Small business owners in Australia are often overwhelmed with the many things critical to growing their business. Managing marketing strategies, employees and social media accounts is proof enough that there are not enough hours in a day. Accounting is often an overlooked task that is taking away more time than realized from managing the important things that directly lead to gaining an edge on the competition in Australia. With that being said, there are multiple benefits for using outsourced accounting services that specialize in handling companies based out of Australia.
Increased Energy and Focus
By outsourcing accounting services, businesses will be able to dedicate more of their employees and resources to their core mission. Small businesses in Australia especially benefit from this since they are often limited on resources compared to the bigger companies. Back office functions like bookkeeping and accounting can become a distraction to the in-house staff. Outsourcing these financial tasks will allow entrepreneurs to maintain energy and focus on developing new ideas and better ways to do business.
Proven Expertise & Quality Assured
Accounting services are handled by trained professionals hired by outsourcing companies in Australia to only focus on financial functions. It is not uncommon for small to midsize companies to assign the bookkeeping and accounting tasks to employees that have other primary duties. This lack of proper training and focus leads to errors and miscalculations in companies finances. Outsourced accounting providers use teams of professionals to ensure double checking of all accounting work accomplished. Outsourcing accounting services in Australia increases the quality and accuracy of the work.
Businesses are able to cut the costs of their accounting services up to 50% by using an outsource service provider compared to hiring in-house accountants. Here is a quick breakdown on where the savings come from:
- Operational Costs – Training for the employees, purchases of hardware and software, software licenses, system administration, HR services and management.
- Employee Costs – Not only does this include salary, social assistance contributions and recruitment but also the costs of compensated vacations and absences.
- Infrastructure Costs – The most obvious is the space provided for the accountants and bookkeepers to work but also includes office supplies, equipment and storage space for documents rather it be paper or virtual.
Outsourcing these financial functions allows Australian companies to pay on monthly flat rate without worrying about the additional costs. In addition, the flat rate streamlines budgeting and simplifies cost control procedures.
Small to midsize businesses are continuously changing, ramping up at times while throttling back at other times depending on business flow. Accounting services must be able to adjust to these changes which could be quite difficult with in-house accountants. Companies using a third party accounting provider simply get in touch with them and explain their new requirements. No need of recruiting or laying off staff. Outsourcing gives Australian business owners the ability to leverage financial professionals when they’re needed and only for how long they are needed without paying any additional time.
As the stock market appears to being bouncing back from its worst single day drop in years it is important to identify the reasons for the long overdue market pullback. The recent surge in the US economy along with the lowest unemployment rate in 17 years has many experts worrying about inflation. Let’s take a look at three other key factors contributing to this week’s wild ride in the stock market.
1. Sell-off Started from the Jobs Report. The labor department released their monthly jobs report last Friday on how many jobs were created in January 2018. 200,000 jobs were created with an increase in wages of 2.9% making it the biggest jump since 2009. How can that be a negative? Well on wall street they figure if you pay workers more than it has to lower profits.
2. New Chair of the Federal Reserve. Jerome H. Powell took over as leader of the federal reserve on Monday. Investors are uncertain if the new leader will follow in Janet L. Yellen’s of keeping interest rates low with extremely subtle increases. Nobody knows Powell’s strategy to keeping inflation in check. Will he mess it up?
3. Wall Street was Due to Come Back to Earth. On average the stock market gains somewhere around 8 percent a year. From January 2017 to January 2018 the stock market increased by 26 percent, almost 3 times more than the average. Investors knew stocks should not really be at these high of levels.
As alarming as the dip might seem it is not a true correction. A correction is when the market suffers a 10 percent drop from its peak. On Monday the market was about 8.5 percent lower than its January 26th peak. There have only been four official corrections since 2009 so people should not be predicting the worst just yet.
Consumers and companies are currently on the trend of spending money and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down in 2018. The stock market is not the economy though so don’t expect this downturn to be pointed at some bad economic news. Too much good news is the most likely cause of the dip.
The bottom line is that Wall street is mostly worried about inflation. When the costs of everything continues to rise and rise then people can lose faith in the value of money. In the most extreme example of too much inflation is the currency turns meaningless and the economy collapses.
Investors are not worried about the economy collapsing but with the latest taxes cuts and jobs report they fear the currency value could take a slight dip. The strong economy should offset the inflation scare and the stock market will recover and continue to rise. Just don’t expect the 26 percent increase of last year.
The negative impact and overall costs of having a poor reputation is often underestimated and can drag your business through the mud. We all know the story, someone chooses to join hands with you for some business deal but before finalizing the deal they will “Google” you and your business. If you happen to have some negative publicity from some unhappy previous customers then there is a high chance that deal will fall through and you will be left scratching your head about what happened.
Online reputation management is something every business needs to consider in order to build your company a strong image and protect it from getting maligned. It is important to make it a point of conserving your assumed good reputation because repairing a bad one could be difficult and takes quite some time.
The reality is that dissatisfied clients or customers are 60% more likely to write a review about their experience compared to a satisfied customer. It has been estimated it takes about 12 positive reviews to offset the bad reputation gained from a negative review. Business reputation matters and it is vital to your company’s success.
Do a quick search to see what is showing up on Google when you query your business. Do not feel overwhelmed when you see 100’s of thousands results for you search; the first websites that show up are the most relevant. Besides, it is unlikely that a potential customer will search more than the first few pages of results and Google has a habit of getting those negative reviews to show up on the first page. You must also search different search engines along with trying to add some keywords after your business name like: review, experience or feedback. If you are able to find some negative reviews it is imperative that you immediately start to do some damage control.
Ignoring negative comments about you or your business will only make the situation worse while the bad review reaches more and more potential customers. Respond to the comment promptly but tactfully. Make an attempt to empathize the situation of the client by completely understanding what occurred to cause their bad experience.
Do not get defensive with the client or other readers and reassure everyone that this is by no means a routine occurrence. People realize that misunderstandings happen from time to time when doing business and by you simply addressing the situation will usually go a long way towards repairing your bad reputation.
In addition to acknowledging your bad reviews you need to be proactive in receiving positive reviews. Invite your customers to review their experiences on all the different social media platforms available. Positive reviews will quickly outnumber the negative ones and that will boost your overall reputation. You also need to be active across all social media with providing updates to your products or services, interacting with the public and engaging potential customers.
In a nutshell, just be sure to closely monitor what is being said about your brand. There are even add-ons and different types of software available that will alert you anytime your company name is mentioned on any type of social media or website. This is a great way to stay on top and resolve immediately any bad reviews your receive.
If you are currently or looking to start offering some type of product or services it is essential that you conduct some type of market research. Entrepreneurs must know everything about their customer based, whether it be an individual customer or a company that is a customer. You must analyze the buying behaviors of your customers. What they want, what they believe in, what they need and how they are currently supplying those needs.
It is vital to your success that you understand why customers are buying specific products and services from you or your competitors. With proper market research you can easily succeed in lowering risks within your business since your products and services are geared towards market demand.
Market research is the process that gathers information from the market and then extracts the specific data related to customers behavior in order to prepare an effective marketing strategy. The main purpose of the collection activity is to give an understanding of your customers behaviors in the market your business operates. Basic market research gives you the answers to the following questions:
- What customers should you target?
- How frequently do customers buy your product or service?
- How much do competitors charge and how much is a customer willing to pay?
In order to get the required quality and quantity of data for your market research you must pursue a number of different sources. Getting customer feedback from your current customers is usually the best way to start your market research. Customers will be able to tell you a lot about the strengths and weaknesses in your current business process. Surveys via email, telephone or interviews can be used to collect information about people and their opinions about products and services.
The internet has unlimited amount of data along with finalized analysis that can be extremely useful for any type of market research. Google’s trends offers valuable information about what internet users are most likely to be searching for. The list goes on and on for where to collect data but the important thing is that you use many different types of sources to get your information needed when doing your market research.
In order to succeed in business you need more than the right equipment, financing, talent and experience. You must have that stream of information coming in that tells you why people buy your product or services. Hiring someone else to do your market research can save you time and uncover valuable information that is often overlooked. Get a free quote!
In today’s market there are so many things involved with marketing that it can get overwhelming really fast. From branding to advertising to social media a lot of small business owners are getting lost in the question of “where do I start?” In order to answer that question you must first understand the basic goal of marketing: Reaching customers. Potential customers need to hear your message several times, so when the opportunity arises, you are the first company they think of. It is extremely important that you get your brand across multiple platforms in order to have a successful marketing campaign. So where do you start with marketing?
Like anything in business or life in general, the first thing when it comes to marketing is to get organized. Put time aside to thoroughly brainstorm and come up with a plan on what you would like to tell people about your business. Come up with a less than 30 second spiel that will get people interested and wanting more of what you offer. The goal here is to make sure you will have a great first impression.
The first time someone hears about your company they are going to jump on Google and view your website. If you do not already have a website for your business then it is strongly advised you make that one of your first priorities in your marketing strategy. There a ton of do it yourself website services where you pay small fee then basically setup the website on your own. This do it yourself approach is not advisable since you usually “get what you pay for” so leave the website building to the experts. Your website needs to be mobile-friendly with search engine optimization to have the best chance at being viewed by internet surfers. A website not only shows you are real and legitimate company but it also gives you an opportunity to offer information to your potential customers.
Marketing on the internet definitely should not stop with getting a website that shows up on Google. Social media branding could be the most effective marketing strategy being used today. Pretty much everyone has a Facebook account so take advantage of the free marketing they offer by creating a business Facebook page. In fact, you should create a page for your business across all of the most popular social media sites like Youtube, Twitter and Linked-In.
Remember the key to marketing is to get your brand across a variety of platforms and hope that enough of your name makes it through to your customers. Business marketing starts with putting together a plan on how to gain that good first impression , getting a functional and professional website built and increasing your company’s presence on social media.
Development of mobile apps continues to get bigger and bigger thanks to a new generation of development frameworks, server hosting services and affordable UI design tools. Consumers are using mobile apps in massive numbers and downloaded approximately 197 billion of them in the year 2017. Usage of mobile applications in the enterprise sphere is also rising since companies are under extreme pressure to accommodate mobile work styles and increase customer engagement.
Organizations are relying more and more on mobile solutions to facilitate business processes, provide training and communicate with employees and partners. Mobile apps are used to assist service and sales personnel in the field and serve as way of accessing business intelligence. Mobile apps have become the standard for operations and business processes in companies around the world. In fact companies that have implemented mobile applications in their operations immediately see increased productivity, reduced paperwork and an increase in revenue.
Mobile applications give businesses continuous access anytime and anywhere to employees and customers over any type of mobile device. When adopting a mobile application it is imperative that the app performs exactly as it is designed to. Mobile apps need to be responsive, reliable and stable. The first impression is everything to prevent the application being downloaded by the user then used once then deleted. This download and drop event occurs in about 70% of mobile applications.
Organizations of all sizes are not doing enough to properly test and monitor their mobile applications before releasing them to the public. 47% of mobile users encountered a problem when accessing an application on their phones or tablets, the most common being slow load times. Poor mobile user experiences has a severe impact to the bottom line by losing customers, losing revenue, increasing marketing costs and receiving negative reviews on social media.
Ensuring quality mobile user experiences and returning customers has never been so critical to a business’s success. In the United States alone about 90% of adults are using their smartphones multiple times throughout the day. 68% of adults are actively using mobile applications every day. A mobile app is probably not going to save a business from going under but it definitely secures a strong presence in the company’s perspective industry. The convenience factor coupled with taking advantage of cool rapidly evolving technology places businesses on the forefront of the industry. In today’s day and age it is a necessity that businesses have some type of mobile application that is tied to their company.
No matter the industry, how a company handles their customer service will always be vital to their success. There are so many websites and blogs that are dedicated to catching reviews of businesses that with just one bad experience the bad review reaches thousands of potential customers. Delivering top of the line customer service can get extremely costly with the rise of labor costs. Technology advances also increases the manpower needed to be able to provide more options for customers to contact the business. Customer service needs to be available via phone, email and live chat support. Businesses around the world have found the most efficient way to reduce customer service costs without losing quality is to outsource all or a portion of the customer service activities.
If done correctly, delegating customer service allows companies to streamline their operations along with being more responsive to their customers. Outsourcing is not a turnkey immediate solution to customer service needs and companies still need some involvement in the process to prevent losing customers and negative brand impressions. In order to maintain quality and efficiency all processes require at least some ongoing management and oversight. Outsourcing projects aimed at only cutting operation costs are usually the ones that tend to not do well. Customer service outsourcing needs to have a primary goal of giving the best service to customers followed by reducing the companies expenditures.
For the companies whose primary motivation is increased customer service, not cost cutting, outsourcing provides multiple opportunities for service enhancement, including issue tracking and reporting, backup coverage during peak call times, 24/7 coverage availability and multilingual support. When outsourcing customer service, companies get access to proven world-class service providers with advanced technology, proper training and manpower that provides efficient and effective service. Benefits of customer service outsourcing can be significant when done correctly.
Customer service outsourcing tends to work better with certain types of companies and challenges. It is easy to justify the cost-benefits when outsourcing customer service responsibilities during holidays and after hours to save the company from paying the overtime salaries. For small to medium-sized businesses that cannot afford additional offices it is beneficial to outsource customer service so the company appears to be larger and is operating 24/7. Call centers offer a range of service options from fulltime outsourcing to emergency back up support. Most companies elect to use in-house customer service representatives for the high demand issues and leave outsourcing to handle the routine inquiries.
Outsourcing continues to be an effective way to streamline customer service operations. Outsourcing firms are able to provide enhanced customer service support for a lot less than an in-house call center. Companies are able to increase their budget for their core business functions when they save money with customer service outsourcing.
As the U.S. economy starts to really show signs of growth the real estate pros are generally optimistic about the housing market for 2018. Even with the relatively low inventory for available housing the overall demand still remains strong. There are still some rising fears tied to global events with North Korea and how President Donald Trump’s policies would impact the housing market. Still the general consensus is that people are looking to buy so the real estate industry will continue to expand.
The risky but optimistic global economy of 2018 has most real estate firms under pressure to increase their revenue while controlling their costs. Real estate companies are looking to add more agents and support staff to be prepared for their increase in business in 2018. It is key that the additional staff added is done so in the most cost effective way to both take advantage of the growing market and support the back office needs of the organization.
It is no surprise that the combination of these factors have led to real estate firms reaching out to outsourcing companies across the globe to leverage some of their added workload. Tens of thousands of real estate firms are already outsourcing their back office work which in return drastically cuts costs, increases production, improves their service consistencies along with gives main staff more time to focus on their core competencies. All sorts of smaller jobs can be lifted from the shoulders of the firms agents and handled by an outsourcing company or virtual assistant for a more than reasonable fee. This frees up time for the real estate agents to do what they do best – list and sell property.
In order to truly be in the best possible situation to catch an opportunity, agents need to be able to immediately reply to a request to view a listed property or respond to an information request. In the real estate industry it is expected that agents be available at all times so any of these requests left unanswered can be the difference between closing a deal and losing a customer. Technology and telephone answering enables real estate firms to say they are open 24/7, someone is always available whatever the time of day or requirement. Outsourcing the simple tasks of appointment setting and basic reception is just the surface of how the real estate industry is preparing for the expected growth in 2018.
When it comes to business process outsourcing Philippines and India are usually the first countries to come to mind. This is no surprise since they have more than a adequate number of skilled workers with a good grasp of the English language. Those generalities are pretty much where the similarities end when outsourcing to Philippines or India. Past events in each of the countries have shaped the cultures differently which in return separates them as far as skills in the BPO industry. The Philippines culture has characteristics that lineup really well with customer service and voice type outsourcing while India tends to do better with the technological stuff like software development.
The literacy rate in the Philippines is above 97% and will only increase once the newly adopted K-12 education system starts to take its toll. English is the primary language used in schools and the Philippines consistently is at the top of the list of countries in business English proficiency. Philippines has a strong link to Western culture and their English has more of an American accent since they were once colonized by America. Philippines is the most favored offshore destinations for outsourcing voice operations. Filipinos are customer-oriented so the outsourcing operations specialize in customer support serves and has become a favorite among famous companies like Sprint and Amazon.
English in India has more of an British type of accent since they were colonized by Britain for so long. Over 60% of UK companies are outsourcing some or all of their work to India. India’s education system is also like Britain’s where it tends to focus more on mathematics and sciences. This makes India the first choice when outsourcing software development. The National Association of Software & Service Companies (NASSCOM) reported that almost half of all Fortune 500 companies choose to outsource software development to Indian outsourcing firms. Ford and Cisco are a couple of the most popular companies that outsource software development to India.
When choosing whether to outsource to either the Philippines or India it comes down to what kind of services the client needs. A small consideration should also be given to the different types of accents when outsourcing voice services. Philippines for the most part speaks American English while India speaks more like the English in the UK. Philippines is usually the best bet for customer service outsourcing. India has a pretty type grip as the go to spot for IT and software development outsourcing. As the competition gets stiffer though both countries are closing the gap on all business process outsourcing services and it makes for an even better experience to the clients when outsourcing to Philippines or India.
Keeping a sales operation healthy means having a steady source of quality prospects. A sales tunnel is widest at the beginning of the sales process and then narrows down to potential customers. In order to even have those potential customers the funnel must be filled with prospects. It is no secret that salespeople find cold calling and prospecting as one of their least favorite tasks. Regardless of how important prospecting is to growing their customer base, in-house representatives would much rather be focusing on closing deals. Outsourced prospecting lets the sales representatives do just that.
Prospecting is such a tedious task that people will do whatever it takes to find something else to work on. Even when they do decide to pursue cold leads they are usually quick to give up after just a few rejections. A large percentage of cold leads require some pleasant persistence. Outsourced prospecting agents are masters at being persistent and have no problem cold calling thousands of numbers for 8 hours a day. Even in the rare occasion a company has a sales team this determined to find prospects it still costs a fortune to maintain. Outsourced prospecting can be acquired for pennies on the dollar and produce better results
Getting prospects from an outsourcing company ensures the sales pipeline never runs dry. When companies outsource they become more resilient since this approach mitigates operational risks. They are not hiring an employee but hiring a process that has a clear outline and agreement. Output speed and quality does not vary with employee vacations or illnesses. Companies know what to expect with outsourced prospecting which makes managing the pipeline and predicting future sales simple.
Once a company decides to outsource prospecting they will no longer need to focus on this function. This provides the sales team the benefit of re-allocation and increasing productivity since the burden of this time consuming task is off of their plate. Sales associates will have more time to meet these qualified prospects and sell to them. Outsourced prospecting handles the entire process, uncovers great sales leads and builds prospect databases for sales teams to go in and close, filling the sales funnel with opportunities and boosting the sales operations performance. Increase the bottom line with outsourced prospecting!