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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.

 

How to Manage Both Business And Investment

investment-questionsBusiness and property go hand in hand. Your business buys a property to sell products from and conduct business. Your business might use its money to invest in property. In most occasions, your business is going to be tied directly to a property.

When a business invests, it is trying to make the most out of its money. The benefits of investing are high – but any investment is a risk. Real estate investment represents the lowest risk despite market values and their highs and lows, investment in real estate is an investment in real, physical asset. The site can be used by the business, sold to developers or rented out to tenants. With the amount of money in businesses, a business can develop a real estate portfolio rather quickly.

However, businesses can fall into traps that a normal buyer or investor might not. Businesses could get overcharged, for example. Well, how do you know if you are? Well, you’ve got the information available to you! Simply access the history of sales in the area (and the pricing of the previous sale of the same site) to find what you should be paying.

If the property is at the same price as it was, or is selling for a similar price to properties in the area it is very likely that the property is at a fair price. If it isn’t, it is up to you to negotiate. Even if the price is fair, you should still be negotiating in business anyway to get the best price for your investment. You should aim for a low price especially because a business is going to be charged a high interest rate on a mortgage. Commercial mortgages are worth comparing for this reason.

But remember, there are still other things to think about when tackling property investment – namely the money you are going to sink into a property. When you purchase a property, it is highly unlikely that you will find a tenant overnight if you are looking for someone to rent the property from you.

The time spent looking for a tenant isn’t cost free though – the bank won’t delay in charging you – so you might spend up to six months looking for a tenant, meaning you will pay six months of fees without rent offsetting that cost. Many investors forget about this and find themselves short of cash in an instant – so make sure you have the funds to cover the long term in your investment.

If you’re a business and you don’t do your research, you could be set to get a bit more than you bargained for with investments – and it won’t be good. You’ll be saddled with additional costs that you did not account for and these will only grow. Things like tax, interest and regulation fees will be slapped on top regardless of whether the site is rented or not.

 

Taking Your Business Through The Roof (Literally)

The office environment is such an important part of the business. It plays a crucial role in how healthily and happily your employees can enjoy working with you. It shapes the culture of the workplace. It can be used as a tool to bring in leads. So, you want to make sure you’re getting the most use out of it. Can you say that’s the case if you’re not using all the building, however? If you have a roof, here are a few reasons you might want to take a closer look up there.office

Safety comes first, as always

It doesn’t matter how you plan on using the roof or even if you have any use for it at all. If you have an access way that leads up there, then you need to make sure it’s a safe place to be first and foremost. For one, heights can be remarkably dangerous on their own. There are plenty of ways to prevent falls, beginning with installing

There are plenty of ways to prevent falls, beginning with installing roof fall protection around any roof edges, overhangs, and sunroofs. Drawing attention to the danger is just as important. Make sure there are safety signs highlighting any risks to keep people on guard.

If there any other accesses like ladders, then make sure they’re visibly marked, as well. Employees need to have total situational awareness so they don’t take a step they may very much regret.

Have a unique break room

Not all offices have the space to fit in a fully kitted break room. You might have enough space to prepare some food and pour a cup of coffee. But having a real space where employees can relax away from the desk is important. For one, it helps them genuinely take a break.

Employees who eat at their desk stay in ‘work mode’, which builds on the stress and pressure they can feel without any relaxation from it. Break rooms are a way of showing that you care about how they feel in their work environment. The roof provides a very unique kind of break room and serves as a perk of working there all on its own.

Creating a venue

If your business is in the habit of courting its clients and leads, then having a unique way to do that can be even more valuable. As with trade shows, being able to stand out when you host your own business events or invite clients over for a conversation keeps you fresh in their memories.

If it’s the spring or summer and the weather is fine, inviting them for a chat on a well-decorated roof can give the pitch or conversation the kind of wow factor that skews their opinions a little more in the direction of a positive light.

Make use of the vista

If you have a great view from the rooftop of your business, then you are only going to get more use and more benefit from it if you take advantage of that view. You can do that by focusing more on the décor on the area itself. For instance, there are few areas you could consider more relaxing than a well-maintained garden.

Rooftop gardens are exactly what some of the top businesses with outdoor access are starting to invest in. Greenroofing doesn’t just create a more pleasant environment, either. It has genuine environmental benefits, as well. If you care about the corporate social responsibility of your business, then greenroofing your office could send a clear message about your values.

Create a healthier environment

Beyond reducing carbon emissions, producing oxygen and changing an urbanized landscape, a well-utilized rooftop also has plenty of health benefits to offer your employees. We’ve already mentioned how a break space away from the desk can be helpful.

But you can’t ignore the fact that many office workers lack the exposure to fresh air they need to stay healthy. Office air quality is something you need to take an interest in, but an alternative area with air as fresh as they can get can be very beneficial to them indeed.

If you go ahead with the idea of a rooftop garden, then you get the relaxing benefits of being surrounded by plant life as well. Even encouraging employees to take the climb up to the rooftop means they’re getting more active in their workday.

Not all businesses in all locations are going to have much use for the roof of the business. But it has a lot of unique appeal and utility for those who can. If you need a break room, a venue, or just some healthy space, consider moving up.

There’s No Excuse For Putting Your Employees At Risk!

Nothing should be more important in your business than the care and safety of your employees. Your employees are the ones who are able to take your vision for your business and turn it into a reality. Without them, your business simply wouldn’t be able to function. Which makes it all the more awful just how many business owners are willing to put their employees at risk out of sheer negligence or lack of concern.

employees-health-and-safety

If something happens to you employees, not only are they at risk, but your business is at serious risk of both lost productivity but also because, if it was because of something that you could have prevented, then you are likely to be liable for it, which is going to put your business in significant legal danger. To make sure that doesn’t happen, here are some things to do to make sure that your employee’s safety is your number one priority.

Equipment

You need to make sure that you’re always supplying your employees with the right equipment for whatever task they are doing at any time. If they are working with any form of machinery then you need to make sure that they have the right safety precautions in place, if they are working somewhere high up, or anywhere else unsafe, then make sure that they have safety harnesses from somewhere like FallProtectionPros.com. Without the right safety equipment even the safest, most responsible employee is in danger of having an accident.

Training

Of course, all of the equipment in the world isn’t going to make any difference if your employees don’t know what they’re doing. It’s every person’s responsibility to behave in such a way that they’re able to stay safe, but it’s down to your to provide your worker with the right kind of training so that they aren’t left unsure of what to do.

You should provide specific training for every task that your employees need to do that might potentially present any kind of risk to them or anyone else. This includes the use of electronics, any heavy machinery, any potentially hazardous materials, or environments that present any form of danger whatsoever.

Not only that but you should make sure to offer refresher courses so that your employees are always up to date with the latest procedures.

Environment

The most common reason that employees end up getting injured isn’t actually as a result of especially dangerous environments or tasks. Many of the most common accidents happen in common environments like office spaces.

This is because it’s all too easy to let things slip in areas where you don’t expect there to be many hazards. Loose cables in walkways, communal areas that are left untidy, and messy workspaces are all incredibly common reasons behind workplace accidents.

Make sure that you’re always encouraging your employees to take responsibility for the space that they occupy so that they’re not leaving it in a state that puts themselves or anyone else at any degree of risk, no matter how small.

3 Crucial Steps For Greater Efficiency

accountingWhether you’ve only just got your business off the ground, or you’ve been managing it for several years, you should constantly be on the lookout for ways to make the whole operation more efficient. The less downtime you have, and the more productivity you can assure, the better your future prospects will be. In this post, we’ll look at some of the most effective ways you can make your whole operation more efficient.

Improve Communication

One of the most common complaints heard from employees is that there’s a lack of communication within an organization. Without high standards of communication, you open the door to misinterpretation, downtime, and major blunders which can take apart a promising project.

It can also create a need for further arduous meetings so that you can determine what exactly went wrong. Taking proactive steps to improve communication, on the other hand, will rub out these expensive setbacks, and create a more efficient business overall.

Make sure that the goals of every project, and the responsibilities of every employee, are clearly defined. You also need to make sure your workforce isn’t too intimidated by management to ask questions and bring up any pressing concerns.

Leverage the Right Technology

If there’s one area where you really can’t afford to cut corners and penny-pinch, it’s technology. Every modern business is heavily dependent on at least some technological tools, and if you’re not milking your technology for all it has, you’ll be weighing down your business’s efficiency in a very severe way. Make sure all the tech you’re already using is both up to industry

Make sure all the tech you’re already using is both up to industry standards and make a routine of researching and sourcing any new technology which could make your company more productive. Whether it’s contactless tags from companies like NFC or a bespoke internet-of-things monitoring solution, it’s almost certain that there’s some new technology that your business could benefit from in terms of efficiency.

If you get by using unreliable technology, you’ll just be asking for slow response times, and may even be putting your important data at risk. Sure, the upfront cost of new technology may make your wallet shrivel up in fear, but it will save you huge amount of cash in the long run.the money it will save

Automate Where Possible

Automation is another crucial key to greater business efficiency. If you’re sending out a number of recurring, business-related emails, use your chosen email platform to automate them. Almost every email client these days offers this kind of feature. If yours doesn’t, find one that does.

If there are any regular bank withdrawals and deposits on your business accounts, automate them through bacs transfer software or a similar resource. You should also be creating templates for commonly used documents. These will not only save you the time of having to create fresh ones every time you need them but can also help with your brand awareness to some degree.

These are just a few examples of the way increasing automation can bump up efficiency levels. Take a good, long look at your business model, and pin down good opportunities for automation.

Cashflow Catastrophes You Need To Avoid

No matter how solid your business plan is, how much experience you have in the industry, or how many wealthy investors you’ve lined up, your business won’t last long if you don’t have a good handle on its cash flow. A huge proportion of businesses fail due to poor cash flow management, and you need to approach the matter carefully if you don’t want your business to join them! Here are some common cashflow catastrophes you need to avoid.business-launch

Overshooting your Forecasting

Pretty much every successful entrepreneur is an optimist in some respects. After all, with so many obstacles, stress factors, and naysayers, you need to be able to persevere and avoid defeatism at all costs. However, if you let your sunny disposition impede your objectivity, it can cause serious damage to your cash flow.

You need to be as objective and realistic as you can when it comes to sales forecasting and base it all around hard data and historical evidence. Obviously, this can be tough in your first few years, as you won’t have much in the way of past sales figures and experience to work with. One of the best ways to get around this issue is reaching out to more experienced people in your industry, (not a competitor!) and asking them for some guidance.

Impulse Buying in the Start-Up Phase

That old adage “you need to spend money to make money” is certainly true, but it’s a big mistake to take this business principle too far. Placing too much emphasis on investing can make a newbie entrepreneur fall into a habit of overspending, especially when they’re just beginning to get their business off the ground.

Sure, certain pieces of equipment can be essential in your production cycle, and tools like Eviivo can be a major asset to businesses in certain niches. However, with each purchase you make, it’s essential to dissect it and understand how the cost will benefit your business’s revenue in measurable ways.

There are a lot of people out there who would gladly take your hard-earned capital for things you don’t actually need! If you want to assure a bright future for your business, pay close attention to your bottom line, and spend a long time looking into the cost and benefit of everything, no matter how small.

Being Passive About Late Receivables

One of the most damaging cash-flow issues, particularly when it comes to new B2B businesses, is unpaid receivables. If you’re not being proactive enough about collecting due payments from your clientele, you could be hurtling towards a very dangerous financial situation.

If you don’t have clear collection policies and late-payment penalties, customers are going to take advantage of it. When a B2B client knows you’re going to take a while to chase up late payments, they’ll try to free up some of their cash flow by paying you last. If you don’t have any clear policies regarding this, issue, start drafting them immediately!

As you take your first steps into the modern business arena, make sure you’re not leaving any room for these cashflow blunders!

How to Maximize Your Business Energy Efficiency

One of the biggest costs for every business is energy. You need to make sure that you are saving as much as possible on energy because this will help keep your business costs cheap and cheerful. There are a few different energy bills that you need to think about.

Powering and heating the office or factory is certainly important. But you may have other energy costs as well. For instance, logistics companies will definitely need to think about how much they are paying for the fuel that runs the vehicles they use. green-business

So, let’s look at some of the best ways to cut back costs and make sure that your business is cheap and efficient to run.

Go Green

Obviously one of the best ways to cut energy costs in your business is to make your business model as eco-friendly as possible. There are lots of options to consider here, but one of the best is definitely renewable energy. Right now, a lot of business owners are considering renewable power.

For instance, you can invest in solar panels for the roof. With new solar panels, it’s possible to cut your energy usage down by half, and the only problem is the first fixed costs. Luckily, both the government and organizations like Environmental Protection UK are interested in encouraging businesses to use renewable power. That’s why they offer subsidies to make the installation costs a lot more manageable.

Smaller changes will help your business model be a little more green too. For instance, you can switch to LED bulbs in the office. With LEDs, you can get thousands of hours of light and use a fraction of the energy compared to older, halogen bulbs. It’s a small change but one that will definitely have an impact on your business costs.

Find The Best Supplier

Of course, if you want to cut the costs of energy in your business, you do need to think about the supplier. Different suppliers will offer various rates for your company, and you’ll be looking for the best value for money.

You might also want to think about which energy source you choose to use. For instance, you could heat your office or factory with gas, oil or electric. Which one is cheaper will depend on the location of your business, how much energy you use and the suppliers available to you.

You can order red diesel drums online to get diesel straight to your business property for a reasonable price. It’s useful for businesses that are isolated because they might find their supply choices are limited.

Alter Actions

Finally, one of the reasons why businesses use so much energy is the actions of employees and staff. To change energy use, you need to alter the way your staff operate in the business environment. You can do this by showing them how to save power.

For instance, it’s amazing how many businesses leave computers on so they’re already powered up for the next working day. If you do this, you will be wasting a lot of energy when your business isn’t even open.

What To Expect In Your First Year Running Your Own Business

entrepreneurial-musclesThe nature of being an entrepreneur is such that you are probably good at thinking on your feet. You are creative, inspiring and self-motivated. To succeed, you need to have confidence, perseverance and a great deal of patience. All these things aside, life will always have a surprise for you.

It is impossible to be prepared for every eventuality of every possible situation not least because it would take a supercomputer to calculate all of those variables. Besides, this is the real world after all, and it can be strange sometimes. Dealing with people is always unpredictable too.

The idea of setting your course and starting a new business can be daunting. You have to worry about the economy, about the strength of your idea, and about securing funding for it. Supposing you are successful, you then have to worry about maintaining that success. It will never be without its setbacks, but some are more predictable than others. Here is a list of three things to be aware of before you take the plunge:

Learn the dynamics of business

Murphy’s Law states that if something can go wrong, it will. This also goes for things breaking. Whether it is some important equipment, or your computer on the morning of a pitch meeting, or worst of all, your car, you will need to fix them right away. To be prepared just remember not to get too stressed out.

Things break. That is what happens. Hire someone to fix it and move on. If you want to save some money and you know a little something about whatever has broken, you might think about sourcing parts yourself from companies like digsemi. That way, you won’t be at the mercy of sometimes merciless contractors.

Understand Customers

Second, forget any notion you had about the reasonable nature of customers. All you need to do to be disabused of your illusions and find someone who worked as a Christmas temp when they were young. They will tell you that customers can be rude, demanding, petty, insulting and even threatening.

However good your customer service skills might be, the reality is that your patience will be tested to the limit. It will not be long into the first weeks of your new business when you will want to slam the phone down on a customer. Don’t. Take a deep breath and keep going. Next time you will be more prepared.

Delegate;

Third, it is crucial that you learn to delegate. When you start a new business its initial energy will be the ambition with which you infuse it. As it grows it will at some point become something that you cannot run alone. You have to trust others to take care of the thing that you raised and have loved. It is a difficult lesson to learn, but once you master it, you will find that it was to your own benefit and the benefit of your business.

Your first year will probably be difficult, but like everything else, the more you do something, the easier it will get. The world of business is no different.

 

The Best US Cities to be a Digital Nomad Entrepreneur

 

US Cities

If you’ve got a business that you run entirely off the internet, you’ll already know how awesome it can be to be a digital nomad. You can live wherever you please, keep a schedule that is entirelyof your own design, and make the most of the weather when it’s just about right outside. But with so much freedom, how do you choose where you should live? You can go just about anywhere – a privilege that few others have – but that doesn’t mean the decision is an easy one.

Below, we outline four of the best places in the US from which to run your online business.

Austin, Texas

It’s no surprise to see that Austin is one of the best places in the states for remote workers. With the high standards of living (read, fast internet and plenty of awesome bars) and a cost of living that pales in comparison to the other big cities in America, it’s become a favorite go-to spot for young and energetic entrepreneurs.

The city’s slogan is ‘Keep Austin Weird’, which goes some way to explaining how unique this city really is. Fine weather and plenty of great events – including one of the nation’s best, South By Southwest – also make Austin a hit!

Winter Park, Colorado

If you’re more of an outdoors lover, then you might just find that Winter Park is the right spot for you. You’ll be surrounded by nature, and have the bustling Denver just a short drive away (and its airport too, which is handy for business trips).

And then there’s the big selling point, and that is: Life in Winter Park is pretty fantastic if you’re into outdoor recreation, with fantastic skiing in the winter and mountain biking and hiking in the summer. Essentially, this is the place to be if you need the outdoors to charge your mind for the ideas you need to make your business a success.

Miami, Florida

How would you like to spend your days split between working hard to take your business to the next level and swimming in the ocean? If you make Miami your base, then that’s just the kind of life you’ll have. The Florida city is ranked as one of the best cities to live and work remotely in the states, and it’s not hard to see why. Aside from rapid fast internet and a relatively low cost of living, you also have…the rest of Miami just waiting to be explored.

Las Vegas, Nevada

It won’t suit everyone, but if you can handle living in Vegas you’ll find that it offers a lot for digital nomad. Indeed, this place was almost made for digital nomads. You’ve got great transport links, plenty of business and meeting rooms, a culture of remote workers who stay for short periods of time, and all the dazzling sights of Las Vegas right on your doorstep. When it all gets too much, you can take a drive for thirty minutes in any direction and be surrounded by no one at all. Definitely worth exploring – just don’t gamble your profits away!

Vintage Businesses… Quirk or Quality?

vintage business

The image of a business is an essential component in its overall success. The style and image of a brand will be a contributory factor in what brings customers back and what can make it gather momentum and success. While each business needs to strive to make itself stand out, what is the importance of a quaint or vintage type of image in the modern business market? How does it appeal to the customer, and why?

 

The popularity of a vintage image in the modern world is very plain to see. The importance of retro and quirky clothing has made it near impossible for people to buy anything for cheap from thrift stores anymore, and the fact that anything is over 40 years old now carries a kitsch appeal, as shown by the popularity of stores like Cath Kidston.

So what can you do to emulate this kind of appeal? The first thing to bear in mind is that these stores all carry a unique style that is marketable. You recognize the vintage look from a mile off. The logo or the banner design is very important to its overall image, and putting it on everything, from clothes to trinkets, is a nice little way to put your brand out there.

Small items seem to carry a bit more kitsch value than anything, like candy, you can have printed pouches with your logo on the bag, and it becomes a lovely little memento of the customer’s shopping experience.

The world of vintage and retro is so popular now that by adding another business in this vein can be viewed as oversaturation, so this is a task you have to overcome in order to make your business viable and relevant. The trick to making a vintage or quirky type of business relevant is to pop up in the most quirky of places.

This may sound like making random choices on a map and saying “let’s sell there,” but it’s more about finding the fringe markets, which can be done via social media, limiting the amount of bad employees to maximize customer experience, or by aiming your product to a very specific market.

Vintage comes with certain connotations, such as hipsters, vegans, or a throwback era. Although these are all very small sections of a market, this gives you some idea of the scope of its marketability. Nobody could have predicted the resurgence of vinyl, especially as it is the biggest selling musical format.

While many view vintage as a quirky, fringe market, its appeal is so widespread that you can be very precise in your marketing tactics. Before long, it won’t be the zeitgeist anymore, and popular culture will move onto the next “classic” thing, but as trends have dictated, we are looking more and more into the past to get inspiration.

This means a massive dissatisfaction with a contemporary culture so you may be able to start a business that leads the way instead of following the trend. Creating a movement in business is all about finding Year Zero, and with vintage, that ship has sailed, but it is ripe for profit.