Useful Tips for Small Businesses on Usage of Business Credit Cards

Another large credit card company this week launched a business credit card to specifically meet the needs of small business owners. This launch is yet more proof of how fast the small business segment is growing and contributing to the U.S. economy.

According to Ruth Davis, Vice President, D&B Small Business Credit Products, “The small business segment is still underserved and many small business owners continue using their personal cards for business expenses instead of business credit cards. They are still unaware of how critical building and managing their business credit is to the success of their businesses.”

For small businesses and entrepreneurs, D&B Small Business Group recommends that:

Small businesses should use a business credit card over a personal credit card.…

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Over Half Do Not Have Accounting Software


Over Half Do Not Have Accounting Software

More than half of U.S. small businesses do not use accounting software.

AMI Partners, Inc., a research firm that specializes in global small business market research, notes this in a recently-published study, entitled “Small Business Accounting is Big…and Getting Bigger”:

“U.S. small businesses (SBs; companies with 1 to 99 employees) spent approximately US$410 million on purchasing accounting software solutions in the last 12 months, and this figure is expected to cross the half-billion-dollar mark by 2008. The nearly 6% annual increase in accounting-software-related dollars augurs well for industry-leader Intuit (with their QuickBooks portfolio) and Microsoft, which recently jumped on the small business bandwagon with its release of Small Business Accounting 2006.

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LEADERSHIP: WHAT ARE THE DRIVERS OF BUSINESS GROWTH

In most businesses that have growth plans there are usually some core drivers of that growth. Listed below are some of the key ones that exist in most growth businesses.

Investor Dissatisfaction and Impatience – this drives many a growth plan. Having invested their money, and wanting to get it out with a significant return, investors (often using their Board influence or financing leverage) attempt to drive CEO’s to create and execute growth plans. Sometimes investor dissatisfaction results in the removal and replacement of a poorly performing Founder/CEO by a CEO who can get the job done.

Market Pressure – drives many growth plans.…

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MARKETING: 4 WAYS TO MEASURE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF YOUR CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP PROGRAMS

Strong customer relationships are like money in the bank, literally.

Our world is constantly changing, big box retailers like Wal-Mart and Home Depot are dominating the landscape, promoting the promise of “one-stop shopping”, and the Internet is making it easier to make online purchases with limited human interaction. On the surface, these changes make it seem as though the customer is only concerned about swiftly making their product selections and racing to the check-out counter as quickly as possible.

Reality says that buyers are concerned about a lot more than one-stop shopping, speed of check-out and price. One of the other major deciding factors buyers are using to make a decision about what to buy and from whom is based on a dying art, customer relationships.…

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KEEPING CUSTOMERS SATISFIED: HOW TO DO IT EFFECTIVELY

In tough economic times, how we serve our clients is more important than ever. One of the critical elements to serving our clients well is listening to them, not just before they buy but continuously during our relationship.

The suggestions I make below are things that should be kept in mind for all customer touch points whether it be a conversation or a more formal satisfaction survey.

Measure Success, Not Satisfaction

Many formal and informal feedback efforts measure softer metrics, like, “Do you like our staff” or “Are we easy to do business with.” They ignore the primary measurement, that being, did the product or service get the result desired.…

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BUSINESS INDICATORS AND WARNING SIGNS

Do you employ a method to determine the pulse of your business? How many times have you asked or heard someone say; “How did we get in this situation”? When you go to the doctor, he usually will ask a lot of symptomatic questions to help him sort out the possibilities, to determine what brought you into his office. Why then couldn’t we use the same approach to managing the future of our businesses? You can easily practice the same fundamental logic.

For many managers the use of the monthly financial statement and the sales backlog are their only yardstick or indicators of how they are doing.…

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CHANGE: GET BETTER OR GET WORSE – THAT’S IT FOR OPTIONS

People and organizations have only two alternatives: get better or get worse, improve or decay. While the thought of status quo might seem comforting, status quo is really decay in sheep’s clothing. Certainly status quo is decay relative to companies who are improving and innovating in the competitive market place. In the personal career arena, status quo is decay relative to those who are improving their career potential.

Take a look at everything that is going on around and in us. Everything seems to be in the process of getting better (growing) or decaying (dying). An example of this is a steel beam, which one might tend to think of as being permanent.…

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CUSTOMER SERVICE – IT’S SERVICE THAT MATTERS MOST!

In challenging economic times some businesses cut costs by cutting corners on their customer service. That is exactly the wrong thing to do. In tough economic times, how we serve our clients is more important than ever. Here is why:

1. When people buy during economic hard times they are very conscious of how every dollar is being spent. Clients want more attention, appreciation and recognition for their purchases, not less.

2. Clients want to be sure they get the maximum value for the money they choose to spend. They want easy to use and fast access to support and education about the products and services they purchase.…

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