"Profit and Growth Experts!"
...Business and Income Tax Service Too!
Simply making Accounting & Bookkeeping EASY!
Quote of the day-
Albert Einstein - “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
AFRAID OF OUTSOURCING
Outsourcing is the buzzword of the 2000's, in many corporate departments, outsourcing essentially means subcontracting, letting someone outside the corporate/company umbrella perform work that might previously have been done inside. The argument for outsourcing is that it is more cost-effective, and requires less management time and effort than work done inside.
Should we welcome, or fear outsourcing? We should welcome it because it allows us to get to the strategic work at hand. We might fear it because we think it may increase costs. Actually it reduces costs. With consistent everyday rising costs in staffing the outsource fees are becoming the better choice. Not only does it decrease overhead, it positively impacts productivity and accountability.
How far can outsourcing go? When I researched several businesses around the Capital District Area, their ideas about outsourcing were remarkably similar. None of them appear to fear outsourcing. All of them think we should prepare for, and take advantage of it, it is part of todays trend with available technology.
Here's what they had to say:
1. Director of Finance
Outsourcing is the wave of the future as companies focus on core competencies. We outsource accounting functions to a local firm, because we get a concentrated effort and negotiate a flat fee. This allows me to use my budget more effectively.
You can almost outsource the entire function, we started with payroll and human resources, then we went on to outsource: 1) accounts receivable (it improved our cash flow) , 2) accounts payable, and inevitably we outsourced, 3) financial reporting. We keep compensation decisions, payment authorizations and check writing inside.
2. VP of Finance
Most organizations are extra lean right now. If you're going to align your overhead costs with strategic business objectives, you have to decide where you can have the most impact--issues that relate to the business plan. Then you can consider outsourcing functions that might interfere with your ability to drive the business forward.
3. Business owner
Every company faces staffing as a challenge. Some back-room operations never receive the funding and expertise they need. That's someone else's front-room. Eighty percent of your budget is headcount. Each year you give pay increases, and you have to get comparable productivity increases. If not, you become non-competitive.
We outsourced our accounting and finance functions and our vendor makes and answers all our receivable and payable calls. We could never duplicate their efforts. We don’t have the time to spend on overseeing the accounting functions, leaving a lot of room for delay, increasing risks, and losing money; this is parallel of us thinking that our efforts directed to sales and marketing are generating money. How contrary. Outsourcing frees us to have the best of everything. We can devote efforts on making money knowing that the earned is being managed just as diligently.
Figure out your cost centers, then see what you can outsource. You may want a consultant to do this for you. But cost isn't the only consideration. You want to enhance your efficiency so you can focus on your core business. Outsourcing your accounting needs is my recommendation for all businesses, big and small. Companies should try it. They won't spend any more than they are for staffing right now, I'll tell you that. They will be very happy with the results. I was relieved!!
MAKING YOUR BUSINESS STRONGER
Have you decided to start your own business? Do you want to improve your business today? Go ahead, and read for tips and suggestions on ways to improve your future success. There are many areas that can be focused on for improving your business. Some may include: outsourcing, cost control internally and externally, the structure and organization of the business, and business networks. You can learn the benefits of outsourcing by checking our blurb on the blog archives page. The focus today will be on getting organized and the benefits of networking.
Are you stressed out trying to find a memo or a certain file? Have you missed an appointment or meeting because you accidently wrote it on the wrong date? These types of things can happen to anyone. When we think of organizing we can get all stressed out and pretend that we don’t have the time to get organized. Organization is key to your future success. By getting organized at work it will help you improve the organization of your personal life.
The first step of any situation is to sit down and analyze your surroundings. Is the current system working for you? What changes or improvements can be made to make it better? If you can’t determine the effect your current system has on your business keep a log or journal. Write down what you were doing and how much time you spent on that task. Maybe you were working on a specific project where you were looking for a memo that held details you needed. Keep a file for each project you are working on. When you receive pertinent information that you want to use put it in that file. Only keep the project you are working on at your desk and others in the filing cabinet.
Filing: Always label your files so that you will know what documents or information is in the folder. When it comes to filing you want to use the same system throughout your business. This would include your physical file system, electronic files, and e-mails. Don’t get bogged down with extra papers and files you don’t need. What purpose is that document serving? Will it be a reference source down the road? Does it contain legal information you need to hold on to? If it doesn’t have any relevance, delete it! Throw it away!
Many of our jobs are associated with some kind of travel. When we travel we need to determine our expenses and will fill out a company expense report. The best advice on expense reports is to get them done as you travel and completed as soon as you return to the office. If mileage reimbursement is included then you want to keep a mileage log right in your vehicle that tells starting mileage, destination, ending mileage, and any other information that is helpful for your reporting. Keep one location for any receipts you may have. This will save time searching through your various bags and your car for the expenses you know you had but have no proof of.
Two important management objectives is setting goals and time management. Goals can be short term or long term. As an employee or owner you determine what these goals are. For a long term goal you may want to reduce overhead costs. What all areas are considered in your overhead costs? A short term goal would be setting the next Friday as a deadline for an overview of your current costs. Then set another date for fixing one area of costs and then another, etc. Time management is a very important part of our daily lives. A meeting at 10 a.m. and a soccer game at 6:30 p.m. Keep an appointment book that you can travel with besides your large desk calendar. You will be able to determine if you have an important work meeting on a day you were going to take off for a dentist appointment. Take 5 minutes and plan out your day. This can be done the day before right before you leave or the minute you get to the office in the morning. Set aside certain times for viewing e-mails. Don’t let the pop-up of new e-mails draw you away from your current task. E-mails are sent at all times of the day and can be distracting. Some people may check them first thing in the morning, before lunch, and mid-afternoon. Others will check e-mails at the top of every even hour. Do what is best for you. Always prioritize your time. If you need to cut back one or two meetings a week to get more office work done to stay current then do it.
Always stay focused. If you are prone to distractions then eliminate or decrease the number of distractions. Close your office door if you are working on a deadline. Many of us will also get ideas popping into our head as we are working. A suggestion may be to keep a little notebook handy that you can write down your idea so it isn’t forgotten and then return to what you were doing. Later on you can look at the pad and remember “Oh yeah, I need to get bread on my way home.”
Networking and Gaining New Clients
Networking has taken on another meaning these days. It no longer just refers to the cables running from all your computers or the interchanges that go on through the internet. Networking encompasses individuals in the same industry or in different industries getting together in some type of group. The group or organization is structured in different ways to meet the needs of its members. Networking helps other businesses get to know who you are and what you do. They can refer new clients to you that will help you grow. Business growth is about establishing a strong reputation for what you provide and your client size.
Networking can occur during all times of the day. It may be during your commute to and from work while riding the bus. It may be at a business meeting where you have the chance to talk to numerous individuals.
The benefits of one networking organization includes: (source www.bni.com)
When trying to help your business grow you need to reach as many people as possible. Try different forms of advertising. Do not go over your budget but also look at the possible benefits. Not every form of advertising will work but you need to find the best avenues for you. Try using the internet, local paper publications, and the phone directory.
Networking is where you will find many of your clients and opportunities. Never forget that : First impression is Key!