Recent Posts

My 5 Top Tips For All Budding Entrepreneurs

Mar 14, 14 My 5 Top Tips For All Budding Entrepreneurs

The economic downturn is the reason why a lot of people want to start a small business.

The obvious and foremost reason is to make money.

People want to earn extra income aside from earning a regular pay from their regular work.

Yes, they are aware that there is money in business however many are not really clear about their goals in starting one.

Needless to say, starting up and managing your business is not an easy task.

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My 6 Favourite Business Models

Jan 24, 14 My 6 Favourite Business Models

Every business whether profit or nonprofit aims to survive, generate revenues and exceed their costs.

Aside from having a business plan, a business model is also crucial to every start-up or existing business.

However, inventing a new business model is not something that you want to do as it is considered as a bad bet.

Since technology, markets and customers can be innovated it is a smart move to relate your business to a successful company and copy its business model.

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Finding Leads in Any Industry

download (30)Okay, so maybe you have just started your new business supplying childrens playground equipment, or whatever other business you have just begun.

But whatever it is you are doing or whatever business you are trying to grow, you are going to have to try and find leads if you want to be able to get anywhere at all in any matter of time.

Of course I’m guessing you are a new business owner, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading articles like this.

So with that said, let me first tell you what leads are before we get deeper into the specifics of finding them.

Leads, in simple terms, are people, entities, corporations, or other businesses who are potential sales contacts. A lead can be an organisation or just a single person.

Basically, leads are potential business contacts or clients. So let’s say that you are supplying playground equipment—to you, a lead would be someone who would be interested in installing a playground at their locations, or someone who can put you in touch with someone who is.

Now that all that’s been discussed, let us now talk about finding leads.

Customer Referrals

If you are just starting out, then the easiest way for you to find leads is through customer referrals.

referralLet’s say that you have finally had your first few clients and that you have installed playgrounds for them, or that you have at least supplied the playgrounds for them to install.

The next logical step is to offer them incentives in order to give you referrals. And you can offer discount incentives to the people they refer too…and it goes on from there.

Naturally if you are in a niche market it will be a bit more difficult for word of mouth to get out, but be persistent.

Social Media

Now this is one arena where you are going to be able to promote yourself and find leads all at once regardless of what industry or niche you are in.

Keeping up with the example that your business is supplying playground equipment, you can then set up accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and whatever other relevant social media or social networking site/service you may find worth your time.

Regular posts will keep you top of mind—and of course make sure that you befriend other people too, and other people in your industry. Because then this can help you with…

Cross-Marketing and Cross-Promoting

You can promote yourself by getting in touch with other businesses and coming up with cross-marketing and cross-promotion ideas.

They can of course prove mutually beneficial.

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SEO and Providing Useful Content

Online marketing is where it’s at these days.

By providing useful content on the internet like on your website, social media accounts or even your YouTube account, you can actually get leads.

Of course you can combine this with a bit of SEO and find yourself on the front page of google (with a lot of diligent and hard work because SEO is not easy—you can hire someone to do the work for you otherwise) and get leads every time someone searches for your keyword (anything to do with playgrounds for children!).

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How to Choose a Solicitor for Your Business Establishment

download (27)Any entrepreneur who wants to keep his business afloat would need access to a trustworthy and respectable solicitor.

If you live in North West England, you may want to look for solicitors legal aid in Manchester.

A solicitor is not only there to provide you with legal aid if your company gets into trouble or if someone is suing you.

They are also there to help you with legal matters, including taxation, copyright laws, and other legal matters that can affect your business.

You may need a different kind of solicitor depending on what you need. A commercial solicitor will usually be able to handle all of your needs.

If you need help on how to choose a commercial solicitor for your business establishment, try the following tips.

Figure out whether you want to approach a small firm or a big firm

Solicitors are usually part of a larger law firm. There are small firms and they are big firms in the world of law.

Small firms are usually cheaper and have more affordable rates.

While they can have excellent service, the problem with smaller firms is that they usually do not have the specialisation to handle extreme cases.

Larger law firms may have more expensive overhead costs, but they are more likely to have a roster of solicitors that specialise in different areas of expertise.

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Research and interview the solicitor

As an entrepreneur, you will have to research every single aspect of your business including the solicitor that you plan on hiring.

One way to do so is to look up information about the solicitor or law firm, and to look for reviews, articles, or anything that will help you gain more knowledge about them.

You can also try interviewing the solicitor himself, and see whether or not he has what it takes.

Try to ask important questions regarding his experience level, the types of cases he has worked with, his success rate, his skills, and his qualifications among others.

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Check his rates

Every solicitor has different rates. What you need to do is to compare his rates to the national average by researching about it online.

Try to figure out how much it actually costs to hire a solicitor and whether or not you are getting a good deal.

After all, in the business sense, hiring a lawyer is a necessary investment, but can be a drain to your profit if not handled well.

Remember that a solicitor with high rates is not necessarily a good one, but be aware that a solicitor with cheap rates could be caused by inexperience or lack of qualifications.

Try to find a solicitor that has the correct balance of affordability and skill.

Do a background check

You may need to do a background check in addition to your initial research, especially by checking with local law directories in the UK. You can usually find them online.

Avoid solicitors that have criminal records of malpractice cases, as this could put your business at risk.

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How to Implement Strategic Workforce Planning

 

Strategic workforce planning is a requirement for all businesses and ensures that your company’s goals match up with those of your employees, while simultaneously making sure that it is up to par with regulations and legislative needs.

Workforce planning creates a balance between production requirements, legislative and regulatory requirements, and the individual needs of your employees. Whether you are working with the services of a hosted CRM consultant or hiring an in-house marketing team, workforce planning keeps everything running smoothly.

 

I found this very essential video about How strategic workforce planning can help financial institutions:

 

 

Getting your organization’s priorities straight are needed for all businesses, but it is important that you do not step on the freedoms of your workforce. Proper pay and on-time scheduling as well as moments of rest all factor into planning. Of course, proper dissemination of activities and production are part of it as well.

There are some key notes that will help you implement strategic workforce planning in your company.

 

Research your internal labour market

labour-and-emloyment-image

 

The first step that you must take is to research your internal labour market. At this stage, you need to create a profile of the employees already in your company in order to assess how to go about your strategy.

You will be required to collect information about their performance, qualifications, tenures, and their grades. Knowing which labourers perform best will allow you to make key decisions when assigning and relegating tasks. You should also take into account the headcount, race, gender, and benefits for statistical purposes.

Assess your resource pool in both its current and future incarnations

the-resource-pool

The next stage is resource planning. Check your resource pool and figure out how much you would need of each element to bring your strategy to life. Funds, materials, services, skill sets and anything that is part of your company’s investments should be taken into account.

Likewise, you need to be able to predict the outcome of your projects and whether or not your resource pool is sustainable enough to keep your company going.

Define workforce requirements

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Once you have come up with a good plan, define your workforce requirements and calculate them for maximum efficiency. You will want to relegate tasks and to reward good work to keep up morale while also meeting deadlines and dealing with partners and clients.

You will also need to figure out if your current roster is skilled enough for certain tasks and whether or not you need to hire new recruits to fill in the gaps in your production line.

Implement and integrate with your business strategies

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Finally, you put everything together and integrate it with your business strategies. You need to be seamless in execution while also maintaining a degree of flexibility that will protect your business in case of accidents or mistakes.

You must manage your talents, determine scenarios, and plan accordingly. You need to keep the process running efficiently by predicting outcomes and managing your resources. Working with your team is all about playing up their strengths to remain in the competition.

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3 Discoveries That Tell You Your Business is Growing

It might or might not be obvious to you all the time, whether your business is actually growing and expanding or not.

There are some pretty obvious signs that are very hard to miss, of course, like the money coming in… it’s hard to miss the fact that the amount is starting to grow more and more.

In fact it’s one of the first things that anyone will notice when it comes to their business, since it’s what people tend to watch obsessively. But there may also be some signs that are not that obvious and that people may be missing.

business-growth-warehouse-shelving

Can you really gauge if your business is succeeding?

Well, the money on its own is a good enough sign, but here are some additional ones you might enjoy.

Increased Need for Storage Space

You know that your business is growing when you actually start selling so much product and there is so much demand that you actually need even more storage space to fill that demand. And even then, the products are still flying off the shelves.

Either way… if you find that you need more shelving for a warehouse, or even more shelves in your store itself, then that’s a sure sign that your business is on the up and up.

The Need to Hire More People

Another good gauge or sure sign of a growing business is the need to hire more employees.

When the rush of customers gets to be so much that you actually need to hire more people in order to meet the demand more and more, this is a pretty good sign that you are running a business well on its way to success.

workforce-hiring

Or it could already even be successful (it all depends on what you believe is success—find your benchmark, but don’t make it impossibly high!).

Social Media Fame

We all know that social media is one of the best ways to get noticed these days. That and blogs and various other websites.

So if you truly want to know if you’re becoming more and more successful, then you’ll probably realise this is the case when you check your social media and find that you have started to get a bigger following.

Note that this is not always the case because sometimes the number of subscribers can become inflated from contests or promotions that were run, or, well, a good social media management team.

At the same time when you start getting mentioned more and more via social media, that’s another good way to gauge your success.

When people start spreading the word about you without you having to prompt them to, then you are making a great impression on people—and as a result your chances of success increase.

There are many other ways to gauge if your business is succeeding. There are many signs that you really just have to keep an eye out for and not ignore.

Best of luck to you, and let me know if you think you’re succeeding.

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Signs Your Business is Growing

 

It might or might not be obvious to you all the time, whether your business is actually growing and expanding or not. There are some pretty obvious signs that are very hard to miss, of course, like the money coming in… it’s hard to miss the fact that the amount is starting to grow more and more.

 

In fact it’s one of the first things that anyone will notice when it comes to their business, since it’s what people tend to watch obsessively. But there may also be some signs that are not that obvious and that people may be missing.

 

So how can you really gauge if your business is succeeding? Well, the money on its own is a good enough sign, but here are some additional ones you might enjoy.

 

Increased Need for Storage Space

 

storage-for-business

 

 

You know that your business is growing when you actually start selling so much product and there is so much demand that you actually need even more storage space to fill that demand.

 

And even then, the products are still flying off the shelves! Either way… if you find that you need more shelving for a warehouse, or even more shelves in your store itself, then that’s a sure sign that your business is on the up and up.

 

The Need to Hire More People

 

for-hire-image

 

Another good gauge or sure sign of a growing business is the need to hire more employees. When the rush of customers gets to be so much that you actually need to hire more people in order to meet the demand more and more, this is a pretty good sign that you are running a business well on its way to success.

 

Or it could already even be successful (it all depends on what you believe is success—find your benchmark, but don’t make it impossibly high!).

 

Social Media Fame

 

more-and-more-followers

 

We all know that social media is one of the best ways to get noticed these days. That and blogs and various other websites. So if you truly want to know if you’re becoming more and more successful, then you’ll probably realise this is the case when you check your social media and find that you have started to get a bigger following.

 

Note that this is not always the case because sometimes the number of subscribers can become inflated from contests or promotions that were run, or, well, a good social media management team. At the same time when you start getting mentioned more and more via social media, that’s another good way to gauge your success.

 

When people start spreading the word about you without you having to prompt them to, then you are making a great impression on people—and as a result your chances of success increase.

 

There are many other ways to gauge if your business is succeeding. There are many signs that you really just have to keep an eye out for and not ignore. Best of luck to you, and let me know if you think you’re succeeding!

 

Meanwhile, here is a video about companies battling each other to make sure we buy their products:



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Further Tips on Promoting Your Business

I have already discussed ways in which you can promote your business in my article about how to advertise and spread word about your business, but of course there’re many things that you still can be able to use when it comes to marketing yourself and your business regardless of whether it is a product or a service.

 

So if you want to know some of my further tips on how to market or promote your business then read right on because I am going to be discussing a few good things that my previous article may have missed.

 

Maintain Good Appearance and Impression of Yourself
When it comes to running a successful business, it is often good practice to make sure that you always put your best foot forward. This means of course that you will have to control or at least influence people’s perception about you and your business.

 

You may want to sway their opinion into a more positive one especially if they have heard some negative things about your business in the past.

 

the-first-impression

 

Speaking of negative things, always make sure that you conduct yourself appropriately and make sure that your business is running in good standing so that you will not have a public relations nightmare on your hands.

 

Determine If You Can Afford a Marketing Budget
You may want to market yourself as the best dry dog food on the market, if that is your niche, but before you can do so, you will need a bit of a budget for marketing purposes only.

 

marketing-budget-image

 

So if you are a budding business you may want to allocate some of your capital for marketing expenses. Even if you are already an established business you will still want to do the same thing because having a marketing budget will help you to stay relevant in today’s fast-moving world.

 

When you finally do have your budget you can use it for printing leaflets, for giving out promotions for free samples and for various other advertising purposes and expenses.

 

Always Bring Business Cards
You never know who you will meet or if you will have an opportunity to promote yourself or your business so it is best for you to always bring your business cards. Personally I would much rather always bring a few in my pocket rather than be caught without especially when I have to introduce myself to someone who is high in rank or status.

 

business-cards-image

 

After all you don’t want to be scribbling your number or contact details onto someone’s wrist or hand–way to appear professional, right? So always bring a few business cards and make sure to put them in a little case where they won’t get folded or creased.

 

Remember that your business card also represent you and your business so while you’re at it, why don’t you also learn how to properly hand out your business cards? Hand it facing the other person, using two hands.

 

Here is additional info about marketing ideas for small businesses:

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Instilling The Entrepreneurial Spirit In Your Children

Jul 03, 14 Instilling The Entrepreneurial Spirit In Your Children

My little girl has recently turned seven and she was really insistent on having herself a themed birthday party this year, just like most of her classmates have – we take her to at least a couple parties a week, and most have some topic or theme.

We did some searching online and being a child from my own heart, she settled on a science themed kids party (found here: http://east.madscience.org/) – what can I see, she’s a geek like her old man lol

My wife and I are big on rewarding hard work with our kids, and of course entrepreneurial spirit. So I told my daughter that if she was able to raise £50 in the 6 weeks leading up to her party, then she could have the science themed party that she so wanted.

Now, that may seem a little harsh. But we actually play lots of games like this in our house where we set little challenges and targets – my kids set me them all the time as well lol

So I knew that she would be able to do this no problem, she really has a wise business head on her shoulders already.

Well, she raised that £50 in only 4 weeks with 2 weeks spare, here’s how she did it:

  1. She saved £3 per week out of her £5 per week pocket money totaling £12
  2. She sold 5 of her barbies and 3 of her other dolls on eBay (with mum’s help) for £30
  3. And the other £8 she got from cutting 2 of our neighbour’s grass.

I was well impressed, and here’s how her party went including some other money saving tips too:

Kids_B_Day_Party_1

Make the Food Yourself

6th-Birthday-Party-Food-1You don’t really have to buy food or get food delivered. Pizza is nice but it costs can pile up when you’re feeding several children.

So what you can do is plan ahead of time so that you can make the food yourself. It doesn’t even have to be anything ridiculously complicated—it can be as easy as hotdogs or sausages on skewers, pasta, fried chicken.

With all the hard work you’d be putting into it your child will definitely appreciate it. My wife made all the food for my daughter’s party and it saved us a good amount of money in the end.

Get the Entertainment Together Cheaply

If you know anyone who can entertain the children for cheap or almost nothing at all, then good for you. Ask them to block off their schedule immediately so that you’re sure to get the entertainment in order before you forget about it.

If you don’t want to spend on entertainment then forget about the clown and the magician. Instead set up a movie marathon, give the kids a lot of popcorn, and watch them in front of the telly as they end up loving one movie after another.

Original_Kara-Allen-kids-gumball-birthday-party-table-decor_s4x3_lgDIY Decorations

We all know that parties usually come with decorations. If you would like to decorate with things such as streamers, balloons, posters, and so on, what you could do is DIY everything. Basically do it all yourself so you don’t have to pay for balloons (when all you need to do is pump air into them).

You don’t have to pay for streamers or those little flags strung up on a wire. It doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated, what is important is you and your child enjoys it.

I cut up streamers for my daughter’s birthday and she soon volunteered to help, knowing that it was her party I was preparing for. There are many tutorials on the web if you want to learn something or have a short cut—just so you know.

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