Podcasts: Cash Flow Explained

Why Your Cash Flow Statement Is Your Most Important Financial Statement

Cash is the lifeblood of your business.

Without it bills don’t get paid, there’s no new inventory coming in and you won’t get paid either.

Without good cash flow, your business doesn’t have a secure future.

That’s why the cash flow statement is the most important financial statement you can generate and study.

Yes, there are plenty of other accounting statements that can be helpful.

Maybe you’re working with income reports and are keeping an eye on accounts payable and receivable. It still won’t get you the whole picture.

Here are a few key pieces of data you may be missing without a cash flow statement:

  • How much money you have available to pay suppliers, bills or invest into business upgrades.
  • How much money is tied up in the company and can’t be used for day-to-day operations.
  • How many of your customers have actually paid for the products and services ordered (as opposed to just being invoiced).
  • You may have a lot of net worth, but without adequate cash flow, your business could be in trouble.
  • A cash flow statement will show you trends and fluctuations you may miss when looking at a regular income statement.
  • Without a cash flow statement you don’t know how liquid your business is.
  • How quickly you are seeing a return on your investments and projects.
  • You’re not getting a complete picture of your company’s financial health.
  • You don’t know how much money you can safely take out of the business to pay yourself.
  • You don’t know how quickly inventory turns over or how quickly new projects generate cash for the business.

As you can see a cash flow statement is a vital piece of data on your company and a good tool to have in your belt.

If you don’t already have one in place, talk to your accountant or bookkeeper or check for templates online to start tracking the cash coming in and out of your business each month.

Both investors and financial institutions will likely ask for cash flow statements should you need to raise extra capital to grow your business in the future.

If you already have a monthly cash flow statement, start paying attention to the information contained in it.

Use it to your advantage and make adjustments to ensure your company remains both liquid and growing for years to come.

Podcast: Live Video Streaming Explained

Live video streaming is not a completely new concept – it’s just that it really took hold in the marketplace in 2015.
Twitter saw the value in this and bought Periscope before it even released its product. For most people, where this concept is new to them, feel confused as to what to broadcast.
These podcasts will give some ideas as to what you can use for your material to broadcast.

Repurposed Content
If you have been doing online marketing for a long period of time, there is a pretty good chance you already have a blog or website and have been actively filling it with content. If so, you can use the content from your website as material for your broadcasts. In fact, you can set up a weekly broadcast and discuss one post each week. The key to doing this correctly is to make sure you are consistent with your broadcasts. Do them the same day and same time every week. Make sure to have a question and answer period at the end as this is how to get people coming back. One way to entice them to join the broadcasts is to offer to give something away but only to those who attend the broadcast. The freebie will be announced at the end. It’s a good idea to make the freebies valuable so they will want to get one each week. A list of great tips is one idea on what to give away.

Content from Private Label Rights (PLR)
PLR has gotten a bad reputation and for good reason. For a while, most of it was low quality and has flooded the internet. But that is all changing. There are providers of PLR who are committed to producing quality information and products. The landscape is changing which is great for people who need to consume content. Broadcasts are a great way for this to happen.
Keep in mind that if you use PLR you should change it up to make it your own. This will help you stand out as an authority which builds the trust needed for your audience to keep coming back.

People love to learn new skills. By using broadcasts to teach them something new is going to bring them back over and over again. This is a great method for engaging your audience with valuable information.

The topics that you can broadcast about are only limited by your imagination. This is definitely one of those situations where you want to think outside the box to come up with ideas that others are not.

What is Business Automation?

Business process automation is a technology-enabled automation of processes, activities or predefined services that are meant to accomplish a specific and clearly defined function or workflow.

Business segments such as human resources, supply chain or operations help determine business processes.

Business processes are often started by a specific trigger – for example, the filing of an expense report – which will initiate a series of predefined workflow processes that will, at the end of it all, conclude whether an employee should receive reimbursement or not.

The main goal of business process automation is not only to automate business processes, but also to simplify and improve business workflow.

It can be a standalone initiative by the organization or be part of a larger, overarching business process management strategy that will be in play for a specific period of time.

Automated business processes can be managed collectively to enhance an organization’s overall workflow to achieve increased efficiency, reducing human error, helping the business to adapt to changing business needs and clarifying employees job roles and responsibilities.

Business process automation is itself a subset of a core business practice known as infrastructure management which maintains and optimizes organizations’ main operational components including equipment, data and processes.

Whatever the business process may be, it is meant to be a complete and a coordinated set of collaborative and fully transactional activities that should deliver value to customers in a positive manner.

Automated business processes should be characterized by being large and complex.

They should involve the traditional end to end flow of business materials, information or even business commitments.

They should also be dynamic, a characteristic that should enable them respond to various customer demands and also to changing market conditions.

They should also be automated in performing routines or activities using computers, whenever possible, to increase speed and reliability.

They should be difficult to make visible; that is, they should neither be cognitive nor explicit.

Finally, they should be dependent on the intelligence and support of humans.

This is because humans perform tasks that are normally unstructured and those that require personal interaction between them and customers.

Insulated efficiency gain, collaborative efficiency gain and universal efficiency gain are the steps that are used to measure the efficiency of business process automation, and the focus of business process automation is normally centered in the first and second steps.

Some of the key benefits of business process automation are: improved efficiency, better process control, flexibility, business process improvement, improved procedures and the overall improvement of assignments.

Social Media Automation Strategy For Your Business

Many small business owners feel that they are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to juggling the operations of their business and the processes that are associated with establishing and expanding a large social media presence.

While it may be true that expanding your social media presence can prove to be a daunting task, one of the ways you minimize the amount of time you spend when it comes to expanding your social media presence is to utilize a social media automation tool.

However, acquiring a social media automation tool is only half of the answer to the problem, the other half stems from formulating an effective social media strategy that you will implement in said tools.

Here are some tips to consider when it comes to formulating an effective social media automation strategy for your business.

Define Your Target Audience

One of the very first things you should do is to determine who your target audience is.

Ideally, you’ll want be extremely specific in regards to the segment that you will target.

Listen To What Your Target Audience Goes Through On A Daily Basis

Once you have a good idea of your target segments, the next thing you’ll need to do is to become aware of some of the things that occur in their life.

Some of these include:

  • Problem they may be facing
  • Goals they wish to reach
  • Typical day to day routine
  • Needs

Brainstorm Content Ideas Relevant To Your Audience

The next thing you’ll need to do is to think of a few content ideas that will be relevant to your segment.

This means that the content should be about them, not about your products or services.

They key thing to remember during this step is that you should be brainstorming content ideas that would be highly valuable and memorable, so that they can share said content and subsequently come back for more.
Produce Your Content Ahead of Time

After your brainstorming sessions, the next thing you should be focusing on is the production of content.

You may already have a couple good ideas about some written content that you could share.

However, it’s important to note that you should produce images and videos that resonate with your audience as well.

It’s a well-known fact that video content receives a higher level of engagement when compared to written content.

Insert Your Content Into a Social Media Automation Tool

Once you have produced at least a week or two of content that you will provide your audience with, the next thing you should do is to acquire a social media automation tool as to which you will utilize their built-in editorial calendar or “scheduling” feature, to ensure that certain post occur on certain days as frequently as you choose.

For example, Mass Planner is a social media marketing automation tool that can be used for Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+.

Its scheduling features will essentially allow you to make multiple posts to multiple accounts for as far as a month in advance as long as you insert said content beforehand.

Productivity and Business Automation

Business automation is a situation whereby business processes and functions from the very first stage to the final stage are automated using both software applications and advanced mechanical devices.

There is no doubt that business automation increases productivity. The following factors are responsible for the improvement of productivity via business automation.

Reduction in Manipulation of Business Processes

One of the key advantages of business automation is that manipulation of business processes is reduced to the barest minimum. It is commonplace that employees and staff are usually involved with a company to advance their own interests, even at the expense of their employer.

The implication of this is that severe manipulation of business processes often takes place by employees without the businesses best interests in mind.

With business automation, the chance of manipulation is reduced to the barest minimum which will lead to increased productivity.

Time Savings

Business processes take time.

There is limit to how fast these processes can be completed manually by employees.

However, automation software changes this situation. Automation reduces the number of tasks employees have to complete manually.

The time saved would be engaged in other aspects of production.

This automatically increases productivity.

Reduction in Errors

Human error can be a plague in the production process. It is inevitable that at some point human beings will make mistakes when working manually.

The chance of error is increased with a substantial increase in workload.

The effect of human error is that it reduces overall productivity as much needed resources and time could be lost as a result of the occurrence of human errors.

This is a problem that business automation helps to fix.

Increases Efficiency

The higher the workload, the lower the efficiency.

However with business automation the workload of employees will significantly decrease.

Once this is achieved, efficiency will increase hence productivity will increase.

Reduces Costs

Business processes completed manually are performed at a slower rate.

Tasks performed at a slower rate would usually result in more consumption of business resources thereby increasing costs.

When automation reduces costs, the resources saved are invested into the business and the result is better output.

Increases Compliance

Business automation increases compliance both with a firms policy and government regulatory directives.

When business activities are automated, the incidence of running afoul of the law decreases.

This ensures that there are no government fines or interruption of business.

Business automation ensures that business operations are firmly conducted in line with the company’s policies and directives.

Increase Your Profits With Automation

Automation in business helps in shortening processes by doing away with unnecessary tasks that could lead to wasting time and resources.

It helps in keeping operation costs down while also ensuring that the business runs smoothly.

Here are ways in which you can increase your profits with automation.
Automation helps to improve efficiency.

This means that time consuming tasks such as clerical work can be delegated to a computer system, thereby freeing staff to concentrate on tasks that are more critical to the success of the business.

For example, large businesses that use bar codes to manage their warehouses and control stock can identify to precision inactive and slow moving inventory to a high level of precision.

Automation assists to leverage skill sets.

The senior management of a business can use its highly skilled employees to come up with a system that can be duplicated by less experienced or less skilled employees.

This is the case if a system that defines solutions to a problem requires some specialized knowledge to solve.

By building repeatable processes that can be spread throughout the business, you will be able to improve the speed of service initiation while also ensuring that service technicians don’t start from zero level when a customer walks in.

Automated systems offer a high level of reliability.

You can retrieve important customer data, motor vehicle records, time cards and many more.

Customer billing gets more accurate because the prices are already included in the business database.

This means that business transactions can be done to precision for the first time.

Automation helps in keeping your customers more engaged.

If automation is used in marketing, there is no doubt that you can help to build a strong feeling of trust towards your brands from your esteemed customers.

Businesses that use automation technology to deliver messages of hope and inspiration can help strengthen their level of engagement, therefore making customers loyal in the long run.

With automation, your business can meet the expectations of its customers.

To achieve this goal, you will need to operate in an environment that can be relied on when it comes to accuracy.

By having a system that allows customers to know if the product or service that they need is available, the costs involved and other essential information, you will not have to deal with surprises in the long run.

Moreover, automated systems ensure that a high level of customer satisfaction is achieved.

Your business will be able to keep its existing customers while attracting new ones.

With the right innovations, you can keep your customers in the loop on matters of service work and their orders.

How Business Automation Increases Your Market Reach

As a business owner, one of the most important things you should be focusing on is growing your target market.

Expanding your market reach leads to more customers and improved profit margins.

There are several ways you can do this.

If you want quick results, you should consider automating some aspects of your business.

With automation, your business can operate day and night even without someone managing the affairs.

This is especially true if you are running an online business.

There are hundreds of automation tools and resources available today that you can take advantage of.

Many of these tools are even free to use so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t utilize them.

In order to effectively automate your business, you need to develop a comprehensive plan that you can utilize within your business processes.

This will likely involve working with a lot of programs, software, and other applications.

You’ll need someone who is knowledgeable about these things to help you figure out the ins and outs of each program or software.

For example, if you are planning to create a subscription list or newsletter for your business website, you would need a content management specialist to set up the newsletter for you.

Luckily, most software titles will have a very knowledgeable and willing help desk that can attend to any issues that might crop up as you are learning.

One of the greatest benefits of automation is that it increases your market reach.

If your marketing campaigns are mostly automated, then these will be running 24/7.

This means you will be reaching more people, especially if yours is a global company.

If your customers can order your products and services any time of the day or night without any manual input from you, then you can expect to see your profit margins increase dramatically.

Another wonderful benefit of business automation is that you are going to save a lot of time, money and resources.

You no longer need to hire people to do mundane tasks such as accept orders and bill customers.

If your business website has an automated payment system, everything will be handled by the software or program you set up for your business.

Your business continues to rake in orders and profits even when you are asleep.

Business automation is simply a smart business move and it would be a grave mistake to not integrate at least some automated solutions into your business processes.