Making Sure Your Business Starts Up Right; 3 Things To Do!

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Getting your business startup to get off the ground is a very difficult task to complete. Most startup businesses end up failing, but we don’t want that! There are a few small things that you can do in order to maximize your business’s chance of surviving, so carry on reading to find out about them!

Image Backlinking

This is one of the best things you can do to prevent your content from getting stolen as it actually means that it’s beneficial for you to do so! You can do inadvertent link building with images that people steal off your website, but how does it work? Well, you use wordpress plugins on your website to link your image to a certain page on your website. This is useful in itself for just being on your website, but if someone else takes your image and uses on their website, whether consensual or not, when they click on the image it will take them back to your website! You can use this with SEO companies too, so make sure you take advantage of this!

Logo Design

Your company’s logo should represent your company, and it’s normally the first thing people see of your company and therefore it’s important to get it right because it’s going to be their first impression of your company, and we all know that first impressions are everything! Because of this it’s good to hire a professional logo designer to make sure that your logo is exactly what you’re after. It has to properly represent what your company is about, so you have to make sure you have input on it to make sure that it’s exactly what you’re after!

Website Design

Similarly to your logo, your website is also another very important part of the first impressions that you make upon potential customers. Your website is either going to make or break a deal, but how and why? Well, if your website is easy to navigate and use, and it looks aesthetically pleasing, then people are more likely to use your company because the website is easy to use. However if your website has been designed and made poorly then the potential customers aren’t going to be able to move around your site to find what they want so they’ll just give up and go somewhere else. This is why you need to hire a web designer, it takes out the hassle of doing it yourself and it guarantees a good quality website so you’re going to avoid all the problems that come with it!

Make sure that you do all of these things, and your startup business is going to excel greatly! You’ll have images that link back to your website generating you website traffic regardless of where the images are, you’re going to have a well made website and a well designed logo to accompany it! In the 21st century there are all kinds of other threats that can ruin your business, such as ones from the internet, so read this to know how to get yourself protected!

A Guide To Digital Threats That Could Affect Any Company

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There are many digital threats of which all business owners should make themselves aware. Failure to understand these issues ahead of time could mean they have a terrible effect on the operation. For instance, it’s possible the brand would lose customers and profits if they didn’t put the right measures in place. Considering that, there is information about some of the most common threats below.

Hackers and cyber criminals

Estimates suggest there are thousands of professional hackers in the world today. Most of those criminals make their money from stealing customer payment information from businesses. Protecting every company from incidences of that nature is essential. Not only could hackers cause downtime, but they could also get the brand a lot of bad press.

Bugs in the system

Bugs in computer networks and apps can cause a LOT of headaches. Indeed, that is why it’s sensible to pay experts to take a look at everything and perform an assessment. The infographic below highlights some of the issues bugs and other problems can cause.

Viruses and spyware

There are hundreds of thousands of different viruses that could affect any business. Getting protection as soon as possible is the best way to deal with the matter. Just don’t make the mistake of using free or cheap antivirus software. It’s usually beneficial to make a substantial investment in high-end solutions.

Now people know about the most common digital threats, it should become much easier to deal with them before they cause any problems. Any specialists working in the IT support industry could offer advice to entrepreneurs who don’t know where to start.

Design by  Global App Testing

What To Know Before Renting A Warehouse

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Renting a business space is not an easy feat. Not only do you have the legal stuff to contend with, but you have to find a space that is perfect for the size and growth of your company. Being in manufacturing or opening a facility for children’s play usually means leasing an industrial building on an estate with other huge facilities.

We work in a time with rising expenses and investment is difficult. The price of commercial real estate is at a high, so when you’re figuring out what your company needs to be able to soar, this should absolutely be a consideration for you. Before you go and invest in a warehouse facility for your company, you need to look into the features that would appeal to you the most as a new tenant. In the same way that you would look at high street offices or shops for sale, warehouse and industrial buildings need a similar look over before you make your purchase. You need to look at the cosmetics of a warehouse to know whether you need to bring in a roofing contractor or other professionals to tighten up a run-down space. There’s nothing worse than surprise expenses, so look carefully! Don’t forget, you’ve got to look beyond the floor space and loading area and see the parts of the warehouse that needs work before you move in. So, what else should you be looking for?

  • Height. Your business operations are going to depend greatly on the height of the building you invest in. There’s no use in putting money into a building that cannot fit the manufacturing machinery you require or has trouble holding the stacking supplies you need. Research the height of the warehouse you need carefully before you go barrelling in.
  • Land Area. The more land you have the better. If you are going to be loading and unloading on site, you need to have a decent bit of space to store the lorries you commission. It would also be handy to have a parking area on site for staff and clients, so go for more land if you can.
  • Office Space. A warehouse that you buy for manufacturing needs to have a dedicated office space within it, otherwise you’ll have to get an office outside of the area which will cost more money in the long run.
  • Location. As always, location is important. If you expect to have staff and have clients visit your space, you need to ensure that you are close enough to the major roads to get to and also be close for the fact your workers will use a lot of fuel when using the lorries to transport goods. Weigh up the pros and cons of the locations you want and shop around; this is crucial.

Buying into commercial warehousing is not easy and does need a lot of research and thought before you go ahead and put your money where your mouth is. Making smart choices and having second opinions is a given, so go forth and shop!

Time Is Money – Stop Wasting It Pointlessly!

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Launching a business today brings you into a bright and active environment where things move fast and digitally. Indeed, the digital age has dramatically changed the way businesses used to work. And that’s a good thing because you want to embrace the digital way. Without digital technology, your business structure would be sluggish and outdated. To stay on the move, you need to be aware that 38% of jobs in the USA might be replaced by technology before 2040. Sounds scary? Don’t be fooled! What it means is that in 15 years’ time, new digital skills will be required to deal with the new tech requirements of companies. Why should such a thing happen? Because technology saves time, and consequently money. But don’t wait until 2040, adopt simple cost-saving tech solutions in your business now.

#1. No more emails processing

How long do you need to process your professional emails every day? Between customers’ notes, confidential information and public notifications, employees need up to 2 hours a day to organize their mailbox. That’s why you need a strong email classification system to save your time when treating your email and archiving it. More importantly, it keeps you focused on the security policy within your business as it automatically marked as confidential messages that share private data.

#2. No more chasing invoices

For small like big businesses, the accounting team needs to be working on budgeting, keeping books, and tax management tasks. However, more often than not, the accountant team’s effort is spent in organizing the invoice management process, which leaves less time for strategic operations that could save money. An automated workflow to deal with invoices and payables can help to save time and money in the long term. For a start, there’s no more need to work at the slow pace of paper invoicing, as this can make it challenging for PO matching and approval. Additionally, keeping a digital source of your invoices – as a debtor and creditor – makes them available to all and easier to keep track of.  

#3. No more on-site meetings

The main problem with organizing meetings is that they tend to occur at a specific location and cost you up to a day of work to get there. Wasting a day for a 1-hour-long meeting? Now that’s not a smart move. Virtual meetings, in comparison, have no travel time or cost involved. Besides, as you can record them, they’re easier to share with those who couldn’t attend in real time. More importantly, virtual meetings don’t harm your productivity. And with the option to visio with your team or partners, there’s no reason why you should prefer a face-to-face meeting anymore!

#4. No more lengthy task transfer

Do you hate it when you need to work with others on the same report? One of you prepares the first draft with their bits in on Words, saves it, and then sends it to the next one who will add their parts before saving and emailing it further. What a waste of time! Working with collaborative tools, not only allows you to all work together on the same project but also to exchange information with other projects you wouldn’t have been aware of otherwise. That’s a serious gain of time and productivity!

In a few words, technology saves you time, which saves your money. Whether it’s email processing or team work, there’s no valid reason to keep things manual anymore. Go cyber and drive your business to success!

What Do All Entrepreneurs Have in Common?

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All different types of people are drawn to the world of business. You don’t necessarily have to be ruthless, dominating and assertive in order to achieve the success you are looking for. On the other hand, there are a few personality traits that a huge number of entrepreneurs have in common. It is these that we will be focusing on in this article. The following four traits are all highly beneficial to the aspiring entrepreneur, so take a look through and see if you can identify yourself in any or all of them.

A Ceaseless Curiosity

Many successful entrepreneurs and business people are always looking to acquire new knowledge and skills – it is this quality that helps them stand out above the competition. The internet has changed the game in this regard as so much information is now available at the touch of a button. If you are looking for a good starting point, check out 12 things all business students can learn from Jamie Dimon. With the knowledge that entrepreneurs acquire, they are always looking for whether there is a better way of doing things that they can develop themselves. Business is very much a world of survival of the fittest, so this relentless curiosity and enthusiasm ensures that these people are always driving their businesses forward.

Boundless Creativity

Entrepreneurs see the world in a different way and look for creative solutions to problems that they encounter. But creativity doesn’t necessarily only mean inventing new products. It also refers to finding new ways of doing things and creating strategic approaches that help the  clients they serve. Even the biggest businesses are always having to enhance and adapt as time moves on. As an example, McDonald’s could have stayed as a simple burger joint, but instead it has cottoned on to the growing trend for coffee shops and gourmet burgers and offered these things accordingly. Creativity is probably one of the most natural qualities that people would associate with entrepreneurship, but you also need to have the drive to put these ideas into practice.

Taking Responsibility

A huge proportion of people are fairly passive and willing to let life happen to them rather than making the decision to take responsibility and control. Rather than seeing things as obstacles, entrepreneurs view challenges in front of them that need to be tackled and overcome. Instead of feeling powerless, they always feel like they have a degree of control over the situation that they can exert if necessary. In general, people tend to complain about situations but don’t really do all that much to change them. Entrepreneurs see things that they need to influence and work out ways in which they can do so.

Decisiveness

As we have already talked about, the world of business is fast moving and unrelenting. This means that entrepreneurs can’t afford to stand still for too long or they risk getting left behind. Therefore, decisiveness is a quality that many entrepreneurs possess so they can move their business forward. Along with this decisiveness comes a degree of risk taking as you can never really predict what all the consequences of your choices are going to be. Though they listen to advice, entrepreneurs are still willing to take decisions on their own shoulders and stand by them whether they go wrong or not.

Conclusion

Of course, as mentioned at the start, entrepreneurs vary wildly from person to person, but if you look at many business people a little closer, you will see that they possess the four qualities that we have just talked about. That is not to say that everyone who possesses these things will always succeed, but they can go a long way toward the success of a business. Entrepreneurs don’t let circumstances stand in the way – they find solutions to problems which they encounter before them. They have a never ending curiosity which allows them to continue to innovate and discover new things about the particular field that they have chosen. And when they come up with solutions to problems, they have the decisiveness to take them through to their natural conclusion. Finally, they take responsibility whether or not they are shown to be right or wrong. It is often the mistakes that people learn the most from in life as they know not to repeat them. So, if you see yourself in the entrepreneurial qualities we have just talked about, you could well be on the fast track to business success.        

 

Starting A Business Isn’t The Hard Part!

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When a lot of people think about the struggles of running a business the first thing that often jumps to mind is the difficulties that so often come with getting it off the ground in the first place. Finding the money, the people, and even the motivation to start your own business can often be such a significant hurdle that many people never get over it in the first place. However, it’s pretty foolish to think of the challenges of running a business as beginning and ending with those early moments. The reality is that the real challenges of running a business happen further down the road. Getting that early burst of energy and motivation might be tough, but the real work happens once things are really moving forward. Here are just a few of the most common challenges that businesses run into and how you can go about avoiding them.

Problem employees

When you first start your business, there’s a pretty good chance that there aren’t that many people involved. In all likelihood, it’s just you and few friends working out of somebody’s living room. However, as the business grows, then it’s pretty likely that you’re going to need more people in order to cover the increased workload. When this happens, it can be a challenge to find the right people. The worst issue is that many business owners realize that certain people aren’t right for the business. There’s a good chance these kinds of employees will be a part of your business in the early days simply because your ability to figure out who is the best fit for your business won’t be that developed yet. When you reach that stage, then you have a choice between working with that employee or parting ways. The choice comes down to what you think is best for the business and how well you think that employee can improve.

Financial difficulty

Money is always an issue for small businesses, especially at the start. After all, raising the money to get the business off the ground is often one of the most significant concerns when you’re setting up your own business. However, just because you’re past that hurdle doesn’t mean that your financial troubles are over. In fact, there are plenty of financial hurdles that you could end up dealing with further down the road. Form losing customers to sudden disasters; there are a lot of reasons why you might end up in red. Luckily companies like smallbusinessloans.co are able to offer loans that can help you get things back into the black again. It’s important to be careful with your money and make sure that you never end up getting complacent, even if it feels like you’re over a major hurdle.  

The truth is that, if you really want to make the most of your business, you have to come to terms with the fact that the hard work never really ends. As long as you’re happy to put in the work at every single stage, then your business is much more likely to succeed.

Your HR Department Is Lacking – But Here’s What You Can Do

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One of the best things you can do in business is develop an effective HR department. However, many companies find that theirs is lacking somewhat. It’s actually really common to find CEOs of companies who know that their HR department isn’t great but just don’t know what to do about it. Here are some pointers you can use if you know you need to change your HR department:

Get Rid Of The People Who Aren’t Right For HR

Maybe somewhere down the line you hired somebody who wasn’t right for the role. Make sure you assess this part carefully and figure out who is bringing the HR department down. Some people may be too comfortable with being relaxed in HR. If they’ve been working in the department for a while and nothing has come of them being so lax on policies, of course they’re going to continue. Find those people and get rid of them. You could warn them and give them another chance once your new policies are in place, but if you’re serious about improving the department, this is how you trim the fat.

Stop Telling Yourself The Same Story

Telling yourself the same story over and over again can be dangerous, especially if you tell yourself your HR department is no good all the time. You brand your business from the inside, so if this is something you say often, people will believe it, and chances are, it’ll get worse.   Change your story and your perception to improve tenfold.

Make Sure Positive Impressions Are Made On New/Potential Employees

One of the most important things to focus on is candidate experience. If you’re hiring for a new role and the candidate comes into contact with HR who are cold and unhelpful, this isn’t going to give them a great impression of your business. It can cause many problems down the line. One of the focuses of your business and HR department should be to ensure new and potential employees have a great experience.

HR Consultancy

Investing in HR consultancy could be one of the best things you do for your department when you’re trying to make a complete turn around. HR Consulting Firms will work with your current team to improve attitudes and processes. Instead of trying to do everything yourself, hiring a consultancy firm can save you time and money in the long run.

Make Sure Each Employee Fits In With Your Culture

Each and every employee you bring on board should fit in with your company culture. You may even turn down great employees because they just don’t suit. You should be vigilant with this, as it’ll create a better, more productive work environment for all.

Focus On Consistency

You must have appropriate procedures in place and be consistent with them. You need to enforce rules fairly across all of your employees, to ensure that everybody that comes into contact with your business has a fantastic experience. Consistency within HR is particularly essential.

Good luck!

Top Ways to Help Make Life Easier for Workers You Need to Lay Off

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Having to let people go is never fun, but there are ways to go about the process that will both keep your relationships intact and help laid-off staff members to move onto a new role. If you want to support people you’re about to say goodbye to at work, read on for some top tips you can follow today.

Be Honest, Respectful, and Communicative

For starters, it is important to treat people with respect when you’re letting them go. A lot of firms have a set termination policy in place that doesn’t change, no matter the circumstances of someone’s exit. Often, this involves escorting the terminated employees from the building, and ensuring they have returned any company property that may have been in their possession.

Although this may be a required tactic in occasional cases, when workers are laid off through no fault of their own, this type of process can be humiliating and simply uncalled for. Employees should be given the chance to say goodbye to their colleagues and to leave in a dignified fashion that honors their previous place in the team and the contributions they have made to the organization. It is difficult enough for people to lose their jobs; don’t compound it by making them feel like a criminal or someone whose work has not been valued at all.

In addition to how you treat people on their last day, make sure you are honest and sensitive when you deliver the termination news to them. Employees deserve to find out the real reasons for the changes in the company, and realize that their being let go doesn’t have to do with their reputation or your impression of their work or them as a person. Giving workers the real facts behind the layoffs will help them to not lose self-esteem and confidence, as well as assist them to process what has happened and why. This, in turn, makes it easier for people to move forward and get a new job.

Being communicative about the process involved is also very helpful for people. While you might be uncomfortable about having to give employees the bad news and want to get it over and done with as quickly as possible, it is vital that the employee understands what options are available to them, and what support they will be given. You should take the time to go through any termination paperwork step by step, too, so that you’re sure they understand each detail; plus give them time to ask questions and get their head wrapped around the situation.

Listen and Make Career Counseling Available

Next, keep in mind that, a lot of the time, workers are shocked when they are told that they are being let go. Even if the “writing was on the wall” in some respects, it is still a different matter when you actually find out the news for real. As such, you’ll make things easier for people if you listen to them as they try to process what is happening.

They may want to vent, express concerns about their future, try to bargain for their job, or express other types of emotions and opinions. By acting as a listening post in the privacy of your office you will give them a chance to get collected before they have to exit and face their colleagues or family members.

It is also a good idea to, wherever possible, make career counseling available to laid-off employees. This service can not only help them when it comes to dealing with the potential grief, anger, worry, and other emotions that typically arise from such a change, but also give them the ability to discuss their career path moving forward. Some might want to look at an alternative career, or undertaking study. Career counselors are trained to help people make a plan and cope with the transition period.

Utilize Outplacement Services

Lastly, it also pays to utilize outplacement services to help your staff members find their feet after being laid off. Outplacement firms offer specialist services to help individuals search for and land new positions after losing a job. In particular, outplacers tend to be contracted by companies to help them meet their duty of care to workers facing redundancy.

Hire an outplacement firm and you can have trained professionals on hand to assist terminated employees put together a new resume and cover letter, run through interview coaching and other types of interview preparation, take advantage of networks and referrals, get up to speed on social media usage in job hunts, and find out about relevant positions to apply for.

Your Guide To A Successful Startup!

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Deciding to create a business is a big leap into the world of commerce. You’re going to be thrust into the deep end straight away and be competing with everyone around you right from the get go, so you have to be properly prepared! Your business is going to have to survive the first few months of it’s creation, which are arguably the hardest few months of the business’s life! But don’t fret, if you carry on reading you’ll know by the end how to make a successful startup business.

Make Use Of Freelancers

Unless you’ve got a monstrously huge budget to get you started off, you’re going to need to be clever with the way that you use your money. You’re not going to be able to realistically afford to hire permanent employees yet because you’re not going to have the money for it! This is where freelancers step in. You can hire them from websites like Upwork, and they come with a multitude of benefits that a permanent employee doesn’t have. Firstly, the contract is never fixed, you can hire them for as long or as little as suits your needs. This is excellent because once you’ve had them do the job that you required them to do, you can simply end the contract and save lots of money! The second benefit is that they are usually cheaper than hiring an actual employee, they will be working from home so they won’t be charging as much for their services as they won’t be traveling to work for you! And the final benefit is that they won’t need any office space as they’ll be working from home, meaning that everything is cheaper and easier for you!

Get Your Products Patented

If you’re selling a unique product then this is definitely going to apply to you. Patents are the way that you are able to protect your unique product, by applying for and successfully getting a patent, it makes it illegal for someone else to copy what you’re selling. You can a patent broker to help you achieve this, but a lot of people don’t quite understand what it’s for, which is why it’s about to be explained to you. If someone is able to copy your product and use it, it means that you’re going to have a lot of competition so your business isn’t going to be as successful as it could be because you’ll be losing business out because someone else is doing exactly the same as you! By making it illegal to violate a patent, it means that other businesses are going to be greatly deterred from copying your product, and if they do you can sue them to reclaim all of the money back that they had gained by using your idea! There are a multitude of things that can happen if a patent is violated that you need to know, so read this to get up to date on it!

Get Your Premises Insured

One of the biggest things that puts a stop to any business, regardless of size, is not being insured. Insurance covers you in case of a specific event occurring which will be outlined in the insurance, they will pay for what the insurance covers on the agreement that you pay a certain amount to them a month. If a disaster happens, such as a fire, it’s going to ruin your entire building and everything in it! This means that, if you don’t have the money to buy everything again, you’ll either have to downsize or bankrupt your business, which is not something anyone wants! This danger is especially apparent to startup businesses because they are more susceptible to being wiped out after a disaster, so there are two types of insurance you’re going to need; contents and business interruption. Contents insurance covers the physical property and what’s inside it. If your premises gets set alight and everything burns down, your insurance will give you the money equal to all of the equipment that has been damaged and will give you the money equal to how much the property was worth meaning that you can replace it all. Interruption insurance covers your business for any losses that you’re going to make during the “downtime” of an accident like a fire, or even a computer meltdown. These times your business won’t be able to properly operate, so your interruption insurance will give you money that is equal to your monthly income to keep the business with a regular cash flow so it doesn’t go under!

Rent The Right Property

You’re going to need a property to start your business off at, and you’re going to need the right one. There are two ways you can go wrong here, so let’s start! If you’ve got an office space that’s too small, it means that you’re going to have to move at some point which can be expensive and time consuming depending on your contract length with your landlord. Or, if it’s way too big, you’re going to be overpaying for space that you don’t use, meaning that your business makes less money. This is why it’s good to use websites like instaoffices, they are able to find offices across the country that are perfect for you so you don’t get one that you don’t like! As a rule of thumb with offices, remember that you should have a little bit of extra space for a few people. This accommodates any new employees that you might get over the term of your contract, giving you the ability to expand your workforce as and when you need to.

Doing all of these things is highly advised when you decide to startup a business! Make the most use out of freelancers to cut costs down, get everything insured so you can claim if something bad happens,  get your products patented so you can dominate your market and get the office space that’s perfect for you and don’t settle for anything less!

Become An Entrepreneur In The Next 3 Minutes

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Do you have dreams of being an entrepreneur? Good news. Within the next 3 minutes, you could be one. Seriously! You may not have a business right now, or even a business idea, but that doesn’t mean you’re not an entrepreneur. Let’s get started:

Change Your Mindset

The truth is, becoming an entrepreneur isn’t about having lots of money, a brilliant idea, and all of the other resources that people usually say they need to run a business. You need to change your mindset, pure and simple. Look at your limiting beliefs. Not sure what they are? Work them out. Perhaps you believe that only rich people start businesses. This is obviously not true. Write down the things you often find yourself thinking that don’t really have any evidence behind them. Then you can start overcoming your limiting beliefs and change your mindset accordingly. It can take time, but anybody can do it. You are often the only thing standing between you and your dreams.

Look At People You Want To Be Like

The truth is, although all entrepreneurs are pretty different, they also have many things in common. Think of people who have accomplished what you want to accomplish and study them in as much detail as you can. What do they do? What don’t they do? What do they read? What do they watch? Where do they spend time? Start copying them. You can look at the infographic below to see some of the habits of highly successful people and get some awesome suggestions:

take a look at Source: Habits of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs

Kick the 9-5 To The Curb: Become a Business Owner Instead!

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Fed up with earning lots of money for a big company? Maybe you don’t have much job satisfaction, or your colleagues are driving you crazy. Perhaps you’re bored or feel limited in your current role? If so, the idea to set up your own business has probably crossed your mind. Something you can pour your passion and creativity, a job that gives you purpose and makes you excited to work. You can fit a home business around your other commitments (so perfect if a regular nine to five job doesn’t work for you) and as you will be working from home, there’s no time or cost for commuting for factor in, and no cost for premises either. However, there are a few things that you do need to bear in mind.

Can You Afford It?

It probably won’t cost much to set up your home business, especially if you will be a sole trader. You won’t need money to recruit and pay workers, and you won’t need to spend money on business premises. However it can be slow to get going, and you might go many months before you’re turning a profit. It can take longer still until you’re earning enough to be able to live on. Before you turn in your letter of resignation at your day job, you need to think about this. Do you have savings that can act as a buffer? Do you have a partner who is prepared to support you both while things get off the ground? If not you may need to get your business established in your spare time while you’re still working, until you’re at a comfortable enough level to quit.

Coming Up With a Business Idea

The first thing to decide on when you’re looking to set up a business is work out exactly what you will be doing/ selling. Will you be crafting your own items and selling them on an online marketplace? Will you be an online tutor or tutoring people from your home? Will you be blogging? Blogging is a great business idea since it’s cheap to start up, you probably already have a laptop and internet connection! You will need to spend some money on hosting, the problem with cheap WordPress hosting is that you get what you pay for. It can be missing things like support which can be difficult to live without unless you’re an expert. If you’re selling physical items (as opposed to digital creations or services) you will need to make sure you have storage space. Do your market research, work out if there’s an audience for whatever you plan on selling. And come up with a unique selling point, work out what sets you aside from your competitors. Is it the price? Do you offer payment plans? Do you sell items people can’t easily get elsewhere?

Your Office/ Workspace

Another consideration when it comes to space is your office. When you’re running a business from home, it makes sense that you’d have your own office as opposed to working from your bed, the sofa or the dining room table! If you have a spare bedroom in your home, transform this into your office. It gives you a place to keep all of your things together and keep organized. Your home and work life are also kept separate which is a crucial thing to get right. When you work from home, it’s so easy for your working day to become any time that you’re not asleep. To make you feel more focused and allow you to be more productive when you are working, set your hours then close the door to your office at the end of the day. Treat it the same way you would any job, it’s difficult when your venture’s success is in your hands, but it’s still important to maintain a work/ life balance. Invest in a good quality, large desk to give you plenty of room to work from. A comfortable chair and the right equipment. You will need storage and good organization to allow you to keep on top of things. Think about decor too, this is a space you’re going to be spending a lot of time in so make it look nice. Light colored walls will make the most of the space, and plants will liven it up- psychologists have even shown they can boost productivity! There’s loads of inspiration online for home offices, so spend some time planning it out and getting it right. You will be happier spending time and working from there when it’s a space you enjoy being in.

Own Website or an Online Marketplace?

Another question to ask yourself when it comes to setting up your own business is whether you will be selling from your own website or an online marketplace. Online marketplaces will charge you fees for listing and every time you sell an item, but people trust them, and they are convenient. You won’t pay fees if you sell from your own site, but it will cost you money promoting it so that people are able to find it in the first place. There are pros and cons to each, so think carefully. Before spending all of your money on a website and everything that goes with it, you could sell through eBay, Etsy and/ or Amazon first. This will give you an idea if people are interested in what you’re selling and the kinds of prices similar products sell for. It could give you information needed to tweak what you’re selling. Once you’re more established you could go it alone on your own site.

Licences and Permits

One of the big benefits of working from home is you can generally avoid the need for licenses and permits which can be both complicated and expensive. However, depending on what you’re selling, there might be a couple of occasions where you could need to apply. For example, if your business involves food such as cooking, baking or preparing food based products like jams and chutneys, you will need a food hygiene safety certificate. You will also be required to b registered with environmental health, where your kitchen will be subject to random inspections. This is to ensure you’re keeping up to date with hygiene and keeping your customers safe. If you’re selling any kind of medicines, this is another reason you will need to get the right license. And selling things that are limited by age such as knives, chemicals or alcohol will also require you to have the right paperwork in place. Get this wrong, and you could be severely fined.

Tax and Legal Considerations

When you set up a business, this has to be registered correctly. Even if you’re very small and unlikely to be earning a profit for a while. You will need to register within three months of setting up or you risk getting fined. Different countries have different procedures when it comes to paying tax, but once you meet a certain threshold (welfare/ benefits and and wages as an employee will all count towards it), you will start paying tax on your earnings. Even if you plan on using an accountant, you should still keep good records. It will make it quicker and easier for them which will work out cheaper for you. Business accounting software is good for this, it avoids the need to go through time-consuming paper records. If you take on employees to work in your business, you will be responsible for finding out if they’re legally able to work for you. This means they must be old enough and must be allowed to work in the country, it’s your job to make sure this is the case, or you risk getting into serious trouble- you could even be sent to prison. Make sure you’re up to date with the law, speak to a lawyer if you’re unsure. But always follow the rules to avoid penalties, fines, lawsuits and even prison.

You don’t have to be stuck in a rut when it comes to your career. Setting up your own business allows you to escape the rat race and gives you something to put your effort and creativity into. Setting up a business from scratch is incredibly rewarding and a huge achievement too.

How To Better Look After Your Workforce

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As an employer, your main goal should be to make people happy. It’s a very simplistic goal but it works in every circumstance. Your goal with the average consumer is to make them happy so that they purchase goods and services from your company, and your goal with each of your employees is to make them happy so that they work as hard as humanly possible for your business.

The point is that you shouldn’t be thinking only about stats and profit margins. Your priority needs to be maintaining a certain level of happiness among the people involved with your business. This should start with your workforce because you can’t offer a passionate and captivating service to your customers if your employees are tired and bored of the work they’re doing. Here are some tips to help you better look after your workforce.

Listen to them.

Your workforce needs to feel as if they’re part of the business if you want them to feel invested in its success. People who just clock in at 9 and clock out at 5 without any real stake in the company are unlikely to put in any real effort. You need to invite people to regular meetings so that you can hear their opinions about how best to run the business. Listen to what they have to say.

Create a safer working environment.

It’s so important to put your employees in a safe and comfortable working environment. On a basic level, you need to think about people’s physical health; ergonomic chairs and keyboards will help to avoid back pain and wrist pain, respectively. On a larger scale, you need to think about avoiding hazards and accidents. You need to think about the areas of your workplace at which accidents are most likely but also the times of day at which accidents are most likely. You might want to look into installing convex and safety mirrors at corners in narrow corridors in your business’ office because areas with limited visibility are often the ones most prone to causing workplace accidents and injuries.

Rewards.

There’s nothing worse than going above and beyond in your work only for it to go unnoticed or unappreciated. Hard workers in your company might start to slack and become lazy if they realize that there’s no difference for them in terms of salary or recognition whether they work hard or do the bare minimum. That’s why it’s so crucial for you to reward exemplary employees if you want them to continue to do exemplary work. Of course, the reward should go beyond simple praise if you want to incentivize other workers to put in the same effort. You could give a bonus, a free lunch, an early finish, or all three to hardest worker every week. That’ll motivate people to try their hardest each week.

You could switch up the rewards or give them unexpectedly to people during the week so as to keep your employees on their toes. Remember, the key to a happy workforce is an employer who always switches things up in the workplace. Don’t let things become repetitive. It’s hard to stay motivated when you repeat the same routine every day.

Inevitable Startup Financial Difficulties

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In the world of business, it’s rarely plain sailing. But when you’re just starting up, things are even more challenging. You might have a fantastic idea and a bunch of willing customers who will gladly part with their money, but if your finances are out of whack, you can quickly find yourself in trouble.

Many people new to the world of business fail to understand that financial difficulties are an inevitable part of starting up. In the beginning, there’s almost never enough money to do everything you want to do: expand, market to new audiences, take on new staff – and you have to compromise.

Here are some of the financial difficulties your startup will face and how to overcome them.

Unexpected Costs

One of the rookie mistakes often made by founders is failing to include unexpected costs in their calculation for how much money they will need. Unexpected costs aren’t just common in business, they’re guaranteed. Things will almost certainly go wrong and some point, and you’ll be forced to hand over money to somebody.

Many startups get into a situation in which they need money quickly, but they don’t have any money in their accounts. Fortunately, there are still options. Rather than going back to investors and admitting that you made a mistake in your original calculations for how much funding you need, try approaching a factoring service. These services take a look at your accounts receivable – the amount of money you’re currently owed by clients – and offer you money to buy those invoices from you. Although you’ll get less money from the factoring company than you would from the clients, you no longer have to follow up with non-paying customers, plus you get the added benefit of avoiding going further into debt.

Too Little Money To Take Advantage Of Opportunities

Another common problem for startups is not being able to grow quickly enough. Often, it is advantageous to dominate a market as fast as possible before a competitor moves in and steals market share, but poor finances can get in the way. Startups rarely have surplus capital on hand to buy their way out of the problem, and so they need an innovative solution.

The good news is that it is no longer necessary to buy everything you need up front. Many startups are choosing to rent to own equipment instead. Under this setup, entrepreneurs come to an agreement with a third party company to pay for the services of the equipment, month after month, rather than immediately owning the equipment outright. This means that if you do change your mind about whether you want a particular truck or machine, you can always sell it back to the company that leased it. If you do want to keep it, however, it’s yours, once all the payments are complete.

Bad Pricing

Finally, bad pricing can be a problem for many startups. Don’t go in too low – you’ll find that you’ll struggle to break even and your competitors will be more profitable.

A Business’s Guide To Preventing Electronic Down Time

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What is electronic down time? It’s the fancy name computer geeks give to the phenomenon when electronics break down. You may know it as a device which has decided to break. Whatever you call it, the electronic devices in the office play a big part in success. A laptop or desktop computer allows your employees to be productive and efficient. A phone is a great tool for communicating inside and outside of the business. TVs can advertise products or promote awareness of things such as workplace hazards. In short, you can’t allow down time. Here are the tricks which will stop it from being a problem in the future.

Create An IT Team

Information technology spans a variety of products, from a web server to a computer. Therefore, the people who deal with keeping the company online are the ones who can fix the problems. However, it isn’t possible to limit the damage if they don’t exist in the first place. Putting together a crack team of experts has to be your first move so that you have a backup plan should anything go wrong. Outsourcing is an option if you don’t want to add to the labor bill. The next step is to employ the IT technicians 24/7. Down time can happen at any time, which is why they need to be on call from dusk to dawn.

Fight Fire With Fire

The best way to prevent down time is to stop it in the first place. This might sound difficult, but it is quite simple if you have the right tools. Think about electromagnetic compatibility for a moment. You might not know, but interference from other devices is one of the main factors in reduced efficiency and effectiveness. By introducing an EMC directive with CE certification, you can limit the interference and keep everything online. It is a simple yet effective way method which companies need to explore more often.

Repair

Industrial items like electronics suffer from wear and tear. You have two options: you can continue to use them, or you can get them fixed. The latter option is by far the best. By taking care of the problem before it escalates, you can limit the damage and prolong its shelf life. Also, don’t forget that a lot of products come with a warranty which means the repairs are free. As long as it hasn’t expired, it is a cheap and hassle-free way to maintain efficiency.

Don’t Overuse

Because they suffer from wear and tear, electronic devices can break down through overuse. It is basic: if you use them too much, they will overheat or the internal parts will fracture. Although it is difficult, it is essential to keep their use to a minimum. For example, do you have a printer? If so, try and go green to prevent the office from relying on it as much. Not only will this allow the office to function, but it will help the finances as it cuts down on overheads.

If you value the effect electronics have for your firm, you need to consider the tips above.