Business

3 Tips Finding The Right Business Partner For Your Startup

3 Tips Finding The Right Business Partner For Your Startup

Starting a business is no doubt challenging. Despite the recent surge in startups across the world. We have also seen a fairly large number of these startups pulling out of the market in less than two years. Of course, this does not mean that setting up a business is equivalent to setting yourself up for failure. It is possible to overcome the high barriers of entry in any business startup. Understandably, facing these barriers to entry can be challenging if you were to go at it alone. That is why most entrepreneurs will choose to launch their company with one or several other business partners to lighten the load.

The advantages of starting a business with a couple of business partners are aplenty. From a business context, a business partner has a rather broad definition. It could mean having someone to work alongside you to build your business, or perhaps individuals or companies who contribute in specific areas, such as marketing, payroll etc. While there are definitely plenty of business partners available, the key here is to find good business partners that will contribute to the success of your startup.

If you are on the lookout for business partners but not sure where to start. Here are some tips to find, evaluate and eventually work with a prospective business partner.

Make use of your networks

Your connections are the best candidates as potential business partners. After all, you already know these individuals or companies first-hand and are aware of their credibility. Moreover, it saves you time from having scour through online community groups which might not be as reliable as they make themselves out to be. Referrals from trusted colleagues within your new startup or ex-colleagues can also be helpful. Moreover, some companies even offer referral programmes so that both you and your business partner can benefit.

Evaluating your business partner

Once you have found someone or a company that has all the makings of a great prospective business partner, how do you evaluate and determine if they are the right fit? Of course, one of your first considerations should be how your personalities, values and experiences complement each other. Similarly, while you would want someone who shares the same values and beliefs, you do not want a clone either. Ideally, your business partner should be able to fill in the gaps while sharing the same long-term vision for your business.

Making your partnership work

After you have found your ideal business partner, how do you make the partnership work? Essentially, there are numerous advice to ensure that your partnership goes on smoothly. The first step is to define your respective roles. This will ensure that you and your business partner’s time is spent effectively instead of wasting time stepping on each other’s toes. Next, set a trial period to test out how well the partnership might work. Perhaps lay down certain milestones to determine how you and your business partner will eventually work towards that goal. Finally, communication is key. When problems arises, it is best to keep an open and honest communication between you and your business partner. Additionally, mistakes are inevitable. The best way to avoid any negative emotions between both parties is to point out mistakes, discuss on what can be improved and move on.

Keep in mind that your business partner plays an important role in helping your business succeed. Instead of simply grabbing the next individual or company that comes to you for partnership. Taking time to really evaluate your potential business partners. It would definitely be beneficial to your startup in the long run.

5 Tips Conducting An Effective Payroll Audit

Payroll has always been a crucial component of the payroll process. In addition to ensuring that employees’ wages are calculated accurately and disbursed on time to employees.  The best payroll practices within the company includes performing detailed and accurate payroll audits. Conducting regular payroll audits allow payroll managers to keep track of the numbers.  Which are going in and out of the company – similar to that of the role of an accountant. It also allows the payroll department to maintain accurate payroll records that are in line with compliance policies. At the same time, regular payroll audits allow the payroll department to spot any potential mistakes or issues that might have been missed out previously. It is also a good time for companies to relook at their payroll processes and identify areas whereby processes can be enhanced to improve productivity.

If this is the first time your company is conducting a payroll audit or looking for ways to improve your payroll audit process, here are some tips to conducting an effective payroll audit for your company.

Verify Pay Rates

The first and most important thing to check for during a payroll audit is that the pay rates listed in your company’s existing payroll system is correct for each employee. This means verifying each individual employee’s base salary, overtime rates, tax deductions etc. Promotions, bonuses and salary increases occur throughout the year as well. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that the figures are accurate for each employee for each specific pay period.

Cross check pay rates against attendance records

While checking for accurate overtime pay rates, it is also crucial to cross check pay rates against attendance records. For instance, an employee who worked only the full eight working hours should not be compensated based on the overtime rates. Additionally, it is important to check overtime hours, sick leave and vacation days against each employee’s attendance record. This is to ensure that employees are not being over or under compensated for their work done.

Ensure pay for active employees

Attrition can occur any time during the year. In some cases, certain employees may remain in the company even after their official resignation date due to handover matters or clearance of work. Therefore, it is important to check that everyone who received their pay check for each payroll period actually worked during that pay month.

Check status of independent contractors and external vendors

If your company engages independent contractors or external vendors for certain services such as tax filing or recruitment, you will need to ascertain the contract validity period. After all, you do not want to be paying for services that you are not utilizing or be shortchanged on external services that the company should be entitled to. Additionally, this is a good time for the company to evaluate the relationship with the external vendors to decide if there is a need to renew these vendors’ contracts for the next year.

Reconcile bank records against company’s payroll accounts

The last thing that you want is for the company’s funds to be credited to and debited from the wrong bank account. Verify that your company’s bank account tallies with internal ledgers and ensure that any changes to the company’s name or bank accounts are reflected both internally and with the various banks as well.

There are numerous measures that can help to ensure an effective payroll audit within the company. Additionally, regular payroll audits are imperative to ensuring that payroll processes are aligned with compliance policies. Concurrently, it helps with the company’s financial management in the long run as well.

Top 5 Practical HR Hacks for SMEs

For every small business, growth always ranks high on the list of priorities. When it comes to setting up a proper Human Resources (HR) to manage employees, here are some practical HR hacks to help develop the company culture and create a productive team of employees.

Technology

Incorporating technology into the business’ daily operation can help to improve employees’ lives drastically. For instance, HR technology such as HR Information Systems can help to streamline HR processes such as leave applications, claims processing and payroll. Additionally, these technology tools can help to incorporate other functions such as HR and accounting for instance.

Transparency

In today’s workplace, employees expect their employer to be transparent. This is the key to gaining employees’ trust. It does not necessary mean openly sharing employees’ salaries. But keeping employees’ in the loop on the business’ goals, changes or key decisions. Additionally, the HR team can sit together with the various line managers and the employee to explain why a particular employee is receiving this amount of compensation. Encouraging that kind of open communication will allow employees to feel less wary of top management’s decisions and create fewer rumors and distrust within the company.

Collaboration

Employees today strive to acquire more skills and knowledge by working together with people outside their team. Encouraging a spirit of collaboration amongst the various teams can help to generate more innovative ideas and increase employees’ morale at the same time.

Training

Invest in your employees by encouraging them to further their education or pick up new skills. It need not necessarily by sponsoring their entire post-graduate education but simply granting them the necessary time-offs or have the HR team set up a platform where employees can source for courses easily. This will help your employees to be the best professional in their field. Which will add to your the overall productivity levels in the organisation as well.

Onboarding

The first impression always counts. A poor onboarding and orientation process can result in high turnover rates in the long run. Instead, ensure that there is a proper onboarding process in place such as settling the paperwork before the new employee comes in and setting up the necessary meetings with different departments to allow the new employee to better understand the business. Likewise, it is imperative that the HR team is aware of the onboarding and orientation processes to ensure that the new employee can start off on the right foot.

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