Gaping Flaws In Your Business Plan That Require Immediate Action

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If you think that you’ve got your business plan sorted, then think again. Entrepreneurs have a habit of believing that they have got all bases covered, only to later realize they haven’t when disaster strikes. 

As in matters of health, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So if you can get the jump on the gaping flaws in your business plan ahead of time, you’re much more likely to succeed in the long-term. 

But what are these flaws that most founders miss? And how can you address them? 

You Don’t Know How You’ll Scale

Sure, you might have a great product and plenty of talented people on your team, but if you don’t have a plan for how you’ll scale your business, you’ll eventually hit a wall. 

Scaling is more complex than many business owners imagine. If your enterprise is small right now, there’s a good chance that you’re not yet profitable. You need to shift a certain number of units to break even and only then will you start gaining the kind of traction you want. 

Finding scalable solutions, though, is hard. You might, for instance, be doing alright with in-house fulfillment at the moment, but ultimately you need to find a partner who can enable you to shift thousands or perhaps millions of units. 

The same applies to your IT provider and your accountant. They might be great for small quantities of work, but as your business becomes larger and more complex, they could start to fail you. 

You Haven’t Got Your Security In Check

When you first start a business, security is not at the forefront of your mind. The main task is to make money – and fast.

But neglecting to think about commercial alarm systems can land you in hot water. The moment that opportunistic criminals get wind of your business, they’ll start looking for weaknesses. And when they strike, they could take everything, including your data. 

Setting up an alarm and other deterrents, though, is easy. You just budget for the work and then contract it out. There’s usually no need to dedicate significant admin time to it. 

You Don’t Have A People Plan

Startup founders tend to believe that everyone has the same attitude towards their businesses as they do. They assume that regular employees have exceedingly high levels of commitment to the cause and that they will give up their personal lives to see that the company succeeds. 

That’s not how it works in practice, though. Most workers don’t share your enthusiasm for the business. And, unlike you, they’re unwilling to give up their evenings and weekends to ensure that it succeeds. 

What are you supposed to do in this situation? The trick is to have a “people plan.” This document accepts that regular rank and file in your organization don’t have the same kind of commitment to the cause as you do, and spells out how you’ll use them wisely. You don’t want them rage-quitting your startup just as you’re getting going because of long hours or poor conditions.

10 Recession-Proof Startup Ideas

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When it comes to starting a new business, you will no doubt want to choose an industry or niche that has the best possible chance of making a profit. While most business ideas fall under that category, one thing that entrepreneurs don’t always consider is the economy. What happens when there’s a new economic recession? Will your new business survive and make it to the other end unscathed, or will it crash and burn?

As you can appreciate, few people want to have a business that will fail during the first sign of economic doom and gloom. So, with that in mind, if you’re thinking of starting a new business venture soon, take a look at these ten recession-proof startup ideas for some inspiration:

1. Accounting Services

There is no denying that service industry businesses are less likely to fail during an economic downturn. One such example is accounting services. If you’ve got previous experience of working for an accountancy firm, and you hold some relevant degrees and qualifications, an accounting services startup business is a great idea.

Why does such a business niche make sense? The answer is simple: most businesses need a professional to manage their accounting and file the right returns with their local or regional tax offices!

2. Construction Products

Did you know that even during a recession, the construction industry is still turning a profit? That’s because there will always be a need for new homes, commercial and industrial premises. Plus, there’s always a demand for property renovations and refits. As you might imagine, such service companies rely on building construction products to facilitate the development of new properties or the improvement of existing ones.

So, why should you set up a business supplying those firms with the raw materials and tools they need to get their projects completed? You’ll never have any “quiet” periods because you are supplying essential products.

3. Bulk Food Wholesaler

When people need to purchase groceries, they will usually do so at their local supermarket. But, when those supermarkets or similar businesses need some stock to fill their shelves, they will often buy from a food wholesaler. As a bulk food wholesaler, your business will help to supply those other businesses with the food products they need for retail consumers.

It won’t just be local and regional stores that will buy their food products in bulk from you. Other businesses and organizations will also do that to keep food available for cafes, event catering, and food market stalls, to name a few examples.

4. Debt Collection Agency

Do you have previous experience in a credit control environment? If so, another example of a recession-proof startup idea is a debt collection agency. As the name suggests, their job is to work on behalf of their clients (other businesses) that are owed money from their customers.

There are many reasons why customers may not pay their bills on time (or even at all). As a debt collection agency, part of your job description is to be a detective and find those customers and request payment for your clients.

5. Auto Shop

Even amid a recession, individuals and businesses still need to have their vehicles maintained. As most people don’t have the skill or inclination to service and repair their cars and trucks, they’ll pay an auto shop to do the work for them.

To start an auto shop, it makes sense to lease an industrial unit that offers plenty of space for vehicle storage and repair. You will, of course, need to invest in the tools and equipment to work on each customer’s vehicle. But, those costs will soon get recovered – even when there is a dire economic outlook in the country.

6. Virtual Assistant

Are you looking for a recession-proof startup business idea that you can run from home? If so, a perfect idea for you is a virtual assistant business! In a nutshell, you would remotely provide business support services to your clients. Examples of the types of services you could offer include call answering, mail scanning, and forwarding, data entry, and even marketing.

You can provide administrative support to individuals like CEOs, entrepreneurs, or even for whole businesses. What’s more, you can work with more than one client simultaneously so that you’ve never got any unpaid idle time.

7. Virtual Tutor

Another startup business niche you can do remotely is virtual tuition. Put simply, a virtual tutor is someone that provides tuition services to students via video conferencing software such as Skype or Facebook Messenger. You can also offer your services via email, text message, and social media.

It’s a brilliant recession-proof business startup idea for those with a strong educational background. What’s more, it gives you flexibility in that you can fit your work around your lifestyle.

8. Security

The sad truth about today’s society is that crime is always prevalent, even in areas where people might consider low or even no-crime zones. As such, individuals, established businesses and organizations wish to take steps to protect their properties and assets. One excellent way to solve that problem is by hiring private security contractors.

As a security company, you’ll provide the resources to help secure the properties and tangible assets your clients expect you to protect. There will always be a need for private security contractors, especially in tough economic times where people, through sheer desperation, turn to a life of crime to pay their bills.

9. Thrift Store

Most individuals, both in deprived areas and otherwise, are always looking at ways to make their money stretch further. One way to do so is by browsing thrift stores for cheap secondhand goods like clothing, electronics, and children’s toys.

While some thrift stores are run by charities, others get operated by entrepreneurs that also seek to make a contribution to their local communities.

10. Website Design

Last, but not least, another work-from-home startup idea that is recession-proof is website design. One of the biggest advantages of such a business is you can target a global audience from the comfort of your home. Even if your home country is in the midst of a recession, you can target clients in more stable areas of the world for custom.

Good luck!

Millennial Entrepreneurs Beware: How to Keep Your Company’s Data Secure

Study Finds Millennials Most at Risk For Online Scams– Here’s What You Can Do About It

If you had to guess which demographics were most vulnerable to online tech-support scams, who would it be? A recent survey by tech giant Microsoft yielded some surprising results. According to security expert Juan Hardoy, Millennials and Gen Z-ers are among the most likely to fall for online scams. Researchers suggest that Millennials’ overall tech savviness may lead them to feel overly secure online, leading them to engage in riskier online behaviors than older generations.

As a millennial entrepreneur, keeping your (and your company’s) data secure is absolutely essential. What can you do to make sure your data stays secure?

  • Call in the IT experts to make sure your company is protected
  • Follow basic online best practices

Millennial entrepreneurs have a lot on their plates– managed IT services can help make sure data security doesn’t fall through the cracks.

Managed IT Services are the Easiest Way to Keep Your Information Secure

As an entrepreneur, you have to budget for products and services carefully, which typically means anything you can do yourself doesn’t make the cut. When it comes to your data security, it’s best not to take any chances.

Hiring an IT company that provides managed IT services takes the issue of security off your plate. Rather than trying your best to get it right in the limited time you have to spend on data security (because let’s face it– an entrepreneur’s schedule is jam packed), you’ll have IT experts on hand to identify potential risks before they slow you down as well as deal with any issues that may occur.

It saves time and gives you greater peace of mind– what more could you ask for?

The cybersecurity basics are the basics for a reason– these simple strategies go a long way towards keeping your data secure.

Get Back to the Cybersecurity Basics

You’ve been hearing the basics of cyber security since you were a kid learning about technology in “computer class.” There’s a reason for that– taking a few basic data security precautions can go a long way towards keeping your information secure.

In addition to bringing in IT experts, make sure you’re following these best practices:

  • Actually change your password. Unless they’re forced to, most people don’t change their passwords as often as they should. Make sure each of your passwords is strong (contains a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols) and is totally unique. That means no repeats! I know, I know… it’s a pain. But it’s worth it.
  • Back it up. Make sure all of your data is backed up regularly so that, if something were to happen to your information, you could minimize the damage done to your productivity.

Keep an eye on your devices. Your entire professional life can be accessed from your work desktop, your laptop, and even the tiny supercomputer in your pocket. Make sure all of your devices are password protected, and never leave them unattended while you’re logged in.

Don’t let online scams get in the way of your company’s growth. Follow these tips and keep your company’s data secure.

Just because Millennials and Gen-Zers are more likely to fall prey to online scams doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to unsecured data. Millennial entrepreneurs can easily protect their data by hiring an IT company and following a few simple best practices for data security.

What do you do to keep your company’s data secure? Leave a comment and let us know!

What An Employee Wants, What An Employee Needs…

christina-aguilera-

Enter Christina Aguilera…just kidding.

There’s two ways to look at this scenario: through the eyes of an employee or the mind of an employer. The good news is the answer is the same.

Treat employees like entrepreneurs.

Employees want to feel valued. Give them objectives, but let them choose how to accomplish them. Coach them through the process, but ultimately give them freedom how to complete their assigned tasks.

Employers tend to micromanage. It’s more generational than anything else. It’s how they were taught, so they do the same. The reason flex time is valued by workers is because life outside of work is more important. That doesn’t mean you have to offer work remotely, it just means treat employees like people first, not workers.

Millennials are the most entrepreneurial generation in history. All aspire to be entrepreneurs, even if they never make the jump. As an employer, your best retention tool is to treat them like intrapreneurs. You want workers to take ownership and responsibility, so give it to them. Have consequences if they don’t finish the job, but it’s better to give trust initially then respond accordingly to the results.

Entrepreneurship should be available to all. What do you think?