Small businesses are often tight on budgets and therefore should include energy saving methods to reduce their utility bills. Here are seven tools and tips for small businesses to save money on energy.
Increase the efficiency of your boiler – Upgrading and cleaning your boiler will improve its efficiency. Look at removing soot, scale and fixing leaks to reduce costs at your facility.
Insulate piping and ductwork – Pipping and ductwork done properly will reduce heat losses, saving energy and costs.
Replace inefficient lighting – Look at energy efficient lighting that will reduce your energy consumption and produce less heat.
Upgrade your AC – New air conditioners will use less than 50% less electricity than those used in the 1970s. Therefore, upgrading your AC can reduce your electricity costs by at least 30%.
Reduce fan speeds – Reducing your fan speed by one notch will reduce your energy consumption by as much as 30%.
Disconnect non-essential loads – If you have appliances like coffee makers, water coolers, vending machines and registers that are not in use, it is best to switch them on when needed or sell them to reduce your energy load.
Maintain your electrical distribution system – Look at a well-maintained electrical system that will distribute, protect electrical usage and reduce electrical energy usage. You will need a qualified electrician to assess your business to rectify any issues.
A start-up’s finance team is the key to ensuring a start-up stays a float. Building a finance team from scratch can be difficult. Here are some tips that can help you get started.
When should I add finance staff? – Your finance team should be hired as soon as possible, instead of expecting key players to take on this role. Avoid failing in this area as it can have serious
What positions should I fill first? – If the organization is a forward thinking one, it is best to look at a financial analyst first. However, if someone on your team is handling this area, look at investing in someone to manage payables and receivables. You could also start by hiring a CFO and then look at an accountant to handle day-to-day tasks. Afterward look at filling middle management positions like an accounting manager or a controller.
Previous startup experience needed? – Your candidates don’t necessarily have to have previous start-up experience, but they should be able to fill a role that will involve a lot of multi-tasking.
Contract or permanent staff? – The choice of selecting contract or permanent staff will depend on the market and the specific skills you are after. A combination of both is advisable to ensure you get the right resources you require. Start off by hiring for your immediate needs and then look at what areas need improvement.
Warren Buffett is one of the richest people in the world, and he has been an inspiration to many. Here are some wise words that will help anyone in business.
- “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago” – The lesson here is to look at the future and see what methods of investing, saving or spending can help you lead a more comfortable life or one that achieves your goals or dreams.
- “Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for ten years” – Invest in businesses that are stable but look at holding your investment for the long-term. As your investment matures, keep an eye on it to ensure that it is still valuable and your original reasons to buy still apply.
- “Price is what you pay; value is what you get” – The price you pay for something and the value you receive from it are quite different. Therefore, it is important to buy stock that you believe is more valuable than the share price in the market
“Cash … is to business as oxygen is to an individual: never thought about when it is present, the only thing in mind when it is absent” – This lesson is an important one, Buffett understands the importance of keeping an “Emergency fund.” Your emergency fund will help you face financial challenges with ease and eventually when you come out of it; your business will be stronger.
Summary: Global money transfers are relied on more than ever in today’s economy. Here’s how it’s done.
One of the most pivotal components of today’s modern economy is the global money transfer system. As large-scaled businesses are continue to shift their focus on cutting costs by outsourcing work to contractors overseas, there’s a substantial increase in the amount of global transfers.
The Utilization of Online Wallets
One unique way of transferring money online is through the use of an online wallet. For some individuals, the wallet is either a checking or savings accounts. This allows the consumer to maintain a fair currency exchange rate when spending around the globe – essentially when one works with any merchant service that will accept credit cards online. Also, for businesses that send their employees to various countries, it’s also a significant factor in cutting costs.
Bitcoin: The Currency of the Future
Bitcoin is considered the most popular forms of crypto currencies. Furthermore, it’s also being utilized across the globe as we speak. With a complex algorithm system, money is safely transferred from country to country without duplication concerns. This is done similar to that of a merchant credit card processing system, but varies in the amount of keys that are assigned to each transaction. Already, the economy is witnessing a substantial increase in digital currency, and it’s only the beginning. It may become a universally accepted means of money transfer, but only time will tell.
Bio: For merchant processing services and goods such as a credit card swipe machine, visit the experts at Charge.com today. With years of experience on their side, their seasoned staff is ready to assist you at a moment’s notice.
Summary: Passive income has become a popular market for those that want to earn money without putting forth much effort.
Passive income can be defined as money that flows in on a regular basis without requiring a substantial amount of effort to be put in. Now, the idea behind this is to make an initial investment and allow everything to fall into place. Afterwards, there’s minimal maintenance involved and one reaps the benefits. That being said, not all passive income opportunities are beneficial for you. For investors, you’ll want to build a solid portfolio, which means understanding which passive investing strategies are worth pursuing.
Real Estate Investments
The real estate market, despite its ups and downs, remains to be a preferred choice for investors that want long-term returns. Investing in rental property can provide a solid source of regular income that comes in on a monthly basis. On the other hand, the investor has to put a 20% down payment to purchase the property, but that may not be an option for those that aren’t saving regularly. Once the tenants are installed, there’s little to do but wait for the rent checks to start flowing in.
The P2P industry is barely a decade old, and the market has grown substantially within that time frame. Investors that want to help other while adding passive income to their portfolio tend to look to P2P lending for a golden opportunity.
There are fewer barriers to enter this market as opposed to other types of investments. Some P2P platforms will allow investors to fund loans with as little as $25. The road to success with P2P however, lies with diversification. Remember, you’re funding individuals that you don’t know. You’ll have to rely on their credit score and other information that’s made available to you. If they end up defaulting on their loan, your initial investment will be lost. This is why investors will strategize and invest in multiple loans to minimize their losses.
Bio: An entrepreneur by trade, Omar Amanat is a successful investor that has seen his fair share in the technology and finance industry.
Small budgets are something businesses have to get used to when hiring new employees. Here are some tips to get the most for your money.
Know when to outsource – Outsourcing a position is a great way to reduce risks that come with a new hire. If an outsourced employee is not doing their job, you can simply tell them that you don’t require their services.
Use small to your advantage – Small businesses provide new hires with the ability to make changes that can be implemented. Make sure you highlight this fact when interviewing potential candidates.
Offer competitive non-salary benefits – Although employees are maybe willing to join a company for a smaller salary, you will have to offer them other benefits to keep them interested. For example, offering childcare services, transportation reimbursement, flexible schedules, the opportunity to work from home, are non-salary benefits that will keep employees happy.
Clearly set expectations – When the salary is low, it is best to discuss this at the early stage of the interview. The interviewer should then build on the other benefits the job offers.
Leverage existing employees – Ask employees to refer friends and acquaintances, so that they can market your company from the very beginning. This referral means that your employees will be more likely to introduce potential hires that are a great fit for the organization regarding culture and work ethics.
Most will give you their opinions on how you should handle your money matters. But not everything you hear will be helpful advice. Here are a few money tips that you should ignore.
Don’t ever go into debt – Sometimes taking a loan is the only way to progress in the areas of buying a new house, a car or to go on that holiday of a lifetime. In this case, it is important to take a loan that does not leave you overextended and unable to pay back your debts.
Pay off your debt before savings – What you should do is weigh your investments in comparison to the loan repayment period. Remember that most establishments earn from interest and therefore paying off your loan will cost you a penalty.
College is a must if you want to make good money – Some employers will require a college degree, but some well-paying jobs are offered to those with a technical training. The point to note is, don’t go to college if you don’t feel motivated to do the course.
Only invest in stocks that provide dividends – Most people will want their annual dividends to be paid on their stocks to consider them profitable. However, dividends are deducted from the earning of the company and therefore this could reduce the amount of each share.
Buy bonds to generate income – Bonds are a risk reducer and it is good to invest in bonds, as this will ensure your money is safe. However, remember that you will not make much money from them.
Financial ratios are a great way to understand how your business is currently operating and how its performance compares to previous years. Here are 4 key ratios and what they say about your business.
Working capital ratio – A company’s liquidity is important to understand the health of a company. The working capital ratio is calculated by dividing the current assets by its current liabilities. For example, a company that has $8m in current assets with current liabilities of $4m will have a ratio of 2:1. This means that this firm will be better able to pay off its debts.
Quick Ratio (Acid Test) – This ratio is calculated by deducting inventories from current assets and then dividing that figure by This calculation is done to show how well cash covers current liabilities. Inventories are deducted from the calculation, as they can take the time to sell. For example, if a company has $8 million in current assets minus $2m in inventories over $4m in current liabilities, that’s a 1.5:1 ratio. Companies should aim for a 1:1 ratio.
Earnings per Share – Earnings per share calculates the income or loss that is earned on each share. This calculation is measured by dividing the company’s net income with the average number of common shares.
Debt-Equity Ratio – Excess borrowing can weaken a firm. This calculation involves adding outstanding long and short-term debt and dividing it by the book value of shareholders’ equity. This value should be analyzed as per industry standards.
Paying the full payment for a new or used car is often not possible for most. Luckily there are financial institutions that can assist you to get the vehicle you’ve always dreamed of. When obtaining your auto financing, it is best to not approach your car dealer and instead obtain auto financing from a financial institution.
You should look at allocating 20% of your disposable monthly income for your car payment. This will include all other expenses like insurance and fuel costs as well. It is best to avoid long-term car loans, as you will pay a lot in interest, instead, choose one for 3-5 years.
Payment in cash – When you visit a car dealer to look at your options, it is a good idea to tell the dealer that you will be paying in cash and this will signal to your dealer that you are not interested in dealer or manufacturer financing. Informing the dealer early on about your payment plan will also prevent the dealer from padding the deal for extra profit. This method will also give you the ability to focus on the features and the price of the car and not worry about the monthly payment figure.
The purchase price – Avoid opting for a car lease, which is similar to a car rental. At the end of the lease, you will pay more to buy the car, than a similar used car. Look for pre-own factory certified cars. This is a smart choice as it means that the car has been inspected, fixed and is road worthy.
The costs for small business credit card processing can add up pretty quickly if you’re not careful, but there are some things you can do to try and lower those costs.
Review Your Contract
Most payment processing companies will require you to have some kind of contract filled out in order to process your new account. Usually, these contracts hold you to a period of about two years and contain language that defines your fee structure. Pay close attention to any discounts, to be sure you can meet the requirements to utilize them, and make sure your account is setup properly to take advantage of the fee structure.
If you have the option to utilize phone support during setup, do so.
Reduce Fraud Risk
Payment gateway services process transactions at a set rate, but fraudulent transactions can cost money when they are reversed. Get too many of these transactions and it may even trigger removal of your merchant account. If you become a high risk, reducing your fraud risk will eventually help to correct that status and get lower fees on transactions as well.
The best way to stop fraud? Swipe as many of your customer’s cards as possible!
If your first option is to go to a bank, then definitely shop around. Banks usually contract this processing to another company, so you’re paying extra fees to cover those costs and using a branded terminal. Why pay those extra fees if you can just go to the source yourself? Shopping around will ensure you find a contract with a good fee structure, and discounts you can actually use.
For more than 20 years, Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc. has been the easiest and most affordable solution for accepting credit cards online.