The CEO’s Guide to Open Enrollment: 5 Things You Need to Know

Business leaders across the country are preparing for the next phase of the Affordable Care Act that’s set to roll out in 2015: the employer mandate.

The new law stipulates that employers with 50 or more full-time employees must provide affordable health insurance coverage for their staff or face fines and penalties. For businesses that don’t already offer employer-sponsored insurance coverage, this year’s open enrollment period will be vital to their companies’ financial planning and stability.

Affordable Care Act and Small Business

CEOs of companies offering healthcare coverage need to be educated about the open enrollment period and process and become aware of how this transition can affect their businesses in the long run.…

Continue reading

Server Security: Why to Consider Colocation Over Managed Hosting

The popularity of cloud computing has led to increasing demands on servers and networks around the globe. As more people and businesses migrate to the cloud, servers face greater stresses. Companies are expected to provide tight security for cloud services, constant uptime, and reliable performance. Investing in the full IT infrastructure needed to support your business’s online activity can be prohibitively expensive, especially for small businesses.

Server security

If you want to create or expand your company’s online presence without breaking the bank, server colocation is the best option. Never heard of server colocation? You aren’t alone. The concept of server colocation is still relatively new to most companies, so we’ll explore the concept a little to offer you some peace of mind about the process.…

Continue reading

5 Top Tips To Make Your Business Stand Out

Make the effort and step up your game in business. This is what gets you ahead and turns a startup with a good idea into a household brand.

Everyone can push their concept in creative ways and that’s a huge part of grabbing your potential client’s attention. Your billboard ads and website design will all garner clicks and calls.

Interesting cancer centre billboard

But going the extra mile in the five key areas, listed below, will help your business to stand out from your competitors while helping improve your business.

1. Be available at Accessible Locations

You cannot afford to underestimate the power of being accessible to your clients.…

Continue reading

Startup Success: A Formula for Effective Digital Marketing

As anyone with even a little business experience knows, getting a startup off the ground almost always takes more money than is available. One of the most important talents that startup entrepreneurs bring to the job, then, is an ability to make each dollar go as far as possible.

Digital marketing

Twenty years ago, before the Internet, startups had a hard time managing their marketing on their limited budgets. Television, radio, direct mail, location advertising and other traditional marketing methods were all unaffordable. Many businesses disappeared simply because they didn’t have a way to get their message across. With online digital marketing now, though, everything has changed for startups.…

Continue reading

How to Maintain your Brand Consistency

Strong brands are founded on consistency. Before buying a product or paying for a service, customers like to feel the company, have confidence in it and recognize it as a provider of certain value. A consistent brand helps to build a sense of community, fostering customer connection and loyalty. A strong brand also helps companies to differentiate themselves from others, serving as a valuable marketing asset to any organization. Here are top tips for creating and maintaining your brand consistency throughout various communication channels.

Apple products

Deep analysis

In order to get a firm grasp on where exactly your brand stands as far as its image and public recognition are concerned, it’s best to listen to what people are saying about your brand online.…

Continue reading

How to More Easily Manage Cash Flow for Your Business [INFOGRAPHIC]

Every small business has different needs and operations expectations. Managing accounts payable and accounts receivable is a balancing act that accountants perform on a daily basis. Closely monitoring and managing cash flow can help offset payments to venders and overhead expenses and allow you to focus on developing your business.

Business owners should establish habits that allow them to easily track and manage both accounts payable and receivable. Doing so can help reduce the chance of late fees and allow your business to grow more quickly. Read the infographic below from Citizens Bank for 16 different ways to manage cash flow and keep your business in check.…

Continue reading

Powerful Ways Retailers Can Remain Competitive in Tough Markets

Retailing has significantly changed since the Internet came into the picture. There are new challenges encountered but at the same time new opportunities are cropping up. Also, as more retailers compete for customers, there is an undeniable need to step up strategies and methods to remain competitive.

Business expo

photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

About.com’s “3 Ways to Thrive in a Retail Slowdown” offer great insights on how to remain competitive, but there are many other useful strategies you can use as discussed below:

Know and Understand Your Competition

It is essential to analyze the competition. Venturing into any business without knowing anything about the competitors is like entering a vast maze without a map or without having a bird’s eye view of the maze.…

Continue reading

5 Steps for Debt Recovery

Sound collection procedures and processes do not always stop bad debt occurring. The important step is knowing how and when to increase the severity of the action to be taken to recover these bad debts.

Debt recovery

Early communication with the debtor is on one of the key steps to ensure recovery of the debt.

This contact needs to be consistent and measured to determine what action mostly achieves the desired result.

There are various collection processes that can include:-

  • personal contact with your client either face to face or via the telephone
  • written demand requesting payment
  • negotiation
  • use of a debt collection agency
  • legal action

Contact

Collection of your overdue accounts should be a daily task not just looked at when cash flow is poor.…

Continue reading

Modern Retail: Is Location Everything?

The retail industry has changed dramatically over the past 30 years. Stores are no longer gathered in downtown neighborhoods and rather than attracting people to the marketplace, out-of-town shopping malls must offer shopping possibilities and a broad range of eateries, from budget-oriented fast food to upmarket restaurants, as well as movie theaters and fitness centers. More recently, the future of these malls has been threatened, as an increasing number of consumers find it more convenient to shop online.

Berlin mall

What is the future for brick and mortar stores?

The death knell for actual physical stores, or ‘brick and mortar stores,’ has supposedly been sounded for many years now.…

Continue reading

Complying with Relevant Laws and Legislation as a Business Owner

The economic pendulum has swung again in the last financial quarter, with businesses throughout the Eurozone responding negatively to widespread decline. This has yet to impact on British business owners, however, as they remain optimistic about future growth and the potential for long-term expansion. Whether such sentiment can be sustained indefinitely has yet to be seen, but in the meantime it is important that entrepreneurs look to safeguard their venture and consolidate any success that they have enjoyed in 2014.

Regulation compliance

How to Create a Compliant Business in 3 Easy Steps

Compliance is one the most important factors when maintaining a successful business, so consider the following steps towards achieving this goal within your firm:

1.

Continue reading