizing mobile application development toolsets for their packaging style and framework, the two major types are as follows:

  • Native build tools and
  • Hybrid build tools

Native Build tools

A standard and well-defined process are followed by mobile application tool vendors. A product resulted out of such process provide sophisticated IDE tool which can be used in designing and developing apps using proprietary frameworks.

When an app, specifying the target OS, is created using natively built tools, the toolset naturally optimizes its packaging for that specific platform. Here device or platform specific runtime does not only take care of UI screen optimization but it also handles various other things like memory, power, consumption and the management of bandwidth.

These toolsets also provide strong middle features which include offline data synchronization, device security, back-end integration, transaction management and several other things.

The major advantages of this process are as follows:

  • The toolset provides an outstanding WYSIWYG editors with drag & drop feature. It also provides support for expression builders, script and property sheets.
  • The toolset guarantees diversity between device and platform.
  • The apps built using such toolset promises to deliver excellent performance.
  • It allows you rapidly pushing your app into the market.
  • You need to code an application only for once and then it can be implemented to multiple of platforms.

But there are certain disadvantages of using native toolset such as:

  • The architecture is built using the proprietary framework.
  • Vendor-lock remains problematic.
  • You need learning new skill-set if your want runs things smoothly in the toolset.
  • The license of a toolset may be either CPU-based or device/session based.

Hybrid Build tools:

Hybrid app development toolsets are based on both web and native mobile app development technologies. They use HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript for coding an app. Hybrid app primarily concentrates on providing middle server features. The server acts as a gateway between the app and back-end system. Hybrid toolsets for app development generally use REST web services.

The key advantages of using Hybrid Build Tools are as follows:

Hybrid Build Tools

  • Hybrid toolsets are based on open standards thus developers are free to use them at their convenience.
  • Their framework is flexible allowing developers selecting the user interface framework that they want.
  • The generated code can be implemented to multiple of platforms.
  • If it’s not free, then the cost remains very limited. Because these toolsets are based on open standards, they abide a liberal policy of licensing.

They also have some disadvantages, such as –

  • It’s hard to expect device diversity from these toolsets. Developers will need depending on UI frameworks if they want to create cross-platform apps. Also, they will need fine-tuning the UI to every platform or devices they targeting.
  • Hybrid toolsets aren’t often seen delivering user experience equal to a native app.
  • Developers frequently require tweaking the code for different platforms or device screen resolutions.

Digital Marketing Strategies for SaaS

Digital Marketing for SaaS

Every SaaS business has to follow a unique business strategy for its growth and expansion. A SaaS product needs build client relationships for long term client retention and revenue growth. Here are some important tips and tricks for Marketing Strategies for a SaaS business.

eBooks and Whitepapers

E-books are one of the most effective ways to showcase your business expertise. Adding a free ebook download on the homepage of the website, helps the users to find useful information as soon as they land on your application website. This also gives an overview of the kind of product you have and the kind of services it provides. Showcasing yourself as an expert builds your reputation and helps you garner build a reputation and helps garner free trials and conversions. Giving out free templates to site visitors is another useful way to garner brownie points with clients.

Improve Social Shares

As a SaaS business owner, it is essential to get the users to share the product on social media so as to get the product known. One simple way of doing this is to add a share functionality on the Signup process. As soon as the user signs-up to the application his social social timeline would it as a news to friends and followers. This would publicizing the product on different platforms.

Free Trials

One of the most common ways of getting a SaaS Product know is giving a free trial. The free trial of the product should not have all of the features of the product. It should give some free features and make the user aware about the premium features, so they can be inspired to pay up.

Client Testimonials

One of the key reasons why a SaaS product sells is customer testimonials. Adding testimonials on the application site is helpful in garnering more free trial users and more conversions. Customer testimonials act as a proof that the product works for other similar clients. One can add text and video testimonials of the product as desired.

Blogs and Guest Blogs

One of the most useful strategies for marketing of a SaaS product is a company blog. A blog that helps in providing relevant and useful information to prospects and site visitors can be really helpful. Adding relevant call to Action buttons at the right places on the blog can help in getting more and more conversions for the product.

The other powerful technique of improving product branding and traffic is through guest blogging. As a SaaS marketer, one has to create a list of relevant industry blogs and websites, where one can request for guest blogging. Sending out relevant and pitches helps garnering guest blogging opportunities. Once added, guest blogs can get a tremendous amount of traffic on the site.

Email Marketing

One of the most important aspects of SaaS marketing is email marketing. E-mail marketing can bring very goods results for the business in the long run. One has to send out email campaigns to prospects on a regular basis for improvement is the rate of conversions. The biggest challenge for email marketing is creating an email list. Giving away freebies and free trials can be a useful to create an email database. One can also use features like exit intent popup, blog subscriptions and contests to generate useful data for email campaigns.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing too is one of the most effective ways to market a SaaS product. This involves getting the users to refer the product to their colleagues and peers. Providing an affiliate link to the users which they can share with others through social channels and email is essentia. One has to provide a cash incentives to these users for referring the product. One can also get in touch with online influencers to and get them to talk about the product and participate in the affiliate programme.

Tips For B2B Lead Generation

Tips to Get Business Leads

Getting lead, and that too in a cost effective manner is the biggest concern of a B2B business. Building expertise in a B2B business is a slow process, but at the same time generating leads is crucial for business. Here are some useful tips to improve your B2B lead generation process.

Add Premium Content

Adding premium content on your website, such as white papers and ebooks is helpful in getting more leads for the business. You can use premium content to get users to fill up contact forms before actually viewing this content. This can help you build a database of prospects. These can be followed up for converting into actual clients.

Partnerships  

A B2B business is about providing expert solutions  If you can partner with complimentary B2B

businesses, to provide a larger set of services, then this can be a very valuable business proposition. You can also promote your business on the partner’s website and generate useful leads.

Demonstrate The Product

A B2B product or service is about solutions that benefit other businesses. These should be clearly highlighted in the marketing communications. Adding videos of the product demo or tutorials of its modules can be very helpful. Besides that, one can also conduct online demos and webinars to generate qualified leads.

Powerful Call To Action Buttons

Call to action buttons are a useful way to get qualified leads on the business website. The message should bring out the reason to believe that the product is useful for the business.

Presentations

Adding presentations on Slideshare and other ppt submission websites can be helpful in building expertise and brand awareness of the product. This increases the chances of getting more leads for your business.

Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the more powerful tools to generate leads for your B2B Business. Adding actionable content and blog posts to the recent updates section of your LinkedIn page is very helpful. You can also run promoted stories to get more attention on the shared content. Alternatively one can also participate in relevant groups on LinkedIn. LinkedIn also provides an opportunity to post relevant articles through LinkedIn pulse. You can also directly connect with prospects on LinkedIn to be able to generate more leads.

Business Networking

One of the useful ways to generate leads in B2B business is to network with prospective clients. Participating in relevant business events and connecting with prospects on a personal level can be very useful. The larger the business network, the more the chances of getting useful leads for the business.

Participate On Q&A Websites

One of the ways businesses showcase their expertise is answering relevant questions on Q&A websites like Quora and Yahoo Answers. This is a way to help potential clients with their problems. This builds a positive reputation and may help you generate good number of leads for your business.

50 Tips For Managing Small Business Finances

managing small business finances

Managing finances, is one of the key aspects of managing a business. Money is central to competing and surviving. Here are some tips to help you manage your business finances better.managing small business finances

  1. Always clear your expenses on time. Never let them pile up before you know its too late.
  2. Know the total and team wise salary cost and review the same every quarter.
  3. Invest surplus funds in short term securities or bonds.
  4. Know about your tax deductions and keep proper records to avail them.
  5. Do-not confuse office equipment with office supplies while calculating taxes. These should be counted as capital expenditure.
  6. Track employee expenditure on a regular basis.
  7. Define a credit period for clients to pay up and make sure it is adhered to.
  8. Always look for innovations to keep the cost of raw material in control.
  9. Keep internet and communication costs in control by reviewing the latest deals on a regular basis.
  10. Penalize clients for making late payments.
  11. Always use a clean mailing list for your email campaigns.
  12. Research and select the most cost effective online tools.
  13. Join an industry association and avail of bulk discounts on your purchases.
  14. If you bill for time, then make sure you are billing accurately and getting the right value for your services.
  15. Analyze expense reports on a weekly basis and keep them under control.
  16. Pay your vendors on time and avail discounts on your expenses.
  17. Always insist on cash payments from your clients.
  18. Save on promotional expenditures through promotional tie-ups.
  19. Define a time limit for internal office meetings.
  20. Hire more number of efficient junior level employees, to save on costs.
  21. Keep appropriate inventory levels for minimum investment in inventory.
  22. Use online invoice and estimate management for saving on paper costs.
  23. Go for shared work-spaces to save on rental costs.
  24. Get virtual assistants to help your clients understand your business.
  25. Keep a limit on electricity usage at work place.
  26. Track your bank loan interest and your credit card interest.
  27. Use cloud based solutions for CRM, client management and invoicing.
  28. Insist on getting paid online, to reduce operational costs of payments.
  29. Switch off vending machines and and other devices when not in use.
  30. Utilize office spaces efficiently for reduced office rental.
  31. Beware of any fines or penalties that your business might face.
  32. Optimize the time required for the completion of tasks and achievement of goals.
  33. Send account statements to clients on a regular basis along with payment requests
  34. Add a penalty for clients who pay late.
  35. Decide on the payment terms with each client.
  36. Train your sales team to achieve payment and cash flow targets.
  37. Allow discounts to clients who wish to pay early.
  38. Always keep surplus cash to be able to pay your expenses on time.
  39. Never take a negative cash flow lightly. Always look for problem areas and fix them immediately.
  40. Always go for bundled insurance to save on the cost of premium to be paid.
  41. Choose your business location wisely, to save on rental and property taxes.
  42. Optimize the level of business travel and client meetings.
  43. Go for used computers and furniture to save on these costs.
  44. Review maintenance and cleaning costs on a regular basis.
  45. Keep your business and personal finances separate.
  46. Maintain an expense policy for employees.
  47. Send accurate estimates to clients and train your employees for the same.
  48. Use recurring invoices for saving time and effort.
  49. Appoint a tax consultant to help with accurate tax planning.
  50. Use employee referrals to hire new people and save on cost of placement services.

Tips For Effective Team Collaboration

Team Collaboration

Collaborative teamwork requires careful planning before the beginning of every project. One needs to understand how collaborative work on each project can bring about the benefits of learning for everyone on the project. Such a culture within teams and organizations fosters massive improvements in skills and productivity.

Team Collaboration

Project Definition

The purpose of every project needs to be defined first along with the learning and the outcomes. The tasks and goals need to be set along with expectations from each of the team members. The project components have to be clearly defined.  The level of collaboration needs to be clearly defined as well.

Professional Culture

To build a culture of professionalism and team collaboration at the workplace, the teams need to be trained to accept others. They need to understand that the relationships that they form within teams are for the longer run. Appreciating others at work and bringing about the best in them should be the goal of each team member.

Enthusiasm in the Team

A happy team is a team that collaborates well. The team leader must keep the spirit of the team high. The first step to this is to be enthusiastic. This inspires others in the team.

Collaboration Tools

Tools like Google Drive and Skype help in effective team collaboration. Other specific tools for project collaboration should be clearly defined. Giving incentives to team members to use the tools effectively and share knowledge amongst themselves is very important.

Establishing Responsibilities

Creating roles and responsibilities should be accompanied by creation of a conflict resolution mechanism as well. The rights of every individual should be respected while making guidelines for teams. A democratic culture always helps in fair practices and growth of individual careers.

Shared Purpose

The team leader must share and infuse the purpose of the project with the team so they can take more ownership. This helps team members to come together and make a difference in productivity on an everyday basis. With a shared purpose, each of the team members work and collaborate, like the project is their own.

Readiness For Challenges

Every leader must be ready for challenges. This makes the team stronger and more positive about the outcomes. Understanding that there will be bottlenecks and having the patience and the attitude to resolve them is an essential for every team leader.

Trust Within Teams

Building trust within teams is very important to improve collaboration. The trust stems from right policies and fair practices. It also grows from the right sort of  roles and rewards within teams. When teams are collaborative they are less cynical and more positive about team effort. Open communication channels help in developing a positive knowledge sharing environment in the organization.

Is Your Team Productive and Happy?

business-productivity

It is imperative for a growing business to have teams that are highly productive. This enables more competitiveness and growth for both the employees and the business.  This should be ensured along with happiness at work-place. Employee productivity and happiness can be increased with some simple tips and tricks:

Creating Productivity Metrics

Creating the right metrics to gauge productivity of employees is very important for any team or process. Every employee has a specialized task and the productivity related to that task is different from other employees. The tasks and productivity related to marketing is from that of operations or admin. The metrics and tasks for each team should be defined clearly.

business-productivity

Defining Processes

Definition of goals should be combined with defining the right process for each team. Processes should be clear and concise so as to reduce friction in the work-flow. The clarity of a process and the necessary training for the same gives your employees peace of mind while completing tasks and goals.

Business Productivity Tools

Using the right online tools for business is critical to improving productivity. Tasks and time should be allocated using the right tool and an appropriate reporting mechanism should be put in place.

Motivational Workshops

Conducting motivational and leisure workshops for teams helps in bringing freshness to the work environment. It improves the spirit with which employees work and perform in the organization. These workshops should include inter-departmental role play and interaction.

This helps in getting the teams to become familiar with each other.

Evolving Roles

Every employee grows and evolves over time with the organization. Evolution is not independent but a facilitation process senior employees. Roles should be clearly defined, but should evolve over a period of time considering the performance on an employee. This not only helps in bringing out the best in them but also increases the happiness quotient.

Personal Engagement

Senior employees and management must engage with all on a personal level as well. This keeps the work environment lighter and fosters interactivity. A lighter atmosphere also helps in generating more ideas for improvement.

Fostering Leadership

Accountability and leadership helps in creating a workforce that takes pride in the work done. A culture of appreciation is what you want for building leaders within teams and the organization as a whole.