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.
As 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.
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
Flimsy, 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.
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.
Start 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
When 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
To 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.
Always 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.
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
In 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.
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
Networking 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.
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.