When it comes to running a successful business, a little knowledge goes a long way. The effective use of available resources is one way to gain that knowledge. Additionally, businesses can achieve new heights of success by utilizing their resources efficiently.
For many small business owners, however, managing their resources can be challenging. For one thing, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for managing all your company’s resources. Here are some recommendations to get you started.
Resources for social media
When it comes to using social media for business, you will want to keep in mind that there are significant differences between professional and personal use. Fortunately, there are many resources available both online and off to help you plan and create the best social media content for your business.
You’ll learn quickly that fact checking should be a top priority when sharing social media content on your company’s social media sites. We all want people to read, enjoy, and share our pages’ posts. However, before you share an enticing, hot-off-the-press piece in the hopes of gaining engagement, make sure it is accurate. As we have mentioned in previous posts, false information abounds on the internet, so verifying your sources when creating and/or sharing content is critically important for building trust and social proof with your audience. For example, if you are checking the validity of a story online (such as a political story, news story or celebrity based story), www.snopes.com can help you verify. When looking to verify statistics, try www.statista.com for accurate information.
The appropriate use of hashtags is another resource that helps businesses manage their social media. In fact, hashtag usage has skyrocketed on social media over the past few years. And, with the right hashtags, potential customers can find your company on social media platforms more easily, and your posts will reach a larger audience. Hashtag tracking tools, such as the one provided by BrandMentions (https://brandmentions.com/hashtag-tracker/#) aid in the discovery of popular and relevant hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social platforms.
And lastly, there are the resources that provide you with analytics for your business’ social media platforms. In a nutshell, analytics are important since they uncover insights in social media that can be used to benefit your business. They will assist you in determining where to focus your social efforts, which networks are active, and what type of content has the greatest impact on your audience. Each of the main social platforms provides ways to access and view your pages’ analytics such as the number of followers, reach, impressions, and engagement.
Resources for bookkeeping
Proper bookkeeping for your business is essential for its overall financial health. Having your books neat and in order aids in tax preparation, among other things. Many business owners choose to keep up with their own books, but it’s time-consuming and labor intensive. One resource that is readily accessible to help you learn the ins and outs of small-business bookkeeping along with managing your books is online accounting software. A quick online search will produce several results from which to choose.
Creating and regularly reviewing a Profit and Loss Report (P&L) for your company is another valuable resource. The P&L is a financial report that summarizes a company’s revenues, expenses, and profits/losses over a specified period of time.
The main categories that can be found on the P&L include:
- Revenue (or Sales)
- Cost of Goods Sold (or Cost of Sales)
- Selling, General & Administrative (SG&A) Expenses
- Marketing and Advertising
- Technology/Research & Development
- Interest Expense
- Net Income
Another source of online information for bookkeeping and accounting fundamentals can be found on the websites for the Canada Revenue Agency (https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency.html) and Service Canada (https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/portfolio/service-canada.html).
As your company grows, however, you may discover that you have less time to devote to precise bookkeeping. Hiring an accountant and experienced bookkeeper can assist you in staying organized and current with government filings while saving you from headaches in the long run.
At Mind Your Own Business, for example, we work with our clients and communicate with them regularly as we maintain their books and ensure that all government filings are completed on time. (https://www.myobontario.ca/are-you-ready-if-the-auditor-comes-calling/)
Resources for websites
An invaluable resource for any business website is Google Analytics (https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/analytics/). Installing Google Analytics is a smart option because it is a free website analysis tool that collects data and then produces reports with thorough statistics on who visits your site. As well, Google Analytics assists you in better understanding your site and app users to better evaluate the performance of your marketing, content, products, and other initiatives.
Some of the statistics you may find helpful include users, sessions, pageviews, and bounce rate. The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who left your site from the home (landing) page (they left the site from the same page they entered it on). A high bounce rate typically indicates that your site’s landing pages are not relevant to your visitors and/or the content isn’t what the user was looking for.
There are numerous advantages to implementing Google Analytics. It is a useful tool for all types of businesses because it provides information on who your website visitors are, if they’re engaging with your content, and how long they stay on your site.
Over to you
Small business owners are fortunate to have access to a wealth of resources to assist them in starting, running, and growing their companies. A good business owner is always learning; acquiring knowledge through various resources enables you to recognize and capitalize on opportunities around you, allowing your business to thrive in the face of competition and ensuring its relevance in your industry.
Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger