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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How Important is Fitness to Your Career and Your Progress?

Jun 30, 15 How Important is Fitness to Your Career and Your Progress?

When it comes to your career, often you think of many thing that you need to take care of–your deadlines, your meetings with important people, the folders piled up on your desk, the many items on your to do list… Often you think of how you will climb up the ladder more than anything else.

The fact is, most people these days get so focused on their meteoric rise up the career ladder that they often neglect other aspects of their lives, regardless of whether it is their family, their health, or their social lives.

Essential Physical Fitness: What Every Teen Needs to Know


 
Many things are often compromised when it comes to making career a priority, but I will always maintain that a good work-life balance is important. In fact, I would even argue that it is necessary–no person can survive on career alone after all. People are stressed out enough to begin with, but add an imbalanced work-life ratio and you could potentially end up with disaster.

This is why finding a hobby or some form of stress relief is important. But I always suggest to friends and family that they take up fitness, because this is always a good way to hit several birds with one stone.

How is fitness important to your career and your general well being?

to stress reliefStress Relief
Exercise and physical activity releases endorphins which aid in the relief of stress. Besides, whatever form of exercise you decide to do, chances are that you will find it therapeutic in one way or another. Choose an exercise that you enjoy and most likely you will find that it makes you happy and lowers the levels of your stress.

I in particular find running quite therapeutic–during my daily run/walk I usually end up meditating, clearing my mind, and allowing myself to find new solutions to problems that I have.

It Gives You a Break
If you work too much, it may be wise to take up fitness as something to break up the monotony of your day. It will give you something to do and take your mind off things for a short while.

It Allows You to Get Your Health Back on Track
Desk jobs are terrible for your health. Sitting around all day adversely affects your health and can severely compromise your life, especially if you are eating only what is fast and convenient to you (read: this is often junk food, fast food, and other empty calorie foods just to fill you up rather than to nourish your body).

Getting back into fitness allows you to reclaim your health and to get it back on track so you don’t end up severely compromising your health–you don’t want to end up in the hospital, or worse.

Trust me…at first it may be difficult to find a way to the gym or to do your exercises. At first you are most likely going to find excuses why you can’t go… but the truth is that once you commit to it and tell yourself you will go without excuses, you will learn to love fitness–it is for you after all.

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Is Doing Business Pro Bono a Good Way to Market Your Business

May 24, 15 Is Doing Business Pro Bono a Good Way to Market Your Business

Sometimes we hear about people and businesses doing a service or giving away a product ‘pro bono’. If you’ve watched enough cop shows and movies, then I’m sure you know that pro bono means for free.

Actually the term is ‘pro bono publico’, which essentially means for the good of the public. But the ‘publico’ part is often dropped, leaving you with just ‘pro bono’… you know. Like, “he agreed to defend her in court pro bono, because he believed in her innocence and knew that she was being framed”.

We often only hear lawyers and doctors doing pro bono work, but the truth is just about anyone and everyone can do pro bono work.

In fact it has become a good way to gain a bit of notoriety as a company that cares–and at the same time it is a good way to market your business. Don’t believe me just yet? Well… businesses like Metro Rod (MR) have done it in the past… why can’t you?

Here is why doing things pro bono is a great way to market your business…

volunteersPro Bono Work Tells The Public You Care
There is no better way to make people remember your company than to show people that you care–trust me, when people are in a bind they are very likely to remember your company. For the business I mentioned above, they did some pro bono work clearing drain blockages around a low income area.

They did this for free, for the people to enjoy floodless and puddle-less streets. It’s a noble thing to do, and a local TV station picked up on it. Now when people have issues with their plumbing, who do they remember? That’s right… MR.

discountYou Can Offer Discounts or Bundles
Of course since you’ve just done a bit of business for free, people are going to wonder if they can get some sort of deal too. This may be the only real tradeoff to doing some work pro bono.

But a solution to that is to offer discounts for certain services, or offering packages that are more competitively priced. People might not be getting the service for free, but they’ll still feel like they are getting a good deal.

marketingAn Affordable Way to Market Yourself
Sometimes paying for advertising and marketing can get quite a bit pricey. However if you do pro bono work, that’s almost an instant guarantee that word will spread via word of mouth–and there is also a chance media will pick up what you are doing and write/report about you.

It’s not a bad way to get the word out about you and/or your business at all… and the only cost will be the cost of your service/product itself.

Of course this would only make sense if your service or product is one that is not astronomically expensive…which in that case you would be better off just advertising than doing things pro bono…unless you have a good heart and really want to do it pro bono publico.

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How to Start Your Own Travel Agency from Home

A lot of people enjoy travelling in a DIY sort of manner, arranging everything themselves and booking all of their flights and hotels by themselves.

Of course, while some enjoy planning their trip all by themselves, other people find it stressful and would rather just allow a travel agency to do all of the work for them.

Nowadays, any travel loving entrepreneur can use their own experiences to start their own travel agency from home.

Since everything can be booked and paid for online, all you have to do is to pull together your resources and gain a good reputation for yourself.

If you want to try your hand at making your own travel agency work, these are the steps that you can take:

Travel and visit potential places of interest
Before starting your own travel business, you must decide if you are going to specialise in a specific place first.

Most travel agencies will have certain locales in mind so that they can provide more in depth service to their clients.

beach

Before starting up a travel agency, you should be well travelled, so that you understand the places your clients are visiting.

You should be able to provide good recommendations for the best hotels, locales to visit, and where to buy the best meals. Having experienced the places yourself will help you become better at giving good service.

Connect with other travel and tourism businesses
As a travel agent, you should connect with other travel and tourism businesses. For example, my friend is affiliated with holidaycottagescumbria.com, a company that specialises in luxury lake district cottages.

business

 

Depending on the package that the client chooses, she handles everything from renting a cottage, renting boats, booking tours, and the like.

Businesses that specialise in travel and tourism must work together in order to give their client the best possible experience.

Put up a good website
Next, you will want to put up a good website. It should include complete details ranging from room rates to feature articles that give clients a taste of what they can experience if they choose your travel agency. Choose beautiful photos but be honest and transparent so that you do not mislead clients regarding the state of a room or place.

You should also be prepared to receive calls, texts, and e-mails. Make sure that your website is ready to accommodate all of your client’s needs.

If you don’t know anything or a beginner in building a website, you might want to refer to this video:

Purchase general liability insurance and have your business registered for taxes
Even if it is a home business, you absolutely must have a general liability insurance in place so that your business and clients are protected.

It also goes without saying that your business should be properly registered so that you can be taxed.

Create marketing materials
To get your business off the ground, put together marketing materials such as flyers, brochures, and business cards.

For example, Holiday Cottages Cumbria has beautiful photography featured all over their website to advertise the charm and grace of the English lake district that they represent.

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How to Start Your Own Homeopathy Training Business

If you want to start a homeopathy training business, you will need to understand how to put together a start up business. Starting a homeopathy training school will need a lot of steps, but if you have the business skills for it, I believe that you should go for it.

Here are some steps that you can take to start up your own homeopathy training business:

Gain certification and a permit

certificateWhen starting a homeopathy training business, you naturally need to gain a certification and a permit for practice.

After all, as a school, you should be able to provide high quality education that has been approved by the leading heads of homeopathy.

To start a school, you will need a government permit, whether you plan on training people online or at an actual institution.

You will also need to register your business and make sure that all of your taxes are properly factored in.

Raise the funds for the start up

startup-fundsYou will need to determine how much money you will need for your start up and raise the funds needed for your homeopathy school.

The easiest way to do this is to go ask for a loan from the bank, though you can also try raising funds by asking the homeopathic community.

Crowd funding and other types of fund raisers are a very useful tool, and there are many who want to make sure that homeopathy is legitimized.

Find partners and suppliers

Your homeopathy training school will naturally need a lot of materials, ranging from books, papers, school supplies, medical supplies, and medical equipment.

Find companies and suppliers that are willing to partner with your school so that you can start training people as soon as possible.

Hire a complete and competent staff

You should always hire competent staff that is open to handling various tasks on hand. For example, you will need people such as cashiers, accountants, and secretaries to keep your school’s paper work and finances in check.

As for teachers, hire licensed homeopaths who also have teaching experience.

You can also refer to this video by an HR on how to hire a good staff:

Put together a good curriculum

There are several types of homeopathy, but I suggest that a start up school should only specialise in one style. The most popular choice would be to go with Hahnemannian homeopathy, which is the basis for classic and modern homeopathy.

Put together a curriculum plan that is suitable for a full year course, and be careful to schedule it in such a way that the pacing is just right for most students. After all, you will want to avoid tackling too much material too fast.

Your teachers should also be able to stick to the schedule and provide the students with the assistance that they need.

A homeopathy training school is just one of the many entrepreneurial pursuits that you can develop today. After all, the medical practice is currently booming, so be free to create a start up that can meet the demand.

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How to Become a Successful Furniture Entrepreneur

Furniture BusinessAs a business coach, I have trained a number of young entrepreneurs who are just trying to get their start up businesses on board. Perhaps one of my most successful protégés is a young woman who wanted to start a furniture business.

She started out small, but her business grew and turned out to be very successful indeed. She had great rapport with her clients, and she was skilled at figuring out what people want. She specialised in indie furniture and featured unique, one-of-a-kind designs by independent designers, artists, and carpenters.

Here are some on how to become a successful furniture entrepreneur:

Come up with a good company image
When my student started out, she wanted her furniture business to focus on all-natural, wooden furniture. She built her company image around natural wooden furniture and wanted to be billed as an environmentally friendly furniture company. She started out with just a few pieces, but more and more customers started asking for quirkier designs, so she started selling vintage pieces.

Red Wood

Eventually, her company image evolved from not just environmentally friendly furniture pieces, but became known for selling unique, boho chic furniture for the artists and eccentrics out there. Along with her good sense and excellent customer service, her company image is well-defined with a good reputation.

Find a good place to source furniture
The best way to source wooden furniture is to find reclaimed lumber from reputable sources. Reclaimed lumber is inexpensive and abundant, especially if you source it from a reputable dealer. A few years ago, old wood is often thrown out and burned, but new kiln drying technology is offering a new lease on life for old wood – even rotten old logs found at the bottom of lakes and rivers are now being turned into stylish furniture. You can also buy vintage furniture from pickers and crafts people.

Inspect and Test all of your furniture
Recycled LumberFlimsy, unstable furniture is just a law suit waiting to happen. Make sure that you inspect and test out all of your furniture to check for stability, sturdiness, and flammable materials. Even if you are selling vintage furniture, you may be required to reinforce old frames or to upholster them. Wooden furniture on the other hand, should be free of splinters and harmful chemicals in the wood.

Sell online
The truth is that few people actually like going out to buy furniture nowadays. They would much rather check online to see what the latest deals are. The furniture entrepreneur I was working with for example, immediately started selling all of her items online despite having a physical store. She wanted to make sure that she is reaching the widest possible market for her furniture.

Tips to Sell Your Product Online


Just make sure that you keep it updated and that you put items on hold if they are being purchased. You would not want an item to be sold in the physical shop only to find that it was already sold online the day before.

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How to Prevent Accidents in Your Place of Business

Work SafetyStart up businesses are fragile little things. The truth is it’s an incredible balancing act, and more often than not, it has to be done by a single person. If it isn’t done by a single person then it is probably done by a small team of a mere few. And when it comes to creating a successful business, the best way to do it from the ground up is uneventfully as possible.

Everyone thinks that success is easy to attain. That it’s at the end of a road that can be reached if you drive long enough. The truth is that success is difficult to reach. It is at the end of a road, yes, but that road is long and winding, and really quite steep.

So let’s take a look at how we can make that road a little less rough to travel.

Preventing Workplace Accidents and Injuries

Here are some ways in which you can prevent accidents in your place of business—because you know that these accidents can really make a turn for the worst—with insurance pay outs and worker’s comps.

Don’t Take Any Shortcuts
Industrial PipesWhen it comes to workplace safety and ensuring that the risk for accidents are lessened, it’s important to make sure that you take no shortcuts. For example… if there is a repair that needs to be made, you need to ensure that you do it right and not just do quick repairs that can fall apart on you quickly.

If there is a ceiling tile that keeps falling out then you must make sure that it is repaired properly so that you don’t end up with ceiling tiles that might fall on someone’s head and seriously hurt someone. If you want to ensure that pipes don’t burst then don’t to a band aid repair. It’s really simple. Just make sure you do things right.

Make Sure All Safety Requirements are Met
Workplace Fire SafetyTo ensure that all of you (you and your employees, and any customers who might come by) are in safe hands, always do your best to ensure that all safety requirements are met. If there are any guidelines that have to be met such as fire safety (like seals especially for fire doors should always be present, fire extinguishers must also be present) and so on, make sure that you put it on the priority list. This is the only way you can ensure a greatly lessened risk of accident or disaster occurring in your workplace.

Minimise Liabilities
Warning SignAlways make sure that you put up signs and warnings that are important—such as caution warnings and the like. This will minimise your liability if something indeed does happen.

Also ensure that if your employees are working in a dangerous environment (heavy machinery, tools etc) make sure that they are correctly trained and briefed before you even let them get to work. Even if a workplace accident does happen at the very least you will be less liable for the issue.

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How to Get Your Home Service Business Off the Ground

A good friend requested that I help him in advertising plumbing services in Manchester. His company is quite new and he has just started setting it up.

He needed some help to get his home service business off the ground, especially since he has trained in plumbing, and not in business management.

That is why I was willing to help him out a little so that he can find success in Manchester with his plumbing business. Along with advertising, I gave him some tips on how to improve and start up his own entrepreneurial venture.

Hire qualified people

plumbers-06In the UK, plumbers have to be licensed. It takes them a couple of years of studying and apprenticeships so that they can begin practising. Plumbing may seem like dirty work, but it requires a certain amount of experience and expertise in order to do it correctly.

Plumbing requires you to understand a home’s infrastructure, so certain knowledge of both architecture and engineering needed. A plumber should also understand UK building requirements and how to set water lines and plumbing.

A senior plumber is absolutely needed in your business as he will be the best at trouble shooting problems in the structures. Plumbing businesses may also need additional staff, including managers and advertising teams.

Advertise

Naturally, you will have to advertise. There are many avenues for you to advertise your plumbing business, and each of them have their own benefits.

You can try advertising online through banners and websites, post up flyers and posters along Manchester streets, or use your own plumbing vehicle as a moving car.

Now, remember that the most important part of advertising would be to have good content. An eye catching headline and some great graphics usually get a good response.

Network to gain more exposure

Plumbing-11-29-12Networking is essential to all business start ups, including a plumbing business. You can network through an online social media presence, e-mails, and direct e-mails to potential clients.

You just have to be careful so that you do not end up in people’s spam folders. Be honest and write good content that will not be flagged down by potential clients.

Speaking with clients and asking for recommendations also work, especially if you did a good job. Some will even suggest your company to their friends or relatives if they are satisfied with your service.

Establish Your Business Identity

First off, you need to be able to establish who you are as a business. Give the impression that your plumbers are highly skilled and provide real solutions to people’s piping and plumbing problems.

You should build up your company and give it a face that would attract more respect and subsequently, more customers. Never lie and follow through with your promises.

Putting up a plumbing business can be difficult, but with the correct steps it can work. Plumbing after all, is an essential service that every person will need at one point in their life or another.

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