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.

Take Your Business In The Right Direction

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Starting out in business can be nerve racking, and especially when you’re on your own you may feel as if you don’t really have anyone to lean on and nowhere to turn for those first few months. It can be an exciting prospect for anybody but if you’re starting out as a blogger, you could start to look online and read other blogs to start to get a feel about what you need to do. Social media is a great place to start to get help and there are ways to market your business this way also. Business courses are another wonderful way to start learning the rudiments of business and also get on top of your finances to see what you may need to look into when starting up new. If you have to pay for the courses, look for ones that you really align with and will be of the most benefit to you and your career.

If you’re working from home, it may be slightly easier because you are not having any additional worries of premises renting or any additional bills. However, if you have a premises and a team in place then you probably want to look at getting your staff organized and keeping on top of your routine and your workload. You always want to keep your staff members happy, and this can be difficult when you’re starting out as there are always teething problems. Ensuring you have excellent communication with your staff is key otherwise you will find that this company starts to become difficult to maintain. 

First impressions always count, so make sure you are friendly, professional and outgoing; nobody wants to work with someone who isn’t any of these things, so being kind and helpful will ensure you keep your clients! 

Keep on top of your account books and make sure you are always keeping on top of your outgoings and incomings, because this is how you will be able to look back and see what needs to be changed, and if you need to inject money into any other areas and if you are losing money, why and where!  Make sure you are aware of all the pensions and insurance that you will need and ensure that your staff are working to their potential by identifying them if needs be and keeping on top of their needs also.

You will soon be growing and will then be able to analyze month by month what is working and what isn’t. It may take a year for you to earn good money or even two years but this doesn’t always look good to lenders or banks if your business doesn’t do well in year two. Success is achievable with a lot of determination and support behind you to so be sure to keep a positive mindset and remember that if you are passionate about what you do then you certainly will start to reap the rewards of it. Keep on top of things and keep going!

The Business Aspects That May Require The Most Attention In Your Biz

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Starting up a business is something that many people would love the opportunity to do. They want to get to a stage where they feel passionate about something they do each day, and the control that being their own boss gives them. Starting up will be overwhelming, and there is often a lot of plates to spin. But you will get to the stage where the idea has come into fruition and you are ready to move the business forward. However, there will be aspects of the business that you may forget about. So here is a quick reminder to help you keep the dream on track.

Keep a close eye on cash flow

Cash flow in and out of your business may be something that you might not have much experience, but it is an essential area of the business to keep it moving forward. The aim is to stay in the black and not have any debts around you. But often not having the right level of insight on this area can cause you to make errors with forecasts and profit projections. Take time to be aware of funds going in and out, and also be mindful of payment windows. Some of which you can take advantage of, others will also take advantage of it as you await money coming in. Outsourcing your accounts can help to take the pressure off this are for you as a business leader. 

Think about your website

These days you have to be aware how much is done online, and your website is one area that you can’t afford to make mistakes with. You only have to look at your own habits to understand that you go online for a lot. So it may be time to ensure that you give your full attention to your website. Ensuring that the pages load up quickly. All images are quality and not pixelated. Things like stock levels are up to date with the correct pricing and also taking into account SEO so that you are driving traffic to your website from search engines. 

A business blog may be beneficial 

Another thing to consider might be to set up a business blog that runs alongside your website. This can also create more chances of using things like SEO to help drive traffic to your main website and ecommerce page. You could look at having experienced writers create engaging content for the blog, as there are affordable blog writing services for your business that you could consider. This can help you to also share other information relevant to your customers, such as knowledge of the industry or the latest offers. It can even translate into social media posts as another thing to share through those platforms. 

Social media engagement and responses 

Finally, you may want to think about how you engage and use your social media platforms. You may have a strategy in place in terms of content, but if you fail to respond to comments or direct messages then it could be all to waste. 

Let’s hope this has given you something to think about when it comes to the business aspects that require your attention

Thinking Of Starting Your Own Business? Be Sure To Steer The Ship Away From These Icebergs!

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For many of us, especially the millennial generation, climbing the career ladder can be inherently frustrating. When young people emerge from the world of education and enter the world of work, they often find that the assumed truths on which they were raised wither under the lights of experience. The hard work and endeavor they’ve been conditioned to believe would live to success and fortune are barely enough to get them on the bottom rung. In an era where graduates outnumber vacancies, undergraduates are often being trained for jobs that don’t actually exist. Thus, bright and talented individuals can spend years wasting away in cubicles while their skills atrophy. Is it any wonder that entrepreneurship is an increasingly attractive to young people?

For a number of reasons, millennials make great entrepreneurs. Nonetheless, starting a business, even one with relatively low startup costs is a risky business. If you wish to set sail on the path of business ownership, be sure to steer the ship away from the following icebergs…

Lack of market research

When you have an idea for a business that you’re passionate and excited about, it’s easy to assume that everyone will share your passion. But even if your business mentors, business angels, prospective vendors and everyone else you show your business plan to get excited about your business… Unfortunately, this doesn’t necessarily mean that consumers will.

This is why your business plan needs to be backed by meticulous market research. The qualitative and quantitative data you glean from this can allow you to refine your idea to ensure that it resonates with your target market. If you don’t take the needs of your consumers into account, you can’t expect them to get excited about your brand.

Crippling startup costs

In a lot of ways, applying for startup funding is like applying for a mortgage. Just because you can borrow a certain amount doesn’t mean you should. Securing business startup funding can be tricky and if you are allowed to borrow a large amount you may well be tempted to go for the maximum possible amount you can for the betterment of your business. But this can hobble your new startup with debt.

The repayments and interest rates can place a stranglehold on your cash flow, meaning that it can take years for your business to become profitable.

Under investing

While new entrepreneurs do well to be conscious of the purse strings, they should also be wary of under investing. Under investment in your business can curtail the quality of your products or services and make your life a whole lot harder. If you under invest in outsourced help, you can find yourself doing too much by yourself  and this is a recipe for burnout.

Don’t be afraid to invest in managed IT services like as these are usually much cheaper than managing your own IT infrastructure. Likewise outsourced HR and digital marketing can also generate significant returns on your investment.

Assuming your customers’ loyalty

Finally, as dangerous as it is to assume “if you build it they will come”, it’s even more dangerous to assume that they will come back. It costs a great deal more to attract a new customer than to retain existing customers. Make sure that you offer a rewards system or loyalty scheme that incentivizes customers to return to you rather than taking a chance on your competitors.

Top Tips On Changing Career in Your Later Years

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No matter where you are in the world, there is a rather high chance that you do not find work the most riveting activity. You might even be unhappy about it, which is nothing out of the ordinary nowadays. Employees who are unhappy with their position or job outnumber the happy employees by two to one according to a recent study. That in itself is a staggering amount of miserable, especially in a scenario which is so ubiquitous to everyday life. If you do not start making a change now, then no one will do it for you. Life is full of opportunities, and changing workplace, moving onto greener pastures, is nowhere near as impossible as some make it out to be.

With that out of the way, let’s look at some ways in which you could work on switching careers, past your initial school phase of life.

Start a business

If you’ve had enough of working the 9-5 then perhaps starting a business is right for you. There are many opportunities to enter the world of business, including retail ideas, professional services, and franchises that offer everything from mosquito control business opportunities to opening your own fast-food joint. This career change can be inspiring; however, it doesn’t come without challenges, and you’ll have to consider finances, planning, and marketing before leaping in.

Go back to college

Since the issue is becoming more and more known around the world, universities aimed more at adults have been popping up all over the place as of late. They often boast of somewhat flexible attending times and are set up in a way in which you can easily attend in whatever schedules work for you. Working full time and don’t have time to participate during the day? Come in after work during the evenings! Working part-time and want to attend during your days off? That could most probably also be arranged. Getting educated during adulthood has never been easier, and if you want to transform your life during your downtime, then there is no better time than now. The path towards a career you’ve always dreamed of could be a mere few phone calls away, and stalling is not going to help anyone at this point, so it’s better to get interested sooner rather than later.

Re-train with an apprenticeship

For some people, getting into an evening college course or something along those lines is not an option. Maybe due to the lack of money in the first place, being unable to pay school fees and whatnot, but perhaps just due to the fact that they have rent to pay next week, and cannot allow themselves for much downtime. Perhaps, despite the flexible hours, you just could not work out a schedule, which would work in the long run. This is the moment where you should consider getting a placement as an apprentice and getting interested in apprenticeships for employers.

Being an apprentice often carries some sort of stigma, being related to essentially making coffee or tea for the employees while you run around doing menial tasks for less than minimum wage. Now while this is not entirely wrong, and it certainly has happened to some people in the past, times are changing, and being an apprentice carries a bit more weight nowadays. If you’re lucky, you can find an apprenticeship with an actual full wage, even if minimum, but surely still enough to pay the rent. You may not be able to splash the cash like a madman for the time being, but this is virtually guaranteeing you a foot in the door to your desired field, which is worth considerably more in the long run.

Create the perfect CV and covering letter

If you don’t have a chance to impress in person, your CV should be your trump card. This seemingly innocuous piece of paper or Word document stands between you and the opportunity to get that dream job, so it has to do the business. Focus on using your CV to demonstrate and showcase your skills and think of it as a pitch. Imagine you’re on The Apprentice and think about how you’re going to use words to convince the person reading them that you are the best candidate. Keep things brief and concise, and highlight your strengths.

Consider how you can use your CV to make you stand out. Have you invested time in developing your skills thanks to courses from external providers? Do you speak different languages or have you worked abroad? Do you volunteer or have you traveled the world? Have you got additional qualifications that aren’t mentioned on the job description or have you completed placements or gained experience in environments, which could further your cause? Put yourself in an employer’s shoes and see if you’d be impressed by what’s in front of you.

Many organizations ask for a cover letter. Your letter should be punchy and to the point. Don’t ramble or repeat yourself. Explain who you are, why you’re applying, and what you feel you could bring to the role. Tailor the letter to the type of position and the company to which you’re applying. If the job is creative by nature, you can be a little more imaginative and original with your letter, but if not, it’s best to stick to a traditional, more formal template.

If you’ve been asked to respond to questions as part of the application process, plan your answer first. Look at the word count, break down the question into parts and answer each bit, backing up your statements with examples and case studies. You could link to a portfolio of your work, for example. Make sure your responses are clear, relevant, and well thought out. Don’t waffle to fill the space or go over the same subject time and time again. Create a logical answer that responds to every element of the question and showcases you in your best light. Before you hit the send button, always check your spelling and grammar.

These are just some of the things you can do to make a top career change in adulthood. You don’t have to be stuck in a dead end job for the rest of your life, and there’s a world of opportunities just waiting to be explored to help you build a successful and exciting career that you’ll love for years to come.

Making Savvy Decisions Within Your Business: The Tools That You Have

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Starting your business will not have been an easy decision to make. You will have had to think about all sorts of different avenues and aspects in order to feel confident with such a life change. You may have been comfortable in your job, perhaps not loving it, but certain with job security and a constituent wage. To go from that security to nothing can be very overwhelming. Taking the plunge is huge, but the decisions don’t stop there. Once you have your business up and running everything falls on you.

Whether you need to decide about products or services you supply, how you sell, your branding, your marketing, and who your hire, these can be just some of the decisions that you need to make on a daily basis. It is enough to even bother the most entrepreneurial among you. So what can you do? There are things you can do, change and habits you can develop that can help lead you on the path to making savvy decisions within your business. Here are some of the things that you could try.

How you start your morning at home

Sometimes the way you start your day can have a huge impact on the rest of it. You stump your toe for example, and you don’t let it go, could mean a knock on effect for other negative things to happen during the day. If you start your day in a positive way, then things can have a much better effect. But, how do you do it? It could be some simple changes that you make that could have a big impact. For example, getting up earlier and exercising so that you get your body moving right away. Having a nutritious breakfast and taking the time to enjoy it. It might be settling down to enjoy a coffee and listening to headlines or information relating to business. For example, the Alexa home device could be programmed with things such as to give you business trends and headlines specific to your business. This could give you the heads up you need for the rest of the day, and any decisions you need to make. This could also work with listening to podcasts and radio shows.

Being productive on the commute into work

If you commute to work on public transport, then this is a golden opportunity to get information and to be more aware of what is going on. You could read the newspaper, read a magazine, or documents and articles specific to your business remit. Or you could listen to it instead, perhaps even a podcast all about positivity and feeling confident in yourself. Helping you to be more sure of yourself when you are faced with difficult decisions. If you drive to work, you can use this as an opportunity to listen to things that will have a positive impact on you.

Keeping a line of communication open with staff

Having a business is one thing, but when you have staff and employees working towards the same goal, it is important for you to keep the lines of communication open with them. As a leader, you will be in charge of what is going on, but you will also want to be approachable in terms of people wanting to discuss things with you. After all, what they want to discuss may affect the business in some way. There will be some members of staff that you need their opinions from in order to make some of the decisions that you could be faced with, so keeping these lines of communication open will help you get relevant information you need freely and quickly.

Being open to suggestions and advice

The hardest thing an entrepreneur or business leader has to do is listen to outside information on something, their business, where they feel they are the experts in their field. You created the business, so surely you know all there is to know. That can be true in some sense, but that doesn’t mean that outside opinions, critiques and suggestions can’t be beneficial to make more improvements and to drive the business forward. Always be open to these things, as the next golden nugget of information could come from and outside source.

Taking regular breaks away from your desk and phone

Making decisions and running a business is tiring, and draining, so even though you are in charge, it is important for you take regular breaks away from your desk and your phone. This will help you to clear your mind a little, and then perhaps make wiser choices and decisions with a fresh outlook. It might simply be walking to the shop for a coffee or water, or just getting outside for five minutes of fresh air before returning to your desk to carry on.

Keeping a close eye on trends

Decisions can only be made well if you have all of the facts, so it is always going to be worthwhile to stay ahead of the curve and keep a close eye on changing trend sin your business area, but also in areas of business that could affect you in some way. This could be trade, accounting, tax or specific to your business. Knowing all of the facts will help you to make more informed decisions.

Networking with like-minded people at events

It can often be a lonely place running a business, so networking events where you are talking to like-minded people can be hugely beneficial to you. You can bounce ideas of people, talk about different market trends and things that are going on. Sometimes doing this can help you to get a more centered approach to a decision that you need to make within your business.

Taking time to think about your decisions

Finally, as tempting as it may be, try and not rush any big decisions that you need to make. Sometimes talking an extra few minutes to consider all of your options will either solidify your choice, or raise another option that could be worth exploring.

Let’s hope that these tips and suggestions help you to make savvy decisions within your business.

Get Ahead With These Unique Business Ideas

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Starting a business is by no means easy, but sometimes the hardest thing is to work out what you want to do. If it’s not something you have a real passion for, but you have a head for business and know how to make a business work then perhaps an on-trend idea could be just for you. Most of them are a lot of fun and make you think about where society is heading and what might be the next big thing to jump on and be there in the thick of it when it takes off. Some of the best ideas are the most simple, and you wonder why no one thought of it before.

Zero Waste Supermarket

Today, people are increasingly concerned about resources and how much is was in the food packaging process. Cardboard, plastic, styrofoam and twist ties are often not recycled, leading to environmental waste. Zero Waste shops are popping up in various places now with a unique solution, offering convenient and straightforward alternatives to single-use plastic products. At these shops, you can usually fill any container you like as long as it is clean and will fit on the scales! Not only will you be cutting down on plastic but you will also cut down on food wastage because you will take the amount you need.

A Lifting Business

Something you might not have thought of but plenty of businesses need it. You could start with slab lifting which is an economical alternative to complete concrete replacement, whether it’s a simple sidewalk repair or providing a cost-effective remedy for an entire building foundation.

If you want to corner the market in this potentially profitable business, begin by scoping out a specialized area, such as residential, commercial, or civic/municipal. Check out if you need a full-sized slab lifting rig or maybe just the portable PolyBadger lifting system? Have a look at an established company such as Ranger; they have been going for years and experts in their field, so their website is full of nuggets and ideas for you to give you some inspiration.

Broken Dolls Hospital

It’s not as freaky as it sounds, but there is a demand. Where people think that the next generation just has thrown things away instead of trying to fix them, this has also meant that toy manufacturers are creating cheaper dolls these days. There are also some fantastic quality toys and dolls which are hard to come by, but with a little TLC they can be like new – and if no one you know still wants them, you could sell them for a pretty penny.

Renting Working Space

Technology has made it possible for people to do their jobs and run their businesses from anywhere. As workers are also increasingly looking for flexible working hours, it means that companies don’t have to invest in their own office space. There are now some very successful companies which provide office space for people who don’t have an office. Offering flexible month-to-month membership options for everyone from individual freelancers to large companies, it allows freelancers who prefer to work outside of their homes to have a more reliable workspace than spending the day in a coffee shop. It also means that companies and other teams can have a place to collaborate and hold meetings and events.

Friends To Partners

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Thinking of going into business with a friend or colleague? You’ll be feeling a mixture of excitement and fear at the prospect but perhaps too a little trepidation about how a business partnership might affect your friendship with the other party.

In this guide we take a look at some of the issues you might face setting up as a duo and how to overcome the most common problems.

Assigning roles

The reason you work so well together is because you both bring different skills to the table. Before you go into business together, those unsaid skills are going to have to be made concrete, written down and divided up. You will need to decide who is responsible for what element and which elements you’ll be working on together.

Any disputes at this stage should be easily resolved before you launch. Have a business plan drawn up, which effectively acts as an agreement between the two of you. You’ll be sure to review this document as the business moves forward, checking and re-evaluating your goals and objectives and how you are both working to achieve them.

Legal footing

You’ll need to make sure you have any legal agreements around your business clearly and quickly drawn up.

Make sure your business is properly registered for tax and has had all your trading clearances agreed. Find a lawyer you trust to oversee any legal documentation you need to draw up and to be your business litigation lawyer later down the line if need be.

Remember your values

You started off as friends and you need to remember that this is the core of your relationship. Make sure your relationship can stand the rigors of business together and that you can properly separate business from your personal relationship.

Continue to check in with each other as friends regularly and to make sure that you’re not putting your friendship under any undue strain.

Make sure you speak face-to-face at least once a day, particularly as business takes off, to make sure you’re still pulling together and to iron out any issues before they become real problems.

It might be that you think in much the same way or have two very different approaches. Learn to listen to each other and judge each idea on its own merit and not through the lens of how you would normally do things.

Running a business partnership can be daunting and there will be a lot of paperwork and working practices to sort out before you even begin trading. The great news is that you will have your friend next to you to help and support through the tough times and who understands exactly what you’re going through. Someone to get through the bad times and to celebrate the good, friends in business can work well with clear boundaries and a firm plan in place.

Make sure to get everything in place before you start and you’ll soon be toasting each other’s success and a bright business future together.

Why Malta Is A Great Place To Set Up A Business

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Are you considering forming a company in Malta? If so, you will be pleased to know that there are a lot of benefits associated with doing so. In this post, we will take a look at the advantages of Malta company formation, as well as giving you a basic overview of how it all works. So, keep on reading to find out all you need to know…

Why choose Malta for company formation?

Tax Incentives

One of the main reasons why Malta is a popular choice is because of the tax benefits. There is a flat rate of 35 per cent when it comes to company taxation. However, there is the opportunity to reduce the overall amount you pay substantially, often by about five per cent.

Stability and Credibility

Malta is a stable country with a great reputation, and thus it provides a solid base for forming a company. Malta is a EU member and on the OECD white list. The banking system is ranked as the 10th soundest in the world, whilst the Malta Financial Services Authority regulates financial services and the best international practices are adhered to thanks to financial legislation.

Save Money

There are a number of ways to save money by setting up a company in Malta. Firstly, you will find that operational costs are a lot lower, as are salaries, especially when contrasted with other countries in the EU. You can also make savings when it comes to the likes of legal fees, accountancy fees, maintenance costs, and company incorporation.

How do you set up a company in Malta?

Here is an overview of the steps you will need to take if you wish to start a business in this country…

  •    Reserve a company name – This must be unique
  •    Draft the articles of association and memorandum
  •    Deposit the minimum paid-in capital to the bank – They will open an account for you once reference letters are received from the signatories’ banks
  •    Register at the Companies Registry
  •    Get a trade license – You can do this via BusinessFirst or the Trade Licensing Unit Commerce Department
  •    Get a company TIN (Tax Identification Number) – You will need the Inland Revenue Department for this step
  •    Open a bank account – You will have paid in the minimum capital earlier and now is the time to make this bank account permanent
  •    Register for VAT
  •    Find a supplier like Cloudpay global payroll so you are set up for paying your employees
  •    Get an employer identification number, which is called a PE number, and register your employees
  •    Register employees with the ETC (Employment Training Corporation)
  •    Register for data protection