Top Travel Tips for On-the-Go Business Executives

If your work demands you to often travel a lot, you need to be far more organized than the ones having a desk job. Working at client sites, visits to the branch offices, and travelling for numerous business reasons have made it imperative for the On- the-Go business executives to be efficiently organized to ensure their productivity never decreases.

There are a few great travel tips that can help the ones living out of the suitcase to enhance and maintain their output.

Travel Light- Keep disposables with you
Carrying heavy luggage every time you travel is a big hassle. Try to travel as light as possible. Disposables come in handy for travelling. These use and throw items help you to lighten your luggage to a great extent. Agreed, it’s not possible every time you travel, but whenever it is possible, do it, as it will help you create more space in your bag to accommodate other things.

Keep your essentials always in your travel bag
If you are a frequent business traveler, the last thing you want is to pack and unpack your bags every time. It’s always better to keep a spare of all your essentials such as toiletries, charging cables, and other important all- the- time- needed accessories always packed in your bag. The least you have to pack, the better it is. Don’t forget to check and replace the empty ones every once in a while.

Be a tech savvy and do your research
Getting to know the world is increasingly becoming easier. Thanks to the World Wide Web, researching about the place you are going to is now a matter of just a few clicks. Get to know the places to go around your hotel, the emergency numbers, the etiquettes and rules for tourists (especially in the Middle Eastern countries), the visa regulations and currency value and exchange etc. are some of the vital information that you can get in a matter of minutes.

Always carry a party and a casual clothing
No matter how short is your trip, a formal party dress and comfortable casual clothing should always be a part of your clothing. Casual clothing like a simple tee and jeans can be super useful in case of a small outing time that you may get during your official trip. Similarly, an impromptu invite for an office party in the evening will not give you a panic attack and force you to run to stores to buy a dress.

Always carry your own internet and voice access
The place you are travelling may have a great or a pathetic speed of internet, you never know! Why take a chance and repent? Instead, always carry your own on-the-go access with you. It will not only give you the freedom of being connected wherever you are with your family and loved ones but also help you in your office work.

Eat and Sleep Right
Especially if you have a long travel schedule or long flight schedule, your sleep pattern can take a toll and thus, affect your energy meter. It is always great to plan your sleeping and eating pattern ahead. For example, if you have a long flight it’s good to change in your pajamas, eat on time and brush your teeth and then board the flight so that you maximize your sleep timings. Similarly, it’s best to avoid late nights if you have to catch an early morning flight, no matter how tempting the party may be, because improper sleep is sure to affect your mood and your overall attitude for work the next day.

Don’t confuse between a ‘Direct flight’ and a ‘Non-stop flight’
Lot many times there is confusion between a direct and nonstop flight. Saving your precious time is crucial when you are on frequent business trips. Know the difference. A direct flight might stop, the only difference is that you don’t have to switch the planes but you will still have to wait inside it, but a non- stop flight won’t stop and will help you reach your destination much early. Selecting a non-stop flight over a direct flight always helps.

Be loyal to one flight carrier, your chances of upgradation are higher
Yes! Frequent fliers always stand a better chance of free upgradation than others. The same case applies in hotels too. If your business trips need you to go the same place frequently, book with the same hotel. And most importantly, if you are a regular there, never hesitate to ask if there’s a chance for upgradation. They are mostly happy to oblige their regular customers.

Keep your bag in an organized manner
If you are a frequent flier, it is best to keep your check in baggage and your cabin baggage in a neat and organized manner. It’s a common scene with some flyers who keep the long queue of flyers waiting at the aisle while they shuffle through their cabin baggage to find what they need. Keep your books, and other accessories needed for flight in a separate section. Similarly, your luggage should have your accessories likes socks, undergarments etc in a different section, cosmetics separately and clothes in a different section to avoid any last minute delays.

Kindness and being nice goes a long way
Believe it or not, being nice to a person who is used to listening complaints the whole day can instantly lift the spirit of the person and in turn yours too. Many of the frequent fliers have admitted that being nice, saying thank you and smiling gets them extra attention from the staff and many a times upgrades too. But the key is to not do it to get upgrades but to do it to make your travel a less taxing and more enjoyable.

For most working in the corporate world, business travel is an unavoidable evil. When you know you can’t avoid it, it’s best to get the most out of your endeavors. These tips will help you in many ways to make your travel a lot easier and hassle-free. You might know many of them but even a gentle reminder can help start doing what you always knew but still wasn’t doing till now

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Financial Management Tips to Keep the Cash Flowing

There are so many intriguing layers to running a business. Though you may have the best products and services in your industry, they all mean nothing if you can’t properly manage your cash flow. You need cash to adequately market your products and services, hire and pay staff, manufacture and produce results, and provide customer service. If your cash is always tied up in one aspect of business or another, your business stands to become stagnant. To avoid this common pitfall, here are some tips on effectively managing your cash flow:

  1. Better Record Keeping

One of the most basic yet important concepts to managing cash flow is diligent record keeping. When the subject matter is your company’s finances, there is really no such thing as being too observant of your money. It is important to implement a process for keeping a record of all financial matters within the business including your banking statements, receipts, invoices, expense reports, and payroll. If you can’t afford to hire an accountant, there are plenty of affordable accounting software packages you can invest in to help make recording finances a lot easier. When you have a clear understanding of where your money is you’re better prepared to make financial decisions for the future.

  1. Improve Receivables

If you’re in the business of extending credit to your customers, then your receivables are where a lot of your cash is tied up. It is important that you have clear guidelines and contracts between your customers so they pay in a timely manner. Popular methods for getting customers to pay on time include offering incentives like discounts for paying prior to the 30- or 60-day timeframe. Other ways to improve your receivables would be to offer several methods of payment so that customers can opt to electronically pay you for your products or services. You also want to make sure that you have a follow-up process in place for customers who are nearing their due date to try and get the funds collected.

For problematic customers or outstanding invoices, some small business owners opt to consider factoring accounts receivables. Factoring companies will purchase the outstanding invoices from qualifying companies and give cash up front. This way you can use the money without having to wait for the customer to pay you.

  1. Efficient Filing

Another part of maintaining financial records is having a systematic filing system in place. Whether you’re currently operating with digital forms or you still prefer to use paper, there needs to be a system in place that will keep all financial documents in order. Cloud file management systems are trending for businesses that utilize digital forms. Documents can easily be scanned and uploaded to the server for safe keeping. When the forms are needed, they can be easily accessed by specific staff members who have permission. This keeps things from getting out of hand or overlooked as tons of paperwork often can.

  1. Consider Different Payment Terms

If you’re really having a hard time collecting from your customers it might prove beneficial to consider different payment terms going forward. By requesting for example, that customers give you a 50 percent deposit upfront, you’re lessening the amount of cash you have outstanding. If you’re going to make changes to payment terms, it is important to do so in a manner that does not upset current customers. Incorporating it into new contracts, for instance, is ideal so that there is no confusion going forward.

  1. Maximize Payables

Your customer’s aren’t the only ones who have to foot a bill; you also need to make sure that you’re paying your vendors on time. If you can slow down the process of repaying your vendors, then you can effectively manage your cash flow a bit better. This might include asking for extended repayment options so that you have 60 to 90 days to pay them. If you like this option, be sure that you don’t overdo it by forgetting to pay your vendors on time as this could create more financial issues for you with late fees and a ruined business relationship.

Effective money management is the key to operating a business. Without the cash for operating costs, the business will slowly but surely dissipate. If you’ve been having cash flow issues, try incorporating some of these ideas into the mix. Over time, you should start to see some cash free up that can be put to use elsewhere such as in developing new products and services or expanding your business in the next few years.

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Financing Failures: Why so Many Startups Can’t Survive

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business? Every year thousands of people fulfill their dream of becoming an entrepreneur only to encounter unforeseen obstacles that cause their venture to fail. In fact, 90% of startups fail within their first year. Learn why it’s so hard to start and sustain a successful business and how you avoid some of the common pitfalls like financing failures.

Product or Service Isn’t Wanted

A survey conducted among failed startup founders said that the lack of market or need for their product, was the main reason for their failed business. Basically they didn’t have a product or service enough people wanted or need. Check for flaws in your demand with these areas.

  • Weak Value Proposition

A value proposition is a statement that says why people should buy your product. For example, people buy Aspirin because they know it will get rid of aches and pains. Your product needs to have a clear value proposition in order for people to know why they should buy your product.

  • Wrong Time

No matter how great your idea is, your business must be relevant to today’s consumers. If your business is ahead or behind the times, it’ll be very hard to gain traction. Are there already a thousand stores just like yours in the neighborhood? Get in at the right time and your business will take off.

Not Enough Money

Money management is critical for any business, but especially in a startup. The key to proper financial management is having the right equipment when you start. In order for your business to function, you need certain essential equipment. Do not decide to invest in the necessary items after you have open up shop. That’s like flying a plane that’s only 95% ready. You should also keep enough cash on hand for day-to-day operations. A business cannot be sustainable if you don’t have enough daily cash. If you know it will take off in time, a loan might be a good way to get on your feet. Talk to investors as well to see what options you might have for outside funding.

Not the Right People

In order to have a successful business, you need to build it with the right people. However, just because someone is skilled at their craft, does not mean they are great management partners. Business is a tough environment and your team needs to be composed of people with key skills, leadership ability, and similar vision. Find people who will work with you to achieve your vision. You should also be willing and able to compensate them. Even if you picked the best, they will easily fall away or desert you if they can’t see the rewards. Use a good system and a Pay Stub Calculator to make sure everyone is compensated accurately.

You team will need to generate good business ideas, test them, and thoroughly carry out your business strategies. If you have a great management team you will probably be able to avoid the other two causes of failed startups.

Plan Now

Before you decide to open your own business, create a well thought out business plan. As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Study why businesses fail and plan how you can overcome these challenges. Once you have a solid plan, get what you need, and start your dream business!

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5 Personal Finance Books to Add to Your Reading List

What have you been reading this summer? Every person reading this post likely has a different answer. Some prefer lightweight reads in the summer months such as young adult fiction or romance novels. Other prefers historical fiction, political satire, or biographies. Maybe sci-fi and fantasy are more your speed. Whatever you have been reading, hopefully you’ve enjoyed it.

Now, let’s talk about a few books you should be reading as your autumn closes out. When it comes to personal finance books, everybody could use a little bit more information, and a little more education. Whether the authors are giving advice on saving money, living on a budget, or investing, books on personal finance are great additions to anybody’s summer reading list.

This is why we have put together this list of 5 books on personal finance that you should read before the weather turns cold.

Women and Money – Suze Orman

Suze Orman has provided insightful financial advice to people for decades. She continues this pattern with “Women and Money”. Suze Orman recognizes that when it comes to money women need both education and empowerment. This book includes a 5 month program that helps women establish financial independence and personal freedom. Many books provide a lot of heady, high level information.

Ms. Orman takes a more practical and relatable approach providing women with specific steps that they can take towards improving their financial situations.

Why didn’t they Teach me this in School: 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live – Cary Siegal

Cary Siegal wrote this book upon realizing that his children and their peers would graduate from high school and college without any formal, personal finance education. In spite of covering 99 principles, this book is quite easy to read and the lessons are conveniently parsed out.

This book targets young adults, but there is valuable advice here for any age group.

The Success Principles: How to get from where you are to where you want to be – Jack Canfield and Janet Switzer

Do you have plans and life goals that you have yet to achieve? Maybe you would like to start a business or go back to college. Whatever your plans are, it can be easy to feel stuck where you are, and getting to a place where you have achieved your goals can seem impossible.

This book is a goal-oriented book that gives financial advice that relates to conquering your next challenge. The authors include daily action steps, ways to increase your confidence levels, and practical advice on living in the modern age.

Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki

Rich Dad Poor Dad is a book about money lessons learned from two different men and the influence those lessons had on the author. The lessons he learned from the rich dad in the novel gave the author the opportunity to retire before the age of 50. In this book, he passes that knowledge on to others.

Many readers will be surprised to find that what they have been taught about money is completely off base.

Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey is a well-known author, financial guru, and a nationally syndicated radio talk show host. Ramsey has a very easy to read writing style, and provides a lot of great practical advice to his readers.

The best endorsement of Ramsey’s is advice is simply the success that his readers and listeners have achieved by following his advice. Many are put off by Ramsey’s tendency to be extreme in his rhetoric, and that is a valid criticism. However, if that can be ignored in favor of focusing on just his financial advice, readers can learn a lot.

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How Can You Get Individual Superstars to Work Together?

When you have a small business, you need to have the best hire to be part of your tram. However, it’s not always a piece of cake to gather aces and put them on their best places and get them to work altogether.

Most managers are then faced with the question on how to combine their talents, skills, and brains for one project and lead them to work harmoniously.

Vince Lombardi believes that the secret to building a team of superstars is to motivation them to work towards a common goal. But even if we’re not talking about sports, the same motivation is quintessential in any team, especially in the workplace.

In the Team Effectiveness Review led by Elaine Yew at Egon Zehnder during the late 90s, she discussed the six critical team competencies that can make an A-team thrive.

Let’s explore the six ingredients that make individual superstars work great with a team.


It’s not enough that the team understands the importance of diversity of skills and strengths. They should be also willing to incorporate them. Dan of The Leadership Freak noted about 13 reasons why teams lose momentum and one of them is dominant members who cause others to feel insignificant.

As the leader, you are responsible to help your members understand each other’s skills and strengths despite the fact that superstars tend to be “me-focused”. By identifying each superstar’s motivation, you can work around how to best motivate and inspire them to work with others without feeling the need to be always be on the spotlight.


An ambitious team thinks about long-term momentum at a high level. Superstars are naturally driven individuals who always have the thirst for victory and excellence and each member’s enthusiasm would easily rub off on others.


Do your team members understand the larger team purpose? If not, you may want to direct all theirefforts on one central objective. It’s time to leverage their thinking. TribeHR Staff said businesses are most successful when employees’ personal goals are aligned with that of corporate goals. Yes, while each member may have personal goals and priorities, team leaders should aim to make the business thrive and ensure that each team player’s goal aligns with that of company’s.


Author Margaret Heffernan said that social capitals make a group resilient. By that, she means trust, knowledge, reciprocity, and shared norms. If you are a team leader, it helps to show your team the outcome of their collected efforts. Writer Glenn Llopis said one of the ways to inspire a team is to make them feel that their hard work makes a difference beyond just profitability.


One of the biggest challenges to teams is how to deal with pressure not only individually, but also as a team. You may encourage your team to try a few quirky de-stress hacks such as photography contest activities or simply employee’s day out. After a super-busy week, your team deserves relaxing and reenergizing activities to keep them motivated and happy at work.


Do the team members’ value engaging with the broader organization? When each member has connection to one another, it becomes effortless for them to share ideas, concerns and contribute towards the common goal better.

Having great individuals work together as a team is a great opportunity and a challenge to focus on the over-all and high level goals. By focusing on the over-all objectives, one can minimize the potential clashes within the team and make the best use of individual talents, skills and take advantage of the adversity of the group.

Having aces on their best places allow each team member to feel significant without having the need to be constantly on the spotlight and think more of the common goal as opposed to focusing solely on individual ones.

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Guide to Buying a Small Business

Embarking on a small business venture takes courage, lots of energy, and a willingness to take risks. This guide to buying a small business, instead of starting a new business from scratch, will showcase several advantages that buying an established small business venture offers.

The current owner has already done the crucial, real-world testing, and established a cash flow track record, which proves the products or services have a market. Learning how to buy a small business is largely a matter of paying attention to due diligence, and evaluating three core concepts.

1. Cash Flow and Profit Margin

One of the most important questions to ask when buying a small business is what is its profit margin? Profit margins vary between industries, and you should do your homework on what is a competitive level to shoot for.

The income and cash flow statements should give you a window into what is working for the company, and if there are products or services that are dragging down the profits. What to look for when buying a small business is the breadth of the customer or client base. If losing one or two major customers would jeopardize the cash flow of the venture, you should develop a marketing plan that brings in new clients.

2. Human Resources

What to consider when buying a small business in terms of human resources are the following: employee morale, work ethic, and commitment to quality. Taking the time to talk with as many of the employees as possible is a great investment. You need to find out if they are committed to staying with the business, and if they have ideas on areas in which the business processes can be improved.

Just like a business that is too dependent on a few customers, the loss of key employees can also destroy the venture. You need to make sure the crucial employees are willing to stay, or train in their replacements.

3. Processes

There are processes the business uses for everything from marketing, customer service, manufacturing, inventory, billing, receivables, etc. By asking lots of questions on the current processes, you gain a clearer picture of the true health of the business. This post is a good guide to the legal processes which may be involved.

What is the cost to acquire a new customer, and how is it accomplished? Does the business rely on advertising, trade shows, or word of mouth, and is there a marketing plan to test new ways to generate more business? How much is an individual customer worth over time, and is there a system to sell them additional products or services?

How current is the business on paying its bills? And how efficient is it in collecting its receivables? The balance sheet may list receivables as assets, but the employees may know which ones really are unrecoverable.

How accurate does the business know the cost of goods sold? Many small businesses have very poor inventory control systems, and manufacturing often is delayed by parts shortages. Does the business check with several vendors to keep its costs down?

Is there space allocated to dead inventory? Just like bad receivables, some inventory listed as assets may well be worthless. Even worse, the dead inventory continues takes money to store, count, and manage.

If it is a manufacturing process, how current is the equipment? If a piece of equipment breaks, what is the repair or replacement cost? And what does the work flow look like. Many companies have just grown over time without any thought to work flow, and have ended up with an inefficient process.

What is the quality of the products and services the business produces? Do customers continue to buy from the business, and refer new customers to it? How good is the business at meeting its time commitments to customers? What is percentage of products that are defective, and returned?

Final Thoughts

After taking the time to investigate as many of the business processes and employees as you can, you will be in a position to evaluate the numbers. Is the business sustaining growth, or have revenues and profits margins dropped? What is the reason the business is now for sale?

Before you make an offer, you need to have a clear plan on the direction you want to take the company. Does it require more working capital, new equipment, new product development, expanded marketing efforts and better customer service?

By doing the appropriate due diligence, you can deduce the inherent risk of ownership, and the investigation process itself can uncover new ideas for your success!

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