Lean is a way of thinking and being that applies to any organization interested in being efficient and effective in their operations. The lean tools and methods are designed to maximize customer value and eliminate waste—in any process. In the context of lean, processes are viewed as value streams and eliminating waste creates efficient and effective processes that flow with less human effort, less capital investment, fewer defects, and at a significantly reduced cost relative to traditional processing methods. What small business isn’t interested in those outcomes?
Blog Category: Operations
Accounting is known as the universal language of business for a reason—without it, no company on earth would stay afloat for long.
Some small companies, especially those just getting off the ground, see accounting more as an afterthought, something to be implemented once business picks up and there's a reason to start tracking revenue and expenses. However, this can be a grave mistake; no matter how much you're spending or making, knowing the ins and outs of your finances is a critical element to success.
Although landlords often ask for security deposits on commercial leases, such deposits aren’t legally required. In fact, you can often negotiate them. Unfortunately, too many business owners don’t know that and willingly pay the deposit, without negotiating the amount or the terms. Your goal as a tenant is to pay as little deposit as possible—no deposit at all is best. Deposit money, which generally doesn’t earn a penny in interest, can better serve as working capital for your business rather than security for your landlord.
Every business needs to consider themselves—at least partly—a technology business. If your company isn’t leveraging technology, you risk losing valuable business to competitors who are. Finding solutions for business challenges has become harder now that machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) are poised to affect how we work. This challenge may seem ironic—technology is meant to make life easier—but unlimited options can increase the difficulty of making informed decisions.
My ten years of experience helping people start and grow businesses, nonprofits, and social enterprises in Alberta allows me to witness one of the most common mistakes made by would-be social entrepreneurs. Most of them tend to confuse social enterprise with nonprofit or corporate social responsibility and therefore focus more on their social mission than a sustainable, profitable business model during the planning process.
Here are my top 5 tips for starting a successful social enterprise.
For small businesses without dedicated accounting resources, the labour involved in recording transactions, reconciling debits and credits, handling monthly or quarterly close, and running financial statements can seem like a weighty drain on daily operations. Even a few hours a week can be hard to balance, potentially putting the accuracy of your reporting in hot water.
If your team is struggling under the weight of accounting obligations, it's time to ease the burden. These five tips can help you simplify your business' bookkeeping for good.
As a commercial tenant, the monthly base rent you pay your landlord for leasing commercial space may not be the only rent you pay! Many commercial tenants will also pay a secondary amount for property operating costs. The good news is that both these rents are often negotiable.
Engineering your client list—that is, choosing to work with those customers who epitomize your ideal customer persona, while pruning those who are not a good investment of your energy and resources—is a savvy business strategy.
What is one of the most important factors contributing towards business success? This often hinges on effective site selection. When searching for commercial space to lease, entrepreneurs need to carefully consider site location, location within the location, visibility, access, parking, signage, further expansion plans, neighbouring tenants, anchor tenants, and so on. In addition, entrepreneurs must also evaluate the unit’s size and understand that the total amount of square footage will determine the monthly rent. With a larger area, tenants will pay an increased rent.
Being an entrepreneur sometimes means wearing several hats, often including those of billing and accounts receivable (A/R). The occupational hazard of being pulled in several directions can make controlling your outstanding invoices a challenge. Not only that, but companies can become so focused on getting new business that collecting overdue receivables is easy to put off.