Tips that will Help you to Start and Succeed with your Own Business

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Starting a company for the very first time can be a daunting experience. You may feel as though you are prepared for what lies ahead, but at the same time, you don’t want to go into debt and fail should something go wrong. This is understandable but with these tips, you can be sure to come out on top without any problems at all.

Be Passionate About What You Do

You have to be passionate about what you do. You don’t need to love every single aspect of starting a business, in fact, you probably won’t, but you do need to have some passion. You will need to devote a lot of time to your company if you want to turn it into a successful enterprise. It doesn’t even matter what type of business you want to start either, whether it’s creating pottery, providing financial advice or even running a fishing charter because you will need to completely commit yourself. If you are not sure if you can do this then starting a business might not be an option for you.

Start while you are Employed

It’s vital that you start your company while you are still employed. A lot of people cannot live without money for very long, so you need to make sure that you transition well. If you are able to start your business while you are still employed, then this will mean that you are constantly funding your wallet, and this can really work in your favor. You also need to make sure that you are able to keep up with your monthly payments for your living expenditure during your start-up phase, and not leaving your job too early is the best way for you to do this.

Don’t Go At It Alone

You need to make sure that you have a support system while you are starting up your business. A family member or even a friend can help you here, and they can also advise you when you need to bounce around ideas too. When you are starting a business, you also need to make sure that you have experienced guidance. This is the best support system overall, so find someone who can mentor you in your industry and also make sure that you are being given the opportunity to learn from someone who has been through the start-up process already.

Get Clients First

Don’t wait until you have started your business before you begin lining up clients. If you do this then there is a high chance that your company will not survive. Spend some time in the commonplace of your market and also do your best to connect with people over social media. The more you can do this, the more likely you are to come out on top and the more profit you can make. You can never start marketing your company too soon, so keep this in mind if you can.

Write a Business Plan

If you do not have a solid business plan then you won’t get very far at all. This is a key step when forming your company. Your business plan will provide you with a huge range of information and it will also help you to understand the operational needs of your company. The main reason why you should start forming a plan is because it can help you to avoid wasting your time if you come across a disaster that could have been avoided. It’s vital that you include any expenses in your plan too, such as whether or not you need industrial water tanks or even equipment.

Do your Research

You will need to do a lot of research if you want to write a business plan. That being said, you also need to make sure that you research the other aspects of your company too. You need to make sure that you are an expert when it comes to your industry, your products and also your services too. If you can make yourself stand out here, then this will really work in your favor and you may even find that you are able to stay informed on other aspects of your market too.

Seek Professional Help

It’s stated above that when you start a business, you need to make sure that you are an expert in your industry. That being said, you don’t need to be an expert at everything. At the end of the day, you are not an accountant and you are not a bookkeeper either. You will waste far more time and money by trying to do absolutely everything yourself. This is especially the case if you are not qualified.

Get your Money Sorted

Traditional lenders don’t tend to like new ideas or even start-ups in general. They also don’t like to give money to a new business who might not have a track record. If you want to get around this then you need to save up first and you also need to approach investors wisely. Work out your financial fall-back plan as this will help you to make sure that you do not end up hitting any snags while you are trying to build your company overall.

Be Professional

You have to make sure that you are professional right from the get-go. You need to be professional about the way that you do business and you also need to convey to others that you are very serious about the business you run. You need to have some quality business cards and you also need to have a business email address too. Most importantly, it’s vital that you are able to conduct yourself in a very professional manner too. If you don’t then this could end up working against you and this is the last thing that you need.

Get Legal

It’s vital that you get all of your taxes and your legal work sorted out as soon as possible. It’s far more difficult for you to fix a mess after. You need to find out if your business has to be registered and you also need to find out if you need to pay VAT. Some businesses will even require indemnity insurance, so look into this as well.

Learning Your Industry: How To Strengthen Your Business Plan

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At the heart of every great business lies a well researched and executed business plan. There are no quick routes into success and developing a highly detailed strategy from conception to birth of your company will ensure you have the best foundations for longevity and profitability. 

Your business plan should include several sections, and it is common for a plan to be up to 50 pages long. Think of this as your bible. It will guide you through every part of the company, including the financials. 

You’ll start with a summary. Up to four pages that illustrate what is included in the plan. You’ll then move on to an overview of your business. This will include a description of your services or products followed by the legal structure, the type of business, location and the means of doing business. You’ll highlight whether you will be internet-based or will have an office or store. 

When it comes to your operations plan, you have to understand how your business will function on a daily basis. This means researching the set up of the company and what responsibilities you have over everyday tasks and logistics. You need to get to the heart of how your company will operate and work out every detail that is involved in the day to day business. This should cover everything from production to delivery.

At this point, you will move to market analysis. Here you give an overview of the market, and you need to know your target market inside out. It pays to research the industry you are in to gain a more in-depth insight into where the market is strong or weak. You can use resources like beverage industry statistics or retail sales forecasts to back up your analysis. The deeper you dig into the market, the better you will know it, and the stronger your foundations will become. 

As you work your way through your plan from products and services to sales and marketing, you will start to see how viable your business is. Some people get halfway through a business plan and realize that the idea was great, but the concept wouldn’t be sustainable financially. Maybe the technology doesn’t exist yet to make their product competitive or affordable. This is why the first step to starting a business always begins with a thorough plan. If things stop making sense as you work your way through, then it could be time to stop and reassess. 

The make or break for most businesses is their financial plan and projections. This is the final part of your business plan and will cover all the income and outgoings from staff costs to sales projections. To get the best financial forecast, you should invest in an independent financial planner. They will ensure you have covered every element of your industry and can find your options for lending or even grants and interest-free start-up loans. 

Strengthen your business with a robust plan by learning your industry inside out. Once you have this, you’ll have everything you need to succeed.

Building a Business Around What You Are Passionate About

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For a variety of reasons we can choose to stay within our comfort zones when it comes to our careers. We can stick to being an employee and working for someone else, even if it is something that doesn’t really appeal to us. Being good at something is safe, but really, being passionate about something and working doing something that you’re passionate about is going to give you a much better work and life balance, and give you a career that you love

In terms of business, working doing something that we love can be a risk, rather than going for something tried and tested. Were the people that created an app like Uber passionate about driving other people around, or was it just seen as a business idea that could work? Although there is success with proven business models, it is even better if you have passion for what you are doing. Without making an attempt to follow dreams and unlock your potential, will you ever feel fulfilled in your career? Although it can feel daunting, here are some things to help.

Establish your vision

The first things to do are to decide on what your vision is. It will be at the heart of your business, so you need to be clear on it. Think about what you want your business to do, where your passions are, and then the plans can go from there. 

Do your research

When you have a rough idea of what you want to do, you need to make plans to check what would be possible. Is there demand for your business, or would you be taking something already established, but just putting a twist on it? Looking out for any potential risks is important too, so you’re planning ahead and will know how best to manage them.

Think about finances

With your research you will have a good idea about what kind of costs you will be looking at. Will all you need be a small amount to get a website or app up and running, or would you be looking at more to buy equipment like a box corer, for example? Although you won’t be specific at this stage, having an idea of what you will need, and where you might get it from can help.

Create a plan

How are you going to execute your plans and the goals that you have? You aren’t going to make it a reality without a clear plan about what you are looking at and how you will get there. Having a strategic plan behind your business is a must, as well as having it be adaptable and measurable. Being able to be flexible and change things as and when you need to is important, as well as being measurable so you can motor how things are going. Having the plan be digestible is important too, so that it can be intuitive and compelling, which is going to be important when you have a team of employees.

The Tech Stairway To Success

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Building success is the ultimate purchase of every single company. Success means growth, in size, in numbers, and reputation. However, what success is made of is a different kettle of fish. What does a business need to achieve its goal? There is no simple answer. At the core of it, a company needs great assets that can support its growth. Your assets are the foundation upon which you can build your success. People, of course, play a significant role in your strategy. Your capital investment is detrimental to enabling high-return campaigns. But nothing is as vital as your technology. Technology in the 21st century business environment is the quickest path to growth and success. Here’s why it matters:

Your business plan should focus on tech

First and foremost, it is impossible nowadays to imagine a company that doesn’t maximize its tech tools and solutions. What this means at a company level is that you can’t leave IT and cyber tech management as an afterthought. It is the responsibility of leaders and directors to put technology back into the driving seat of the company – you can find dedicated executive leadership training for CISOs to help you understand how to build your strategy around cyber growth. Indeed, innovative processes and market alignment require strategic tech integration. In an era where technology has become the only answer to the increased need for environmentally-friendly, safe, and cost-saving approaches, you have to let it drive your business forward. 

Your tech presence affects your brand image

Your business choices define your brand. In the eye of the audience, your technology decisions affect your branding identity. Indeed, your customers are savvy. They compare their favorite brands and the way they interact with each of them. It’s fair to say that a brand that lacks tech support fails not only to reflect your identity but also to meet the market demand. 

It’s your best protection against online threats

Small businesses are a cyber criminal’s favorite target. Indeed, while large companies are more likely to have sturdy safety protocols in place, SMEs, on the other hand, are more vulnerable. In 2018, 67% of SMEs in the UK and the US fell victim of a cyberattack. In most cases, data breach incidents were the result of negligence. For businesses, it makes no doubt that cybercrimes can have a devastating impact on day-to-day processes, such as wasting time, money, and losing your credibility as an expert. Investing in dedicated tech strategies that can shield your company is a priority. 

Your customers expect better tech services

Customers are naturally lazy. They want to sort out their issues as smoothly and efficiently as possible. And frictionless customer service implies excellent tech solutions. Indeed, face-to-face videos such as a video voicemail can not only enhance communication but also boost your customer relationship. Indeed, your customers want better, quicker, and more personal interactions with their favorite brands. Putting technology at the center of your communications allows you to meet the expectations of a new generation of tech-savvy customers. 

Technology is not the purpose of growth, but it is its means. Indeed, at an age where the market is buzzing with smart tech hubs and cyber activities, companies have to engage strategically with the innovative tools and solutions around them. Your use of technology can make or break your business.

 

Your Step By Step Guide to Running a Successful Small Business

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Have you been dreaming of setting up your own business and being your own boss? Making the leap from employed to self-employed can be a daunting prospect, as well as incredibly exciting. 

Launching a new small business isn’t all about becoming an overnight success; it is about building something that will stand the test of time. Taking a long term approach and breaking down the individual elements needed to make your business succeed will ensure you take care of everything you need to.

Make a Plan

Making a plan may be the last thing you want to do when you are passionate about getting started and launching your business. However, if you are in it for the long term, it is better to develop a proper business plan, before diving into the unknown. 

Pulling together a business plan doesn’t need to be boring, think of it as planning your first steps on your brand new journey. Having a business plan means that you have a tangible document to refer back to when you need it. At times, you will probably feel uncertain about your business and the direction it takes. Having a business plan means that you can monitor your progress, and reconnect with your goals to keep you on the right track.

Start it Small and Simple

Even if you are launching a business in an industry you are familiar with; it is useful to start small. Being in charge of every aspect of a company will feel entirely different from being employed, so giving yourself time to adjust is essential.

Don’t get started on the wrong foot by overextending your finances to fund your new venture. Instead, be realistic about what you can achieve while familiarizing yourself with your new role as a business owner. Putting extra stress on yourself with a sizable financial burden is going to bring considerable pressure onto both you and your fledgling business.

Take your time to establish your business, before committing to large monthly bills, and you will create a much stronger foundation to build it on.

A mistake that many business owners make is to quit their day job and take on a lease for expensive business premises, and a costly work vehicle. Both of these may feel like a great idea, but you may regret it when you are paying for lots of extra space that you aren’t using. A better solution is to let your business premises and equipment expand in line with your business. This steadier approach enables you to adapt to your business’ current needs without a substantial financial burden weighing you down.

Call in the Professionals

When you run a business, there are various practical elements to consider, and lots of paperwork to sort out too. Having the right level of insurance cover for your business is vital. No one knows what the future holds, so being prepared for anything that life throws at you, can give you some added peace of mind. Business insurance experts such as https://www.krywolt.com/ can help you to determine the right level, and type of insurance cover your small business needs.

Managing the financial side of your business so that you pay the correct taxes and keep track of your business expenditure is a must. Hiring an accountant can help you to keep your business finances in order, and gives you one less thing to worry about. 

Being busy fulfilling customer orders may mean you don’t have time to stay on top of all the admin that comes with being in charge of a company. Trying to juggle everything yourself can leave you feeling incredibly stressed. The problem many businesses face is needing extra help, but not being able to afford it. Using a virtual assistant service means that you get the benefits of someone helping with your workload, without the need to recruit an employee. Typically, virtual assistants are paid by the hour. As they are not your employee, there is no need to worry about extra costs such as holiday pay, or pension contributions.

There are specialist virtual assistants available that can bring expert knowledge to your business, such as marketing, PR, and specific IT skills. Other virtual assistants are admin whizzes that will sort out your inbox, arrange your business travel, and answer the phone for you. 

Outsourcing some aspects of your work to a virtual assistant can help you to free up some time and focus on other parts of your business.

Build a Brand

One thing to bear in mind when launching your company is that you are building a brand. Your brand may not seem like an important consideration at the moment when your business is only just launching. However, now is the perfect time to start working on your brand. Building up brand recognition to create a strong brand identity takes time, so the earlier you get started, the better.

Creating a brand from scratch may seem like a daunting prospect, but it is not as complicated as it sounds. To get started, think about your brand identity, what do you want your business to stand for, and where will you position yourself in the market? Will your products represent good value, or will you be a luxury brand? Think about your unique selling proposition and how you will differentiate your brand from competing brands.

Once you have decided on your brand values and market position, you can begin thinking about the visual elements of your brand, such as your logo. 

Marketing Your Business

Very few new small businesses have a big advertising budget if any budget at all. Don’t worry if you don’t have the spare money for paid for advertising; there are plenty of other ways to get your business noticed.

Regardless of your marketing budget, having a marketing plan is a good idea. Your marketing plan will help you to establish what you need to achieve from your marketing efforts. Make sure that you set SMART goals for marketing objectives. This will give you the opportunity to measure your marketing goals and see what can be improved for the future. Your marketing priorities are likely to change over time, but for the first year of trading are likely to be focused on raising brand awareness.

Don’t forget to check out how your competitor’s market themselves. This will help you to make sure that you differentiate your brand from theirs, and don’t get lost in the crowd.

Online Presence

Think your business is too small to need a website? Think again! All companies nowadays need an online presence. You don’t need to spend thousands on a website, but it does need to be well-designed and professional. Having a website is essential, but having a bad website is worse than no website at all. Many customers make the internet their first port of call when researching a product or service. This means that your website will form their first impression of your company, so you want to get it right. People that research products online are likely also to check out your competitors too, so you will need to make your business stands out for the right reasons. Make sure that the content on your website is relevant, meaningful, and useful for visitors. Your content should be written in a tone of voice which reflects your brand personality. Doing this will ensure that your website accurately reflects your business and what it represents.

Don’t forget to use social media to heighten your online presence. Whether you love social media or hate it, it is a useful tool to connect with people when used in the right way. Using social media to promote your business can be a time-consuming process, so it is best to plan a strategy as part of your marketing plan. Consider who your target market is and then think about which social media platforms they would use the most. As with your website, make sure that the content you post is relevant and useful, and crucially, is written in a tone of voice in keeping with your brand’s personality.

Assess and Refine

Once your business is up and running, you will probably find yourself rushed off your feet, while you are busy establishing yourself. Amid the busyness of the day to day running of your company, it is useful to stop and assess your progress now and then. 

Assessing your business reasonably regularly means that you can refer back to your business plan to see how you are performing against it. This will enable you to make adjustments to the running of your company as and when needed.

Assessing your progress means examining lots of results. This includes feedback from customers, how much money you are making versus running costs, and how much footfall you are receiving. Examining and comparing this combination of data over time should help you to gain a firm understanding of your business, and how you can steer it to even greater success in the future.

Everything You Need To Do To Set Up Your Own Law Firm

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So, you’ve just graduated from law school – congratulations! Right now you are probably thinking about how you can put your qualifications to good use. Well, you have two main options. You could go and work for an already established law firm, or you might prefer to become your own boss and set up your own. These days, lots of newly graduated lawyers are choosing the latter option as they like the idea of being their own boss and only working on projects that they choose.

Whether you are completely new to the legal industry or have already been working in a law firm for a number of years, you might have no idea of how to go about setting up your own company. Here are a few things you need to do in order to set up your very own law firm.

Write A Business Plan

You won’t get very far with your firm if you don’t have a business plan in place. This plan gives you the chance to set out your ideas and to write down how you will finance your new firm. It’s also worth setting yourself a few goals and targets to try to hit within the first few years of operating the firm. These should help you to aim high and make it a huge success.

Start Your Marketing

The only way you are going to attract any clients to your firm is by using some very engaging marketing campaigns. As a lawyer, you probably won’t have any marketing experience or knowledge, so it’s best to get in touch with the likes of Elite Lawyer Management so that you can outsource this to someone who knows exactly what they are talking about. It’s best to start marketing your firm at least a month before it is fully set up. That way, you can get some clients on your books for when you do launch.

Figure Out Your Niche

Every law firm has its very own niche, so you will need to figure out what your specialism will be as well. Do you want to work in family law? Business law? Or perhaps your interests lie more in property and estate law? Once you know what your niche is going to be, you can then start to tailor your firm so that it appeals to clients in this specific sector.

Hire A Team Of Employees

There is just no way you will be able to fun a law firm on your own, no matter how qualified or experienced you may be. So, you will need to start recruiting for some employees to help you out. You might be able to carry on with being the only legal expert in the firm for the first year or two to keep costs down, but you will certainly need a receptionist or assistant to help you with all the admin.

Hopefully, all of these tips will help you set your own successful law firm up. Good luck with it!

3 Things That Could Curtail Your Career As An Entrepreneur

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So, you’ve decided that 2019 is going to be your year. This will be the year in which you shake off the shackles of employment and smash the glass ceiling that has restricted your ambitions for too long. This is the year in which you’re finally going to go into business for yourself. You’ve already started formulating your business plan, costing up your cash flow projections and carrying out some rudimentary market research. You’ve started making appointments with mentors and business angels and it’s looking increasingly like this germ of an idea you doodled in your margin on a particularly frustrating work day might just be a viable business endeavor.

This is an exciting time, but it’s also kind of scary. After all, you’ll be venturing into uncharted territory and the decisions you make in your first year of trading will have far-reaching and long-lasting repercussions for your nascent business and your personal life.

Watch out for these potential threats that could curtail your entrepreneurial career even before it’s begun…

Burnout

Long hours and a punishing schedule are to be expected for new entrepreneurs but even those in the early stages of running a business deserve at least a semblance of work life balance. Entrepreneurial burnout is a real problem and can have disastrous consequences both for your business and your personal life. Burnout can impair your judgment, make you less able to make even simple decisions and make you short tempered and emotionally volatile.

If you’re to avoid burning out it’s vital that you take sufficient time away from your business and find positive ways to manage your stress.

Trying to keep it all in house

When starting out you’ll likely have a clear idea for your operational parameters. You’ll want to do things your way as this will be at the core of what makes your brand and your business stand out from your competitors. And while this is certainly admirable, be wary of keeping everything in-house. Not only can it put unnecessary pressure on you and your employees it may not even be the most cost efficient way of operating.

Entrusting certain areas of your operation to outsourced service providers can save you time, effort and money without compromising what makes your business unique. Click here to read more if you’re curious about what outsourced service providers can do for you.

Borrowing more than you need

The last thing your business needs is for its cash flow to be inhibited by a millstone of debt. By all means borrow enough to allow you to do what you do as well as possible but be wary of excessive borrowing.

Your cash flow will be one of the most important deciding factors in whether or not your business stays afloat. It will determine your ability to pay your vendors and your employees on time or be able to afford the kinds of capital investments that will facilitate your growth.

The more you borrow, the more your monthly business loan repayments are likely to chip away at your profit margins and make your cash flow harder to manage.

One of the finest lines you’ll have to walk is investing sufficiently in your business while also keeping your overheads manageable.

Steer clear of these common threats, however, and business success is within your grasp!