Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Improving Small Business Profits

Over the next five weeks I will be adding a new tip to help improve small business profits. Check back each week to ensure you don't miss out on a tip that could improve your businesses profits!

Strategic Marketing
Marketing is a great way to increase your customer base and in turn increase your sales. Marketing can be expensive but there are steps that can be taken to make marketing more efficient.
  • Take advantage of free marketing tools such as Facebook! Get your businesses names and products out there for the world to see. Increase your exposure through a Facebook page, blog or twitter account. These are all free and can increase your customer base. It also keeps you in the mind of your current customers as the more they see your name the more likely they are to buy from you.
  • Track marketing methods to see which are profitable and those that are not. This is especially crucial when you are paying for advertising. You want to be sure that the advertising is bringing in more than you paid for it. If you are running ads through conventional media sources ask new customers where they heard about you and keep a record of the totals. Successful ads you can run again and unsuccessful ones you will no not to use again. All businesses will have different marketing strategies that work based on your product or service, your location and your customer demographics.
  • Email customers instead of paying for postage. This may seem minimal but if you can save 10 rolls of stamps a year you have already added $460.00 to your profits with one simple step. Take advantage of free communication such as email and fax! 
Increase Average Spend
The first tip looked at increasing the customer base, the second looks at getting the most out of the existing customers. Putting systems in place to track average spend or average products purchased can be a valuable tool to your business. Tracking these numbers and then trying to improve them can help increase your total sales.
Track how different products you feature or promotions you run effect the average spend of your customers. Did it increase or decrease? Why do you think it effected the results? Did putting Chocolate bars by the register increase the amount you sold due to impulse purchases? These are the sort of questions you should be asking yourself and acting on the results.

Ways to increase average spend is to offer customers purchase options such as upgrades or add on items to their original purchase or looking to locate impulse items strategically in places that will catch the consumers attention.

Look out for TIP#3 next week!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Becoming a bookkeeper: My story

Ever since a young boy I have always loved numbers. My mum tells me stories of me at the supermarket adding items up as they went into the cart and seeing how close I was when we got to the register. Luckily for me growing up in England the sales tax is already in the listed price! Along with loving math I enjoyed solving problems whether it be puzzle books or playing Tetris on my game boy I could never give up until the problem was solved or the level complete.

As I grew older my interest in numbers and math began to blend with my interest in business. The first time I was able to pick which classes I took I elected to do two years of Business Management, Accounting and Math. Not much variation I know but I went for what I am good at and what I enjoy. Following my success in these classes I was accepted into Cardiff Universities Business School where I was able to earn my Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Accounting. Once my schooling was over it was time for me to go out and put my love of numbers and my education to work. I moved to America and spent some time working in a bank but that wasn’t for me. I then took an internship at the hotel where my Dad was general manager. Going back to my days as a child we used to spend a lot of time in hotels staying with my Dad. Of course I loved using the pool and getting free food and drinks but I spent a surprising amount of time in the offices. Not a place you would expect a kid to be but I enjoyed it helping the staff in any way I could.

Anyway during my internship I was offered a wonderful opportunity in the accounting office of a restaurant group in East Hampton. This was the opportunity I had been looking for to advance my career. Ever since my first day back in May 2010 I have never looked back. I worked with some great people who have taught me so much and helped me grow. I was able to earn a promotion to the position of Assistant Financial Controller which was a great honor for me and gave me the belief that I had a successful career ahead of me.

After two and a half years with the company I decided it was time for a new challenge. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity and support given to me and this is where 3 Lions bookkeeping started. I believe that my mix of bookkeeping experience and business knowledge can be of great benefit to small businesses in my area. I take extreme pride in my work and cannot wait to help local small business succeed.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Whats in the name

They say that choosing the right name for your business is one of the biggest decisions you will make. With this in mind I took the time thinking of what to name my bookkeeping business. There were many names that came and went, they just didn't have the catch I was looking for. But when 3 Lions came to me one day I knew that was it.
It met all the criteria I was looking for and also has a link to me personally. Whats the link many may ask. Well I am a huge sports fan and football, the English kind, is a huge part of my life. So it's fitting that the English soccer teams logo is made off non other than 3 Lions.
I also liked the fact that there is a number in the name. After all that is what the service offers. Bookkeepers are all about numbers, as am I, I am a numbers guy. So 3 Lions Bookkeeping ticked all the boxes, the name was catchy, the number made it connect to the service it provided and it also has a personal connection.
As soon as I had the name, the slogan came right behind it. 'We take pride in our work'. Not only is it a true statement but it's also connected to the name. Lion's live in pride's!
This was the first big step I made in starting my own business and a very exciting one. There are many more steps to come but I look forward to the challenge.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Advantages of a Bookkeeping Service

Small businesses may see using a bookkeeping service as an unnecessary expense that they don't need. However this is a common mistake often made by small business owners.
Below are 4 of the main benefits gained by small businesses using a bookkeeping service;

1. We take care of the paperwork so you can take care of the rest
Many small business owners try to tackle their own books. This however uses up valuable time that could be used to more effect in other areas of your business such as communicating with clients, researching new products or working with employees.
Using a bookkeeping service allows the business owner to stop worrying about paperwork building up or bills being paid of time. It will take a huge weight of the business owners shoulders and allow them to get back to what they do best and that's run their business from the front line.

2. Accuracy
Bookkeeping is our profession and accuracy is one of our greatest skills along with attention to detail. By hiring a bookkeeping service you no longer have to worry about the accuracy of financial information or reports as that is what you are paying for. This can be a huge benefit in analysing your business effectively or in the case of any audits you may receive.

3. Reports
You will be able to have access to a greater range of reports that will help you analyse all aspects of your business. It could be profitability, tracking expenses or which product\service you provide is the most profitable. What ever you are looking to review having a bookkeeping service will give you access to much more information in the form of business reports.

4. Financial Management
Never worrying about paying your bills on time, sounds great right. Well this is what you can gain by using a bookkeeping business. You pay them to make sure all bills are paid on time and also that you are getting paid on time. Cash flow management is what can make or break a small business and with a bookkeeping service you will have a greater chance of effectively managing your finances to help your business grow and succeed.

It may be hard to take that first step in hiring a bookkeeping service and adding that additional expense. But I can assure you with the right bookkeeping company it will not be long before you start to reap the rewards of this service.

Joe Fromm
Owner of 3 Lions Bookkeeping