How Information Systems Are Beneficial To Business Operations

There are a number of different factors that contribute to a business’s success. If the business in question requires that information flows in a prudent and efficient manner, then the establishment of information systems can help provide a more productive work environment. Information systems simplify the work process of diverse departments within an organization by making relevant data easily available. Let’s examine a few of the ways these systems positively impact a business.

Organization Of Data

Good organization is necessary for all aspects of a business to be successful including the systems that deal with data. Being able to access needed data is a key component that allows employees to make accurate decisions and solve problems. When that data is organized and readily accessible, employees are able to complete tasks in an accurate manner which improves overall productivity. Good information systems have built-in features that aid in the creation of databases. This, in turn, helps locate relevant data when needed based on numerous searchable criteria.

The Decision Making Process Is Made Easier

Information systems also prove beneficial when the time comes to make business-related decisions or when data is needed to solve problems that arise. Without easy access to relevant information, the numerous decisions that must be made daily for a business to function properly become a time-consuming waste of effort and energy. Information that illustrates patterns, trends, and eventualities are required for strategic planning and problem-solving. Good information systems are able to correlate data to pinpoint the best possible conclusions.

Aids In Information Governance

Information systems are a component that makes information governance easier to achieve. Within the business environment, information is a valuable commodity. As such, it is important to ensure that it is accurate, secure, available, and useable. Information governance is the means by which organizations can oversee and manage data to make sure these aspects remain true. Information systems aid in this process by segmenting data by department and establishing what data is necessary for job functions. This helps to organize information by work needs and also to set parameters to who actually has access to that data. In this way, security and usability is established as well as which information needs to shared between various departments.

Regardless of the size of a business, information systems should be implemented if multiple departments are tasked with divergent functions that require both exclusive and shared information. It is the best way to remain proficient as the business grows and becomes more complicated. Companies, such as Mitratech, offer solutions that provide information governance which will help determine if the implemented information systems are functioning as they should.

5 Simple Budgeting Tips To Help Any Business

In order to protect the financial future of an organization, it is mandatory to use a budget. The problem is that most business owners do not have the financial experience to properly handle budgeting. This can so easily lead to many different problems, especially in organizations that rely on services that have no connection with accounting or financing. Here at Summit Gutter Systems we fully understand how important budgeting is so here are the simple tips that helped us reach financial stability and constant growth.

Learn What A Business Budget Actually Is

Contrary to popular belief, the business budget’s purpose is not to spend everything. It is basically a guide that assists you to make smart spending decisions. It helps you to identify improvement areas, problems and good financial investments.

As the budget is created, you need to have a good mindset. Those that have a negative attitude when they start working on their budget will not create a good one. Budgeting is not a hurdle. It creates opportunities and is meant to track financial performance measures.

Know Your Business

Understanding industry and organization risks is a priority. As an example, in the event that your business is seasonal in nature, there is a pretty good possibility that the annual budget has to be broken down into a monthly approach. If it is not, a quarterly one is more appropriate.

Before you start to create the budget, think about regulation changes and anything that might impact operations in the future. Basically, you want to identify the areas where results can significantly vary so better spending decisions can be made.

Good Budgets Cannot Be Created By One Person

Small business owners often find themselves creating budgets alone but this can lead to huge problems. Whenever there are people that are accountable for the newly created budget, they have to be taken into account as the budget is written. Budget creation is often restricted just to management members but involving those that are actively involved in the business is a very good idea. As an example, an experienced factory employee can easily identify when equipment replacements are needed. Thanks to his input, you can create a better budget.

Realism Is Vital

One of the main reasons why budgets are often built to fail is that they are not realistic. Always develop budgets based on future projections and pasts results. The financial results that appeared in the past years have to be taken into account since they are the starting point of a good project. Think about costs that are inevitable and fixed. These have to be the first ones added. Then, you need to see where fluctuations can appear.

Being Conservative

Last but not least, in your budget you have to put in some safety in terms of events that could happen and that you have no control about. It is practically impossible to anticipate absolutely all factors and costs that impact projects. Because of this, being conservative is just as important as being realistic. A part of the budget absolutely always needs to be put aside to deal with unexpected events.

What Is Freight Factoring?

Freight factoring has become an increasingly popular form of financing in the trucking industry because it is a great fit for the average trucking company’s business model. Essentially, the factoring company advances you the value of your unpaid invoice, minus a small factoring fee, so that you can continue to run your business rather than following up with customers for payment. This allows you to focus on chasing leads and growth opportunities rather than chasing customers.

If you run a trucking business of any size and routinely face cash flow crises, learn what every truck driver needs to know about invoice factoring and start streamlining your available cash on hand by selling your invoices upfront at a discount. This type of financing has fast become a major advantage that American carriers of all sizes have been incorporating into their overall financial toolkit for years.

If you have customers that take 30 to 60 to 90 days to pay on deliveries you’ve already made, freight factoring becomes a very helpful tool because it allows you to secure the money you need upfront by selling unpaid invoices that are simply sitting and collecting dust in the meantime.

Also, the factoring company that buys the invoices from you then collects on your behalf, which frees up your time and energy to focus on more important things such as running your company.

When you ‘sell’ your invoices to a third-party factoring company, here’s what happens:

  • If a customer is approved, the factoring company first sends a notice of assignment to let them know that you, the carrier, have authorized collection on that invoice
  • Your factoring company will then pay you up to 97% of the value of the invoice in the form of an advance (less a nominal factoring fee)
  • The factor will keep the remaining 3% in reserve
  • They will then collect on the invoice, and the reserve will be remitted once they do

Once they receive their advance, trucking companies can use the money on whatever they need. They can purchase new equipment, they can put the money toward covering overhead, or they can use the cash on anything they deem appropriate to keeping their trucks on the road and increasing their profitability.

While some may argue that the trucking industry is in deep trouble, by speeding up cash flow through factoring invoices, thousands of U.S. trucking companies have seen their businesses double or even triple in size and revenue.

Factoring has become such a mainstream financing option for trucking businesses because it offers several key advantages:

1. Keep your balance sheet clean — Because factoring is not a loan, your accounts receivable are is converted into a liquid asset instead of adding a new liability that might adversely affect your creditworthiness.

2. Fast approval — Customers are approved quickly, and cash advances are often deposited the same day the invoices are factored.

3. Funding available regardless of size — Whether you are a small startup, or you own dozens of trucks, there is a freight factor that can help you.

4. Creditworthiness — Factors, unlike banks, base their approval in part on your customers’ creditworthiness. You may qualify for factoring even if you have poor personal credit, as long as your invoices are not committed elsewhere.

5. Back-office support — Factoring allows your freight factor to handle collections on your behalf, and provides other much-needed back-office support, so you can focus on providing quality service for your customers.

When you are suffering from a lack of cash on hand, a top-tier freight bill factoring company such as Accutrac Capital can offer the help you need. Application often takes as little as 3 to 4 days, and once they’ve been approved, you can start to receive same day advances on customer invoices. Melt away those cash flow freezes and warm up to freight factoring today.

Save Money by Hiring a Business Attorney

Whether you are just starting your business or have been in business for decades, it’s important to have a business attorney you can trust on retainer. Small businesses may not see the need to have an attorney, but there are many situations where an attorney is a definite asset. Here are four areas where a business attorney can come in handy and save you money.

Contracts

Business law attorneys understand the need and purpose of contracts. Having an attorney review contracts helps them hold up better in court. Lawsuits happen but having an enforceable contract can save you money in the event one happens to your business. There are times when an attorney can help you obtain better terms on an existing contract such as a lease agreement or vendor contract. Knowing the right contract to use in a given situation is their job.

Taxes

The way your business is set up can have long-term tax advantages and disadvantages. A business attorney can help you choose the right type of business entity that best serves you. A tax attorney can help your business in the event of a sale or purchase, starting up or other legal issues with taxes. Knowing the legal implications of the tax code is an essential asset for many businesses.

Ownership

If your business involves more than one owner, a lawyer can help you tackle ownership or partnership agreements. Laying out these ahead of time can help prevent any costly ownership disputes later. Outlining those agreements with an attorney holds up in court if one or more owners decide to split at a later date. They are also important if capital needs to be raised.

Employees

The current employment marketplace has become a little more fluid thanks to the rise of the gig economy. An attorney versed in employment law can help you how to classify workers within the business. Employees may sue the business for a variety of reasons, but most claims come down to discrimination. A potential employee may sue on grounds of discrimination during the hiring process. Having an attorney on retainer can help your business develop policies and procedures that reduce discrimination in all areas.

Contact an attorney to get the legal advice your business needs. Choose an attorney who understands your industry, has good reviews and is one you trust. The lawyer is there to work for you and your business. A quality attorney can save your business, large or small, money and hassle.

The Benefits of Using Whiteboard Animation in Business: Why It’s Still So Effective

It has been quite a few years since whiteboard animations were first introduced in business, but their success rate has not dwindled at all, in spite of there being much more complex options available in animation video development nowadays. In fact, whiteboard animations are still so popular and successful because of the very simplicity that they bring to even the most complex of projects. In case you have not tried to use modern whiteboard animation in your business yet, here are some of the primary benefits that you will come to appreciate soon after trying out it out for the first time, even for a service provider business like Fix It Right leak detection plumber Melbourne.

Whiteboard Animations Engage Immediately

Whether you are marketing your brand or trying to promote a product on social media, the key to the campaign’s success lies in being able to engage the attention of your target audience. The same goes for explainer videos in a business setting as well, especially when you are trying to catch the attention of a potential client.

Whiteboard animations are just naturally unmatched at doing exactly this because of their simple yet engaging art style. While flashy animations might immediately grab the attention of the audience, more often than not, they are unable to hold the interest of the audience like a whiteboard can. When somebody surfs through the newsfeed on social media sites, they are generally not looking to spend too much time or brainpower on one video, so if it seems like too much work, most people will likely not be watching the video, unfortunately.

The humble whiteboard video, on the other hand, doesn’t seem as intimidating and, as a result, the audience doesn’t feel like they have to think too much about it or spend too much time on the video, which results in a large number of them actually finishing the short video, rather than leaving halfway. In other words, these videos are not only capable of engaging the immediate attention of the audience, but they are also quite successful at retaining that interest.

The Hand Drawn Effect Fires Up Mirror Neurons

If you have ever watched any quality whiteboard animation, then you probably know that they usually feature a human hand holding a pen or a pencil and actually drawing out everything that you see on the screen, alongside a voice that guides the audience through the different stages and developments in and among the creations.

It has been seen that scientifically speaking, this makes the audience subconsciously feel like they are the ones drawing and that directly makes the content seem more interesting, engrossing, and easier to understand. The phenomenon occurs when the mirror neurons in the human brain are engaged and the audience actually feels like he/she is the person doing what is being shown on screen or done by someone else.

Whiteboard animations are able to engage the mirror neurons and, as a result, the audience feels more satisfied than they would after watching any other form of video. In marketing, this results in the target audience associating positive feelings with the promoted brand and/or product.

They are Superb Tools for Explaining Complicated Concepts

Whiteboard animations are better at explaining most things, for multiple reasons, some of which we have already discussed. This makes the simple video perfect for teaching new and somewhat complicated concepts to employees during training and to clients while selling. When employees are engaged in watching a video and they actually feel good after watching it, you can rest assured that they will learn the core concepts better and faster.

Similarly, when you are trying to sell something to another business or directly to customers, it is imperative that the concerned party understands how your product will benefit them. A whiteboard video is perfect for that as well.

The Question of Economy

Cost-to-performance ratio is what business budgets are all about and this is once again where whiteboard videos win big. It isn’t always about how big or small your budget is, but how much return can you get from the money you had just spent on making and promoting something. As whiteboards are both cost-effective and have a high rate of success, it’s a win-win scenario both in terms of maintaining a budget and carrying out a successful campaign. Besides, the distinctively simple and yet creative nature of whiteboards actually gives the business and the hired studio an opportunity to do pretty much whatever they want

Are All Whiteboard Animations Successful in Doing What they are Meant to?

The success rate is high when using whiteboards, but that’s only true when the work is good. There is a constant demand for whiteboard animations as these facts we just discussed are not exactly secret and a lot of companies are actively trying to take advantage of that in every field. In order to stand out with the work and get the best out of your investment, it is important that your videos are developed on top of a unique, but relatable concept, with methodical execution.

The competition is likely trying to do the same thing as you, so to get a step ahead of them, plan, create, and place your whiteboards with precision and professionalism.

Applying for a business loan? Do your math first!

If you are a business owner you know that investing is the best way to grow your company and gain new clients. The real challenge is knowing where to obtain the funding that allows you to invest in your business.

If you want to apply for a business loan you need to make sure the terms are convenient for you, but you should also research as much as you can in order to make the best choice.

Investment, interest, and gains

When considering a business loan you should ask yourself how much you are going to pay in interest during the life of the loan. You need to decide if it’s reasonable compared to other alternatives.

A fixed interest rate is better than an adjustable or variable one as it gives you additional confidence that the payments will not change as you improve your business. A low-interest rate is welcomed, but you should also base your choice on other considerations such as a quick approval period.

In addition to interest, you should be aware of other costs associated with the loan. Banks have a series of commissions that they charge when giving or administering a loan; you should know how much they add up to in order to have a clear idea of the total cost.

The most important aspect you should know is how much will your monthly payment be. You need to compare the revenues you’re going to gain from investing with the cost of the loan. It’s what we call Return On Investment, or ROI.

An accurate prediction about your gains is what’s needed to make the best choice. The ROI will help clear your mind and decide if requesting a loan is worth it and if you can make the payments consistently.

Santiago’s Business Expansion

We will consider the case of Santiago who has a clothing store. Business is going well but he considers expanding. He wants to open an adjacent store that will sell athletic sportswear and footwear.

He anticipates that the revenues from the second location will be higher than the initial one. He is considering a loan of $70,000 in order to pursue this plan. Santiago predicts that he will register $2,000 in monthly profits. He then decides that the best thing he could do before contacting a lender is to use a small business loan calculator. A calculator will help him get a clearer impression of the associated costs of the loan.

He uses the loan calculator and enters an interest rate of 10% that is compounded monthly. The loan term will be 10 years, and payments will be made monthly. There is an origination commission of 5% and a documentation commission of $750.

By using the business loan calculator Santiago learns that the monthly payment will be $925. This is well below 80% of monthly profits. The total cost of the loan is $111,000. The sum is also below the total profit the investment will bring over the specified period: $240,000.

If Santiago made his predictions correctly, he is in a position where he will not only gain a lot of new clients, but he will register considerable profits. The characteristics and figures he listed for the loan are realistic and he can easily change them to match the specifications of the loan he’s getting from the bank.

The revenues outweigh the costs even if he pays interest and commissions for the loan.

Santiago decided to take a loan. He has based this decision on strong arguments and good reasoning. Now he has the opportunity to improve his business and increase his revenues.

If you are a business owner you could most likely be in a very similar situation. It is understandable if you have your doubts, but these usually originate from uncertainty and not having the complete picture about the costs and process of applying for loans. Using a business loan calculator can help you to take the best decision in order to have a brighter future.

Here’s How to Handle Corporate Insolvency

Business owners pour so much of themselves into their companies to keep things running while chasing their dreams of growth. Despite someone’s best efforts there is always a chance of insolvency. The world of business comes with plenty of risks, including insolvency. In fact, financial stress is far from uncommon these days with 46 percent of Canadians living $200 or less away from financial insolvency and 31 percent admitting to not earning enough income to cover bills and debt payments.

Unlike personal bankruptcy, the reality of corporate bankruptcy usually affects a wide net of people involved with the business such as the owners, the business investors, the employees and their family members, and any suppliers, too.

The First Step in Relief

If your business is facing overwhelming debt and you don’t see any way out, it’s time to team up with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (formerly known as a bankruptcy trustee) at David Sklar & Associates. They offer an empathetic and knowledgeable approach. They can inform you about debt relief services that can help while they assess your particular circumstance.

What Constitutes a Business?

These days businesses take many different shapes and forms. Are you unsure if you qualify as a business for your bankruptcy or Division 1 Proposal? Under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, most corporations and partnerships can proceed as a business while sole proprietorships must apply for debt relief as an individual.

Division 1 Proposal

There are two types of insolvent debtors who can seek this method of debt relief. Under a Division 1 Proposal, insolvent individuals who owe more than $250,000 in debt (excluding their main residence’s mortgage) and insolvent businesses can pay back a portion of the debt to their creditors in regular payments over a fixed amount of time.

Without filing for bankruptcy, the debtor can stop all collections actions or wage garnishments and proceed under the terms of the proposal. It’s a great solution for those who want to avoid bankruptcy, and one that not many know is available.

Business Basics

As you seek help and advice from a bankruptcy trustee, you are likely thinking about what went wrong with your venture. Perhaps you’re wondering what’s next or how you’re going to continue to earn an income now that your business has gone bankrupt. Some of the reasons why businesses go down this path is because they simply forget about some of the basics for a company’s survival.

As you move past your corporate insolvency, keep these basics in mind:

  • Businesses must have enough liquid cash to cover emergency costs
  • Businesses must have enough assets to cover taxes or pay off loans
  • Businesses must continually generate profit (more income than revenue) to stay viable

With the basics of business in mind, a plan of action, and a bankruptcy trustee’s help, you don’t need to fear your corporate debt. It’s possible to find relief and carve a new path to financial freedom.

Business Finance 101: 8 Surefire Ways to Keep Track of Your Business Finances

The IRS says 40 percent of small and mid-sized businesses pay payroll tax penalties each year. The most common issue is missed and late payments.

Of course, payroll isn’t the only aspect of business finance you need to pay attention to. The situation illustrates why you need to keep tabs on your finances though. If payroll isn’t conducted properly, it could cost you.

The same is true of other aspects of your business finance. For example, late payments to vendors could result in late fees or other penalties. If you don’t report your business income the right way, the IRS might audit you.

Many business owners struggle with keeping their finances straight. There may not be time to keep things organized. You might find it difficult to understand some aspects of business tax.

If that’s the case, it’s time to get back to basics. Our article tours Business Finance 101, showing you eight ways to stay on top of your finances.

1. Keeping a Separate Bank Account is Business Finance 101

The first thing you should do is separate personal finances and business finances. Although this might seem like an extra cost or more administrative work, it will save you time later on.

Why is it so important to keep separate accounts? When you’re managing business finances, you don’t want the personal to get mixed up in the business side of things. This leads to confusion and takes you longer to sort out business-related expenses.

This can also lead to mistakes like overestimating expenses or claiming personal costs as write-offs.

2. Create a Revenue Forecast

The next thing to do in small business financial management is create a revenue forecast. This projection gives you an estimate of what funds you expect the business to bring in.

Many business owners see this as a waste of time. Your forecasts often change when you’re running a small business. A client may scale back their account or a large order may not come through.

The forecast document is still important, because it gives you an idea of what to expect and when to expect it. This helps you manage your expenditures most effectively. If you know you have a few low-income months coming up, you can prepare for them.

3. Understand Your Tax Obligations

As we said, the IRS has estimated about 40 percent of all SMBs are assessed payroll penalties every year. Better management of finances for small business can cure this problem.

The best thing you can do is read up on your tax obligations. You’ll have different tax responsibilities if you’re self-employed versus an employer.

A good understanding of how your business will be taxed can also show you opportunities. Maybe you’ve been thinking about technology upgrades, and a tax incentive seals the deal. Knowing what to expect also helps you prepare to meet your tax responsibilities.

4. Use the Right Software

If you’ve ever wondered about how to manage a small business, you’ve probably heard of a software solution. For almost any business management problem these says, there’s software.

Some of this software is worth its salt. Adopting financial management software or accounting software is a great idea.

How can you know you’ve got the right solution for your business? The experts at Stampli suggest you look for the following:

  • A clean, easy-to-understand management dashboard
  • Simple integration with the other software solutions you use
  • An interactive approval system

The right software helps you streamline everything from accounts payable to payroll.

5. Think about Financing Options

There comes a point when almost every successful SMB will need a cash injection. Most often, you’ll need to seek capital to expand the business.

You have plenty of financing options, from microlenders to big bank loans. Review your options and determine which one is right for you.

Keep in mind that your personal credit score has an effect on business borrowing. If your credit rating is less than stellar, there are things you can do to improve. By taking action now, you can prepare to submit loan applications in the future.

6. Review Your Costs

A fundamental part of how to manage business finances is looking at expenditures. Whether it’s paying for office space or buying supplies, your business needs to spend to get things done.

You need to keep a close eye on your expenses, since they can get out of hand. You may love your swanky new office space, but is it costing you too much?

Contractors, supplies, and more can all add up. Managing these costs will help you improve the bottom line.

7. Stay on Top of the Day-to-Day

The most common reason for payroll penalties is late or missed payments. This often happens because small business owners leave finance to the last second.

Most small business owners are busy people. Whether you’re self-employed or you have a few employees, you likely wear many hats. In this busy environment, tasks like finances can be pushed aside.

Staying on top of the day-to-day management of your business finances is key. Most financial tasks are more manageable when you take them one step at a time.

You’ll also be more accurate if you do things like record expenses when they happen. This can also help you stay on top of payments, so you can avoid those late fees.

8. Get a Helping Hand

Unless you’re an accountant yourself, there’s going to be a point where it makes sense to leave financial management to someone with more expertise. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it might make sense to hire a bookkeeper or accountant to help out.

Don’t forget that you can consult with experts to get a helping hand with individual tasks.

Stay Ahead of the Financial Game

With Business Finance 101 under your belt, you’re ready to tackle business finance. If you still need a helping hand, don’t worry.

Our blog is chock-full of great tips about making and managing money. Check out some of our great articles for more.