Your Medical Practice Needs To Be On The Cutting Edge!

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There is something that anyone who runs a medical practice is going to be acutely aware of. Something that sets it apart from many other organisations. That is the fact that there’s a certain degree of balance involved in a medical practice that is almost entirely unique. That balance is between two incredibly important things. The first is your ability to care for and support your patients. The other is running your practice like a successful business. The issue that many practice owners come up against is the fact that it can sometimes feel that each of those things needs to come at the cost of the other, or worse, that they’re complete polar opposites. Of course, there’s a chance for that to be true. You could have a practice that is so focused on functioning as a business that it leads to a lack of high-quality patient care, or you could focus on your patients so exclusively that you end up neglecting your business. Fortunately, being able to balance those two things is far easier now than ever before. There are plenty of modern innovations that have led medical practices to be able to not only improve both patient care and their business model but also balance the two in a much more intuitive way. A medical practice that is right on the cutting edge is one that uses innovation to improve every aspect of itself, and here are a few places in your practice where innovation is going to do you the most good.

Appointments

One of the most frustrating things for any medical practice is the amount of time and money lost when patients fail to show up for their appointments. Not only is this a waste of time and resources but it also means that there are patients who could have been seen but were turned away because there were no other appointments available. Of course, it’s not always going to be down to laziness or malice that a patient didn’t show up. Sometimes people find it difficult to get around when they’re sick, or they simply feel uncomfortable going to a doctor’s office. Luckily there’s a piece of technology that is already in use by millions of people all over the world that can solve a lot of those problems. That is, of course, video conferencing software. If you can use programs like Skype to chat with distant friends or relatives, then you can certainly use it to speak to patients. This way patients can talk face to face to a doctor without having to leave their home. Of course, there are limitations to this. If they need specific treatment or an examination, then they need to be physically present, but being able to speak to a doctor from a safe space in the early stages make patients far less likely to miss later, in-person appointments.

Coding

A medical practice cannot survive without income. That’s a fact of life, and whether you like it or not, it’s something you’re going to have to deal with. Of course, this can be very complex, especially when you have things like emergency patients, complex procedures and other, unexpected aspects to patient care. Medical coding allows you to transform those elements into universal codes that can be used to provide the correct financial information to patients and practices. Plenty of medical coding companies specialize in things like emergency treatment so that your practice doesn’t end up in a position where you’re unaware of what a particular treatment has cost. This doesn’t just benefit your practice of course. For one thing, allowing another company to handle your medical coding allows you and your staff to focus on patients more thoroughly, but it also makes sure that patients are never charged the wrong amount for a treatment, which is something that can cause real problems for their health insurance. Accuracy is paramount when dealing with medical insurers and it’s not something that you can afford to do half-heartedly.

Diagnosis

There was a time when the process of speaking to a doctor, describing symptoms, being tested, and receiving a diagnosis, was something that could take days, even weeks. But now, thanks to some incredible innovations in diagnostic technology, doctors are able to test and diagnose patients far more quickly, sometimes even within the first consultation. For one thing, simple access to the internet means that doctors can research symptoms far more easily than ever before. Add to that pieces of tech that can test for things like blood sugar and certain illnesses in minutes. There are even some occasions where artificial intelligence is being used to diagnose patients since they are able to search through a huge database of cases and symptoms in a matter of moments. This makes the lives of patients far easier as they are getting diagnosed far quicker and more accurately, but it also makes the lives of doctors far easier. It allows them to see more patients throughout the day and lowers the number of needles follow-up appointments that they need to do.

Patient Portals

A patient’s ability to interact with your practice is incredibly important. Many people are fairly unwilling to pick up the phone in order to make an appointment, so having an online patient portal can be an incredibly elegant solution. Not only can it be used to help them make appointments, but it can be used for renewing prescriptions, leaving feedback, even keeping informed of recent outbreaks of any kind. Not only does this mean that patients can interact with the practice far more easily, but it frees up administrative staff to get a lot more done since they are no longer having to deal with a phone that is ringing off the hook throughout the day. A patient portal is also a great selling point for your practice. After all, without patients your practice can’t function so having something like that to draw in new patients can be a genuinely invaluable tool.

Talking Money: How To Finance A Startup

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Starting a business is a venture that is not usually all plain sailing. There will be a number of obstacles in your way and right at the top of the list is finding the money to fund it in the first place. After the economic crash that happened a few years ago, financing isn’t always easy to obtain and you may have to try several different methods before you settle on one that is right for you. Launching any business is something that comes with a degree of risk, but the rewards are there for those who make a success of it.

Here is a quick overview of the top ways that people get the money together to start their own business.

Use Your Own Savings/Sell Your Assets

If you have saved money over a number of years, you may well be able to channel this into your business. In today’s online marketplace, a lot of businesses can be started without requiring a huge amount of capital so this may be a good method if you don’t need a great deal of money to begin with. This has the natural advantage of meaning that you are relying on yourself rather than needing the support of others. Another option is to sell off any assets that you own as a way of self-financing your business. Of course, this isn’t the option for everyone as some businesses require a much larger amount of startup cash.

Raise Money From Friends and Family

Getting a little help from your friends and family is probably the most common way of financing a business. The main issue with this approach is that you turn those closest to you into creditors, which could jeopardise future relations with them. A common mistake is to go to them before a tangible business plan is in place. You need to make sure you have done all the calculations and give yourself the best starting point possible before actually approaching your friends and family. This shows them that you take the business very seriously and appreciate the money that they are investing in you. One of the most important things to do is reinforce that you understand the risk that they are taking. This can avoid any future awkward conversations down the line!

Get A Loan

Another common approach is to obtain an official loan. In days gone by, bank loans for small businesses were easier to obtain but now there tend to be more hoops that you have to jump through. Another option is to get a personal loan. Even if you don’t have a strong financial history, poor credit loans are available. Once again, this is where you need to have that strong financial plan in place so you minimise your risk of getting into difficulty somewhere down the line. Make sure you are fully aware and comfortable with the terms of the loan before actually taking the plunge.

Use a Credit Card

It is a risky approach if you use it for big sums of money, but many people use their credit card in order to have quick access to some extra cash. These tend to be relatively easy to obtain for most people, but don’t fall into the trap of getting sucked into a huge amount of debt. If you end up falling behind on your payments, your credit score could take a huge hit as a result. Alternatively, if you just pay the minimum each month then you could be digging a hole that it is very difficult to get out of. If used responsibly, a credit card can be a very useful tool for shoring up the cash flow situation of your business.

Try Crowdfunding

Nowadays, crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly popular way to fund various projects. These tend to be most common when it comes to relatively low cost, creative businesses. You start by setting a target of how much you would like to raise over a period of time. Next, friends, family and complete strangers all contribute their bit to the overall total. Remember, these type of sites don’t tend to be for long term funding. It is still a relatively new approach, so it is changing all the time, but investors can still end up making a decent return if your business is a success.

Pledge Future Earnings

If you are ultra-confident in your future success, you may be willing to make a bet on your future earnings. Ultimately, you will have to have a very strong business model and be able to show that you have projected to make a great deal of money in the future in order for investors to trust you. The deal goes that you will give a percentage of whatever you make in the future for that initial upfront investment.

Attract an Angel Investor

Finding an angel investor is another traditional way of getting money together for your startup. Wealthy individuals are still willing to back your business if you can prove to them that it is worth their while. A good way to improve their trust in you is to get the support of an experienced management advisor to pitch with you. This shows that you have expert support behind your team. Make sure that your business is a passion project and an area that you know inside and out. There is nothing more likely to give off a negative impression than if you are unable to answer a lot of the questions that are thrown at you. Make sure you have done everything from marketing assessments to sales plans so you can show them that you are well and truly prepared. If you can’t persuade them straight away, it is worth keeping in touch so you can inform them of successes that you have had that might persuade them to give you their backing.

Community Schemes

All kinds of community development finance initiatives have been set up around the country as a way of supporting individuals and businesses that can’t obtain the funds they need through traditional methods. Their terms are often quite restrictive so you will have to qualify by being a micro-business or social enterprise, or be based in a disadvantaged area. If you meet any of this criteria then it is worth looking into to see if you could finance your business this way.

Factoring

The process of factoring involves selling your receivables at a discount so you can get the cash up front. This is a common method for companies that have a poor credit record or those that have to fill long order before they can get paid. The main disadvantage is that it is an expensive way to raise funds. Companies generally pay a fee that is a percentage of the total amount, which can end up being pretty steep. That is why factoring has got a bit of a bad rep in recent years.

These are just a few ways that businesses can get off the ground fiscally. The one thing that they all have in common is that you will need a solid plan of how you will actually the spend the money, and more importantly, how you will pay the money back if you have borrowed it. Obviously, in business there are no guarantees, but you will be in a much stronger position if you build from a solid plan in the first place.    

Make These Mistakes and Your Startup Is Doomed

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We don’t have to go over just what percentage of startups fail. Needless to say, it’s enough to make you think twice about launching your own. However, percentages can be misleading – if you have a golden idea that you really believe in, then it’s probably worth throwing your hat into the ring and doing your best to make it a success, because the reasons so many startups fail is because they make too many obvious mistakes. Take a look below and make sure your startup isn’t guilty of any!

Moving Too Fast

In your enthusiasm it’s all too easy to jump ahead of yourself and launch before you’re ready. But if you move too fast you’re much more likely to overlook crucial details that might determine whether your startup succeeds or fails. Before you launch, make sure you’ve done a thorough checklist of everything that needs to be taken care of. Click here to see a list of the essential details. Conversely, moving too slowly might also be just as damaging, so do your best to ensure you’re moving at the right speed!

Not Enough Expert Voices

You’re an expert at something, but you’re definitely not an expert at everything. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of things that you need to get just right if your startup is going to be of the quality it needs to succeed. Take your website. It has to be on point, but you probably don’t have the skills to make it so. That’s why you need to rope in outside experts. At this website you can find PHP developers that’ll have the skillsets you need. Also, even if you’re smart with money, you won’t be as smart as a professional financial advisor, who will be able to tell you the right time to grow and when to be careful.

Being Too Specific

We know what you’re thinking. The startup market is pretty saturated, and if you’re going to survive you need to make sure you have a completely unique selling point or product or service. While that can be good, you shouldn’t rest on your unique idea for success. Make it a part of your startup but not the entire thing. Even if it’s the star, you should also be offering more general products that people will be interested in. You can’t sequester yourself in your own market; you need to get in the mix and compete against other companies doing similar things.

Living in a Fantasy World

You see companies who are much more excited about their product or service than their customers are all the time. They’ll send too many emails and hint at the “exciting things to come” which are really only exciting to the company, not the general public. Remember that your company is only everything to you; to the general public and your customers, you’re one voice in a million. Keep a level head and don’t overestimate how much people care – it’ll keep you focused and always pushing to keep people interested.

How To Choose Business Tech

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When you are starting a business of any kind, you obviously need a good idea and a huge amount of hard work and commitment. But you will also need some essential tools that will get you off the ground. Some businesses can be launched using just a laptop, whereas others will require a lot more technical equipment. If you are struggling to put your finger on exactly what you will need, here is a guide to investing in the right equipment.

Make A Budget for Your Equipment

Careful financial planning forms the cornerstone of any successful business. Before you actually spend anything, you need to write a list of exactly what equipment you need to begin with and its cost. Work out what is essential to actually get your business off the ground, and what can be bought at a later date as the company begins to grow. It is worth shopping around to see what kind of prices you can get so you get a full picture of the marketplace. Ask whether you need the equipment at the top end of the marketplace or you can get by with something cheaper. Sometimes, it works out as more affordable if you invest in the more expensive equipment as you know it will last longer.

Get A Tech Audit

When you are starting a business, you are usually going in with a decent amount of prior knowledge in your sector but there will always be someone who knows more than you. It is worth consulting with an expert in your field as they may be able to provide you with specific advice that will give you a better idea of exactly what you need. If nothing else, it always helps to get another perspective on things.

Prioritize Your Needs

Make sure you will be actually using what you buy within a short timeframe of starting the business. For example, most businesses require technology like a laptop and phone system to get off the ground, but you may be getting involved in an industry in which water is an important commodity, in which case a strap on water flow meter may be a priority. Ultimately, if you are not going to use a piece of technology within a short timeframe then it may not be worth getting straight away. Prices tend to come down over time and new technology is always replacing what has come before it.

Keep Tech Rentals in Mind

If you can think of certain items that you need initially but your business will begin to outgrow them after a limited amount of time, it may well be worth renting them instead of actually buying them. There is no point spending extra cash on an item that you know you won’t need after a relatively short amount of time.

These are just a few ways that will help you choose the right business tech. Remember, you can always invest in more as your business starts to grow.

Tune Up Your Business

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There are times during any business’ existence where it becomes clear that something needs to be done to improve the way it functions. Whatever it is that your business does, if you have come upon one of these realizations, then you are probably keen to discover what you can actually do to improve your business’ performance. In general, these methods are based around tuning up the business in such a way that it runs more efficiently and effectively. But knowing that you need to do that, and knowing how to do it, are two very different things. In this article, we are going to look at some of the genuine nuts and bolts of getting this done. Bear these in mind if your business needs to change its act sometime soon.

Automation Is Your Friend

A lot of business owners are worried to use automation, perhaps because it seems as though you are losing control of those vital in-house processes your business relies upon so much. However, the truth of the matter is that you still have ultimate control – you are just allowing the computers to do the actual work for you. There is no reason not to make the most of automation that you possibly can. Just make sure that you don’t use it for anything which you really want to ensure the quality of. If it directly affects the customer, keep it in human hands. Follow those rules and you should find that automation works hugely in your favour.

Look At Your Tech

The IT that you use in your business makes a huge difference to how that business functions, and it is worth remembering that you need to make sure it works as well as possible if you want your business to be as efficient as you need it to be. In general, it can be difficult ensuring this is the case, which is why you will probably need the help of the professionals on this one. Using managed IT services, you can get a consultant to look at all your systems and ensure that they are functioning as well as possible, and that they are set up so as to best serve your business. When you know that the tech is in order, it’s amazing how much easier the process of running a business can become.

Train Your Staff

The employees remain the most important element of all, and you need to make sure that you are looking after them and improving their understanding as much as possible. Make sure that you have a decent training course in place for newcomers, but also remember to keep the older employees well trained too. This really does make a world of difference when it comes to ensuring that everything is running as smoothly as possible in your business. The more knowledgeable the employees are, the better and more confident they will feel, and the better their quality of work. It is clear that this is an important aspect to your business being tuned up well.

Taking Your Startup Out On The Road

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For most people starting their own business, there is a point where you will have to network and promote yourself in order to keep yourself going. This means taking what you are offering, whether it is physical or digital, an item or a service, onto the road. It shouldn’t be too daunting; everybody has had to do it at some stage in their freelancing career, especially when they’re first starting out. It’s like the initiation process to successful startup.

Roadshows

Depending on what you’ve got to offer, you may find that certain roadshows and exhibitions are very useful to get a pitch at. These don’t come cheap – the more well known the company organising it, the more you will have to cough up. This means that you are getting more exposure though, and will look great should you have to send a resume over to anybody requiring to know a little more about your business. Not only is it good for exposure to clients and customers, but it’s a great way to mingle with other startups like you. It can be a way of either making friends, new business partners or you can leave it at just a chat. Either way, be sure to take a lot of business cards to pass on to people who may have shown an interest in what you do. You never really know who you’ve been talking to until they’ve put their money where their mouth is.

Markets

Markets, whether they’re craft, farmers or general, are brilliant things to go to if you’ve got something physical to sell. Even if it doesn’t directly tie in with the theme of what the whole setup is promoting, organisers still give some companies the chance to exhibit their wares at a stall there to offer diversity. Stall sellers are moving into the new digital age now, and no longer do you have to rely on your customers having to visit an ATM before they reach you – you can take payments using apple pay, a wireless card reader or even by an app you can download onto your phone. Good old-fashioned cash should never be shied away from, but having other systems available will only boost your profits for the day; the more ways you can offer people to part with their money, the more likely they are to take you up on that offer. It’s a win-win situation for both of you, but more so you.

Community Events

There is always a chance to immerse yourself into your local community by taking part in events that are happening around you. Look for things that your local church is doing, or maybe even a project that the whole town is getting involved in. By offering a helping hand in whatever they’re choosing to do, you are on the way to promoting not just yourself, but your business, too. It’s also a great way to meet like-minded people like you, too – you will meet them in the most unlikely of places, but it’s always good to keep them close to you just in case you need them at some point.

Sponsorship

This isn’t so much you physically getting yourself out on the road with your startup, but can be a great way to get people thinking about it. In the UK recently, the Grand National race was sponsored by a different company that usual, and surprisingly one that few people had heard of. The fuss about who Randox Health were was just the promotion that they needed as the Google searches went off in their thousands, with people desperate to know just who on earth they were. You probably don’t have the funding behind you to sponsor a major race watched by millions, but if you can give a little to help out a local school soccer team or put a bit of cash into a church or community scheme, you just have to let the words do the talking from then on. Choose a vibrant and memorable logo, or give yourself a punchy tag line that people will remember. Getting yourself involved by going to watch a few games or offering a hand in the scheme that you’ve invested in is a way of putting a face to the name (or the brand, in this case). This can’t be done forever, but as a startup company, it’s a valuable thing to do in terms of getting yourself out there and earning the trust of those who you want to invest back into you.

How To Make Your PR Start Up Succeed

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If you want to start a business, there are a thousand manuals out there telling you what exactly you have to do. Be prepared to work all the hours under the sun, make sure you treat your employees well, make sure that you’re easy to contact… there are a thousand things that you’re supposed to do, but it can be hard to know what exactly you should focus on if you’re focusing on public relations. Here are some tips to help…

What Is PR?

First of all, it’s important to be certain of what you’re actually doing – after all, you want to make sure that your company is doing exactly what it claims it is, or you’ll get in serious trouble with your clients. You need to decide what area of PR you’re going into, first and foremost. A lot of publicists either work with people or with brands, so you need to pick which you’d like to focus on. Your role will be to figure out how your brand or individual communicates with the media, and to create the strategy behind that. You need to work out how to create a positive public image so that the public will support and follow the individual or brand that you’re working with.

Build Good Relationships

In PR, there’s absolutely nothing more important than building good relationships with both your client and with the media. It’s important to talk to your client as you work out your PR strategy – authenticity is always a really crucial thing when it comes to the way that people and brands relate to the media, because let’s face it – the public is smarter than you might think, and if you’re trying to spin a story with no basis then they’ll end up smelling a rat. Make sure that when you’re talking to members of the media, you always exchange niceties with them – ask them how they are, thank them for their coverage, provide whatever they might need. You’re aiming to find a symbiotic relationship where you work together so they get stories and you get coverage.

Learn To Network

Learning to network is important with any job, but it’s especially crucial if you’re working in PR. Make sure that you attend as many events as you can, and that you talk to plenty of people at those events. It’s important that you create business cards that you can give out to people with all your information on there like your email address, phone number and your site so they can check out your work. Remember that you need to try to sell yourself, but not in a way that’s too obvious or obnoxious – get to know people before giving them your sales pitch. Not everyone is going to work with your company but if they get to know you, they might recommend you to their friends and other industry contacts.

Improve Your Communication Skills

There’s very little that’s more important in PR than learning how to communicate effectively with people. Remember to keep it cheerful and breezy but professional at all times – don’t get too familiar with journalists, and make sure that your mailing lists are all appropriate addresses to send your press releases to.

Learn From The Best

Take a look around you at PR campaigns that are working well, and learn from them. Of course it’s important to have your own ideas and to work creatively, but the industry stalwarts are there for a reason, and it isn’t just the fact that they’ve built up long relationships with their clients and with the media. If you’re working with brands or events, check out an AMW Group PR campaign for an example of a campaign done well. If you’re working with books, then the Headline publishing group’s press team always reliably gets a lot of coverage. A lot of beauty companies and fashion houses have their own in-house publicity teams, so check out their ads and campaigns for examples of what’s been done well – and look at Pepsi’s recent tone deaf campaign with Kendall Jenner for an example of an ad that you should absolutely avoid.

Create Your Company Culture

Finally, it’s time to make sure that you create a healthy company culture. The media industry can be full of vultures, which means that in order to create a team that works well, you need to make sure that you foster a warm atmosphere in your offices. Don’t entertain any backstabbing and make sure that everyone works together to share their ideas. Treat all of your team fairly and they’ll follow your example.

Simple Ways To Speed Up Recruitment

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When it comes to recruiting talent for a new startup or any business, the process can often be long and drawn out. And while that may have been acceptable in days gone by, in today’s fast moving world, potential employees are much less patient than they once were. That is why your business should be aiming to speed up the recruitment process wherever possible. This way, you will be in a much stronger position to make sure you don’t miss out on getting the top talent. Here are a few ways that you can make your hiring process a lot more efficient.

Reduce the Number of Hoops Employees Have to Jump Through

Of course, you want to make sure that you are getting the best candidate for the job. But if you hit them with lengthy application forms, background checks, pre-interview tasks and several interview stages, they may well end up accepting a position with a company that has moved at a faster rate. Make sure your application form gives you all the information you need without being overly complicated. A maximum of two interview stages should give you everything you need to know about your candidates.

Organisation

This one may seem pretty obvious and self-explanatory, but the number of businesses that don’t have a streamlined hiring process is startling. The vast majority of application are done online these days, meaning that it should be easy to keep each and every candidate’s file in a single location so that everyone that needs to access them can do. You should contact each applicant and let them know of the next stages and the timescales that everything will be achieved in. This will go down as a major plus point for potential employees who will see you as meticulous and well organised.

Get Outside Support

If you don’t have an HR department of your own, you may choose to outsource this service in order to speed up your hiring process. Alternatively, you may want to get the support of a professional recruitment agency so learn more about Nelson Staffing. Calling in the professionals to help out can relieve a major headache for your business.

Comprehensive Job Description

The job description should include all the vital information in a way that is coherent and effective. If your description is particularly complicated or opaque, candidates may well be put off from applying. And this means that you may well have to re advertise if you don’t get the level you were expecting. Try to be as succinct as possible, utilising bullet points wherever you can. At the same time, make sure you are clear in what the role entails and the type of candidate you expect to attract.

Use Mobile Hiring

Many people are looking for jobs using their smartphones these days, so having a process that encourages them to apply through their phones may well work in your favour. You can even have a self schedule interview option to further streamline the process.

4 Kindnesses You Should Show Your Business

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Running a business can be a heady mixture of feelings, emotions and wishes. If you are ken for your business to succeed as well as possible, as fast as possible, there are a number of ways of doing that. The truth is that many people fail to look kindly upon their own business, even if it is a venture they started themselves. If you want your business to do well, you need to show it certain kindnesses. As long as you are doing the following, there is every chance that your business will succeed.

Promote It Far & Wide

It helps to think of marketing and advertising as like the fuel of your business. Without them, there really is no hope for the business in the future. You might last for a while, but there will inevitably come a day when the customers stop flooding in, unless you promote the business far and wide. Getting to grips with marketing is one of those aspects of being an entrepreneur which is so important, and which nobody can teach you. You just have to gradually figure out for yourself what works and what is not so good. Then before you know it, your business will be booming and you will be in a strong position financially.

Simplify It

The simpler, the better. In business, you want to be able to keep an eye on everything that is going on. Otherwise, you can all too easily find yourself worrying or wondering what you might need to be doing to improve things. The simpler you make the basic everyday processes of doing business, the better off your business will be. One of the easiest ways to do this is to simplify the processes through regulated automation, by using services such as www.dataserv.com/solutions/ap-automation. With that kind of assistance on board, your processes will be easier, and your time will be freed up, both good news for your business’ future.

Partner It Up

Partnerships have something of a mixed reputation, but make no mistake – for new businesses, they are pretty much vital to your ongoing success. With a partnership, your business will get all the benefit of the more experienced company, but without having to pay for it. All you usually need to do is share resources, and this is perfectly acceptable for even the weakest of startups. Partner your business up with noncompetitive similar businesses as early as you can.

Be Patient With It

Patience is key for any business owner, for the very good reason that no business experiences any real success very quickly. Most businesses fail in the first five years, and mostly what causes the final push is a lack of real enthusiasm. You have to rally believe in the venture enough so that you can have patience with it when things aren’t looking so good. This is how you get it out to the other side, and onto greater and greater success. This is the difference between a business which succeeds and one which fails. See http://www.ibtimes.com/exnet/four-reasons-why-you-need-patience-right-now-797121 for advice on cultivating patience in business.

How To Bootstrap Your Business

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The most commonly asked question about startups is always to do with money. People want to know which investors to approach and how to best approach them. But what a lot of new entrepreneurs seem to ignore is the fact that not all startups attract funding straight away; a lot of new businesses have to go down the self-funding route or bootstrapping as it is known.  

Don’t get us wrong, this is can be a fantastic route to go down and one that has major advantages further down the line, should you survive and succeed. You see, not only will you retain 100% equity and 100% control over your company, you will also be more attractive to investors because 1) you are risking your own capital and 2) you will be able to show how much progress you have made off your back when it comes to seeking investment to help your expansion. But that doesn’t mean it is easy.

Nope. Bootstrapping is hard. It is tough and challenging and, at times, a battle for survival, which is why we have come up with some survival tips.

Go Into Business With Someone

Launching on your own is not only hard but unwise. You will want to have a co-founder there alongside you, someone that can give you a second opinion, and someone that can complement your skill set. When you are bootstrapping you are forced to wear every hat you can think of to save money. You are every department, so pick a co-founder that can make up for your weaknesses and bolster your strengths.

Make Sure You Make Money Fast

You may think this is a stupid thing to say because it is so obvious, but some business ideas are better equipped to generate cash than others, so make sure you a business model that celebrates this. The last thing you want is to see your stockpile of cash get used up before you see any returns.

Only Outsource What You Can’t Do

Money is tight and the risks are high, that is a fact. So when it comes to outsourcing certain tasks, make sure they are tasks you absolutely can’t do and make sure you get the most bang for your buck. If you know nothing about SEO then, yes, it is worth speaking to an expert like LdSEOSydney.com.au. If it is designing a logo then why not approach a graphics student. If it is about your taxes then bring on a bookkeeper for two days a month. Whatever it is that you are outsourcing, though, always make sure you pay attention because you won’t want to miss out on any organizational learning experiences. Nothing is impossible to learn, remember that.

Keep An Eye On Your Cash At All Times

Clarity and transparency are absolutely critical to your success. On that note, make sure you are operating out of a business account and not a personal bank account. If you don’t do this you’ll find it extremely hard to know what is being spent where what is turning a profit and what is costing you, dear. So get a business account and then make sure you study it daily. You don’t want to be left in the dark about anything. Of course, there are bits of software you could use, free software like Mint, which is designed to track spending and analyze the rate at which you are going through your cash. If this isn’t the one for you, though, http://www.lifehacker.co.uk has a list of great money management and budgeting tools. These can be a big help.

Your Workers Won’t Automatically Become a Team

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When it becomes to your business, you shouldn’t underestimate just how beneficial it can be to have a group of workers who aren’t just individual employees, but a proper team. It is every manager’s dream to have a workforce with individual skillsets that complement each other well, a team that can be given a task and work towards it efficiently. Doing it this way maximizes your output and also limits the niggling problems and conflicts that can derail teams. But how do you do it, when it’s unlikely to happen by itself? We take a look below.

Hiring the Right Employees

This probably won’t help improve your current team, but it will make things easier moving forward. If you hire the right employees then it’ll be all the more straightforward to foster the type of workplace you want to create. When hiring, remember that an employee is about much more than just what they can bring to your business. An employee who has a stellar working background but who has trouble getting along with others might cause more harm than good. When you’re considering which potential employee you should hire, make sure you’re factoring in their interpersonal skills as well as their work attributes. If you don’t, you’ll soon realize you’ve made a mistake.

Evaluate the Problems

If things seem to be a little disjointed in the workplace, don’t just sit back and bemoan your bad luck. Take a look at what the problem might actually be. Sometimes it is just a simple, easily corrected oversight that disrupts people’s ability to work well with one another. For example, if you have employees sectioned off into separate areas of the office then it might be that they don’t actually have all that much time to actually see each other. Even creating a shared space for breaks might be the difference between your workers chatting with one another and spending their breaks alone.

Getting Social

You can try everything you like in the workplace, but nothing will create bonds than a corporate event. It can be anything, really, so long as the emphasis is on having fun and/or working with one another. If you hire a corporate event venue, you’ll be giving your workers a platform with which to talk with one another in an informal setting. When people are at work they don’t really have the time to talk beyond initial pleasantries – put them all in a room and tell them to have fun and you’ll soon see friendships being formed.

Mix Things Up in the Workplace

After your social event, you should try to capitalise on the new bonds by mixing things up in the workplace and inviting new groups to work with another. All too often people end up working with the same one or two people in the workplace. Try to set a task for a new group and you might find that certain employees work better with one another than others. Ultimately, it’s all about ensuring everyone is on the same page and striving for the same goal – making your company is functioning well – and this is best if people have as large a network of co-workers as possible.

Let Teams Do Their Thing

The best way to make a team work efficiently is to…actually let them be a team. Of course, you may wish to oversee things in your role as manager, but for the most people you should be adopting a hands off approach. Teams are productive because the individual players of the team are less afraid to mess up compared with when they’re working alone, and your constant watching may inhibit this. Instead, give them as much space as possible. If they tell you that they might work best in one particular environment, then let them work there. To create a good team, your job is to give them the resources to succeed and then let them do it.

Rewarding The Success

It is a two way street. If a team does manage to work well and produces results that exceed your expectations, make sure they’re rewarded for their efforts. Sending a team of employees for a day of fun or a meal is a great way to let them know that they’ve done a good job – and it’ll also further cement their bond, which will pay off in the future when you assign the same team another task. The victory that they have achieved should benefit everyone: the company, you, and them as individuals and a team.  

Profitable Startups: Do They Exist?

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The sad truth about the business world is that it’s full of naysayers telling you that most startups will fail. They believe that newcomers to industries don’t have what it takes to offer innovative products and services that consumers want to buy. Of course, we all know that there’s plenty of room for innovation in each niche market.

With that in mind, there is one question that would-be entrepreneurs ask themselves: do startups actually build profitable businesses? In a word, yes! Believe it or not, many of the top name brands that you know today started from humble beginnings. They also had radical ideas that transformed how we live and work.

By now, you might be wondering what the “secrets” are to starting a successful new business. Well, it turns out there isn’t anything secretive that successful startups do; it just all boils down to common sense and practical thinking. Still unsure? Here’s what you need to know:

Successful entrepreneurs stick to what they know

There’s always the draw of moving into a new niche that promises lucrative returns to those that invest in it. The trouble with such an approach is that you will have little to no experience of that other sector. Having good business sense is one thing, but knowing lots of information about your chosen industry is another.

When you’re new to a niche market, you have to spend some time working in it, understanding how it works, and what drives consumers to spend their money. Some startups assume that they can “pick things up” as they go along. Sadly, that can often result in an expensive concept and one that could effectively kill their new businesses!

The need for keeping costs down

Anyone that runs a profitable business will tell you that there is a great need to keep operating costs down. Doing so enables you to maximize your profit potential, of course! As you can appreciate, many startups seldom have plenty of cash to invest in their new enterprises. Many will even need to borrow money to pay for certain expenses such as machinery and professional tools.

A successful startup is one that finds a way to keep their costs down to the bare minimum. The good news is that it’s easier than you think to lower your startup costs without compromising on the quality or level of service that you offer to your customers.

Here are a few examples:

Outsource where possible. There is no need to do everything in-house yourself. There are only so many hours in the day where you can get things done.

If you do about five different jobs in your startup, things will begin to suffer as a result. Outsourcing makes it easy to delegate tasks without the need to hire employees.

Look at ways to make what you do more efficient. Let’s say that your startup sells physical products and ships them out to customers. If you knew where those items get stored in your warehouse, you could dispatch your stock quicker, thus increasing the amount of orders you can fulfill each day.

There are many ways to make a warehouse area more efficient. For instance, you could invest in some galvanized pallet racking systems from places like RedSteelmh.com. Or have a conveyor solution installed to move products quickly from one side of your stores area to another.

Only hire employees on a freelance or contract basis. One of the biggest costs to any startup is the hiring of staff. If you haven’t already, you will soon discover that employees cost a lot of money – and I’m not just talking about their salaries! A good way to get around that conundrum is by hiring them on a freelance basis. In essence, they work for you as another business, invoicing you when they’ve completed their work.

Another advantage of hiring contractors is there’s no requirement to keep them employed on a permanent basis. It’s perfect if you need help on a project-by-project basis and can’t guarantee there will always be work for them to do.

Have the right attitude

You can do all the cost-cutting in the world to keep your startup expenses down. But, if you don’t have the right entrepreneurial mindset, you won’t achieve your objective of becoming and staying profitable. That’s why it is crucial that you have the right attitude towards your business.

All too often, you see would-be entrepreneurs come up with all kinds of innovative ideas and even get to the point of starting businesses around them. Sadly, their startups don’t survive for very long because they don’t have the right attitude in business.

Whether people like to admit it or not, one needs to be somewhat strict and even ruthless in the business world. Sure, being professional and courteous to your clients is one thing. But, your job is to persuade them to spend their money with you and not a competitor. If you’re the sort of friendly person that bends over backward to give people free help and advice, they will keep coming to you for it. However, they will seldom spend any money with you!

Don’t assume the dream can always be reality

Another aspect of having the right attitude in business is knowing when to quit chasing an idea. Sometimes, entrepreneurs will find that their concept or innovation for the market isn’t turnout out how they expected it. Throwing money at an unprofitable venture is akin to chucking cash out of your window! It makes sense to stop, step back, and determine what changes you need to make.

Even if you have a brilliant idea, it could be that your target audience just isn’t ready for it yet. Sometimes, it can take a while for consumers to get used to doing things differently. One example of that is using the Internet from a mobile phone! Take a look at this post over at Quora.com to find out how to determine if the market is ready for your products or services.

Well, I hope you have found today’s blog post insightful and useful. Thank you for reading it.

Office Adjustments – Why Your Business Needs to Invest in Monitor Arms

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These days, everyone wants to have one of those cool, modern office made popular by tech companies. While that’s not practical or affordable for most businesses, there are small changes you can make, no matter how big or small your office is, that will bring a modern vibe into your office space while also improving the way your employees work.

One way to modernize your workstations is by using monitor arms.

Whether it’s a single screen or a dual monitor mount, your employees will love the comfort and versatility of these handy computer accessories. Monitor arms let your employees make their workstation their own and help to accommodate a variety of tasks and circumstances.

Save space

By lifting your monitor off your desk, the monitor arm creates more space and reduces clutter. The desk becomes easier to use during the day because you utilize your desk space and easier to clean later without a bulky monitor in the way collecting dust. Employees will appreciate the opportunity to keep more personal items on their desk and have a more productive workspace.

Reduce glare

Natural light is a welcome addition to any room, until an afternoon glare hits your screen. Glare can be distracting and hurt your eyes, and with a traditional monitor stand, you’re pretty limited in your ability to avoid it. With a monitor arm, you can move your screen in any direction to avoid the glare and get back to enjoying the natural light.

Rotation

A traditional monitor stand pretty much gives you one option to view your screen: a landscape view. However, depending on what tasks you’re trying to do, it might be more useful to have your monitor flipped to a portrait view or even flat parallel to your desk. With a monitor arm, you can flip your screen any way you want with minimal effort. If you have a dual monitor arm you can even have multiple screen views!

Compliment a standing desk

The ergonomic benefits of a standing desk are widely known and are becoming adopted more and more in offices everywhere. But standing desks aren’t a one stop fix. A monitor arm takes the benefits of a standing desk even further by providing more specific screen adjust-ability. A standing desk allows you to adjust the height of your desk, but if your screen is stuck at a certain angle or position, your desk height will only do so much.

Improves posture

Like a standing desk, a monitor arm works to improve your posture.

By bringing your screen into your line of site, instead of taking your line of site to the screen, you are able to reduce back and neck pain. This is particularly true if you use a laptop as a second screen. Looking down at a screen puts pressure on your neck and upper back. Using a dual monitor arm with a laptop attachment is a great way to fix this.

 

Hide the cables

 

With all the technology that surrounds us throughout our days, it can sometimes seem like we’re constantly plagued by a tangle of cords, whether it’s the various lamps and chargers on our nightstand or all the unidentifiable cables that somehow keep our workstations together. Monitor arms help to consolidate and hide those cables on your desk through various hooks that hold them to the arm and direct them neatly below your desk.

 

Accessability

On top of the many benefits monitor arms have in everyday situations, they can also be helpful in meeting special requirements for employees. Multiple arm attachments allow for multiple user scenarios, while adjustability can solve common problems for those with injuries, bad eyesight or to accommodate an aging workforce.
Monitor arms have such a wide range of benefits that they make a solid investment for any office. While you may not be renovating to look like Google anytime soon, installing monitor arms bring a modern touch your employees will notice.

Streamline Your Business Now

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Business owners are generally always looking for a way to improve the way that the business is run. Something which is probably always on your mind as a business owner is how to make it so that your business is running as efficiently as possible. This incorporates a number of different things. For a start, you need to know that you are not overspending on anything you shouldn’t be spending on. You also have to make sure that all your internal processes are as streamlined as possible, meaning that they are designed in such a way so as to not be at all wasteful. This way your business is much more likely to carry on for a long time in the best way possible.

Reduce Usage

The most important rule in keeping a business streamlined is to make sure that you are doing everything you can to reduce usage. This applies to anything that you might use as part of the everyday process of running the business. A good example is the use of paper. If you make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of paper you use, then this will make a huge difference to how streamlined your business is on the whole. This can seem like a difficult thing to achieve, but with the right focus it is actually pretty straightforward. All you need to do is to make sure that you are only using paper when absolutely necessary, and for all else use digital records. This will make a huge difference and is relatively easy to implement.

Storage Solutions

For what you do need to store, it makes sense to try and find a solution which is going to help you out in terms of space. The space in your building is vital as an aspect of streamlining, as it can be used for a number of things. The trick is to ensure that you are using it in the best way possible. That way, your business will be operating at a much more effective level on the whole. There are many storage solutions you might want to consider. You could use an outsourced record storage services to keep your records somewhere which is both off-site but secure. Or you might decide to hold your servers in another building, so that you can both improve security and keep your business running sharp.

Empower Employees

As with anything else in business, the more your employees know, the better that they will be able to help you out. If you are serious about streamlining, therefore, you need to make sure that you are happy to share with your colleagues exactly what you are trying to achieve. Let them know all about what streamlining is and what your actual goals are for the business. If you really want them to work wonders for your business, then you could consider giving people individual personal goals in line with the overarching goals. When you put people in charge of a certain area in this way, it really helps to empower them and improve your business in one fell swoop.