Small Business Connect

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Every business, no matter its size or longevity, needs to have a firm grasp on the numbers. Most business owners didn’t start their business because they had an overwhelming urge to do financial statements, develop cash flow projections, or calculate depreciation. Even when you rely on a professional to handle the numbers, you need more than a basic understanding of what they mean for success today and tomorrow.

That’s why Altra is offering a free three-part educational series for business owners. Visit www.altra.org to sign up today for a Small Business Connect Event in your area.

Technology is Revolutionary Business

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According to Javelin Strategy and Research, 77% of U.S. adults will be using Smartphones by 2017. In addition, 38% of small business decision makers use Smartphones or tablets to help manage their businesses each day.

The larger the small business, the more likely the small business decision-maker uses smart devices to run their operations:

  • 28% among those with one to four employees
  • 36% for those with five to nineteen employees
  • 63% for those with twenty-plus employees

At Altra, we continue to invest in technology services to help you streamline your operations such as online access control of your accounts to help with security and MoneyDesktop which helps you set budgets and monitor spending categories. RoamPay is our newest introduction that allows you to process transactions on your mobile phone, regardless of location.

On the horizon, we will be offering commercial remote deposit. If you would like to know more about our technology services for businesses, please don’t hesitate to call us.

Cutting Payroll Expenses with Reloadable Prepaid Cards

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Why are scores of businesses nationwide using prepaid debit cards to pay employees and streamline payroll administration?

These businesses are finding that managing payroll can be easy and cost effective with branded reloadable prepaid debit cards. They offer employers an efficient way to reduce costs, deliver timely payments and achieve 100% electronic payroll.

Streamline costly and time-consuming payroll administration.

Prepaid debit cards give businesses the flexibility to direct payroll, commissions or other payments to a prepaid debit card rather than expensive paper checks. Employees receive a personalized, reloadable card. There are clear benefits for both you and your employee.

 Employer Benefits

  • Immediate and sustained savings – There’s no need for paper checks, postage, reconciliation or replacement costs for lost checks.
  • Works with existing direct-deposit processes – Funds can be deposited into an employee’s prepaid card account using standard ACH funding.
  • Enables 100% electronic payments – Improves participation rates in direct deposit and delivers payroll on time.
  • Provides an effective direct-deposit alternative – A great way to pay employees who don’t have traditional bank accounts.
  • Can be used for any and all employee payments – Payroll, bonuses, commissions or any other recurring-payment needs.
  • Federal and state compliance – Programs are fully compliant with state and federal regulations, eliminating employer responsibility for state escheatment.

Employee Benefits

As secure and convenient as direct deposit – Funds are deposited automatically, which eliminates trips to the bank or check-cashing fees for employees without bank accounts.

  • Easy access to funds – Cardholders can make purchases or get cash anywhere Visa or MasterCard debit cards are accepted.
  • Multiple ways to track transactions and balances – Spending can be tracked online, by phone, or mobile apps.
  • 24/7 customer support – Customer service and account information can be accessed at any time.

Harness the Power of Social Media for Your Business

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Is your business getting the most it can out of social media? This powerful platfrom includes sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. The sites you use may vary depending on who your customer is, but whoever they are, odds are you will find them on some social media site.

A recent Pew study showed consumers of all genders and ages use social media and the percentage of users in all groups continues to grow.

In today’s wired world, most consumers check out business contacts and business reviews online before meeting with or visiting that business. Your credibility is no longer only judged by your brochure, Yellow Page ad or website, but also by your LinkedIn profile and your Facebook page. It’s important to monitor your social sites carefully to make sure their tone and content are consistent with your brand.

Developing a stream of content can be challenging. Some of the best uses of social media for a business include:

  • Creating awareness of your products and services. Your social media posts should primarily be educational and entertaining, but your customers want to know about new products, enhancements and new services as long as you position your posts to focus on the benefits for them.
  • Build relationships with customers and prospects by sharing information that will save them time or money, or make better decisions.
  • Highlight strong relationships with satisfied customers by posting case studies or testimonials. Social media is the natural place for stories about how you solved a problem or helped a customer. Whenever possible, include photos or videos to increase interest.
  • Create loyalty and reward your followers with special offers only available to those who follow your social media posts.
  • Brand your business by posting stories or photos of your community involvement.

Social media also gives you valuable insight into what your customers are thinking. Even if you’re not a social media power user, monitoring social channels and setting up Google alerts for your business name lets you know what people are saying about you and respond.