These days, businesses can sell just about everything. You have those selling online services such as writing, design work or local services like cafes and launderettes. They can sell digital products which can include anything from clip art to website templates to legal contracts. They can sell experiences, memberships and much more. However, selling items, physical products is always going to be a good business model. If your business will be buying (or making) products to sell, there are some added considerations of doing so that a lot of other businesses don’t need to think about. Here are just a few of them to bear in mind.
The Products You Will Sell: Manufacturing vs Outsourcing?
You might be selling anything from clothes and homewares to technology or something niche like parts for machinery. Whatever it is, your first consideration should be whether you will be making these things yourself and setting up a manufacturing plant, or outsourcing to a specialist third party company. Manufacturing is arguably one of the most difficult elements of any business, however when you design and create your own products can be incredibly satisfying and profitable. Plus it puts you in control of your business. But there’s a lot at stake, get this wrong and it could be the downfall of your entire business. Not only does your plant need to be safe for workers, but the product you make requires you to comply with all kinds of health and safety laws, and FDA approval in some cases. The equipment and know-how needed to make a product can be extensive, while it’s certainly not impossible for a smaller company to manufacture themselves- many will go the outsourcing route so they know they’re not getting it wrong. You’re able to import from China now and find great deals on all kinds of products and so if you want to get off the ground quickly and start selling and turning a profit right away then this could be for you. However it’s worth spending some time deciding whether manufacturing yourself or outsourcing is right for you.
Storing Your Stock
Regardless of whether you manufacture your products yourself, outsource or buy them from a wholesaler, you will always need a place to store your items. A large warehouse that’s accessible for delivering the finished items and also shipping them out is essential- it needs to be big enough so that you’re not constantly running out of stock since this can negatively affect your business reputation. It needs to be free of leaks or damage to avoid ruining your stock, and it also needs to be large enough so that everything you sell can be properly stored and organised ready for picking and packing. You should have a returns area in the warehouse too. That way, things that have been returned but are still sellable can be repackaged and resold. Warehousing costs are something to take into consideration, if you’re going to be manufacturing products then ideally you will want this premises to be a short distance away from your plant. That way you avoid unnecessary transportation costs.
Packaging and Fulfilment
Getting your items picked and packed is another important part of the chain from the factory to the customer’s house. Products need to be picked carefully ensuring size and colour selection is correct. They need to be wrapped and packed (especially important if items are fragile) and they need to have the address labels added to them. As with manufacturing, you could choose to outsource this, or you could keep it in-house and employ people yourself. You need workers that are used to being up on their feet for long hours and used to an active and demanding job. When you’re hiring, your best bet would be to look for people who have experience working in similar roles, since warehousing work can be tough for those that aren’t used to it.
Shipping and Going Global
The last link in the chain when you sell physical items is using an efficient way to deliver them to the customer’s home. Once everything has been made and packaged up, you need a way to get them to the door of the person who ordered. The method you choose will largely depend on what it is that you sell. For example, small items can be sent via the postal service as long as they don’t contain any prohibited items. You would need to check to make sure first, aerosols, nail polish and batteries are all some surprising examples. For a fee, businesses can have their items collected from their premises by the postal service, that way you don’t have to stand in a queue with hundreds of items! If your items are larger, more fragile or you want a more precise service then courier could be your best bet. These kinds of companies often offer different levels of service. For example, some will send the customer a text message before delivery with a link to be able to track them on the map. They also give the ability to rearrange or reschedule the delivery right up until the time that it’s delivered. This will cost more, but could be worth it for more expensive items as it will give the customer peace of mind. Even if you have a fantastic product, if the shipping is slow or unreliable then it will cause the customer to have a negative experience overall.
Every step of the process needs to be right. If your manufacturing plant fails or you don’t use reliable suppliers- you have nothing to sell. If your inventory isn’t stored and organised properly, items could be damaged or the wrong things could be sent out. If your delivery company messes up then it could mean long delivery times leaving your customer unhappy. Make sure each piece of the puzzle is right, and you increase your chances of making a profit with a business that sells products.
Do you sell products, or would you consider setting up a business that does?
By Sharon Jones
Disastrous productivity level due to the wasting of time and resources is a major issue across all many business large or small. However, for the small operator or micro business, productivity really can be a big deal. After all, your margins are slim, and any unnecessary delays can put you in a place where achieving your targets for that period is impossible, a problem that will then have a negative knock-on effect on your profits. With that in mind, find out below how to eliminate poor productivity and ensure that your business is running as efficiently as possible.
Eliminate redundant tasks
First of all, one way in which you can boost productivity in your business is to identify and then eliminate tasks that are redundant. This task can sound pretty easy, but it can be tough because most people are resistant to change and like to keep thing the way they have always been.
In fact, employees can often get twitchy when you are attempting to streamline task as they feel they might be out of a job soon. However, if you explain to them what is happening and include them in the process, you are likely to get a much better result and find that thing get more productive faster.
In particular, consider tasks that are by many individuals in a day that only really need to be done once. Things like writing letters and documents, where most use a standard text, and just a few individual details are added.
You could save a great deal of time by introducing a document management system that allows everyone to work from the same updated templates rather than come up with their own every time. You could even increase continuity and standards across different departments and employees as well. These all being things that will have a positive effect on your business.
Cut the cord to your email
Next, let’s look at emails. Even bosses of companies have a problem here, as there seems to be an innate belief that it is vital to read every message the moment that it comes in.
Guess what? There isn’t! In fact, doing so is distracting you and breaking your focus for the task that you are working on. Something that makes everything take longer, and you feel more stressed. So get everyone to turn off their email notifications, and schedule two short action times in the day where they can deal with them to improve productivity.
Bye bye smartphones
Smartphones in the workplace can be a good thing, especially if they are in use for company business. However, there are so many distractions including apps, and news, and messengers on them that they can easily suck attention away from work tasks.
Banning smartphones may be controversial but just think how focused people will be.
That is why if you want to improve productivity in a major way you could take the controversial decision to ban smartphones in the workplace. Although, you do need to remember that this will apply to yourself as well as your employees! Who knows though, maybe it will help you to get more done too?
By Jerry Mooney
More and more businesses are taking to the realm of online commerce. There’s a good reason for this. Online retail has massively increased in popularity over the past decade or so. Just take a look at the success of online retail giants such as Amazon! While in the past, the majority of people would head straight to a brick and mortar store on the high street when looking for goods and products, nowadays they have the option to purchase their wares online from the comfort of their own home. Increased demand for convenience means that customers can often receive exactly what they want by the next working day or even the same day as they place their order! While convenience may well be one of the main benefits for users of online commerce, the practice actually offers various other benefits. Reduced operation costs (as online businesses don’t have the expense of brick and mortar property rent, a lack of overheads such as gas, electricity, or water bills) mean that goods can be offered at a lower price too! It’s not all too surprising that you might be considering taking your small business online or setting up online if you haven’t yet commenced trade. However, if you do take to the virtual realm, there are a few business practices that you will need to familiarize yourself with. Top of the list? SEO. Here’s everything you need to know about the practice and how to make the most of its benefits.
What Actually Is SEO?
To keep things simple, let’s first state that “SEO” stands for “search engine optimization”. It is a business practice which revolves around getting as many search engine users to visit your webpage as possible. Of course, every small business operating online needs as much traffic as possible in order to secure sales and boost brand exposure. But where do search engines come into this? Well, just think about it. When consumers want a certain item or are trying to find your brand, they make use of search engines and generally limit their search to results that appear on the first page. When’s the last time you ever went beyond a search engine’s first or second page when looking for anything? Very rarely. You really do need your website to feature as highly as possible to guarantee hits. Now, each and every search engine will be different, and each uses its own means of ordering their results. So, which search engine should you focus your efforts on? While there are various search engines out there, generally speaking, Google tends to be the most effective and is consequently the option that will bring you the best results, so should be the search engine that you focus your main efforts on. This is because it is the most popular search engine. 1.7 billion people make use of it, so you want to appear as high in the Google search results as possible in order to get the greatest exposure, make the most sales and generate the most profit. However, if you prefer other search engines such as Bing or Yahoo, don’t worry, you can focus on them too.
How Do You Set Up an SEO Campaign?
So, as you can see, there’s plenty that you can gain from SEO. So, it’s time to start focussing on putting an SEO campaign together.
The first thing on the checklist of your SEO campaign is to get engaged with blogging. Google loves legitimate posts. If you clearly pay for posts elsewhere, they’re likely to miss you out of their optimisation. Instead, you need casual, natural looking links to posts on blogs that frequently put out posts without advertising purpose. For a complete piece on this, take a look at Blogger Outreach Best Practices – How To Write A Guest Blog Post For SEO.
A key part of SEO is keyword optimisation. This is the act of researching, analyzing, and selecting the best keywords to incorporate into your webpage in order to drive traffic to your page effectively. While most search engines will not release the details of exact search terms that users submit when searching for goods, most of the time, general common sense will work. Consider what you would put in when searching for the goods that you provide. Also, browse lists of others’ commonly searched words and incorporate as many as possible into every aspect of your site.
If you’re not already familiar with the process of outsourcing, it’s time to start looking into it. We’re all well aware of how busy people setting up a small business or maintaining a small business can be. There’s so much to focus on. So many areas to constantly develop or nurture. So it’s not surprising that you may not have time to do absolutely everything yourself. Outsourcing is the business practice of sending your work out to third parties to deal with and complete. Now, there’s a good chance that you don’t really have the time in your schedule to spend researching SEO in-depth, but to make a success of your campaign, you really do need a good working knowledge of the area. Luckily, there are other individuals out there who have studied it extensively and can optimise your entire webpage quickly and simply without having to conduct extensive prior research (as they’ve already done it time and time again). Outsource this aspect of your work to them. They’re much more likely to make a success of your campaign first time around!
While you may never have heard of SEO before, hopefully now it’s firmly stuck in your mind as a business essential that can make or break your brand’s success. If you haven’t yet dabbled in SEO, it truly is time to start focusing on creating a high profile SEO campaign that will drive as much traffic to your commercial website as possible. This should serve to expose your brand and secure sales, allowing you to turn over the profit that you deserve!
By Lina Martinez
When starting a business, you want your offering to be wanted by as many people as possible. You need to make it the most desirable, talked about product on the market at the moment. How are you going to do that? Read on to discover the steps you can take to make sure your product is a hot commodity…
Build Up A Hype Around Your Product Before Launch
Don’t wait until your product is launched before you start building up a hype around it. You want people to be super excited about your offering before it’s even out. Start marketing your product using social media and other techniques before you launch – a couple of months is a good idea. You don’t want your audience to get bored of waiting for it, so make sure you choose a reasonable timeframe.
Know What Differentiates Your Product From The Rest Out There
If people are going to want to buy your product, you need to make it clear about the things that differentiate your product from similar products out there. What is different and special about your product when in comparison to other products on the market? Only if you emphasize this and make it as clear as possible are you going to excel.
Go Through Extensive Quality Testing
Extensive quality testing is a must if you’re going to build a great reputation based around your product. Make sure you you do everything necessary to ensure a quality product so that you’re proud to put your name on it. If you’re selling fine jewelry, for example, using an atlantic scale can help you to make sure it’s the best it can be before selling it. The way you test your product will depend on your item and industry, but you need to go through an extensive process before you sell to anybody.
Create A Great Marketing Plan
A strong marketing plan is a must for any product and any type of business. Come up with this well in advance, and work with a professional company if you want the results to be awesome.
Use Vivid, Plain Language
Avoid business jargon if you want your product to be as attractive as possible. Overly technical terminology will only drive people away, so use vivid, plain language to make a bigger impact. Know who you’re talking to aswell. What type of language do they use? What will they respond to?
Outline A Couple Of Specific Benefits
Too many benefits and people will get confused, or you’ll water down your main benefits. Outline a couple of benefits instead, and make them specific. For example, don’t just say you help businesses save money. Tell people you help businesses save 25% on average.
If you start using the tips here you can almost guarantee your product will be desired and hyped up to the maximum. Know who your audience are and spend plenty of time creating a plan to make your product the very best it can be, and you have far more of a chance of success.
By Jerry Mooney
Cryptocurrency is a term that is bandied about a lot in the media and online, usually in relation to making some extra money. However, like most investment ventures going in blind without a clue is a bad idea. In fact, you need to get up to speed on a number of key areas before you consider cryptocurrency for your next investment, something you can do by reading the information below.
What it is?
Too many people answer this question with the term ‘Bitcoin.‘ Yes, this is an example of a cryptocurrency, the first in fact, but it doesn’t actually give you a lot of detail about what this virtual currency is or how it’s used.
In fact, a cryptocurrency is a method of payment that works in a decentralized way online. That means you can buy and use crypto without having to go to a bank. It is a relatively new way of paying for things and as such is more popular online than in the real world. Although some places are starting to accept such payments now. Something you can find out more about here.
How does it work?
Obviously, before you invest in crypto, you need to have a basic understanding of how it works. Despite all the hype, it is actually a fairly basic system made up of three parts.
The first party is the ledger which is like a virtual bank record where all the currency ownership information is kept. Then to use your currency, you need to take part in a transaction where some of the money that is listed against your account in the ledger is transferred to a vendor, for good or services and the like. To do this something called mining needs to happen, and this is when the information pertaining to the amount of currency you are using is confirmed as true. This is done via blockchains, using small parts of different computers all around the world to decrypt the information. The computers can be ones that are found home for personal use or larger setups that are used commercially.
What are the risks?
Security risks can put people off investing in cryptocurrency.
Before you get involved in any cryptocurrency, you also need to be aware that there are risks. One, in particular, is security, something that worries many people because of the virtual nature of the currency.
To get around this many people use a cryptocurrency hardware wallet, a gadget you can get for a great price with offers like Trezor discount code that can be used online. These are so useful because it means you can actually hold your currency offline and so protect it from the major security risks.
How can I make money from it?
At this point, you are probably wondering what all this has to do with making money, and it just seems to be an online way to pay for things.
However, this isn’t the case at all because you can, in fact, make money in three ways. These include trading cryptocurrencies, doing the actual mining process, or trading them like a normal currency in the exchange. Something you can read more about in detail here.
By Sharon Jones
If you always find yourself on the right side of the law, you probably think that you’ll never need the services of a lawyer. You might not even be able to imagine yourself standing up in court with a lawyer by your side arguing your case. But don’t be so sure, because there are a number of reasons, outside of breaking the law, why you might need a lawyer. You might be suing someone else who has broken the law, claiming damages in an accident that wasn’t your fault or indeed just breaking a legal contract. Let’s look at some of the possibilities in turn and make sure that you are aware of how to handle each one and know when to call in the help of a lawyer.
Doctor You Did Something Wrong
The first reason why you might need a lawyer is because someone else has broken the law and it has negatively impacted your life. This is certainly true in the case of medical malpractice. Suing for medical malpractice means that you believe a medical professional’s actions have negatively impacted you, either mentally or physically. According to the Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo there are a number of reasons why a doctor might be sued for medical malpractice. For instance, they could have left something inside your body during surgery. This is more common than most people realise and it can have lasting consequences. If a doctor thinks that the foreign object will be passed naturally through your system, they may not even tell you that it occurred. This is why if you do experience pain or discomfort after a medical procedure, you should always get a second opinion and not just take the word of your doctor who will tell you that it is perfectly normal. It is quite possible that you have a case for medical malpractice.
The damages in cases like this can be substantial and will typically depend on how the incident has impacted your life. For instance, a mistake by a doctor may have affected your mobility, and in cases like this, you can be looking at a large payout if you have the right legal team at your side. Medical malpractice cases are notoriously difficult to win because the doctor has the advantage of being an expert and can typically explain away a number of issues that may have been relevant during the case.
Injured On My Property
Of course, it is quite possible that you need a lawyer to defend yourself in court, rather than to sue someone else. An example of this would certainly be a personal injury lawsuit. People often think that personal injury claims can only be brought against business owners, but this is not true. Anyone who owns property could be held accountable for an accident or injury that occurs on it. For instance, you might decide to invite a neighbor round through the winter months. If it’s icy and they slip and fall on your driveway, they could potentially sue you for damages. This is due to the fact that you are responsible for making sure that your property is safe. It would be a difficult lawsuit for your neighbor to win, though certainly not impossible particularly since you invited them round in the first place. This is different from the postman slipping trying to deliver a letter. However, it is the reason why you should always clean up spills if you have guests round to your home, even if they are friends or family.
A lawyer will help you defend yourself in this type of situation and make sure that you are not sued for all you are worth. Remember, in the case of premises liability, ignorance is not an excuse. You cannot simply claim that you were unaware that the driveway was icy.
Of course, this is a two-way street. So, if you are on someone else’s property, their floor is wet, and you slip, you are entitled to sue them for damages. Particularly if you have sustained an injury that is going to impact your life.
The Unlucky 50%
That’s roughly how many marriages end in divorce these days, and if you are one of the unlucky ones, you will certainly need a lawyer because divorces can get quite ugly. Particularly if there was no prenup written up before the marriage. In the cases where this is true, your partner could theoretically argue that they have a right to fifty percent of your financial assets, regardless of how much money they brought into the household.
A lawyer will be able to argue your case and make sure that you do not end up with nothing or indeed, less than you deserve. Be aware that the more financial assets you have, the more important a skilled lawyer becomes to protect them. Using a legal service, you also have the potential of keeping divorce proceedings amicable, rather than becoming a mess of arguments, complaints and accusations.
We suspect that you wouldn’t consider someone speeding on the highway a criminal. Nor would you consider someone who has downloaded a movie that they didn’t pay for online a thief. However, in the eyes of the law, that is exactly what these people are. If you break traffic law, you are still on the wrong side legally and downloading a movie can be seen in the same light as breaking into a home. If you don’t believe this, just research the fines and the sentences attached to this crime. As such, even if you unintentionally commit a crime, you will still need the support of a lawyer.
They will mount a full defence and make sure that you get the lowest fine possible. In fact, they could even make sure that you are found not guilty for a variety of reasons. For instance, an unsigned speeding ticket may mean that it is invalid and you can escape a fine completely.
As you can see then, there are a number of reasons why you might need legal assistance, even when you haven’t broken the law.