7 Best Bookkeeping Business Services

If you're a small business owner considering outsourcing your bookkeeping , keep in mind that bookkeeping business services include much more than just keeping track of your finances. If you hook up with a true professional service they can become much more than an accounting service, they can become important partners helping you optimize not only your cash flow but planning your financial strategies. Here's a short list of benefits and services you can expect from a full service bookkeeper.

1. Time

Actually this may be the most productive benefit of all the services an outsourced bookkeeper can provide. By taking over the responsibility of accounting, the bookkeeper service effectively gives you more time to do what you do best and that's run the business. Accounting is an absolutely necessary part of a business but it is not a profit center and it plays no part in driving sales and revenue. Any time you devote to that function is time taken from engaging in an activity that can generate sales or profit.

2. Financial forecasting

Using your firm's financial history an experienced bookkeeping service can develop financial models that will allow you to play "what if" games that can predict your financial performance in the future. For example a business owner can ask what if sales increase 8% in the next quarter or what if the marketing budget is increased by 10% what kind of sales can be expected. This is a complex model that requires the knowledge of experts and would not be readily available to the owner unless he outsourced the function.

3. Tax planning

Running your business to take advantage of opportunity to minimize tax liability can be the difference between taking a loss and making a profit. The same goes for licensing and other local fees. A knowledgeable service will not only prepare your returns but show you ways to reduce your tax bill.

4. Real time reporting

Gone are the days of receiving monthly reports from your accounting service. In today's business environment you need to know where you are financially right now and that's what a professional bookkeeping service can provide. Thanks to ASP technology you can log onto your account using an ultra secure server and access all of your reports at any time and from any where you have an internet connection.

5. Customized reports

Your bookkeeping service will work with you to build reports that make sense for your particular business. Profit and loss statements, sales reports, receivables reports, all can be designed so they present the information in a way that you can best evaluate your position.

6. Assistance with lenders

A sign of just how tough and competitive the economic times are is the expansion of bookkeeping business services into areas that they previously did not participate in. Assistance with loan applications or even introductions to lenders is an example of the "new" services being offered by many companies. Loan applications can be intimidating and confusing to many business owners and the accounting service can offer valuable assistance in insuring that the right, and best, financial information is included in the application.

7. QuickBooks Consulting

Even if you don't hire a bookkeeping service and you use QuickBooks in house to do your bookkeeping, you may find that the service can help you do it better. QuickBooks has added so many features and has become so much more than an accounting platform that it has created an entirely new support industry. If a QuickBooks customer wants optimal performance from his system, it's likely he or she will need the advice of a certified QuickBooks consultant and the bookkeeping service is a ready, qualified resource.

A combination of rapidly improving technology along with an greater competitive market has caused bookkeeping business services to evolve into something greater than the traditional accounting services. Smart businesses will take advantage of these services to remain competitive and optimize earnings.



Source by [lakajira]

How to Choose the Right Service Control Engine For My Business

The service control-engine sits in the middle of a network. The function of the service control engine is to analyze the traffic on the network and the bandwidth being used by each service and application. The service-control engine monitors and control bandwidth requirements.

If you examine a network, you have clients network that are accessing applications on your systems. You have external links that are connecting your system to the internet. Therefore, there may be data transfers or application requests coming over the internet also. On your network application, requests can be coming from a number of clients using various devices.

Personal computer, workstations, and cell phones could be requesting services and access to applications. External branch offices and traveling executives may be using the internet to access applications. Now the role of a service control-engine is to manage the bandwidth usage per application. The service control engine assigns the bandwidth for an application. It also blocks any unauthorized traffic.

So when making a business solution, you can better manage your network traffic by using a service control engine. The sizing of the service control engine will have to be done basing on the traffic an application is using. Like in a banking system, more ATM traffic bandwidth will be required. However, a limit that has to be placed on traffic to each application.

You can time out a service if the bandwidth usage is exceeding. Nevertheless, you can only do all this after doing a business service sizing. You need to draw up a chart of the bandwidth available and monitoring bandwidth usage by each application. Peak hour traffic, weekend traffic, and other such factors must be checked. After this then you can do sizing of the required service-control engine.

The vendors of service-control engines can help you do a system sizing and can suggest the correct service control engine that will meet your requirements. You will also need to do a forecasting. If there are any future applications that will be rolled out, more users will add taking additional bandwidth.

Then you will have to consider these factors before deciding on the service-control engine that you need. If you think, you have done the sizing and know the service control engine that will suit you, add a safety margin and contingency. Don't get stuck by ordering the wrong equipment or equipment that will not cater to your future demands. Service-control engines are specialized equipment and their sizing selection is based on hits to an application and available bandwidth.



Source by [lakajira]

Growing Your Business Through Customer Service

If you are making an attempt to grow your business or organization, there are a number of different facets of the process that you must address. One of the few aspects many businesses fall short in meeting is customer relations. When it comes to growing and establishing your business, there is nothing more important than the customer. Every employee and representative, including yourself, must understand the important of customer service and how it can easily make or break your business.

Customer service management training is an essential step in coordinating your interactions with your customers and others you do business with. With the way markets are today, it is almost impossible for a new company to operate without providing proper service to the consumer. Not only do you have to focus on person-to-person interactions, but with the advancement in technology, everything from emailing, to automated phone services must be presented perfectly.

With so many competitors in various industries, one thing that you need to understand is that it is a consumer's market out there. There are a number of options at the hands of consumers, and they will use them if you cannot provide them with the service they are looking for. This is why it is imperative that you focus on building relationships and maintaining those relationships by all means. The truth is, that with so many competitors out there, loyalty by the consumer is much more frail. By provide proper service and build a strong bond, that loyalty will strengthen. This is critical and should be a key point in your business strategy.

Understanding the different ways technology has changed customer service is very important. Technology has changed the way business is done with the consumer altogether. Technology has made customer relations much more impersonal. Face-to-face interaction is not as popular as it once was. Now more and more supermarkets have self service machines as opposed to cashiers. Customers are now much more likely to speak entirely to an automated system when calling a business.

Your company website is likely the first place a consumer will visit to find information about what you do. This is why it is important to have these services operating as perfectly as possible. Believe it or not, these systems play a part in customer service as well. When a customer visits your site, they want it to be as intuitive as possible. No customer wants to deal with an overly complicated automated checkout machine when they are trying to pay for their groceries. If your website is confusing, or customers have a difficult time communicating with your automated phone system, this will likely draw them farther away from doing business with you in the future.

Building a business takes a lot of hard work and dedication. It also takes building relationships with clients and getting repeat business from it. If you focus on customer service, along with the other aspects of your business, you will have a better chance at succeeding.



Source by [lakajira]

Managing a Field Service Business

What is a Field Service Business?

A field service business is a company providing services that are performed on the customer site.

AC repair, plumbing, carpet cleaning, pest control, landscaping, maid services and home security dealerships are all examples of field service companies.

These companies typically use this business model (flow):

Sell ​​=> Service => Charge

Sell : The sale starts by generating a lead from Internet marketing, advertising in printed media, flyers, sales reps, or any other means and ends by contracting with the customer.

Service : A field-worker goes to the customer site to perform the service.

Charge : The price of the service is collected typically from the customer, but sometimes from a third party like an insurance company.

The rest of this article explains what managing a field service business involves.

Saving Customers Information

Field service companies often perform more than one service for the same customer. And customers expect you to remember the information they provided last time they did business with you. Asking for the same information over and over again makes you look unorganized and causes the customer to loose confidence.

Also you can use your customers database to generate new and repeat sales. The information you know about the customer will help you determine what other services he / she might be interested in. Plus, if you are a good business, these old customers already trust you and love your services. So selling to them is much easier than finding and building trust with new customers.

Your customers database will typically contain very sensitive information, such as payment accounts and social security numbers. Controlling access to your records is important. Your workers should be able to access the information they need, but ONLY the information they need. Not all information need to be available to everyone at the company. Implementing this access control is almost impossible without the use of software.

Scheduling Services

In most field service companies, service scheduling is done by the secretary while he / she is with the customer on the phone. So it needs to be done fast. Typically the secretary needs to see the field-worker / technician schedules side-by-side to find an available time slot that works for the customer.

Another thing that is closely related to scheduling is notifying field-workers / technicians about jobs assigned to them. This can be done manually or automatically by the software used for scheduling.

Inventory Management

What is special about inventory management for field service companies is that inventory is not only stored in warehouses, but it is also carried by field-workers in their trucks. It is inefficient for field-workers to do an inventory pick up before each job, so they usually pick up enough inventory to last them for several days / weeks. This inventory carried by field-workers is a significant business asset that needs to be tracked to control theft and waste.



Source by [lakajira]

Business Phone Service Considerations: Do You Need VOIP?

At some stage, your small business will have to consider voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) if it has plans to expand. It is offered by virtually every business phone service provider and allows you to make calls over an Internet connection thus saving you a small fortune depending on your usage. It is also possible to connect a traditional handset to VOIP which enhances the voice quality, essential for companies that have a less than reliable broadband connection.

However, it is not simply a case of switching to VOIP without due consideration. As it is Internet dependent, you need to consider ways to deal with any breakdowns that occur and an uninterrupted power source is an excellent purchase in this regard. Broadband speed increase and fiber optics improvements means that VOIP should run smoothly but this does not mean that certain considerations can be neglected. Here are a few things to look at when deciding to upgrade to VOIP with a business phone service provider.

Fees & Benefits
As you can imagine, the popularity of VOIP means that a host of companies are offering the service. Your job is to analyze the fees associated with the service and weigh them against the perceived benefits. Failure to adequately ascertain a cost vs. quality equation is a huge mistake yet it is commonly made by businesses of all sizes. Just because a VOIP system is expensive and appears to offer a multitude of features doesn't mean it provides you with everything your company needs. Signing any contract before making this consideration will doom your company to a high-priced system that does not fulfill your requirements. It may then be necessary to purchase another system at extra cost.

Training
VOIP is relatively simple to use but as it is still fairly new, it makes sense to brief staff and clients about it in order to make the most of the technology. The best business phone service providers may offer to train your staff in the usage of the VOIP system. Implementing a VOIP system without the requisite training is asking for trouble as staff could make errors that lead to a loss of business.

Ensuring Need
What are the needs of your business? Does it actually require a VOIP system at this moment in time? If your enterprise currently consists of a handful of employees and a small office, it may not be prudent to add a new system. On the other hand, you will probably need a VOIP system if your company has 50+ employees or else you envisage it growing to such a level in the near future. Signing up for a VOIP package without making sure it can immediately make a positive difference to your company is an amateur mistake.

In the end, you need to partner with a business phone service provider that gives you the best service and you need a system that maximizes your company revenue potential. A low quality phone system equals missed calls, frustrated customers and lost profit. VOIP is a system for the present and future but make sure you follow correct procedure before welcoming it on board.



Source by [lakajira]

Business Plan for Small Business – Products and Services

Business people often overlook this important stage of the business plan process because they think it is clear and simple and slough it off. Wrong, wrong !! You not only have to know what products and services you want to offer, but also exactly what they are and in what price range you want to sell them. You also have to have an idea what you eventually want to sell in the future.

It isn't a simple process to secure products and it certainly isn't easy to establish prices. You want to be different, you want to stand out. There's no sense being the same as everyone else. Let's look at a couple of different businesses to better understand what I am talking about.

If you are operating a landscaping business ask yourself these questions:

  • How are you going to distinguish yourself from the competition?
  • Are you going to attack your competition with price – a bad idea in most cases – or by adding benefits for your customers?
  • What value-added benefits are you going to offer?
  • Are you going to offer a seasonal package of services or are you going to charge by the visit?
  • Are you going to include fertilizing and weed control together with lawn maintenance or are those services going to be extra?
  • Are products like fertilizer paid for separately?
  • Are you going to charge your customers the same price for fertilizer you pay or upcharge them?

By answering questions like these, you will be able to make decisions about what services you want to offer and what revenue streams you can expect to have once you are in operation. You need to identify your potential revenue streams because it is those streams that fuel your sales. The greater number of revenue streams you have, the greater chance you have to build your sales. You also need to know what services you are going to offer because you need to know what skills your employees require. If you aren't a certified 'this' or 'that', then you'll need to have someone on your team who is if it is a requirement.

Let's look at a clothing store. Say you have decided that you want to open a ladies' wear outlet in the local mall.

  • Are you going to carry accessories?
  • What about outerwear?
  • Are you going carry sportswear or business wear or both?
  • What is your price point?
  • Are you going to offer an alterations service?
  • Is it going to be in-house?
  • Are you going to charge for the service or include it in the price of purchases?

As you can see there is a lot of work to do. You must do your homework. You must be able to 'see' what is happening in your business BEFORE you open.

You also have to be aware of the potential changes in the marketplace throughout the year. Seasonal shifts in demand for products and services can be dramatic. Summer sales can be good or poor. Maybe you operate in a college town and from June through September the population base tumbles. March break can be a boom or bust depending upon where your business is located.

Once you have a good handle on your products and services, you will be able to better forecast your sales – you'll have your revenue streams – and you'll be able to forecast your cost of goods sold because you'll know where you are buying things from and how much you are paying for them. It is all about projections for your financial forecast.



Source by [lakajira]

Do You Really Know What Business Marketing Is?

There are countless books and courses on marketing and how to do it properly. You’ve probably read or attended some yourself. But, do you feel like you have a good grasp of marketing?

Do you fully understand all the processes involved and how to best apply them to your company? When all the cards are on the table, most small-to-medium businesses don’t. Or at the very least, they understand these concepts.

What Is Business Marketing?

Everything a business does, everything you do to sell products and services – is marketing. Every decision you make, if it’s about how to put your products or services in the hands of consumers, is business marketing.

The foundations of marketing are relatively easy to explain and understand. But mastering these essential concepts can mean the difference between success and failure.

You don’t have to micromanage all marketing that your business does. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to hire a professional. However, that doesn’t replace the need to have a solid knowledge of marketing strategy. Business owners should always have a proactive role in their company’s marketing tactics.

Essential Components of a Good Marketing Strategy

Not all marketing concepts will apply to every business. Some will be more relevant than others, but as an entrepreneur you should be familiar with all of them.

Inbound Marketing

Think of inbound marketing as your workhorse.

It’s a set of marketing tactics designed to maintain a steady influx of customers into your sales process. This isn’t about pushing your brand to generate leads or direct conversion.

Inbound marketing uses various channels in creative ways to reach as many people as possible. Tools such as SEO optimization and social media channels are ideal for this type of marketing. The goal is to drive high volumes of quality traffic that can convert through brand engagement in the long run.

Direct Marketing

If inbound marketing is your workhorse, think of direct marketing as your racehorse.

Direct marketing includes sales tactics designed to produce an instant response. Things like calls to action in online or broadcast media fall into this category.

Regardless of what else you do, direct marketing is an important part of any marketing strategy. It allows you to instantly measure success or failure based on response rates.

Knowing how people are responding to one offering versus another is crucial.

Outbound Marketing

This is where the rubber really meets the road.

In outbound marketing, you’re reaching out to prospects and basically saying “buy from me.” This is typically what people think of when they hear the word marketing.

Outbound marketing includes sales calls, print ads, broadcast ads, door-to-door sales and much more. Any activity in which you’re reaching out to potential customers with an offering figures into this definition.

Though a staple in countless marketing strategies, it’s not very effective. It’s hard to figure out if it’s really working and people are getting savvier and blocking the majority of this type of marketing.

Content Marketing

This is the new-old way to market.

Most smart businesses realize that people are OK with marketing, as long as they get something in return. For example, if you create great content, consumers will be happy to hear from you.

Therefore, every channel you have should start by giving value in return for your customers’ attention.

Social Media Marketing

It is inescapable, omnipresent, and pervasive.

Marketing is about getting attention. If you can’t get people’s attention, you have no one to market to.

The biggest attention vacuums nowadays are social media platforms. It goes without saying that any marketing strategy that doesn’t include social media, is off to a bad start.

Start with Solid Foundations

Each of these components has its own place in the puzzle. Some may be more important to your business than others. But only by understanding them all can you find your way out of the marketing madness.

Don’t be a passive business owner. Take charge of your marketing strategies and stop wasting resources on marketing that doesn’t deliver.



Source by [lakajira]

BEST BUSINESS IDEAS – How Starting a Networking Services Company Can Build Your Success

Finding the best business ideas doesn't necessarily mean you have to spend a ton of money. In fact, there are quite a few excellent options that can allow you to start a new business with little or even no money at all. One promising option is to start a networking services company. Don't worry; you don't need to know anything about computers. It's not that type of networking.

A networking services company is essentially a firm that specializes in helping local business owners and entrepreneurs connect with one another. Chances are good your local chamber of commerce sponsors similar events throughout the month, but you can take things several steps further if you like.

Where your local Chamber of Commerce's networking meetings are likely broadly attended by business owners in a wide range of industries, your business can offer focused, targeted networking. Fostering relationships between business owners and entrepreneurs in related verticals helps ensure that your meeting attendees are able to leverage those relationships to the utmost.

You can do other things as well. For instance, you might be able to help locals in your area find work by sponsoring an after-work mixer or a similar gathering. You might be able to organize workshops that focus on networking and building strong ties from one business to another.

So, how do you make money with this type of business? It's simple, charge admission. You'll need to ensure that your fees are enough to cover the rental cost for the venue (you can start out with lower-scale, more cost-efficient venues and then work your way up to hotels and more expensive options). You should also ensure that you're making enough to cover the costs of any food and drink served. Of course, if you're hosting your mixer at a local hotel's bar or restaurant, you can afford to charge a lower admission fee if your attendees purchase their own food and drinks.

All you'll need to get started is a computer and a phone line. However, you'll encounter fees in the production of your marketing, and you'll also need insurance to be legal, so don't forget those costs. In the end, this can be a very lucrative business, particularly if you've got good people skills and love to help others connect with one another. The low start-up cost is also attractive.

There are many businesses that you can tomorrow. All you need is the determination to try and the drive to succeed.



Source by [lakajira]

Promote Your Products and Services With Plastic Business Cards

Business cards have been used as an effective means to advertise your products and services. It also acts as the best information channel among business communities and the public. Whether you represent a budding business or own an already established business entity, plastic business cards have given a strong and solid method to expose a newer, long lasting and strong method to make a never-ending relationship with the receiver and his concerned business identity.

Recently, there has been a considerable raise in the use of plastic business cards. A common plastic card has now turned into a visually outstanding and impeccable marketing tool that storms the business world with stride.

Being durable and stable, plastic business card works magically to give a brand entity to a company's individuality and long term vision in new and exciting manner. What makes it more eye-catching is the friendly color combination with tinted formats. These cards are extremely creative pieces that give a clear brand name and image building.

Today, the format of business cards looks almost like a credit card as it has high value and chances are that customers will preserve it as a memento of a fruitful association. Being a value-added tool, plastic cards influence a lot and affect the channels of marketing as well. Thus, it is not wrong to say plastic cards hold the real value and they can work wonderfully for laying a bridge of trust and commitment with targeted customers.

No wonder, plastic cards are turned into an aggressive marketing strategy that extends far further than mere a piece of card that holds the crucial information.



Source by [lakajira]

5 Reasons To Use Digital Marketing Services To Transform Your Business

If e-paper has replaced newspaper in your home then don’t feel guilty about it. You are not alone; in some years this will be a norm everywhere. It is primarily because of the penetration of internet services, high-end smartphones in remote corners of the world and cheap accessibility. Most of the action takes place in the online space and this is why it has become a common hunting ground for businesses at large.

Decoding Digital Marketing

Marketing is not merely an attempt to sell products or services but an integrated process aimed at creating a predefined impact. It is a strong influencing force that can transform a business. So, experts stress on the growing importance of digital marketing in shaping a business for maximum gain. There is a swelling number of internet users and this provides ample scope for a business – new as well as existing ones, for market attention and convert it to tangible gains.

Here’s Why Digital Marketing Is Not An Option But Compulsory For Every Business

Digital marketing is a staple strategy for every business aiming to make it a noted venture in the respective industry. The process flows through several channels and uses a number of tools to accomplish the desired goal. It is specifically goal-oriented and you can see the results in lesser time than traditional marketing methods. Here are some of the most important reasons for relying on it for a successful business.

  • Concrete analysis and adaptation: In digital marketing, user activities are monitored to arrive on a concrete data about the targeted group. Real-time data that gets updated from time to time; it enables more accurate analysis. This makes it most effective in predicting market trends and adapting to the changes.
  • Unhindered communication: There are several barriers of communication, in traditional marketing processes which can hinder the transmission of messages to your target group. However, digital marketing communication does not encounter such hindrances because it is direct and engage customers for undivided attention.
  • Customized content: Based on the data, communication strategists decide on messages which can be easily understood by consumers, meet their demands or resolve their problems and direct them to purchase the products or services.
  • Customer tracking: Digital marketing services target individual customers by identifying them through the device they use and their demography. The analytics are used to predict customer preferences, behaviours and predict their actions. It tracks customers from their initial interaction to end sales.
  • Dynamic approach: It uses real-time data, reaches the maximum possible customer pool, provides an immediate workable solution and aids in easy sales. This dilutes the time-lapse between each procedure and encourages more consumer engagement and sales.

Digital marketing offers you easy and unmatched solutions to overcome some critical marketing challenges. This has become all the more relevant because of intensifying market competition and penetrating use of technology. Digital marketing services are leveraging business like never before.



Source by [lakajira]

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