• 6 Ways to Save Your Business Thousands Each Month

    Cutting costs is always quicker and easier than bringing in more revenue.

     

    For the majority of small business owners, cash is most definitely king. In hopes of increasing their bottom line, business owners often pay themselves much less than they deserve. The truth is, you have to spend money to make money. That being said, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be saving wherever possible. While some tips work better than others, here are a few you can implement right away and start saving.

    1. Bootstrap as long as you can.

    In an era of endless technology and knowledge, it’s probably “been done before”. Just because you have competition, doesn’t mean you’re too late. There’s always room to find your niche and provide value where your competitors can’t. This is actually a great way to save yourself time and money.

    Whenever possible, look to work with larger companies and utilize their pre-existing technologies or infrastructure. You can either swap services or create a revenue-sharing agreement in exchange for access to their services. Ideally, they will allow you to white-label their products so you can create an original brand presence. This strategy will surely save you thousands and give your business time to build out your own products and or services.

    2. Optimize your purchasing power.

    Taking advantage of group buying and collective purchasing is a great way to save cash. By joining these groups you’ll have access to discounts and exclusive rates on office supplies, hardware, business travel, and much more.

    There are plenty of group buying services you can utilize based on your particular business needs. If you’re a non-profit, ThriveGPO provides a great group purchasing tool. If you’re a smart business owner, you’ll never buy alone.

    3. Barter your way to growth.

    If you’re looking to avoid cash outlays or unload slow-moving inventory you can always look to swap your products and services for others. Bartering with other companies can be time consuming, so if you’d rather not bargain with other companies directly you can always hire a commissioned barter broker. Otherwise, you can join a commercial barter club or exchange.

    The National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE) is a registered clearing house for member exchanges nationwide. NATE essentially allows business owners to swap any product or service with anyone. When a sale is made, participants will often receive trade dollars for their goods and services. Trade dollars are brokered across cities nationwide under NATE.

    4. Get your business credit card rewards.

    If you haven’t done so already, it’s a good idea to apply for a business credit card. Since issuing banks assume business owners will spend more on a business card than a personal card, the rewards tend to be much more enticing. According to NerdWallet, here are the best small business credit cards of 2017:

    • Ink Business Cash Credit Card: Best for cash back
    • The Enhanced Business Platinum Card from American Express: Best for airport lounge access
    • Capital One Spark Miles for Business: Best for travel credit
    • Capital One Spark Classic for Business: Best for fair credit

    When you redeem your credit card rewards, you should also look to redeem in the form of a gift card. Companies often times offer gift cards that you can purchase with credit card rewards points. From a dollar per points perspective, you’ll get the most bang for your buck using this strategy. If you know you’re going to need to make some big purchases on office supplies, look to purchase a gift card for Ikea for example. Using these simple but effective strategies are a great way to save much needed cash especially on larger purchases.

    5. Free trials and consultations.

    There’s no better way to save money than to get a service for free. Instead of investing large amounts of money in enterprise software for your business, you can find much less expensive SaaS tools to meet your needs. These services often provide free trials, some as long as a month. After the trial period is over, they’ll typically offer tiered pricing that allows you to pay as you scale your business. Whether it’s a payments solution, CRM software, or simple accounting tools, you should always start with a free trial.

    Free consultations are very effective when seeking legal advice. Some business attorney’s charge as high as $600/hour and bill you to the second. Typically, a lawyer will give you about 30 minutes to even an hour of time as a consultation with the assumption you’ll choose them as your legal council. If you’re just looking to get a few questions answered, use a few attorney’s and get a few consultations. If you use this trick with three or four attorney’s you’ve just saved well over $1000 in legal fees.

    6. Review your expenses quarterly.

    Generally, you should be well aware of your expenses at all times. However, it’s best to do a full analysis quarterly to determine which expenses are necessary and which aren’t. Software that you used last quarter may be obsolete to your business now, so you’ll want to cancel that subscription. It’s easy to forget about all the various software and business tools you’ve signed up for over the years. It’s good to “trim the fat” each quarter so you can make every penny count.

    Regardless the size of your business it’s very important to stay on top of your finances and be frugal. Especially for smaller companies, your growth depends heavily on how your dollar is spent. If you implement these six strategies you can save your business thousands of dollars each month, so get out and build that business!

    Source: www.entrepreneur.com

    Call, text, email, or stop by our Los Angeles HQ today!
    Helvetia Holdings Group, LLC
    Wells Fargo (HQ) Building
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    Los Angeles, CA, 90025
    United States of America

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  • How Changes to the Way We Search Will Impact Businesses

    Changes in paths to consume content and experiences have emerged through technologies that offer a glimpse into what search may look like in the not-so-distant future.

    Today’s search engines are one of the primary paths to content experiences on the web. Shopping, research, directions and questions all pass through Google (and to a lesser extent Bing and Yahoo) as the entry point to solutions-seeking. Generally, the experience is the destination, and search engines have done a fine job of channeling users to the precise experience they’re looking for.

    What if, however, the end result could be reached earlier, circumventing today’s path? Changes in paths to consume content and experiences have emerged through technologies that offer a glimpse into what search may look like in the not-so-distant future.

    With Google Answers and Google My Business data dominating in search results, and providing data and answers to the user directly after they search, it eliminates the need for a user to click through to a website. While this might not be a delightful or engaging content experience, a very distinct need is being addressed through answers and data delivery right in the search engine results pages. Consequently, disruptive technology companies (Google being one of them) have plans to delight in other ways — almost certainly changing the search landscape as we know it.

    Human language search

    We’re currently witnessing the rise of voice search on our personal devices. The results are simple answers and data, similar to what we see displayed visually via Answers boxes and Google My Business. An interesting trend that has emerged since Siri and Cortana came on the scene is our “human language search” approach to the way we query. Speaking to our devices in the same way we speak to a barista or store clerk, this behavior has followed us back to our keyboards when we search on desktop and mobile. This suits search engines well, as we tend to be clearer with our intent and context when we search this way versus the old-school Boolean method.

    Anything more detailed than your device returning simple answers or asking for a next step, however, will require better familiarity between the user and the search engine. If we’re to expect the disappearance of the keyboard and rely on voice completely, machine learning and personalization will need to evolve. At the very least, we’ll be tethered to something that forces us to select the next step for the foreseeable future, even if we speak to them like other humans. With Google Lensvisual search, however, all bets may be off.

     

    Digital personal assistants

    Google Home, Amazon Alexa and others have taken search results a step further, neatly bypassing displayable data with answers, weather data and news being read aloud, versus a query, click or scroll. Commands to purchase can also be made through a digital personal assistant. What this means, however, is that chasing ownership of the top three results in search engines will be a thing of the past. When digital personal assistants are fed search results from the top spot, position one will be the only relevant position to own.

    Shopping may be a different story altogether if your device prioritizes results from its own ecosystem over rival search engines. Looking at how Amazon manages its Alexa devices today is just a preview into online shopping’s future.

    Everything in-platform

    As Google has evolved to meet the needs of users by limiting options and providing quick rewards directly in results pages, so have other complementary (and at times competitive) platforms.

    Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP don’t take users too far away from the originating platform source, enabling them to return to whatever they were doing before something caught their eye. Solutions like Facebook Store integrate products for an in-platform shopping experience, tightening the gap between product discovery and purchase, while directing users away from Google’s fairly limitless shopping mall of possibilities.

    WeChat takes it a few steps further. What began as a messaging platform in China has become a robust social, commerce and payments ecosystem without a U.S. equivalent. Taking a taxi to dinner via WeChat can include hailing a ride, route sharing, messaging a photo from the cab and splitting payments all in a single platform. Meanwhile, the U.S. industry is still too fractured for full social and payments integration, meaning customers have limited social sharing in their ride sharing apps. In Uber’s current state, it just doesn’t seem realistic to pull a menu attached to your restaurant destination like it is in WeChat.

    But, to think that before Uber and Lyft we would have Googled for a local taxi company, visited its website for a phone number and manually dialed to speak to a human is remarkable. And it’s paved the way for introducing something like WeChat in the U.S., or at the very least, for a powerhouse like Facebook to integrate social media, services and payments that limits the necessity for some types of search behavior in the future.

    Hyper-personalization

    If you’re interested in how organic search will be impacted next, look to other digital marketing channels for the blueprint. In paid media, we see search and display ads based on demographics and browsing history. Programmatic display, beacon technology and more advanced targeting gets even creepier. In organic search today, we see results based on location and past purchases we may have made. Google’s search algorithm has brought us what the engines consider the most relevant results, but those results are rarely individualized in any meaningful way.

    Moving past simple targeting, machine learning and platform integration can deliver results to users on an absolute personal level. Imagine data from walled-in ecosystems like Facebook and a news site on the open web feeding data into Google’s organic algorithm to address our queries personally. Marketers are using beacon technology to know we were just at Starbucks and location data to know it’s about to rain in order to serve up the perfect ad creative. It’s only a matter of time before similar collections of intelligence can answer the “what should I do today in New York?” query with a relevant result that won’t have you over-caffeinated and caught in the rain.

    Source: www.entrepreneur.com

    Call, text, email, or stop by our Los Angeles HQ today!
    Helvetia Holdings Group, LLC
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    United States of America

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  • Why Personal Branding Must Be Your First Focus

    Consumers won’t buy from your company until they trust you.

    In today’s competitive business environment, it may seem nearly impossible to stand out. But many people have managed to step out of the shadows by opting for a strategy primarily used by businesses themselves — branding.

    Personal branding is the key to giving yourself an advantage both in your current job and when you search for a new one.

    Your personal brand is something that follows you around whether you want it to or not. It’s something that exists even if you don’t bother to cultivate it. From job to job, the way you present yourself professionally matters, and it is instrumental in establishing yourself as a valuable leader.

    What exactly is personal branding?

    Understanding the ins and outs of personal branding is obviously the first step in the right direction. The concept can be simply defined as the method of marketing yourself and your career to improve relationships with managers, colleagues and clients. Turning yourself into a brand helps you manage how you’re viewed and how much trust you can establish in your career. It involves creating a distinct voice, image and ethical standard.

    But, it’s also something that takes consistent work over the course of your career. That is to say, you can’t write a particularly excellent blog post one time and expect that to carry you through the rest of your life. On top of that, just generally having a social media presence is no longer enough to qualify as a personal brand.

    Building trust with those around you.

    Trust isn’t something that flourishes naturally on a wide scale. It’s something you have to cultivate, and the best way to do that is with a unique personal brand. When it comes to who consumers trust the most, it’s almost always individuals. Corporate branding may technically be more visible, but it’s almost universally seen as less trustworthy. In fact, brand messages are shared 24 times more often if the originator of the message is an individual.

    Clearly, you can use your personal brand to build trust as long as that brand reads as authentic and sincere.

    Finding a niche.

    One of the most valuable facets of a personal brand is discovering your niche. It can be difficult to stand out if your area of expertise is simply “marketing.” If you try something more specific, you can magnify yourself and your skills. Although your target demographic may be more narrow, you are more likely to connect with that audience. I have spent most of my career focusing on Wikipedia. May not sound exciting, but it has helped me stand out as a go-to person for those in need of a Wikipedia page.

    Becoming a thought leader.

    While becoming a thought leader might not be at the top of everyone’s to-do list, it can happen if you establish yourself in a niche. Whether you are writing articles or participating in interviews, a portfolio of helpful information and advice will propel you to thought leader status. Again, this is all about building trust with valuable and actionable guidance.

    Conclusion.

    In order to become a respected intellectual in your field, you have to know what you’re talking about, offer genuine counsel and really mean what you say. Done well, personal branding can walk side-by-side with personal development and career success.

    Source: www.entrepreneur.com

    Call, text, email, or stop by our Los Angeles HQ today!
    Helvetia Holdings Group, LLC
    Wells Fargo (HQ) Building
    11601 Wilshire Blvd. 5th Floor
    Los Angeles, CA, 90025
    United States of America

    Phone: +1.310.800.2197
    info@www.p2pdevelopers.com
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