What You Need To Start An Online Store

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One of the big advantages of starting an eCommerce business is the relative ease compared to opening a brick-and-mortar store. The lower costs and easier launch are a big part of the reason that online stores are becoming much more popular (alongside the fact that more people are shopping at them, too.) However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need some prep work in there. Here are a few steps that you need to complete before your online store is ready to go.

The plan to succeed

The very first thing that you need is a decent idea of what your store is, and what it’s going to sell. You may already have an idea in mind but consider to yourself if there is a niche that you could potentially hit based on location and products. Of course, this idea needs to be supported by a target audience that is likely to support it. Do your research with services like those found here, and start putting together a business plan. Calculate the costs of setting up your business and consider how much you’re going to have to earn to keep it profitable, and see if the existing target market can sustain it.

The website itself

Naturally, you’re going to need the website that you conduct your business through. There are various website builders that can help you quickly launch a basic site. You need pages to help users navigate, as well as pages for each of the products. The details of each of these pages matter, such as features that users can use to narrow down the products that they are browsing through, as well as high-quality product images and concise but detailed descriptions to help sell relevant products to each customer. The branding and visuals of the website are going to play a huge role in how effective it is, as well. While you can build websites relatively easily after learning how to use the various builders out there, it is usually worth investing a little extra in the visual elements to give it a unique look.

The logistics behind it

The first question about how you’re actually going to get products to those you sell to is how you’re going to get the products in the first place. You may be manufacturing your own products, but if not, then you need to find suppliers that are willing to sell them to you at a reduced cost (and often in bulk.) Some of these suppliers may be willing to keep those items in storage so that you can sell them, but otherwise, you also need to consider how you’re going to store them and deliver them. Fulfillment services can help take care of these needs for you at the start, but most stores may want to eventually expand to the point that they can take care of these processes internally.

Getting ready to take payments

Before you start selling anything, you need to make sure that you are ready and able to take payments. It might not be crucial but it’s widely recommended that you get a business bank account for your store, rather than sending money directly to your personal bank account. This can make it easier to keep organized books and file your taxes properly. Otherwise, you may want to sign up here for a merchant account, as well as looking at payment platforms such as PayPal. If you don’t set up payment methods ahead of the launch, there will be very few ways you can actually sell your products.

Start spreading the word

One of the few downsides of starting a store online, compared to in the physical world, is that you don’t have that visual front of the store to attract customers who are walking past. A business that isn’t marketed well online may as well be invisible. Setting up an advertising budget is one, but advertising is not always enough. You need to work to spread the message of your store, setting it up on social media and taking advantage of relevant trends. Most importantly, you need to work to keep your existing customers happy so that they are more likely to spread word of mouth about your store, convincing others to come and try it out, as well.

With the steps above, you should be ready to get your online store going. There are different models that might have somewhat different set-ups, such as drop shipping which doesn’t require you to purchase any of the goods that you sell at all, so it’s worth looking in more detail at what kind of store you want to run.

Signs that Now is the Time for you to Become an Entrepreneur

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If you are thinking about starting a business, then you should know that a lot of other people are in the same situation as you right now. In fact, 540,000 people choose to start a business in the United States every single month. That being said, not all of them will make it. 80% of businesses fail in the very first year alone, and only half of them survive for five years or longer. If you want to make sure that your business is as successful as it can be, then this guide will help you to find out if now is the right time for you to be taking that next step.

You have a Great Team in Place

Starting a business up with a partner or even a team of professionals can come with its benefits. People who tend to start a business on their own tend to take around 4 times longer to reach the same level as someone who started up with a partner. If you are starting a business with your partner, then you have to make sure that your skills and your experience complement one another. If you start out with someone who is just as experienced as you with the same skillset, then this won’t be doing you any favors at all.

You have a Good Support System

Starting a business can be exhilarating but at the same time, it can be exhausting. You can easily set yourself up for success by simply making sure that you have a good support system. You are far more likely to succeed if you know that you have people who are 100% behind you. You also need to make sure that you are able to connect with other business owners as well. They can understand what you are going through, and they can also help you to build your network far more than you realize.

You’re in Good Shape, Financially

The most common source of money when it comes to starting a business would be for you to use your family or your friends. If you don’t have enough money to get your business started then you need to try and scale back your plans or you need to try and find financing from somewhere else. Running out of cash is the second biggest reason why businesses fail, so make sure that you are debt-free and that you have a good credit score. You might also want to make sure that you have a good support network of people who can help you out if required. Making sure that you qualify for a loan beforehand will also help you greatly down the line. Remember you need to get a startup pitch deck if you want to attract investors.

You have a Business Plan

Think about it, what’s your business model? How are you going to make money from your idea? At the end of the day, your business plan will spell out who is going to buy your product, what it is you’re going to sell and even how much profit you are going to make and more. If you are very serious about making a business, then you have to make sure that you spend a few weeks writing your plan if possible.

Key Steps to Take Before a Business Renovation

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Renovating your business delivers some excellent benefits. You can ensure you keep your business up to date, give it a new image, and make it the best place for your employees and customers to be. Before you begin a renovation of your business, whether it’s a store, office, or factory floor, you need to make sure that you’re well-prepared. Renovations can get messy and disrupt your business, so planning everything well before you get started is vital. When you’re planning a renovation for your business, take the following steps to get everything on track and avoid any serious mistakes.

Get Quotes and Surveys

A renovation needs to start with a good plan. Before any work can be done, you need to find the right people to do the job, as well as check that what you want is possible. This will start with having people come to survey the site and give you quotes for what you want to change. You might need to get several professionals for the projects, from builders to a plumber or commercial electrician. You might hire one service who can do it all for you. This might mean they have their own team or they might use subcontractors to get it done.

Warn Customers and Employees

A business renovation is likely to disrupt your business at least somewhat. Even if the renovation is contained to one area, it can cause a lot of noise and other problems, such as dust. It’s smart to warn your customers and your employees that there will be work taking place but that you will be doing everything possible to minimize its disruption. Of course, this is especially important if you’re thinking of closing the business while renovations are taking place. This can make sense if it helps to make the renovations quicker.

Create a Clear Schedule

Starting a business renovation with no idea of when it’s going to end isn’t a good idea. You should know when certain tasks are supposed to be finished and when everything is going to be wrapped up so your business can continue as normal. Not only is this necessary to save time and money, but it also allows you to keep your customers and employees informed about what’s happening. Creating a clear schedule for your renovation project will ensure it’s organized and that everything goes off without a hitch.

Ensure Work Can Be Carried Out Safely

Safety needs to be a top priority when carrying out renovations in your business, especially if there will be customers or employees around while renovations take place. It’s something to think about before your renovation project begins. How are you going to keep everyone safe? What steps will your contractors take to ensure safety while they’re working? Be sure that you’re properly insured during your renovation project so that if anything does happen, you’ll be fully covered.

Before your business renovation begins, take the time to get everything in place and make sure you’re well-prepared for both organization and safety.

So You Decided To Start a Business… Now What?

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It is easier than ever to start a business. Most businesses find their beginnings online, while others choose the brick and mortar lifestyle. Some businesses start life as part of a franchise or startup

2020 saw around 804,000 new businesses celebrate their first birthday in the United States, according to Statista Research Department, and over 600,000 small businesses open their doors every month. You’ve just decided to add to that. So, you’ve decided to start a business, now what? 

Picking Your Business

This seems simple to say, but picking the type of business you want is important because you want a business with a lot of staying power. Only 50% of startups make it past the 5-year mark, with only 33% crossing that 10-year line. So, choosing a business that embodies your passion and has the staying power you need to keep your business going is something you need to really consider. 

Make a Business Plan

Whether your business is online or a physical store, it helps to know what you want your business to offer the public. A business plan can help you to see if your business idea makes sense, help with sales and marketing, identify any problems and how you might overcome them, and much much more. It can also show possible investors or small loan services that you have a concrete idea of where and what you want your business to be, improving your chances of getting capital for your company.

Think about Market Research

If your business idea revolves around selling a product, market research can help you discover whether your chosen audience is right for your product. Similarly, if you’re looking for the right product or industry for your business, market research can lead you in the right direction.

Keep on top of recent Industry Trends.

No matter what industry you want to focus on for your business, keeping up with the latest trends and news within that industry can help you keep business relevant for returning and new customers. It can also act as inspiration for your business, especially when it comes to market research. 

Think about Marketing 

This is a big one. For every business, marketing is essential. 61% of businesses pay for digital marketing every year, and only 50% of small businesses pay 10k or less for their marketing. It’s safe to say that it is very important. It’s a way for your customers, audience, readers, etc., to see your business and pick it out from the crowd. Without marketing, your business is invisible, so ensuring that you have the right marketing tools at your disposal is so important. You can use online marketing tools and resources, such as marketing agencies, social media, GoogleMyBusiness and other tools to make sure your customers find your business. If you have the money, marketing agencies are a great help. If you don’t, social media marketing is for you.

Utilize Online Resources 

For some businesses, especially if they are online, money might not be an option, at least when you’re starting out. Fortunately, many online resources can help ensure that you can get your business on its feet and running until you start gaining revenue. There are even online courses that can help to teach you how to start a business. For instance, if you’re looking at starting a coaching business, you can use an online coaching business course to learn the fundamentals. Online courses are not only a great way to learn more about business development and management but are flexible enough to fit your schedule. 

Look into Small Business Loans 

Finally, think about funding and financial resources. Most banks offer small business loans, and private business loan lenders can provide you with as little as $1000. With the growing interest in starting a business, small business loans have become the best option for gaining startup capital. However, for online businesses, banks are not the only option anymore. Crowdfunding has become an excellent alternative method of gaining capital for a business or product. Sites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GofundMe and Patron offer online businesses a way to turn their audience, customers, and clients into investors. 

Conclusion

So, whether you’ve just decided to start or business or you’re just looking at what is needed to get started, know that there are many different resources available online that you may find helpful. These are just a few tips to point you in the right direction and get your business up and running, and now the rest is up to you.

Franchise or Start-Up?

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The franchise industry turns over billions of dollars a year. Buying into a franchise can offer a new business owner some support and stability, but it can be more expensive to do this rather than launch a business of your own. As a start-up, you will be able to control your own business, and reap some huge rewards for your hard work. Whichever route you go down, there’s a lot of research that needs to be done to find out what opportunity there is and whether it’s a worthwhile investment. The right option will depend on your business style, business acumen and the type of person you are.

Franchise Vs Start-Up

If you decide to buy into a franchise, it’s likely to be a bigger investment than starting up on your own. This is because the franchise will share an initial fee for you get started with them. The advantage is that a franchise has a lower risk of failure, and the franchise might help you secure the funds to get started. You will need to keep paying royalties to keep your franchise, but you will keep getting support too for things like advertisement costs and the reassurance of a known brand. 

When you start a business on your own, you need a business plan to get any investment. If you can’t secure a big investment, you can get started using loans or credit cards. Whatever you need to do to get started and keep your business afloat in the early days, you will need to make sure that you also have a long-term plan in place, so your business can continue to grow and doesn’t falter in the early stages. 

Support

One of the big advantages of buying into a franchise is the strong support network that comes with it. Some big franchise, such as Auto Repair Franchises, give their new starters a few weeks of training, with time spent in a classroom learning the brand and time spent in existing franchise sites learning more about the business. The other advantage is that you also have operational processes and links with suppliers already in place through the franchise. You will be looked after from the beginning. The downside of buying into a franchise is that you won’t have the freedom to try anything new or build partnerships on your own. 

If you decide to start your own business, you will be able to make all your own decisions at every stage of the journey. This will take hard work and a lot of knowledge, but if you have a great idea for a business, you will probably want to shape it yourself and watch it grow. By what support is available to start-up businesses? Good business is good for the economy, so look into government schemes that offer funding, advice, and support. There are lots of websites, forums, and books out there that can offer lots of valuable advice that can guide you through the process of starting your own business.

5 High Growth Investment Ideas For Growing Your Cash Fast

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There are lots of investment strategies that you can use for growing your cash slowly and steadily. But what if you want to grow your cash quickly? High growth investment options can be a lot more risky but they could allow you to reach your investment goals more quickly. Below are a few different ways to make a fast return on your cash.

Growth stocks

When investing in stocks, many people like to stick to well-established and dependable companies such as Coca Cola, Starbucks and Berkshire Hathaway. Such companies tend to grow steadily year-on-year, however it’s more likely to be a slower long-term investment.

Growth stocks can provide a much faster return. They tend to be newer companies within the tech sector or green energy sector. You may be able to double to even triple your money in a year by investing in these companies. However, such stocks are a lot riskier – they can fall just as fast as they can rise. Popular growth stocks include Zoom, Tesla and Square. This guide offers a few more examples.

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency. Popular examples include Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. These currencies have only been around for just over a decade and in that time have seen huge rises in value. In fact, if you’d invested $100 into Bitcoin back in 2010, you’d now have close to $48 million.

Investing in crypto has been making many people rich fast. However, cryptocurrencies are incredibly volatile – they can rise or fall dramatically and such fluctuations are hard to predict. There’s no guarantee that Bitcoin won’t lose most of its value in the next 10 years, however it could also continue it’s meteoric rise. You can click here to learn more about investing in Bitcoin. It’s worth diversifying and trying a few different cryptocurrencies to spread the risk. 

Real estate

If you’ve got a lot of money to invest upfront, real estate could be an option. This could include buying property or buying land.

Property flipping is one of the fastest and most effective ways to make a return on real estate. This involves buying a cheap property in poor condition, renovating it and then selling it for a profit. Many experienced property flippers are able to make an 80% return. Of course, there are risks attached, which are definitely worth reading into before you pursue this form of investment.

Do be aware that if you are buying a home, you need to be prepared for all the costs that are included such as the down payment and any additional fees. The best way to handle this is to make sure that you look into seller concessions. These can ensure that it’s far easier to manage the costs.

Forex

Forex trading involves buying and selling real world currencies. Because currencies are constantly rising and falling in value, it’s often possible to buy a currency on the rise and sell it for a profit.

It’s possible to make big returns by investing in forex, however this usually involves buying and pairing fairly unstable currencies or taking more risks. For example, events like elections may cause currency values to rise or fall dramatically depending on the result – some forex investors will try to predict the results, investing in currency beforehand in the hope that it then rises. 

Start a business

Starting a business is one of the most hands-on forms of investment that you can make. However, if you choose the right industry and know what you’re doing, it can be one of the most secure and fastest ways to make a return. Consider whether launching a startup could be the investment strategy for you.

When Is It Time To Be The Boss?

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The dream? The dream is to be the boss of a successful and fulfilling company that makes money and doesn’t have to worry about pleasing or appeasing others. 

The reality might be different. As an employee, you’re always working for somebody else and improving their bottom line, no matter how high up the ladder you climb. Of course, you want to make a move, but you don’t know when or how.

The latter is something you’ll learn in the future. Firstly, you must recognize the time to strike. Here are four signs that you are ready to be a boss.

You’ve Had A Taste And Want More

There’s no doubt that certain jobs are full of freedom and independence. Whether you get to decide your work schedule or don’t have a boss breathing down your neck, you’ll love the fact that you’re quasi in charge. Sure, marketing jobs may require you to report to a line manager now and then, yet mostly, you get to ride around in your car with a slogan on the side and the open road as your office. If you love these aspects of your current position, it highlights your desire to push for the career traits that you only find in management roles.

Climbing The Ladder Isn’t Satisfying

Previously, you loved nothing more than attempting to climb the corporate ladder and reach the top of the organization. Currently, the idea isn’t as fulfilling. There’s a lot of jumping through hoops, and you’re beginning to realize that you don’t get much in return. Plus, are the extra responsibilities and pay bump worth the hours you have to put in once you get promoted? According to the statistics, the answer is a firm no. Around 43% of the workforce is freelance or self-employed because they don’t subscribe to the traditional methods of working. The gig economy means you can be a leader.

You Adopt A Work Persona

In the office, it’s not rare for people to have a work persona. This is a character that you play because it helps you to be successful. It has nothing to do with who you are, yet it’s what employers and peers want to see, so you do it regardless. Unfortunately, not only is pretending to be somebody else stressful, but it’s also unproductive. As a boss, you can be who you want to be, and accept your workers for who they are, as you set the tone.

The Itch Can’t Be Scratched

You’ve tried to remove the thought from your mind, yet it won’t go away. You’re not alone as more than 60% of Americans want to own a business at some point in their careers. And, lots of them are realizing their dreams as they move out of corporate America and into the self-employment arena. Please don’t push your feelings down and keep them bottled up. If you experience an emotion strongly, you must listen to it.

Otherwise, you’ll miss the opportunity to do something fulfilling. Isn’t that scary?

Four Signs That You Need to Start Hiring Specialists in Your Business

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Starting your own business can be a breeze if you know where to start. The internet has an infinite library of resources to search through and learn from, and there are plenty of services that can help you establish a professional online presence in just a couple of days. With so many easy ways to start a business, it’s no wonder that more and more people are looking to start their own small business as an alternate career path or secondary source of income.

However, while starting up a business has never been easier, it introduces another problem; competition.

Now that there are more startups than ever, it’s getting hard to stand out from the crowd. In fact, most new startups crumble after a couple of months since they fail to get customers and set expectations that are far too unrealistic. So in this post, we’re going to talk about four signs that you need to take it slow and start hiring professional assistance to grow your business.

  1. There are areas of your business that need to grow, but you’re not sure how

There are always going to be certain areas of your business that you just don’t understand very well. For example, you might have a grasp on how to be a great leader and delegate to improve productivity, but that’s not going to help in terms of marketing. If you feel like there are certain weaknesses in your business, then it’s a good idea to hire a specialist to fill that gap.

  1. You’re having trouble sourcing for a particular thing in your business

While a lot of new startups are completely focused on net-based business models, there are still plenty of companies that rely on a physical workspace and specialized machines. This could include anything from a floating roof tank for petroleum storage to a heat press for a t-shirt printing business. If you have certain types of equipment that are far too old or complex for you to understand, hiring a specialist is the smartest thing to do.

  1. Your business has become incredibly inefficient over the past few weeks or months

It’s usually quite easy to spot inefficiencies. Perhaps your team isn’t meeting quotas, maybe they’re always distracted or perhaps they’re taking much longer on simple tasks than you would’ve expected. If you feel that your team has grown inefficient over the past few weeks or months, then you may need to start hiring specialists to grow the team, educate your current staff and grow your business.

  1. You keep losing and hiring staff, costing you incredible amounts of money

A lot of people don’t realize that firing and hiring staff is expensive. That’s why a lot of companies focus on trying to retain their employees by hiring specialists that know what they’re doing. While highly skilled, they also demand higher salaries for their expertise. However, this increased cost pales in comparison to the cost of firing, re-hiring and retaining someone from scratch.

Starting a Small Business the Millennial Way

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By now, you’ve probably heard the trope that millennials can’t afford anything valuable on their own, be it a car or a house. While there is some truth to this, there’s no denying the massive business potential millennials have. This passionate, collaborative generation has come of age in a most exciting time, mainly one where the formerly-reigning baby boomers are beginning to close up shop–literally.

As the baby boomers begin to enter their golden years, a question of the small business owners among this group is going to transition out of ownership. A 2016 survey shows that 54% of small business owners in the United States plan to close their business in the next ten years. This number comes on top of the 72% who have no real exit plan for closing, which leaves a big question as to who will take their places.

However, what looks like an impending economic crisis is a surprisingly serendipitous business opportunity. One of today’s rising entrepreneurial trends is millennials buying baby boomer-owned businesses. The exciting thing is there are a few massive advantages to this.

First, let’s set the record straight about this fascinating generation of youngsters. Financially, they’re a bit hit and miss. Among all the living generations, millennials are most likely to default on a credit card, with 3.6% of millennial credit card accounts are delinquent 90 days or more. However, millennials also have the most commercial and consumer credit reports available out of all the generations. These comprehensive credit reports can work to millennials’ advantage when looking to buy a small business.

Furthermore, millennials are much more diverse than their predecessors. For example, 87% of baby boomers who acquired small businesses identified as White, compared to a much lower 48% among millennials. This increasing diversity means millennial business owners will be able to appeal to a broader demographic, especially among typically-underrepresented ethnicities like Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and African-Americans. A more diverse and inclusive market is likely to produce substantial economic results.

But it’s hard to deny that the prospect of starting a business from the ground up is overwhelming for someone of any age. If you’re a millennial who wants to step into the business world with relative security, consider buying a baby boomer-owned small business. For a generation as saddled with debt as millennials, buying an already-established business usually means you won’t have to worry about any more outstanding debts. Moreover, an established company likely has the reputation, credibility, and proven business models that most startups can’t match in their early days. A bonus is that the old owner will usually advise you and teach you how to run a small business, specifically theirs so that you can make fewer missteps and keep boosting your revenue.

If this business venture sounds promising to you, you’re in good company. Many websites now exist to show companies available for purchase, so you’ll never be in short supply of an opportunity. Just make sure to research all companies extensively, meet face to face with the owners to get a better idea of how you two will gel, and of course, don’t sign that dotted line until you’re sure you have the resources and motivation to give it your best shot.