BetterBudgeting

Establishing a Better Business Budget for 2019

The end of the year has arrived, and as any business person knows, that means establishing a concrete budget for the coming year. For those that aren’t as familiar with it, budgeting is like a business’s central nervous system. It’s a strategic tool to assist in making better spending decisions, identifying areas for improvement and maintaining a company’s financial well-being throughout the year.

So, where do you begin when building your yearly budget for 2019? We’ve got a few tips to get you started.

Build on the past

What happens in the past shouldn’t always stay in the past, especially when it comes to business. Your budget should lean on how your business has performed over the last few years. If possible, pull the results from the previous five years to help inform your projections for the new year. Past performance can help you establish a concrete basis for your new budget.

 

Be realistic

Your budget must be attainable. If not, you’ll only set your company up for failure. While analyzing your last five years of reports, look for certain factors like fixed costs, one-time expenses, areas for improvement or wiggle room. These factors can help you create a realistic budget that fosters healthy growth.

 

Flexibility is necessary

Your budget isn’t meant to be fixed. It’s okay to amend your projections throughout the year based on your business’ performance. In fact, you should be looking at your budget and modifying it frequently. This allows you to be informed of your company’s performance and financial well-being. Plus, if you are in danger of going over your established budget, staying aware of changes can help you turn things around earlier in the year.

 

Details are key

Don’t overlook the little things. The more detailed your budget at the beginning of the year, the more successful it will be. For example, instead of having a line titled “Employee Benefits,” try breaking down this category into several sub-categories like “Health Insurance, 401K, Paid Time Off.” These details can give you a much-needed view into the granular costs of your business, leading to insights into opportunities for financial improvements.

 

Use reliable tools

You don’t have to plan your budget with only an excel sheet as your guide. Most accounting software has budgeting tools built-in and ready to go. Utilize these tools as you are building your yearly budget. Plus, these tools can also link to previous year’s performance, leading to increased efficiency.

 

Stay on top of it

Your budget isn’t done when you finish the last projection. It’s important to constantly monitor your finances throughout the year to ensure you are staying within your projections. It also allows you to make necessary adjustments.

 

Utilize your staff

Several minds are always better than one. Open your budget up to your employees and ask for their feedback. They might see a hole you couldn’t originally. Plus, your employees might have insights into their specific departments that can help create a more well-rounded and detailed budget.

 

Partner with the best

If budgeting yourself seems daunting, consider partnering with a business that specializes in this area. They can help you year-round and take some of the burden of the business off your shoulders, so you can focus on the day-to-day operations.

 

Ready to learn more about business budgeting or need some expert guidance? Contact your local TAB owner today!

 

Why Coworking?

Over the last decade, coworking spaces, like Spaces, WeWork and Roam, have expanded beyond a workspace for freelancers and startups. Small businesses are starting to see the benefit of investing in a coworking space, and it’s easy to see why. For a simple monthly fee, business owners not only have a physical space to work, they also have access to everything they need to get the job done—and more. Here are a few reasons coworking is becoming more than just a trend.

Affordability

Owning a business isn’t cheap. So when it comes to coworking spaces, affordability is a huge factor. Small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs all find unique opportunities in renting a communal workspace, rather than an entire office. For instance, young businesses (or even smaller enterprises) can save on costly overhead expenses, up to thousands of dollars per month depending on your location. Plus, coworking environments allow business owners to choose the right location, amenities and more without sacrificing anything in return.

All-in-One Office

From designated (or floating) work areas to WiFi to conference rooms, everything needed to succeed each day can be found in coworking spaces. Even basic business services, like mail handling, printers and even coffee and snacks, are offered through a coworking partnership, checking one (or several) items off of a small business owner’s to-do list.

Networking

As small business and startup owners know, networking is key to success. Working in a communal space not only offers an affordable workspace option, but a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded business owners. Collaborate with peers, stay updated on recent events, find new projects or even new employees—all from the “office.”

Stimulating Environments

From creatives to accountants, our work environments impact our performance. Whether it’s healthy competition, ingenious collaboration or the buzz of an office environment, coworking spaces offer a unique environment that was designed to inspire the innovative spirit of business owners. Plus, by avoiding an in-home workspace, many business owners find a healthier balance between their work and personal lives.

Professional Meeting Spaces

Many small businesses struggle with offering a professional meeting space when working remotely. This dilemma can force many businesses to take the office leap of faith before they are ready. But coworking spaces offer the ability to save hard-earned funds and provide the much-needed professional meeting areas for clients and customers to visit.

If you are ready to take the next step in growing your business, please contact your metro Atlanta TAB board by visiting https://www.tabatlantametro.com/staff/.

Source material:
https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10889-coworking-spaces-wework-small-business.html
https://tech.co/benefits-coworking-small-business-2017-08
https://www.wework.com/mission

 

Resume Still Needed?

Hiring Today: Do Candidates Need a Resume Anymore?

Just as typewriters and whiteout are a thing of the past, so is the need for expensive resume paper and in-person applications. (Thank goodness!) In a digitally dominated professional environment, is the resume outdated too?

 

Why a Resume Matters

Today’s business owners, human resources departments, recruiters and candidates face challenges previous generations did not have to contend with. Today’s resume does not necessarily have the same look or feel as it did years ago, but in today’s digital world, a person’s resume is up for scrutiny by exponentially more people than in decades past.

 

LinkedIn: The Living Resume

Today, LinkedIn is the go-to source where many companies look to find professionals to fill their roles. Here, companies can post jobs on their LinkedIn page and if desired, pay to post a job description that can be searched for by candidates.  Many small business owners are finding it more cost effective to hire third party recruiters or even hire sourcers to help them search for both active and passive candidates (qualified people who are not currently looking for a next opportunity) that are perfect matches for their needs.  On LinkedIn, sourcers or recruiters can run keyword searches and pull up profiles that match key characteristics of the job description, literally bringing highly qualified candidates out of the woodwork for companies.  Whether a recruiter checks a LinkedIn profile after a candidate applies or uses it to source passive candidates, everyone’s LinkedIn profile needs to tell a meaningful career story.

 

Use LinkedIn for Recruiting Employees

For each profile, this is best done by expressing quantitative data about career accomplishments (X number of sales, % increase in revenue, etc.) rather than duties performed. The LinkedIn summary can be a goldmine of information. Not only does it offer a place to showcase one’s personality, it provides a place to clearly note professional highlights. Written in either first or third person depending on your industry, a LinkedIn profile should be kept completely current with consistent updates.

 

Insights Into How Small Businesses Hire

How Candidates Are Making Their Resumes Stand Out

With Millennial candidates leaving their thumbprint on how the next generation’s resumes should look, candidates find themselves asking if they should use a graphically driven format with eye-catching colors or fonts,  or are hiring managers wanting them to stick to a black-and-white version of the classic resume?  There are strong opinions for both options. In a creative-oriented profession, such as design or marketing, a graphic resume can be a valuable asset. However, job search coaches such as  J. T.  O’Donnell strongly advise against this because an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) can’t read graphic resumes correctly and it may get rejected by these systems that larger corporations are using.

The hiring manager for your company’s opening needs to be able to scan the resume quickly for information. Top candidate’s resumes will help a recruiter or hiring manager say “yes” to wanting to hear more by providing lots of numbers to quantify accomplishments, using several keywords in their LinkedIn profiles, and formatting it to allow lots of white. Don’t forget as a business owner, prospects may ask for your resume so make sure you keep yours fresh as well.  Just because you are a business owner, it doesn’t give you a free pass on having an updated and professional looking resume.

 

What Your Resume Should Look Like in 2018

Networking: The Secret to Job Search Success

The good news is, though candidates may submit a resume online for your job opening, according to Alison Doyle at The Balance, at least 60% or more of all jobs are found by networking. What does this mean for business owners?  Sometimes top candidates may fall into your lap through your strong network of connections so you may be able to save yourself the cost of a recruiter if you can get the word out for your company’s need on your own.  Every business owner knows how important a strong network of connections is, but for hiring, it can just be another added benefit.

 

Employee Referrals Remain Top Source for Hires

So, what are you waiting for?  Reach out online, get out there to meet-and-greet, connect with people on LinkedIn, and make sure your online profiles (all of them, even ones you don’t think or expect prospects or employees to see) are showcasing you and your company in a favorable light.  Once you find the perfect candidate for your company, your work as a business owner has only begun.  You must make sure your work culture is one that will attract and retain the top talent candidates that walk through your doors, but that is a whole different topic for a different day.

 

LinkedIn as Need, Not Want

LinkedIn’s Role In Today’s Business Prospecting
According to LinkedIn’s company profile, LinkedIn is the platform that “connects the world’s
professionals to make them more productive and successful,” and it exists as “a community
that helps you realize your definition of success.” So, how do you define success for your
company? Certainly, it includes serving more clients and customers, and here’s are a few ways
to utilize LinkedIn to bring your prospecting efforts up to 2018 speed.

NEWER USERS
Every professional must have a personal profile built out on LinkedIn, and if you are falling
behind in this regard, create your personal LinkedIn profile now.
Once business owners have a profile, you can create a company page. (Yes, you do need this
even if you’re a one-person show. A company page legitimizes your work and enables you to
post a logo that will appear on your personal page where you list your current company.)
After launching a personal and company profile and growing your network through
engagement with others, you are ready to add some strategy to fuel your company’s growth.

EXPERIENCED USERS
Strong users gain the most out of this tool when they engage often with others; answer
questions, comment on posts, and offer advice. It is a social platform after all, and those who
are most successful interact regularly with others’ posts. As your network grows, think about
your industry and what content makes sense to share on this platform.
If you have been building your network through engagement, it is time to create meaningful
content yourself.

Posting

  1. Post consistently (2 to 4 times per week). This can be a story, an answer to a common
    question, an industry specific insight—something that will align with your personal or
    company brand and is something that interests your prospects. Why do you do what
    you do? If you tell people about your why, you will capture your audience’s attention
    and inspire them. That is a much more meaningful way to connect with people. Include
    images with some of your posts; when you do, make sure to include text as well.
  2. Write an article. Unlike a regular newsfeed post that is in front of people based on
    when they happen to scroll LinkedIn, articles have longevity because they remain on
    your profile page under your summary and frame you as the industry expert you are.
    Anyone who visits your profile will see your articles and this can provide prospects with
    some great insight into what separates you from your competition.
  3. Be brave and produce video content! Your content will have a much wider reach if you
    include a video with your post since video always receives more engagement than a
    static photo. Don’t worry; it doesn’t have to be long, professionally created or edited.
    Authenticity sells on this platform.

Email
LinkedIn allows you to download the email contact information for all your connections, which
you can then parse into groups—or segment—and email selectively based on individual needs,
interests, and desires. Used wisely, this is a great feature that increases open rates because
you can target your messaging.
To gain more traction and connections with prospects, look at mutual connections of clients or
business contacts and connect with those individuals and think about how you can serve
them.

Paid Ads
Once you are comfortable with producing content and continually growing your network
through thoughtful engagement, you should have a sense of what resonates most with your
audience and potential people like them.
If this platform has strong prospect potential for your industry, consider using the paid ads
feature. This can extend your reach beyond your connections and put you in front of new,
select individuals because it allows you to target based on company size, job title, etc.

LinkedIn: Best Practices for Paid Ads

Remember, LinkedIn exists to help others meet their professional needs. Engage with a
mindset of sharing and serving, and the byproduct will be that people know you and see you
as valuable because of your service to the LinkedIn community. And from there, your business
is certain to grow.

RESOURCE
LinkedIn Help is a foundational resource for getting familiar with the tool. Do yourself a favor
and take time to explore this resource.

 
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