So you’ve taken the plunge and quit your day job to start your own business. Things are going pretty well; you’ve managed to make enough money to regularly pay a small amount of staff, your profits are looking alright and you’ve cornered the right niche for your product. All in all, you’re glad you made the decision to quit, and thinking about your current situation in contrast to your old job fills you with warmth.
Despite all this, though, there’s just still something missing. Your business is trundling along, but it’s missing that rocket fuel, that spark to really elevate it and push you onto the next level. You know your business idea is worthwhile; you’ve got demand, you’ve got solid suppliers, and your staff satisfaction level is high. You shouldn’t be content just to coast on that, though; the entrepreneurial spirit demands you take things to the next level. Here are some tips on how you can do just that.
Set ambitious goals
The best way to run a business is with goal-oriented management; always have a goal in sight and work towards it, thus ensuring you’re always chasing something and never resting on your laurels. Maybe the goals you’re setting for your business aren’t ambitious enough, though. Hold a staff meeting and talk to your employees. Explain to them that you’re really happy with the way things have been going, but you’re thinking it’s time to take everything up to the next level. Tell them that, if they can perform to an even higher standard than they’re already doing, there’ll be big bonuses in it for them. When the money starts rolling in faster than ever, you can afford to hire more staff and expand your operation, but you’ll need to get the ball rolling with your existing staff and set them goals that really make them reach for the stars.
Expand your finances
Are your old headquarters looking a bit ropey? Do you feel like you could really do with moving to a bigger, more expansive location with more space for your growing business? It might be time to look into expanding your finances and filling your bank balance up a bit. One of the best ways to do this would be to take out a loan and use the money for boosting up the business; pay your employees generous bonuses, for example, or use the money to either redecorate or change your premises. The best loan providers, such as the one we linked, will consider you no matter your credit history and the turnaround for money in your bank is quick, too. Don’t let your finances stagnate; the best path to making money is spending money, after all!
Focus on your customers
The only way you’re ever going to learn how you can expand and grow as a business is to talk to the people who are using your services, i.e. your customers. What do they want you to provide that you’re not already providing? If you’re an e-commerce business, you can send out surveys via email (as long as your customers are happy for you to do so) and ask them how they think you could improve your service. If your service improves, more customers will be attracted to your business, and you’ll start growing before you know it. If you’re a supply-side business, then talk to the companies you’re working with; go for lunch with high-ups in those companies and chat to them about your business and anything they wish you did that you don’t currently do. Talk to your contacts and your customers, and you’d be amazed how much help they can be.
Study your competition
How is your competition marketing itself? Who is their key demographic? Is there any way you could poach a few of their customers (in an entirely honest way, of course)? You need to be consistently asking yourself these questions if you’re going to improve the way you do business. Knowing how your competition handles things, even if they handle things poorly, will only impact your business positively as long as you use the knowledge in a productive way. Don’t just copy what your competitors are doing; study their actions and motives and create a business plan that will counteract anything they’re doing better than you. Customer-facing companies can try offers, discounts and other ways to sweeten the deal for hesitant customers; there’s always a way to increase your business and compete with other companies.
Don’t get complacent
If your business is doing well, that’s great; it means you’re doing something right as a business owner, and your staff are working in a satisfactory capacity. That doesn’t mean, though, that you should rest on your laurels. You should constantly be looking for ways you could improve your business, no matter in what area; the smallest sectors of your company could be the biggest catalysts for positive change. Don’t underestimate small changes you can make, and don’t stop talking to your staff and studying your books to see if there’s literally anything you could improve. If you love your business, this won’t feel like a chore; it’ll feel like tuning up a machine until it’s performing as well as it possibly can.
Consumer technology is a wonderful thing. Even the most self-proclaimed technophobe is dependent on some sort of technology. It’s technology that enables us to travel dozens of miles to work, to wake up to a warm home and to communicate with friends, colleagues and loved ones all over the world. While many of us use technology liberally, we all too often associate it with cost. Sure, any technological advancement usually comes at a cost to the consumer, and early adopters generally find themselves paying top dollar to get in on the ground floor, but there are a great many ways that technology can help you make big savings at home and in the office.
Prevent pipe freezing without paying a fortune in heating costs. Buy heat tape for pipes to prevent water from freezing in them. Most heat tape solutions use a built-in thermostat so there’s no need for external controls or monitoring. This means that metal and plastic water pipes can be protected from both freezing and overheating. Prior to the advent of electrical heat tape technology, heat traced water pipes could not be insulated as it would increase the chances of overheating and create a fire risk so the only alternatives were to waste a huge amount of heat energy to prevent the pipes from freezing or spend money and time doing the arduous work to clear frozen drain pipe. Self-regulating heat tapes can be used for single pipes or networks of identical pipes, that can be used in virtually any environment or temperature.
The time and cost involved with repairing damaged pipes can be extensive. The best way to save money is to be proactive and protect your house or business from the ravages of extreme weather. Not only can the pipes get damaged, but those broken pipes can send water flooding into a building, causing water damage and mold. This can require new floors, drywall, ceilings and more, and that’s not even considering all of the pipes that will need to be replaced. In this situation, a stitch in time saves nine.
With extreme weather willing to wreak havoc on everything in its way, take the necessary precautions. Save yourself, your home and your business from the damage that extreme weather can cause by freezing pipes, causing water to expand, damage the pipe, then melt and flood the area. If you keep the water from freezing in the first place, you will also avoid the subsequent damage.
A quality wealth strategy will be diverse. Historically, diverse usually meant stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Today, that is still true, but many add commodities, currencies and business investments. The modern view adds stability to an investment portfolio while increasing the opportunity to hit a home run. Let’s look at a few of these methods of diversifying.
In this circumstance, it doesn’t mean building roads and bridges, but those instruments which support an investment strategy. For example, a website might be part of your business and therefore part of your business infrastructure. SEO might be a method of bringing in more attention to your business and therefore considered part of your investment infrastructure. Some people are more comfortable with tangible assets, like silver, in their portfolio. Regardless of the ups and downs of the precious metal, people feel confident in holding their investments in their hands.
Many people today buy and sell stocks, bonds, and commodities and flip them quickly. There is little love for these purchases in many cases. It is simply an attempt to buy low and sell high or at least higher in a rapid frequency. You can buy silver bullion today and sell it tomorrow if at a profit if the market moves enough. If not, you can hold the silver bars until you are confident in their value. With commodities like silver, you can own the actual metal or own the rights to the commodity through exchanges. The rights are easier and quicker to trade, but people are more trusting and confident in the actual bullion and bars.
A critical component of wealth management has nothing to do with which assets you hold, but how you manage their performance. One key to developing wealth is allowing investments to mature. Some investments might seem slow. For example, if you bought Apple stock twenty years ago, you might have enjoyed some gains, but after the iPod, iPhone, and iTunes, the stock exploded. If you were impatient with those returns, you might have cut yourself out of massive gains.
Today, investing still means what it used to, but the methods of achieving your goals have modernized. For many, modernization doesn’t mean avoiding the classic, tried and true investments, however. They still have value, and in many cases, they are comforting.
A beautiful home is a common dream. Most people want to live in a house that meets all of their needs, from size, aesthetics, accommodations, location, features, neighborhood, traffic, views, access, storage, parking, efficiency, and comfort. We all have different desires when it comes to these factors and therefore we benefit from the diversity of homes available. Construction companies must understand this as they develop and build. People are diverse and have varied needs and desires.
Sometimes people don’t even know what they want until they start exploring their options, like here. Once they see what’s available, they can narrow their desires. People can look online to find the options that best meet their desires for all criteria. This is why construction companies must invest in marketing strategies like SEO, seen here. SEO is a complex subject that involves many components, but it is critical to getting a website seen in search engines.
SEO stands for search engine optimization and is the method used to move a website’s presence up search engine pages. If you have a site and it can only be found on page 50 when searching for keywords in your industry, you are unlikely to be found. There is the argument that construction companies don’t rely on inbound sales in order to create their business. This might be true, but people who choose companies often search the internet to find reviews and recommendations. Therefore, having a web presence matters.
A website is also an opportunity to inform your potential clients of all of their options and teach them what to expect. This can help cultivate satisfaction and repeat business. A website is a great way to help your potential clients understand who you are and why you are good. You can see examples here, as to why a website can be helpful to even businesses like construction.
The combination of a website and the ability to find the site are now critical to even construction companies. SEO helps the site get found and the site can then serve to inform potential clients and educate people as to what they are choosing from. This can also become a valuable way to communicate to your clients once a project begins, using FAQs and access to your company through chat services.
The world is changing. People use the internet for everything. Therefore, you don’t want to be on the outside looking in, especially when it is your livelihood at stake. Instead of hiding from the changing landscape of business, use it to your benefit and everyone will benefit.
Photo by DRSeducation from Pixabay
At some point in your life, you will more than likely come across a situation that is incredibly problematic for you. These issues can range from health complications to employment troubles and everything in between. Taking the time to understand what can go wrong and how you can deal with it is a sensible thing to do, so here we are going to look at some of the curve balls life can throw at you and how you can manage those situations.
The indiscriminate hand of sickness can strike at any point in your life, and you should be aware of what you will need to have in place when that occurs. One of the main concerns for people, when they fall ill or are in need of medical attention, is the cost of healthcare, in fact one in four Americans turn down healthcare because they can’t afford it. So what can you do to make sure you are not one of those people? For starters, if you are in full-time employment, you should look into your company’s health benefits and see what you’re covered for. Some employers offer better care plans than others, so you might need to supplement any coverage you have with personal savings or private insurance.
However, you don’t have to rely on your employer or lack of one if that is the case. There is assistance out there for you. WebMD explains that these options like your state Marketplace and Medicaid are there to help you in times of need. But, make sure that you know who these programs are for and if you qualify.
Photo by kalhh from Pixabay
Healthcare is an expensive thing to be in need of, in fact, the average American spent just over $10,000 in 2016, so taking the time to be aware of how you might be affected in the case of a medical emergency and what your insurance – if you have it – covers. Fortunately, you live in the age of information so researching these topics is quite possibly easier than ever before.
The rate of unemployment in the US has fallen to its lowest rate in 60 years. This has been a gradual decline over the past eight years and is something to be celebrated. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you feel secure in your job. Despite signs that employment is high, the media is full of concerns about automation and technological challenges to the workforce which may well be making you anxious about your position. If that is the case then here are some suggestions for you to prepare so that you put your mind at ease.
For starters, we all have all heard the phrase saving for a rainy day and that is exactly what you should be doing while you are in full-time employment. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t enjoy your hard earned wage, but prudent financial practice will give you room to breathe if you do find yourself out of work. Preparing for unemployment can seem a little counter-intuitive when you are enjoying the profits of your labor, however doing so is important and can prove useful in circumstances than just losing your job.
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So, while you are employed make sure that you are following some guidelines which will benefit you into the future. These include living within your means, so don’t rack up debt via credit cards and loans that you might not be able to afford. Additionally, use the aforementioned age of information to develop your skills. If you notice a downturn in your company’s reports, then you can be prepared to move on to a different role elsewhere.
These tips, while under an unemployment section, can be useful for so many other parts of your life; an unexpected pregnancy, the previously discussed healthcare issues and preparing for your retirement. You just don’t know what situation life will throw up at you, so being in a position that your finances aren’t going to add further stress is a good place to be.
Law Photo by FotografieLink from Pixabay
Problems with the law do not just have to mean that you have committed a crime. There are many occasions when you might need legal assistance. You might have a land dispute with your neighbor, perhaps you have fallen foul of the law or you could have been injured and it wasn’t your fault. All of these situations you probably don’t want to consider, but they can happen to the best of us. And getting legal advice is not cheap, so knowing where to find cost-effective help is a good thing to remember.
Breaking the law is actually a lot easier done than you might consider. If you do find yourself in a situation that finds you in trouble with law enforcement, you should consider the services that can help you. Of course, lawyers are going to be able to provide assistance. Additionally, if you need to make bail then companies like Raleigh Bail Bonds, LLC will be available to help you do just that. Again, you might be thinking right now that this isn’t information that you will ever need, but you never know what situation you might find yourself in.
All of this is about making sure you are secure in your future. Some people say you can’t put a price on security, but you can and it is often expensive. These issues that we have discussed here that can happen to just about anyone come with unexpected high costs. Being prepared for those rainy days will make sure you enjoy the sunny ones just a little bit more. And bear in mind, if you are debating between spending your money on something fun or keeping a little bit extra back. There are plenty of free and cheap things for you to go and enjoy in life that won’t leave you vulnerable to something bad happening in the future.
Live your life, enjoy and be safe in the knowledge that you’re prepared.
An app can seem like an easy solution to a number of business needs. Big brands have them, so why can’t you? The truth is – an app requires a lot of thought, and not all businesses can justify having one. With a lot of work to get it set up and a lot of ongoing maintenance to consider – you’ll need to think long and hard before you decide to pursue an app. Think your business is ready? Give the following some thought first.
Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons
What will you use it for?
For an app to be the preferential choice over visiting a website, it needs to have a strong purpose. For example, apps like Facebook are designed to provide a better interface and more convenient method of browsing on a mobile device compared to using a web browser. They can also allow for notifications, which can be a useful marketing tool. Consider the ways a mobile app could help your business to grow to help inform your reasoning for having one.
Is there an appetite for it?
Even if your business has a good reason to have an app, that isn’t a guarantee that your customers need or want it. Conducting a survey is a good place to start to see if your customers would use your app before you invest money into creating one. You can always start with a basic app and analyze its impact to help you decide whether or not to pursue your app further in the future.
Can you afford it?
Growing a business costs money, and there are many different avenues you can explore to help you expand your business – with an app being one of them. Designing and building an app is something that you need to get right from the outset, and choosing the right app development company can help. You can view more here about the high-quality service available to help you get your app right. It will require some initial investment on your part, but it could be a worthwhile way to grow your business and take it to the next level.
How will you maintain it?
An app isn’t just something you build and then leave to stand on its own. An app will require constant updates and maintenance in order to fix problems, keep up with hardware updates and stay ahead of current changes. Do you have the resources to dedicate to it? Ongoing work will need to be considered before you can make a decision on your app to ensure that you can maintain a high level of service after your launch.
While an app can be a great investment for your business, you also need to consider your overall online offering and whether it’s hitting the mark for your customers. An app isn’t always the best patch to cover a hole, so spend time focusing on improving your existing website before you make any changes. Learn more about making the right business decisions to help you work out the next step on your pathway to business success.