5 Top Business Tips for 2015

As we near the end of the first quarter in 2015, it’s time for entrepreneurs to think about how they will improve their businesses this year. These five tips should point you in the right direction.

Take Calculated Risks to Grow Your Business

Your business won’t grow unless you take some risks. This year, you may want to open a new location, release a new product line, or hire more employees to meet customer demand. The risks that you take will depend on the type of business you operate and how you envision its future.

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Image via Flickr by USACE Europe District

One thing is certain: your business will not grow until you take risks that create opportunities for growth.

That doesn’t mean you should make excessively risky moves, though. Take calculated risks so you can control how your business develops. Talk to your customers to learn what they would like. Visit similar businesses to see how they are changing. Look into automation options that may improve your company’s efficiency.

All business decisions involve some level of risk. Minimize those risks to make the most of every opportunity.

Find an Affordable Option for Accounting

Accounting has become a crucial aspect of running businesses of all sizes. Entrepreneurs should know how much their businesses are making at all times throughout the year. Without this information, you can’t know whether you are reaching your financial goals.

Unfortunately, many accountants charge steep prices that small business owners cannot afford. Accounting isn’t very useful if it eats into your profits.

Many companies are starting to use online accounting tools. Even though the service only costs a few dollars a month, you still get important features like:

  • Bank integration
  • Unlimited invoices
  • Online payment acceptance
  • Income management
  • Expense management
  • Contact management

You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a professional accountant when Internet-based software gives you the same advantages at a lower price.

Get Your Business Online

Over 73 percent of households have high-speed Internet connections. If your business doesn’t have a fully functional website, then you could lose business from potential customers who prefer shopping on the Internet.

Retail stores should have online shops where customers can purchase items. Not all businesses, of course, sell items like retail stores. Your business needs a good website even if you only provide services.

Your businesses website should offer several pieces of information, including:

  • Your location and contact information
  • The history of your business
  • Descriptions of the products and services you sell or provide
  • Why customers should choose your business over your competitors

You can also benefit from creating social media profiles for your business. Facebook, Twitter, and other services keep you in contact with customers while giving you a chance to grow your brand.

Block Distractions While Working

Today’s entrepreneurs and professionals have thousands of tools to help them work more efficiently. Unfortunately, there are also thousands of distractions that can make it hard to finish important work.

Identify the biggest distractions in your life and find ways to eliminate them. A lot of people get distracted by the Internet. If you find yourself tempted to visit fun sites, use an app like Cold Turkey to block them during the workday.

If your employees interrupt you, make them schedule appointments so they don’t walk in unannounced. If that doesn’t mesh with your work environment, set office hours so employees can talk to you about their concerns during a specific time of day.

Make and Follow a To-Do List

A comprehensive to-do list keeps you focused on meeting the day’s most important goals. It feels satisfying every time you cross an item off the list. A good list can also help you schedule your day so that you don’t end up taking home a pile of work every night.

Your smartphone can help you prioritize and set your daily schedule. Some of the most useful apps include:

Try these and other apps to decide which one matches your needs best. Most to-do list apps are free or have free introductory periods, so you don’t even have to spend money deciding which you want to use.

What changes do you plan to make in your business for 2015? Do you see others in your industry making similar changes?

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