How to Finance the Scale-up of Your Company

As a company owner, scaling up can be one of your business’s most exciting and complicated aspects. The decision to scale is based on your understanding of the market and how much opportunity there is for growth. To scale, you’ll need to consider how you can raise additional capital investment to enable your company’s growth.

Here are some tips on how to finance your scaling operations.

  1. Take Advantage of Multiple Sources of Financing

To scale and grow your company, you’ll need extra money. It’s important to understand that there are several ways to get funding for your scalability operations. By making sure that your financing sources are varied, you’ll help ensure that you have the money you need to grow your business.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Leverage Your Sources

If you’ve already established good sources of financing, make sure that you don’t turn them down simply because they are unexpected. For example, if your bank shows an interest in helping you grow your company, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be a better option than using another form of financing.

  1. Get Comfortable with Capital Providers

As you work to find funding for the growth, you’ll meet with several different types of capital providers. You must match the appropriate type of capital provider to your business’s needs. Make sure that you are comfortable working with them and confident in what they can offer your company.

  1. Seek Out Opportunities to Raise Capital for Your Company

It can be easy to overlook opportunities to raise capital or simply wait for the perfect opportunity to present itself. Instead, you mustn’t miss out on chances to raise additional money for your company.

  1. Don’t Forget Customer Financing Options

You might not hear much about these options, but they can be a great way to scale your company. These financing platforms allow you to offer your products or services for little to no cost in exchange for regular payments from customers over a period of time.

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Six Strategies for Empowering Your Employees

When you build a culture of employee empowerment, you will find that there are great benefits for the company. You will see an increase in productivity, more commitment, greater effort, and better communication. Employee empowerment includes making sure that they have the ability to make decisions and take responsibility for their work. Continue reading to learn six strategies for empowering your employees.

  1. Make Sure That Employees Share the Company Vision

Your employees need to feel like part of the bigger picture or they won’t feel empowered. Make sure that you share the company’s vision so that they understand the goals and where the company is going. When they know this, they can make decisions that help to drive the company vision forward.

  1. Help Employees Align Their Goals with the Company

When employees understand the goals of the company, they can align their work-related goals with them. They can make decisions that help the company progress in the right direction. The idea is that employees learn to align their goals, and they should make sure that they are up to date. The goals need to be measured and assessed, and the employees need to be given the autonomy to see them through.

  1. Encourage Self-Improvement

You can actively encourage your employees to learn new skills and advance in the ones they have. This will give them confidence, and they will be able to make better decisions that are in line with the company’s goals. Empowering your employees helps them to feel more valued and their confidence will help them to be contributors for the company.

  1. Make Sure That You Show Trust

Empowering your employees includes showing them that you trust them. It is important to be patient and see where they are going with a task or an idea before you step in and correct them. They will find the way that they work best and contribute more to the company.

  1. The Company Needs to Be Transparent

It is important for a company to be transparent in all ways. Don’t hold back from the employees, or they will figure out that something isn’t right, and they will actually lose confidence. If you want them to work for the benefit of the company, they need to know what the strategies are and what you want them to accomplish.

  1. Delegate 

It can be hard to let go, but when you are able to delegate, your employees will be empowered. They will know that you have confidence in them, and most of them will rise to the occasion. When you delegate, give clear guidelines and make sure that they know your expectations.

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How to Finance Your Sustainability Strategy

The quest to be “greener” is costing many companies money. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the effort should end. There are many ways to finance environmental initiatives, and they range from a small investment of time to significant capital outlays.

Consider Your Investment Options

There are two types of sustainable investments that organizations should consider when promoting sustainability: green bonds and social impact investments.

Green Bonds

Green bonds are designed to finance environmentally friendly projects. They can be used to build wind farms or solar panels, upgrade wastewater treatment plants, or conserve endangered species.

Green bonds are attractive for small businesses looking to make an investment that is also good for society. Many of them offer to finance at rates comparable to other forms of debt such as bonds and loans.

Many tax incentives are available when issuing green bonds, including a fairly broad exemption from federal income taxes. The proceeds can be used for a wide array of environmentally friendly initiatives and they typically provide an attractive financial return. Be sure to check with the IRS if you’re considering using green bonds to finance your sustainability strategy.

Social Impact Investments

Social impact investments (SII) are designed to benefit society and the environment. One example is a loan to help launch a socially responsible business, such as a fair-trade coffee shop or an organic convenience store chain.

Under the Federal Bonding Program, employers can get a free fidelity bond through enhanced security such as identity theft monitoring. The Fidelity Bonding pilot program is targeted at companies with at least one employee who can attest that they are in good standing and not be at risk of committing fraud.

Another option for small businesses or startups is hiring a financial professional specializing in SII, such as a social impact investor (SII), angel investor, or impact investment advisor. If you decide to invest in this way, be sure that your investments go towards socially responsible projects and are financially viable.

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Tips for Optimizing Your Product Development

There is no disputing the fact that companies that optimize their product development are having success today. When you are able to be innovative and keep up with new demands and needs, you will continue to have customers. The key is to be able to solve customers’ problems before they have them. Continue reading to learn tips for optimizing your product development.

Start by Building the Right Team

Before you can optimize your products, you need to have the right team in place. Make sure that they are innovative and always working to improve the company’s offerings. The people who are part of the team can only be as innovative as their abilities lie, so you need to make sure that you have the best people for the job.

Make sure that you have a variety of people who can come together to make the best team possible and contribute. They should also fit in with the values and vision of the company. Hire skilled people from different backgrounds so that they can bring different perspectives to the table.

Take an Agile Approach to Innovation

When you bring a product to market, you want to make sure that customers buy it. Start out by testing your customers’ reaction to a model of the product. It is called the Minimum Viable Product, and you can make this version to see how customers respond.

You can get feedback and make adaptations to it as you go. This helps you avoid spending too much money on a product and finding out that it isn’t something customers want. Make sure that your team stays flexible and pays attention to how customers respond to different projects.

Pay Attention to the Customer

The ultimate goal of any product is for customers to want it and buy it. If you don’t listen to what they say, you could lose them. Make sure that you find the time to engage with current and prospective customers in different ways, such as surveys, focus groups, and other meaningful engagements.

Do some research to see what questions people are asking on Google and other search engines. When you understand what customers are looking for and what problems they want to solve, you can make products that work well for them.

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How to Start a Strong Company Culture

With all of the changes in how businesses operate, company culture has taken center stage. It has always been an important aspect of the workplace, but as companies do more work online, they need to start a strong company culture in the new environment. It can be challenging to show employees that they are valued, but this is the key to starting a strong company culture.

Get to Know Your Employees

One of the first things you need to do is to get to know your employees. If you don’t know them, you won’t know when they are unhappy or feeling neglected. Make it a point to know employees and treat them as human beings. It will show them that you value them, which helps to promote a strong company culture.

Look at More Than Skills When You Hire

When you hire new employees, you should look at more than the skills they bring to the table. You should also consider how they will fit into the company. If you have someone who has a high skill set but who can’t get along with other people, it will end up being more trouble than it’s worth. Consider how a candidate will fit in with your company culture before you make the hire.

Prioritize Healthy Employees

When you show your employees that you are concerned about their health and well-being, they will be more committed to the company. You should make sure they have the time off they need if they are sick or caring for a family member. Ask for their input when it comes to remote working or safety in the workplace to show them that you value their well-being.

Respect Employees’ Lives Away From Work

When your employees know that you don’t expect them to spend their family time on work matters, they will appreciate you and the job more. This will make them more motivated and productive when they are at work. This will also help to prevent them from burning out and becoming miserable at work. When you show your employees that you value them, they will do a better job at work.

 

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The Best Apps for Saving Money

When it comes to saving money, it is safe to say that the vast majority of us wish that we could save a little more. Even with well-planned financial goals, there may not quite be the nest egg that we were hoping to see.

Then again, some of us have not planned properly at all and are just starting to realize the importance in doing so. Given where technology is today, it only makes sense that we turn to an app to help us save money. But which are the best ones? Here are a few that have gotten rave reviews.

Acorns

Acorns is literally piggy bank investing. It takes your transactions linked to a bank or debit account and rounds them up to the nearest dollar. That change then gets put into your Acorns account, where it is then put into an investment account.

Over time, that money accumulates and is invested based on your portfolio of income and goals. The more transactions you make, the more money gets stashed away. It is a great way to invest even if you are working on a much smaller scale.

Qapital

Kind of the same idea as Acorns but with a slight twist. Qapital also rounds up your transactions to the nearest dollar but moves that money into a savings account instead of investing it. The benefit here is that there is no potential risk for your money, it simply goes into savings.

Even better, Qapital allows for you to set specific goals and name them accordingly. Those who are completely new to financial planning should start here.

Digit

If you are looking for a simple way to start saving money, Digit is a great choice. It helps calculate what you can save and then helps you start to set it aside.

Even better, there is a savings bonus every three months. It helps newcomers to financial planning set goals, understand what they can save, and make better financial decisions accordingly. Sometimes simple is better.

 

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How to Maximize Your Pension

You are likely to know already how important your pension is. It is important to maximize your pension so that you can get the most out of it when you retire. You can take simple steps now that will increase your financial security when you retire.

Understand Your Pension Formula

A pension uses three factors most of the time, including how long you have been employed, how much you make, and a benefit multiplier. You can check with the human resources department to find out what you can do to maximize your pension. You need to understand how working overtime or getting a raise will impact your pension. This allows you to plan the steps that make sense at your job.

Negotiate with Your Employer

It might be a long shot, but you can negotiate with your boss for a higher match of your contributions. Your boss might be looking for tax benefits, and it might work out.

Create Your Own Pension Plan

You can also create your own pension. Many plans allow you to make contributions whenever you can, and this is a great idea if you are self-employed or an independent contractor. This type of pension is backed by insurance rather than your employer, and you can choose your contribution amount. You can take charge of your future this way.

Put Off Your Social Security

You contribute to Social Security throughout your life, and it becomes available when you are as young as 62. However, if you put off taking your payment, your check will be more each month. You can maximize your pension by waiting as long as possible to take your Social Security.

Invest in an Income Annuity

When you invest in an annuity, you will receive an income. You can get an immediate annuity that starts paying you immediately, or you can get a long-term annuity that will start paying you later. This is a great way to secure an income for the future and maximize your pension.

Final Words

Your pension will provide you with an income when you retire. By taking steps to maximize it, you can increase the size of your check.

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How to Make Your Business More Sustainable

People work hard today to make their businesses more sustainable. You can make certain changes that may not seem like much but make a big difference in the long run. If you want to draw customers and employees who are environmentally conscious, you need to take steps to make your business greener.

Cut Down on Auto Use

Anything you can do to encourage employees to leave their cars at home will go a long way towards showing that you care about the environment. You can incentivize everyone to carpool, ride their bikes, or walk to work, and it will reduce your business’s carbon footprint. You can also have bike stands where customers can lock their bikes outside of your business. Anything you can do to show that you care about the environment will benefit you.

Look for Products That Are Sourced from Sustainable Manufacturers

When you focus on making sure that your products are sourced from sustainable manufacturers, you are taking steps to show that your business is environmentally friendly. You can make sure that wood products are sourced from sustainable businesses and make sure that you use products that can be recycled. Limit your packaging to what is necessary, and always work towards reducing, reusing, and recycling. Recycle everything, including electronics, paper, and anything else you can. You can also reduce your packaging materials to only what you need.

Find Ways to Repurpose What You Don’t Need

Rather than throwing everything into the garbage, you can find ways to repurpose what you don’t need or use. For example, if you are doing a remodel or a renovation, you can try to donate anything you don’t use to a charity. Have a clothing drive to donate work clothing for single moms and dads who need interview clothes. You can find ways to get everyone involved in repurposing, which benefits those in need and helps to reduce your impact on the environment.

Final Words

There are many opportunities to show your employees and customers that you care about reducing your impact on the environment. This is good for business, and you will feel good knowing that you are doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint.

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Preparing for a Crisis in Your Business

When you have a business, you are going to face a crisis at some point. It is important to make sure that you are prepared. Obviously, you can’t prepare for each specific crisis, but you can make a general crisis management plan. Doing so will help you make it through any crisis you face.

Create a Plan for Any Disruptions

It is much easier to come up with a crisis plan when a crisis is just an idea. You won’t be running around trying to manage what is happening, so you can come up with different scenarios and how to handle them. Think through any possible crisis that could happen, such as natural disasters, economic problems, or a health crisis. Then, plan out the steps that you will take to handle the crisis.

Make Sure That Everyone Knows the Plan

You must make sure that your employees, partners, investors, and clients all know what the plan is. Let them know where the guide is so that everyone can spring into action when a crisis occurs. In addition to implementing the plan more effectively, everyone will have more confidence knowing that there is a plan in the event of an emergency.

Set up a Line of Credit

 The worst thing about a crisis is finding that you can’t continue paying the bills because there may be an interruption in your work. If you have a line of credit set up, you will never have to worry about this happening. You can take care of your payroll, pay your suppliers, and, most importantly, stay home while you weather the crisis. Having this set up ahead of time will help to make sure that you are prepared when a crisis arrives.

Final Words

When a crisis comes, you need to have a plan so that you can carry on. Whether you are hit by a natural disaster, an economic crisis, or a health crisis, a plan can help you continue functioning while you wait for the crisis to pass.

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Handling Your Business Finances in Economic Uncertainty

Economic uncertainty can happen at different times, and you need to know how to manage your finances to get through it. When the economy is uncertain, customers spend less money, which can impact your projections. It can hurt your profits and your daily cash flow. You need to be prepared and have a plan for handling your finances during these times so that you can come out of it unscathed. 

Pay Attention to the Economy

You need to pay attention to the economy so that you understand changes that can impact your business. It will help you understand both the risks and the opportunities that may exist in the event of an economic crisis. You also need to be aware of what products and services you rely on for your profits so that you can make a plan for how to compensate for anything that comes up in the future. 

Manage Your Cash Flow

If you manage your sales and expenses regularly, you won’t get caught by surprise when an economic crisis hits. You should make sure that your company is able to sustain its obligations and pay creditors and bills on time. You can invoice your customers promptly and incentivize them to pay quickly. Make sure that you are on top of paying and getting paid on time so that you don’t get caught behind with a lot of outstanding invoices.

You can look at your business and determine where you can cut costs and take steps to increase your cash flow. By keeping your company healthy, you will be able to manage your finances in an economic downturn.

Pay Attention to How You Stock Your Business

You need to pay attention to how you manage your products and stock your supplies. It might be tempting to overstock, but you can end up unable to move products. You need to be able to have what your clients need, but don’t overdo it. If you are stuck with extra stock, it will cost you in space and insurance, and it cuts into your profits.

Final Words

The best way to handle your business finances in times of economic uncertainty is to understand your business, your customers, and the economy. You can plan ahead to make sure that everything runs smoothly during these times.

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