Why It’s Time To Get Strict With Your Payment Terms

A common problem that many small business owners and freelancers have is payment. From late payments to not being paid at all, many business owners will struggle to keep their business afloat while juggling the uncertainty of payment.

If you’ve always been a bit lax with your payments, it’s time to get tough. Getting your finances in order is crucial for securing your business’ future, and your own finances too.

Take the tough approach with your payments to do what’s right for you and your business.

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You deserve to be paid for your hard work

When you work for yourself, the way other businesses can see you can be unsettling. Some may try to undervalue your worth or use the age of your business against you. There are a lot of myths that keep freelancers from getting paid what they’re worth, but that doesn’t mean that you should buy into them.

Be strict with your payment terms and what you charge, you may find that most people are just pushing their luck and will accept your pricing. 

Maintaining security is important

Having secure payment systems in place is important for your business. This not only protects your finances but protects your customers and clients too. There are a lot of different types of secure payment, and you should explore the ones that are right for you. Weighing up whether to use ACH vs EFT is one way to help you decide on a secure and reliable payment process. Review your security processes to help ensure all your data is protected from potential threats.

The future is uncertain

The global pandemic has been particularly tough on the self-employed. It’s estimated that 46.6% of self-employed people lost their jobs during the coronavirus crisis. There are many reasons for this, but with so much ongoing uncertainty, you need to cover yourself. Always invoice on time and be clear about your payment terms. You may even want to take a retainer for your services to cover you against some loss if a problem occurs. 

Your business depends on it

When you’re self-employed, your business can be your only source of income. One of the mistakes small businesses make is that they fail to plan ahead, and that can include your finances. Managing cash flow is crucial for those who are self-employed, as a few missed payment deadlines can be all it takes to drive your business into the red. Taking a tough stance on your invoicing can help you maintain effective cash flow and ensure you’re taken seriously as a small business owner.

Running your own business or being self-employed means you won’t have the financial safety net that larger organizations have. Protecting your business’ finances should be a priority, and you should never accept more than you’re worth. Get tough with your payment terms and give your business the financial security it needs to thrive.

Reducing Recruitment Costs

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Right now, due to the global pandemic and all of the issues that have brought, many businesses are looking to save money wherever they can. One area that is often overlooked to this end is recruitment. 

Hiring new people can be a big expense for any business, but of course, it is often necessary, so it is always worth looking at ways that savings can be made, which is exactly what I’ve done below…

Outsource instead

An obvious way to cut down on recruitment costs is to think about whether you really need to hire someone for the job or not. These days, you can outsource everything from financial accounting services to customer support, and it is often cheaper to do so because you don’t have to pay employee tax and benefits on top of everything else, so whenever you’re thinking of hiring someone new, first things about whether you really need to or if it would be cheaper to engage an outsourced solution instead.

Seek referrals

Advertising for employees can be very expensive what with placing the actual ad itself and potentially paying someone to write an appealing job spec/ad in itself, So, one thing any business can do to cut down on this particular cost of recruitment is to first seek referrals before advertising the position at all. 

Ask your current employees, clients, and associates if they know anyone who would be interested, and qualified for the job and interview them first. Chances are your employees will know other competent people in the industry, so if you can have them refer people to you, you can cut many of the costs traditionally associated with hiring new employees and get access to the talent you need.

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Use social media

Social media is filled with people looking for work, so why not leverage that to your advantage? You can post your job openings on your own social media pages without paying a single penny to anyone, and providing you do a good job and put the right post together to attract as many likes and shares as possible, it will practically do the job of spreading the word itself. Of course, you’ll still need to interview, but at least you won’t need to spend a lot of time and money dealing with various recruitment agencies and job sites, nor will you need to worry about paying their fees.

Use an applicant tracking system 

Application tracking systems like CIPHR iRecruit will save you countless time and money by streamlining your processes and automatically tracking applications. That means you’ll need fewer humans on the job, so you should be able to save a lot of money in terms of HR resources.

Look after your employees

Of course, the best way to save money on recruitment is to lower your need for it at all. By looking after your employees and ensuring your workplace is a happy one, you will have a better staff retention rate and less need to recruit, which means you will save way more time and money as a result.

Recruitment doesn’t have to be so expensive, as you can see.

Bad Habits That Could Ruin Your Business

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When you are running your own business, it is important that you remain as professional as you at all times. If you drop the ball even for one second, it could have negative consequences for your business. Bad habits, in particular, can bring your business down if you let them, and since I’m sure you don’t want that to happen, let’s take a look at some of the bad habits that are most likely to ruin your business…


If you are a procrastinator, you will constantly be putting off important jobs like filing the accounts or calling up the suppliers to arrange a better deal in favor of less important tasks like answering routine emails and organizing your filing cabinet. This is very unlikely to help you grow a successful business going forward, so if you are a classic procrastinator, it may be time to start developing strategies to help you get things done.


If you are running a business in the 21st Century, then you need to be able to use technology like this integrated hospital contract management software and this accounting software with ease. If you cannot and do not want to use technology then your business will be fr less accurate and efficient than it could be and your company will undoubtedly suffer, and be beaten by the competition, as a result. Even if it means taking a computer class, get to grips with the latest tech and let your business thrive. 


It almost goes without saying that if you are lazy, you are unlikely to build a successful business. When you look at the most successful entrepreneurs from Richard Branson to Elon Musk, one thing they all have in common is drive. If you’re lazy, you’ll miss deadlines, put off wining and dining clients, do sloppy work at the last minute and ultimately put clients off working with you again in the future. Laziness is simply not a habit you can afford to have.

Bad manners

If you have bad manners and a lack of social skills, whether you realize it or not, you will turn people off. They will come to consider you as rude and that is the last thing you want to happen because, in order to be successful in business, you need to be able to network effectively and build meaningful connections with clients, employees, and other prominent business people. These days you can take classes in etiquette and social skills, particularly for business, so there is no excuse not to behave appropriately in any given situation even if it does not always come naturally to you.


If you are arrogant in business, you will ignore suggestions from employees who may have a lot to offer; you will ignore bad refires from customers and you will not be able to prevent yourself from micromanaging every aspect of your business. Basically, you will run your business into the ground while thinking all is rosy and that is not a good position to be in.

How To Rebuild Your Small Business After COVID-19

While the short-term prognosis for small companies differs significantly by sector, it’s critical to anticipate what recovery mode will look like once the economy returns to normalcy – or creates a new normal. Having a plan in place for following COVID-19 may help you be ready to hit the ground running and rebuild. If you’re not sure what your coronavirus escape strategy should be, this article may help you get back on track.

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Assess The Financial Damage 

The first step in establishing a COVID-19 rebuilding strategy is assessing the extent to which your small business has been impacted.

There are many layers to examine, starting with hard numbers. It’s an excellent time to update your accounting records, such as cash flow or profit and loss statements, if you haven’t done so lately. You may then compare them to prior year’s statistics to see how much your business has decreased. And it’s possible that the damage isn’t as bad as you think.

Aside from the basic statistics related to sales, earnings, and cash flow, examine how your company has been impacted in other ways. For example, if you’ve had to lay off some or all of your workers, you’ll need to account for this in your rebuilding strategy. If you have reduced your advertising and marketing budget, or if some of your clients have moved to rivals, you must account for these factors while identifying financial resources to assist you in recovering.

Revamp Your Budget 

You may have to spend money in the aftermath of the COVID-19 epidemic before you can earn money. For example, you might need to spend money on recruiting and training new workers, as well as rehiring those who were laid off. Inventory may need to be bought, and your advertising budget may need to be increased again to begin generating new buzz.

You should have a solid grasp of what you need to plan for and what you can remove as part of your coronavirus regeneration to make the most of the income you do have. The goal is to reduce financial waste and make your operational budget as tight as possible so that when the chance to invest in growth presents itself, you can seize it. Using OKR training to understand more about your goals is crucial, as this will help you see exactly which direction to go in. 

Rewrite Your Business Plan 

Your company model may have functioned very well before COVID-19, but getting out of it may need some fine-tuning. You might need to think about how your company can pivot to adapt to a new normal. For example, if you previously depended on foot traffic to a physical store for sales, you might now need to consider a digital expansion to meet the increasing number of individuals who shop from home.

Analyzing how the coronavirus epidemic has impacted your whole business is also beneficial. When examining your rivals and the industry as a whole, pay attention to trends and concentrate on identifying opportunities. Finding a gap or need that your company can serve that has been overlooked up until now may be important to recovering and growing your client base in the future.

Three Don’ts When Someone Wants To Buy Your Company

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When you have spent a lot of time launching a business, getting it off the ground and bringing in the right people, the joy of attaining success is a great thing. Seeing your instincts and decisions rewarded by hitting all of your targets and exceeding expectations brings a well-earned sense of achievement, and the validation of knowing that not only do you believe in yourself, but others believe in you too.

So when someone steps up and says that they would like to acquire your company, you’ll be hit by conflicting feelings. On the one hand, you’ll be gratified to know that someone has a  firm enough interest in your business to want to back that interest with a cash offer. There is also the sense that there might be a big pay-day in your future, offering a level of financial freedom and perhaps the chance to launch another company based on a new idea. Against that, there is the sense that you may want to hold on, that you know what it takes to make the business even better and bigger, and that you have – quite literally – unfinished business to take care of.

At times like this, you really don’t want to make a mistake. And below are three of the biggest mistakes you can make in such a situation…

Saying “yes” immediately

If you’ve spent many sleepless nights trying to get your business to this point, you may well be feeling like now is a good time to get out, cash in on your success, and take some time before taking your next step. In other words, you may have some motivation to sell. However, if you indicate that you’re keen to sell, you aren’t going to be giving your potential buyer much reason to convince you. Bear in mind that they undoubtedly have a top price they are willing to go up to, and they’re unlikely to offer that right out of the gate. It’s not necessary to fully turn down the offer out of hand, but at least ask some questions – what are their intentions for the business? Do they want to keep the same staff? – and so on.

Going it alone in negotiations

You’re an accomplished business owner – the offer sheet on the table is testament to that – and you’re going to legitimately feel confident about your talents. But it is worth remembering that unless your talents include an inside-out knowledge of corporate law as it pertains to mergers and acquisitions, you should not go into the negotiation room alone. Take advice from experienced lawyers from the likes of Accuro Maxwell and listen to what they’re telling you. A business large enough to buy you out is large enough to have a few tricks in their armory, and you don’t want to get stiffed on the deal.

Playing games

Just as it’s a bad idea to say “yes” right off the bat, the same applies in reverse. There is really no reason to try and play hard to get here. You will already have an idea of whether you’d consider selling and what your price is. Meeting with the potential buyer does not commit you to selling, so take the chance to speak to them and hear them out. If they make an offer, or intimate to you that they would be willing to offer a certain amount, tell them you’re happy to consider it and you want to consult your colleagues. Tell them this even if you don’t have any colleagues. Be composed and ready to walk away. If they sense that you’re confident, they may be prepared to up an offer.

Common Causes of Business Failure (And how to Avoid Them)

Failure will never really be at the forefront of a business owner’s mind when they launch a company. That being said, four out of ten companies are unable to make it past the first five years. Of course, it is always worth keeping an eye on the warning signs so that you can make sure that your business isn’t going to fall victim to things that could have well been avoided. If you want to find out more, then simply look below.

Poor Cash Flow

You may be sick and tired of being told that cash is king, but that doesn’t change the fact that improper cash flow management is often the downfall of a lot of companies. Even profitable companies can fall victim to the cash flow crisis, and this is the last thing that you want to happen to your company. You may find that high stock levels, poor debt and even late invoicing really works against you. If you want to stop this from being the case with your company, then you have to make sure that you put in the work to monitor your cash. You also need to make sure that you are taking the time to understand your position with your clients so that you can pre-empt any potential issues.

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Losing Control of Money

Any business owner has to be aware of their financials and their cash position at any moment. You need to be able to accurately forecast any income and you also need to make sure that you understand and control your costs. This will help you to minimise any nasty surprises. If you can, you need to hire a qualified accountant. You also need to make sure that you are investing in a good accounting software. Having one that works through the cloud will really work in your favour. Having small business loans can help you to sustain your business until you can get to the point where you can make a profit, but at the same time, you have to make sure that you are managing your money wisely.

Bad Planning

If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Long-term planning is the key to success when it comes to your business. When mapping out the growth of your business, you have to make sure that you do your market research. You also need to establish who your customers are and what they need. Recognising competitors and being proactive regarding any trends will help you as well. This will stop you from being left behind and it will also give you the chance to adapt quickly enough so that you can develop good habits early on.

Weak Leadership

A good leader will always recognise the skills that they have and the jobs that they do not have time for. They will then outsource or seek professional help so that they can fill in the gaps. As a leader, you have to make sure that you communicate and that you also offer people the chance to grow on a personal level.

Failure to Understand Customer Behaviour

We live in a very connected age. They say that the customer is always right, and this is more true than ever. Today’s consumers expect brick and mortar companies to accept Apple Pay and even credit cards. Even if you have a very small store, this is still essential. They also demand quality customer service.  If you do not deliver it, then you can expect your customers to complain on social media. If you want to help yourself here, then don’t try and do everything yourself. Hire someone to manage your social media page so that you can respond to messages quickly. You also need to make sure that you are taking on board what they are saying about your company as well so that you can make the required improvements. Hearing what your customers have to say isn’t good enough. You need to listen to them and take action when and where required.

Inventory Management

Your company cannot be successful if you are not managing your inventory very well. Studies have shown that poor inventory management is the biggest reason why most companies fail. If you have poor inventory management, then you may find that you end up having inventory shortages and overages as well. These are silent cash flow killers. It’s a rookie mistake and it can easily happen to you as a new business owner. The best way for you to try and combat things like this would be for you to use inventory management software. If you are not keeping track of the items that are high in demand, then you will experience shortages, and this will shrink your potential profits. If you are a merchant, then you will be taking on a certain amount of risk when you buy large amounts of inventory. If you do not sell these products as quickly as you forecasted, then this could mean that it loses out in value. You will then have to sell it at a deep discount or risk not selling at all. Instead of thinking of stock items as inventory, think of it as being hard cash. Every product that you have in storage right now is money you’ll never see purely because it is not contributing to your ROI.

Growth that is Not Sustainable

When it comes to business, it’s safe to say that slow and steady wins the race. Most of the time, if you expand too quickly, this will cause you to lose out. You may find that expanding too quickly puts a huge amount of stress on your credit and this can backfire if the market takes a turn for the worst or if you hit a rough patch. Trying to take on more business than you can handle will usually result in your quality declining. This is the last thing that you need, so make sure that you are committing to growth that is sustainable, and also make sure that you are smart about the customers who you choose to deal with. This is the secret to business success.

Post-Lockdown Business Ideas

Lockdowns are still happening on and off all over the world, which means that there are still people out there starting their own businesses and working to make them last beyond the pandemic lockdowns. One thing that’s for sure, it’s that people want to come up with more ideas after the lockdowns end so that they can continue their business. 

Whether you are an artist or an entrepreneur, buying up plastic mannequins or buying website domains to sell them on, you should consider how you can continue your business post-lockdown. One thing that we definitely know is that businesses that are driven by technology are the ones to watch after the pandemic, as these are going to have the crazy growth that all business owners want. So, what could you do after the lockdown to ensure that you own a business? Let’s take a look!

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  1. Online clothing seller. There are so many websites out there that will be the perfect platform for you to either sell clothes that you’ve bought and upgraded, or clothing that you have designed and made for yourself. Once you find these sites, you can continue your lockdown sewing hobby and turn it into something so much bigger than you thought it could be. 
  2. Social media manager. Are you excited by the idea of social media? Can you see the potential for growth? If you have spent the pandemic online on Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media sites, the best thing that you can do is see whether you can start up as a freelance social media consultant. You can take courses to do this, so don’t fret!
  3. Freelance writing. If you’re loving the idea of working from home, perhaps freelancing as a copywriter could work for you? You can find out the weaker areas on someone’s blog and tell them how to fix it. You can ensure that you find your own clients online on sites like Fiverr and then offer your services!
  4. Online accounting. Are you great with numbers? Were you an accountant (the real kind) before the pandemic hit? The best thing that you can do is to provide online consulting services to businesses and individuals who need support with their finances. 
  5. Opening a store. If you spent your lockdown baking or creating clothing, why not look at the steps you could take to open a store and sell what you make? There are a lot of laws involved in running a retail space, and you need to get your research done as early as possible. 
  6. Develop an app. One of the smartest business ideas that you could have is in development of an app. Whether it’s for education or for work support, you could really create something that people want. Speak to freelance app designers to help you to create something amazing, and you will be able to monetize this and potentially sell it later.

Important Construction Tips For Office Buildings


If you are looking to start a new business or you want to move to the next stage and build your own office for your workers – there are many things to consider and ways to make this a happy and comfortable environment to work in. 

Creating an office building that is smart and practical is something important for every workplace, and today we want to take a look at some of the tips you should take on board when building your office building. 

Ensure parking 

One of the most sought after commodities for those working in the city is an office building with its own free parking. As a business owner, being able to provide a secure car park for your employees is an amazing thing and it will help them to get to work on time every day without the trials and tribulations of public transport. Car parks will also attract more people to work for you so this can be a super useful thing. 

Make the most of outdoor space 

Outdoor space is such an important thing to consider when building your new office building. When you pick a plot of land make sure to keep some of it free for an outdoor seating area people can enjoy throughout the spring and summer months. A dose of fresh air will do your workers good, and having a seating area with grass and flowers can be a wonderful design feature for your building should you ever sell it on. 

Keep it open plan 

Open plan offices are all the rage these days, and gone are the days of cramped cubicles and locked rooms. When planning for your office construction project make sure to plan for an open plan space that allows people to communicate throughout the working day. This modern design will open up your space and will help you to maximise every inch of your floor space in the workplace. 

Use a crane driver for furnishings 

When constructing your ideal office building it is incredibly important to invest in someone with the best gantry crane training to come and bring larger furnishings into the office. If you have multiple floors and you have some big items that will not be able to come up the stairs, a crane will make life so much easier and it will ensure that everything is in place before you even put the windows in. 

Invest in windows 

Speaking of windows – these will be one of the most important features you bring into your office building today. Windows from floor to ceiling will open up your office and provide natural light all day to ensure everyone is able to work in a bright and spacious place. This is such an important feature to invest in because you will be able to keep morale up in the office and keep everyone awake and alert throughout the day. 

Use these ideas to create the perfect office building for yourself and your workers this year. 

The 4 Principles To Successfully Expand A Business Abroad

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The world is a big place, and that can encourage some businesses to try and take a step out and figure out just what opportunity is lurking there. This is not always clear from the offset, which is why deep research is needed, and why familiarity with a given country, its laws and culture should be undertaken before marketing to that audience.

Furthermore, certain countries may have specific legislation detailing exactly how consumers can engage with your products. For instance, the video game industry, the biggest entertainment industry on the planet, is sure to suffer in China after their recent declaration of limiting children to three hours of gaming time a week, wiping out billions of dollars of value.

So, it’s essential to know what you’re getting into. But what about when you’re establishing the processes that will develop your brand and ingratiate it into the market? In this post, we will discuss four essential principles you can use that can help you deftly manage this approach with your priorities properly calibrated:

Understand The Market

It can take some time, but it’s essential to understand the market before you try to penetrate it. This is because certain businesses, certain market shares, and certain gaps in the market will no doubt differ, sometimes wildly, from the norms you’re used to back home.

Furthermore, it might be that a country has specific regulations in place in order to favor home-grown trade over international imports. For instance, broadcast stations operating in Canada must have at least 50% of programming aired from 6.00pm to midnight must be of Canadian origin. It might be that certain industries are subsidized, giving them a natural advantage over the kind of value you can offer.

This kind of protectionism is often a point of political debate among many, but it’s something we must be aware of. This is especially true in changing markets such as of that of Great Britain, where the recent trade deal with the EU came with many concessions worth considering.

Understand The Culture

A market isn’t simply a statistic. It is influenced by a wide array of factors, including cultural. This can be as simple as needing to change a product name, or perhaps learning how to properly ingratiate yourself with professionals when hoping to expand, acquire, or merge internationally. For instance, Arab countries tend to place a high importance on manners and proper etiquette before business is discussed, as it’s considered polite and respectful to greet the other party as humans rather than cold professional entities before business is discussed. This can also influence to what degree you are trusted. That seems pretty rational.

But in countries like Japan, dancing around the subject of a business topic to be discussed before it is discussed can be seen as somewhat deceptive, or even rude in the worst circumstances. They require pleasantries, of course, but respect those who are able to discuss a proposition with confidence and assertiveness before assuming any artificial closeness.

This is general guidance, however, because it’s wrong to admit that all people are the same, and all cultural norms are equally divided among markets and society. You can see why research is needed, and where you fit in culturally can be a big necessity.

Understand The Regulations

We’ve discussed a little bit about regulations and how they can affect markets, but often, a regulation does not necessarily define exactly how successful your business might be, but rather, if you can operate there at all.

For instance, what does a customs broker do? These professionals make it their mission to help you properly cross the border and work through the customs departments of countries like the US, so that your goods aren’t obstructed, you don’t have to pay penalties for improper logistical care, and that your duties are reduced. With the reputation of a firm like this to help you, it’s also important to note just how seamless this kind of investment can help your international trade become.

Understanding every regulation is essential, but it can also be important to figure out your smoothest way of complying with them. In this case, you’ll find a positive means forward.

Pivot Your Approach As Necessary

No two countries are exactly the same, and no two markets are either. International trade can be finicky. Don’t be afraid to pivot your approach, or in certain circumstances, decide to withdraw and try again. Even the best businesses encounter difficulty from time to time.

With this advice, we hope you can more readily expand your business abroad.

Three Steps For Pushing Yourself in Your Career

The level of success that you can experience throughout your career can be directly linked to your attitude and how far you believe in yourself, and how far you think you will be able to go. There is a saying that says, whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right. That is why you may need an extra push in your career through a mentor or someone who inspires you and believes in you, to give you the extra push that you think you might need to get to the next level. If you don’t think you can, then you won’t. If you think you can, then with hard work, you will. Here are some things to consider as you pursue your career and strive to succeed.

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Identify what your motivators are

You need to find out what helps to motivate you, in order to help you to be better and to grow in your career. This could be thinking about what gives your life meaning or just what brings you joy in general. Are you motivated by financial reward, or do you prefer to be motivated by really setting your mind to something and then being able to do it? Where do you want your career to be in five years, for example? This direction can help you to move forward and achieve more each day. 

Take on challenges 

You may be in the career that you want to be right now, and just want to get higher up the ladder, so to speak. You may be in a career that isn’t ideal for you right now, but by seeking out different experiences and challenges, no matter where you are in your career right now, it will force you to grow. By going out of your comfort zone and taking on a certain task or applying to do something new, will help you to learn, as well as stand out from your peers. 

It could be pushing yourself to look for new drillers offsider jobs to get into an industry that you have an interest in, or perhaps you want to study at the same time as working, to further where you are in your career currently. When you push yourself it helps you to look more valuable to potential employers, and you never know where the next experiences may take you. 

Ask for help

By getting help from a more experienced colleague or a mentor that you trust, you will help to get more confidence, and can scratch your limits. By talking to someone who knows how to get to where you want to be or understands the challenges that you face, it will help you to improve your resilience, especially when you may feel like you are failing. A trusted colleague or mentor can help you to achieve your goals, and that can boost your confidence. Confidence is key to success, as it will help you believe that you are able to succeed and that means that you will.