Home "Small Enterprise India is an Online interactive portal for aspiring Entrepreneurs and Small Business or Start-ups" http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/component/content/frontpage Mon, 17 Dec 2018 02:22:16 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Workplace Mentoring Programs for Businesses http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/component/content/article/102-home-page-slideshow/1324-workplace-mentoring-programs-for-businesses http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/component/content/article/102-home-page-slideshow/1324-workplace-mentoring-programs-for-businesses Workplace Mentoring

Workplace Mentoring Programs for Businesses.


Any successful company, big or small will face human resource challenges. You will need to consider implementing effective strategies to retain and continuously better your workforce. More so because the business world is highly unpredictable today. To build a dynamic office culture, it is important that you consider mentoring programs at the workplace. So, what is a mentoring program in business all about, you ask? Put in simple terms, a mentorship program involves the informal transmission of necessary professional knowledge between a mentor and a mentee.

Mentoring programs are essential for a better-engaged and better-trained workforce, which will be equipped to handle any organizational challenges with ease. As of now, more than 70% of Fortune 500 companies have been implementing mentoring programs effectively! Mentoring programs can be used to align the employees with the needs of the company through better engagement and lead to positive outcomes.

Here are some of the areas that are addressed by mentoring programs:

  • Customer service enhancement
  • Knowledge transfer between employees
  • Employee retention and employee satisfaction
  • Developing leadership
  • Career growth for employees
  • Communication of ideas

Let’s now talk about the different types of mentoring programs that you could implement in your organization based on your specific needs -

  • Mentoring for leadership development: Opt for this program if you’re looking to churn out exceptional leaders to lead your company on various domains. Your business results will be that much easier to get with quality leaders in your organisation. High performing employees can be considered for this program. Note that high-performance employees are vital to you and are more difficult to retain. To keep them engaged, you have to hone their leadership skills and expose them to different domains and put them in new roles.
  • Career mentoring: There’s nothing better than implementing a career mentoring program for your employees to show them that you are interested and very much involved in helping them climb new heights in their career. Companies like Deloitte, Intel and Boeing have solid mentorship programs to help employees attain their career goals and shape their career in the best way possible. A mentoring program is not just useful for the mentee; it has great benefits for the mentor as well. While boosting the mentee’s career by giving industry-specific mentoring, it will also enhance the professional network of the mentors and help them gain fresh perspectives on work.

  • Induction mentoring: An effective onboarding/induction mentoring program is a great tool for inspiring new joiners to the business. The first impression about the organisation is absolutely vital. Your new employees will learn to better adapt to and align themselves with the goals of   the organisation quickly with the help of a dedicated induction mentoring program. Induction mentors should ideally help the mentees in these aspects - earning about the subtleties in the company, helping the new employees build a reliable network within the workplace, educating and informing them about the company’s core values and history and making sure they settle in comfortably. Another thing to note here is that induction mentoring need not be exclusive to new employees; it can be implemented for employees returning to work after a hiatus or those taking on a role in a different domain.

  • Reverse mentoring: This one’s pretty interesting. Reverse mentoring as a concept in the workplace was popularised in the 90’s by Jack Welch, who is the former chief of General Electric. It is a system where you get your older executives to get trained by millennials. A senior executive or employee might have certain skill gaps, which can be bridged by pairing them up with a millennial for mentoring. Technology is changing at such a rapid pace that some people fail to keep up with it. Also, the mentors get to learn from seniors as well and they are prepped to take up more responsibilities. You can set it up to be formal or casual, as per the needs of your employees.

  • Mentoring for diversity and inclusion: Having a diversified workforce is a must today if you are to maintain an edge globally. One of the most important benefits of having people from different backgrounds is that you can interact and reach out to a wider client base. Now, it may seem to you that creating a diversity mentorship program is a daunting task. But follow through it and you’ll see that it will not only promote equal opportunities for everyone in the workplace but also turn out to be financially viable. You will discover new talent and be able to facilitate the cross-cultural exchange of knowledge. The bottom line of this program is teaching your employees that diversity is nothing but an opportunity to learn and grow.

All of these mentoring programs can be designed to be a one-on-one mentoring or a group mentoring, depending on the situation and the size of your business. Once the objectives are set in place, it becomes a smooth sailing. One more tip if you are planning to create these is that you can consider rewards or give recognition to mentors at the end of the program. This will encourage them and more of your employees will be inspired to take up the responsibility. Happy mentoring!

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raheel@aspiremediaindia.com (Chaithra M D) frontpage Fri, 14 Dec 2018 11:25:19 +0000
Innovations for Small Industries http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/component/content/article/102-home-page-slideshow/1323-innovations-for-small-industries http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/component/content/article/102-home-page-slideshow/1323-innovations-for-small-industries Innovtion for Small Business

Innovations for Small Industries


Innovation in business is nothing but coming up with new creative ways to promote business growth. Execution of new ideas will help your business grow consistently in the marketplace. Innovations need not always be disruptive or big scale. Small changes in improving your business model or better techniques for problem-solving are highly beneficial too. In this article, we take you through the kinds of innovations that you should encourage in your business and how to use them to your benefit.

Have a look at the kinds of innovations that you can foster in your business:

  • Service innovation - Service innovation is usually intangible. It can be an improvement of a particular way of customer service, which will lead to better revenues for your organization. The way a customer is served makes all the difference to businesses. Encourage ideas for improving the same and make sure your customers feel valued. Implement new service-driven business models and have your workforce come up with ideas for the same. One of the most crucial ways of knowing if you need to get creative with your services is to get constant feedback from your clients. Make it a point to analyse the feedback very carefully and see what could be changed and what is financially feasible. Data is king when it comes to service innovation.
  • Product innovation - Product innovation involves improving an existing product or creating a new product or service. Your product has to evolve according to consumer needs and the current trends of the market. It is similar to service innovation in that you take feedback from your consumers to better the product according to their needs. The ideas generated for product innovation have to discussed, researched, analysed and finalized at the highest management level. Out of the box thinking is important and has to be encouraged. Before releasing the actual changes into the product, you need to test them by creating prototypes, similar to what you would have done at the beginning of product creation.

Another important aspect of product innovation is protecting it on commercialization. Make sure your intellectual property rights are protected and include IP clauses in all your contracts.

  • Business model innovation - A business model is essentially the collection of decisions that define the business and its core goals for profit making. Business model innovation is changing an existing business model or creating a new one to improve the delivery of customer needs. It involves changing your core resources, supply chain strategies and target markets. Changing your business while keeping the business objective unchanged and without disrupting revenue streams can be quite the task. But with proper planning, it can become much simpler. The goal of changing your business model should be to implement better strategies to connect with your customers, investors and distributors.
  • Organizational innovation - This particular type of innovation involves innovations that lead to changes in organizations of the workplace, business practice changes and changes in dealing with external relations. The three most important aspects of this type of innovation are talent, process and environment. Create an open-minded environment where your employees are free to question and suggest ideas for improving the way the certain processes in the organization. You should ask questions like ‘How can I improve this business practice to get a better ROI’ or ‘how can this process be changed in order to make it inclusive to my diverse customer base’. It doesn’t matter if your business is small or large, consistent improvement and changes are the only way to remain relevant in the local/global market today.

Here are a few strategies to keep in mind for implementing innovations at your company:

  • Making a solid start - Have the objective (change(s) that you want to bring in) and create and maintain portfolios for the same. Make timelines and adhere to them. At the same time, be sure not to side-line your core business goal, because, at the end of the day, you don’t know if the changes you intend to make will have a positive outcome or not.

  • Recognize and award good ideas - Provide recognition and financial incentives to your employees for coming up with and executing ideas. Foster a culture where it is beneficial for people to think out of the box.
  • Take failures positively - Minor failures are essential to business growth. Therefore, don’t let the fear of failure prevent you from taking risks. This way, there is learning, and more people will come forward with ideas.
  • Open environment and communication - Make sure it is established in your company that ideas for change are always welcome. Pay heed to them and make them feel valued. Since yours is a small industry business, it is all the more easy for higher level executives to interact personally with employees.

Small industries are hotbeds for innovation since there are relatively fewer hurdles as compared to big ones. So, be innovative take calculated risks and watch your business bloom.

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raheel@aspiremediaindia.com (Chaithra M D) frontpage Fri, 14 Dec 2018 08:24:55 +0000
How Important is Inventory Management for SMEs? http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/logistics/1321-how-important-is-inventory-management-for-smes http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/logistics/1321-how-important-is-inventory-management-for-smes Inventory-Management

How Important is Inventory Management for SMEs?


Inventory management involves keeping a check on materials or stock and related costs while ordering, shipping and handling. There are some reasons for keeping stock and managing the total inventory for every business. The three basic reasons for keeping an inventory can include:

  • Time - The time lags present in the supply chain, from supplier to user at every stage, need you to maintain certain amounts of inventory to use in this lead time.
  • Uncertainty - Uncertainties in demand, supply and movements of goods cannot be avoided at times and inventories are to be maintained as buffers to meet them.
  • Economies of scale - A business strives for economies of scale, meaning one unit at a time at a place where a user needs it and when he needs it. This involves a lot of planning and some storage of inventory to meet the timely needs of the customer.

A retailer, wholesaler, distributor, or a restaurant owner; inventory forms a critical part of your business. There is no point stacking up things without having a strategy to manage it effectively. CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, started off as an inventory master where he saved his company millions of dollars with his “Inventory is fundamentally evil” approach.

SMEs and Inventory Management

Amazon launched it’s same-day delivery service in 2015 and immediately boosted up its services, giving a tough edge to its competitors. A question arose then: Will this bring customer loyalty? And, the answer was a bold “Yes”. To be honest, small businesses and enterprises usually do not have the luxury or resources to same-day or next-day delivery but it’s not unachievable. As a small business, you do a major investment in inventory. A proper inventory management system if used correctly can greatly affect your sales and revenue.

Forbes lists a survey by Dotcom Distribution that finds customers to be more concerned about quick-delivery of products and services than attaining the exact product, even when the need isn't urgent. The online market and e-commerce from check-in to check-out is itself an experience for a customer. All said and done, it doesn’t disregard the need for quality and exact delivery in any manner. Proper supply chain management and efficient packaging can ensure quality as well as quick delivery and customer satisfaction, but what is most important here? It’s maintaining right inventory levels.

How Companies Manage Inventory?

  1. 1. Improving Small Business Plan: Do you have a dedicated process that tells you when to buy or bring in resources? One of the essentials is incorporating inventory management in the business planning stage. Small businesses can learn from the latest market trends and effectively formulate a business strategy. Bring in discipline and implement quality control to manage it efficiently every day!
  2. 2. Understanding Customer Needs Through Effective Communication: Giving ample time to understand a customer’s need, often, does not go waste. Even when an item is out of stock or you are unable to meet your deliverable, timely notification is always helpful. Businesses use their time in evaluating potential customers, but valuing the existing ones helps in the long run. If they are still interested in your product or service, they will get back or else they will remember you for making them feel valuable.

  3. 3. Being Prepared: Update your stock level calculations periodically. Re-calculate and plan; major organisations do it every 3-6 months, however, it is advisable to update the calculations every month for a better track record. Look for a higher inventory turnover every fortnight to the extent possible. Lean inventory management can be helpful for such operations where small batch sizes increase efficiency and help in avoiding excess inventory as well.

  4. 4. Thinking Two Steps Ahead: Keeping too much inventory is often wasteful while too little can bring in a difficult situation in the ability to meet orders. Speedy delivery helps in retaining customers; how will you adapt to be capable of providing same-day delivery, a feat that Amazon has already achieved. Think ahead and plan and there will be a way for it. In various ways such as 3PL and 4PL, small business owners and entrepreneurs can compete with larger organisations and plan an inventory that meets your needs.

  5. 5. Examining Your Re-order Days: Mark your re-order points and keep safety stocks at a reliable level. A business cannot run successfully with no inventory levels and needs to keep re-stocking. It is a matter for an SME to plan how to make a high turnover keeping the safety stocks at a level of convenience. Once the level of inventory planned replenishes, business runs smoothly again. This will involve setting your re-order point and planning when reaching your set number.

  6. 6. Incorporating the Latest Standards: What kind of inventory management software or hardware do you use? What are the accounting standards being used for inventory tracking? Are you following the latest standards and technology that can help your small business soar? Most of the larger organisations have inventory tracking on daily basis adhering to the latest accounting standards as well. Small businesses need to update themselves with the tracking from the initial stages for better inventory management.

  7. 7. Using Technology and Innovation: Location technology, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Lean Management and Six Sigma Technology are some things hugely impacting the way businesses work. IoT, for example, has streamlined the asset managing process, vendor relations, inventory forecasting and has brought in smart sensors to reduce the downtime. Right technology, matching the type of business you run, can be greatly successful in bringing growth and success.

Concluding Remarks

Knowing the importance of inventory management in a company’s success, about a half of small businesses still do not have a strategy for tracking records. Many organisations still manage inventory on pen and paper or excel sheets. There is inventory management software with Enterprise resource planning (ERP) and hardware systems which can reduce the time consumed in planning. Following the latest inventory management practices can boost your efficiency as well as meet the growing customer demands. Or else, in the current world, customers will not stop sharing their bad experience or switch to another option with a single click!

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raheel@aspiremediaindia.com (B. Sai Shrita) frontpage Fri, 23 Nov 2018 11:57:22 +0000
An “Eggstravaganza” for Egg Lovers http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/start-up/83-interviews/1320-an-eggstravaganza-for-egg-lovers http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/start-up/83-interviews/1320-an-eggstravaganza-for-egg-lovers SME Eggsplore

An “Eggstravaganza” for Egg Lovers


It is the age of start-ups and entrepreneurship. New restaurants and food chains are innovating to get a foothold in the F&B industry and Eggsplore is a great example of food-innovation. Serving a variety of delicious and innovative dishes with eggs as the main ingredient, Eggsplore is a treat to food lovers, especially egg lovers. This fast-food chain started its journey in 2017 and has seen immense success in a short period. However, every business has its ups and downs. Here is Chandresh Kothari, a co-founder of Eggsplore, talking about his bittersweet journey with the business.

Establishment: Eggsplore was started by Chandresh Kothari, a businessman, Rakesh Rathi, a builder and Krishna Rander, who is a Chartered Accountant. Their rationale behind becoming “eggsplorers” is their love for eggs and the common desire of having a name in the F&B industry.

“Eggsplore is the brainchild of me and my partners and is the outcome of our common love for eggs. We, being a part of other kinds of businesses already, always wanted to get into the F&B segment since it was a common passion. It all started with our first branch in Malad, in November 2017. We are 10-months-old today with seven branches. The growth has been organic.”

“We named our business while designing the menu. The vast exploration we had to do to decide the menu we have today gave birth to the name. We think it is just apt for the brand”, says Chandresh Kothari, about the very attractive and innovative name “Eggsplore”.

 

Founders: (From left: Krishna Rander, Rakesh Rathi and Chandresh Kothari)

Competition: The Eggsplore team has always been extremely enthusiastic and optimistic about their business. They are of the opinion that positive attitude can take you places.

“I believe competition is healthy for every business. It always keeps you on your toes. To stand out, we make sure to keep innovating by adding fresh recipes, with a lot of variations in flavours and in taste. However, our existing business plan is to give our target customers a visual treat by capturing good social media attention and providing attractive deals and offers, thereby generating repeat business for us.”

Goals and Expansion Plans: Eggsplore founders say that their perpetual goal is to provide their customers with great service, and delicious and quality food at affordable prices. Also, Eggsplore continuously works towards coming up with a wide range of new and relishing preparations. The design and ambience of the restaurant also has an impact on the customers’ reviews.

“We wanted our outlets to be simple yet quirky. The idea was to keep the ambience fun and comfortable for all our customers.”

Eggsplore outlets are now set up in various localities in Mumbai, including Borivali East, Powai, Malad West and Andheri East. The founders have plans of soon expanding the business to various parts of the country.

We are looking forward to launching new outlets in Thakur Village in Kandivali East, Nagpur, Lucknow and Jaipur, which will open very soon. We are well-prepared to walk on the expansion path and are looking forward to the challenges along the way”, says an “egg-cited” Chandresh.

Eggsplore

“Our own website and app for ordering food are soon to be launched. Thus, we will have a strong database of all the orders placed and accurate records. Also, this can solve the problem of miscommunication and help in improving employee productivity.”

Challenges: Every business has its own set of challenges. However, emerging from these challenges creates stronger businesses and successful entrepreneurs. Eggsplore and its founders too have experienced hassles in their journey in terms of investments, cash-flow, marketing and other aspects.

“Every entrepreneur faces financial crisis at some point. Businesses need cash injection to fulfil a myriad of requirements and to get resources. Same was the case with Eggsplore. A common difficulty was not having a great idea on how to market and promote the business.

Also, with eggs being the main ingredient – Chandresh mentions – “We love eggs and had the idea of doing something with this superstar ingredient. The yolk is high in cholesterol, but it is scientifically proven that if you consume cholesterol-rich food, your liver produces less cholesterol, so technically there’s no harm done.  The start-up process was difficult on various levels, but we have enjoyed the journey so far. “

Adding further to his take on challenges and hassles of starting a business, Chandresh says,

“The F&B industry has seen numerous food start-ups launching with clear planning and utmost excitement. Some get a hold on the market while others shut down because of numerous challenges. When you start a new business, there will be difficulties. But that’s when it’s the most fun.”

“Each business needs to have a marketing plan that suits the uniqueness of that business. Understanding your target consumer and creating a marketing strategy that best suits your business is important. This will not only improve your sales but also help you to not waste your material and non-material resources.”

Delivery Logistics: Logistics play a major role in any consumer-driven business.  Specifically, In the restaurant business, it is necessary to have an efficient logistics for the food to be delivered hot and fresh. Small businesses usually have a limited budget and having their own logistics can be expensive. Partnering with logistics providers is a solution. It can be beneficial for a growing business - the time and resources required to implement effective logistics can be saved by outsourcing them.

“Having your own delivery logistics system is a lot of work. We are associated with Swiggy, Zomato and Foodpanda, and we are currently happy with our delivery partners. They are very professional and as long as our customers are happy, it is all good.”

Undoubtedly, there will be hassles in starting and running a business. But passion is the key.  Chandresh Kothari admits to having faced troubles in his journey of “eggsploration”, and in his opinion, having a positive approach to things and being optimistic can help one solve problems. In his giveaway to budding entrepreneurs about how to overcome the hassles of a start-up, Chandresh says,

“The recipe is very simple: Take your work seriously, be open to learning something new every day and enjoy what you do!”

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raheel@aspiremediaindia.com (Administrator) frontpage Fri, 23 Nov 2018 11:46:18 +0000
Did GST Meet its Objective and to What Extent http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/component/content/article/102-home-page-slideshow/1319-did-gst-meet-its-objective-and-to-what-extent http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/component/content/article/102-home-page-slideshow/1319-did-gst-meet-its-objective-and-to-what-extent GST

Did GST Meet its Objective & to What Extent


Heralding a revolution in Indian Economy, The Goods and Services Taxes (GST) looks totally promising for its future. The biggest tax reform in India with an objective of “one nation, one market, one tax” has been finally implemented and we look forward to the changes which come cascading. With this single stroke of action breaking all barriers, the Indian government has unified a market of 1.3 billion citizens and this $2.4-trillion economy of our country is looking to reap great results with this roll out.

There have been mixed reactions on GST implementation since the beginning and whether we arrive at making it a “good and simple tax” has been the question. Have we or are matters more complicated? Let’s hope that the implementation of GST in the 29 states and 7 territories of India really work towards a greater future. So, how far have we succeeded in making it effective? Let’s take a look.

What is GST?

The Goods and Services Tax or GST is an indirect tax that has come to replace many other indirect taxes (about 17) in India. All the existing state and central indirect taxes other than Customs Duties are converged to GST. It came into effect on July 1st, 2017 and is applied on every stage of value addition on the supply of goods and services. It is implemented in all the parts of India (except Jammu and Kashmir).

The implementation of GST is aimed at uniting the country and termed as ‘one nation, one tax’ because it advocates charging the same amount of tax to a product irrespective of the region or the state where the product is being sold. For example, a TV in Uttar Pradesh will have the same amount of tax as that of a TV in Karnataka under GST.

How Does GST Work?

The GST council has time and again met on several occasions and taken decisions regarding tax structures, rules, etc. It is also looking to further simplify the tax regime. Currently, all the states have adopted the State GST (SGST) laws.

For GST compliance, all the registered people must file monthly returns by 20th of the succeeding month through the Form GSTR-3B. Additionally, invoice-wise outward supplies are to be submitted through Form GSTR-1 by the 10th of the succeeding month. Taxpayers with a turnover or sales up to 1.5 crores can file GSTR-1 on a quarterly basis. Other taxpayers with a turnover above 1.5 crores are to file monthly returns.

The GST Council further simplified the format on July 21st, 2018, by allowing the quarterly filing of returns for taxpayers with a turnover up to 5 crores. This move is said to benefit about 93% of taxpayers. There is also a provision of e-bill for consignments above INR 50,000 and an e-bill is effective for both inter-state and the intra-state movement of goods. Good industry and people participation along with the government’s support and pro-active measures can truly achieve the ‘Good and Simple Tax’ regime.

What is the Economic Scenario after GST?

GST is envisaged to bring in simplicity in the tax procedures. It is said to be neutral in the application and is considered an attractive and efficient system of tax. Here are some points on the Indian Economy scenario as per the Economic Survey of India 2018:

  • The number of indirect taxpayers has gone up considerably, about 9.8 million; most of these new registrations are by people who have voluntarily chosen to be a part of the GST, mainly small enterprises that purchase from large enterprises.

  • The states that have shown the highest GST registrations are Maharashtra, UP, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, respectively. There is an increase in the number of tax registrants as compared to the old regime in states like UP and West Bengal.

  • There was a fear among the individual states that GST implementation will undermine tax collections, which is allayed as the GST base of all the states are closely linked to their GSDP (Gross State Domestic Product).

  • The internal trade is about 60% of GDP, which is greater than last year’s Survey estimation and goes well with the other large comparable countries.

  • It is now easier to estimate state-wise international exports of goods and services, which was not possible before and the five states with the largest exports in the present are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

  • India’s formal sector non-farm payroll is doing substantially well and is 5.3 crores more under GST than it was under the social security scheme. The size of the formal sector (considering both GST and social security net) is a mere 13% of total firms and gives 93% of turnover. A whopping 87% of firms are purely informal and not under the tax regime and we hope that GST brings in stability in the formal sector tax regime.

The surveys broadcast various sectors of our economy and give state-wise and enterprise-wise turnover and tax collection after GST implementation. Let’s see one of these tables where the bifurcation of turnover and tax liability is based on business types. The table classifies both the aspects: turnover and number of enterprises.

Distribution of Turnover Based on Transaction Type

Transaction Type

Filed Returns

Tax Liability

B2B

B2C

Exports

Other

Total

Below Threshold

0.2%

0.2%

0.0%

0.0%

0.4%

32.2%

0.9%

Composition

1.2%

1.1%

0.0%

0.1%

2.4%

36.0%

4.4%

SME

3.8%

2.3%

0.1%

0.5%

6.8%

22.0%

10.5%

Medium

15.5%

4.3%

1.5%

2.8%

24.1%

9.2%

29.8%

Large

36.5%

4.9%

7.7%

17.1%

66.2%

0.6%

54.4%

Total

57.3%

12.8%

9.4%

20.5%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

Source: Economic Survey of India 2018 (Survey based on GST data)

In the table mentioned above, the categories of businesses taken are:

  • Below Threshold = less than Rs. 20 lakhs;
  • Composition = Rs. 20-100 lakhs (current upper limit is Rs. 150 lakhs);
  • SMEs = Rs. 1-5 crores;
  • Medium = Rs. 5-100 crores;
  • Large = Rs. 100 crores.

The data shows that the distribution of turnover is screwed to a large extent. The largest filling of tax returns of 36% is by composition firms, but they account for less than 3% of total turnover; while the large firms account for less than 1% who filed returns but contribute to 66% of turnover and 54% of total tax liability.

This article is just a sampler as per the current economic surveys that show the present and future of GST implementation. In the short-run, the taxes might seem overwhelming; however, statistics show a rise in the economy and a lower tax burden in the long run. It is a period of great change and we hope that this step will further stabilize the non-formal areas of Indian Economy and bring a better tomorrow.

ployees instead of mindlessly hiring new employees to cut down on costs. According to a report by IBM, it was found out that with appropriate training, there was a 10% increase in productivity at the year-end. There is a major skills gap that is sweeping the industry right now and it will only get worse if employees aren’t adequately trained. According to a report by McKinsey, 82% of surveyed executives at top companies believe that upskilling is at least half the answer to the threat of skills gap.

  • More diversity in workplaces: Many top organisations are striving more than ever to diversify their workplace as much as possible. There are employee support groups being set up in offices. Diversity in ethnicity, age and gender will be greatly encouraged while hiring employees. This not ensures fairness, but also the growth of business because now there are perspectives and different ideas from varied backgrounds. A significant mixture of these diversities will bring in fresh ideas and innovations. Managers should have the skill to be able to bring out the best from people regardless of their background.

  • Increased age of retirement: Many employees are working beyond the age of 65.  So be prepared to work with an even more diverse workforce! Not only are people working past the age of 65, but many of them are even re-entering the industry. Experience definitely counts, and this will benefit newer employees wanting to learn from and get a different perspective on things. A retirement study taken in 2017 in America showed that more than 40% of people who worked beyond 65 did so because they enjoyed the work. A study by Pew Research predicts that by the year 2050, around 1.5 billion people will be working beyond the age of 65.

  • Co-working spaces: More businesses today are open to the idea of shared workspaces than ever before. Co-working helps build a connected community and a healthy working environment. These are mostly used by start-ups because the flexibility suits them well. Another important aspect is reduced costs. Most people are open to the idea of meeting people from diverse working backgrounds at common spaces in the office to discuss ideas or engage in hearty banter.

So these we were some of the major changes in workplaces that companies and employees will have to brace themselves for this year. Since many of businesses have adopted agile practices in their operations, adapting to these changes will not be an issue.

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raheel@aspiremediaindia.com (B. Sai Shrita) frontpage Fri, 23 Nov 2018 11:37:15 +0000
Best cloud services for small businesses http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/component/content/article/102-home-page-slideshow/1318-best-cloud-services-for-small-businesses http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/component/content/article/102-home-page-slideshow/1318-best-cloud-services-for-small-businesses  

Cloud Services
Best cloud services for small businesses


Google, Amazon, Dropbox, Salesforce and Microsoft are some popular cloud computing service providers. But, is that all? Plenty of cloud computing resources are available for small businesses, if you are ready to look beyond those ever-popular cloud computing services.

Let’s look at some incredibly valuable cloud computing services that can help small businesses. Are you worried about infrastructure investments? No need, these services come with zero baggage. Compare the benefits of each service and choose the one that most suits your business strategies.

 

1. Approval Donkey

Approval Donkey

It’s a cloud-based approval workflow and you can use the free version up to three workflows. Its Plus program costs you $13 per month. Sometimes a project comes to a screaming halt, because of not getting approval from the next in the chain. Maybe, the next in the chain actually wants the project to go through, but he/she never got around to signing off. There is a huge chance for the approval email to get lost in the pile of mails. Approval Donkey automates this process and integrates with hundreds of other applications using Zapier and gives a centralized interface. You can set up certain approval workflow patterns, which move the approval along a pre-defined chain. You can also track the status of any approval and check if there are any holdups. If you're dealing with accounting and finance approval flows, stakeholder approval flows or operations and administration approval flows, give Approval Donkey a try.

 

2. Asana

ASANA

Asana is a project management app that organizes projects across teams and its free version allows up to 15 members. The free version offers only limited features. If you want to expand beyond 15 people to large teams and more features, you can upgrade the service by paying $9.99 per month. They have also released an enterprise version. Asana manages sets of tasks across people and groups, and provides connected conversations, reporting and tracking. This service makes all the project-related work transparent and easily accessible to the team members. If you've been handling projects with a heap of spreadsheets or emailing attachments, Asana will be your best rescue option.

 

3. Airtable

Airtable

Airtable is a mix of cloud-based spreadsheet and database. it's a flexible information manager that looks like a combination of Trello, Google Docs and a structured Evernote. The free version manages up to 1,200 elements with limited features. To upgrade to the paid version, you will have to pay $10 per month. Airtable allows you to store, structure, share the information and work on it in a variety of forms. It comes with a wide range of templates, so you can structure your data in a form that fits your project. Airtable helps you manage the stuff that your project is made up of. The free version stores up to 2GB of data along with two weeks of revision tracking. If you upgrade to the paid subscription, you will get more data, more items and six months of revision tracking, along with support.

 

4. Backblaze

BackBlaze

Backblaze is an easy and less expensive cloud storage service. Backblaze offers its service for $5 per machine every month. You can back up any drive inside the machine as well as any drive connected through a USB connection. This won't back up your personal NAS boxes. Backblaze is trying to include end-user backups and object-based cloud storage together in its service. It offers a backup system that keeps copies of your local data in the cloud. Backblaze's service is called B2. Backblaze is less expensive than the big services, yet still offers a rich API and some good integrations. The data centre approach of Backblaze provides regular reports on hard drive reliability and the challenges of running a data centre. When most cloud storage providers are opaque, Backblaze's transparency is definitely a boon.

 

5. Cloudphone

Cloud Phone

Cloudphone is a Virtual PBX. The base plan starts at $12 per month for one local number and three extensions and goes up to $49 per month for five local numbers and unlimited extensions. There is no free plan for this service. Cloudphone is like having a fully functional corporate PBX without any hassles. It converts individual smartphones into business phones, allowing your employees to work anywhere and still be on the corporate phone system.

Whether to back up your data on the internet, avail free web-based email services or store photos and music online, cloud computing is a necessity in this age. For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), cloud computing offers many advantages. As data and applications are hosted remotely, it takes away the cost and burden of hardware and software purchase and maintenance. Fundamentally, cloud computing offers four key advantages for small and medium scale enterprises: flexibility, scalability, easy accessibility and pay-per-use models.

Note: The logos are taken from google. These may be subject to copyright.

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raheel@aspiremediaindia.com (Krishnapriya OP) frontpage Fri, 23 Nov 2018 10:49:41 +0000
Office Trends to Watch Out for in 2018! http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/start-up/83-interviews/1317-office-trends-to-watch-out-for-in-2018 http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/start-up/83-interviews/1317-office-trends-to-watch-out-for-in-2018 Workplace Trends

Office Trends to Watch Out for in 2018!


Workplaces have to constantly adapt to the changing times if they are to remain relevant. Social trends along with innovations in technology have led to a rapid paradigm shift in the way office environments are being shaped up. Regulations and changes in Human Resource laws too are influencing the working of workplaces. These changes are reforming the work of the Human Resources department of companies. They have to make sure that employees adapt to the changes seamlessly and ensure in the least disruption while preparing for changes. Read on to know more about some of the major workplace trends that are predicted to be embraced globally this year –

 

  • Greener workspaces: Companies will strive to provide a greener and healthier working environment for employees. It is known that the ambience of the place greatly affects productivity. Giving your office a green makeover will and incorporating sustainable practices such as recycling and using natural lighting and cooling systems in cabins will go a long way in decreasing your environmental footprint. It also saves energy costs. You are directly Investing in the health of your employees and this ensures an increase in their satisfaction and productivity. Including your employees in planting pots around will make them feel involved and happier.
  • Digitalizing work environments: Workspaces will become more and more digital.  With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), offices are gearing up to make themselves more adaptable to digital workspaces. Workers are demanding for technology to make their office tasks easier and faster. Making all the data and applications needed for them to complete their daily tasks accessible from any device is the crux of digital workspaces.  Employees today want to have the freedom of being able to work from anywhere. This mobility naturally needs that the workspaces be digitalized. This unified approach will ensure faster completion of tasks.
  • Wellbeing practices: More and more organizations are conducting wellness programs and activities to ensure the wellbeing of their employees. Most workspaces these days also have yoga centres, prayer rooms and recreational activities to help the employees unwind while at work and to keep stress at bay. For most people, the major source of stress is work-related. Therefore, it makes sense that the mental health of employees is being emphasized on. Healthy employees mean a healthy growth of your business. Many companies also have food counters that provide healthy, customised food for employees.
  • Upskilling instead of hiring: Businesses are focussing on reskilling existing employees instead of mindlessly hiring new employees to cut down on costs. According to a report by IBM, it was found out that with appropriate training, there was a 10% increase in productivity at the year-end. There is a major skills gap that is sweeping the industry right now and it will only get worse if employees aren’t adequately trained. According to a report by McKinsey, 82% of surveyed executives at top companies believe that upskilling is at least half the answer to the threat of skills gap.
  • More diversity in workplaces: Many top organisations are striving more than ever to diversify their workplace as much as possible. There are employee support groups being set up in offices. Diversity in ethnicity, age and gender will be greatly encouraged while hiring employees. This not ensures fairness, but also the growth of business because now there are perspectives and different ideas from varied backgrounds. A significant mixture of these diversities will bring in fresh ideas and innovations. Managers should have the skill to be able to bring out the best from people regardless of their background.

  • Increased age of retirement: Many employees are working beyond the age of 65.  So be prepared to work with an even more diverse workforce! Not only are people working past the age of 65, but many of them are even re-entering the industry. Experience definitely counts, and this will benefit newer employees wanting to learn from and get a different perspective on things. A retirement study taken in 2017 in America showed that more than 40% of people who worked beyond 65 did so because they enjoyed the work. A study by Pew Research predicts that by the year 2050, around 1.5 billion people will be working beyond the age of 65.

  • Co-working spaces: More businesses today are open to the idea of shared workspaces than ever before. Co-working helps build a connected community and a healthy working environment. These are mostly used by start-ups because the flexibility suits them well. Another important aspect is reduced costs. Most people are open to the idea of meeting people from diverse working backgrounds at common spaces in the office to discuss ideas or engage in hearty banter.

So these we were some of the major changes in workplaces that companies and employees will have to brace themselves for this year. Since many of businesses have adopted agile practices in their operations, adapting to these changes will not be an issue.

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raheel@aspiremediaindia.com (Chaithra M D) frontpage Fri, 02 Nov 2018 10:19:18 +0000
Technology For Business http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/technology/51-technology/1316-tech-for-business http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/technology/51-technology/1316-tech-for-business Tech For BusinessOur passion for technological innovation has led to a phenomenal change in the world of business since its inception during the Industrial Revolution.

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raheel@aspiremediaindia.com (Amareta Rodrigues ) frontpage Fri, 02 Nov 2018 10:05:47 +0000
How to Identify and Solve Pain Points in Your Supply Chain http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/logistics/1310-how-to-identify-and-solve-pain-pointsin-your-supply-chain http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/logistics/1310-how-to-identify-and-solve-pain-pointsin-your-supply-chain How to Identify and Solve Pain Points in Your Supply Chain

Being a small business owner you must be aware of the conceptual greatness of your own business. You know your product is great and you know that if more customers buy your products.

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raheel@aspiremediaindia.com (Mamta Sharma) frontpage Thu, 01 Nov 2018 18:30:00 +0000
Can BlockChain Prove Beneficial to Small Businesses? http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/technology/51-technology/1315-can-block-chain-prove-beneficial-to-small-businesses http://www.smallenterpriseindia.com/index.php/technology/51-technology/1315-can-block-chain-prove-beneficial-to-small-businesses Block-Chain

Blockchain, a popular term among current businesses, has shown an increase of 250% in Google searches in the last one year.

 

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raheel@aspiremediaindia.com (B. Sai Shrita) frontpage Thu, 01 Nov 2018 18:30:00 +0000