| Why EVERY Business Can Benefit From The Cloud

Posted in Small Business at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

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Digital technologies have revolutionized 21st century business. Not only have they enabled for greater international communication and collaboration, they’ve allowed thriving businesses to be run by teams thousands of miles apart and enabled untold workers to shake off the daily grind and start their own businesses from the comfort of their own homes.

One of the greatest innovations of the past decade or so is the use of cloud based technology to facilitate IT infrastructure. While many consider the cloud merely a storage solution, there is a wealth of cloud and server based applications that are invaluable for businesses of all sizes.

 

Cost Benefits of the Cloud

Unlike physical storage costs (for example, external hard drives), cloud based storage is completely scalable to the needs of the user. This can enable small startups to begin with modest storage packages and upscale as their businesses and their subsequent demands grow. Physical storage pricing structures are far more linear, leading to businesses paying over the odds for terabytes of unused data. There’s no need for expensive and disruptive upgrades or overhauls since a cloud based infrastructure is updated and upgraded automatically. The costs are borne by the provider, while you as a customer simply pay a subscription.  Coupled with the reduced upfront costs then the cloud comes out as the clear winner!

 

The Security of the Cloud

Damage mitigation should be a priority for just about every business. Whether you’re a construction company laying ground protection mats, or a cafe letting the shutters down at the end of a day’s business. Whatever the nature of your business, you’ll likely handle data that you want to keep secure. Usually this means spending money on secure on-site data storage solutions such as hard drives and servers. The trouble is that these can be compromised by robbery or natural disaster. While data can be retrieved from damaged or destroyed hard drives, it is a lengthy and expensive process. By using a cloud your data is secure whatever happens to your physical premises. Most cloud providers offer sophisticated 128 or 256 bit AES encryption. They also have redundancy measures in place to ensure files are not lost or corrupted.

 

Collaborating with the Cloud

The cloud enables you to collaborate with people all over the world, sharing documents and working collaboratively using cloud based software. Google Docs, for example, is an excellent word processing platform that allows collaborators to access documents, make notes and share with others with by-the-second real-time updates.

 

Potential Risks

While there are many inherent advantages to using the cloud, it is not without its risks, and your provider should be researched rigorously prior to committing to a subscription.

  • Your data (and that of your clients) will be in the hands of a third-party, so make sure you know their security measures.
  • Your data can be compromised by a poor internet connection. A poor connection can impede your ability to upload, store or access data.
  • Data storage companies are based in different locations which may have different laws on the handling of data.
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| Enhance The Eco-Credentials Of Your Business In 5 Easy Steps

Posted in Small Business at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

The new buzzwords in business are ‘green’, ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘sustainable’, and there is a good reason for this. Over 70% of millennials are willing to pay more for an environmentally sustainable product. This statistic has driven businesses all over the world to try and give their processes, manufacturing and marketing some solid green credentials. There are some simple steps that you can take to embrace the new trend for sustainable technology and processes without breaking the bank.

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Agile Working

By implementing a policy of flexible working, you are handing control back to your employees and empowering them to streamline their own work processes. The green tint that flexible working lends to your business lies in the reduction in commuting.  As a result there is lower use of fuel and petrol and diesel. The widespread use of conference calls, WebEx and Skype, enables your employees to be present in business meetings from the comfort of their own home. You may even see productivity increase as your staff team is more content when working on their home patch.

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Initiate Eco-Friendly Schemes

Although working from home is a solution to reducing carbon emissions to a certain extent, it is impossible for your employees to work from home every day. Encourage car sharing by reserving spaces in the car park for those that don’t drive to work alone. Even more beneficial to the environment is a subsidized cycle scheme. Launch your initiative with a ‘cycle to work’ day advocating not only the environmental aspect of the scheme but also the health benefits. Lead by example, strap on the hi-vis vest and get on your bike.

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Reduce Wastage

The shocking amount of water, paper and electricity waste can be staggering. How many times have you been walking around your building to discover meeting rooms with nobody in them, yet every single light is on causing your energy bills to rocket? You could look into the taps in your office and fix any leaks and the next time that your office kitchen needs a new dishwasher ensure that it is Energy Star rated.

However, the waste that is the most mind blowing of all is that of paper. The amount of waste paper bins that are overflowing with screwed up pieces of A4 and shredded documentation because somebody printed out the wrong page can be difficult to comprehend. Every person in the U.S.A uses, on average, 700 pounds of paper every year. It is unfathomable how much of this is wastage. You could streamline your administration processes to prevent paper waste by installing contract lifecycle management software. Storing all of your contracts and legal documentation relating to clients electronically means you will have to print them out less frequently creating a near paperless office.

Make your business a green beacon for all other companies in your local area to follow. Initiatives and schemes are beneficial, but you also need to consider the quick fixes. Make sure your staff understands the impact that their action, or sometimes inaction, has on the business finances. Make sure all monitors, photocopiers, screens and printers are turned off at the end of every work day. Stop providing paper cups for the water cooler and encourage your employees to bring their own refillable containers. Each of these small tweaks to your office environment will lead to enhanced eco-credentials.

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Source Your Suppliers Wisely

If you are a manufacturer, whether large scale or cottage industry, it pays to investigate the eco-credentials of your suppliers. Are they local meaning you are reducing your carbon footprint? Do they use recycled materials when producing parts for your products? Your expenses may increase as a result of sourcing greener suppliers, but the modern consumer is willing to pay more for a sustainable item. If you market your product effectively and to your target market, you will see an increase in sales and a boost in profits.

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Recycle As You Grow

As your business becomes more successful and you renew your electronic equipment, consider how you will dispose of your old technology. Laptops, printers and photocopiers that are still usable but simply old will be of great use to local charities, schools and hospitals. Put the feelers out, forge links with local organizations and offer up your equipment. By doing this you will be creating meaningful links with your local community and enhancing your eco-credentials in equal measure.

Going green will see your chances of staying in the black increase. Enthusing your employees into taking an active role in the drive for sustainability will generate a more content workforce, enhanced productivity and increased profits.

Remember going green is not only creates a safer environment but may save your business money in the long run.  Interested in ways to stop waste and save on expenses, give Loftis Consulting a call at (312) 772-6105.

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| Best To Worst: 8 Methods Of Securing Useful Capital For Your Startup

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

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With the modern, accessible internet age directly on our doorstep, it’s incredible to witness the spawn of so many entrepreneurs culminating in the startup trend. Startups are loosely defined as small, humble business operations with threadbare staff and capital that make use of modern trends to get a leg up in their industries, such as using social media, web communications and accessible IT solutions to organize everything. These days, a shrewd entrepreneur with a stern will can make more growth in a year than established firms.

One of the benefits of running a startup is that you can keep costs low while you establish your operation. This might be as simple as working out of your garage instead of renting an office or fulfilling multiple roles of your small business between you and your partner. There is nothing new about small businesses being creative, but startups are usually defined differently. Startups usually have a unique or original or innovative (or all three) idea that they take a risk on to establish an audience for.

If you are the owner of a startup, it’s most likely that you have an interest in growing your operation to the point that is satisfactory to you and provides you with the most interest. It’s not difficult to assume that taking a risk on a startup should only serve to craft something you enjoy. If you don’t make the decision you want to make, what would be the point? You’ll just be working for a firm you dislike in a higher position, when you could have simply raised a career ladder to get to a higher-paid position in another, more established firm. Doing that would certainly have a lower risk associated with it.

But no, you are a strong spirit, and you have the needs of your startup in your mind first and foremost. You will defeat the risk and expose the business world for what it is, yours for the taking! But wait, don’t get so ahead of yourself there. You’ll need to fuel this operation with the juice it needs.

 

You’ll Require Capital

Money makes the world go round, and a lack of it can mean severe difficulty in getting your operation off the ground. Luckily for you, this following article lists in detail the best methods of securing your funds so you can bestow your new innovative idea on an audience who aren’t yet aware they are thirsty for it.

Without further ado…

 

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding serves two purposes. For one, it is a great way to expose your product to an audience online before you even begin selling it. For a tiered ‘prize’ system to be redeemed once the product is ready for release, consumers can fund your product with an undetermined amount of money in exchange for a paid-in-advance for product when your production process ends.

Of course, this can be set only to be redeemed once someone gives you the requisite amount of money that warrants a free product at the end of it. You may also allow consumers to donate small amounts of cash for no reward, but as a form of goodwill that will hopefully help see your firm develop.

To run a successful campaign, you will need to apply some creative flair to your promotional material first. Great graphic design, a professional video that details your business plan in a rudimentary form, why your product is different and where it will fit in the marketplace are all some of the best methods for crafting an appealing piece of material for potential viewers. Thanks to the integration of crowdfunding with most social media websites, you will easily be able to share new update posts to keep your backers updated on your daily progress.

It’s not unheard of for firms to experience a huge increase in their original crowdfund goal, sometimes popular products that resonate with consumers are backed to 200% or even 300% of the originally intended business costs. What’s more, when you have this money, it is free to do with as you wish, so long as you fulfill your original promise of actually making the promise. This is intrinsically freeing.

 

Business Loans

Business loans can serve as a great way to give yourself that initial boost without publicly declaring your product. Instead, you can begin development with a degree of privacy, and this allows you to make a nuanced marketing product that isn’t reliant on anyone other than the debtor and their terms themselves.

What’s more is that you needn’t rely on big banks to help you find a business loan. There are many investing firms worthy of import that understand what it means to be a new business, and genuinely want to see you succeed in your endeavors. Business loans are a great benefit, because they can often provide you with capital, and an immense amount of it, which might be difficult to make from a crowdfund, as not all are successful. Plus, unless your debtor stipulates, there’s no reason why you can’t make use of both.

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Investors

Investors are similar to business loans but often have more stringent terms of giving you their money, as they are not covered by business loss insurance to the same degree as a firm would be. They’re also likely to have more difficult terms of contract, such as wanting a proportional percentage of the business in exchange for the money. They can work very well for the right firm, but if you can secure a business loan, that might be preferable. However, investors, especially affluent ones, might be convinced to give you an investment of a huge amount of money if they trust your business plan and vision. It all depends on how you present yourself to them.

 

Fund It Yourself

If you can, funding your own business works too. This might take dipping into savings, re-mortgaging using the house as security or simply funding your startup while you run a full-time job. This can be the best way to fund a business thanks to yourself being the only person you have to answer to financially, but a bad investment can also lead to financial loss or ruin. Use this with caution.

 

Join an Incubator

Incubators are quite an interesting process to be a part of. Incubators are firms or investors that act as both potential investors and educating guides, who can help you develop or shift your idea to places even you might not originally think possible. It’s instructive to see businesses that have done well with incubators, as many leave with not only enhanced vision and insight into the operation they want to lead, but also have gained some great exposure for investors looking to place money in the hot new venture. Incubators can serve as one of the best methods for overcoming a difficult or stagnant business process, helping you identify what has gone wrong from people who have a financial or networking incentive to help you out. This can also be the best place to meet other startups, and together you can support each other’s operations in the business supply chain.

 

Shareholders

Shareholders are similar to investors, but there are usually many of them, and it will take you going public in order to receive those funds. Unfortunately, you can’t really expect to make a huge amount of these shareholders thanks to your low business value, but you can make enough to make it worthwhile depending on the success or scope of your long-term planning.

 

Friends & Family

Appealing to your friends and family for your funding source has all the requirements that an investor might have, except with this your investor will have an emotional attachment to your project. If something goes wrong, or you experience turbulence with your operation, or simply don’t make good on the repayments, you can be sure to alienate family members and friends alike.

Of course, this rule shouldn’t be expressly ruled out – part of the reason for running a startup is that you can choose how you operate entirely by yourself – but choosing it without due care can really turn into a negative experience. This should, in all honesty, be your last option, unless you have a rich relative who is willing to be your benefactor. Use this with discretion, and understand that a large proportion of startups will not be suited to this avenue, thanks to the high failure rate of beginner businesses.

The tips listed above, duly followed from top to bottom should be a sure-fire way to retrieve some form of significant capital for your business. Not only that, but they should serve to help you understand just what makes a business so appealing to draw money in in the first place, and even if your first project fails,  you will be armed with this knowledge to do better in the future. Of course, just because the list is rated here from best to worst, it doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to one of them. Try as many as you can contract to allow in order to overcome your lack of funds, and be well on your way to getting to the fiscal place you want to be.

Good luck with all your financial and business endeavors.  If you need help sorting out your financing options give Loftis Consulting a call at (312) 772-6105.

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| Having More Control Over Storage And Distribution As A Small Business

Posted in Small Business at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

For small businesses taking a product to market is a giant leap into the world of business. If you’re about to go through this circumstance, you’ll find it’s a very demanding moment in the life of your professional career. Managing inventory from the manufacturing point, then finding a suitable area to store the products, then onto distributors is a lengthy birthing process that has multiple, complex components. After having built the product, you have to physically move the bulk of goods to an adequate storage facility where they don’t lose their value while sitting on the shelves. Part of your financial planning could be to run your own storage facility and delivery service to distributors, cutting out the middleman, and saving money. Allocating enough resources to make this happen on time and monitoring and improving efficiency to this stage is a very difficult but open task which small businesses can use to think outside the box.

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Image by – Spreadshirt

Adequate space

It helps to accelerate the business flow if you have the proper amount of storage. It’s better to be under stocked and have more space than it is to having increased demand but not enough storage space. Small business can avoid large charges that warehouse storage companies charge, by taking the middle man out of the equation. You can build your own metal barn, so you have your own storage facility at an address of your choosing. Strong and well-crafted, the facility is designed and made by specialists in the professional steel building industry. By running this advantage, It could be nearer to your business, so you keep a closer on your product during shipping and transporting to distributors.

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Photo by – Raul Elliot

Faster distribution

A small business will initially be physically dealing, with the local market and perhaps regional demand. It’s therefore imperative that the storage facility puts older stock in front of the new, so products don’t get backlogged and money wasted. This is particularly crucial for small businesses because items that don’t sell or go past their expiration date are going to be difficult to sell even for a lower price. Essentially, your business will be subject to a time-sensitive warranty which distributors want to be able to give the most to their customers. With direct control over the storage, the inventory can be quickly dispersed to many ‘easy access’ docking areas of your storage facility.

 

Staff and efficiency

Owning a self storage facility allows you to hire staff that can take on multiple tasks at once and prosper. Cutting down on costs, small businesses can hire packing and shipping staff, so each product is ready to be shipped and delivered. With an extensive sales analysis, you arrive at a conclusion which products occupy the storage shelves for longer. Working directly with your staff, detecting slow moving items can help you to increase space for items that are selling well. Additionally, looking at the sales reports and working together, the inventory you have can be tweaked so items that aren’t selling can be dropped in number.

 

Deliver the goods yourself

Personally owning a storage facility also means you can deliver inventory to distributors yourself. By renting a couple of delivery trucks, hire staff to make trips to distributors directly working with the storage team. Drastically cutting costs and reliance on delivery service businesses, your trucks can work at all times of the day and night. Not only does this make your business more fluid, but you can fulfill orders from multiple distributors in rapid succession.

If your business is struggling with any of these decisions for inventory management, control and distribution, give Loftis Consulting a call at (312) 772-6105.  Loftis Consulting can help by reviewing your cost structure to help your business find the right solution for your business to grow profitably.

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| Handy Tips For Starting a Construction Company: From Start to Finish

Posted in Small Business at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

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Getting your business up on its two wobbly feet is no easy task no matter what your trade is – and the construction industry is no exception. The demand for construction is high, though, so if you’re handy, organized, and in possession of excellent management skills, you’ve made a good decision.

Lean on the advice of those who walked the path before you and lay the foundation for a successful business; you’ll be more likely to succeed in the long run, and can watch the construction flourish from the beginning.

 

Find suitable headquarters

A construction company needs somewhere it can call home. This is where you’re going to store all of that large equipment, general tools, as well as a variety of vehicles that are only going to become more with time. Check out these top construction tech trends, by the way, to stay ahead of the game.

Even though your first base may be your own home, it’s not a bad idea to find a proper location from the beginning. A small business tends to expand rapidly and nothing is more annoying than to work hard to have everything ready just to realize after a couple of weeks that you’re going to need a lot more space. Keep in mind that you’re going to need as much open space as you can get if you do want to set it up from home for now.

 

Know the rules and regulations

You’re entering a field that’s monitored by an ocean of rules and regulations; no matter how tedious it is, you’re going to have to get your head around these. Start by approaching appropriate agencies to register your business name, apply for a business licence and identification number, and so on. It is undoubtedly a part that many new business owners try to overlook the best they can – but there is no point to this, really, as you’re only making it harder for yourself when your business expands.

It’s a good idea to talk to a professional about this right away. It keeps you from focusing on everything else, and you can ask them about tax requirements and other documents you need while you’re at it.

 

Quality control your equipment

The equipment is what keeps your business afloat – in addition to your superb management and handyman skills, of course. Not only do you need to make sure you have everything you need for the kind of tasks you’re willing to take on, but everything will also need to be in an exceptional condition, from the beginning. This is to reduce the risk of any parts breaking as soon as you’re open for business and to ensure that you’re starting off on the right foot.

Repair parts that are worn, replace those that have the potential for failing after a couple of tough jobs and keep track of the condition of your equipment in general. It’s a good idea to keep a good relationship with your local service station, so have a look at HW Part Store, to begin with.

Remember that people are a valuable asset to your business as well, and the more skilled individuals you have on your time, the more work you’re able to get done. Whether these are hired permanently or as contractors is up to you – you’re the boss, after all.

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| Even Small Businesses Need to Understand Financial Planning and Analysis to Grow

Posted in Finance at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

Many business owners mistakenly believe if they open a business customers will automatically come and the business will just grow because of the great service or product that is provided.  This is just not the case. Many factors go into not only building a great business but growing it as well.  One thing that helps large businesses grow is financial planning and analysis (FP&A) which a lot of the smaller businesses lack because of affordability issues or a lack of understanding of FP&A’s role in a company’s success.

What is Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A)?

FP&A provides the “why” factor in company financial performance.  The financial statements such as the Income Statement tell you the financial results for a period of time but not why the business performed a particular way. This is where analysis of the Income Statement and other financial statements come in.  The FP&A piece is critical to improving business performance.

 

How Can Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) be used in the business?

There are many ways that FP&A can improve performance.  Below are some examples.

  • Inventory Management – Analyze sales of inventory each month to determine the items that are selling best as well as to what slow items to get rid of to free up cash. Can also be used to develop add on services and/or products to increase sales.
  • Department Analysis – Analyze sales and expenses by department to determine profitability by product and department to guide you to achieve higher profits.
  • Make or Buy Analysis – Help to determine if a product should be made in house or purchased for resale to increase profits and/or improve operating efficiencies

Another way FP&A can help your business is through budgeting and forecasting.  A budget is the plan based on some key assumptions at the time the budget was created. A forecast updates the budget based on new information that occurs each month to give the business owner a better picture of how things are going.  FP&A analyzes the differences between actual results and the budget and/or forecast so that real time decisions can be made to keep the business on track.  This step is key for the business to survive in the long-term.

If your business isn’t hitting its targets or does not have a plan in place, give Loftis Consulting a call at (312) 772-6105 to put financial planning and analysis in place for your organization.  To learn more about Loftis Consulting visit us on the web at LoftisConsulting.com.

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| Why Entrepreneurs Should Jump On The Cryptocurrency Bandwagon

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

Today, nobody would call a computer and “electric computer,” and in the future, nobody will call a currency a “cryptocurrency.” They’ll just call it money. But today, the technology is so new and so few people have heard about it that it still has a special name.

There are dozens of different cryptocurrencies out there, all of which are gunning for specific audiences with even more particular tastes. But by far the most successful of all of them is Bitcoin, the most valuable of all cryptocurrencies to date.

When it comes to bitcoin, entrepreneurs should listen up. The currency is supported by some of the greatest minds in business, including Bill Gates and Google president, Eric Schmidt. Every day the Bitcoin universe expands, and it’s presenting many opportunities for entrepreneurs. The price of bitcoin is going up quickly right now, suggesting that we may finally have reached the breakout moment for the currency.

So how can entrepreneurs like you get involved in the coming Bitcoin revolution?

 

Start Accepting Bitcoin Payments

Want to attract more people to your business? Simple. Just start accepting bitcoin payments, either in store or online. These days it’s incredibly easy to accept bitcoins, and there are dozens of payment processors to choose from. Some of the biggest companies in the world currently accept Bitcoin, including Amazon and Tesla. If they’re accepting this currency, shouldn’t you?

 

Use Bitcoin Services

Did you know you can now get Bitcoin with credit card? Well, you can. In fact, according to Tim Draper, a venture capitalist, the Bitcoin ecosystem is much larger than many business people imagine. For instance, there are plenty of services that help you store your bitcoins. These are usually called Bitcoin wallets, and they function a little bit like a virtual bank account.

There’s an important difference, however, between a bitcoin wallet and a regular bank. Whereas as a regular bank is based on the fractional reserve system, all your Bitcoins stay secure in your bitcoin wallet. Nobody else gets access to them.

 

You Win By Spreading Bitcoin’s Message

The value of Bitcoin depends on the number of people willing to accept it. If fewer people are prepared to accept the new currency, then its value will go down. If more people accept it, then its value will go up. It’s that simple.

So what should entrepreneurs do? If they really want Bitcoin to succeed and to make money from their investments, they should become Bitcoin evangelists, getting as many of their suppliers and contractors to accept it as possible. With a bit of luck, acceptance will snowball, and the value of the currency will skyrocket.

 

Use Bitcoin to Cut Fraud

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If you’re at the helm of a business, one of your primary concerns is fraud. But the cool thing about Bitcoin is that the underlying technology, blockchain, prevents the majority of fraudulent transactions.

For entrepreneurs, this represents an opportunity. Bitcoin makes it easier for customers to transact with you and also opens up new trade opportunities in places where it would not have been possible, for security reasons, in the past.

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| How to Make Your Small Business Look Big

Posted in Small Business at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

As a small business, it can be difficult to establish credibility and trust in your industry. One of the most effective ways to do this is to make your business appear bigger than it is. Even if you have a small budget, there are ways you can make your business look and feel more like a corporation, as opposed to a small firm. Read on to discover some suggestions.

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Image Source

Pay special attention to your website – There is only one place to start, and this is with your website. Your website is open to anyone who wants to visit it, at any time of the day. It is the face of your business. This is why it is so important to create a high-quality website that gives off a professional brand image, and this is something that you can definitely do on a budget. Free platforms like WordPress mean you don’t need to break the bank to give your business a prominent and prestigious online presence. You need to ensure your website looks sleek and operates effectively. Also, when it comes to writing content for your website, make sure you use plural language, instead of “I”.

 

Don’t use a formal title on your business card – You are clearly going to be the CEO at your business if you are a one-person operation. But, what is not clear is why the CEO would be doing everything? If you are a one-man band or you only have a few employees, you should stop using a title on your business cards or other forms of communication until your business has grown.

 

Use a virtual private branch exchange (PBX) – A PBX is a telephone system that gives you the ability to switch between phone calls via different lines while enabling all works to share the same single phone system. This telephone system can cost thousands of pounds, which is why it is better to go for a cloud-based PBX instead of a physical one. By doing this, you will get to select your own phone number, and you will have multiple different extensions for every part of the business. This can make your small company appear professional, and also give off the sense that it is a lot bigger than it is.

 

Get a central business address – Do you run your business from home? Maybe you have a few employees, but they are all remote? If so, it is a wise idea to get a central business address. A forwarding address in the UK – yourvirtualofficelondon.co.uk – can make your business appear a lot more professional. All of your letters will be sent to this address, and the company will scan them to you, or you can pick them up if you would prefer.

 

Use bigger invoice numbers – Last but not least, start with higher numbers when you send out quotes and invoices to clients. This gives out the appearance that you have been in business for much longer than you have, and this creates increased confidence and trust. If you use small invoice numbers, clients will assume that you have only been open for about a week.

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| Setting Up A Startup Business As A Health Care Administrative Consultancy

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

Many hospitals are short on funds, don’t have enough beds, short on staff and generally run in a bottom-up fashion. Bureaucracy is like a virus and it can come between patient care and office managers. Starting a health care administrative business can be a noble prospect when the goal is to simplify care for nurses, doctors, consultants and surgeons. Working on behalf of medical institutions or health care companies, your business can reorganize and coordinate the services medical practitioners provide. A startup business in this field must finely balance the human touch as well as cutting away unneeded barriers. Your business can thrive in this environment if you stick to a few principals.

 

Be Worthy of the Title

Health care is unlike any other business in the world. Aspiring startups sometimes perceive graduate-level education as the benchmark, but this is incorrect. It’s a fantastic start as you have the knowledge and the understanding of the basics of running a business, but very rarely to entrepreneurs have the medical and legal background in order to set up such a business. With an accredited health care administration degree online you should be able to critically analyze modern health care issues and utilize effective practices to demonstrate sensitive perspectives in the field. Working with a diverse society, you’ll also be acclimatized to remaining vigilant of cultural practices and assess a situation in regard to the American legal system.

 

Applying for Licensing

As a startup, finances are going to be crucial in keeping afloat during the risky first year. Professional institutions like the American Association of Healthcare Administration Management need to know you’re serious and operating from a stable base where you can be relied upon by clients. By joining the AAHAM and the Association for Healthcare Administration Professionals, you can enhance your qualification and outreach. When you become a member of these institutions, you officially register as a viable service on those systems. It will also give you an opportunity to network with medical professionals as well as access industry job lists.

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Credit – U.S. Navy

Hiring Like-Minded Professionals

The next step is to starting hiring professionals with qualifications and a history of working in the industry. Get the most out of your workforce by hiring those who have a proven track record of simplifying how a hospital runs its affairs, a feel for people management whereby they have kept the best qualified and most productive staff, and let go of the unneeded or below average performing individuals. Administrators should be willing to on board feedback from patients as their firsthand experience of how their facility could be run is free yet invaluable.

Image by – CityofStPete

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Searching for Your Needed Assistance

Using the job lists found with the associations or via online health care administrative job boards and career sections on the website, have your staff apply for the roles and offer a free consultancy to the establishment. Doctors want nothing more than to simplify their care and avoid large amounts of staff that potentially slow down the process of resupplying the hospital with drugs, getting the paperwork through to transfer a patient to another ward, or even just to get the go-ahead from insurance companies to operate on a patient. With your services and the degree you have obtained, your understanding and implementation of case studies should give you a firmer understanding of ethics and regulations.

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| The Biggest Technology Risks in Modern Business

Posted in Finance at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

Modern businesses face a ton of unique challenges that the businesses of the previous generation didn’t have to consider. The world is now so tech-driven, not least of all in modern business. It’s not literally impossible to imagine a business that doesn’t use modern technology. We can picture an office without strong Internet connections, printers, or even computers. But we’re not exactly imagining a strong and stable business now, are we?

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Companies no longer really have any excuse. The world is too driven by computers and Internet connections for a modern tech business to skimp out on these things. We can’t just match the technology that the average consumer is using. In modern business, our technology has to be even better. We have to stay ahead of the game in order to adequately please customers and investors.

So what are the biggest risks and downsides in today’s tech-oriented businesses? In this article, we’ll be running through some of the bigger problems areas. You may even find some practical advice about lowering risks and costs! Speaking of which, let’s begin with…

 

The Cost

This is the first problem to become apparent for a startup. We no longer live in the world of Mad Men. We can’t just hire office space, move in the desks, get a load of paper and a few typewriters and get going. We have to invest money – and a lot of money at that – into getting our offices fitted out with the latest tech hardware. It’s hard to imagine there being one employee in a modern office who doesn’t need a computer of some kind, be it a desktop or a laptop.

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How much you’re going to spend really depends on what you’re doing. The price is going to be relatively high, whichever route you take. You can’t just give employees computers that aren’t up to the modern scratch. But it doesn’t mean you have to blow all your capital on Alienware computers, either. Determine exactly what it is your company is going to be doing. Are you going to be working mostly with spreadsheets and word processing? Then you can afford to spend a little less when it comes to processing power and graphics capabilities. But if you’re starting a company that deals with animation or video game development, then you can’t cut corners. You need machines that are going to be absolute beasts.

The cost is going to depend heavily on what system you’re actually planning to us. If you want to use Windows, then you’re in luck. PCs are more reliable, more pliable, and more affordable than its main competitor. That, of course, is the Mac. Some companies may find themselves requiring Macs. If you’re in mobile game development, for example, you’ll find it hard to get by without using Mac to develop for iOS devices. Your average Mac costs a phenomenal amount more than a more technologically-advanced PC. If you have the choice, do not believe the myth that Macs make things any easier for business. A popular myth is that creative endeavors are more achievable on a Mac. Do not believe this. Unless your company specifically requires Macs to do the job, avoid the unjustified extra cost.

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Security

Office security used to be so much easier, am I right? If your doors were locked and your security guard looked scary enough, you were probably protected from outsiders. As for people on the inside? Well, we may have the advantage in the modern era. With permission settings, it’s probably easier to prevent leaks than it was in paper-oriented offices.

That being said, the issue of security in general has become more costly, more time-consuming, and more important than ever. Modern tech companies are at quite a large amount of risk. As discussed previously, the cost of equipping a modern office is pretty high. Not only does this cause the initial problem of it taking a sizable chunk out of your capital. It also means that your office is now loaded with high-quality and very valuable equipment. And that’s exactly the kind of thing that many criminals want to get their hands on.

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So now the risk of losing expensive equipment, as well as the work that is being kept on that expensive equipment, is higher than ever. So we have to really beef up our physical security to compensate. Thankfully, most offices these days already come equipped with the security tech to make this feasible. When you rent office space, you generally don’t have to install things like keycard functionality or alarms yourself. These things should come with the office.

Be sure that you create a culture of security among your employees. Keep them vigilant. If they see anyone unfamiliar in the office, they must know what action to take. Everyone should know how to lock the front doors at night. If everyone has security in mind, then it will be harder for anyone to come in and start taking your stuff!

Of course, we don’t just have the physical side of security matters to consider. Criminals aren’t just trying to physically access your office and equipment. I’m willing to bet that you’ve heard of cybercrime and its mortal enemy cyber security. So much business is done over the Internet these days that it’s become easier for outsiders to access our sensitive information. That is if you’re not adequately prepared. The world of cybercrime seems pretty dizzying at first. There are so many different crimes and criminal methods to consider. There’s hacking, spyware, key logging, rootkits and full-blown viruses. Some people will leave it out of their mind. After all, computers are generally sold with firewalls and antiviruses, right? Shouldn’t that be enough?

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Quite often, it isn’t. You need to be on the lookout for more tactics to use in the good fight against cybercrime. Find some virus protection tactics to use. Make sure people can’t access your data by ensuring that your employees only connect work devices to the secured network you use in the office. It may be tempting for them to use local and public Wi-Fi connections if things in the office run a little slow. But unsecured Wi-Fi connections are, well, unsecured. They’re dangerous and could allow someone entry to your work devices if used.

 

Complexity of Use

One of the drawbacks of technology getting more and more advanced is that sometimes it gets more difficult to use. This isn’t always the case. Thanks to the competition of Apple, many companies want to make their products are user-friendly as possible. But ease of use sometimes means that certain advances fall by the wayside. What this means is that companies who want really good technology – and a lot of it – risk alienating some of their employees.

Of course, if you’re working in a tech company, then you should be able to expect a certain level of tech-literateness from your employees. Many job adverts for modern companies require the applicant to be well-versed in Word and Excel. And if you’re working directly with code, then most employees will probably have a background in coding and computer science. But it’s not just basic use of the hardware you have to worry about.

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Often, the best results your company can get is through expensive software. This software isn’t something your average computer user is going to engage with. This makes it less likely that any given applicant will have experience in it. This means it may be best to ensure not every important document is accessible only via software; paper documents in pocket folders are still useful in the modern office! This also means that you need to invest time into giving them training. This will also need to occur if you ever switch the software you’re using. And if you ever decide you want to change the hardware you’re using, then you’ll also need to provide training for that. With all this extra training you may need to consider, you’ll have to be careful about when and how you hire employees.

We’d probably all prefer it if we could trickle in employees one by one as we need them. This is, in fact, how many tech companies do it. If the person who is going to be the line manager for a new employee has time, they will give them the necessary training. But if much training is required and you’re hiring people one by one, then that creates a massive time commitment when it comes to training. This may mean that you’ll have to hire pools of employees; several at once so they can be trained in one go.

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Do not assume that everyone is as tech literate as you are. With the software landscape always changing, you need to ensure that your employees stay on top of things. Of course, they also have the actual work to consider. This means you or a hired specialist will have to take on the burden of managing general technology and training. It all needs to be as smooth as possible to minimize disruption to an employee’s work day.

Keep all of these things in mind as you go forward with your tech-minded business. Modern technology has made so many things easier, but that doesn’t mean everything is going to be a breeze!

Part of the role of a Controller or CFO is to ensure the protection of the assets of the business. These assets could me physical such as computer equipment or data such as customer credit card information.  Don’t have a CFO or Controller? Loftis Consulting can help by performing an assessment. Give us a call today at (312) 772-6105.

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