man looking at documents on the wall

Staying Afloat: Tips on Surviving Inflation for Small Businesses

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) climbed 1.3% between May and June in 2022 in the biggest one-month jump since 2005, and it’s only expected to increase over time. As a small business owner, you’re already dealing with tight profit margins, so the added pressure of inflation can make it tough to stay afloat. Fortunately, there are strategies to help you weather the storm.

Cash Reserves

Inflation can eat into your profits, so having a cash cushion to fall back on can be a lifesaver. Keep a few months’ worth of expenses saved up to give you some breathing room if business starts to slow down.

Keep Valuable Employees

Wages inevitably rise with inflation, so it’s important to keep your best employees by offering competitive salaries. Providing benefits and steady work will lower your staff turnover, which may cost you a bit more now, but will help you to save on training and induction expenses, in the longer term.

Improve Profit Margins

If your margins are tight, now is the time to start looking for ways to improve them. Evaluate your strategy and see if there’s room to increase your prices without losing customers. Search for cheaper alternatives for your supplies and materials that won’t compromise the quality of your products or services.

Use Technology

Technology can help you save time and money. Automating repetitive tasks will free up your employees to focus on more important tasks that will lead to growth and new sales. Search for software or free online tools that can assist in this regard.

Business Loans

If you’re struggling to make ends meet, a business loan can give you the financial boost you need. Shop around for the best rates and terms but be sure not to overcommit to a debt you won’t be able to recover from.

Stock Up on Supplies

If your business makes use of non-perishable supplies, it may be worth stockpiling some items. This way, you’ll avoid having to pay higher prices down the road, and if resources become scarce due to global tensions, you’ll have the breathing space to find alternative solutions.

Improve Productivity

If you can find ways to increase productivity, you’ll cut down on expenses and automatically start seeing growth in profits. Check if there are any bottlenecks in your process that you can eliminate and use productivity trackers to monitor the effectiveness of how your staff spends their time.

Use Accounting Software

Accounting software can help you keep track of your finances and ensure you’re making the most of your money. It will also reduce the risk of payroll errors that have the potential to hurt your business in ways you can’t afford. Opt for a free software solution to avoid paying a monthly fee for this service.

Low-Cost Marketing

Marketing and paid ads are undoubtedly expensive, however, with the boom of digital solutions, there are plenty of low-cost options available. A banner maker, for example, can allow you to easily design banners online for your website and other marketing material to improve your efforts to reach your target market without spending on costly software.

Summary

Dealing with inflation can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. If you’ve invested time and money into your business, you’ll want to do everything in your power to avoid liquidation, so it’s vital to be proactive rather than reactive. Start by identifying the biggest problem areas in your existing business model and you’ll soon find yourself easily sustaining profits.

By Lisa Walker

working on laptop in front of a window

Becoming a Full-Time Digital Nomad in 7 Simple Steps

If the idea of travelling around the world while earning a full-time living sounds appealing, maybe you should consider becoming a full-time nomad. Remote work is on the rise, but it’s important to do your research before taking the plunge. Today, Marissa is here to offer a step-by-step guide for adopting a digital nomad lifestyle.

1. Support Yourself by Becoming a Freelancer or Business Owner

For many aspiring digital nomads, becoming a freelancer or business owner is a top option. If you go this route, consider forming a limited liability corporation for the built-in benefits. This structure allows you to:

  • Reduce your paperwork burden
  • Pick a location for establishing the LLC
  • Limit your legal liability and get additional flexibility
  • Avoid double taxation and gain other tax benefits

Before you form your LLC, make sure to check your state’s LLC regulations, since they can vary. One option for lessening your burden and avoiding legal fees is to use a formation service to get your LLC set up.

2. Sharpen Those Business Skills

Building and improving your business skills can help you navigate the world of remote work with ease. So, if you want to further your education in the world of business, consider going back to school. For instance, if you’ve always wanted to earn your MBA, you can easily do so at home without having to rearrange your entire schedule.

Many online businesses let you start when it’s more convenient for you, so start by researching the start times offered by different programs. This way, you can easily fit those courses into your day.

3. Explore Different Remote Work Options

One perk of being a digital nomad is the chance to try out different professions. Consider remote work possibilities such as:

  • Freelance writing
  • Translation work
  • Bookkeeping
  • Freelance photography

4. Learn the Basics of Invoicing

According to recent employment data, picking up freelance work has become increasingly popular. However, just doing the work is not enough — it’s also important to get paid! That’s why learning how to invoice is essential. Starting with an invoice maker can be a life saver and help you maintain records, as well. If you’re working in a foreign country and hope to save money, look for a payment method with minimal transaction fees.

5. Find Tech-Friendly Rental Units Quickly

For a remote worker constantly on the move, finding appropriate and affordable rentals quickly is crucial. Secure a rental unit before moving to a new city, and consider renting through sites that offer 24/7 customer support in the event of unexpected complications.

Rentals with fast Wi-Fi connectivity are a must. Make sure your unit also offers access to other technology you may need, as well as proximity to any landmarks, local activities, or historical neighbourhoods you wish to experience.

6. Set Clear-Cut Work-Life Boundaries

One danger of working remotely is letting work bleed into your personal time. To truly enjoy your remote lifestyle, establish clear-cut boundaries by:

  • Setting a strict cut-off hour for stopping work
  • Using a designated office space
  • Scheduling in daily relaxation time
  • Prioritizing work tasks

7. Cut Back on Your Travel Expenses

When travelling often, it’s important to budget carefully. You can make your dollars stretch farther by cutting back on travel expenses. To do this:

  • Use online comparison tools
  • Take advantage of coupons and sales
  • Use points and perks on credit cards

Summary

Becoming a full-time digital nomad can allow you to travel the world while working but may require some planning. With these seven steps, you can work remotely while pursuing your passion for travel.

By Marissa Perez

woman with laptop

How to Overcome the Fear of Starting a New Business

Before you can succeed as an entrepreneur, you need to overcome your fears. The fear of starting a new business is one of the most common fears that hold back individuals from becoming successful entrepreneurs. The fear of starting a new business is so common that there is even a name for it: the fear of failure.

The fear of failure is a central challenge to anyone who aspires to start their own business. After all, if you’re afraid of failure, how can you take the risk and go out on your own?

And yet, overcoming the fear of failure is necessary in order to become an entrepreneur. If you want to start your own business, read on for some helpful tips for aspiring entrepreneurs, brought to you by Tuan Nguyen’s Blog.

Build a Business Plan

The fear of failure is a lot easier to overcome if you know what you’re doing. That’s why it’s important to take the time to plan out your business idea and decide exactly what you want to do.

Start by obtaining your own white paper on your chosen industry and looking at the competitive landscape. Where are your competitors located? What is their business model? What problems do they solve for customers? What value do you bring to the table?

Once you’ve identified what your competitive edge is, you can begin to outline your business plan. What are your financial goals? What is your timeline? What actions will you take each month to achieve your goals?

As you create your business plan, keep in mind that it’s not just a set of promises you’re making to yourself. It’s a legally binding document that should be submitted to the appropriate government agencies if you plan to operate your business as a corporation or partnership.

This in itself can be an intimidating task. That’s why you may want to hire an online business formation service. They can handle the challenging aspects of forming a business and help you choose the best one for your needs.

With the right business structure, you can enjoy less paperwork, more flexibility, and even tax advantages.

Network and Build Relationships

As an entrepreneur, you are likely to spend a significant portion of your day networking with other like-minded individuals. You may organize social gatherings for your friends and business associates, or join business networks on LinkedIn and other social media platforms.

While networking can be a helpful way to meet potential customers and partners, it’s also important to maintain healthy relationships with your current clients and customers.

Clients and customers are the lifeblood of any business. A healthy relationship with either can last for years and can even become a lifelong relationship. Maintain good relationships with your current clients and customers, and you’ll stay top of mind when they need your services again.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Advice

Asking for advice is a great way to overcome the fear of failure. This can apply to many aspects of starting your own business, such as hiring employees, finding investors, or securing funding for your business idea.

People are usually willing to give advice to those they know, and if you ask for it, people are also likely to give it to you. There are a number of online forums, communities, and blogs where entrepreneurs can seek advice from each other.

You might even want to work with a mentor to assist you. They can teach you how to improve on your weaknesses, grow as a business leader, and much more.

By Carleen Moore