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Business Preparedness

Simple business tips can make a big difference when learning about managing business expenses, inventory, and running an efficient business.
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Getting Your Business Records

The Business Records Service is an online tool that allows you to obtain documents you’ve filed with the State, and view the status of any documentation you’ve submitted. This video guides you on how to use the service, pay for documents, and navigate the online tool.

Important Timestamps:

  • 1:10 What is the Business Records Service
  • 1:58 Find answers on the Help Page
  • 3:50 Learn to use the search tool to look up business records in the State
  • 7:53 Learn to use the checkout and payment screens
  • 8:21 Retrieve, download, and save documents


Determine Your Business's Expenses

First, understand the financial state of your company by knowing the money your business makes and spends. This will help you determine how to structure your costs, such as wages, supplies, rent, and other expenses. Having your own bookkeeping skills can be helpful when keeping accurate records. An accountant or bookkeeper can also be useful.

Some trainings on good bookkeeping practices are available from the New Jersey Business Action Center and at some community colleges.

Understand Your Inventory

To remain competitive, small businesses constantly have to find new ways to offer high-quality goods at a price point that is affordable to their customers. It helps to have a strong point-of-sale (POS) system or other reliable methods to track your inventory, so you have a good sense of how much and how often you need to order your products and supplies so that you can minimize your waste. If your financial assessment shows that the current cost of your supplies is too high to be profitable, consider exploring other vendors or working with your current vendor to renegotiate your agreement.

You can also use your point-of-sale or inventory system to understand what is selling well and what isn't selling well and adjust your business model accordingly. Talking with your peers and customers, staying up to date on current trends, and attending trade shows are all good ways to understand if there are new products or services that you can offer to your customers that will help to grow your business, or if there are current products that you offer that are no longer relevant or popular. Having the ability to anticipate and adapt to the changing needs of your customer is one way to make your business stronger.

Assess the Prices of Your Goods and Services

After you've determined your expenses, you'll need to make sure that you can continue to turn a profit to stay in business. If your prices are not covering your costs, you may try to identify ways to reduce your supply and operational costs, or you may consider raising your prices. You'll want to research what other businesses are charging for similar goods and services so that you remain competitive, or consider ways that you can change or rebrand your business and products or services to support a price increase.

Identify Operational Efficiencies

In addition to supplies and prices, you can also look at your business operations to find ways to decrease your costs. For instance, if you find yourself driving to the post office several times a day to mail packages, you might try different methods to bundle your deliveries or see if there are services that can do the deliveries for you to reduce your driving time and mailing costs. Or, if you have very labor-intensive or manual processes, you may consider new software or technology that can automate some of those tasks, freeing up time that can be put towards other parts of your business. Review all aspects of your operations and think creatively about whether there are ways to increase your business's efficiency and productivity. If needed, a business process consultant may be able to find ways to decrease your operational costs.