Best Upgrades for Your Small Business

Starting a business is hard but adjusting to the growing demands is even more challenging. As your small business wins more customers, you need to undertake upgrades that will take it to the next level. You will have to deal with increased inventory, a high number of orders, many loyal clients and hire more employees. If you delay the adjustment process, you are likely to lose some of your customers to competitors and stagnate.

Once your small business takes off, start thinking of the upgrades that can enhance your business operations and customer experience. You can also think of technologies that reduce expenses, appeal to customers and safeguard their interests. Customers need to feel confident about working with you in order to recommend your business to their friends. If you are a small business owner, here are the best upgrades that could make it flourish.

Automate Business Operations

Automating your business processes will increase productivity, improve customer experience and lower costs. But there is a problem: most small businesses don’t have enough money to automate business operations. How do you solve this problem? You can start by taking a short or long-term loan for the upgrades. Evaluate the small business loan options available and identify the best deal. Most business owners fear loans, and this is where they go wrong. They don’t invest in advanced equipment that would help them meet the needs of their customers and increase revenue. Automating bill payments, invoicing, appointment scheduling among others will give you more time to focus on other aspects of growing your business.

Invest in Cybersecurity Measures

Your small business could lose a lot of money through cyber attacks. Unfortunately, most small business owners are not ready to invest in strong cybersecurity systems. Cyber attacks could harm the reputation of your company and lead to long-term financial obligations. Thankfully, you can upgrade access control systems and create policies that protect your small business from cyber threats. Also, it is advisable to engage cybersecurity experts for security tests and professional advice.

Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

Improving your website is one of the best ways to upgrade your small business. If you want to grow your business, you need to target mobile users. Did you know that most people access the internet using their mobile devices? Making your website mobile friendly will not only attract more traffic but also increase the conversion rate. If your small business website is not responsive to mobile traffic, your potential clients will visit competitor sites. Optimizing your website for mobile will improve your Google ranking, and this could lead to more traffic and increased sales.

Invest in Advanced Payroll and Tax Systems

As you hire more employees, filing taxes and managing payroll will become complicated and time-consuming. Most small businesses lose a lot of time and money on tax-related matters. You can avoid payroll issues and ensure tax compliance by investing in the right software. It is also important to outsource professional tax and payroll services or hire an in-house professional. This way, you will focus on what you do best and let the experts handle tax issues using modern systems.

Upgrading your small business may require huge investments but the rewards are worth it. If you have a promising business, invest in the right technologies to improve operations and profitability. Your employees and customers will appreciate your move and reward you with positive growth.

LLC vs. Sole Proprietorship: Which One Makes More Financial Sense?

llc vs sole proprietorship

Should I select an LLC vs. sole proprietorship? That’s the question that I’ve been asking myself lately as I look at small business planning.

You see, I’ve been an independent contractor / freelancer for a long time. However, I’ve recently started thinking that it makes financial sense to separate my personal and business money. Of course, there are many different ways to do that, but setting myself up as a business seems to be a good next step.

Most likely I’m going to go with a sole proprietorship. I had that kind of business a long time ago and it seemed to suit me just fine. Nevertheless, I don’t just want to jump in willy nilly, so I’m carefully exploring the differences between LLC vs sole proprietorship to make sure I go down the right path.

LLC vs. Sole Proprietorship: Liability

There are many different ways to structure a business. I’ve narrowed it down to LLC vs sole proprietorship. The main difference as I’ve always understood is about my own personal liability. An LLC is a “limited liability corporation” which means that I as an individual have limited liability in comparison to if I were a sole proprietor. In other words, if someone sues my business and I lose, the costs can only affect my business, not my personal finances. In contrast, as a sole proprietor, I’m personally still responsible for the costs of the business. The same is true for creditor issues. It’s worth taking that liability into consideration.

LLCs Cost More to Set Up

Although that limited liability is nice, it comes with a price. It doesn’t really cost much at all to set up a sole proprietorship business. In contrast, there are a lot of fees involved with setting up an LLC. You have to register with the state so there are fees associated with registration and filing documents. Oftentimes, LLCs are also subject to ongoing annual fees. In other words, if you don’t pay each year, then you don’t maintain your LLC registration. You don’t have those costs associated with setting up a sole proprietor business. In general, LLCs are subject to a lot more regulations, which can mean more paperwork, which can mean more time and money.

LLC vs. Sole Proprietorship: Taxes

I currently pay taxes as a self-employed person. If I choose to set up my business as a sole proprietor then I will still pay taxes as a self-employed person. Therefore, for better or worse, my tax situation isn’t going to change. Things seem a little bit more complicated if I decide to set up an LLC. An LLC can be a partnership or a corporation, but it can also be solely-owned. In the later case, it would be taxed like a sole proprietorship.

Therefore, there doesn’t seem to be a huge tax difference for me personally by doing LLC vs sole proprietorship. That said, if I opted to file as a corporation, that could make a difference, which is something worth exploring more. If I do an LLC, I’ll have to file separate business and personal taxes, which I wouldn’t have to do if I set up as a sole proprietor.

Separating Business and Personal Finances

The main reason that I was planning to set myself up as a business is because I want to separate my finances. However, I’m leaning towards doing a sole proprietorship, which actually doesn’t require me to separate my finances. An LLC strictly requires that you keep your business and personal expenses entirely separate. In contrast, you don’t have to do that with a sole proprietorship. You are the business. Therefore, that part wouldn’t actually be different than what I’m doing now as a freelancer. Of course, I still want to separate them, but in the eyes of the government, they wouldn’t need to be.

A sole proprietorship is the right thing for me. My business finances are pretty simple. I don’t run a lot of risk regarding liability. And I don’t want to spend the extra money to become an LLC. But anyone making this decision should certainly look at both options with an eye towards what makes financial sense for them.

Read More:

Would your Company benefit from Executive Search?

It can be quite daunting and challenging for a company to successfully execute a recruitment process. This is especially the case if there is a multiplicity of high level roles to be filled. In these instances, many companies decide to outsource the process to a recruitment company. Today we’re taking a look at the Executive Search process to help demystify it and make sure the next time you have a high level appointment to make, you’re feeling confident!

One of the most appealing aspects of executive search, is the level of interaction you as a company can choose to have with recruitment companies. In other words, you can decide how closely you wish to be involved with the process. However, it is important not to go to extremes. At the most hands off end of the spectrum, if you have not given the full facts to the recruitment agency and then had no further contact until they have decided they have found you a suitable candidate, or a selection of suitable candidates, you have given the recruitment company a firm foundation of information to work off, so they can’t do they’re best work. Therefore, it is important to make sure you are fully honest in communication with recruitment companies about what qualities you do and don’t want from a candidate.

At the other end, there is no point outsourcing the recruitment process to a company if you are then present for every step of the executive search, unable to trust them to do their jobs. If this is the case then your company should undertake the recruitment process itself.

Therefore, your company should consider an executive search firm if the recruitment process would take too much time or resources for you to perform yourself. Thus, before embarking down either route of doing it yourself or hiring a recruitment company a sound analysis of the costs and benefits of each process needs to be given thought to.

Also, it should only take place once you as a company are completely sure on the criteria of what is needed for a given role. This as a process in itself can be time consuming, however you cannot expect a person specification to be created by the recruitment company as it is down to your company exactly what you need for a candidate to be considered.