6 Expert Tips to Help Choose The Right Software for Your Business

futureIt doesn’t matter if you are in the market for mental health ehr software or accounting software, the same principles apply when choosing the right software programs for your business.

Basically, the right kind of program will make all of those little tasks so much easier for you and your staff, as well as free up time so everyone can focus on the most important things.

Need help choosing the right software for your business? Below are 6 expert tips…

Easy to install

One of the main things to look for is ease of installation, as you want minimum interruption for your business. Ideally, a software company should be able to come in out of hours and get everything installed.

Easy to use

The vast majority of your staff are probably not computer experts. They just need something that is easy to use and gets the job down without too much hassle. Therefore, it’s recommended that ease of use if one of the main features.

Upgraded on a regular basis

Things are constantly changing, and in this fast paced world a few years is a huge amount of time, especially in the software industry. This is why any software you buy must be updated on a regular basis, as you don’t want to be stuck with a program that is 5 years out of date and way behind all of the others on the market.

Training is supplied

When you are spending a lot of money on software, especially specialized software, then the company should be prepared to send one of their experts to your location in order to offer training for your staff. This ensures there are minimal problems during the first few days of operation, and that everybody learns how to use it properly.

Compare features

It’s highly recommended that you shop around and make a list of a few different software programs that do the same thing. You’ll get the chance to compare features and see which program would be suited for your business, as well as looking closely at the prices so you are able to get the best deal possible.

One way to achieve this is by negotiating the price down, especially when you are buying multiple software licenses.

Read the small print

Make sure you understand the small print before signing any kind of contract. For example,many software companies will require you to pay on a monthly basis for a specific amount of time. In other words, you are stuck paying for the software, even if you stop using it, so read everything closely and only proceed when you are comfortable.

5 Essential Commercial Insurance Tips

insuranceNo matter if you have a small, medium, or large business, getting the right kind of insurance that covers every kind of situation will save you a lot of money in the long run.

You need protection against things like a potential lawsuit from an employee, theft and robbery from your premises, or even something simple like faulty gas scrubbers that require an immediate replacement.

Here are 5 essential commercial insurance tips:

Go with a broker

One of the best ways to find the exact kind of commercial insurance that matches your specifications is to go with an experienced broker.

The reason? Because they will be able to “mix and match” your policy from different insurance companies, so you end up with a unique policy that gives your business the most amount of protection possible.

Shop around

Luckily, there are many brokers out there, which means it’s always a good idea to shop around and speak with a few so you have some bargaining power when it comes to negotiating your monthly premiums.

While you don’t always want to go with the cheapest quote, it doesn’t make any sense to pay outrageous prices when you don’t have to.

Check the policy

Before signing on the dotted line with your new commercial insurance policy always check the small print and terms and conditions. In fact, get a lawyer to do this for you, as they will be able to interpret a lot of the jargon that is often associated with these kind of policies.

Don’t skip this important step, because if something isn’t right with your policy then you might not have full coverage which could leave your business vulnerable.

Make sure you comply

There are many cases where a commercial insurance policy became invalid due to oversights made by the business owner, and this ultimately led to not being able to claim when something happened.

As an example, a policy might state that a certain alarm system must be used on your premises, while 2 security guards must be on site at all times. If this is not followed by yourself, then if something does happen you won’t be covered, so make sure you always comply.

Report incidents immediately

In order to give yourself the best possible chance of success when claiming on your commercial insurance policy, it’s essential that you report any incidents immediately. The longer you leave it, the more chance your claim will be denied, so understand that time is of the essence.

Are You About to Make These Small Business Startup Mistakes?

business ideasStarting a business can either be the best thing you’ve ever done or the worst. Get it right and you are on the fast track to millionaire status. Get it wrong and it will probably set you back a few years.

Fortunately, if you keep mistakes to a minimum then you have the best possible chance of having a successful startup with the minimum amount of problems. What are these mistakes? Let’s take a look…

Not planning

If you don’t plan then you plan to fail. Wiser words have never been spoken. Sure, planning might seem like a bit of a chore, especially when you just want to get on with it, but without a plan you have no real direction.

Not having goals

Where do you see your business in 6 months, 12 months, 5 years, 10 years? Most new business owners never really consider having any goals, and this why they end up failing miserably. Don’t be one of them.

Not charging enough for your products or services

It might seem like a good idea to undercut the competition to get new customers but this approach is rarely sustainable in the long term. It’s a much better idea to charge more for your products and services so you have higher margins and have a better chance of success.

Not embracing technology

While some technology is a distraction and will most likely hinder your productivity, there is some technology that is essential. For example, if you are about to start a hotel, then getting Hotel Management Software will make the whole process a lot easier than if you try to do everything manually.

Not marketing

Without a doubt, one of the biggest mistakes that new business startups make is not marketing their products or services. How do you expect anyone to know about your business if you don’t tell them? Maybe you’re scared to spend the money? At the end of the day, a business without marketing won’t last very long as getting new customers will become harder and harder with each passing week.

Not getting help

It’s very noble to try and do everything yourself when starting a new business, but the reality of the situation is that you can only do so much. This is why getting help is often essential, especially in areas where you don’t have much knowledge or expertise. Don’t be afraid to outsource tasks to freelancers or hire staff once you start to become profitable.

AVOID These 4 Common Small Business Mistakes

business dunceThere is a fine line between success and failure in the small business world. Get it slightly wrong, and you could soon be finding yourself in the local job center, not looking for a new employee, but looking for a new job. Do you really want to be going down this path again?

We have listed the 4 most common small business mistakes. AVOID these at all costs!

Not having a system for getting paid

The simple truth of the matter is that customers and clients will do anything to avoid paying you. You end up spending hours of your time chasing them down, while more important matters get ignored.

Don’t make this huge mistake. Instead, make good use of free online invoicing software and in no time at all your headaches will disappear.

Not having a business plan

The next common small business mistake is not having a business plan. At the end of the day, if you don’t have a plan, then how do you know where your business will this time next year?

Fortunately, writing a business plan doesn’t need to be a daunting task. The main thing to keep in mind is that you should keep it simple. Think about simple factors such as who are your target customers, and how you will reach them. Once you have a solid plan in place, then your business will start to gain momentum.

Not being the boss

Another huge mistake is acting like an employee rather than a boss. As an example, if you owned a restaurant, then do you think that being the back washing dishes every night is a good use of your time? Of course not.

This is why you need to focus on the most important tasks in your business, and then hire staff and sub contractors to take care of the tasks that don’t need your urgent attention.

Not hiring an accountant

It doesn’t matter if your business is small, medium or large…you need an accountant. Not only can they organize your finances so you keep out of trouble with the IRS, but they will also offer you advise on the best practices for your business.

Look to hire an accountant who has experience in your industry so the advice is more specific. Also, hire an independent company rather than a large firm, as you are more likely to receive personal attention rather than just being another number in the system.

How to Get a Small Business Loan

business loanIf you are in the process of setting up your own small business, then a loan will be on your list of priorities. Getting startup cash is essential to gain momentum, and if you fail in your quest for a small business loan, then it could end your dreams of being your own boss.

Here are some essential tips on how to get a small business loan…

Tip 1 – Find the right lender

It all starts with finding the right lender. Luckily, there are many different options available, which means you have the luxury of shopping around before making a decision.

The most important aspect of this process is finding a moneylender that you can trust and you feel comfortable dealing with. That might be with your local bank, or with a lender you find online.

Just make sure that you keep an eye on the interest rate before taking out a small business loan. If it’s too high, then you are better off looking elsewhere.

Tip 2 – How much do you need?

Many new business owners make the mistake of borrowing too much or too little. Ultimately, you should know exactly how much you need, so you don’t end up struggling to buy items for your business.

Write down a list of all your potential expenses. For example, do you need to buy inventory? Tools? Marketing fees? A franchise fee? All of these costs should be taken into consideration before you apply for a small business loan.

Tip 3 – Write a business plan

In many cases, the lender will want to see a business plan before they loan you the money. For this reason, it’s essential that you have a plan that is both simple and easy to understand.

Basically, your business plan should have a clear direction for your business, and show the lender exactly how it is going to make money and in what kind of time-frame this is going to happen. Avoid over-complicating your business plan, as this can just lead to confusion, and ultimately, a failed loan application.

Tip 4 – Research other options

What happens if you can’t get a small business loan? Do you have a plan b? At the end of the day, a loan is not the only way you can get financing for your new venture.

You may also want to consider asking family or friends for a small loan, or even looking for potential investors who will put cash into the business for a percentage of the company.