The Services That Can Pull Your Business Together

There are many services that you should be trialing for your business, with trialing being the key word here. Your business should have a lot of services that it relies on, and these will grow over time. From the moment you establish yourself as a trading business, you will begin building those connections. You’ll find yourself an accountant who can help you manage your books. You’ll dabble in companies that offer marketing solutions. And one by one, you’ll have a team of people who you rely on to keep your business ticking, without even thinking about it. But there are no doubt going to be some services that you might be missing out on at the minute, simply because you’ve been managing it in house, or haven’t thought about it before. But it’s these services that might mean the difference between steady growth, and struggling growth. So, keep on reading, and we’ll show you what services we think you should look into.

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Entrepreneurship | Business Services | The Services That Can Pull Your Business TogetherCustomer Related

Customer related problems are ones that we’ve all experienced at some point or another. In fact, the biggest headache we often have problems with customers, is trying to retain them, and trying to bring in new ones. And that’s often because we don’t understand how to build and secure that relationship with them, and work on it so that your customer base only keeps on growing. WhiteOwl is just one company that can help you to do so if you choose their CRM service. CRM stands for customer relationship management, which will be right up your street if this is what you’re struggling with. It will focus on customer relationships, and building bridges with them so that you can progress. The more your business grows, the more important this is going to become simply because there’s just so much to try and understand in terms of customer relationships and how to keep them strong, and you might have so many age ranges to try and connect with, that will require different tactics to be used.

Financial Saviours

Financial saviours are what nearly every small business is looking for. It’s hard to find a small business that has not long been established, that isn’t struggling financially. Often the investment can be crippling, especially when profit is slow to build. So, the perfect people to liaise with, are business financial advisors. These can help you to decide where your money should be going, where you might be able to get more from, and how to progress your business financially. All you have to do is find a trusted one that can understand how your business works.

Investment Gurus

Investment is one you should be thinking about as soon as profit starts to build. It’s so easy to find an investment route that will suit your business. From small investments to big investments, you can use them all depending on the profit you have to play with. But an investment broker can help you properly manage them, making sure that you’re getting the most out of them, rather than losing out all of the time.

How To Turn Around Your Under Performing Sales Team

Your sales team is at the heart of your business and when they perform well, the business thrives. But when they are not performing so well, your business is in real danger. Unless you can turn things around and get your sales team working again, your business could fall apart completely. In some cases, it might just be that you’re going through a slow period and things will pick up again soon. But if sales figures are low for an extended period and things don’t seem to be turning around on their own, you need to start making some changes. Here’s how you can improve your underperforming sales force.

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article | How To Turn Around Your Under Performing Sales Team

Identify The Problem

The first step in fixing your sales team is identifying where the problem lies. For example, you might be getting plenty of qualified leads but your sales team is not closing that many deals, or maybe they are not getting enough leads in the first place. You may also find that certain employees are underperforming compared to their coworkers and you need to focus on those people in particular. The best way to identify the problem is to look at your sales data. If you use  a good salesforce dashboard, you can see all of the data about your sales team and how they are performing. By looking over all of this data, you will be able to identify exactly where the blockages in your sales pipeline are so you can start working towards a solution.

Generate More Qualified Leads

Sometimes, your sales team is struggling because you are generating leads but they are not qualified leads and so they cannot convert many of those customers. If that is the case, you should focus on targeting your marketing efforts more effectively so you get more qualified leads. Using digital marketing is a great way to reach more people and, most importantly, reach the right people. Spend some time thinking about who your target market is and how you can create marketing campaigns that will resonate with them.

Motivate With Targets

A lack of motivation could be the reason that things are slowing down. When people have a goal to reach for, they work a lot harder and sometimes, employers do not give their sales staff big enough targets to hit. People may be motivated initially, but if they are hitting their targets easily and you are not raising the bar, they will start to be complacent. It’s important that you set dynamic goals for your sales team so they always have something to strive for.

Improve Training

If customers are progressing to the final stages and then dropping out, that’s a sign that they are not very good at closing deals. In that case, you may want to consider improving your training. Giving your sales team more tools that they can use and helping them to improve their phone manner will make it a lot easier for them to convert those customers.

If you spend some time rethinking your sales team, you should be able to identify the problem and fix it before your business falls apart.

5 Tips to Improve Productivity in the Workplace

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article | 5 Tips to Improve Productivity in the WorkplaceAccording to experts, inefficiency can cost you between 20% to 30% of your business profits. Have you taken a hard look at your current operations? If you haven’t done so, you should get on it as soon as possible.

You may think it’s difficult to improve productivity in the workplace, but that’s far from the truth. It can be as easy as finding ways to motivate your employees and streamlining your operations. Don’t know where to start?

We’ve got you covered. Here are our top 5 tips to increase productivity in the workplace today.

1. Create a Positive Work Environment

As a business owner and leader, it’s vital to create a positive environment where your employees feel comfortable. Aim to motivate them through monthly events such as leadership workshops. You should also consider setting up a breakfast bar and other facilities to make your office space more comfortable.

2. Promote Employee Wellness

Healthy and happy employees make the dream work. You should always promote and prioritize your employees’ wellbeing. You can do this by scheduling wellness clinics at your offices or creating a fitness challenge to motivate employees to take care of themselves.

You should also promote talking about mental health as well. Try to make your employees feel comfortable enough to ask for a day off to prevent any burnouts.

3. Harness the Power of Technology

Believe it or not, using the most advanced technology can help you increase employee productivity. It’s important to take a look at your operations at an organizational and departmental level. Remember every department is a piece of the puzzle.

An example is how many businesses miss the mark when designing their accounting operations. When companies don’t streamline processes such as paystub generation, employees may be spending too much time completing these tasks. If this situation sounds familiar, you should consider a paystub maker such as

4. Set Up an Employee Development Program

Academic degrees and experience provide employees the knowledge needed to meet their job requirements. However, the best employers promote employee growth.

Establishing an employee development program or academy can help your employees grow. Focus on providing in-house seminars and courses to improve their skills and efficiency.

5. Empower Your Employees

You can empower employees by delegating tasks and guiding them. Make sure to monitor your employees’ performance to ensure they’re making the right choices. An empowered employee will contribute to your company’s success.

A great way to empower employees is by establishing a mentorship program. Under this program, company leaders will mentor your employees. This empowerment program will help you develop in-house talent for any need that arises in your organization.

Can You Improve Productivity in the Workplace?

As a business owner, you can improve productivity in the workplace. It will come down to implementing the best measures to motivate your employees. The first step is analyzing your operations and pinpointing where there’s room for improvement.

Focus on providing your employees with the best tools and creating a positive work environment. A good practice is asking your employees how you can help them. It may seem difficult to increase employee productivity, but we’re confident our tips will help you take your business to the next level.

Did you find this article interesting? Check out the rest of our site for more insightful articles.


Five Aspects of a Business Plan You Need to Get Right

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article | Five Aspects of a Business Plan You Need to Get RightBuilding a business cannot be done without planning. The second you start a business your future and your financials are at risk. While the pay-off can be great, and you can even start a legacy, none of that will come to fruition if you don’t have an accurate plan on how to get from place A to place B.

Take opportunities as they arise by all means, but never go into a new business without creating a solid business plan:

Business Model

Choosing your business model is very important, especially with all the options available today. You can go for a subscription model, an advertising model, a pay now model, and so many more, and that’s just the payment plan. Decide in advance how you plan your company will be run and what it needs so that you can strategize around a real product.

Competitor Research

Your competition will offer a lot of valuable insight into what does and does not work. You should try to extend this research into companies that have failed previously and learn from their mistakes. Not only will you be able to improve upon your business model, but you will also be able to devise services and marketing strategies that appeal to your customers.

Cashflow Forecasting

You need to work out overhead beforehand so that you can predict how much you need in sales. This way you can either improve your business model or diversify your incomes to meet your base needs and hopefully exceed them. Once your business gets off the ground for a year redo your cash flow forecast so that you can better predict where spending will be tight.

Your Financing Options

Knowing your financing options is critical, especially as a new business. Without any previous business credit history or substantial enough assets banks will not provide you with a loan. Instead, you will need to diversify between personal funding and third-party loans.

Then there is the type of loan in question. A secure loan is secured against your assets, but if you do not have substantial enough assets, there are unsecured loans you can look at. You can learn all about the pros and cons of an unsecured business loan on, and though it can be a good way to launch or expand your business you need to be aware of the risks ahead of time, as rather than leverage an asset you will often have to provide a personal guarantee.


If you are opening a physical store the last part of your business plan that you will need to address is the location. Rent costs will be high, but more than that you will need to ensure your location serves your needs and is where your demographic is located.

It is important to remember that, though business plan size recommendations might only be a few pages, the work that goes into those few pages needs to be substantial. Consider your final business plan like a summary for a much larger report that works out what you need for your business to succeed. The effort you put in early on will be a key factor in any success you see.

Best Practices To Optimize Your Self Employment Taxes

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article | Best Practices To Optimize Your Self Employment Taxes | EntrepreneurshipIt’s great to be your own boss and this is the reason that a large number of people are picking up freelancing. Even those in full-time jobs are embracing it as a side hustle. While you can make good money from a part-time or full-time freelance project, you are expected to pay your taxes as well. To start with, you need to be aware of the fact that freelance income is taxable just like any other income is. Also, it will definitely impact how you file the taxes and pay them up. So it is better to understand the A to Z of taxes on freelance income to ensure that you don’t get into trouble with the IRS. Here are the basics that you must know.

What are the taxes on self-employment income?

Freelancers pay the same income tax rates as employed persons do. Additionally, they are considered independent contractors and are taxed on the net self-employment income. This income is calculated by deducting the tax-deductible business expenses from the gross receipts. This is the tax that takes the extra bite out of the freelancers’ earnings. It includes both Medicare and Social Security taxes. If you were employed, your employer would pay half of these taxes. However, you have to pay both the halves yourself in the form of the self-employment tax as a freelancer.

What are the deductions you can claim?

While you calculate the taxable self-employment income, you will also want to know about the deductions that you can claim. These deductions matter a lot as they can reduce your tax burden to a considerable extent. According to the IRS, you can claim deductions on the entire expenses which are ordinary and necessary for the operation of your business, just like it is allowed for any other business owner. Specifically speaking, you can claim them for a home office, advertising and marketing, computer equipment and software, office supplies, utilities and travel, and business meals. However, you must maintain proper records and documentation for these expenses.

What is the minimum earning that makes you liable for paying taxes?

Obviously, you would want to know whether you actually need to pay taxes on your freelance earning. According to the federal laws, you will be liable to pay them if your earning from freelance work exceeds $ 400 in a given year. The tax attorneys from Travis W. Watkins Tax Resolution & Accounting Firm suggest that you should receive these earnings in a separate saving account for simplifying tax calculations. Further, expect a significant portion of your freelance check to cover the taxes because you have to pay income tax as well as self-employment tax.

How should you keep your taxes on schedule?

Since you are your own boss, the responsibility for keeping your taxes on schedule is yours as well. The IRS prefers a pay-as-you-go basis and this is also simplifying things for freelancers. Ideally, you should send in the tax payments throughout the year, which can be done by remitting estimated taxes. The good thing about doing so is that you will not face a cash crunch in April. You will have to pay up all final tax payments by the April 15 deadline. The better way is to pay the estimated taxes on the quarterly dates of April 15, June 15, September 15 and January 15 (of the subsequent year).

What are self-employment tax rates and thresholds?

Another fact that matters is the tax rate and threshold because you would obviously want to know them as well. The self-employment tax is just like a flat tax. It takes a one size fits all approach and everyone has to pay the same percentage to Social Security and Medicare. However, the Social Security tax only is applicable only to earnings up to $132,900 (as of the 2019 tax year). The threshold will increase to $137,700 in the next year. The Social Security tax is calculated at 12.4% of the net income up to the threshold value, while it is 2.9% of total net income for Medicare. The full values are to be paid by freelancers.

Now that you understand that freelance taxes are different from those for the employed professionals, you need to be careful while computing them. Filing the returns and paying your taxes on time is equally important to keep things on track. Having an expert tax professional to guide you and handle your tax returns is a good idea too.