The theory on One in a small business
When you start a small business, you will often hear the phrase Cash is King but does this still ring true now that we are moving towards a cashless society? The quick answer, of course, would be yes. We should change the phrase from Cash is King to Know your numbers. It would be a much better phrase and affect every small business area. Cash is king only looks at your business’s money, needs, or wants. Check out our next post entitled ‘Follow The Money.’
So what do we mean by numbers?
The most obvious one would be how much money you have in the bank. Do you have enough money to pay your bills, staff, and taxes? Then do you have enough money to invest back into your business, market your products and finally, if you are the business owner, enough money to pay you some dividends? Knowing the cash figure in the bank is vital for these functions.
There are other numbers that you need to know. One of my favourite numbers is number one. It’s not a number I used to think about in any significant way until a business coach mentioned the figure in passing. Their reference was about being the only person in the business and what would you do if you became sick, went on holiday or needed to have an extended period of absence. Are there processes in place to cover your absence?
Small Businesses and one bank
The number of one then grows to be a much more significant number for a small business. Banking is a perfect example of the number of one, where it might have a deficit influence on your business. Most companies would approach a bank if your business was expanding, and you wanted a loan or overdraft facility. If you only bank with one banking institution, your company’s financial history is only known by them. If this institution had restrictive rules on business loans or overdrafts, this could become an issue. Effectively, you only have one institution to ask. I am not saying that you won’t get a loan or overdraft, but it could reduce your opportunities. It is advisable to take out two different bank accounts with other banks. One for your everyday business activities and one to squirrel away your staff wages, tax liabilities and potential dividend payments. (Banks are not the only institutions that loan money to small businesses, there are specialist institutions that only loan to other businesses).
Employing one staff member
Staff numbers can also become an issue with the number of one. It’s great when our small business employs staff. It is a sign that the business is growing; you are good at what you do, and your customers value your service. Hiring your first staff member changes your company staff from the magic number 1 to 2. But only having one member of staff also means that a member of staff has much power in your business. Often a first employee means the owner takes a bit of a cut in their salary to employ the member of staff and their take-home pay is less than the employees. What do you do when the staff member is on holiday, sick, or is a lousy employee? Upsets your clients, and you spend more time redoing or talking to your clients because of the employee. If possible, think about taking on two members of staff or maybe two part-timers. Of course, taking on staff will have a financial burden, such as employers’ tax liabilities, additional equipment and licences, and training. You could, however, sub-contract but ensure you have a tight Non-disclosure agreement and contract with the sub-contractor.
One Client in a Small Business
Client retention can become an issue when discussing number one. The trouble with having only one client or one client that brings in most of your sales. You may have an excellent relationship currently with your client, but what would happen if that client moved away? A client stopping your services can be for many reasons; you have a falling out, they can find your services cheaper or are taking the work ‘in house’. Losing a significant client that brings in most of your finances can be catastrophic for a small business. Spread your client base out and try not to rely on one company for your financial success.
One Marketing Strategy for a Small Business
Having only one marketing strategy can also be very limiting. Are you reaching your target audience, where are they, and what do they think of your services? If your small business relies on Facebook ads and posts, will your customers see them? Is that where they go to find business contact and services? If you solely rely on printing in a magazine, how often does the magazine come out? Are you a member of a networking group? Do you network with other small businesses? Limiting your marketing to a one stream strategy is a dangerous and potentially restrictive plan.
The number one can be dangerous if relied on for too long. However, it is also an exciting number and one that a small business should give as much respect to as possible. The advantage of one means that you have tremendous flexibility. We have seen how important flexibility can be in the past two years. Many small businesses had the foresight to adapt their services easier, quicker and more cost-effectively than their counterparts.
In conclusion one in a small business
Knowing your number one limits, advantages, and disadvantages puts you in a much better position to ensure the success of your small business.
You may also be interested in the following articles/blogs
Diary Management: What It Means and How to Use a Diary Effectively
Diary management is a term you may have heard before, but what does it actually mean? Do you use your paper, electronic, or other diaries correctly? Does your diary control you, or do you control your diary? Diary management is the process of taking control of your diary and using it to manage your time effectively. This can be done in several ways but the most important thing is finding a system that works for you and sticking to it! In this blog post, we will discuss the different ways you can use a diary to manage your time and how to stay productive and organised, without using the skills of a Virtual PA.
Here are some tips for effective diary management without the help of a Virtual PA
- Schedule time for specific tasks: This could be anything from setting aside an hour each day to work on a project to schedule a meeting with a client. Having a set time for each task will manage your time and ensure that you are getting things done. If you scheduled an hour for a task, you move on to the next task at the end of that hour. You can reschedule a time to complete the original task if necessary. This has to be one of the hardest aspects of diary management. However, you will be surprised at how quickly tasks get completed.
- Track your progress: Use your diary to track your progress on projects. This can be helpful in several ways, including keeping yourself motivated and seeing how far you’ve come.
- Update regularly: Make sure you update your diary regularly to stay on top of things.
- Use different colours or symbols. Use different colours or symbols to denote different types of tasks. This can help you quickly identify what needs to be done.
- Set reminders: Set reminders for yourself so you don’t forget important deadlines.
- Keep a separate to-do list: Keep a different to-do list so you can quickly transfer tasks into your diary.
- Schedule some downtime: Make sure you schedule some downtime for yourself! This is important for maintaining your sanity and putting each task in perspective. Often we can get bogged down with one task. It is only when we step away from that we realise how much of the task we have completed and what steps are left to complete.
Tips are only words until they are used!
By following these tips, you can be sure that you are using your diary effectively and getting the most out of it. Diary management is a great way to take control of your time and make sure you are productive. So, what are you waiting for? Start managing your diary today! By following these tips, you are using your diary effectively and getting the most out of it.
There are different diaries available, ranging from pen and paper to project management software. The type of diary management you select will depend on the type of business or lifestyle.
Types of diaries
- Pen and paper diaries: Paper diaries are a traditional type of diary. Stationery stores sell a variety of paper diaries. There are also more elaborate diary management systems available, for example, Filofax, Day-Timer and Traveller.
- Software-based diaries: Software diaries are usually installed on your computer or mobile device and offer a range of features, such as reminders and synchronisation with other devices.
- Online diaries can be hosted on a computer, website or mobile device and accessed from anywhere in the world. Examples are Microsoft Outlook, Apple iCal, Google Calendar, and Lotus Notes.
- Project Management Software can also help you with diary management. Examples are Asana, Wrike, and Trello. All excellent project management software used for Diary Management.
Each of these software options has distinct features, so it is essential to select the one that best suits your needs. if access anywhere in the world is important, ensure this is a key feature of the software.
Alternatively, if you have many meetings, you may want to use a diary that allows you to schedule reminders. You may run a business where clients book meetings with you and then a diary-like Calendly would be perfect. Clients can then see when you are free and reserve space in your diary without discussing the time slot with you, thus saving time and money.
Once you have selected the correct type of diary for your needs, learning how to use it effectively is essential. Depending on the system you select, you can attend training courses on the selected diary management tool. Alternatively, YouTube or google are perfect to get tips on how other people are using your diary management system.
Diary management is not just about writing down what you need to do; it is also about setting priorities and ensuring that you effectively use your time.
When it comes to Diary Management, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It is essential to select the system that best suits your needs. However, by following the tips in this blog post, you can be sure that you are using your diary effectively and getting the most out of it! Working with a Virtual PA can help you control your tasks, your jobs and obligations.
What does diary management actually mean?
Diary management is the process of taking control of your time and using it effectively to manage your day, tasks, and obligations. Alternatively, you could contact a Virtual PA or Virtual Assistant to assist with important tasks.
Microsoft Word Tip – It has to be easier than this?
All the tips I upload onto this blog thread are questions I am asked by my clients. I hope you find them interesting, but more importantly you find them useful. This question was about the getting some text to align in word and the importance of chevrons. I like to have them turned on all the time, it’s probably a control thing on by behalf. Here is the question.
Question: Hi Julie, I can’t get some text to align in Word. Help, its driving me mad.
Answer: Not to worry, I can get your text to align in word, but we need to check a few things first.
My first request for all my clients when working in word is to turn on the chevrons. The chevrons are little marks you can see at the end of a paragraph. In the table below, you can see an example next to number 1, hard carriage return. This will give you some idea of what is going on (formatting) in your document. When you have the chevrons turned on, you can see some formatting in your document:
To turn the chevrons on, go to the toolbar on the top of the screen and select the icon.
Once I turned the chevrons on, I could instantly see why the dates and text have not lined up.
The author of the document had, by mistake, added a few extra “carriage returns” (line spaces). Once these had been removed, the text would then line up.
The Chevrons are an important part of the formatting of your document as this gives you control over your work you are doing. I know they can appear to be an eyesore and an annoyance, but it means that you are in control of the document and not the computer. If you feel more comfortable, you could always turn them on after you have typed your document and are in the process of making the document look more presentable.
When we think of a Travel Consultant we think of big shiny offices or shops on the high street. The traditional Travel Consultant is changing and there are more opportunities to work from home. It truly is the age of the computer and internet.
What can a travel consultant do?
In essence, they make clients life easy by organising all their travel arrangements. This can be either for business or personal and both. Booking holidays, booking flights and hotels all takes time. A travel consultant takes this hassle away from the client. It will also mean that you will have to do some research into making the correct judgement and getting the right hotel booking and a good price.
It will also mean that you will have to do some research into making the correct judgement and getting the right hotel booking and a good price. Therefore understanding your client’s budget and personal requirements will be of vital importance. You could possibly have your client’s credit card details, so confidentiality and trustworthiness are essential. Discretion will also need to be undertaken.
It would be an advantage to have a list of local hotels and conference centres available in your area or create an approved suppliers list for your client’s.
There are some insurances that you will need to undertake with this type of job and training. However, there are franchises that you can purchase that will guide you through the process. This is an excellent way to get the backing of a larger organisation while still working for yourself at home.
Suggested Skill Requirements
- A good understanding of clients’ needs. Knowing your client’s likes and dislikes would be an advantage, but through careful questions and open and honest discussions, you will be able to find out their exact requirements. You will need to be thorough and precise in what they want and what you can deliver.
- Thinking on the spot
- Organised. You need to know what is going on in your market. Knowing what offers are on in particular hotels and holiday resorts. Having a preferred list of hotels and taxi that you rely on will also be an advantage. Keeping records and a plan will be a must.
- Flexibility. You will have to understand and know that business clients will change their minds and plans at the drop of a hat. You need to stay flexible at all times and work towards their time frames requirements.
- Excellent IT skills. Keeping records and understanding how IT systems work will be a must. There are some websites for Travel Agents that may be useful for you to use.
- Ability to work under pressure. Travel can be very stressful for some people, and they will rely on you to walk them through the process. If you are booking holidays, then remember that this is their only time off work and they have a dream that they are expecting you to provide.
- Ability to work to tight deadlines. Knowing all deadlines will be of vital importance, and you will need to work to those deadlines and ensure that all subcontractors understand the time limits.
- Research, digest, analyse and present material clearly. You will need to know your market inside out, make suggestions and help your clients make the right decisions for them. There will be some clients who know exactly what they want, but others will be relying on you to contribute to making those choices.
- Excellent interpersonal skills. Understanding customer services is vital and speaking to them in a language that they understand and feel comfortable with is be an advantage.
In addition to the above you will also need to:
- Honesty and reliability
- Attention to detail
- Discretion, understanding and confidentiality
- Use of Word to create forms etc.
Further Reading if you want to work from home
In conclusion, you may like to find out what jobs you could do working from home from our book entitled ‘Jobs to do Working from Home‘ by Julie C Farmer.
We all have commitments. We commit to our business, our clients, our family and socially. As a result, we get over committed, pressurised, cluttered and lose time. Our business demands us to be accountants, sales people, marketing gurus and legal and employment solicitors, oh yes and providing the product or service we specialise in. The idea of a Minimalist Business life is just far to left field? Or is it?