Catering to Busy Clients: It’s Possible

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Like everyone else, your customers are busy, and they do not have time to wait for…anything. As a business owner, it is up to you to meet their scheduling demands, which will encourage them to come back. But the bigger your business grows, the more difficult it can be to cater to the personal needs of each client. While it is more difficult, it’s not impossible.

Here are a few ways you can speed things up and put smiles on your customers’ faces.

Enhance their online experience.

These days, most people turn to the web for information and to make purchases. If you don’t give them a good experience online, they will simply scroll to the next business’s webpage. Make sure that you have an excellent hosting service, and preferably one that fits your budget. web hosting company provides e-commerce, SEO services, social media marketing, and more. Before choosing a service, check uptime reliability.

Increase employee efficiency.

Your employee’s actions significantly affect the customer experience, as Bluchic notes. Inefficient employees may not have orders completed on time, and this reflects poorly on you.

The good news is that you don’t have to hover over every employee to ensure they are doing
their job when they are supposed to.

One of the easiest ways to increase productivity is to simply show your appreciation. Simply giving good feedback and acknowledging their efforts can go a long way towards improved productivity and retention. It won’t cost you a dime, but the payoff is priceless.

Another important factor is of a more practical nature. Your staffing schedule also matters, since an appropriately-staffed company has all of the bodies and minds it needs in place to get things done. There are free services that can help you with this, too. ZoomShift is an excellent example. It provides scheduling services to companies of all sizes, but is geared toward businesses with fewer than 100 team members.

Meet them at the mailbox.

If your business does not collect money at the time of service, make sure your clients have easy access to their invoices. DocuSend is a cloud-based virtual mailroom that can handle both domestic and international mail, and it adds inserts, such as a remittance envelope or discount coupon, to your invoices. There are other similar services you can explore to find the one that matches your needs and budget. This will save you the time and trouble of doing it yourself manually – and for about half the price of handling mail in house.

Develop some protections.

You’re excited to start growing your business, and you’re focused on learning exactly what you
need to do to keep your customers coming back for your products and services. But during this
time, you can’t neglect to develop a safety net to protect your company from legal problems.

How do you go about setting up this safety net? First, you can form an LLC for your company and register it in your state by using an affordable online formation service. (And you might just be wondering, what is a LLC business? LLC stands for limited liability company, and just like it sounds, it limits your company’s liability, which means it protects your personal assets in the event of a lawsuit.) After you’ve completed this process, you can get to work on developing a cybersecurity plan for your company.

If you want to protect your own data and your customers’ data, you need to invest in cybersecurity tools. As Complete Controller explains, you don’t want to deal with the aftermath of a hacker gaining access to this data! It can lead to lost customers, lost income, a lost reputation, and even close your doors permanently.

While this is certainly not a full list of ways to keep your customers moving, it’s a good start. So
remember, give them a great experience from the moment they find you online until it’s time to
pay the bill. Don’t make them wait around for their products or services, and you won’t be left
wondering if they will return.

Article by: Lucy Reed, Owner/Blogger/Developer of

This is What You Need to Thrive in the Gig Economy

The freedom to set your own schedule, be your own boss, and do what you enjoy — what’s not to love about working in the gig economy? While these benefits are real, going solo isn’t entirely a walk in the park. Working as a freelancer or side gigger requires specific skills and assets that an office job doesn’t. If you’re going to make it in the gig economy, these are four things you need to have:

A Network

When you’re starting out in the gig economy, the work doesn’t come to you — you have to go out and find it. But if you develop a network, word will get out and, over time, clients will start knocking on your door. Cultivate connections with other independent workers and small business owners and don’t be afraid to ask clients to tell their friends about your services and leave positive reviews online.


As an independent worker there’s no one holding you to deadlines or quality-checking your work. It’s completely up to you to make sure the work gets done, and gets done well. There are a lot of freelancers and side giggers out there, and if your clients don’t like the way you do business, they’ll spend their money somewhere else.

Being a freelancer or side gigger can also mean working in unconventional spaces. Sustaining productivity is challenging in the face of constant distraction. Self-motivation and discipline are key for keeping yourself on task.

Somewhere to Work

Loitering at coffee shops gets expensive and library seating is rarely comfortable enough for a full day’s work. So where do you set up shop when you don’t have an office to report to? If your work is computer-centric, you have two main options: rented office space or a home office.

Private office space is expensive (can cost up to $575 a month or more depending on your location), so many freelancers and side giggers opt for shared workspaces instead. Also known as coworking spaces, shared workspaces charge monthly membership fees for access to desk space and a WiFi connection, along with amenities like coffee, snacks, and networking events. In coworking spaces you’re typically sharing an open-plan office with dozens of other people, so you need to be able to cope with background noise if you go this route.

Home offices are great if you need a little more peace and quiet while you work. A home workspace can be anything from your kitchen table to a dedicated office, but if you plan on spending several days a week working from home, it’s best to carve out a separate workspace to minimize distractions. If you’re willing to spend a little extra, you can hire a carpenter or handyman to come in and build out the space for you. This could include a custom desk, a cord organizer, shelves, and cabinets for your office. Hiring a handyman in Washington, DC, will likely cost you $205 – $832, depending on the scale of the work.

A dedicated home office also lets you take a home office deduction when you file your taxes. Learn what it takes to qualify for a home office deduction at Money Talks News.


The time comes in every freelancer’s career when she has to chase a client down for payment. According to Freelancers Union, 71 percent of freelancers have experienced trouble getting paid at least once in their career. The average loss? $6,000. That’s no drop in the bucket, which is why you need a strategy for getting paid without burning bridges.

The key to collecting payment from a client who’s gone silent is having set payment terms and politely, but firmly following up when they aren’t adhered to. If the first reminder doesn’t work, increase the firmness of your request but remain professional and polite. While there’s always a chance someone will refuse to pay, communication usually does the trick. For more tips on chasing down payment, check out this nonpayment advice from Shopify.

Working in the gig economy isn’t the easiest path. However, when you cultivate the right skills and the right connections, it can be an incredibly rewarding one. Before you set out to become a freelance worker or side gigger, make sure you have these four things in your toolbox.

Article by: Lucy Reed, Owner/Blogger/Developer of

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5 Tax Time Tips for Stressed-Out Entrepreneurs

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Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Being an entrepreneur requires determination, tireless devotion to your business, and being open to growing your company. And never is that dedication needed more than during tax season.

Tax time offers a great opportunity to review how your business did the previous year, but it can also bring copious amounts of stress. Here are a few tips for making the most of tax season while keeping your stress level to a minimum:

Take It One Step at a Time

A lot of prep goes into getting ready for your appointment with your accountant. So, take it one step at a time. The best course of action is to make a list and make a plan. For example, you might spend your lunch break one day organizing the year’s invoices and another calculating your mileage. Don’t be a hero.

There’s no need for you to try to figure all of this stuff out on your own. Take advantage of available tax software that will make things like prepping employee W-2s a lot easier. And if you haven’t already, download an app that will calculate your mileage for you. That will make things a lot easier come this time next year.

Aim for Good Health

If you aren’t taking care of yourself, how can you truly take care of your business? It’s easy to let things like healthy eating and exercise slide when you are busy getting your taxes ready and managing your business on a daily basis. But your health should always come first. By exercising regularly and eating healthy you not only are taking care of your body, but you are working towards cutting back on stress.

Exercise is one of the top ways to relieve stress. Besides, a lot of successful people have their best ideas when they’re working out.

Consider the Future

Preparing your taxes shows you how your business did the previous year. But it’s also a great time to see where you might make improvements for the next year. Are there credits or deductions you could be taking advantage of? Did you overspend in any areas? Could you be distributing your revenue in a more “tax-friendly” way? These are all questions to discuss with your tax preparer. Once you have your answers, put a plan in place for making profitable changes that will give your company a boost in the coming months and make tax time next year a little more painless.

Step Away

When you own your own business, it’s very difficult to step away, and that’s especially true during tax season. But time off to decompress is necessary for your health and your stress levels. Take breaks. Tax Day is still weeks away, and you’ve got time to prepare. Marathon days in your office running numbers and searching for receipts will only increase the chance that you’ll make a mistake. Plan, use your time wisely, and then, go home.

With some careful planning and by taking advantage of all available resources– including helpful software and your CPA– you can get through tax time without having a breakdown. Get started now, and you can take things at an easy pace that won’t leave you frazzled and will minimize the chances that you’ll make a costly mistake.

Author: Julie Morris

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