Mar 14, 14
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.
Jan 24, 14
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.
If you are looking to finally make a change in your life, to go from employee to business owner, then you are probably not the only one.
I personally have made this transition in the past, and let me tell you, it wasn’t an easy one.
But the truth is that the hardest part is finally making the decision to take a leap of faith and establish my own business.
It was difficult to decide to quit my nine to five job and enter a whole new world of uncertainty and struggle, but when you finally see your business starting to take off… there is simply no greater feeling of fulfillment.
You just feel like you succeeded at something.
A friend of mine has recently asked me about how he can use his experience in the industry and turn it into a business in sheet metal fabrication.
He and I actually got to talking about this for a while, and we actually came to end the discussion on a good note.
If you have ever found yourself in a similar situation, asking yourself whether you should take the plunge and head into business yourself, well… read on to find out the advice I gave my friend.
Check How Many Contacts You Have
There’s a difference between the contacts that you as an individual has, and how many contacts you have through your current place of work.
While having contacts is not exactly necessary to start a business, it is largely useful especially when you are in the first stages of your business, fighting still to get your foot into the door.
My friend had a few sheet metal industry contacts that he personally knew, which is certainly better than none.
But of course, the more the better. If you don’t have any contacts yet…make some!
Do You Have Access to Suppliers
Another thing you will have to consider is whether or not you have access to suppliers.
You cannot start your business if you have no suppliers at the ready. Like my friend.
He knew suppliers, thankfully, but not the right ones he needed for the specific sheet metal cutting business he wanted to put up.
So he had to do additional research to find it.
Do You Have Enough Capital
Before you can even think about quitting your job, you will have to make sure that you have enough capital to use for starting your business.
On top of that, you will have to ensure that you have enough money to live off for as long as your business is still getting off the ground.
You do not want to be struggling to keep your business going while you’re barely able to pay the bills at home.
Try for at least a year’s worth of money to live off—and live frugally—as you will never know how long it will take for your business to take off.
From there the decision is all yours to make.
There are many other questions to ask. Will the business take off in the current market?
Is there enough interest for a business of that type? And so on and so forth.
Good luck in your endeavors!
Home businesses are quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of doing business, especially with the opportunities presented on the internet. Thanks to the boom of internet shopping, many home business owners are enjoying considerable success catering to niche markets.
Having your own home business is easier than ever with big scale vendors such as Amazon and eBay allowing trusted home business owners to sell their wares quickly and easily, through a trusted and secure network.
My wife has tried her hand at her own home business lately, selling Welsh slate products online. She personally picks out the wares from her supplier in Wales and sells them for a profit. Her target market is work at home mothers like herself who have a love for environmentally friendly table ware and healthy living.
Her Welsh slate table ware is quite popular among the health food eating crowd who enjoy a little bit of luxury. After all, good food should be properly framed by gorgeous tableware. It makes the meal much more appetizing.
My wife has become quite adept at selling her Welsh slate products that she is earning a considerable amount per month. If you want to start your own home business, here are some of my tips:
Study your market
Home businesses thrive on niche markets, so naturally, you will have to watch out for ways to appeal to your audience. Try to figure out what is needed in the market right now and if you can compete.
If there is a large company that is already dominating the market, you will have a better chance of getting your home business off the ground if you focus on a niche instead.
Sell what you know well
My wife is good at selling her slate products because she has a good understanding of the products themselves and how they are used. She can tell the grade of the slate by just examining it, and knows how to appraise the value depending on the handiwork. She can even give clients recommendations based on their preferences.
Here is a list of the top 10 home based businesses:
If you want to be good at selling your products, you should know your products well. This is the same for practically any home business, whether you are selling products or services.
Research about home business insurance
Most home businesses are required to pay insurance. Try to figure out what you will need so that you factor it into your initial investments.
The internet generates jobs for millions of people around the world, but it is a very competitive field. Figure out which avenues you can sell your products through, what websites to subscribe to, and how to set up your social media presence.
Launch your business
Home businesses are easier than ever to launch. You usually do not need too much starting capital as you do not have to worry about store fronts and space rentals, so you can typically just jump into it. I hope that you gain the same amount of success as my wife with her Welsh slate business.
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.
If you are just starting out, then the easiest way for you to find leads is through customer referrals.
Let’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.
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.
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!).
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.
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.
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.
As entrepreneurs, we should always be on the forefront of the latest market trends and discover new market niches for us to explore.
A friend of mine recently found a business in recycling paper and making money off of it by creating new products, giving old paper some new life.
She even became one of the top local suppliers of stitched bottom paper sacks, which are used for groceries and corner stores that have stopped using plastic bags.
They also use the recycled paper to create gift wrappers, cardboard boxes, and other paper materials.
Here, I have put together some tips on how to can start your own paper recycling business. Like all businesses, you will need some start up capital to get your business off the ground.
Paper recycling can be a very labour intensive undertaking, so be sure to have sufficient funds to pay your employees and to pay for materials and tools.
Learn how paper recycling works
Paper recycling is not as easy as it looks. Most large-scale recycling plants have large machines that sort out debris from the paper and extracts the fibres.
The paper fibres are softened and reworked, and often subjected to chemical treatment to get rid of bacteria and to improve the final texture of the paper.
While home operations of paper recycling exists, they are very labour intensive.
Find your market niche
Do some research and find your market niche.
It is better to start a recycling business that will benefit your local neighborhood, as it will also be much cheaper for you in the long run.
It is also not a very good idea to compete with a recycling plant that already is found in your area. You should also find a company or a client that is already interested in buying the products from you.
Groceries and other companies are more than willing to purchase paper bags, tissue, cartons, boxes, and other recycled materials from you.
Create a business plan
You will need a business plan in order to realize your goals. Draw out some general guidelines and outline your investments and operational strategy.
You will also need to create an advertising campaign and to analyse your projected profit.
One important part of your business plan is to apply for a business permit and to pay the appropriate taxes needed.
You may also need to invest in an insurance company before you start your paper recycling business.
Invest in the proper equipment
The most important equipment needed at a recycling company is a pulper machine. You will also need to invest in your land and buildings, new employees, as well as materials and supplies.
Alternatively, you can ask a local recycling plant if you can purchase ready made sheets of recycled paper and then rework them into usable products such as paper bags.
Just make sure that you come to a transparent agreement so that you do not go against any local business policies.
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
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 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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.