Are you a new business owner, or a prospective one, looking for ways to improve efficiency, cut expenses, and increase profits? In a worsening economy, it's always a good idea to stop for a minute and reassess your situation. As 2022 draws closer, ask yourself whether your company is on the right track. It's not a matter of completely revamping your entire way of doing business. Instead, conducting a self-check simply entails looking at how well you're performing. Honesty is the key here, but so is attention to detail. Scan through the following suggestions and make some notes about your own organization's general health as it relates to each point. Leaner Is Usually Better Take a broad view look at your organization and see whether you can trim some fat. Common areas where people are often able to do less include the number of staff members, unused assets, unsold inventory, and too much office space. If you're guilty on any of those counts, consider reducing the number of work full-time workers, selling excess inventory or assets, and possibly moving to a smaller office. Selling a Life Insurance Policy Means Fast Income Do you need an infusion of capital? If so, do you have some ready-made plans for how to acquire it? Many entrepreneurs sell life insurance policies to gain access to quick cash. Using a process called a life settlement, it is possible to secure the needed funds for whatever business project you have in the works. Step one is preparation. The best way to begin is to review an informative guide that spells out all the pertinent facts about how to cash out your life insurance policy, legally, quickly, and with zero hassles. What you do with the funds is up to you. There are no legal restrictions on how to use them, so the choice is yours. The MBWA System Works There are hundreds of management apps on the market, and many of them offer solid advice on the golden rules of effective management, with detailed plans for increasing efficiency. But don't neglect one of the oldest and most effective techniques of all, namely MBWA, or management by walking around. It's been around for decades, and it works very well in small, new organizations that employ anywhere from five to 50 workers. All the apps and mandatory written reports in the world aren't as informative as a 10-minute stroll through the workplace. Stop and spend a minute or two wherever you feel the need. Find out who has questions on their minds, wants to schedule an appointment with you for further discussion, or seems dissatisfied in one way or another. MBWA grew as a counterpart to MBO (management by objectives) in the 1960s and 1970s. MBO is highly scientific, goal-based, and heavy with written reports and frequent meetings. Owners and managers who disliked MBO turned to MBWA and discovered that they were able to produce equally good results. Try it and see what you learn about your company. The outcome may surprise you. Two Major Expenses Can Often Be Reduced One universal rule of small businesses is that it's much easier to reduce expenses than to increase income. Boosting cash inflow inevitably means acquiring more customers or earning more money from existing ones. That can take months. If instead, you focus on the expense side of the ledger, it's often simpler to cut a few things here and there and derive instant results. For example, two places where entrepreneurs often make worthwhile cuts are rent and employee benefits. As noted above, it's smart to do a space review at regular intervals and decide if the company needs as many square feet as it's currently using. Often, managers decide to lease a smaller office, assign several employees to work from home, and significantly reduce rent expenses. Likewise, employee benefits packages can be pricey, especially if they include things like dental, vision, and health insurance. Simply eliminating some of the frill benefits, like 401k plans, one or two types of insurance, and tuition reimbursement can make a big difference. There is One Best Way to Hire Unless you have hundreds of full-time employees, save money by hiring based on personal recommendations and online listings. Outsource whatever HR needs you to have and don't waste money on fancy, high-end resume-scanning apps, and systems. You don't need them if you commit to promote from within and only hire people who have been recommended by others in your professional network. This is just one example of hiring techniques to try when recruiting employees for your business. Recruiters usually parse information from resumes. Using information parsing software saves you a lot of time. You Should Outsource Three Tasks (At Least) Unless your company specializes in taxation, HR, or IT, you should strongly consider outsourcing those functions. As suggested in #5, above, an in-house HR department is unnecessary for small and medium-sized entities. Likewise, tax-related record keeping, planning, and filing should be handed over to a CPA firm that specializes in business tax issues and services. As for IT, there's an entire cottage industry of stand-alone consulting and service firms that do that job very well. Hiring these three key types of outsourcing specialists will free you to do what you do best. Debt Can Be Healthy and Helpful Don't avoid taking on debt. It's the single best way to build up your commercial credit rating. Consider taking out a few small loans, backed by your signature, early in the life of the company. Once they're paid off in full, take out more in the organization's name as you slowly increase the amount of commercial credit at your disposal. Regular Customers Are Valuable Assets Treat regular clients as prized assets. It's hard to put a price tag on these repeat buyers, but consider what you did to bring them on board. It's not unusual for a small company to spend several thousand dollars in marketing and promotional expenses just to acquire one regular customer. If you can adjust your attitude in such a way that you view loyal buyers as if they were extremely valuable assets, it will help you see how important they are to the company's long-term success. When service firms sell their client lists, prices are often in the millions of dollars. That's a revealing fact. Further Reading \t 5 Key Steps to Build a Successful Green Business \t How Enterprise Content Management Helps Business Processes? \t Why Business Benefits from Data Room Services?