Archive | April 2017

Did You Know Cheap Companies Break Easily?

It’s in a business owner’s nature to try and cut spending as much as possible. They know that if the business is cheaper to run it will be a lot more competitive on the market and there’s no denying that’s going to be useful. It means that if a competitor cuts prices of their product you will already be in a situation where you can easily handle it.

However, you do need to be careful about the areas where you reduce spending. By cutting down costs in the wrong areas you can put your business in trouble, legally and economically. Here are some of the areas where it’s worth spending more to ensure that your business doesn’t crash.

Legal Advisor

business-litigationObviously, a business lawyer is always going to be an expensive hire. They can charge as much as they like but the reason they can do this is that you need them. There’s no way to run a business and keep it on top of regulations without a legal advisor on staff or on call.

One of the ways you can reduce spending without reducing the quality of the service is by outsourcing this issue. Rather than hiring a lawyer full time, you can make sure you have a number to call whenever you need them. That way, you’ll always be able to talk to someone for legal advice whenever you want or need them. You’ll only be paying for their help when you use their services if you set it up this way.

Of course, larger companies do stand to pay extra to ensure there’s a legal team in the offices of the company. That makes sense because businesses could be dealing with issues of legality every single day.

Insurance

There are a number of different insurance coverage options for business owners and all of them are worth considering. Without insurance, it’s like walking a tightrope without a safety net. Without full insurance, you have the safety net but there’s a whole in it somewhere and you’re just taking the chance you don’t fall through it.

You can have a look at different types of insurance and find out which one is suitable for your business. You can find out more about insurance such as product liability on a site such as https://completemarkets.com/product-liability-Insurance/storefronts. By looking at the type of insurance on offer you should be able to ensure that your business is fully covered in the areas it needs to be.

Accounting

Next, think about accounting because you need to make sure that you’re keeping your business finances in check. The best way to do this is by hiring an official, chartered accountant. They’ll be able to keep track of everything and may even work to save you a lot of money in clever ways.

For instance, they could help you set up saving interest accounts for your company. As such, this is definitely a case of spending money to save money. You can find out more about this possibility on http://www.cimaglobal.com/.

Take this advice and you won’t make the mistake of cutting costs in areas of great importance.

Being in the Middle of the B2B Production Line

essential-stepsThe modern world of business could not survive without business-to-business (B2B) transactions. It is the type of transaction when businesses, well, do business with other ones. They work together to provide the best possible outcome for the consumer: the produce they ordered on time.

When a business deals with another business like this there are always going to be different points of the production line. There are going to be those at the end of it who take the produce and sell it to the consumer. There are going to be those that take the produce and distribute it. And there are going to be those that actually produce it.

If your business is the middleman, the distributor, then make sure to take heed of the hints and tips below.

Business Warehouse

First of all, you need to make sure that the space you use to store the produce is big enough to meet the demand. If you can’t store the produce safely whilst you are waiting for it be readied for distribution then you have a big problem. Your biggest problem is the fact that you are putting the produce in a situation where it could be easily broken.

And if the produce leaves your line in a condition that is worse than when it came in then you are liable for the damages. To protect yourself and your position in the production line then you must be able to store all the products safely. Now, this could mean relocating if you have the capabilities to do so — but if you don’t you don’t necessarily have to move to find space.

If your demand is rising but you can’t relocate then there are hacks to save space. One way to do so is to simply get rid of everything that is not benefitting the business. If there are containers or tools that aren’t being used lying around then they should be stored off site. The more space that is taken up by unnecessary objects the less space you have for the things that are important.

And keeping the stock safe isn’t just about storing it in the correct manner. It’s also about protecting it from criminality. To do so you have to ensure that your premises is secure at all times. If yours is a warehouse that has to deal with trucks driving in and out of it then big entry points are going to be needed.

And just because these points of entry are large in size it doesn’t mean that they should be any less secure than smaller ones. Roller doors should be sought in order to secure your storing area in the strongest and most powerful ways possible.

When you let security slip your mind you are making the produce you store a sitting duck for criminals — if that produce is harmed you are liable. Securing the building takes more than just locking the doors at night, so make sure you do all you can to keep it secure.

Distribution

Then it comes to the distribution of the product. To distribute the product you have to keep a number of things in mind. You have to remember to provide the exact number of produce that was asked for. You need to make sure that the transport you arrange or provide is one that can handle the load.

You need to ensure that the produce is going to end up exactly where it needs to be. And you need to ensure that the financial margins aren’t blurred or hidden.

The most important thing to remember is to protect your business. Just because you are the middleman in a transaction it doesn’t mean that your business means any less than the two that sit before and after you in the production line. You must receive payment for your work and you can’t shirk on the responsibility of chasing debts that are owed to you.

Navigating The Business Maze!!

entrepreneurOver 600,000 new businesses started up in 2016, an increase of 4.6% from 2015. Since the rise of the internet, companies pop up out of nowhere on a regular basis. For customers, this is great news as it provides more choice and lowers prices. For you, it’s bad news. More competition means more work because you have to stand out from the crowd. If you don’t, you’ll end up like the other 80% of firms that go out of business in the first year.

Navigating your way through the maze is essential for survival. The good news is that you don’t have to be Bear Grylls to get the job done.

Specify Search Terms

Okay, so you know what SEO stands for, right? Good because you won’t get very far if you don’t. The problem with search engine optimization is the variety of techniques. There is so many to choose from that it can seem impossible to pick the right ones.

What a business like yours needs to realize is that it’s a lot simpler than it sounds. The secret is to think like a customer. Once you get into the client’s head, it isn’t hard to predict how they will act. Then, all that’s left is to use the specific terms throughout your SEO plan. Specificity breeds uniqueness and originality, both of which are vital to creating a buzz.

Make Everything Shareable

Search engine optimization is an excellent way to stay one step ahead of the competition. It isn’t the only way, though. One method that will always stand the test of time is shareable content. With your digital presence being so important, it’s impossible to forget the impact of social media.

Every platform you can think of is beneficial, too. Why? It’s because Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc. all let the user share what they please. A simple click of a button is often enough for a business to go viral. You know, as long as you have something different and worth sharing. People don’t have conversations any longer – they tag and tweet.

Don’t Forget Offline

Sure, most of the searching happens online in 2017. Still, some people search offline, and they are worth considering. In fact, millions of people use offline searches on a daily basis. Think about Silicon Valley or any major CBD. These areas are full of physical offices which promote the brand.

If there is wayfinding signage to point them in the right direction, they might even drop by for a visit. The location makes a difference as the right one carries a positive stigma.

Promote Contact Details

Almost every business on the planet has a website. You might have the greatest site possible, and it still might not make a difference. There are plenty of reasons why, but there is one simple one. Companies put so much emphasis on neat

Companies put so much emphasis on neat parlor tricks that they forget the basics. For example, the site might have lots of video content and great navigation tools. However, it’s all arbitrary if there aren’t any contact details so that they can get in touch. A tip: make the contact page easy to find.

 

 

Five Mistakes That Every Novice Property Developer Should Avoid

 

novice developerGetting started in the world of property development can be a daunting task. There are courses to take and lessons to learn, but much of what you’ll learn from property development comes from a mix of common sense, intuition, and experience. The property market is a volatile one that can change at any moment, so it’s important that you notice the signs of failure and when to pull out before it’s too late.

In order to give you a hand, here are five mistakes that almost every amateur property developers makes, and should try their best to avoid.

  1. Quantity over quality

This is a rather simple and straightforward tip. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, don’t assume that you’re going to be able to handle more than a single property sale at a time with your lack of experience.

Not only does it take a lot of coordination and time management skills to deal with multiple clients fighting over different houses, it also eats into your mental state and can easily stress you out. As a new property developer, you need to focus on making a quality sale in order to spread your name and perfect your sales skills.

  1. Replace terrible builders

If you’re renovating a property or building on new land, then don’t allow terrible builders to ruin your chances of making a sale. Builders are no strangers to charging you more money for a simple build or trying to dazzle you with their lingo.

Make sure you’re looking at online resources such as this brick guide to learn all about construction. A bit of time investment into the subject of construction can go a long way and help you identify builders who are legitimate and those who are trying to con you.

  1. Over Exaggerating

There are many things you can over exaggerate when it comes to the property market. Perhaps you write a brief article about your new development projects and overestimate the end results. Perhaps you install appliances and complicated decor arrangements in a house that look out of place.

Maybe you’re focusing too much on luxury when it’s an apartment that should be designed for low-income families. Whatever you do, set limits to your development projects and always design for the area your property is in, don’t go overboard trying to stand out.

  1. Stay professional

Don’t get too cute with your clients. When you’re showing them a property or speaking with them over the phone, don’t interject with personal comments. If your client makes a comment about something they dislike about the property, don’t say anything that could relate to your opinion.

Don’t tell them you agree, don’t tell them you disagree and don’t give them reasons for it. Stay professional, keep your distance from your client and answer their questions, not their opinions.

  1. Developing in the wrong area

If you’re going to invest a lot of money into the real estate market, then make sure your area of focus is a profitable one with a lot of traffic.

If you build in an area that is niche or doesn’t get many buyers and sellers, then you’re wasting your time and you’re better off investing your money into a new development project and renovating existing houses in popular areas.

There’s No Hype without a Prototype

prototypeWant to get fans and investors hyped about your new product idea? Want to make sure it’s something that could actually work beyond the theory in your head? Want to engage in a creative process that will see you develop your idea into something even better? Then you need to make a prototype. Here’s a quick guide to just that.

The importance of being first

It seems pretty important that your idea is original, right? Not only is this going to help when it comes to selling it to investors and, of course, the public, but it will also save you time and money during this process.

Remember that prototyping is time-consuming and often expensive. (We’ll look at that a little more later!) So if you end up developing a prototype for an idea that’s already taken, then you’re going to have wasted a lot of resources for something that isn’t of much use. You need to take care to ensure that your idea hasn’t been patented by somebody else already. Thankfully, this is a relatively simple process.

Patenting problems

Speaking of patents, you’re going to have to patent your own idea, assuming it’s original and feasible. But when exactly should you do it?

Filing a patent is expensive so many would argue that you should probably hold off until you’re deeper into the prototyping process – especially because designs and functions end up changing so much during the process. The specifications of the patent need to match the end product, otherwise, it won’t be properly protected. This is, however, the risk that someone else comes up with the idea and patents it first! Be careful about your approach, here.

Software and hardware

Software is an invaluable part of modern prototyping. 3D modelling and computer-aided design (CAD, in industry parlance) allow you to visualize and even, in many ways, test the product. For those who haven’t got the resources to start building things, this can be a great way of getting investors interested.

Actually making a physical prototype is the more expensive and complex task. Not that you necessarily need to have all the hardware yourself, understand. There are plenty of businesses out there that will help you with the physical production processes people developing prototypes often need, such as PU moulding.

Time and money

Working on a prototype takes a lot of time. After all, it’s a new business venture. For those of you who don’t already own a business but are looking to build one on the success of this prototype, it may be worth dedicating all the free time you have to perfecting this prototype. Taking some time off work may also be prudent – quitting altogether, however, may not be so smart.

Prototyping also costs money, so you’re going to need a source of income! If the funds required exceeds what your job can provide you, then you should consider asking others for financial assistance. You may even want to look into crowdfunding, though be careful that the manner in which you run a crowdfunding campaign doesn’t end up turning potential investors off of the finished product!

Common B2B Marketing Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make

If you have a product or service targeting other businesses, your marketing plans need to be significantly different to that which you would use in a standard B2C environment. The average business owner or service buyer is a very different individual to the average consumer and will be attracted to different things. b2b

With this in mind, here are some of the biggest mistakes new B2B businesses make when it comes to marketing – and how to fix them.

Unprofessional image

If you want to attract business customers with big budgets, you need to be able to look the part. The corporate world pays a lot of attention to image, and unless you can appeal to that outlook, you might struggle to garner any support in your early days.

How you dress, compose yourself, and even your marketing needs to be targeted at attracting serious people in many cases, especially if you are trying to appeal to ‘stuffy’ industries like accountancy and law firms.

Unprofessional marketing materials

When a big business looks to invest in services and products, there is usually a lot of due diligence involved. And if your marketing materials fail to impress, there is no way you will even get to the stage where your offer is considered. A signage design and print service can help you with everything from creating your logo signs to providing brochures for your products and services that will get your foot in the door, at least.

Untargeted blog posts

Your website blog can be a great way of showing your value and knowledge to your audience. But you need to be careful about what you are blogging about. Let’s say you are trying to sell a cloud-based stock control system to aerospace companies.

If you are seeking to appeal to corporate buyers, you will need your blog to focus more on the problems that managers and aerospace business owners face, rather than just general stock control tips.

Using the wrong language

Writing the copy for your website can be a difficult task. On the one hand, avoiding jargon and business-speak can be a great way of explaining your offer clearly and succinctly. On the other, business people actually like using that type of jargon – it makes them feel like they are knowledgeable in their subject.

So, think carefully about which route you choose, and always test your copy to ensure you are getting the right tone of voice Even a simple tweak here or there could make a huge difference to your results.

No relationship development

If you pitch a business your idea cold, it’s unlikely you will get any response. Corporate people tend to be incredibly business, and often receive hundreds of emails or communications every day – what is going to make yourself stand out? So, focus more on developing a platform that appeals to them in an organic way.

Let them see your expertise and knowledge for themselves, and get then signed up to an email list. Then it’s a case of warming them up slowly over time, and when they are ready to buy, they will be more likely to choose your product or service over the competition.

 

Understanding the Transit Industry

Nearly every business requires some sort of transit at one time or another. For instance, a modest neighborhood bakery or convenience store will require that their ingredients or products be delivered to them. Similarly, an e-commerce company will have to rely heavily upon transit to deliver their customer’s purchases to them.transport

If you are a small start-up, the cheaper option would likely be outsourcing this aspect of your business to dedicated delivery companies. Industry giants like Amazon do this too but this is partly because they are an international company and setting up their own fleets of drivers and vehicles in all the countries in which they operate would represent a massive investment, one that they have obviously calculated is not worth it at this time.

However, they are experimenting with new drone technology. In fact, they have boasted that they have successfully completed their first delivery by drone in Cambridge, England. At this stage, it is only open to customers near an Amazon depot with large gardens who are ordering reasonably light objects (less than 2.6kg). However, as the technology and its praxis improves, the nature of transit will change.

Urbanization and Technology

If you are curious about transit and how to best utilize it in your business, there are lots of things to consider. The industry itself is being forced to change by evolving circumstances such as the still increasing trend towards urbanization. Being able to offer a reliable and efficient service in cities is becoming more important.

The rise of the internet is also changing the way people shop and with more options (including both e-commerce sites as well as traditional retail stores), customers will become more discerning and better able to find the best possible deal for them. This could place more stress on transit companies as demand for online purchases becomes more pressing. The confluence of these changes makes it an exciting time to get involved in the industry.

Technology is also improving the industry. The possibility of tracking your goods in transit is becoming easier and more commercially available all the time. It is beneficial to the customer because they can anticipate the arrival of their goods with more peace of mind. However, GPS tracking systems are beneficial to the transit companies too.

They can help reduce costs, from vehicle insurance (locating it in the event of an accident becomes much easier) to reducing running costs (because it is easier to track excess consumption of fuel and erroneous claims of overtime). In the modern market, it is an investment worth making.

Delivering small items like the latest computer games, or even larger things like chairs or beds, may be quite simple but when it comes to the issue of Abnormal Loads, the transit industry has that covered too. If you want to move something like a tree from outside your building, or a vehicle such as a plane or a boat, special loaders and machinery are available to help. Your only worry should be whether the road is strong enough to hold what you want to move.

While the transit industry may seem like one of those things on which you rely but never really give much thought to, you should take a closer look. It may be a good opportunity to find your next big investment.

 

Tips for Avoiding Customer Contention

startupsA lot of business people will tell you that the customer is always right. And, you’ve probably heard this phrase many times. It doesn’t mean that the customer is always correct in any given situation. Instead, it means that businesses have to bend over backwards, to treat their customers well. This is a huge concern for businesses, too.

The word of your customers will spread like wildfire. So, if you give them a bad experience; you could find yourself losing customers. So, the best way to run your business is with customers coming first in your mind. To help you out, this post will be going through three different areas that will often cause a business some trouble.

Offering Customer Support

When a customer buys a product or service from you; they will expect it to come with some support. And, this is important for both physical and online businesses. For example, when a customer buys something from you for your website; they could experience some issues with the delivery company.

In this case, it would be your responsibility to resolve this issue with your customer. And, if you don’t, people will hear about it quickly. Along with this, a shop owner will often have to take returns for faulty goods. But, if they refused to; they could even get in trouble with the law.

Providing the best possible support is just a matter of making time for it. Most businesses have the resources to help their customers. Some simply choose not to.

Win Customers’ Trust

Next, it’s good to think about the issues that have to be solved for legal reasons. In the modern world, there are hundreds of rules and restrictions placed on businesses. And, a lot of them are designed to keep customers safe. So, if you don’t show that you’re working to make things as good as possible; people will find it hard to trust your business.

For example, a lot of companies find it had to manage their bathrooms. In a lot of places, these rooms have to be cleaned every couple of hours. So, dealing with this workload could require some extra employees. Along with this, you also need sanitary waste disposal services to help you remove the waste caused by room likes this. This is just one part of the business, too. So, it’s worth making sure that you have a good idea of what is required of your business.

Sell Quality Products

In the past, companies have fallen because of a bad product. When something has widespread faults; customers will soon find out. For example, Samsung recently had issues with the batteries in their latest Note series phone; the Note 7. When the issues became public, Samsung’s share value dropped massively, and a lot of confidence was lost in the brand.

But, with swift action and prompt recalls; Samsung has regained their position almost instantly. Of course, this is an extreme example. But, it shows how powerful the right action can be; in the wrong circumstances.

Hopefully, this will help you to start to focus your business towards making your customer’s life as good as it can be. A lot of people will use businesses solely on recommendations from people that they know. But, people will rarely talk about a company unless they gave them an exceptionally good or bad experience. And, the experience you want to be giving them is always a good one.

For Startup Success, Keep These People On Speed Dial

Whether you’re a teeny tiny startup or a humongous multinational corporation, you’re going to need some support. When you’re still new to the whole thing, while you’re getting your company off the ground, that support is completely invaluable.

While you might be full of fantastic ideas, it’s impossible to know everything about everything, and there’s a lot to remember. Keeping trusted companies and individuals close by to guide you through the minefield means you’re far more likely to make it out the other side in one piece.company-finances

HR Manager

When you start hiring staff, you’re going to want to make sure your knowledge about human resources is comprehensive, or keep someone on hand who can help. Going through the processes of hiring staff legally, to cover both your back and ensure the safety and contentedness of your staff members, can be difficult, but it’s essential.

From hiring processes to employment contracts, having someone on hand who can help with the legal side of things will help to put your mind at ease.

Legal

Whether you’re taking over a new premise, creating a shareholders agreement, or absorbing another company, you’re going to want legal support. None of these things can be done without the help of a solicitor.

While different solicitors obviously specialize in different fields, choosing a company you know you can trust, with rates you’re comfortable with, ensures that whoever you work with within that company will have a good understanding of the wider picture of your business.

They’ll be able to lead you through the minefields of conveyancing and shares, and as long as you maintain your relationship with them, you’ll have their support for years to come.

Tech support

One thing which is often overlooked by new companies, but which is completely essential, is reliable IT support. You need to know that you’re covered when your servers go down, or your cloud system starts playing up. When businesses these days are so thoroughly reliant on technology, the risk is far too high not to have tech support on hand.

Financial

Getting your head around your company’s finances can be a real headache from day one, but as you start factoring in corporation tax, VAT, and any payroll charges, as well as your general incomings and outgoings, it becomes more like a migraine than a headache.

A reliable and approachable accountant is absolutely essential for any startup. They’ll be able to walk you through these legal processes, as well as demonstrate to you your basic bookkeeping, and you’ll definitely need them to file your end of your accounts. If you don’t have an accountant already, start looking today.

Keeping professionals around while you’re starting up your business is the only way to get unparalleled advice. They’ll happily nudge you in the right direction, they’ll keep you from falling into any potholes, and as long as you treat them right, they’ll be there for you whenever you need them.

If your startup doesn’t have any of the above, consider rectifying that today – they’re completely worth the extra cost.

Key Professional Expertise that every Business Should Have

Business owners need help just like everyone else. They can’t know everything. It can be hard when you need to dip into all aspects of your business when you have gaps in knowledge. As a startup, or as a long-running business, there will be times when you simply need some kind of help.

good-businessThis help could come in all shapes and sizes. Even the biggest and most successful business benefit from help. The reason being you benefit from expertise. Inviting expertise into your business is important. Why would you not want someone who really knows their stuff to sight their eye on your business and tell you what is going well and what could be better?It is only going to be a good thing.

Here are some of the common expertise that your business may require from time to time.

IT Experts

In this day and age computers are used for pretty much everything. They have transformed the world and the internet has changed the way businesses run and operate, as well as link with their customer base. As such you must ensure these systems are running well. If you are finding it particularly difficult or have had problems in the past then look for Managed IT Services.

You can also think about using a business analyst. They can check everything over for you, ensuring you have the right software and hardware for the job at hand. If you don’t use this then you could overbuy software you don’t need, meaning you spend way more money.

On the other hand, you could end up missing out on key software that can make your job easier that you didn’t know about. Their expertise is huge and you should really try to have a consultation with one at least once.

Accountant

You probably know how hard HR is to manage. Payroll is a total pain and when you have got a business to run it can be tough to get it right while focusing on other things. This is why you should either hire someone with the right experience to focus on payroll or outsource the whole thing. They can look at timekeeping, at your employee discipline and ensure they always get paid on time meaning they won’t even be underpaid, this keeps their productivity high.

You may also benefit from accountancy help or a credit controller. If you aren’t good with numbers then hiring an accountant can be a wise option. They will be able to check your income and outgoings and come to a conclusion regarding the state of the business.

Advising on cut backs and the like which can help the business succeed. Without one you could end up operating at a loss, a killer for all and any kinds of business out there. If maths isn’t your strong point then hire one, at least for a consultation.