Setting Up Your Catering Business in the 21st Century: Seven Things to Consider

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If you are thinking about starting your catering business and would like to support events in your local areas, you will have to face a huge competition. The good news is that what you don’t have in experience and reputation you can make up for by staying unique and catering for specialist markets. By staying flexible, listening to your clients, and building positive relationships, you can make it in the industry. Below you will find a list of things you should consider before you get started.

1. Check the Current Food Hygiene Regulations

Whether you would like to make your own food items freshly, or order it from a supplier, you need to study the current food hygiene regulations, health and safety, and industry standards in the area you are setting up your business. You will need to build a sustainable business that complies with all the legislation and focuses on customer safety. If you need specialist equipment to run your business, or need to keep certain items at a level temperature, you might have to invest more in the beginning.

2. Evaluate Suppliers

You need to make sure that all your business partners are able to meet the industry standards and can show you their working practices. If you don’t know how the food you serve at events is produced, you cannot guarantee the quality. Check the reputation of your potential supplier, and interview different companies before you choose them as your partner. You want a reliable supplier with a proven track record to make sure they don’t let you down at the worst possible time.

3. Traceable Food

It is also important in the 21st century that your food is traceable, and doesn’t have a huge carbon footprint. If you have corporate clients that pledged to make their supply chains cleaner and greener, they will not appreciate your salmon dishes that traveled thousand of miles. Likewise, an increasing number of Millennials are concerned about the carbon footprint of their food, so if you focus on catering for weddings, you might be asked the question.

4. Ethical Consideration

Employee relations within your company are important if you would like to build a strong brand with a great reputation. You are likely to work with temporary workers and women, in particular, therefore, you need to talk to an HR professional about your options. Make sure your employees get adequate time off and breaks when needed, and make health and safety one of your top priorities.

5. Waste Management

When dealing with food and leftovers, it is important that you create a detailed food waste management plan. From donating to charities on the day to disposing of the wrapping ethically, there are several things you must pay attention to, if you would like to pass inspections with flying colors and avoid fines.

6. Catering for People with Special Diets

Today, an increasing number of people choose a special diet. Others have developed milk, gluten, wheat, or nut intolerance. You are likely to come across some customers with special dietary needs. Try to find alternative ingredients to make sure that everyone is able to enjoy the food served. Check out Global Foods UK – Wholesale Date Paste Supplier For The Food Industry to find out how you can create cakes without flour, using date paste. You can offer gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian options on demand, depending on the size of the event.

7. Finding Your Unique Selling Point

In the event management business, added value matters a lot. You need to check what your competition is offering, and provide something more, better, or cheaper. Before you start building your brand, it is necessary to search for your unique selling point, so you can stand out from the crowd. Whether you would like to cater for a small group, or specialize in corporate events, you need to give your potential customers a good enough reason to choose you and not another company.

Whether you would like to team up with wedding planners and offer special menus for the big day, or start small with corporate events and meetings, you will need to create a sustainable plan to stay competitive on the market in the 21st century. A catering business is highly regulated, as it deals with food and perishable items. Research the regulations, your market, your competition, and develop a business strategy that is built on your unique selling points. To win the game, you need to listen to your customers, meet their individual needs, and offer more value than the competition.

Cash-in With a Construction Business

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As a professional builder or tradesperson who has been in the industry for years, it’s probably crossed your mind at one time or another to set up your own business. Instead of working for someone else, you can cut out the middleman and be the boss. You get to call the shots and do things your way, and as you’ve already spent year in the industry you have the skills and experience- maybe even contacts already that you need to make the venture a success. However it’s not all plain sailing, construction businesses are some of the most difficult industries to get established in, and there are some significant drawbacks that can make it tricky for startups. However there are some incredible benefits too, and if you’re able to make it a success you have the opportunity to earn a significant profit. Here are a few things to bear in  mind if you plan on going in this direction.

Start-Up Costs

One of the reasons starting up a construction business is so difficult is because of the high startup costs. Things like machines and construction vehicles like diggers and cherry pickers don’t come cheap. You need power tools, materials and much more and that’s just for starters. One option would be to finance the cost of these things, or you could hire instead of buying. Another thing you could do is look online and at auctions. Often companies sell off machines, vehicles and equipment when they upgrade or if they go out of business meaning you can snap up a great deal. Taking on a business partner, or even finding an investor could be ways to raise the money you need to get started. They would give you a cash injection in return for a share of your company. Investors often act as mentors too, and could provide you with invaluable advice needed to make your company a success.

Earning Potential

The bottom line is always going to be profit when it comes to business. Your success all boils down to how much you earn after balancing all of the various elements of your business.

You need to source the materials, employ staff, deal with marketing, transportation costs and much more- and still make a healthy return from each job you do. So when you’re looking to set up a company, choosing a type of business that’s known for doing well is a smart move. Of course, much depends on you and how much of a success you can make it, but some businesses do tend to earn bigger profits than others. One of the reasons it’s so beneficial to start a business in the construction industry is because of the high earning potential. They can cost a lot to start up with high overhead costs. However, they have the potential to earn a lot of money. This comes down to the fact that projects that involve building work are generally larger and more expensive. Having a conservatory built, a kitchen fitted or an internal wall removed or built, for example, is going to always cost a good chunk of money. They’re the kind of thing that customers spend a lot of money saving for to get done. Other businesses that usually tackle smaller projects mean it’s easier for work to dry up. They need lots of customers, whereas you don’t. You have fewer customers but do bigger jobs that earn more money. However there are some downsides here, one being that a lot of building work can only take place in fair weather. Bricklaying and anything to do with electrical, for example, can’t be done in the rain, and so losing days to bad weather is common in this industry. However, if you’re smart about it you can time projects well, for example if you are putting up a large builder, you could ensure the outer work is done before the wet and cold weather of the year starts to kick in. That way you’re inside a structure and everything else can be completed regardless of the weather.

Health and Safety

Workplace safety can be a minefield with any job. Even in seemingly safe workplaces such as offices and shops, there are slips, trips and falls that can land a business owner with a lawsuit. Health and safety always needs to be taken seriously but in companies in the construction industry there are extra considerations to bear in mind. When you’re working with vehicles, machines, power tools and heights, there are lots of added risks. Make sure suitable clothing is worn by anyone on site, steel toe cap boots, a hard hat and a high visibility vest are examples. In some cases, eye and ear protection will need to be used as well depending on the equipment and type of job being worked on. You need to make sure all of your workers have the correct health and safety certification, if you’re in the US this could be the americansafetycouncil.com/content/OSHA-card. In the UK, it would be a CSCS card. You should ensure that employees have proper training and qualifications to use the machines and vehicles too.

Is It Futureproof?

When you set up any business, it’s a good idea to ask yourself whether the idea is futureproof. After all, you don’t want to end up out of business in a few years where your entire concept was made obsolete. When it comes to construction and building work, it’s fair to say that it’s always going to be in demand. Both commercial and residential clients will always want buildings erected, extensions, layout changes and more. The only thing to be aware of is dips in the market. Take the recession for example, this lead to a net loss of over two million jobs in ten years. However, this is an extreme example and not something that’s likely to happen very often. Right now, the construction industry is thriving and business is booming in this area making it a great place to consider setting up.

Building A Retail Business From The Ground Up (Literally)

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You often hear the expression of building a business from the ground up. Usually, this refers to when you start with nothing and create a business idea that blossoms into a successful company. But, when it comes to starting a retail business, it may actually benefit you too – literally – build your business from the ground up.

What on earth does this mean? Essentially, I’m talking about actually physically building your retail business. Instead of renting or buying retail space, why don’t you purchase some land, and construct your business right there? Of course, there are many things to consider, and plenty of pros and cons.

Top Things To Consider

If you’re going ahead with this idea, then you need to know some of the key things to think about.

Firstly; finding the land itself. Now, this can be easy or difficult, depending on where you look. There are loads of places with empty land just sitting there waiting to be snapped up. The key is finding land in sought after locations that make a good site for a business.

Next; construction. When you buy the land, you have to think about the whole construction process. You’ll need to find many suppliers and contractors to help you out, from crane manufacturers to electricians – you’ll be on the phone to everyone. Think about how much it costs to construct your new retail store, and how long it will take.

Finally; marketing. While all the construction is going on, you need to work overtime to market and promote your business. The last thing you want is your shop to open, with absolutely nobody keen to enter. While your contractors work on the construction, you work on the marketing.

Pros & Cons Of This Idea

Naturally, there are plenty of positive and negative points to think about here.

Pros:

  • No rent, meaning fewer monthly overheads
  • No limit on how big your store can be
  • Bigger store means more products, which potentially means more sales before re-stocking
  • Gives your business a huge reputation boost as you look like an industry giant
  • If the business goes bust, you can always rent out the store to another company and still make money

Cons:

  • Very expensive to build a store from scratch
  • Very time consuming as well, which means you could potentially miss out on months of business during the construction
  • Might not find land in a good enough location

Is this a good idea for everyone? No, clearly not! But, it feels as though money is the main obstacle to get around. If you have the money to invest in some land and build a business on it, then why not? There are pros, and the fact you own the building and the land means you have a contingency plan in place if your business sucks. Now, you don’t have to completely start a business from scratch like this either. You can grow a small business in the conventional sense, then expand it by doing this and building a new store yourself. This is a smart idea as you can keep the old store open during construction, meaning you don’t miss out on business!

At the end of the day, it’s just an idea. If you feel like doing things differently, and taking full control of your retail business, then give it a thought.

The 5 Big Steps to Take to Open Your First Restaurant

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Every budding restaurateur must be filled with passion, excitement, and determination if they want to make it in such a competitive industry. Of course, anything worth having is worth working hard for, so you can guarantee all the blood, sweat and tears will be worth it once your customers start walking through your doors. To make the process run a little smoother, learn about the five big steps to take to open your first restaurant.

1. Pick the Right Restaurant Concept

 

Before you do anything, you will need to identify the type of restaurant you want to open to the public. For example, you can choose to launch a fine dining restaurant or a casual eatery. You will also need to select a cuisine to serve to your customers, such as French, Italian, American, Vietnamese, or Indian. The location and brand name must also be a factor when choosing a restaurant concept, as this will determine your image to potential customers and critics. Try to find a restaurant location that provides plenty of foot traffic with adequate parking nearby.

2. Write a Business Plan

 

Once you understand the type of restaurant you want to create, you should then write a business plan for your new restaurant. If you don’t have a business plan, no bank or private investor will be willing to finance your concept. Once you have created your business plan and have the financing in place, you should apply for licenses and permits, such as liquor licenses and sign permits.

3. Source the Finest Suppliers

 

Once you have secured financing and have your permits in place, your next step must be to source an excellent supplier. The quality of your food will determine your customers’ enjoyment and satisfaction, so you should aim to work with the best suppliers possible to ensure you never disappoint your patrons. For example, if you are looking for high-quality fresh or packaged meat for your restaurant, you should look no further than Smithfield Foods.

4. Design the Restaurant

 

It’s important to find the right balance between seating capacity and aesthetics when designing your restaurant. Functionality should be at the forefront of every design decision you make, which will allow both customers and employees to move throughout the restaurant with ease. Also, remember to choose the right color scheme to create a comfortable, stylish, and welcoming environment for your customers, which should also complement your branding.

5. Hire the Best Employees

 

The staff you choose can make or break the success of your restaurant – so pick your team wisely. You will want to hire a chef you can happily work alongside day after day and can effectively run a service. Preferably, pick a talented chef with extensive experience within the industry, as they can help you to choose the right kitchen equipment and can plan the perfect menu for your customers. It is also important to hire hard-working, dedicated, and friendly waiting staff, bartenders, and managers, as they will shape the customer experience.

Serving Up A Storm In The Contract Catering Game

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There’s never been a better time to get into the contract catering game. It’s burst to life like never before. What has been a sector dominated by restaurant-goers and food-lovers that want to indulge in nutritious, delicious and – let’s be honest – experimental foods, has suddenly seen a real shift into some massive and foreign areas.

Venues now want amazing in stadium foods to complement their spaces and help make the experiences offered that much more memorable. Businesses have jumped on the Google bandwagon, understanding just how important freshly prepared and yummy food is in keeping employees happy and top talent knocking at the door. Assisted living hospices have upped their interest too, which is because food is at the heart of every community. And even schools across every age group have focused on making their meals healthier and more educational. Basically, food has taken over the world in a whole new way.

So, like we said, if you have had one eye on this area of industry, then now’s not the time to hesitate because the stars have well and truly aligned.

Location Will Always Be A Priority

If you are hoping to start small and grow, then you are looking at a long road that starts with your cooking from a small office or maybe even your home. However, if you are looking at the bigger picture and hoping to take this realm by storm with the capabilities that will attract events, stadiums, schools, businesses and assisted living companies, then you need to an industrial kitchen space. It’s as simple as that. You need somewhere that will let you prepare, cook and store foods on a large scale. If you’re leasing a space, then always ask if you can make it more specialist by adding things like insulated roof panels, industrial fridges and large ovens. You may even find it easier to start off by subletting a space from an already existing business. Of course, if you have the financial backing and a plan for taking a large slice of the market, then making a custom-made space could be the best option. Essentially, the aim of the game is to have somewhere that allows growth but doesn’t stretch you too thin financially.

Always Know What You Are

How you go about placing yourself in this market depends on what you want to be and where you want to begin. For example, if you want to focus on contract catering, then you may find that your startup size and status isn’t the hindrance you thought it might be. So long as you can guarantee consistent quality at the right price, you may find a lot of clients prefer the individuality you offer over the bigger catering companies out there. If, however, you want to focus on the events side of the business, then you need to make sure you position yourself at the pitch in a smarter way because most organizers are not willing to take a chance and ant people with proven track records. Always know what you want, what your unique selling point is and how you will deliver a fantastic solution; that’s the key ingredient when looking for success.

All Dreams Require Financing

It doesn’t matter what niche you are entering or what pie you want a slice of, a business plan is absolutely always, totally essential. It isn’t just about giving yourself a roadmap that you can follow on your journey to the big leagues, it is about proving to investors that you are serious and that you’ve seriously thought about the future – where the market is ready for the taking, where the main pitfalls lie, where the big contracts lie and how much it will take to make your dreams become a reality. To do that successfully, you need to know why half of all applications get turned down. Now, we know the whole drawing up a business plan thing is terrifyingly daunting, but there are plenty of free resources out there that can help you get underway, so don’t let ignorance become a factor that encourages failure.

You’ve Gotta Go Get ‘Em

Traditionally, the food industry has been one where people come to you. Pubs, restaurants, hotels and even popup places all heavily rely on their target audience coming to them. You, however, as a contract caterer, need to adopt a more food truck approach and work out how you are going to get in front of your target audience. You need to work hard to get yourself into the marketplace. How do you do this? Well, a big part of it is marketing yourself. That’s how relationships first start. It is also about networking. After all, you may be doing a small canape party for your friend and the next thing be getting a call to do a wedding and then find yourself in the waiting room of a school canteen with a pitching board. Of course, with this comes certain details, such as legal requirements and financial needs. As such, always read the small print of any contract you are set to read and always have a legal professional oversee it before that squiggle of yours goes down on paper.

Get In Front Of The Right People

Cold calling venues, approaching local schools and care homes, and getting meetings in the books with businesses is the aim of the game here. But it is never as easy you hope it would be. That is why you need to think long and hard about how you are going to approach your potential customers. Now, you may be thinking, “I’ll invite everyone I can to an open day where they can come see and taste the kind of foods we’ll produce,” and that’s a great idea. But you also need to be a little more proactive than this. You need to speak to venue managers and try and get on their supplier list, you need to try and find people on the procurement panel of different places and get in the door that way and you need to be the first to react to new businesses opening up. All it takes is one client to get the ball rolling, so long as you know how to use that one client to market yourself.

Fill In The Potholes On The Construction Industry Roads

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You may not think it, but the construction industry can actually be a very profitable sector to enter into. If you think about it, there are always businesses, governments and private individuals who need construction work completed and it is a specialist skill. Not everyone can succeed working in construction, that’s for sure. That said, there are a few issues on the road to profit in this industry that you need to be aware of. If you don’t tackle these issues head-on, they could bring the bricks of your construction business toppling down.

Watch Those Hours

The first issue that you need to be prepared for is allowing your employees to work long hours. You have to keep a tight control of how long you’re letting employees work for and make sure that they don’t get overstretched. While not in the construction industry, recently attention has been brought to the dangerously long hours that the cast and crew members on hollywood sets work. This will no doubt cause a ripple effect and make every industry explore just how long workers are on the clock and on the road without breaks. As such, it is crucial that you keep this under control and make sure that you are protecting the safety of your workers and the safety of your company.

Keeping Costs Constrained

One of the biggest issues in the construction industry is definitely the cost and from that the competition. You will constantly be up against businesses that can promise a much smaller bill for their projects. If that’s the case, then you can bet that you will lose contracts with your clients. One of the best ways to handle costs is to consider what work you need to do yourself and what should be outsourced. Obviously, you will want to handle the actual construction work yourself. But what about getting rid of waste materials or bringing in materials that you need. That’s a basic level job and can be completed by an outside company. If you click here for more info, you’ll see that you can hire a plant company to complete this work for you and make sure that you’re not spending a fortune on equipment and transportation.

Gaining Attention

It’s quite common for construction business owners to think that their hard manual labor company should play by different rules compared with the typical office business. But actually, a lot of the requirements are the same, and that includes marketing. You need to make sure that you are marketing your company effectively, making sure that you do get the interest you need on the market to succeed. Otherwise, you will be left in a position where you’ll be struggling to keep up with the bigger construction companies.
We hope this helps you fill in the potholes on the construction industry roads. Once you do, you’ll find it’s smooth driving traveling from profit to profit, without any trouble at all. Take our advice and there will be nothing in between you and great success.

Building The Best Construction Company

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If you’re going through life, wandering and wondering what bigger things are out there for you – you’re right to do so. A lot of people are content in having a nine to five job in an office, going home, and doing that all over again, and again. But some people don’t get anything from that. They need adventures, they need something that changes every day – no two days the same, and requires them to really use what they’ve been blessed with. The idea of doing anything else may shatter them. – Does this sound familiar?

If you know you’re a creative soul that knows your way around tools, and are the go-to handyman at home, then why not use your skills and experience that you’ve mustered up for however many years, and build up your very own construction company?

You will be able to provide yourself a source of income – that means you’re your own boss – no working under anyone – you work for yourself! Going by your own hours, and deciding when you want to work, and when that much-deserved vacation is in order.

As this is only the beginning, your business will start small, just like any other startup, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy nonetheless. You will need to plan very carefully, with a lot of research and time taken into making this happen if you want any kind of success. It is also essential that you follow all the different regulations that are required for the industry you are getting into. All while working hard and doing all you can in terms of the service you put out to ensure that you earn your customers confidence. Remember, you’re not just trying to persuade them to buy a product off you – you’re encouraging them to trust you enough to accept a service that you provide, and that will take a lot more motivation, time, and effort. Having said that, it’ll all be worthwhile when you’re doing what you love.

Here’s how to get there.

Write out your business plan

Your business plan is a written document (produced by you) and essentially maps out exactly how you plan on getting your company up and running. You should include all the goals that you have, along with what you think you need to do in order to reach them. You will also need to add all the financial aspects of what your business will require, like the budget to get it started – the tools and equipment that are needed, not to mention all the different forms of marketing to get your business out there to the people. And don’t forget about any potential business partners that you can work with along the way. Think about it, you’re going to need supplies, like wood, so you’ll want to contact timber harvesting suppliers who can help you with that.

Consider taking out a loan

If you don’t have thousands of pounds worth of savings to help, then your best bet is to apply for a loan so that you have enough money to fund your new business. Rather than just going to the bank and asking, you should bring your business plan with you, and show the banker exactly what you intend on doing. Talk about all of the reasons why you want to start your own construction business, and most importantly, all the reasons why you think it will be a successful one. Then you can go through your options, and look properly at the interest rates and terms and conditions.

Get all your tools ready

Have a good look through all of your tools and equipment to make sure you aren’t missing anything vital. Any equipment that isn’t brand new, make sure you service it to ensure you get the best outcome and desired effect, as, over time, some things won’t work as well and may even need to be replaced. Buy anything that you don’t already have and know it will be needed for basic tasks, like measure levels, ladders, saws, and any little drill bits and pieces.

Market your services to the world

If you don’t market your business well, no one will even know you exist, and how do you expect to be successful that way? Advertise what you offer with different media outlets, whether that be the tv, radio, or online via social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can draw in some faces by offering discounts to new customers, or by them referring other people to you. Lastly, you can ask friends and family to spread the word, as most people find their services through word of mouth recommendations.

When Your Office Harms Your Business

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There could be quite a few reasons your office needs a bit of a redec, so make sure the areas we mention below aren’t ones bothering your employees! It could end up severely lowering the productivity of your workplace at the end of the day, and no one needs that when they’re in business. Check a few of these most hazardous areas to make sure they’re not disturbing the livelihood of everyone you work with.

It Doesn’t Look Good from the Outside

Curb appeal is something we’ve all heard of, but we usually apply it to the residential sector. Yet it applies to the business world as well; when something looks out of place, as soon as someone sees this they’re going to be off on a badfoot with you! It’s simply human nature at the end of the day, so make sure you’re using it to your advantage, rather than working against it.

Call in some commercial roofing contractors to make sure you’ve got no rotting tiles or thousands of moss patches on the roof of your building. These are unsightly and can immediately inform someone’s opinion on you and what you’re offering; even if you are a hidden gem, people will walk away! Don’t let your deals come out unfruitful simply because people place value in appearances.

When the Cold Runs Straight Through You

Similarly, psychology tells us time and time again that environment perception has an effect on how we feel. With that in mind, make sure you use more warm colors around the rooms of your office. When people feel comfortable, they’re more likely to settle into the tasks they need to get on with, instead of wasting their energy shivering to themselves!

Buildings get worn down all the time, At the end of the day, make sure all your employees are feeling appreciated, and that they’re being treated fairly by the people around them. A lot more work is done as a result, and you’ll be in good business surrounded by talented people for years to come!

When There’s No Space

So work can feel cramped a lot of the time, especially when we’re in a bad mood. However, when you’re fitting 10 or so people into one room, it can be an extreme squeeze. You need to be able to get all the necessary furniture in the same space, and the computer wires can be a real hazard for someone to trip over.

It’s time to increase on your space without actually having to build some new walls. Put some mirrors up if you’re on a bit of a budget, as these can immediately make a room feel a lot bigger due to the reflective element. They can also make the space feel a lot more aesthetically pleasing!

Is your office harming your business operations? Sometimes we don’t even notice it, but make sure you check things out every so often. It’s all for the good of your business, and the effort pays off!

Startup Safety 101

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Safety isn’t exactly the most exciting aspect of starting a new business for the first time, but it is undoubtedly one of the most important.

Let’s face, it not only does no one want to work in a place that isn’t safe, but business owners don’t want to be faced with an employee who’s consulted a law firm for personal injury and is now on the hunt for compensation either. That’s why you need to take safety seriously from the very second that you start your business.

Obviously, you can’t 100 percent guarantee that no accidents will ever occur within your company, but if you take the following steps, you will cut the odds significantly…

Ensure Safety Rules are Easy to Access

There’s no point doing all kinds of risk assessments and setting up the best safety procedures you can think of to protect your employees, and your company from litigation, if you don’t make them accessible. Your employees need to be able to see a clear list of safety rules that have been explained in simple language that anyone can follow if they are to follow them. That’s why it never hurts to create an employee handbook and hang up safety rules around the workspace.

Invest in Employee Training and Encourage Your Staff

It’s much easier to keep your startup safe when all of your employees have undertaken safety training relevant to your line of work. It’s even easier when you’ve made it very clear to them how important safety is to all of you. It is for that reason that you might want to consider encouraging safety by, for example, offering small rewards and bonuses to any members of staff who identify potential dangers in the workplace. It’s a simple way of ensuring that everyone in the office is on the ball and always scouting for potential dangers.

Install Safety Officers

Even if you are a small business with very little money to spare, it is not a bad idea to designate a` safety officer for each floor of your company. That way, you can be sure that if there are unsafe practices going on, you will be notified of it. A safety officer doesn’t have to be a separate employee – just give one of your existing staff members some extra training and a slight pay rise and have them take on the role.

Don’t Cut Corners

So many workplace accidents happen when employees cut corners, often at the behest of their employers. If you don’t want to end up getting sued, you absolutely must not encourage or demand that your employees skip out on safety procedures, no matter how much pressure you’re under. Sure, it might speed things up and ensure that you don’t lose that contract, but if it means there’s an accident and you end up having to pay so much compensation that your business is bankrupt before it even gets off the ground or even worse one of your employees suffers life-changing injuries or even death as a result, is it really worth it?

Practice Makes Perfect

If you’re doing it right, you should be training your employees in workplace safety as they join you, but that shouldn’t be the end of it. From time to time you are going to want to get the team together to refresh their memories of the correct safety procedures, work out new improved strategies for keeping everyone safe and do some refresher training where applicable.

Use Protective Equipment

If you work in a dangerous environment, you should always look up the rules and regulations on safety equipment and not only ensure that all staff are using it where necessary, but also that the equipment you use meets official standards. It’s so easy to go for the cheaper option, only to find that it isn’t quite as safe as it should be and end up in a whole lot of trouble. This is one area where, as a small business, you will want to pay more.

Get Insurance

Despite your best efforts, accidents can and do happen, which is why, as a small business owner, you should always make sure that you are insured for every eventuality. If you aren’t and one of your employees ends up getting hurt on your watch, you could be hit with a huge negligence suit that would ruin your company. That is the last thing you want to happen, and you can mitigate against it by having that all-important policy in place.

Stay safe!

Types of Business Theft and How to Avoid It

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If you own a fast-growing company, then you know that protecting your business is your number one priority. Depending on the industry, your business will have different security needs and protections. Let’s take a took at some of the most successful businesses, identify their theft-prone areas and learn what owners can do to protect those businesses.

Finance

In the finance industry, companies are prone to identity theft, fraud, money laundering and embezzlement. Unfortunately, most of this type of theft comes from employees themselves. To prevent this, business owners should have regular audits; hire third-party bookkeepers; never give one person sole responsibility for accounting; conduct thorough background checks; educate and train employees properly; promote trustworthiness and integrity throughout your company. You can’t always prevent everything, but being mindful and taking extra steps to protect your business can prevent a huge disaster from striking in the future.

Tech Companies

With the ever-changing world of technology, digital marketing and other tech companies are on the rise. Unfortunately these companies don’t just have to worry about theft inside their physical businesses, but they have to worry about internet theft as well. These types of cybercrime include data breaches, computer viruses, hackers and more. But there are a few ways in which tech companies can protect their business:

  • Keep all software up to date
  • Set up strict admin rules so that software and other applications can only be download with approval
  • Block access to restricted sites to avoid viruses and prevent hackers from interfering
  • Backup all files
  • Hire a trustworthy IT team to monitor activity and set up cyber security tools
  • Monitor employee computers

Although not all types of cyber theft are avoidable, measures can be taken to make it harder for hackers and prevent it from happening in the future.

Construction

On the other hand, some forms of technology can actually prevent theft. With the need for more houses and buildings, the construction industry is booming trying to keep up with the growing economy. But with that comes the risk of construction site theft, and this is where technology comes into play. Mobile surveillance units provide wireless visual and audio to property owners any time, anywhere. These means that even when the construction workers are away, the construction site can still be monitored 24/7. With the help of these portable security systems, owners can keep their construction sites safe no matter where they are. Mobile surveillance trailer rentals are available if buying is not cost effective.

Retail

Similarly to construction, retail stores face the risk of having their business site robbed. Retailers like clothing stores are at risk because shoplifters find creative ways to sneak away without paying for clothes or shoes. To help prevent theft inside their stores, business owners can do the following:

  • Organize the store so that all exits are visible to employers
  • Never leave your register unlocked or unattended
  • Keep more expensive items in locked cabinets
  • If your business has a dressing room, make sure there is an attendant and all items are accounted for when entering and exiting the fitting room
  • Install security cameras throughout the store
  • Keep the outside of your business well-lit, even outside of business hours

Other retailers that sell laptops or smartphones face the most risk since their products are expensive and can be stolen and sold on the internet. For those business, more drastic security measures may be needed, such as hiring a security guard for your building. However, all of these easy loss-prevention techniques are sure to keep you, your employees and your merchandise safe.

If you are a successful entrepreneur with a thriving business, you may want to consider the tips above to protect yourself and your business from theft. And remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Starting A Business In The Legal Industry

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The legal industry is vast and varied in terms of the options available to businesses. That makes it a particularly enticing industry to entrepreneurs looking to be more than a lawyer working the 9-5. Starting your own law firm can be highly rewarding in terms of building a reputable brand and making a sizeable profit. Of course, you have to get your company off the ground first. It isn’t enough to simply have legal qualifications; you need to understand how a business works. Here are some pieces of advice to help you on that journey if you’re looking to start a business in the legal industry.

Make a plan.

You need a rough plan in place before your business can get anywhere. Obviously, you’ll fine-tune this plan over time and it’ll change as your business changes. You need to constantly adapt to your industry but every business needs a place to start. One of the most important parts of your plan needs to involve your target market. There are so many different kinds of legal practice out there, as mentioned in the introduction.

What kind of legal practice are you going to be? Maybe you’re qualified in criminal law or court law but you should find a niche within those areas. Perhaps you’ll specifically help people with DUI charges or divorced couples. Finding your gap in the market has to be part of your plan. You need to specialize so that you don’t spread yourself too thinly. A successful legal firm finds its market. But if you’re struggling to form a fleshed out plan then the rest of this article should help you flesh out your business model…

Get a team together.

Your legal business also needs a strong team in place in order for it to do well in this industry. Perhaps you and some fellow colleagues or friends have qualifications that you’re ready to use in order to help clients in a certain target market but you don’t have a business yet. How are you going to reach those clients? You need a marketing campaign to do so, which means you need to hire marketing professionals to help with that. You might need financial advisors to help organize your business’ profits. You could also look into a company such as Answering Legal to enlist the help of professionals who could provide the customer service side of your law firm.

And you’ll need managers to manage those sub-teams. As you can tell, there are lots of different departments you need to think about when you’re creating a business. Your law firm will mainly depend on experienced professionals in the world of law but you need employees who are experienced in other areas of business if your brand is going to succeed. It’s very important to have all the components in place for your practice to be more than a small group of legal professionals: you need your firm to be a full business in order for your brand to really take off and conquer the legal industry.

Top Tips to Open a Successful Coffee Shop

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The world’s thirst for coffee only seems to keep getting greater and greater. Coffee shops are springing up all over the place to meet this growing demand, and for many budding entrepreneurs, this seems like the ideal enterprise to start themselves. Of course, it is a highly competitive field and you need to be prepared for various challenges that lie in front of you. In this article, we are going to give you a few top tips to help you in your endeavours.

Create a Solid Business Plan

Every business starts with a strong business plan and setting up a coffee shop is no different. Essentially, you need to include all the key information about your plans including how it will be profitable, your plans for growth, and any competitor analysis that you have done. With so many businesses wanting to do exactly the same thing as you, it is important that you find a few ways that you can stand out from the crowd.

Choose the Right Building

Once you have your initial plan in place, the time has come to choose a location. Ideally, you want something which is centrally located so you have a good passing trade of customers. Be warned that finding your dream spot isn’t something that will happen overnight and you need to be prepared to be a little patient in your quest. When you inspect potential premises, take the time to envisage how your business will run there and how you will lay it out.

Create Your Floor Plan

Once you have your viable coffee shop space, the time has come to create your floor plan. You need to have enough room for a counter and a number of chairs and tables which have been adequately spaced out. Nobody likes a coffee shop which feels cluttered and crowded. Imagine that you are a customer and think about the details that you would be looking for. You also need to consider details like toilets and bathroom partitions. There are plenty of online tools that you may find helpful that help you to map out your floor plan digitally.

Hire an Accountant

If there is one area of your business that is worth outsourcing, it is the accounts. As well as freeing up some of your valuable time, a good accountant will save you money so you can run your coffee shop more effectively. Many accountants also double up as small business consultants as they have worked on so many projects in the past and can spot the common pitfalls and problems. Try to get a personal recommendation from someone you trust so you know you are hiring a high-quality professional.

Shop Around for Everything

Keeping a close eye on your finances is so important when you are starting a business, so don’t just accept the first offer on everything. Search online, visit different suppliers and generally get a range of quotes and be prepared to negotiate. On a similar note, make sure that you have a clear budget in mind of what you can spend on everything. Many small businesses fail simply because they have not put enough thought into financial planning.

Start Marketing Before You Open

The time to start marketing for your coffee shop is a decent amount of time before you open. On the opening day, you want people to have already heard about your business and know a decent amount about it. Make sure that you utilise online marketing channels and set up social media accounts to generate a following. Get in contact with the local press to ensure that they are on hand to cover the launch of your business.

Don’t Just Focus on the Interior

Of course, the interior of your coffee shop is hugely important, but you also need to consider how it looks from the exterior as well. After all, you want people to walk past and feel compelled to go inside. The landscaping, signage, and general exterior appearance are all things that you will need to consider closely.

Hire Slowly

Good-quality baristas with excellent customer service skills are worth their weight in gold, so make sure that you take the time to hire people who are right for your business. The whole point of a coffee shop is that it is a place where customers can relax and feel happy. The staff will go a long way towards achieving this for your coffee shop.