5 Questions to Consider Before Starting Your Business

When considering the option of becoming self-employed, we are often focused upon the financial elements needed for successful trading. Forecasting your earning potential is an important exercise before taking the plunge into self-employment and having a contingency plan in case of failure is always recommended. However, the emotional and psychological implications of self-employment are often overlooked by potential entrepreneurs, and herein lie many of the challenges faced by new business owners.

Why do you want to do this?

The first and most important step to preparing for potential self-employment is to be completely honest with yourself. Identifying your real motivations for wanting to leave the 9-5 grind will help clarify if starting a business is right for you. If your motivations centre solely around an annoying boss or co-worker, then you need to consider if finding another job might be the best solution for you. The idea of being your own boss can be alluring, but not everybody is cut out for entrepreneurship. Self-employment often poses far more difficulties than working for an employer, and it is advisable for one to ascertain whether they are willing to make sacrifices in terms of financial security, as well as job stability, to develop a business. Taking the time to consider this question deeply will either save you a lot of trouble or help steel you for the challenges ahead.

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Seven Ways to Organize Your Home Office to Create More Space

Keeping an organized and tidy workspace is essential. Studies have shown that concentration is negatively affected in an untidy work environment. So it’s just as important for home workers to keep their workspace clean as it is in a conventional office. As the specialists in both home and office cleaning, at Helpling, we’re uniquely qualified to offer tips on how to keep your home office clean and organized. We’ve put together some of our top tips on how home workers can keep a neat and tidy workspace.

1. Go digital

If you’re working from a home office, space is likely at a premium. Maximise what room you have by digitizing as much of your paperwork as you can. Use laptops or iPads for meetings to shorten your paper trail and reduce printing costs. It is also much better for the environment.

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Tips For Running a Business With Your Loved One

Running a business with someone you love can be tricky at times but the many benefits that come with it far outweigh the challenges. My partner and I started our business together about 3 years ago and I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Having said that, there have been plenty of obstacles along the way and 3 years in, we’ve got a few tips that might help other couples who are starting out in business together.

We started our ecommerce business as a side project while we both had full time jobs. Over the years we gradually reduced our time at our jobs as the business grew. Now we are both about to make the leap into full time entrepreneurship and we are more than a little excited! Not only will we get to choose what we do when we wake up everyday, we’ll also get to spend the majority of our time together, instead of with work colleagues.

Here are some tips we’ve learned along that way that have really helped us to succeed in our business:

1)    Plan your life and business goals together. When your income and life are so intertwined, having life goals that are fuelled by your business success can be the best motivator there is! Location independence is one of the most motivating incentives for us and has helped drive us through the tough times. Connect something you want in your life to the success of your business and you’ll have all the motivation you’ll need to make it work.

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5 Digital Success Tips For Small Business

Our competitive landscape has completely changed. Customers expect more from businesses, on and offline. Technology is transforming the way we search, connect, engage and purchase. New tools, platforms, lower barriers to entry and accessible insights are evening the playing field for small businesses.

Is your mobile and digital technology use currently limiting your digital potential?

Here are five tips to help you become a leader, not a laggard.

1. Get the basics right

•    Stalk your customer – Understand your customers’ buying journey and exceed expectations. Tailor the online experience to complement your other channels and customer interactions.

•    Have a realistic budget – Customer attraction and retention are crucial for small businesses. Have you set aside a budget for marketing? As a guideline 5% of revenues is recommended for existing businesses and approximately 10% for start-ups. ROI (return-on-investment) should always be key when measuring your marketing efforts. Smart investments will ensure you are well positioned to attract consumers now and in the future.

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Keeping It Simple to Stand Out

Branding is more important for big corporate business right?

Wrong.

Branding is even more vital for small business, where there is usually limited time and budget available for promotion and you can’t afford to waste it on marketing that doesn’t work.

Without a brand. most businesses end up with WOFTAM marketing – a waste of flipping time and money, because they lack the simplistic yet clear message that a brand provides.

A brand is like a compass for your marketing, keeping you in the right direction, ensuring your message is on-brand and that you consistently stand out and engage with the right target audience.

And standing out is crucial when competition is fierce.

Without a strong brand a small business disappears amongst others in the industry, leaving you competing on price alone and that’s a race to the bottom. That’s especially important for service providers where you are exchanging your time for money.

Without a clear brand direction you tend to get a bit lost, you waffle and flounder when it comes to explaining why someone should choose you.

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How to Maintain Business Continuity in Uncertain Times

Business continuity planning should be an essential priority for any business including small and medium sized companies just as it is for large companies. Every year, around 20% of all businesses face an event that is unplanned and unwanted that may just challenge their survival. The threats may come from fire, flood, theft, illness or something much worse, but regardless of the problem, businesses that successfully recover are those that have planned their response in advance.

All businesses are unique and there is no generic template that can be applied to every business. However, the following areas of consideration when it comes to continuity planning can act as a start point to prepare your own plan:

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Get Set Go Tips For Setting Up A Small Business

Who doesn’t like to be his/her own boss? Setting up a business can make your dream come true and proper planning and patience are the key to establishing your business. Here are some tips which will guide and help you to establish a new business:

Plan Out The Budget

One of the first things you need to consider when setting up your business is choosing the perfect location.  There is no need to buy expensive furniture and have flashy interiors in the beginning. A simple look might be equally classy and attractive to your customers as long as your products and services are good.

Friends, Family And Customers Are The Best Marketing Tools

Good old fashioned word-of-mouth does wonders when it comes to marketing. Appreciate the job of your clients, friends, family and influencers in creating a market for your product. Let them spread the word about your services or items.

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Pricing Your Products and Services

Some people wildly overprice their products. The more common mistake though by those just starting out in businesses is to be too cheap. As a freelance copywriter and web marketing guy who’s been around a few years, I’ve seen the effects of this both in my own business dealings and in those of clients.

My Early Mistakes

My first venture into selling web marketing services was selling cheap and cheerful search engine optimisation plans to local businesses. Years of experience writing and promoting web content on my own websites meant I knew the work backwards, but that didn’t mean I was totally new to dealing with clients.

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A Startups Guide To Bring Your Own Device Policies (BYOD)

By 2017, one in two firms will no longer provide devices for use by their employees. Under deliberate or default “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies, an increasing number of employees are using their own phones and computers in the workplace rather than hardware owned by their employer.In a 2013 study conducted by Dell, 59% of IT Decision makers said they would be at a competitive disadvantage if they didn’t embrace a BYOD policy. And the companies at the forefront of the movement? Startups of course.

But is BYOD as great as it sounds? Start up companies are among the most financially savvy businesses, always looking for ways to stretch a small budget. At first glance, asking employees to purchase their own devices seems like an easy way to save company funds, while improving staff morale (19% of firms believe BYOD improves employee satisfaction) and offering other benefits.

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Why You Shouldn’t Be Disappointed After a Startup Failure

The quality that best characterizes business owners is passion; it sets the engines of entrepreneurship rolling with the proprietor behind the wheel. It’s the same passion with fuels the drive to attain his purpose and achieve his vision. But every business venture starts out as an idea. Entrepreneurs will always believe they have stumbled across the “next big thing”. Passion turns to excitement until reality puts the entrepreneurial dream in its proper perspective.

Statistically, entrepreneurs who start a new business are already at a disadvantage. As you’re reading this article; in the United States, 1,569 new businesses are starting out. Of those 1,569 new businesses, 1,520 will close down by the end of its first fiscal year. The failure rate of start- ups is universal; in Canada for every 397 new businesses that start every day, 375 will declare bankruptcy by the end of the year. According to Small Business Association, more than 50% of all small businesses will shut down five (5) years from the start of operation.

If your business is a start up with unprofitable operations, you should not be discouraged because failure is part of the process.

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