Your supply chain starts when you acquire materials to create your goods for sale. It includes the production of your products and services. And it doesn’t end until the customer receives the product or service you offer, as well as any help required for them to consume your product.
Whether your business is still being affected by supply chain delays and shortages in 2023 or not, it’s a good idea to take steps to make your supply chain as resilient as possible. In this article, we share a process you can add to your standard operating procedures to evaluate your supply chain and ensure it remains resilient.
Start with an Inventory of Your Suppliers
To evaluate your supply chain, start by making a list of your vendors. An easy way to get this vendor list is from your QuickBooks account. Organize your vendors and their contact information as follows:
- Primary vendors that are crucial to your business. This includes vendors from which you purchase goods for resale, and can also be vendors such as your online shopping cart because if it goes down, you lose sales. These are your mission-critical vendors.
- Secondary vendors that provide support indirectly, such as maintenance to machines you use or vendors that provide human resource benefits. Your business won’t be terribly disrupted if something happens to these vendors.
Once you’ve organized your vendor information, it’s best to focus on your primary vendors first. If this list is large, you may want to further prioritize your vendors by sorting them by most dependable.
For each vendor on your primary list, do some research to find alternatives. You want to develop a deep bench of suppliers who can support your business. If one supplier has trouble meeting your orders, you will be more prepared and can consider switching. It’s a good idea to develop relationships with these alternate vendors, and perhaps even use them a time or two to test the relationship before your supply chain strains demand it.
Many factors can go into selecting alternate vendors: price, quality, service, delivery time, shipping costs and methods, country of origin, location of warehouses, troubleshooting effectiveness, and much more. You know your industry and business’s needs best, so you can develop a table of criteria to evaluate potential new vendors. The ultimate goal is to have backup plans all along your supply chain.
Once you’ve gone through your primary list, you can move on to completing this process for your secondary vendors.
Large companies have entire purchasing departments to do this kind of work. Even if your business is small, you may be still able to delegate portions of the list to trusted and well-trained employees. Know that this type of work can take a long time. It will also evolve over time, as new vendors spring up and older vendors retire or go out of business.
Internal Operations Including Selling and Distribution
Now that you’ve taken care of your suppliers, the next big step in supply chain efficiency is to standardize your operations. Take a look at your internal operational processes to ensure they are as efficient as possible. Create policies and procedures to ensure quality and customer satisfaction.
This includes reviewing the production process as well as selling and distribution, all the way to customer service. You may have covered this while you assessed your vendor list, but if not, you can do it now.
One example is how you get your product or service to your customers. Be sure there is an alternate method in case your primary distribution method breaks down.
Again, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time to do this project right, and it will benefit you for years to come.
Risk versus Reward
In some cases, it may not be cost-effective to have a fully developed contingency solution; instead, there may be times when taking a loss is the more cost-effective solution. You’ll want to evaluate the circumstances and determine the right solution for your business.
Taking the time to improve your supply chain resilience now, rather than in a moment of crisis, will create a more resilient, valuable, and profitable business.
Most small businesses own at least some type of fixed asset, which could include items like land, buildings, equipment, and automobiles. The investments of adding, replacing, or improving upon fixed assets are called capital expenditures (or “capex” for short).
It seems like there is never enough money for all the capital expenditures that are on a business’s wish list. To make the best spending decisions, it’s a good idea to establish a process for capex activities in your organization. There should be three phases of your process:
- Initiation, estimating, and evaluating return on investment for each capex project.
- Prioritization of projects based on ROI
- Managing and monitoring the projects once they have started.
Step 1: Initiate, Estimate, and Evaluate the capex initiatives you’re considering
The first step is to list all the capital projects you’re considering. Here are some examples:
- Buy an additional truck for deliveries.
- Expand the warehouse space.
- Purchase a piece of equipment for the manufacturing line.
- Redo the dock area to improve loading efficiency.
Once you’ve made your list, you can begin to formalize your capital expenditure process. Each project should be detailed and estimated, with bids from vendors, so you have a realistic idea of the cost.
Step 2: Prioritize your capex initiatives
The next step is the most important. What are the estimated savings for each project? In other words, what will your return on investment (ROI) be? In capital expenditure spending, this answer is crucial. For each project, estimate the expected savings in time, money, and intangible benefits, and determine the break-even point.
This step can be challenging because the savings might be more qualitative than quantitative. For example, the benefit could be an improved customer experience, which should result in future sales. In this case, you’ll still want to estimate how you think future sales will be impacted. In many cases, it can take years for an item of capital expenditure to start paying off from a cash flow standpoint.
Next, it’s time to visualize the data you’ve accumulated into something like this:
||First year: $9,000 savings.
Second year savings: $49,000.
(Break-even comes in second year.)
|Increases sales capacity and reduces delivery times.|
|Redo the dock area||$20,000||Time saved – payroll costs decrease by 1/2 headcount. Savings of $27,000. If attrition is used, defer savings.||First year savings: -$7,000.
Second year savings: $27,000.
(Break-even comes at end of second year.)
|Employee happiness, reduced turnover are intangibles.|
When deciding which project to choose, return on investment is only one factor to consider. You must also consider employee satisfaction and turnover issues, customer service, capacity management, tax breaks, break-even time, cash flow, lending limits and financial ratios, and other factors specific to your industry.
The key is to have a process that makes sense for your organization. If you don’t have a process, choosing the cheapest project first could seem like the best decision, but it may not have the highest return on investment. This missing link in insight today could lead to cashflow and profitability issues tomorrow.
Tax implications also need to be considered, and we want to point out that these have been left off of the above example since every business’s tax planning circumstance is unique. Always consult with your tax accountant before making a capex decision and as you approach year-end. They can provide valuable feedback about how certain purchases will affect your tax liability. For example, making a capex investment before year-end when you’ve had high profits could be a strategic way to offset your tax obligations.
Another factor to consider is whether you’ll need a loan to complete these capital improvement(s). Interest rates have been rising in 2023, and these costs, plus your cash flow impact, need to be evaluated. As your debt increases, your financial ratios also need to be assessed. You have to be careful not to go into too much debt overall.
After documenting all considerations, you’ll be poised to make a well-informed decision on which capex project to prioritize next. You might even consider creating a capex committee to help you decide. Be sure to include your accounting advisor on the committee!
Step 3: Manage your capex initiative
You’ve decided on the capex project you want to take on now. Great! You’ll want to appoint a project manager to oversee the project’s progress and take action for any necessary course corrections. Once the project is complete, set milestones so that you can see how accurate your estimates of costs and benefits were. You might need to set milestones every year for several years in order to accurately measure the actual ROI, and taking these measures will make you a more accurate estimator in the future.
Spending at the right time on capex projects is as much an art as a science. However, putting formal processes into place will improve your chances for a better return, smoother cash flow, and improved profits.
For taxpayers collecting payments through a third-party payment platform such as PayPal, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (which we’ll refer to as “the Act” in this article) established a significant change to tax reporting rules to prevent businesses and contractors from hiding income through the receipt of electronic payments. Form 1099-K is the tax form issued by credit card companies and third-party payment processors to report payments made via debit card, credit card, stored value cards (like gift cards), and payment apps (like Stripe, PayPal, or Venmo). As part of the Act, the reporting threshold for issuing the form was lowered significantly. Although this change was set to take effect starting with the 2022 tax year, the IRS delayed implementation of the new rule – however, it is expected to be required for 2023.
Existing rules (which are still currently in place for 2022 due to the IRS postponement) require credit card companies and payment processors to file Form 1099-K with the IRS and issue it to payees when:
- gross earnings are more than $20,000, and
- the number of transactions exceeds 200 for the year
Many lawmakers argued that this “two-step” threshold created a situation where contractors/sellers could easily omit income from their tax returns. As a result, the single “$600 or more” threshold was created, meaning that any recipient with receipts of $600 or more for the year through a particular payment platform will be issued a 1099-K form, regardless of the number of transactions or other factors. Barring any additional action from Congress, this new reporting threshold will be enforced starting with 2023 forms, meaning that a substantially higher number of 1099-K forms will be sent out in early 2024 for the 2023 tax year.
Considerations and Concerns
Even though tax law has always required taxpayers to report ALL income earned/received, regardless of whether associated tax forms are received, this law change has raised concerns about several logistical challenges, including:
- What about personal transactions? For example, will taxpayers who use platforms like Venmo to receive personal payments, such as a birthday gift from a relative or a rent deposit from a roommate, be taxed on those payments? According to IRS, 1099-K forms will only be issued for accounts listed as business or merchant accounts, or for personal accounts where transactions are tagged as “goods and services.” Despite these reassurances, there are still questions about how this will play out as the change is implemented, especially for those who use the same account for business and personal transactions, or casual sellers who are selling used goods for less than what they paid/are not in the business of selling such goods for a profit.
- What if the 1099-K and 1099-NEC forms report the same payment? Although this should not happen per IRS due to the fact that payment processors are responsible for issuing 1099-K forms and individual clients are responsible for sending 1099-NEC forms, it’s still possible, particularly if clients misunderstand the rules and don’t realize they shouldn’t be issuing 1099s for payments made through credit card or payment apps. This raises concerns about the double-reporting of income and how to account for such errors on a tax return so that the recipient is only taxed once on income.
- How will IRS handle the resulting influx of paperwork they’ll have to sort through? IRS has already been dealing with understaffing and, as a result, processing backlogs and inadequate phone support over the last few years. Many believe this compliance change will increase the burden on the IRS, lead to widespread confusion in the tax system, and produce a rise in IRS correspondence.
For freelancers, contractors, or anyone receiving payments through a third-party platform, make sure to save any 1099-K forms received, which you will need to refer to when you file your tax returns. Consult with your tax professional about any actions you may need to take as a result of these rule changes and if/how your tax situation may be impacted.
One of the most challenging aspects of running a business is figuring out how to pay yourself. It’s not always clear what the rules are, and many entrepreneurs struggle to strike a balance between reinvesting profits into their company and taking home a fair salary.
Entrepreneurs typically have a couple options available when it comes to paying themselves, which are dependent on the structure of a business. One option is to take a draw, which is a withdrawal of funds from the business’s profits. This is used by sole proprietorships and partnerships. The other option is to receive a paycheck, which must be used by incorporated businesses. Paychecks are compensation based on a predetermined salary and are subject to taxes and other deductions.
It’s important for entrepreneurs to understand the differences between these two methods and choose the one that is required for their specific business structure and meets their financial goals. If you have any questions about the best option for you, discuss the matter with your accountant. In this article, however, we’ll focus on some key considerations to keep in mind as you determine how much to compensate yourself for your hard work.
1. Reasonable Compensation
What would your pay be if you were doing the same work for a company that hired you? Are you making at least market equivalent or better? Many times, entrepreneurs remain focused on ONLY this aspect of their compensation, when doing so is actually a big mistake. There are tax implications of paying yourself too little (to avoid payroll taxes if you take a paycheck, for example) or too much.
2. Retirement plan
When you work for yourself, no one is going to fund your retirement for you. Although the Social Security program helps, it’s up to you to set aside additional money for a livable future when you can’t or don’t want to work anymore. Talk to your accountant and retirement advisor about how much you should be setting aside for your retirement and how you can factor that into your own pay.
Employees get paid time off, health insurance, and bonuses–and you should too! These benefits should be part of your compensation package as an entrepreneur, and there are many tax advantages as well
You need to cover taxes that will be incurred on your pay and your business profits, including:
- Normal withholding for federal income taxes, state and local income taxes, Medicare, and social security. If you receive a paycheck, these will be deducted; however, those deductions may not be sufficient to cover your entire tax obligation since they don’t account for taxes on your profits. If you take a draw, you may not have withholding, but you will need to factor in self-employment taxes at 15.3%
- Taxes on your profits. For sole proprietors, partnerships, LLCs, and S Corps, your taxes will be figured on your business’s profits when you complete your federal income taxes. They will “pass-through” from your business to your personal return. Don’t let this part surprise you!
- State business taxes. If your business does business in multiple states, you must file a tax return for each state. Many states collect taxes based on flat corporate fees, the revenue you earned in that state, state payrolls, and/or the value of property owned in that state.
Check with your tax advisor so that there are no surprises in your tax bill for your business or your personal returns.
As an entrepreneur, you take on additional risk in owning your own company and should be compensated accordingly. Your capital is tied up in your business and should be earning a good return in addition to your regular salary or draw.
It’s normal to take a smaller paycheck in the first few years as your business grows, and you might even feel like you can’t afford to pay yourself an amount that reflects all the above components. In that case, it might be a good idea to evaluate your pricing, your volume of work, or your business model.
Remember to review your salary regularly and adjust as necessary to ensure that you’re meeting your financial goals and building a sustainable business. Determining the right amount to pay yourself as a business owner can be a complex process, but it is a key component of achieving long-term personal and professional success. By following the steps outlined in this article and seeking guidance from trusted financial experts, you can ensure you’re compensating yourself fairly and sustainably.
We’re just a few days away from the first day of summer and a few weeks from the year’s midpoint. So now is a great time to evaluate the effectiveness of your business strategy for the first half of 2023, plan something enjoyable, and think about what you want to accomplish in the remainder of the year.
Here are five business strategies to help you regroup, reassess, and rejuvenate your business for the second half of 2023.
1. Celebrate Your Accomplishments
Take a moment to acknowledge your accomplishments and congratulate your team on the goals you’ve reached together. The extent of your progress may surprise you! Maybe a recent hire has made your team the largest it’s ever been, you’ve reached record revenue goals, or you solved a complex supply chain problem. Celebrating your wins is one of the best parts of running a business, and it also affords you the opportunity to hop off the hamster wheel and enjoy life.
2. Take a Vacation
Any rest is beneficial, and stepping away from your business, whether for a day or an entire month, gives your mind space to unwind and recalibrate. So plan to take time off when your business is the least busy–or when your customers are the quietest.
Anxious about being away from your business? You’re not alone. Take the time that seems feasible for you. It could be half a day every Friday for the month of August; it could be a remote-work vacation in a location with a better climate. Remember: there is life beyond your business, and you will be a better business owner when you take regular breaks away.
3. Schedule a Mid-Year Review
How has your business fared for the first half of 2023 compared to your goals at the beginning of the year? Are you on track to reach them? Or should you design a course correction? Where do you need to go next?
Set aside time to dive into these questions and think deeply about your answers. You can make this process as formal or informal as you want. For example, some businesses hold retreats, or you may decide you simply need some quiet time on a weekend.
4. Be Selective About the Projects You Start
Are you busy with the things that will take your business to the next level? Or the same old stuff? What are you afraid to say “yes” to? If you’re putting off a project that you know will pay back handsomely, consider how to shelve some other projects and focus your energy on the efforts that will reap the most rewards.
Taking the time to regroup and refresh your business greatly enhances your chances of success in the second part of the year. Use these five tips to create a summer worth dreaming about and use its momentum to reach your business goals.
We’re six days away from the first day of summer, and a few weeks away from the midpoint of the year. It’s the perfect time for taking a strategy check in your business to see how you’re doing for the first half of 2023 as well as to plan something fun and productive for summertime.
Here are five business strategies to help you regroup, reassess, and rejuvenate your business halfway through 2023.
- Celebrate Your Accomplishments
Take time to pat yourself on the back and congratulate the people around you for the goals you’ve reached and the efforts your team has made on your behalf. You might be shocked when you think about how far you’ve come. Maybe you’ve hired another team member and your team is the largest it’s ever been; perhaps you’ve reached record revenue goals; possibly you’ve solved a complex supply chain problem.
We all could use more praise and more celebrations in our lives. Perhaps you can organize a party, or if you are not the partying type, a quiet word individually with your team can go a long way, maybe more than you know.
- Take a Vacation
If you’re feeling quite burned out, the best thing you can do is stop and take a breather. There’s nothing better to rekindle your creative juices than to get away from the business for a while. Summertime is when most people take a vacation, so if your business is not having its busy season, this might be a good time to go away, even if for a little while.
If you’re anxious about being away from your business, you’re not alone. In your annual planning process, plan for and block out your vacation way ahead of time. Book the reservations with no refunds several months in advance so that you won’t chicken out at the last minute. There is life beyond your business, and you will be a better business owner when you take regular breaks away.
- Schedule a Mid-Year Review
How has your business fared for the first half of 2023 compared to the goals you set at the beginning of the year? Are you on track to reach your goals? Should you design a course correction or are you on track? Maybe you’re even ahead of plan!
You can make this process as informal or formal as you want. Some businesses hold retreats; you may simply need some quiet time on a weekend when all your family is busy doing something else.
- Be Selective About the Projects You Start
Is your plate too full? Entrepreneurs that wear many hats would probably say “yes” to that question, so the next question is do you have to do it all at once? Ask yourself what you can afford to stop doing that doesn’t make sense. Is there a project or two that can wait? If so, decide to stop stressing about not getting it done and give yourself permission to put it on the back burner for now.
- Play Big
Maybe you’re not playing big enough. You might be busy, but are you busy with the things that will take your business to the next level? Do the thing you’re afraid to say “yes” to; the thing that you know will transform your business and get you closer to your dreams.
If you’re putting off a project that you know will pay back handsomely, then shelve everything you’re working on and start on the one that will reap the most rewards. It could be a new product or service line, a new ad campaign, a new hire, a new joint venture, new financing, or even a new partner, which is very big indeed. You likely know what it is you need to do; your gut has been telling you for a while now. Just get it started, and it will then become easier.
Summertime is a great time to regroup, re-energize, and refresh your business. Try one of these five tips to spice up your summer as well as your business success.
Since ChatGPT burst onto the scene at the end of 2022, the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) has permeated everything from business conferences to news articles to conversations with friends and colleagues. GPT stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer. It’s a program that can write like a human and interact conversationally. In just a few short months, it’s already transformed how people plan vacations, draft contracts, and write social media content. Essentially, you can type in a nuanced, complicated question, and ChatGPT will give you an amazingly lifelike, frequently correct answer.
ChatGPT was launched in November 2022 and developed by OpenAI, an AI research lab tasked with developing a friendly AI. OpenAI has both a non-profit and for-profit component in its organizational structure. ChatGPT is free as of this writing, but you must open an account and verify your email address and phone number to access it. Once you do, the prompt is simple; just ask it a question. You can get access here: https://chat.openai.com/chat
While it’s a powerful advancement that will continue to change how the world does business, the tech comes with its limitations. There is a disclaimer in place, as ChatGPT will occasionally generate wrong answers. It did generate a misleading response when asked a complex tax question about the Employee Retention Credit and greater than 50 percent owner wage eligibility; Samsung suffered a breach of sensitive data after discovering staff uploaded sensitive code; users have noticed a bias against women; and legal professionals have noted that it will reference completely bogus cases in great detail when crafting an argument.
With that in mind, how can you use ChatGPT in business safely and to your benefit? Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Read OpenAI’s FAQ page about ChatGPT here.
- Verify any answers it offers you.
- Remember that it has limited knowledge of the world and events after 2021.
- Don’t share sensitive information in your queries.
- Be as specific as possible with your instructions, and give ChatGPT any relevant parameters and context (Whose POV should it be written from? What will the copy be used for? How long should the text be? What specific points should it address?)
- Ask it for bites of copy instead of lengthy text. For example, you’ll get better results asking for a closing paragraph than asking for an entire blog post.
- Instruct it to write something 3-5 different ways.
- Ask it to rewrite something for clarity.
ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for many workplaces. Its ability to assist in automating copywriting and provide quick answers to common questions can save time and improve your team’s productivity. However, exercising caution and staying abreast of developments and news around this emerging technology is essential. And as with any tech, proper training and implementation are vital to maximizing its benefits while mitigating potential risks.
It’s no secret that these first few years of the 2020s have brought forth seismic change in business; however, there’s one change you might not be aware of yet: the rapidly growing shortage of accounting professionals. In December 2022, the Wall Street Journal summarized the situation: “More than 300,000 U.S. accountants and auditors have left their jobs in the past two years, a 17% decline, and the dwindling number of college students coming into the field can’t fill the gap.”
Such a shortage could create burdensome circumstances for business owners. So, exploring ways to build a more synergistic relationship with your accountant now can make for a better future for both of you.
Tip 1: Reduce your accountant’s administrative time.
One of the easiest ways to improve your working relationship with your accountant is to reduce the amount of administrative work required to manage your account! Here are a couple of tips to get you started:
- When gathering paper information for your accountant, scan and convert it to PDF. Then upload it to their secure portal.
- Many accountants use software that includes optical character recognition (OCR) technology, which helps automate the categorization of transactions. PDF files are typically easier for this technology to read than image files, so save your files accordingly.
- For multi-page documents, combine all pages into one PDF file. Conversely, avoid consolidating separate documents into one PDF.
- Use your customer portal instead of email if one has been provided to upload documents.
Tip 2: Be mindful in communications.
Good communication is an essential part of the accountant-customer relationship. A great customer will take the time to read any emails or correspondence and answer all the questions in the email (not just the first one!). They’ll also keep their accountant informed as they prepare to make financial decisions, like hiring a new employee, making a capital investment, or moving their money to a new bank. Proactive communication can help your accountant provide timely information so you can make intelligent business decisions. It can also help both of you avoid messy (and costly) cleanups.
Both you and your accountant may have preferred ways of communicating, among the choices of text, voice, and email. Keep in mind your accountant has a higher duty to protect your private information. Text and unencrypted email can be problematic for them, particularly when sensitive information is being conveyed.
You can make your communication more efficient by saving non-urgent questions for your next meeting together. As a result, you’ll be able to cover much more ground in your sessions, and your accountant will appreciate fewer emails in their inbox.
Tip 3: Vet any advice you hear first before contacting your accountant.
Be wary of unsolicited advice and tips you might see on social media. They can be uneducated at best and downright fraudulent at worst. One of the most prominent examples we’ve seen involves ERC mills. These companies have sprung up to “help” small businesses claim the Employee Retention Credit from 2020 and 2021. Unfortunately, most of these companies are not following IRS guidelines and do not have the credentials to evaluate the tax law properly. And if you’ve been working with an accountant the entire time, chances are high that they’ve already helped you acquire any ERC funds your organization is eligible for.
Lastly, social media sources can be chock full of unreliable information. For example, TikTok and Instagram have some outrageous financial claims going around. If it sounds too good to be true, or you suspect the video was created by someone who is not a qualified or licensed accounting professional, take the information with a large grain of salt and speak with YOUR accounting or tax professional before acting on any advice you hear.
Improving the way you work with your accountant ultimately benefits everyone involved. By reducing your accountant’s need for administrative work, being mindful in your communication, and vetting advice you hear first, you can create a mutually beneficial relationship with your accountant that ensures a lasting, productive relationship. Remember, as your accounting professionals, we want to support your business goals and help you succeed!
As the days start to grow longer and new growth arrives, it’s time to think about refreshing your products, services, and marketing campaigns for the new season! Spring is the perfect time to boost your business by taking advantage of the renewed energy in the air.
There are plenty of ways to keep your customers engaged this spring. So let’s take a look at five ways you can take advantage of this vibrant new season and allow customers to see your products and services in a different light.
- Add a holiday twist.
With various spring holidays to choose from, consider those that most closely align with your organization’s identity and consider building a sale or promotion around them! Here are a few key holidays to get you started:
- May Day
- Mother’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Flag Day
- Father’s Day
Memorial Day is the biggest shopping holiday of the season; it ushers in warmer weather and signals the end of school for kids and teachers. Plus, customers are used to seeing sales during this long weekend. Mother’s Day can be a revenue booster for many businesses as well.
Which one of these holidays can you best connect your products and services? That’s your answer for an effective spring sale. For an egg farmer, incorporating the tradition of decorating Easter eggs is a no-brainer. So figure out what your business’s Easter egg is and go from there!
You could also consider other lesser-known holidays that align with your brand’s identity, products, or services. For example, National Plant a Flower Day on March 12th would be an excellent opportunity for a nursery to promote a free potted flower plant with a purchase. Websites like NationalDayCalendar.com can be a good way to help you get started.
- Temporarily switch to spring packaging.
If you sell products with physical packaging, add some color to help your product stand out! Traditional spring colors include green, yellow, pink, orange, baby blue, and pastels. Consider adding flowers, new growth, or other spring motifs where it makes sense, too.
The same can be done with any digital marketing collateral, too. For example, do you provide prospective customers with a service menu they can choose from? Try incorporating springy accent colors that complement your brand colors, or infuse your copywriting with language that reflects optimism, growth, and new beginnings.
- Host an open house.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location for your business, an open house could be a wonderful option for building trust with prospective customers. Invite your prospect list and current clients – you can even ask them to bring a friend – and offer refreshments with a spring theme. Plan an agenda with a speaker on a topic adjacent to your offerings and allow time for guests to mingle and network.
Work remotely? If you have a local customer base, host your open house at a coworking space or similar venue. If your customers are more spread out, invite prospects to an information-rich (but not salesy) webinar instead.
- Free spring gift with purchase.
While providing a free gift is already standard practice in the cosmetics industry, you can likely apply the concept to your business, too. Consider a freebie that complements your offering, aligns with your brand identity, and, most importantly, adds value for your customer. And if possible, consider how you can align it with the season!
Graduation season can be the perfect time to promote your services or products, as it marks the start of a new chapter in life for many. It’s an excellent opportunity to remind people how your offerings can help them take the next step in their career or tackle their next big goal.
Additionally, you can use this time to tap into the sense of excitement and optimism many graduates feel and create an emotional connection with your target audience.
Spring is a great time to think about how you can bring fresh ideas into your business’s offerings and marketing strategies. Whether that’s simply adding spring imagery to your branding or something more complex like creating a new campaign with a bonus gift, consider how you can leverage the new season to stand out and reach a broader audience.
With some creativity, you can make the most of the season and give your revenue the boost it needs to stay ahead of the curve!
When drones were first introduced to the consumer market, they were thought of almost exclusively as novelty tech toys. But they can have a surprisingly high impact on the success of some businesses, too! The flying robots can be controlled by a remote device and usually include a GPS and built-in sensors. Drones can be used to help companies:
- Access places that may not be safe for employees to go
- Increase efficiency and productivity while decreasing workload and costs
- Improve accuracy
- Gather information for pricing estimates, such as roof repair
- Inspect items, such as a tree’s disease progression
- Monitor systems or the status of certain things, such as landfill fire risks
- Photograph items or locations from an aerial view for use in marketing or record documentation
Many industries have begun routinely using drones, such as:
- Waste Management
- Disaster Relief Services
- Professional Photography and Cinematography
- Real Estate
- Event Planning
- Highways, Traffic, and Road Safety
Rules for Drones
Before you fly your new drone, there are rules you’ll need to follow. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has set the rules for flying drones safely. There may also be legislation passed at the state and local levels that you’ll need to check on.
When using drones for commercial purposes, you’ll need to register your drone, familiarize yourself with the operating rules for your type of drone, and pass a pilot’s test. Find out more here: https://www.faa.gov/uas
Cost of Drones
Drones can cost anywhere from $50 to $25,000 and more. A beginner recreational drone can cost under $100, while a beginner commercial drone can range from $300 to $500. A commercial drone typically starts at $1,000. Drone prices will vary depending on their size, features, and intended usage.
Incorporating drones into your business can be a great way to save time, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. Drones provide a unique insight into areas that may be difficult to access or monitor, and their capabilities are ever-expanding. With careful consideration and research, drones may be able to provide an invaluable resource to your business and give you a competitive edge.