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November 30, 2016

By Ali Waterman | Harkcon’s Financial Specialist

Determining what you charge for your product or service is a crucial part in any business. One way to help price products and services is by creating a pricing model. Here are three tips to creating an effective pricing model for any business.

Keep it Flexible

One of the challenges of creating a pricing model is balancing the level of detail needed for a particular product or service and the ability to reuse the model for other products and services. One mistake I made early on when developing a pricing model was trying to capture every single thing that could have a role in determining price. It made the model complex and difficult to manage. I have found that keeping the core pricing tools but removing all the pieces that were rarely used made the model flexible and easier to use across many different products and services. Create a space for the pricing manager to add the tools they need to support the core tools in the model. This way,...

November 23, 2016

By Kristin Ghanem | Harkcon's Contract Manager 

Now that you are an established small business, you may be wondering what to do next.  Where do you find customers and how do you sell them your product?  You’ve probably even figured out that the Federal Government could benefit from your product or services!  But, how do you sell to them?  The General Services Administration (GSA) is the sole source that is dedicated to purchasing for the government and it provides an easy and convenient way for contractors to sell their goods and services: GSA Schedule Contracts.

What is a GSA Schedule?

GSA Schedules are contract vehicles that establish long-term government-wide contracts with commercial companies to provide access to products and services at volume discount pricing.  They make the process easier and more effective for both the government and contractors.

How to Qualify for a GSA Schedule?

Before submitting a successful offer to GSA, your small business must prequalify a...

November 16, 2016

By Jim Sweet | Harkcon's Chief Financial Officer 

For the past 10 years we have grown from a very small seven-person, completely boot-strapped business to one of nearly 100 people, all the time remaining completely virtual.  This has been a challenge to our financial processes in a variety of ways, but we have continually been able to develop and implement a solution, sometimes several times over, that successfully answered our need.

In an effort to organize our thoughts so we could reflect and communicate our solutions, we searched and found a great document:

http://www.icaew.com/-/media/corporate/files/technical/business-and-financial-management/finance-direction/finance-function-a-framework-for-analysis.ashx

In reviewing the document, it became clear that the requirements for a sound financial system are the same for a bricks and mortar company as well as our virtual company, but how they are accomplished is often different.  Over the next few months we will explore each element...

November 10, 2016

By Marty Jenkins | Harkcon’s Communication and Marketing Specialist 

Creating a Marketing plan can seem overwhelming.  Where do I begin? What do I need to include?  How do I know it will work?  These are all valid questions, but it does not need to be so complicated.  To create a marketing plan you simply need to follow these 5 steps and you will be sure to meet your goals. 


1. Company Analysis 


A company analysis is the first step to creating a marketing plan. Like all successful projects, you first must diagnose the issues and current health of the company. During the company analysis you will need to ask questions like: What is our marketing budget? What things are working for us? What things aren’t working for us? It’s important to look at the organization’s capabilities, business environment and customers. This brings us to the next step. 

2. Identify your Target Market

Who is your target market? Your target market is who is buying your product and o...

November 4, 2016

By Kyle Moore | Harkcon's President 

Every month, Harkcon makes a push to have our associates submit/update their individual development plans (IDPs), participate in training courses on Lynda.com, investigate online educational opportunities, and pursue their own professional development.  Why? Because it helps both them and the company. 

The Changing Workplace Landscape

Companies across America continue to raise the bar with respect to what they expect from their employees. Business experts think this phenomena could be due to the number of older employees staying longer in the workforce, the increasing number of college graduates entering the workforce, or even over-qualified candidates filling lower level jobs. In any case, the experts agree that the best way employees can help themselves is to aggressively pursue professional development opportunities.

Obtaining Employee Buy-in

As employees grow and develop, so does a company’s capabilities, many times in a more economic...

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