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Every entrepreneur needs an active reading list. After all, books are one of the most valuable knowledge resources. Even the best podcasts and YouTube videos cannot replace the in-depth lessons found in a good book. The challenge, however, is sifting through and finding the right material. Find something that will not only resonate with you and inspire you to aim higher but will also guide you through that process as well.

From self-development to best business practices, listed below are 34 must-reads for entrepreneurs in 2019:

1.    The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage by Daymond John

2.    The Creator’s Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs by Amy Wilkinson

3.    Boss Life: Surviving My Own Small Business by Paul Downs

4.    The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World by Aaron Hurst

5.    The Network Entrepreneur: Leveraging Your Social Network for Success by William Brennan

6.    Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters

7.    Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big by Bo Burlingham

8.    To Pixar and Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History by Lawrence Levy

9.    Chasing Perfection: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the High-Stakes Game of Creating an NBA Champion by Andy Glockner

10.   Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

11.   The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future by Steve Case

12.   The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

13.   From Silk to Silicon: The Story of Globalization Through Ten Extraordinary Lives by Jeffrey E. Garten

14.   The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter, and How They Can Help You by Todd Sattersten

15.   Radical Focus: Achieving Your Most Important Goals with Objectives and Key Results by Christina Wodke

16.   Stragility: Excelling at Strategic Changes by Ellen R. Auster

17.   Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, Braden Kowitz

18.   Mapping Experiences: A Guide to Creating Value through Journeys, Blueprints, and Diagrams by James Kalbach

19.   Think Simple: How Smart Leaders Defeat Complexity by Ken Segall

20.   Design for Executives: How the World’s Top Designers Build Organizations and Drive Innovation by Mariya Yao

21.   One Plus One Equals Three: A Masterclass in Creative Thinking by Dave Trott

22.   Simplify: How the Best Businesses in the World Succeed by Richard Koch

23.   A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger

24.   The Storyteller’s Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, Why Some Ideas Catch On and Others Don’t by Carmine Gallo

25.   Illuminate: Ignite Change through Speeches, Stories, Ceremonies, and Symbols by Nancy Duarte

26.   The Etiquette Edge: Modern Manners for Business Success by Beverly Langford

27.   Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant

28.   Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin

29.   Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

30.   If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy? by Raj Raghunathan

31.   How to Have a Good Day: Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life by Caroline Webb

32.   Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

33.   Hell Week: Seven Days to Be Your Best Self by Erik Bertrand Larssen

34.   Be Bad First: Get Good at Things Fast to Stay Ready for the Future by Erika Andersen

Conclusion

Entrepreneurship is a commitment—not only to your venture or business but also to a unique learning process. Where others seek guidance through big universities and established companies, many entrepreneurs who have a desire to go their own way, learning becomes a self-guided experience.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

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Start-up initiatives are on the rise and for many good reasons. Fortunately, there is more financing available than ever before. Community-driven innovation and co-working hubs are popping up all over the world. And, educational courses on how to begin your own business are easily accessible on the internet for new business owners. Hence, it is a tempting time to be involved in entrepreneurship – it’s a booming industry that is fruitful these days around the globe and sustaining at a decent pace.

Even though entrepreneurship is rising with immense popularity, start-up culture accompanies its unique set of issues and challenges that its leaders and founders must commit to addressing. In this article, we will explore the top three challenges that start-up enthusiasts are facing today and smart strategies that you can use to overcome these impediments.

1. Lack of Product Validation

Many start-ups rush into idea development before truly identifying and understanding the basic requirements for a successful product launch and before confirming the financial feasibility of the opportunity. To start a new business, ask yourself the following fundamental questions:

  • How well do I know the industry or customer problem?
  • Why would anyone trust my services and how do I provide an effective solution for their problem?
  • How will I monetize and is there is a valid financial plan or not? Will the plan be sufficient to cover all the costs associated with developing and operating the solution?

Answering the above questions will ease your entrepreneurial journey with good revenues. The more you are aware of your product, the better you can develop and sell it.

2. Limited Resources

Lack of financial resources not only hamper start-up enthusiasts from initiation of their business but also challenge them to manage and sustain the business. When your new company is struggling with limited monetary resources, developing a culture of deliberate, focused work is vital.

Along with this, there are several ways to arrange funds to fuel your business, including:

  • Bootstrap your start-up business: Self-funding or bootstrapping is a common and effective way to arrange funds to overcome the financial limitations on an urgent basis. These often include your personal finances.
  • Crowdfunding as a Funding Solution: Crowdfunding is a smart fund-raising tactic that not only helps you arrange amounts of hundreds and thousands of dollars but also boost your understanding of the product market and puts you on the map. GoFundME, Fundable, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo are common crowdfunding websites which are helping new start-ups financially.
  • Obtain an Angel Investment In Your New Business: Angel investors are people with surplus cash reserves who are keenly interested in funding new start-ups. You have many angel investors in your city or state to help finance your business.
  • Go for Bank financing: Once you have started your business, obtaining bank financing is much easier than when you started with a vague idea of your start-up without any portfolio. Getting a bank loan is one of the most common tactics to raise capital for their business.
  • Leverage a Business partner: You may have a well-developed, unique business product or service solution but not enough financial reserves to bring them to your final customers effectively. You might know someone who believes in the strength of your business and validity of your product, has very good professional relationships with you, and has sufficient finances to help you overcome your financial limitations. A partnership with that person could be a smart step.
  • Acquire Venture Capital for Your Start-up: Venture capitalists are always willing to invest in businesses that have huge potential. It is often more appropriate for start-ups that have already been generating revenues.

3. Lack of Business Structure

Established organizations typically have well-defined corporate cultures, clear goals, transparent rewards and remuneration systems, and measurable performance expectations. Moreover, they also accompany refined training and developmental processes that help employees maximize their skills and render optimal performance. Unless the start-up is fortunate enough to have a passionate founder and experienced leadership, the new business usually begins their journey without a proper company structure and without a convincing corporate culture. This often results in internal challenges for a new start-up such as employee turnover, conflicts, and disappointments. In such circumstances, a great product or service solution with smart marketing strategies may also fail. Just as bookkeeping is vital for producing financial statements, having a proper business structure is vital for a company’s growth and prosperity.

Here are some practical ways entrepreneurs can build and develop their business structure with growing and thriving company prospects:

  1. Define roles of every team member through the organizational charts of your start-up.
  2. Document all of your business operating procedures.
  3. Distribute work and delegate tasks.
  4. Establish a system for managing your team and monitoring the progress of every member.
  5. Bring in professionals who are familiar to the challenges of inefficient execution of the business operations.
  6. Hire competent, self-motivated employees and provide adequate training and development programs designed for each team member

A well-designed business structure ensures proper execution of business operations. 

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

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Time is one of the most valuable factors in our lives. It is an asset which once gone cannot come back. Nowadays, with a busy life, tight business schedules, and personal commitments, the value of time has been increased more than ever. Successful people spend their time according to their pre-planned schedules and try to minimize wastage of time in any way. Surveys show that forty percent of time spent by businessmen is on activities other than building their business. Most of the time they are busy in managing issues or expense reconciliation.

Businessmen and especially entrepreneurs should spend their valuable time on building and growing their business rather than just managing routine daily activities. Major hurdles and challenges faced by their business should be addressed timely and strategies should be updated according to the market surveys. 

Here are five ways to effectively manage your time and find more time in your day to build your business.

1. Automatic processes

Most businessmen spend their maximum time, efforts and staff on creating invoices, making payments, maintaining bookkeeping, processing payrolls and so on. They are left with no time for studying building strategies. The best solution to save time is to purchase and implement an online accounting software or application. Various affordable, easy to use and wonderful software are available in the market to handle accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll tasks. That saved time could be utilized for growth of the business. QuickBooks, Fresh Books, Xero are a few examples of accounting and payroll software.

Making daily processes automatic will definitely save your valuable time and energies for more productive activities.

2. Take advantage of being small

Small business entrepreneurs often have the advantages of being a multitasking and decision-making authority. They don’t need to go through a long process for getting an approval. They don’t strike in just managing the big teams and the big budget. They can utilize their small sized team and budget in building their business. They can make prompt decisions, implement strategies immediately and interact with customers closely and often.

They can invest their time in building a strong, trained and multi-talented team. They can develop a strong relationship with their customers. These activities will be fruitful for your business.

3. Leave your office

Development in technology allows businessmen to manage from anywhere, at any time. They don’t need to be present in their office desks for handling their business. They can perform official activities on the go. By using Blue Jeans Network and Skype, visual contact with partners and employees from anywhere is possible. Google Docs has made it possible to work on any file in real time by more than one individual from different locations.

LanuchPad and We Work allows you to find innovators and can exchange innovative ideas, discuss challenges and their solutions.  Professional meetings can be conducted. Phone systems have also been developed quite a bit over the years. These advanced technologies save time by providing flexibility of the timings and space.

4. Freelancing

For launching your idea or business, you don’t need the heavy budget, big team, and concrete office. Just invest a few dollars in creating a website. Seek the help of a freelancer from Elance or oDesk web designer to create a logo and attractive design for your website. Use Squarespace or Wix.com for creating the website without any specialized development skills. Find a freelance writer to write catchy content for your idea and launch your idea within a few days. This is how money, time and energy can be saved.

5. Virtual assistant

A personal assistant for scheduling meetings and making reservations for lunch is just wastage of money. Hire a virtual assistant for all of these tasks. Save salary, benefits and time. He will be as close to you as a next chair employee. Use video conferencing and instant message to contact him immediately from anywhere, at anytime.

Conclusion

Technology has made time management easy and investing time in the progress of the business.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

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Following are 7 ways that you can ensure the success of your business:

1. Write Down a Business Plan

The first step is to write down a plan. Without a written plan you cannot dream of success. The written plan should not be long. It should focus on a few critical points. These points include budgeting, long term and short term financial plans, objectives and goals, sales and marketing strategies, and the source of finances to run the business. 

Your time can be turned into money by initiating a written plan. When and how you achieve your goals is defined by this plan. Your daily step by step actions determine the progress of your business. Depending on the progress, you can make required changes into the written plan.

2. Adjust the Plan and Triumph

The written plan does not have to be written in stone. Think of this, if even a successful military general can burn their plan and go with the flow, then why can’t a business owner? Review the progress and achievement of your goals as planned and make necessary adjustments if satisfactory results were not earned. Don’t ever marry your written plan. Adjust and win the game. What particular market statistics and market value will be helpful in adjustments?  Be flexible, take critical notes, and make any changes necessary to your written plan.

3. Take Bits of Advice

Egos can wreck havoc over you if you prefer them to other valuable things. This is true for business life as well. A business owner should listen to advisers and other team members. They may have better ideas than you. Your weaknesses may destroy your business if you take them personally and don’t work upon them. When and if you’ve made an error, admit it and carry on.

Advisers are always beneficial to your business. They are the people who assess your progress and work. They highlight your mistakes and make you accountable. Listen to them, they will push you towards greater achievements. Be honest with yourself and keep your ego in the pocket. Your business is more valuable than your ego. Be calm and react rationally to criticism. Learn a lesson and stick to your commitments. This way, no one can stop your business in succeeding.

4. Manage and Organize your Team Effectively

Know all of the employees of your team and clearly define their goals in writing. Assess their progress daily and train them to achieve their goals with consistency. Make decisions according to the daily performance of all team members. Your team is an asset for you.  By utilizing this resource, you can succeed.

5. Effective Organizational Structure

The organizational structure of your business is critical for success. Some business owners try to control each and every function of their employee themselves. Avoid the trap of micro-managing.  This style of management decreases the efficiency of the employee. By doing this, your employees won’t take ownership in their work and they will also never learn. But when you delegate to employees, the results are overwhelmingly excellent. Provide all employees the goals designed for them in writing and train them sufficiently for achieving these goals effectively. Your employee will then feel free to work in his/her own way and will get involved fully in tasks assigned to them. 

Review achievements of each employee and reward them accordingly. Reward systems keep employees motivated and this management style leads to success.

6. Use Technology

Create social media pages to attract customers. Social media has proven very cost effective in marketing. Few skills and training are required to use this media for efficient marketing and progress in the business.

7. Reinvent Business

Separate yourself from your past history and create a new competitive advantage, be it a focused niche or super service, but not by discounting.  Research the ways of successful businesses and take that, along with your own creativity, to introduce a unique business that will attract new consumers.

Conclusion

By using the above mentioned suggestions, your business can succeed. The sensible and logical way will always work, along with a little creativity and hard work.


Check out America's Best Bookkeepers


About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts
 Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

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One of the most difficult decisions faced by an entrepreneur is hiring the right staff. Obtaining quality human capital is the most basic requirement for every start-up. It is vital for employees of any start-up to deliver performance. Productive employees ensure that both the short and long-term objectives are met.

Create a Hiring Plan

The first step in facing staffing challenges for an entrepreneur is creating a hiring plan. A hiring plan determines the specific roles that individuals are meant to play in an organization. A hiring plan will help choose employees who play an active role in the company. It is an effective method of creating job descriptions for vacancies needing to be filled by the company.

When analyzing an employment type, it is important to mention if the job is permanent, full time, or a part-time position.  It should also include temporary or permanent contracts, casual, fixed term, probation, and shift workers. It should indicate the total number of employees required to fulfill each role.

Determine your Needs

Staffing challenges must be efficiently catered to by a start-up. Staffing is not an easy task for any business and, often, young entrepreneurs face many issues when it comes to hiring their new employees. One aspect is to determine what kind of experts and professionals your company requires.

Hiring should be based on the tasks and functions that are most essential for taking your business to the next level. In the beginning, it will be hard to predict the specific tasks that each employee will need to perform. Determining the working hours will initially be tough. Look at the market leaders and observe their staffing patterns. Design your own hiring plan accordingly to reduce your staffing challenges.

Initiate Organizational Culture

The most essential thing to consider when staffing is choosing and initiating a positive organizational culture. Company culture is the most important element in a start-up. The culture of your company is going to affect the morale of your employees as well as the character and essence of your brand. Keep the type of culture you want in mind and select employees that will align to that initiative.

Balance the Cost of Hiring

In the beginning months of your start-up, finances may be very tight and even insufficient. You may not be able to hire a prospective employee who is demanding a hefty salary. At the same time, having experienced and qualified employees in your start-up from the beginning will benefit you in the long run.

It’s essential to have a suitable balance between the cost and experience of an employee. The best approach at this time will be to choose talent over experience. Looking at the many staffing challenges an entrepreneur faces, a proper balance between experience and cost is a delicate matter. When hiring, look at the achievements of an employee rather than the years of experience they have under their belt.

Timing of Initial Hiring

The very first hires will be the toughest decisions you will need to make regarding your staffing challenges. The reason for this is that the initial stages of a new company are in a fragile position. This may also be your first time ever handling a group of employees.

As an entrepreneur, you are in a leadership position and it’s vital for you to coordinate and manage your team well. You need to find employees that are not afraid of going out of their comfort zones. It’s important that you are precise and open as well as honest with your employees that they are required to be flexible and adaptive.

Flexibility

A new start-up will continuously evolve and change over an extended period of time once the initial stages have passed. Flexibility is another one of many staffing challenges faced by start-ups. At this time, it is very important to be flexible in your role as a leader. The same flexibility must transfer to your employees. Initially, they must have flexibility in their roles and responsibilities. It is vital that the roles of your employees are interchangeable.

Talent Retention

Talent retention is one of the most common aspects of hiring. Experts believe that, no matter how rigorous the hiring process is, a significant staffing challenge is retaining talented employees.

Even if your employees seem happy with the way things are running, they could often replace their job in your start-up with a much more established organization. Having good relations with your employees can prevent this from happening. A suitable company culture and flexibility in working hours will benefit a new company.

Conclusion

Once you overcome these seven staffing challenges, you will have a solid start to your business. Initially, you will be responsible for formulating, evaluating, and implementing HR strategies and policies. These include regulations for workplace behavior, remuneration packages, compensation, benefits, and other employee-related policies of leave.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

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KPI (Key Performance Indicator) -measurable values which demonstrate how efficient a corporation is at attaining key objectives of the business. KPIs are used for evaluation of success in the attainment of targets.

 KPI must be:

  • Well-defined and measurable
  • Well communicated to all departments of an organization
  • Vital to achieve goals
  • Valid to Line of Business

Financial Metrics

  1. Revenue: it is one of the most significant performance indicators to evaluate the success of the organization. Bookkeeping helps you in evaluating revenue.
  2. Expenditure: calculate cost effectiveness to find out the best methods for reduction and managing of costs. Expenses are determined from good bookkeeping practices.
  3. LOB profits vs. objective: it is an evaluation of actual profits and projected profits to identify the performance of a department.
  4. Expenditure Of supplies Sold: evaluate profit margin by calculation of production costs and assess product markup and actual profit margin.
  5. Day transaction Outstanding:  better the accounts receivable, better is the efficiency of the organization.
  6. Sale by area: analysis of sales area-wide helps in making better strategies in areas where sales objectives are failing to achieve.
  7. LOB operating expense Vs. Budget: comparison of forecasted budget and actual overheads helps in creating an effective budget for the future.

Customer Metrics

  1. Client Lifetime Value (CLV): CLV is helpful in determining the value received from a long term client of the organization. This is useful in keeping the best customers.
  2. Client Acquisition Cost (CAC): it helps in evaluating the cost effectiveness of a marketing campaign.
  3. Client Satisfaction & custody: by making customers happy and satisfied, you encourage them to become permanent customers.
  4. Net Promoter Score (NPS):  make a survey quarterly and evaluate company’s growth for long periods.
  5. Number Of clients: this is simple and straight forward KPI like Profit. Number of customers gained or lost determine whether customers’ needs are met or not.

Process Metrics

  1. Client Support Tickets: analysis of CPT helps in creating a successful customer service dept.
  2. Percentage Of manufactured goods defect: lesser the number, the better is performed.
  3. LOB effectiveness evaluates: Efficiency is measured by the number of products manufactured in specific periods.

People Metrics

  1. Employee Turnover Rate (ETR):  high ETR requires investigation and evaluation of packages and organization culture.
  2. Percentage of Response to Open Positions: large number of applicants depict that the organization is doing well and people want to work with you.
  3. Employee Satisfaction: the larger the number of happy employees, the healthier the organization.
  4. Retirement Rate: This  is important for developing strategic workforce plans.
  5. Knowledge Achieved With Training: determines the value of employee training and knowledge enhancement.
  6. Internal Promotions vs. External Hires: this metric is valuable for determining succession planning of the organization.
  7. Salary Competitiveness Ratio (SCR): used to assess the competitiveness of compensation options.

Customer Metrics

  1. Customer Churn Rate: determines percentage of customers who stop purchasing or availing the service.
  2. Contact Volume By Channel:  determines the number of customer requests and also the method adopted by customer for communication i.e email, phone or other.
  3. Percentage Of Customers Who Are “Very” Or “Extremely” Satisfied: Determines the opportunity to survey the expectations of customers.
  4. Number Of New Vs. Repeat Site Visits:  provides a differentiation of prospective clients and website traffic.

Financial Metrics

  1. Cash Flow from Financing Activities: demonstrates financial strength.
  2. Average Annual Expenses To Serve One Customer: the average sum required to serve one customer.
  3. EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, & Amortization): Formula: (Revenue) – (Expenses Excluding Interest, Tax, Depreciation & Amortization) = (EBITDA).
  4. Innovation Spending:  the higher the spending figure, the more the value of innovation in an organization.
  5. (Customer Lifetime Value) / (Customer Acquisition Cost):  this value should be greater than one.

Conclusion

Periodic evaluation of KPIs is helpful in making a better strategy for entrepreneurship. It guides in making adjustments necessary for growth and expansion.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

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Have you ever pondered upon a company’s success? Have you ever thought about how economists measure the happiness of people working in a company? Have you ever analyzed or compared the happiness of CEOs and the board of directors of a company with that of ordinary employees? Of course, most of us have not!

A company’s success is totally dependent upon all of its stakeholders where they strive hard to achieve the same targets with unity. Entrepreneurs and business owners know the tactics of encouraging others in a way that motivates them to work harder, ultimately growing their businesses. Before encouraging or leveraging others, it is important for business owners to first look at their budget, which makes it easier to buy another person’s services. The budget is the task of a finance department, which is to be designed in an intellectual and interactive way so that reinvestments are made to bring more profits into an organization. Production of more profits is only possible when a company is aware of its past transactions. Bookkeeping is the strategy which is adopted by enterprises and associations to keep records of their transactions so that their future prospects are carried out in a more productive manner. While preparing a budget, the financial department is usually advised by the board of directors to keep a specific section set aside for salaries and bonuses of employees.  This increases overall productivity. Following are certain strategies which can be adopted by business owners to leverage other people’s hard work to grow their businesses and increase their business profits.

  • Announce Interactive Bonuses

Business owners are advised to keep a particular section of their budget set aside for bonuses, which ultimately motivates employees to work harder and more productively. Investing more time and money generates better results. Employees will more likely invest more of their efforts and time into your business when they are promised interactive packages.

  • Make Your Audience Feel Special

Growing a business is multi-faceted. The buyers and audience are equally important as the employees and sellers of a company. Therefore, entrepreneurs and business owners are advised to make their audience feel special by pitching interactive offers, discounts, and deals to them. For instance, gift vouchers can be organized by the company to make it’s buyers feel special so that they are more attracted to your products and services. This always leads to maximum results at minimum investment.

  • Budget For High Quality Advertisement

To grow a business, entrepreneurs are advised to hire designers and marketers on good salaries to generate attractive advertisements laying out all of the benefits for buyers choosing your service or product. If you want to attract more people, don’t skimp on advertisements or the people you pay to do them.  These advertisements tempt the buyers in the market to utilize your company’s services which ultimately brings economic and financial stability to a business.

Final Note

Economists believe that CEOs and entrepreneurs are capitalists. They believe that an entrepreneur’s only motive is to produce profits for their personal well-being where the labor class or employees of a company work only for their organization. Capitalists leverage other people’s efforts to grow their businesses by providing them incentives which seem to be attractive but actually aren’t at all. Business owners are advised to create a budget that designates a specific section to provide benefits to their employees as well as buyers.  For a successful business, in the long run, an entrepreneur must remember that their employees and clients are the two most important stakeholders of any organization.  Therefore, the better you treat them, the more prosperous your company will be.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Man holds invoice of electric power usage
Whether you are working in the creative industry or you have your own gadget store, it’s not easy to avoid the “elephant in the room”. There are multiple mistakes even experienced entrepreneurs make while setting up their business practices and culture, which makes it harder for them to recover payments from their clients. For an entrepreneur, the payment made from their client’s end is their lifeblood. Negligence of clients can even halt the business itself, especially at an initial level, as the company’s future bills are funded by client payments. The internet has grown so far that people are using multiple methods to approach their clients globally. However, not keeping a secure payment method has caught our attention regarding the missed or late payments from the clients’ end. Although, the clients, especially those who are using the internet as their only source of communication, are skeptical regarding paying in advance. Therefore, expecting them to pay a complete upfront payment is not possible at an initial level when you have just started your business. At times, clients make unnecessary delays or deductions after the delivery of their desired product or services which is accounted for as a bad debt account for entrepreneurs.

If you are struggling with this issue, here are a few practical bits of advice for you that can help in recovering your stuck money and even help you in avoiding such scenarios.

Tips to Secure your Payments

Choose the Right Client

Your ideal situation is when you only attract paying clients. Evaluate the clients as they are approaching you for your work, as this will make it easier for you to shortlist the clients you actually want to work for and benefit from. Here are few tips from which you can easily choose the right client base.

1. Raise your Worth

Selling a product or offering a service? Keep your rates at or above the market price. Selling services at a price that is too low will make you more approachable to frauds or less ethical clients. However, the people who are satisfied with your quality of work will be willing to pay you the average market price or even a premium price for your quality.

2. Design a Proper Payment Policy in Advance

Once you have a proper payment policy for your product or service, the client will get the idea of your fixed payment policy. This will depict your professional attitude towards your work. Your professional policy should cover all of the aspects of your best practices as it will act as a preventive for fraudulent cases. The policy should include:

  • Your invoice duration such as weekly/bi-monthly/monthly or project wise
  • Your terms of payments
  • Penalties in case of any late payment
  • Your detailed rate structure that includes basic per hour rate and monthly rate of that project
  • Payment methods that are acceptable to you
  • How you will handle late payments
  • How your company will recover missed payments from the client

 

Identify your Clients while they Talk

Don’t waste time after you have invested your work and money on providing the customer’s desired product. Dealing with late or missed payments later is a frustrating experience. Therefore, one should identify the seriousness of their clients before they start to work on their project.

  • Avoid bargaining
  • Understand the client’s psychology and their potential to understand you
  • Get a contract signed, even for smaller payments/projects
  • Look for clients through references as this will be a more solid and secure source

Always Maintain your Records

Bookkeeping is a very beneficial and necessary part of an entrepreneurial business. The most successful strategies of keeping your payments secure is recording all of your transactions, bad debts, and accounts receivables in detailed records that can help you later in analyzing how much work you are providing and how much you are owed.  

Be Serious about Getting Paid

Sitting and waiting for payments will not solve your problem. You need to personally be proactive in seeking all of your expected payments.

  • Contact the clients as soon as the deadline has passed
  • Start charging interest on late payments
  • Keep nudging the client, even after a month or so
  • Send a demand letter to the client’s address
  • If you are still unsuccessful, contact a collections agency 


Be Ready to do Something

Starting up your own business is not a cup of tea and managing it is a much tougher job. Dealing with your employees as well as your customers is a challenging task in itself. If a client is missing their payments or canceling the payment altogether, you should not wait for the end result. Rather, you should adopt a proactive approach to do something regarding the issue.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Closeup of a young female hairdresser in salon. Hairdresser holding scissors standing with hands folded at salon.
Women love fashion and, if you look around, almost every corner has a beauty salon of some kind. Running a beauty salon is not easy, especially when the economy is difficult. Someone once said: “If it is your passion, then make it your profession and you will see a success.” However, when running a business, it is not always the case; your passion can only get you so far as an entrepreneur. Below, we will focus on owning a beauty salon and what the biggest challenges are when you are in this industry.

Competitive Market

Every business faces some struggles in the beginning. The most important element when running a business is to keep an eye on your competitors. Trends are changing every day, it seems; make sure to stay updated with the latest fashions (haircuts, dying, nails, etc.). Hire beauticians who come with an extensive background of trends. And, if not, offer a training program to get your employees up to speed. The services provided by your beauticians will have a huge impact on your business progress.

 Employee Motivation/Incentives

Your employees are your business asset. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to encourage and motivate them. When an employee believes that their employee will take care of their needs, they will be willing to loyally stand by the business, through good and bad times. Offer incentives such as a bonus, gift hampers, or even health insurance. If you offer them support and make them feel secure, they will be one of the most positive assets to your salon.

Managing staff is not an easy job. Be friendly with your staff, avoid confrontations when you are dealing with issues, allow them leaves on holidays or when sick, etc.  The more flexible you are, the more willing they will be to go the extra mile.

 Getting New Clients/ Retaining Old Clients

One of the most basic challenges that business owners face is getting clients. Different businesses use a wide variety of tactics to attract clients to their services. Think of different marketing ideas, give attractive discounts, run special offers, and let people know you are there. Word of mouth is a great marketing tool; do not rely on social media only, although it is a great way to let people know about your salon. Display prices at the front desk, along with special offers.

When your client leaves the salon, try to make sure they have already booked their next appointment. Offer them lower rates compared to other salons. Create an ambiance in your salon that will make your client feel like home and relaxed. Involve your client in discussion about fashion and trends – women (and some men!) love talking about it. At times, there will be walk-in customers; many salons give priority to clients who already have an appointment, but walk-in clients give your business a boost as well, make them feel welcomed. They could possibly become a long term client.

Initiate a program where clients earn points for every service they get. When they have reached a certain amount, give them a free service or product. Another great way to bring clients to your salon is giving vouchers on their birthday. Women love to be pampered on special occasions.

 Salon Maintenance

Maintenance of your salon is another important aspect that will help you bring your clients back to see you. No one wants to go to an unhygienic place to get their services done. Decorate your salon in a lavish, trendy style to make it attractive for clients. Pay special attention to lights and chairs and use fresh, natural oil diffusers; they help create a warm, inviting ambiance.

However, when maintaining your salon, keep in mind the expenses that you will bear. It is important for any business to keep track of their expenses. If you find it difficult, hire an accountant or bookkeeper for your bookkeeping needs.

 Product Sales

Choose a product that you believe in. Your clients put trust in your choice, so make sure that the product is of high quality. Learn about different products and share your knowledge with your clients. Your product sales can bring a lot of profit to your business. If you feel uncomfortable selling, then just acquaint your clients with the products you are using on them while providing services. Most importantly, do not be pushy when selling different products. 

Conclusion

Owning a salon is, no doubt, challenging, but also rewarding and fun if you love it. Come up with strong strategies to ensure a successful business. Keep in mind, there are challenges in every new business, do not give up. Work with key performance indicators to measure your company’s growth.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People visiting street food market called Buenos Aires Market in San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires
The food truck industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in today’s world. Over the last five years, more and more people are switching to food trucks with new vendors catering to niche markets. Customers’ preferences keep changing when it comes to food; the unique flavors of different food trucks increase the options of getting a low cost, high-quality gourmet food. 

Why Invest in a Food Truck Business?

During the 2008 recession, unemployment was skyrocketing and the economic collapse forced many people to lose their jobs. In those times, food trucks started to appear in most cities within the U.S. Major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Austin, and Seattle had food trucks popping up all over different neighborhoods.

Investing in a food truck is lucrative because it’s everything that a customer would want… a quick bite, high-quality, freshly prepared right in front of them and reasonably priced. Affordable gourmet food was the only sector in the food and beverages industry that saw a boom, even in the tough recession of 2008, because affordable food was still a necessity for most people. We all have to eat to survive! 

Challenges in Establishing a Food Truck Business

The only setback in establishing a food truck business is the many regulations that vendors have to meet before they get their permits. In most counties, the laws specify the hours during which the caterer can operate along with the distance it covers; it must not be too close to a brick-and-mortar restaurant. As food trucks are offering affordable gourmet food, restaurant owners and other eateries are lobbying against the food truck industry.

Another challenge is that the food truck industry is starting to reach its saturation point in some cities and localities. The high saturation can lead to lower profit margins and slow growth. Despite its challenges, the industry holds a promising future.

The Future of the Food Truck Industry

Food truck owners find new ways to use their mobile restaurant in order to keep their business lucrative. Most caterers have an understanding of running an off-site operation. For many restaurant owners and those willing to start a business in the food industry, a food truck is the best way to take their innovative dishes to other parts of the city.

Catering for Events

Apart from cruising in the streets or parking in a business center, a food truck can offer catering services for birthdays, spring breaks, weddings, and any other special or corporate events. Instead of a catering service, hiring a popular food truck brand will add life to any event. Catering to this niche market is an important step for the future of a food truck venture.

Several couples now prefer to have a late night snack at their weddings because it adds something new to the traditional wedding feast. Depending on the venue and client, they could order a full meal or snacks for guests to nibble on.

Low Cost of Investment

In the future, its highly likely that people may invest in a food truck rather than a full restaurant, bistro, or café. The preference of getting into this business shows that, for many people, investing in a food truck is much more feasible than opening a bistro or even a small café because it requires a minimal initial investment. A food truck is more likely to get profits more quickly as it has the option of changing its location or keep serving on the go.

Travelling to different locations and offering different types of drinks and food in various locations increases the market reach of a food truck.

Promoting a Restaurant Brand

The future of food trucks is promising as many large food brands are entering into contracts with food truck owners to promote their brand. In return, the major food brands offer compensation and sponsorship for promoting their product. Getting into a contract to promote a brand will increase the market concentration of both the food truck and the brand it promotes.

Conclusion

Despite its challenges and regulations by the city or county, the food truck business is booming and it will continue to do so in the future. Entrepreneurship is on the rise and this particular industry in food and beverages requires little initial investment. This makes investing in a food truck business lucrative as it has many other opportunities for expansion in less time.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.