Category Outsourcing

Let Go A Little and Help Your Business

All of us are only human; and that includes you and I. This is true however much, as small business owners, we may want to think that we are super-human and can do it all, the practicality is that we simply can’t. And, moreover, if we do try to do it all it can end…

Social Networking is the New Sales & Outsourcing for Small Business.

Using social networking sites for small business is as essential as being able to write an invoice in todays largely online based economy. It will help you to extent your business network and provide for two important business functions all at the same time: Outsourcing – by networking you will get to know peoples skills,…

More Supplier and Customer Solidarity Needed To Beat Credit Crunch!

With credit availability non existent or in sharp decline, a more transparent relationship between suppliers and customers is needed to overcome the credit hurdle. In times when money is short a very open relationship based on partnership will allow a chain of suppliers and customers to fulfill orders in a “joint venture per order” kind…

Do you have concern for your business or only for yourself?

I had an interesting conversation about my view that management control over employees is a myth. I have believed for some time now that an office is often a total waste of money and completely unnecessary. Most of the time I’m told it’s OK when you work by yourself, but not if you have employees,…

Little Switch – Big Small Business Collaboration

Whatever your virtual service is, typing, bookkeeping, web-dasign, translations, telephone answering, diary management, PR, it does not matter with OnlineOffice and the Quick Switch facility you will easily stay in control.Accountants can use this in the same fashion, so when a client calls, "switch" to the up-to-date data and give advice.... Combine this with the benefits of online technology and it eco-friendly impact, and you will be excused for feeling good about your business.To use this technology, all you need is your find your LiveNet ID - in My LiveNet > My Profile - give it to your client and he/she can set you up as a user on their OnlineOffice system and restrict what you have access to.This means you can work for anyone in the world who uses OnlineOffice, or you can add contractors, virtual assistants, freelancers or free agents to your system at will.

First Small Business Export Summit in Washington, DC

There is also a great line-up of companies wanting to help those, who are interested in exporting.We used to have separate products called ExportOffice and GlobalOffice, which were especially designed for the very small exporting business, but we learned in time, that our OnlineOffice provided all the needed components as well, so we simply-fied our product offering in this regard.I will not be there since WinWeb sponsors an award at the UK Accountancy Age Awards, Best use of Internet in Practice, I'm committed to present the award in person. But, I'm sending an colleague of mine, Mr. Göran Thorell - should you be around, go and find him and talk to him about your exporting ideas, I'll be blogging about the Global Export Summit again, after the event.I would have loved to go, since I firmly believe the small business and start-up business, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer- or Personal business, like professional, contractors, freelancer, self-employed, sole-trader and virtusal assistants is highly under represented in the global market place.Opportunities are everywhere, you just need to see them.

Q & A: What should I do when my bank cancels my overdraft without warning?

This question is hard to answer, because there are no simple answers here and the outcome of this situation could easily be fatal to the business and if you are personally guaranteeing this money - and you probably are - this could potentially be very serious for your personal life too.The things that you need to do, in my opinion are: Find out why?... Many years ago someone made the the umbrella analogy and it goes like this: When the sun is shining your bank gives you an umbrella (O/D, Loan);when it is raining, they need the umbrella themselves.It is best if you do everything possible to not need banks in the first place, by bootstrapping, outsourcing, planning your business and keeping your fixed costs as low as possible.Remember sometimes, attack is the best defense even with banks, they may need their money, but they do not need bad publicity either.

Q & A: What questions should I ask my accountant before I start my business?

Choosing an accountant/CPA is probably one of the most important decisions to get right, because you are unlikely to have an accountant's grasp of taxationcompany lawdealing with the tax authoritieswide range of knowledge about small business.You need to make sure you find an accountant/CPA who concentrates on small business and start-up business, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer- or Personal business, like professional, contractors, freelancer, self-employed, sole-trader and virtual assistants before you make any appointments.Another aspect is size, make sure you are not "one among millions" sort of speak, smaller accountants practices are often more in tune with your small business needs, because they are a small business too.Here are some questions I would be asking when starting out with a new business venture: Should I start my business as a sole-trader, partnership or limited liability company?Can you help me to find and raise finance? (Read about bootstrapping first!)Will you help me with setting up my cash-flow forecast?When do I need to register for VAT (UK), GST (Australia) or when do I need to charge sales tax (US)?Am I ready to start trading, or should I wait?Do I need to choose my financial year and trading year end date?Are you going to do my bookkeeping and accounting work?Will you work online with me, so we both can be up-to-date with my business progress?Will you deal with my employment issues, pensions, annuities and insurances for me?Will you help me to understand more and more of these issues myself, and will you be available for advice if and when I need it?There are many more issues to consider and they depend on your business, that is where your accountant will help you too.

Q & A: Does Small Business Need a Disaster Plan?

To be perfectly blunt about the subject, it is not made easier by confusing technology and more to the point terminology, that even we have difficulty understanding some time.We should not expect business start-ups and small business in general to be accountants, bookkeepers, IT specialist, lawyers, marketing & PR gurus and so on. We should provide small business with an infrastructure in which it can concentrate on core business tasks, while at the same time enabling the business owner to stay informed of all relevant business facts like cash flow, sales, HR issues, tax position and more.... Have a look at virtual assistants in your area.There are other questions you could ask yourself, just take 30 minutes, get a peicJust to mention it, a disaster plan in a burned out house is of no value to anyone, again keep it online.Answer: YES, a small business needs a disaster plan, just like any other business.

Q & A: What does “Fixed Costs” mean and why should they be as low as possible in a Small Business?

Examples are rent, some employee costs, property taxes, telephone, heating and interest/bank expense.As opposed to "Variable Costs", they only occur in proportion to activity within the business and hopefully that will lead to sales and revenue.Why should I keep my "Fixed Costs" as low as possible?So when I talk about outsourcing, I'm talking about changing fixed cost into variable cost.... And depending how often you are in or out of your office, the 50 inclusive calls are probably enough to cover your needs.Should that not be the case, then you have "variable costs" of $1 per call, which means you are out of the office, working or enjoying life while it is quiet, for example during holiday season.

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