How Outsourcing Helps in Increasing Your Business’s Profitability

The main purpose of any business is to make profit. Profit margins should keep on increasing without fail. For the same, you can either increase the price of your products or reduce the costs of operations. The latter is obviously more preferred and this is where you realize the significance of outsourcing.

High performance and improved operations are crucial for any entity to stay ahead in the race. Relying on an external party can do immense favor to your business. However, before outsourcing you should carry out a self-analysis by studying your business inside out. Understand your strengths as well as weaknesses very clearly. This will give you an exact idea regarding the services that you need to outsource.

With technology, the need for investment has drastically reduced. You can now get the help of a remote staff from any desired geographical location. Technology makes it easier to work with staffs remotely. There are a lot of business process outsourcing companies that assure high quality services at less expensive rates.

Outsourcing service providers virtually expand the company and enhances your skill sets. You get access to a wider pool of varied talents. Regardless of your requirements, professional business outsourcing companies guarantee excellence. Lack of infrastructure is one of the main factors that hinder the growth of many companies. Scaling up swiftly is sometimes crucial to sustain in the market and this is feasible by strategic outsourcing.

There are a lot of core activities that need to be executed flawlessly. Having an external party to take care of back office tasks spares you with enough resources and time to stay focused on the actual business processes. Outsourcing also provides you with time zone advantages. Your business will be running smoothly all-time round the clock.

Sub contracting is doubtlessly an exceptionally operative strategy but its success depends a lot on the partner you rely on. It is very important to confirm that the service provider you are associating with is capable of availing perfect solutions for all your business requirements.

To get the right people by your side, carry out extensive market research and inquire in detail about the service provisions and assurances from different service providers, apart from also collecting multiple references from their existing or serviced clients. You must inspect the measures these business process outsourcing companies take to keep your information secured. They should also be ready to sign all concerned agreements.

5 Reasons Why Businesses Should Know the Importance of Big Data

The ones who are in business or planning to be in the same, must be thinking what will be the relevance of Big Data to business and how can it help in an effective running of businesses. Well, innumerable people believe that Big Data is needed in a few particular fields. However, that’s only a myth; instead, it is free from any boundaries and can aid in every Business’ inside-out operation.

Reasons that Validate the Importance of Big Data

Big Data operates irrespective of any field or size of the business, as management and collection are done in every field; thus, making it more accessible. Let’s get an insight at the reasons that validate the importance of Big Data into businesses:

  1. Data is an asset to the business: Every business generates the data, be it small or large. All the activities generate data and a proper strategy is needed to store this data. The amount of data can be huge or less, but a proper strategy can help the business to manage it the right way by collecting, using, and protecting it. This indicates that the companies that believed Big Data is not meant for them will now be able to use it and understand its importance.

  1. Collecting better market and customer data: Customer and market trends are the few important factors for the business to be kept in mind in order to gain success. Every company manages data to understand the moods of their customer that tend to change with time. Hence, Big Data analytics can be useful in getting a better understanding about the needs of customers, their usage demands, and what would they be buying future.

  1. Improvement of internal operation and efficiency: Businesses also have to focus on the data of their employees that includes, optimization of services of delivered, tracking the performance, and even the recruitment of suitable candidates; all can be done with the help of Big Data. This can help the businesses to let them improve the internal efficiency in varied departments.

  1. Effective financial trading: Financial Transactions are also an important factor for the companies, as it leads to economic growth of the organization. Financial trading between the companies and clients can be handled well with the help of Big Data analytics, as it handles the algorithms required for the account related purposes.

  1. Understanding business processes: The optimization of business processes can now be done more easily. Retailers can maximize their stock based on the data predictions given by social media. Supply chain and delivery route can now be optimized with the help of this technique. The HR department of the organizations is also getting benefited like while hiring the right talent. It also measures the amount of employee engagement with its tools.

Hence, Big Data Analysis is not confined to certain counted fields, but enlarging its horizon of services and quantifying itself to a larger scale. If used properly, it can affect the businesses to an unexpected extent and giving more and more growth opportunities.

The candidates who have a great knowledge of the tools used in Big Data Analysis are in great demand. But, for this they need to have the knowledge of the software that can help in this task. One of the best software that suits their requirement is Hadoop and a formal training of the same can turn extremely fruitful.

How Success Can Hurt Your Business

By the time you start looking for more work, it is often too late. Here’s a solution to this challenge…

Feast or Famine: The Challenges of Keeping a Business Forward-Focused

Most businesses, especially ones that concentrate on Business-to-Business services, tend to operate in a feast-or-famine mindset. This happens in good times and bad, although it can get worse in times such as these, when economic indicators are worsening on just about every front on which they can be measured.

As a long-time consultant for companies big and small, this feast-or-famine mindset is something I’ve noticed more and more. The interesting thing is that companies actually operate more proactively in times of famine then in times of feast. The problems can start when business is booming, not when business is bad.

It works like this: you get a landslide of business rolling in, which sets your whole company into motion. From your administrators to your people in the field doing the work, your whole company is entirely focused on getting projects completed well and on time. There may even be numerous new jobs lined up, enough to keep you and your staff working overtime for months to come. The ability to grow and adapt to a swelling workload is, of course, the bedrock of any solid business. Not losing your focus, your cool, or the quality of your deliverables keeps your clients happy and your bottom line strong. I’ve seen this sort of adaptation in just about every kind of business, from construction companies to creative agencies to retail-oriented giants to pharmaceuticals. But hidden in this kind of approach are the seeds of a potential problem, one large enough to cause some companies to crumble when the workload begins to dry up. The result can be plunging morale, layoffs, pay cuts, or even bankruptcy.

The reality is that too often, when the workload begins to dry up and the owners and senior managers finally have some time to breathe, they realize there is little to no new work coming in. Suddenly next quarter earnings are in serious doubt. Another scramble must begin – contacts must be made, relationships developed, needs identified, but often the next few big projects can be far off in the future, leaving your company without active work for weeks or even months. This has an obvious impact on your bottom line, but it also affects companies in other ways as well. The sudden lack of work can be toxic to your staff, which can grow bored, develop poor work habits, or lose confidence in senior management. Worries about job security can leak in, and create a rumor mill that might cause some of your best employees to look elsewhere for a more fertile – and stable – company.

There’s an old adage in business: if your business isn’t growing, it’s dying. What I’ve found especially interesting is how truly successful companies take this adage to heart. It is something that is at once obvious and intuitive, and at the same time far more difficult to pull off than most of us realize.

The Role of Business Development in Successful Businesses

The obvious question is how: how do you keep your business growing when you are so busy that you hope for only a 60 hour workweek? One very effective solution is to have Business Development as an integral part of your business model. In many small-to-medium sized companies, the owner/CEO is responsible for this task. The only trouble is when that person gets too busy to focus on new business, and instead has to manage their current workload.

The solution is to hire someone whose only job is to do just that – find, create, and sustain new relationships that, when the time is right, the owner/CEO can help to mature. The job of a Business Development Executive is to go out and make new contacts for the company, especially when times are incredibly busy and the staff overworked.

The Role of the Business Development Executive

Business Development Executives have a reputation as the men and women who “wine and dine” potential clients. Hospitality is certainly part of what they do, but more than that a Business Development Executive needs to know your business inside and out. Just as importantly, they need to be able to self-generate contacts and leads in your industry. A good Business Development Executive will help to “sell” your company to more than clients who need your services in the short-term. The idea is to build enough relationships that as your potential clients grow and come across their own problems, the first company they will contact for help is yours.

This forward-looking approach is the most sure-fire way to keep your business growing, especially when you are too busy to put much energy into it yourself.

Solutions for the Small Company

Fortune 50 companies usually have the bottom line luxury of hiring a six-figure Business Development Executive to help grow the business at all times and in all economic conditions. But many small companies cannot afford that kind of salary output. One possible solution I have seen successfully implemented is to outsource this role to a freelance professional who knows your industry. This person can help you to continue to grow when times are good and your workload is too heavy to wine and dine every potential client yourself. A base salary can be attached to bonuses for any future contracts, which can help to keep things both fair and honest. A freelance Business Development Executive can help your company to continue to add clients even when you’re too busy to worry about it yourself.

“If your business isn’t growing, it’s dying.” My experience says this is true, which is why I’ve always worked with a Business Development Executive. Keep in mind that by the time it occurs to you to start looking for more work, it is often too late. A healthy business stays healthy by always challenging itself to grow and take on new projects. My last blog mentions some ways you can grow your business in busy times without having to hire new employees.

Be Prepared – Ensure Your Business is in a Ready State to Advertise For Sale

If you have taken the decision to sell your business, you will no doubt have researched the internet for options on how to advertise your business. There are a large number of paid and free “businesses for sale” portals out there.

However, before you make that ultimate decision to advertise your business for sale, take a moment and ask yourself, is my business really in a ready state to advertise? Is it attractive to a potential buyer? Are my accounts in order? Would I invest in this business? If you have any doubts, no matter how small then take a few moments to consider the following points. They may save you months of heartache, disappointment and money:

1) Talk to the right people – firstly it is good idea to discuss your intentions with your accountant. Not only will this prepare them for any future discussions with potential buyers, they can also help advise on the best way to sell your business. Accountants are in the main very knowledgeable people who have numerous clients from all walks of life – they’ll know the true value of your business and it’s financial strengths and weaknesses. If you do not have an accountant then do yourself a favour – get one! I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve heard the expression “I can’t afford an accountant”. Absolute non-sense – my answer is “you can’t afford not to have one!”

Sadly many small business owners have the distorted impression that accountants cost a lot of money. A good, reputable accountant has one sole aim in mind – to save your business money and ensure you only pay what you have to. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be in business very long. So many business owners try to take shortcuts by declaring and calculating their own accounts. Invariably, they end up paying far more than necessary. If you are selling a business, you need to ensure you get good financial advice to avoid paying over the odds when it comes to tax, capital gains and the valuation your business and its assets.

So get on the phone and call your accountant and get on the internet and find a good local professional. Most towns and cities have numerous accountants who charge very good rates.

2) Clean your act up – have you kept your business accounting books and tax records in order? If not, why not? A potential buyer wants to buy a business that has been well maintained. How does it look to a buyer if you haven’t looked after the most basic of necessities? It reflects badly on you and it will make any potential buyer nervous and skeptical. So before you even attempt to advertise your business, ensure all of your records are up-to-date, clear and transparent. Even better is to prepare summary figures to show profits and losses for at least three years and show sales patterns. In short, show that you know your business inside and out – it will illustrate a huge level of confidence that you have a complete understanding of your businesses operations, value and profitability.

3) Talk to an agent – by meeting with one or two agents, you get free impartial advice. Whether you decide to use an agent to sell your business is entirely your decision however, by talking to them for an initial consultation, you can get a greater understanding of how a buyer may see your business and it won’t cost you a thing. Agents are very knowledgeable people and have dealt with all kinds of businesses and all sizes of businesses. They will ask the questions that buyers will no doubt ask – if you trip up here, at least you have a second chance to get it right before you lose a potential buyer!

So get on the phone and talk to an agent. Ask them to visit your premises so that they can fully understand your business, what your operation does and why you want to sell. In most cases they will not charge you for an initial meeting and in many cases, will offer an initial valuation and feedback on whether they feel they can sell your business for you. Free advice is good advice so take it if you can.

4) Get the facts together – you’ll be amazed at just how many sellers are ill-prepared to sell their businesses and what little information they have ready for potential buyers. If you have access to a computer with word processing software, you can do yourself no harm by spending a few hours in putting together a business information pack. Inside this document you should include items such as a synopsis of the business, its history and its operations. Also include items such as the reasons for your sale, even if it is a little edited if you do not want to declare the full story. More importantly, you should list the details of the sale and what is included such as the assets, liabilities, property, goodwill and basic customer info (although do not include detailed names or companies).

Also take photographs and include these if they will help illustrate your products or services. Give as much information as you can within reason. Naturally, you need to be diligent and careful in what information you disclose to potential buyers as you do not want to jeopardize the value of your business as it presently stands but by going the extra mile and by preparing this document, you do yourself many favours. For example:

a) you show to any potential buyer that you have done your homework and run your business with efficiency and dedication
b) you’ll weed out the time wasters and prevent meetings or discussions with buyers who are simply window shopping
c) you’ll save yourself hours of discussions covering the same questions and answers, over and over again
d) the document can be used as a download on business for sale websites
e) the document can be used as a handout for meetings and is a great way to break the ice!

This little bit of preparation can go a long way. A few hours of your time could save months of waiting for a buyer.

5) Get a confidentiality agreement prepared – before you meet with anyone, get a non-disclosure agreement (also known as a confidentiality agreement) ready. They can be bought quite cheaply from bookstores in standard legal document packs or online for a few pennies. Potential buyers will ask all kinds of insightful questions regarding sales figure, profits, losses, suppliers and your customer base. Think first about protecting your operation – get a document ready and do not disclose anything to anyone until they sign and complete one.

6) Get a lawyer – just like an accountant, start speaking to lawyers and let them know of your intentions. Selling a business isn’t cheap and lawyers don’t come cheap either! Rates can vary greatly dependent on their level of experience, size of company and location. If you can agree to a fixed or capped fee then you could be onto a good thing. In the legal arena time really does mean money so ensure that you know what you will be expected to pay when you use their services. Very rarely does a business get sold without the use of lawyers or solicitors so if you can strike up a good relationship with one beforehand, it will help you a great deal. Legal costs can be very high so make sure you are prepared for the expense when you calculate the value and price at which you want to advertise your business at.

7) Look Smart – whether you own a shop or store, manufacturing business, a service agency or anything for that matter, make sure you keep your image clean and tidy. When your business goes on the market, you will start to get enquiries. It’s not uncommon for prospective buyers to pay an unscheduled sneaky look at the business so clean the place up and make it look pristine as you never know who may walk through the doors next. A clean business is an attractive business.

If you have now ticked all of the boxes above then great, you’re most likely ready to get advertising your business for sale. Good luck and don’t forget to read my other blogs on ways to buy and sell businesses successfully!