How Businesses Survive

If you’re thinking about starting your own business (and more and more people are in the UK) one of the risks you need to be aware of is that new small businesses frequently fail. Sometimes – indeed often – it’s due to factors beyond the control of the owner.

If you’ve been running a small business for a year and a national or multinational competitor moves into town, you’ll be lucky to survive the slow bleed of customers and revenue as your market is at best split, or at worst fatally compromised. Changes in legislation can leave your costs soaring – recent changes in guidelines lights and lightbulbs is putting a lot of small theatres in danger as they need to replace all their lights to meet new rules. For businesses that survive month to month on a small margin having a big cost like this imposed from the top down can be the last straw.

Perhaps worse than being sunk by a big one off cost is slowly losing your profits due to a change that eats into your margins: leaving the EU is increasing the cost of bringing materials, goods and talent in from Europe for UK companies, and having to shutter your business due to simple logistics is extremely disheartening.

Some problems, though, you can anticipate and plan against. Businesses that fail due to self-imposed problems could have done better and issues like this that we’re taking a look at today.

Planning and Budgeting

If you want to start a business you will of course need a business plan: a document that sets out your goals, your methods for achieving them and the research showing how they are achievable.

The problem many people run into is that their plan only accounts for how things will go under a single, unchanging set of circumstances. You can build for long term success before you make your first phone call by taking longer over your planning, and building in redundancies and contingencies to cover situations where your hopes don’t materialise. Having a plan in place from day one to deal with how you’ll adapt if you face more competition than expected means if that does happen, you won’t be caught on the fly, and will be able to react competently and seamlessly.

Developing Infrastructure

One way small businesses fall down in the early days is a lack of specialist knowledge for key back office roles. You’re a single person with a small team and you’re a specialist in selling your product, not necessarily setting up your supply chain, coming up with the most efficient inventory system or even handling day to day HR concerns like tracking holiday! If that sort of thing gets away from you, you’ll find yourself disappointing clients with unexpected shortages of goods or personnel!

Interim Management offers a solution: investing a bit of capital in an interim specialist to come in in the early days and impart their knowledge and experience will leave you with a robust system that will carry you through until you can expand and hire permanent staff to cover these areas.

If you’re looking for Interim Management, UK firms are experiencing something of a boom so you have plenty of choice!

Free Software that Every Start Up Should be Using

Starting up a company is a huge endeavor. Not only are you committing endless amounts of time, passion, and brain power, you also need money. Though every company has a different origin story and has a different funding structure, what links most of them the need to be frugal with what money you do have.

Knowing how to get the most value out of the smallest investment is a skill that all successful entrepreneurs acquire after some time.

One good place to start is with software.

Your industry might require specialized software to do work, but no matter what your line of business is, you’ll be needing something to manage the following: bookkeeping, ERM, marketing, and human resources. Finding the right fit for the right price means that it will take the load off of your personnel, keeping them doing what they do best, and minimizing your expenses.

The great thing is that there are many options out there, many of them free that can get you through the start-up phase to a level where you can spend a little more resources on a more personalized solution.

Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is a big job, and it’s one that has to be done right. There’s a range of software out there these days, many of the options proving to be a good fit for small companies and start-ups. While the popular software, Quickbooks, is affordable for even the smallest companies with its month to month subscription plan, there are also free options like Sage that don’t cost anything at all. Though you might miss some of the compatibility features of more developed programs, it will get you through the first stage. Not sure which way to go? Take advantage of the free trials and experience them first hand.

Human Resources

Even in a small company, talent management is a big role, maybe even more so than in a big company. To get things done, the team has to gel well and communicate effectively. Human resources not only scouts new talent and adds valuable players to the team, it also takes care of things like timesheets, payroll and updating personal information. The advantage of a payroll software for your company could be huge, as it should be as reactive and flexible as your team is. Start with a free version and move into the professional level once you feel you need it.

Marketing

Marketing your company is huge, especially if you are introducing a product or service that people don’t quite understand. The process of engaging with your audience and educating them can be time consuming and expensive, especially if you want it to be high quality and authentic. Thankfully, there is free software like Statusbrew and Buffer that allow you to schedule some of your social media posts so that you can be more efficient and effective with your time. Though there’s no guarantee that what you put out there will resonate with your audience, being able to have your posts go up without you waiting for the right time and pressing a button is super liberating.

Team Communication

There are many team management systems out there, from Google Business Services, through Podio, and Asana. But before you get to a team size that warrants this level of digital cooperation, see if you can’t work out a system with free software or programs that you are already using like Microsoft Note, Dropbox, Google Docs, etc. You might find this a fine temporary solution until you have room in the budget to find a suitable software solution.

As you see, software is definitely a place you can “cut some fat” in your start-up budget, at least until your needs have been clarified and you require a more personalized or sophisticated replacement. Successful start-ups know where you use their money and where to make the most of the free tools out there. Research is the key role of a founder, and the rewards of the search can be great-such as saving hundreds of dollars a month on software.

What Business Continuity Looks like for Trades

Fancy terms like business continuity are often thrown around at the corporate level at strategy meetings, but what does it mean to a self-employed tradesman or a small business owner?

In simple terms, business continuity is the ability for a company to continue operations if something were to disrupt the regular day to day. An example would be continue taking orders even if the online store is down or continue to service your plumbing customers if your car was out of service in the shop. It’s about rising above the issues at hand and keeping your customers happy despite the difficulties you are dealing with.

Trades like electricians, welders, plumbers, roofers, and more will have drastically different business continuity measures than a bank or a tech company. However, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be making their own business continuity plans.

Equipment

Tradespeople usually rely on their tools to get things done. From simple items like hammers, to more specialized equipment, having something broken, lost, or stolen can paralyze your ability to do work. This won’t just create delays, but it can also ruin your reputation as a dependable business owner. Create a backup plan for each of your tools, whether that means carrying around extras or knowing where to rent a replacement until yours can be repaired.

Vehicle

Many tradespeople depend on their vehicles to get to their worksites. While that might be a slightly bigger sedan or a full-out van, having a last-minute break down means that you can’t get yourself or your equipment to the site. Have a back up plan for such circumstances, such as a fiberglass truck box for protecting your professional tools which you can put onto a rental or secondary truck, or a system in which you can quickly and safely move the contents of your vehicle to another one.

Communication

According to stereotypes, tradespeople already seem to have an issue with communication, and having one actually pick up the phone every time is a gem worth keeping. Don’t mess up what you already have worked so hard on by having your phone malfunction and losing that line of communication with your clients and potential clients. Buy a heavy-duty case for your phone, keep it safe on your belt or another designated location, and try to keep it from getting damaged. But to really cover all your bases, you should carry around an old, back-up phone that you can always slide your sim card into if your primary phone was to “take a break” for some reason.

Weather

Extreme weather events are often busy times for some trades, with HVAC, plumbing, and electricity often malfunctioning. When you see that there’s a possible weather event coming on, prepare to be called out, meaning your car is suited to the weather, with winter tires, etc., your back up generator has fuel, and your equipment is primed for what it will need to deal with. Having extra parts on-hand is always a win, as deliveries can become long and difficult when the weather is being off. If you yourself are prepared, then you are more likely to be able to cover the areas in which others weren’t or deal with a large volume of emergency calls.

Business continuity is what no small business owner really things about until something happens that leaves them scrambling for solutions. Make yourself even more competitive by preparing for likely disruptions to your business and brainstorming ahead of time what can be done to prevent them or deal with them as best as possible.

Tips on the Importance of Social Media in Business

How many social media platforms are you involved in on a personal base? How about on a professional base? Is your business even represented in the social media realm? Are you aware that social media is one of the faster growing trends around? Do you also realize that your business is people driven and that people hang out on social media platforms? Do you get it now or do you need a picture drawn? Your business is people driven therefore, you should not underestimate the power social media has for your business. According to an article on Forbes, social media marketing could very well be the ‘the next big thing’ in fact, it is the next big thing trending. Many businesses are currently taking advantage of social media where others are still confused and unwilling to move into the social media realm. What are some of the ways that social media marketing can your business grow? Some of the potential elements that social media can have on your business include: improving your brand loyalty, increasing your brand recognition, larger conversion rates, more chances to convert people, increasing traffic, bigger brand authority, happier customers, and decreasing marketing expenses. Perhaps you are one of those who have to do everything in your business and don’t have time for social media. According to an article, there are plenty of social media management tools available to you that will help you take care of your business’ social media needs. These management tools will allow you to schedule posts and manage your various accounts without having to hire someone else. Some of the best social media management tools out there for your business include: Buffer (cost: free to $399 per month), Hootsuite (cost: free to $499 per month), Everypost (cost: $9.99 to $99.99 per month), Agora Sendible (cost: $49 to $499 per month), Pulse (cost: $49 to $299 per month), and Sprout Social (cost: $99 to $249 per month).

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Networking Ideas to Try in 2018

Even in the age where it seems like you don’t have to leave your house at all and can still be a successful business person, networking is as important, if not more so, then it was 10 or 20 years ago. With an oversaturation of information, and the ease of research for consumers, the networks have gotten bigger, albeit shallower, meaning that companies have to work overtime to connect with their target market.

If growing your business was one of your 2018 goals, you might want to give some of these ideas a try, getting yourself out there and more available to connect with.

Get Online

You might have gotten away with it this far, but the greatest thing you can do for yourself this year is to get yourself and your company online. From setting up social media accounts for your business, creating a LinkedIn profile for yourself and your company, and redesigning your website, there are plenty of strategists who can guide you and set out a direction. The fun doesn’t stop there. It’s not enough to simply “have” this digital real estate; you have to do something with it! Schedule times throughout your day during which you can post, interact with other accounts, respond to messages, etc.  Networking online with your target market and other potential partners and collaborators is extremely effective.

Join an Industry Group

No man is an island, and no business is an island either. Join an industry group or your local chamber of commerce to meet like-minded people, share your experiences, learn from others’ mistakes, and forge some new relationships. Though some might see this as “fraternizing with the enemy”, having good relationships with your competitors can push you all forward as an industry, allowing the possibility of referring work to each other as needed, and creating a powerful group for lobbying if it’s never needed.

Plan a Trade Show or Convention

This is your year to do something big! Plan a tradeshow or convention that would attract members of your target audience. Gather your network in one of the Montreal reception halls, charge a price for exhibitors and for attendees, and not only will you expand and strengthen your network, you will assert yourself as a subject matter expert in your field, making yourself a valuable connection for others to have.

Start Writing

If you consider yourself a bit of an introvert and you find direct networking difficult, consider giving a shot at writing. Start by publishing your own blog on your website, with helpful articles related to your industry. After a while, you can approach other blogs and ask if you might write a guest post for them. This can be the start of some good online networking and making your name better known in the industry.

Get Coaching

Sometimes what you need is just some good, old coaching. Hire a business coach to teach you the secrets of effective networking, starting with how to properly introduce yourself and your business, down to which topics to stay away from. BONUS: they might also have other clients that would be a good fit with your business that they could connect. Remember to always thank the “connector” for their help in expanding your network. Not only is it the nice thing to do, it will make them more willing to do it again in the future.

Make some inroads with your business goals this year by investing some time and resources into networking. You’ll be surprised by the incredible results that an honest effort can make.

Putting Your Money To Good Use – Spread Betting

We all save money in banks and rely on interests but that doesn’t add much value to your savings. We have some saved money in our bank accounts and we definitely want to utilize it well to get good returns but very few people do that by trading? There are many ways out of which spread betting is one way to get good returns on your saved money. However, it will take time to understand this system and to understand the right ways to speculate. Do you know that there are people who make a living on spread betting? But how does it work?

You can first get involved in penny shares which always claims huge rises or in day trading systems where people get lucky everyday though many don’t get huge profits and keep waiting.

What Should You Look For?

It was suggested by many successful and experienced spread betters to choose the trend using large capped and highly liquid stocks. These are usually traded mostly in banks everyday. The rule is that you need to buy higher and sell higher but you should be well aware of the trend. When a share is low priced, it means the chances of its price going lower is high. So, it is better to avoid such shares. The same theory applies to highly priced shares. These have higher chances of price rising higher and higher. However penny shares are well-known and an exception to this rule is that they have maintained their price in the market. You need to focus to cut short your losses and get more profits.

When you start spread betting then make sure to limit losses to yourself and this is usually suggested to keep between 7% and 9%. Let the trading broker execute it for you later automatically and turn off your computer to get some peace of mind. This might look dangerous to you and you might feel the fear of losses but the truth is you may get healthy returns about 70% of the time. And it is important to understand that you need to work with a very experienced service provider for that to happen such as ETX capital.

Capital Needed To Do Well In The Market

You already know that you need to put some amount initially to start the game. And this amount depends on how active the frame you chose is, length of the trade, risk percentage of the market, etc.

Do some background work and calculations especially when you are looking for specific amount of returns on spread betting. The amount of points you need in a financial year decides the volume of the stakes you should put up which also includes the amount required to survive the losses too.

Now this proves that spread betting isn’t easy money either. The profit you earn depends on many factors such as work, actual labor, risks in the market, etc. For beginners it is better to start small and understand the market first. In the first go itself if you bet big then the chances are you will lose due to inexperience in this field. Even though it is a leveraged process, it is advised not to put too big bets ever. Prefer working with experienced people and experienced service providers like ETX capital until you get some knowledge and experience. Once you are comfortable with the trends you can go ahead yourself. There is definitely a huge opportunity with huge returns but it needs time, patience, hard work and some understanding of the market.

Who to Go to For Business Advice

When you’re running your own business it’s important to take advice from a spread of experienced peers and professionals. Without someone to check your point of view you run the risk of losing sight of the big picture, becoming too focused on your particular specialism, or acting on blind faith. While it’s important to have self-belief to drive you forward, you also need people you trust to tell you if your self-belief has become self-deluding.

We’re presenting a guide to where you can get this all important advice, and who is the right person to consult for the insight you need in specific situations.

Personal Issues

Running a company is a high stress occupation, and it’s important to make sure you’re managing your time and relationships well to avoid burning out and burning bridges. A new breed of support staff is the ‘executive coach’, ministering to the needs of the burgeoning class of start-up entrepreneurs.

If you’re experiencing difficulty managing your work life balance or resolving disputes with co-founders, an executive coach can help you find more productive ways to move forward.

Legal Expertise

Legal advice is not something you should leave until you hit a crisis. Speaking to a lawyer when you’re setting up your company, drawing up contracts and looking for funding mean you can be assured you’re laying solid foundations for your business that will see you in good stead for months and years to come.

Over the last ten years more options have become available to connect small businesses and start-ups with the lawyers who can help them. If you use an online lawyer like Lawbite legal advice is available via your browser when you need it, rather than having to make an appointment to visit another office. It can also be cheaper – as you only pay for the specific service you require, making it easier to budget for getting advice in advance of a crisis.

Recommendations and Referrals

If you’re looking for professional services – like a lawyer or an executive coach – the place to start is with your professional network. Look to your peers who are in a similar position to you. Better yet, if you have the contacts, speak to entrepreneurs who are where you want to be in 1, 2 or 5 years and ask them for recommendations for the professionals they used along the way. A personal endorsement from someone you trust is worth a hundred online reviews when you’re trying to get the advice you need.

Profiting Off Marijuana Stocks If You Are A Day Trader

When you become a day trader, you are going against the grain. You are picking a way of life and a method for making money that corporate stuffed suits look down on and traditional investors look at as a Wild West offshoot of real financial work. The parallels with the marijuana stocks are striking. There is no other growing sector that is more opposed to traditional business. The numbers are huge and the appeal to counterculture agitators is there. That is why there is such an opportunity to profit off marijuana stocks as a day trader.

 

Day trading is all about taking advantage of volatility. You need violent fluctuations in share prices in order for day trading to be profitable. When stocks go up 30 or 40 percent during a day, that means that there is opportunity to buy low and sell high. With all that volatility, you will run into some risk, but the key is to manage that risk accordingly.

 

While trading in marijuana stocks of companies that are actually selling the product in states with legal recreation statutes can be risky, because of the chance of random federal enforcement, it stands to reason that you can make better decisions by investing in biotech stocks of companies that work in the medical marijuana field. They are generally safer marijuana stocks to put your money into. The medicinal market is much more regulated and likely to grow steadily over the next few years.

 

Of course, though, if you are day trading you are going to want to go with the sector that has less steady growth. You can apply strategies like gap & go trading to these stocks. Finding a gapper or a stock whose share price has risen over the closing price the day before in the morning is a great sign. You need to confirm other factors, such as the overall float or number of shares available for trading and a breaking news catalyst for the pre-market rise in price, but once you find that you are off to the races. Gappers that are up 4% over the day before a likely to shoot off on a run that will move your profits upwards.

 

For slightly longer term trading strategies, it makes sense to check out companies like the Green Organic Dutchman, a Canadian company that is aiming to be one of the largest producers of organic cannabis in the world. The IPO is on the near horizon, but finding out about companies like these early on can make your ability to profit off of marijuana stocks that much easier. Canada is ahead of the United States in the legalized production and sale of weed, so marijuana stocks from Canadian companies are more likely to be long-term winners than U.S. companies.

 

No matter if you are day trading or looking at some longer plays, you want to educate yourself as much as possible about investing before you risk your money. When you link up with a day trading education site, you can start by paper trading, or trading with virtual currency in a simulated brokerage account. That kind of practice can have long term positive effects on your bottom line.

Why Clover Credit Card Processing is the Best POS System?

When it comes to running your business, one thing is a must-have item these days. You must be able to accept all forms of credit card payments. Whether you’re on the go and you choose the Clover Mini  or you have a storefront, you need to offer these services to help your client base continue to grow. People who only accept cash lose a variety of clients every day simply because they do not have this technology at their fingertips. With the Clover credit card system, you do not have to worry about lost business anymore.

Accept All Cards

Whether you want a compact on the go system or you like the look of the Clover Flex POS, all the systems make it easy to accept a variety of card payments. These days consumers can pay with their smartwatches or even their smartphones without ever taking a card out of their wallet. With these advanced systems, you can accept all types of payments and keep your customers returning day after day.

Streamline Your Business

The variety of Clover systems offered by Merchant Account Solutions allow you to do so much more than just accept credit cards. You can keep up with store inventory, employee timecards and so much more. You can let your clients check out at their table once they’re through with their meal or you can check them out on the go at the local vendor fair or food truck event.

With the Clover credit card systems in your business, you can take your company to the next level. You can accept all forms of payments, make business processes simpler to handle and keep your clients coming back to your location. Merchant Account Solutions can help you find the perfect Clover system to fit your business needs.

What To Look For In A Toyota Car

When you’re buying your next Toyota, there are many things to consider to get the most out of your purchase. Owning a Toyota can be a great thing as it can save you money on gas, look great, and have a great hold but you’ll need to know what to look for first.

First you should look at the mileage. If you’re looking for a new car an excellent way to make sure you’re going to have the best car you can get, you’ll want to make sure it has low mileage. You can get different kinds of mileage at all kinds of used price points but it’s important to remember to find the lowest you can while also concentrating on the issues your car might have.

You need to look at the car history of your car and that means that looking at a lot of different cars and asking a lot of questions. It may also means buying a car history on the car to make sure nothing big has happened to it. This is especially important if you have had a recent flood or disaster in the area in which you’ll be buying the car.

Next you’ll want to look at the features the car offers. Almost everyone these days prefers to have music and gps capabilities in your car so that driving is a more enjoyable experience, so you should definitely make sure your new Toyota has everything you want.

As you can probably tell if you’ve read this article, research is one of the most important factors in getting a new car. Used or otherwise. This means that you’ll need something to research on. Shop Newegg for excellent prices on computers and laptops which can aid heavily in your purchase of your new Toyota.