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Can Free Really Be Better? A Review of Free SME Marketing Tools

When you're running a small business, every penny counts. But at the same time, you know that you have to spend money to make money, including investing in the right tools for your company's marketing needs. With the number of free marketing tools available to today's marketing professional, can you get by without spending a lot of money in the process? Here's a quick overview of popular free SME marketing tools to help you decide. Buffer or Hootsuite? Both of these social media scheduling tools allow you to pre-load your social media posts so that they can be automatically posted to your accounts without the constant distraction from your other business tasks. We recommend trying both to se

Confused About the New Accounting Standards? Here's What You Need to Know

Whether or not you work internationally, the changes in International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) may have a huge impact on your business. Why? Up until recently, IFRS and America's Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) have been fairly closely aligned. However, the changes made in IFRS 9 are creating issues for some businesses. Here's a quick overview to help you get started. In its simplest form, the new IFRS standard introduces new concepts that are not currently used in GAAP while changing in several other areas that were previously common to both standards. The first covers time value. Under IFRS 9, you'll now have three options to select from: including time value, e

What will the new tariffs do to your business' bottom line?

There's a word that's striking fear into the hearts of business people around the world: tariffs. With the Trump administration's focus on putting American businesses first, there has been a number of tariffs being put into place on a wide range of products and materials coming into our country. But what impact are these tariffs going to have on your company? Here's a quick look to help you form a strategy to deal with these issues. With the hysteria on tariffs, it can be difficult to predict the actual impact. A few weeks ago, the Fed's Beige Book reported that they had anecdotal reports on the rise in cost of steel, aluminum, drywall, concrete and lumber, blaming the change in cost on the

Ready for Accounting Automation? Steps to Start the Process

Digitization is an evolution of business processes and models that is transforming how we operate. One key concept of digitization is the automation of back-office tasks, including accounting and bookkeeping processes. But when accounting is only a small part of your business, how do you start the process that leads to accounting automation? Here's a quick guide to give you some direction. Structure a framework for the changeover. Start with a solid mindset of what you want to accomplish, then take a strategic approach to the change with stakeholders all on the same page. Understand what's happening currently and determine where there are the best opportunities to maximize value from automa

Your Dream Job: How Business Goals Help Make it Happen

When you're a new entrepreneur, it can seem as though everything is possible. But starting a business without an idea of what direction you need to go, you'll end up wasting time, money and energy on details that may not move your business forward. One of the most recognized ways to create a list of your goals is using the SMART method to lay out attainable goals. Here's how S. Specific. Is it specific enough to be able to stay on track? Simply stating that you want your business to be successful isn't enough. Wanting to become one of the top five residential plumbers in your area is more specific. M. Measurable. Is there a way you can see how much progress you're making? Using the above exa

Working the gig economy? Here are some business tips to remember

With the economic crash and slow recovery, many people who couldn't find work otherwise started freelancing. While the economy recovered, many have chosen to retain the freedom that freelancing provides. It's expected that within a decade, over half of the workforce will be freelancing. But it's not easy. Here are some tips to help you transition from employee to freelance. Start with savings. Because building a customer base takes time, it's vital to have at least six months of expenses saved to cover bills. This includes loan and credit card payments (which you'll want to pay down as much as possible ahead of time), but should also include travel, clothing, utilities, rent, food and all of

Considering EU Clients? A Quick Guide to New GDPR Standards

Though we have laws and standards in the US that govern data security, when you're dealing with the international scene, it can make a big difference to how you do business. Though international business has often been considered the purview of importers and big business, the ready access of internet communications to other countries brings it down to the level of small business. For that reason, we've created this brief introduction to the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) standard that has gone into effect in the European Union. Generally speaking, the GDPR standard applies to anyone who is tied into EU commerce, no matter how tentatively. If your website is viewed in the EU, i

What are Some General Business Trends from Digitization?

Digitization. A hot buzzword today, the long-reaching tendrils of digitization will impact every aspect of every industry. But what is it, how will it impact your business and how can you take advantage of it? Here's a quick look at business trends that are developing out of the quest for digitization. Digitization is what happens at the intersection of five specific aspects: Supercomputing power The Internet of Things Hyperconnectivity Cybersecurity Cloud computing Today's society has lead to this intersection, which has resulted in a wide range of changes in how we do business every day. Software as a Service: It used to take a costly investment to get the software your business needed to

What Are Analytics and How Do They Benefit Your Business?

Analytics. For many business owners, the term can seem like the holy grail of strategy and business performance, providing benefits without any real understanding of the concepts and science behind the process. When you don't have a solid understanding of the concept, it's virtually impossible to apply it to your company to improve your bottom line. What exactly are analytics and how can you use them to boost your company's performance? Here's a quick overview to help get you started. Generally speaking, analytics is the study of large amounts of data to help determine trends in a business. However, the definition falls far short of what analytics can actually do for your business. Originall

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