Where Should You Begin With Your New Business?

As an entrepreneur—whether you’re an operating on a local scale, or a global scale…with small dreams, or with big dreams—your focus and drive for success is the thing which pushes you ever onwards. You had an idea or a brilliant, new concept non-existent elsewhere in your market of choice; or perhaps you’ve had an idea for a brand new market. Whatever the case, you wanted your idea to be more than an idea, so you’ve taken the initiative and striven to make that happen.

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-12-08-07-am

Picture Source

But where do you actually begin with a brand new business idea?

In whichever early stage you find yourself, if your business is still new, you have a long way to go before you’ve fleshed it out from a startup into a fully-fledged enterprise. Perhaps you already have a company name; perhaps your idea and brand are fully realized and you’re ready to get on the road.

You might have a few friends with the experience needed to make this business a reality. Make sure your aims are clear and you’re all up-to-date on the avenues necessary to promote and build your business. Once you’ve done this, you’ve already taken the first few important steps.

However, manpower and expertise are only two parts of this huge equation. The financial elements of starting a new business will be the aspects which make or break this concept of yours, no matter how brilliant it is or how brilliant you are as a driven, intelligent individual (or how smart your group of multi-skilled individuals may be).

When you apply for a loan, depending on the company offering it, there may be a series of hoops through which you’ll have to leap before you’ll be seriously considered. It’s the same for all startups, because you’re a potential risk if your new company flops.

Ensure that your business plan is tight, your financial projections are promising and you’ve budgeted everything correctly. A safety net of well-planned finances is crucial to your success in these early stages, so you have to think about money to eat and drink as well as money that you and your small team will be investing into the new business.

You need to think about your base of operations.

There is no “perfect” office—only the perfect kind of office for your specific company. You need to consider your size projections for the roughly foreseeable future. Maybe you’re only a small startup right now, but if you have plans for rapid growth, then your team might have to rapidly grow to meet the needs of your business and its ever-expanding services or products on offer.

You also need to build an image within the office as part of your overall brand. The aesthetic is important as the core services within your new business, so ensure that you project professionalism to achieve professionalism. You should invest in an office which allows room for growth and is located within a professional setting, with a mail forwarding service and other facilities on offer, so that clients know you are an organized and serious corporation.

Remember, innovation and determination make up 90% of creating a successful business, but the other 10% comes down to how you project the brand itself.

Advertisements

Little Changes, Big Impact: NUMBER Small But Important Details You Can’t Afford To Overlook In Your Business

It would be understandable to feel as though businesses were only based around the broad strokes. The big, tangible elements of business take up so much time and energy that it’s easy to end up feeling as though they’re the only things that matter.

In a lot of circumstances, this can be pretty accurate. If you’re not dedicating your time to the big, important parts of your business, then you’re pretty much guaranteed to fail. However, this doesn’t mean that the big, obvious elements are the only things that you need to focus your energy on.

As much as a business needs to function in the broadest terms, you also can’t afford to ignore some of the more unusual details. Of course, there are a lot of details in business which might end up feeling as though they’re a waste of energy. But it’s surprising just how much of a difference taking care of the smaller, more specific aspects of your business can make.

If you want to create a successful, profitable business, then you need to look beyond the obvious. Here are some small but important details of your business that you might be overlooking.

Fostering Creativity

IMG_8143

Picture Source

The age of offices filled with employees, sitting silently in cubicles is long gone. Business owners discovered a long time ago how much of a difference creating a comfortable environment for their employees can make. It shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise that people work better when they’re relaxed and comfortable. Not to mention that they’re able to communicate openly. Collaboration is at the heart of modern business, and the idea of going back from that is practically impossible.

However, there are far too many instances where businesses decide that that’s all they need to do to create a healthy, dynamic working environment. There is so much more that an employer needs to do to get the most out of their employees. The simple answer to getting the most out of your employees is this: develop and foster creativity. Now, this might seem like it should only apply to creative industries. And it is true; you can’t have a creative business filled with employees who don’t feel able to be creative themselves. But there’s a lot to be said for doing the same for any other type of business. A business can’t be a static object.

Stasis is like tar to a business. Stay still for too long, and you’re liable to sink into the ground and disappear. A business should be a moving, dynamic system. Think of your business as a body. Each and every part of the body needs to be working independently as well as all together. If you only ever send down instructions for your employees to perform, then your business will begin to stagnate very quickly.

The best thing that you can do is to create an environment where your employees feel capable and willing to be creative in their work. Set up a format where they can share their ideas and concepts for improving the business itself. Let them know that it’s alright if they want to try to tackle a problem from a different direction. If your employees feel stuck in doing things the same way over and over, it’s a surefire way to leave them feeling frustrated and dissatisfied.

Create a Comfortable Work Environment

10859534173_23856a8616_z

Picture Source

It’s not just a matter scrapping the cubicles and creating open plan offices. There’s a lot more that goes into your work environment. Considering this is the place that you and your employees may well be spending the majority of your time, it pays to make it a pleasant place to be.

Light is one of the major elements that can make an office somewhere that people don’t want to be. If an office is dark and dreary, then it’s going to create an environment where you feel unmotivated and tired. Opening up the spaces and bringing light into the office can work wonders for making it a more positive place for everyone. But don’t think that you should leave it at that.

As strange as it might sound, you should be looking into it even more deeply. Simplifying things as far as possible: think about the air that you breathe. Improving the quality of the air around you is the first step to creating a healthier, more productive office. If your office is filled with people suffering from allergies and dust being kicked out by electronics.

For more information on creating the right environment then check out Healthy Office World. It might seem like a tiny change and not one that many people would think of, but it really can make a huge amount of difference. Making sure that your office is a comfortable and healthy place to be is a small but critical step in improving the performance of your business as a whole.

Support

digital-catapult

Picture Source

In a perfect world, a business would run perfectly all the time with no issues. Sadly we don’t live in a perfect world, far from it. In the real world, sometimes things can go wrong. When that happens, the last thing you want is to be left panicking with no idea how to deal with it.

When problems arise, they can throw your entire business into disarray. This is doubly true if your business has a fairly heavy online focus. If your computer system goes down, there’s a chance that your business can come to all but a complete standstill. The most important, yet constantly ignored thing that your business needs is support. The infrastructure of your business needs a solid support network to function properly.

Make sure that you have dedicated tech support available whenever you need it. This could be someone you have on staff, or it could be an outsourced service. Either way, it’s important to make sure that you have strategies in place for any potential emergency.

Like the old saying goes: failing to plan, is planning to fail. If you don’t have a plan in place in case something goes wrong, then that problem is much more likely to spiral out of control and have real, unpleasant consequences on your business.

Understanding Your Customers

customer-563967_1280

Picture Source

Now, I know what you’re thinking: what self-respecting business doesn’t have an understanding of their customers? Of course, this is true. If a business doesn’t know who their target demographic is then there’s no chance of it being able to succeed at all. The problem comes when far too many businesses think that they can get by with only the broadest definition of who their target customer is.

If you believe that you only need to see your customers in the broad strokes, then, in the end, you’re not going to be able to really understand them. Make sure that there’s no detail of your target customer that goes misunderstood. Go deeper than their age and gender. Look into the other kinds of services and products that they use.

Are there correlations you can find in their consumption habits? Do your target customers find themselves predominantly in specific areas, be it rural or urban? You should be able to create such a distinct and significant profile of your target customer that you’d be able to spot them in a crowd with ease. Don’t let your business push forward with even the smallest missing detail about who you should be marketing and selling to. And don’t think of them as a single, unified demographic either.

Remember that your customers are individuals. Even within a single demographic, there are variations and unique qualities. Make sure that you’re making a note of the ways in which individuals within your target demographic differ. If you do this, you’ll be most effectively set up to market to them as efficiently as possible.

This is not to say that you should ignore the big things that make up your business, far from it. These details should be able to complement the broad strokes of running your business to make is as successful as you possibly can. Think of the large elements as the bricks you build your business with and the smaller details as the cement you fill them in with. Without these smaller details, eventually the cracks will begin to show, and your business will begin to crumble. It might start slowly, a little bit at a time. But eventually, those cracks can grow and become much more significant and damaging problems.

Remember: it’s much harder to fill in the cracks later on than to make sure that they never appear in the first place. Don’t neglect the details at the start and you’ll find yourself having a much easier time further down the road.

Business Hacks: How to Use Outsourcing to Grow Your Business for Cheap

Running a business is a lengthy and difficult process. There are employees to manage, people to deal with, deadlines to meet, and finances to manage. Most companies hire squadrons of employees to handle most of the specialized tasks such as human resources and finances, but finding people locally can be a challenge.

Recruiting presents a difficult decision for almost every business. Do you train someone without qualifications for a cheaper price, or do you wait to hire someone that has experience? Unless you’re lucky, both of them are time-consuming choices that aren’t good for the growth of a business. A company needs fast and immediate results.

business-1012761_1280

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Why Outsource?

Instead of recruiting anyone at all, why not turn to outsourcing?

You don’t need to hire anyone for long periods of time, there’s no need to pay them a monthly salary, there are no benefits to promise them, and you can hire specialized services for a lower price than it costs to recruit, train, and keep a worker.

Let’s use an example. If you’re running a business that uses computers connected to a network, chances are you’ll consider hiring an IT professional to help manage your hardware. However, there isn’t much for that person to do outside of fixing small issues. When there are hardware failures, all it takes is a replacement or repairman to deal with.

Instead of paying someone a salary to only work during specific tasks, teach your employees basic tech skills and instead, hire someone with a CITP Certification to deal with any hardware failures, upgrades, and maintenance issues. You’ll get professional advice and suggestions on how to improve your computers, and you pay on a per-job basis instead of a monthly salary. You don’t need to interview the person either because it’s guaranteed that they’ll know what they’re doing.

entrepreneur-593371_1280

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Cheap Growth, Quality Results

There are many other tasks in the office that don’t require permanent employees. A lot of temporary work such as design can be done by freelancers, and roles such as financing can be handled by yourself with the help of online software or outsourced to a dedicated professional.

Outsourcing removes much of the hassle when hiring a new employee. Certain areas of the world will undoubtedly have less talent among the working population, and it can be a challenge trying to run a business in an area where workers are unqualified.

By opening up your business to outsourcing and freelancing, you’re opening up your doors to the entire world. There is an almost limitless amount of talent to recruit in the world, and advertising your services on the internet is guaranteed to get results as long as you post your job listings in the correct channels. Of course, you’ll still have to do a brief background check and ask for their experience, but do keep in mind that many freelancers use their portfolio to convince potential clients, not their qualifications.

Companies that outsource work have their own recruitment policies and demands. They wouldn’t hire someone who didn’t meet their standards, so you’re guaranteed to get someone knowledgeable and professional when you outsource your tasks.

A More Successful Blog Means Treating It Like A Business

apple-iphone-smartphone-desk

Pic Source

If you have a blog, but you want to make more of it, then there are some essential things you need to consider. The fact is, you can only get so far with your blog as long as you are thinking of it as ‘just a blog’. If you are looking for real, ongoing success, you need to instead think of it as more like a business.

Being business-minded with your blog means that you are more likely to see it become more and more successful – and what blogger doesn’t want that? Still, it is a good idea to take a look at the various things that you should consider.

If you are looking for ways to get your blog to be more popular and successful, then take a look at the following. Here are some essential aspects to bear in mind:

Planning

Ultimately, planning is one of the most difficult aspect of all – and one of the most important. With proper planning, it is much more likely that your blog business will flourish. If you do not plan, then you can’t be sure of where you intend to go. And from that, it is clear that your business is much less likely to enjoy the kind of success you hope for it.

When it comes to planning a blog, there is plenty to take on board to ensure you get it right. The most important thing here is that your plan is as detailed as possible. This is the key: detailed, clear steps towards ambitious, yet achievable, goals. Take a look at your blog as it currently stands. Chances are, you have a good groundwork to work form, but you need more substance. Or you could do with more followers.

If your blog is following a certain niche or topic, then look for other blogs in that same vein. Connect with them – but lay out how you are going to connect, and when.

startup-photos

Pic Source

If you set yourself small goals along the way, you will find that you get a lot more done. You will also have a fuller sense of ongoing achievement – and this is important to keep you going. Another important part of planning is making preparations for the chance of anything going wrong. If other parts of your plan don’t work out, you need to know what you can do about that to improve the situation.

You might also find that mind-mapping is a great way to envisage the future of your blog. From this, you can then work out the logical steps towards achieving what you want to achieve. Take this stage seriously, and work at it diligently, and you will probably come away feeling ready and able to expand your blogging business into greater and greater success.

Branding

One of the most important parts of running a business is the branding, and this will be the same for your business too. When you are thinking about branding a blog, it is actually relatively straightforward to get it right. A brand needs to be a powerful, fix-all reminder of what your business stands for.

If you have developed a certain ‘voice’ or writing style which goes along with a specific personality, then this is essentially your brand. Work with this, and try to expand it into something a bit more concrete. Then it is just a matter of ensuring that you have real consistency with it. This means going through every bit of output and seeing whether it is brand-loyal. Even small details like the color of your header, and the design of the sites’ layout, need to come into consideration here.

When you send emails, does your signature give you away, or is it loyal to the brand? What about your comments style? You need to think about all of this if you are to get the branding right. With proper branding, your blog is much more likely to draw in greater and greater numbers of readers from all over the world. The point is: find a way of relating to people, and stick to it fully.

pexels-photo

Pic Source

Protection

All businesses need protecting from various threats which abound in the real world. You need to make sure you are doing everything in your power to protect your blogging business against such threats. As a blogger, one of your main concerns here is going to be the theft of your intellectual property. It is vital that you do everything you possibly can to protect your information and your content. Remember: as soon as you publish it, even online, it is legally your intellectual property.

If you see your work posted elsewhere, then you might be wondering what you can do. The truth is, you can actually take legal action against those people if you find your own work to have been stolen. A dmca service can help you to force them to take the stolen material down. This will often solve the issue, but first of all ask them and make sure it is just a genuine mistake. You need to protect your ideas and your writing if you are going to take your blog seriously as a business.

pexels-photo-copy

Pic Source

Assistance

There is often the unconscious assumption that you can’t possibly take on any help. Something about the nature of blogging seems to suggest that it is to be done alone. However, this is nonsense. In fact, treating it as a business means that you should feel perfectly able to hire some help for your blog.

This can come in many forms, depending on what it is you need help with. Take a look at the idea of the human cloud to get you started here. This is the process of hiring virtual assistants and the like online. With this particularly new and unique form of outsourcing, you can pend much more of your time on the actual writing of the content, and less on the maintenance and admin of looking after the site. This alone could make all the difference.

Create The Perfect Office Space To Boost Your Business

4255990333_78ef2e3119_b

Image (royalty free) from Flikr

It’s just four walls, a floor, and a ceiling—how much thought do you really need to put into your office? Actually, quite a lot. What you do with this space can make or break you, as a good office design will essentially support and enhance your business in many ways.

If you want to succeed, you have to consider what you do with your office. Investigating and researching what makes a good office is advisable. Spend some time planning and thinking about the best way to go about things.

If you already have an office and want to make some changes, consider speaking to colleagues too. They might be able to enlighten you about the aspects you hadn’t considered. Here are some of the reasons why the perfect office space will help to boost your business.

office-730681_1280

Image (royalty free) from Pixabay

First Impressions Count

If you run a business where clients and customers come into your office, a well thought out and aesthetically pleasing space will make a positive impression. It will make your company seem well polished and legitimate; on the other hand, meetings held in an outdated or drab space may be putting people off. In the cut-throat world of business, is this really a risk you can afford to take?

Your customers or clients could simply go to your competitors instead. Think about the aesthetics; light-colored walls will make the space feel bigger and airier. Good quality furniture will look nice as well as being practical. Plants and greenery bring the space to life and have also been shown to have wellness benefits in the office. Plus, good quality signs with your company logo help to tie everything together and create more brand awareness.

A site like http://www.islandprinting.com.au/banners-signs/ can print things like this which would be ideal for your office space. Your office is the face of your whole company, so it needs to promote a sense of knowledge and trust if you want to get customers and clients on board. The last thing you want is for someone to visit and end up disappointed or underwhelmed. This could have an adverse effect on your business’s reputation.

Consider Employee Satisfaction

Your office is the face of your business and something that benefits customers and clients, but it also will mean your employees are more satisfied too. This is good news for you since it leads to better productivity and therefore more profit. If you look after your employees, they will look after your customers—and your business will run much more smoothly.

Furniture should be ergonomically designed for maximum comfort and performance. For example, you should opt for supportive chairs to reduce pain and strain of the muscles. Standing desks may also be useful in some cases; bear in mind the health and role of the staff member.

Another thing to consider regarding employee satisfaction is lighting. The right lighting can actually make workers more efficient. The dim glow of artificial lighting can cause eye strain, headaches, and tiredness. On the other hand, natural lighting in office environments has been shown to boost mood and function. So, use natural light where you can.

You could do this by reconfiguring your office so that desks are positioned near windows. If you’re in the process of finding an office space to buy or rent, look for somewhere which has large windows and naturally gets a lot of light. Natural light helps people see things better since human vision is designed to adjust to changes in natural light. At the very least, use “daylight bulbs” instead of harsh fluorescents. Use the right lighting, and you will find that worker productivity increases. This is because the kind of light you’re exposed to controls your melatonin levels. In turn, this affects how awake and focused you feel.

Another important aspect to consider for your employees’ satisfaction is downtime/ break areas. This gives everyone chance to relax and interact with each other, and people aren’t having to get up and leave the premises for lunch and break times.

If you can transform a tired and gloomy office into one that promotes motivation and inspiration, this will reflect positively on the overall business and make your staff much happier. You could check out an article like http://www.reliableplant.com to find out other ways to make staff happiest.

office-170639_1280

Image (royalty free) from Pixabay

Think About Layout

The layout of your office is something that shouldn’t be overlooked since it impacts the way your employees can perform their jobs. Think about the types of tasks your employees perform and go with a design which is both comfortable and functional. Many modern offices favor an open layout where staff work at communal tables or workstations with low walls. This allows them to interact with co-workers and is useful for group and collaborative work.

However, you will need to consider if this is the best move for your business, and it will depend on what it is you do. If your employees perform tasks that require intense concentration or privacy, then open play many not be the best route. Ideally, your office will feature both collaborative and more private areas. This means that regardless of the task, there’s a suitable space to work.

Research by Google has shown that people work best in teams of seven. This is because it’s a group size where a leader isn’t needed; members can work on an equal footing and all guide each other. Interestingly, the average family size around the world is seven—and there seems to be something a little magic about the luckiest number.

Bearing this in mind, you could go with the approach Google has, and create work areas with spaces for seven people. You might find it helps with worker productivity. Sites like www.pinterest.com have lots of visual guides and images that can help you with your research.

Good Technology Makes Tasks Quicker

Are you constantly having to apologize to customers and clients for the system being down? Or are slow computers are the bane of your employees work day? In this case, updating is essential. It might cost money upfront, but as long as you have slow computers, you are losing valuable working hours. You might even be losing customers, too, since it makes your business look unreliable.

Invest in good hardware and software. This allows workers to do their job most efficiently and also saves the from doing tedious manual tasks. What could take a worker all day could take a computer minutes with the right programs. No longer do you have to wait for ages for pages to print, or for someone to manually go through all of the company’s accounts. Modern technology means you need to hire fewer workers, and the workers that you do have are being put to best use.

Computers can of course do things much more quickly and efficiently than humans, and it keeps everything much more accurate too. So, take advantage of this and you will boost business. Websites such as www.pcworld.com will advise you on some of the best company software you could go for.

Think About Storage

Proper storage systems are vital in the smooth running of your business. Everything has to be neat and accessible, with good records kept for all transactions. Thanks to the cloud and online backup systems, the average office now has a lot less paperwork than in years gone by. But you will still always have some paper records, so you need the right pieces of furniture.

You could choose designs that blend with the rest of your office furniture, so it’s aesthetically pleasing as well as practical. You will need somewhere to keep paper files and documents, as well as general office supplies. Go with storage that’s easy to use and practical for all of your staff. It’s something to consider when you are designing and planning the layout and the look of your office. You can get more ideas from sources such as https://smallbiztrends.com

Updating your office can feel like a monumental task, and the likelihood is you will need to budget a fair amount of money to make the relevant upgrades. But when it has such a crucial role in the success of your business, it’s simply not something you can overlook.

Are you currently experiencing high staff turnover, or are losing out on valuable clients and don’t understand why? Then this could well be it. As business owners, we pour our heart and soul into our work, and when success and failure is in our hands, it’s important we take the necessary steps for it to do well. And a great office is one of many components. Spend the time, money, and resources here and it will pay off everywhere else.

As a business owner, have you put much thought into your office space?