Top Ways SMBS Can Save on Energy Costs Now

saving on energy costsAs the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day approaches, consumers and businesses everywhere are thinking about ways to reduce energy consumption and lower their energy bills. Affordable alternative energy sources are years away and utility-driven conservation measures like the Smart Grid won’t help SMBs in the short term, if at all.

While we await advances in energy creation and conservation, consumers and businesses are faced with skyrocketing energy costs. Businesses are particularly hard hit as they are forced to pay higher rates due to their higher peak energy usage.

SMBs looking to reduce energy use and costs quickly and affordably would be wise to look at the following biggest energy wasters and tips for controlling energy use and costs for each:…

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Running a Global Business on a Shoestring

operating a global business on a budgetBusinesses today need to look beyond geographical borders in order to expand. There is a whole world of consumers, customers and clients out there waiting to buy your service or product. Opportunities aplenty await the astute businessman willing to take the risk and go global.

Going Global“ does not need to be expensive.   It’s relatively straightforward and cost-effective to target foreign markets if you are astute enough and cost conscious enough. Neil Payne set up his business on a laptop in a studio flat in 2004. He now oversees a company with offices in the UK, USA, Argentina, South Africa, Germany and the UAE.…

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Small Business Payroll Taxes

payroll taxesThere is no escaping the wrath of the IRS when it comes to unpaid taxes. There are several differences between running a small business versus a large corporation, but at the end of the day, payroll taxes are something that all business owners must pay close attention to in order to avoid problems with the IRS.

Owing the IRS is not the same as owing a lender or creditor. In the latter situation, you can often negotiate or work out payment arrangements that will allow you to avoid legal ramifications and get your accounts in order without losing your business. The IRS is not a lender nor creditor and will take aggressive action with collection efforts.…

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Guarding Your Balance Sheet – Tips for Survival in Today’s Volatile Market

saving money in a down economyAs the recession continues to extend into 2010, we continue to be inundated by news about the challenges that face the small business community.

While we are not completely out of the woods in terms of the economy, there are several things that small business owners can do to protect their businesses during these challenging times:

Manage Collections: Outstanding invoices should be aggressively followed up on round-the-clock. Having unpaid invoices will create instability. Be aggressive and assume the worst.

Collect Upfront: Make sure that all of your contracts stipulate payment upfront. Net 30 can stretch into Net 60, then you are stuck doing work for 2-3 months without being paid.…

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Searching For A New Bank To Suit Your Business Needs

searching for a new bankThere aren’t many good news stories about banks these days so if you’re looking for a new bank you may be facing the quagmire of what to look for and who to turn to when searching for a new bank. The answer may rest upon what your personal and or business banking needs are.

For business owners, entrepreneurs and consumers seeking personal guidance, it is important to recognize that your relationship with your bank is extremely important.  This is one relationship that requires serious time and examination.

I believe the examination process is twofold. On one side of the equation you’ll want to look at the financial stability and business model of the bank to ensure it can provide the financial strength and safety needed to stay in business and serve your needs in a favorable manner to you.…

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Why Outsourcing Your Finance Department Makes Smart Business Sense

outsourcing finance departmentsFor many smaller and mid-size companies, the hiring CFO-level talent can be too costly and completely unfeasible.   In addition to searching for the right candidate, you have to offer a highly competitive package – even in today’s economy – to attract the top-level finance talent you need for business success.

In addition to requiring C-level finance talent, smaller- and medium-sized businesses require a dedicated finance department that can handle the entire spectrum of financial support services – from strategic financial business planning to day-to-day accounting.

So, the challenge is posed for any entrepreneur…how can I have a viable finance team without the dedicated resources for hiring talent?…

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Protecting Your Business from Bankrupt Customers

avoiding bankrupt customers and clientsMany small businesses don’t have the time or resources to adequately monitor their own financial status, no less the ability to screen the finances of their partners, vendors, suppliers or customers. However, if SMB CEOs take away one thing from the current recession – it should be a clear understanding of how important it is to have a transparent view of their customers’ financial situation.

But with so many CEOs plagued with time, money and employee restrictions, how can they effectively implement the strategies to do so? Here are a few tips to help small businesses get started:

1. Evaluate Your Businesses’ Current Financial Standing – You can’t monitor your customer until you monitor your own business.…

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How to Buy a Small Business Using Creative Financing as the U.S. Economy Recovers

using creative financing to buy a businessThe U.S. economy’s worst recession in the post-war era has begun to turn for the better. Yet, despite the fact that the doom and gloom of the past 20-plus months may be behind us, entrepreneurs seeking to buy businesses still find it difficult to get banks to finance their purchases.

Fortunately, there are a multitude of other options available to business buyers and they center on an entrepreneur’s ability to use creative financing for his or her purchase.

Using Other People’s Money

The vast majority of small business entrepreneurs do not have enough capital to buy a business outright, and banks can present insurmountable barriers.…

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Credit Card Options Limited For Small Business Financing

small business credit cardsIt used to be that even upstart businesses with no credit history could secure $50,000 lines of credit with no documentation. Bank of America began such a program in 2006. And since then, other banks followed suit offering $50,000 and $100,000 loans to new and un-proven businesses. In a press release at the time, Bank of America stated that even “a small business owner in business for only one day could qualify” for its $100,000 line of credit program.

Until recently, credit cards had always been a reliable source of financing for entrepreneurs as well. Ease of credit card access gave small business owners an important, cost effective, and highly flexible means for managing cash flow, purchasing inventory, and expanding operations.…

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Trim Your Business Expenses During This Economic Downturn

trim business expensesDuring this economic downturn, some small businesses are struggling to stay ahead.   Maybe you need to consider trimming your expenses to keep more money in your pockets instead of flying out of the window.   I came across this list of suggestions to help you secure your business finances, “78 Ways For Your Small Business To Save Money In This Economy”.

The list is divided into different  categories such as Technology, Overhead, Office Items and Office Space, Advertising, Insurance and Finances, and Travel.   It also offers a lot of great resource and article links to help you along the way.   Even if your business is not struggling at this time, this list can still be of good benefit to you.  …

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