Making The Very Best Start With Your Business

Many people begin the new year with new hopes and dreams for their career, and often in some cases this means starting up your very own start-up venture. It can certainly be exciting to think that you can bring an idea you feel passionate about and making it your own reality. But, how do you make sure you get the very best start with your new business idea? I wanted to share with you some of the ways you can make it all a reality.

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Create a business plan that will stand you in good stead

One of the first things you can do is create a business plan. This can sometime sbe overlooked by over enthusiastic entrepreneurs, but you can really make so much sense of your goals simply by having this plan in place. It’s far easier to get one in place, you can either do it through lawyers or use some of the various online guides that can help you devise the right plan for you and your business vision. Often, these things are looked back on in years to come so that you can realign your focus and even add to it.

Think about your investment options

You also might need to consider your investment options to ensure that you get the most out of your business from the start. You may want to use your savings, and invest fully yourself. You can consider loans as a form of investment, business loans are a great way to get up going sooner than you thought, just as long as you factor in the repayments when it comes to your profits. Or you may want to go to other investors and let them be part of your journey.

Make sure you market your business in the right way

Marketing needs to be right from the word go, especially digitally in what can be a saturated market. Using social media and having a good website is an ideal place to start, and doesn’t take much in regards to investment. However, it takes effort to ensure that you promote your business at the optimised times, and that your website can withstand any traffic that is directed to it.

Consider focusing on your local community as well as cracking the digital world

As well as placing a lot of focus on the digital element of your business, you may want to try and do things differently by making your local community a priority. A good tip is to think about getting involved with local events or local charities. This can be a great advertising, and often encourages people to consider your business instead of going for a larger company.

Be aware of the hard work and dedication needed

Finally, you need to be aware that the hard work and dedication involved in starting your business is nothing like what you may have done before. It won’t happen overnight, but sticking with it and doing something that you love will certainly pay off. It can be one of the most rewarding things you do.

I hope that you make the best start when it comes to your business.

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Start Being a Better Leader Today

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No matter whether you run your own business, you are in a leadership role, or you simply want to be more assertive in the workplace, it is important to know how to be a better leader. This is something that we should all be working towards, especially those who want to move up the career ladder and achieve more. So, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can start being a better leader today…

  1. Challenge your staff – The best leaders challenge their staff to work harder and to achieve more. A lot of employees become dissatisfied and bored if they are performing the same projects and tasks on a daily basis. This is why it is up to you to give your staff new challenges if you want them to achieve more. Make sure the tasks you set are within their capability, and provide them with constructive feedback afterwards.

  2. Take a leadership training course – This is one of the most obvious and effective ways to become a better leader. There are many different types of leadership courses available today, including Leadership Masters programs online, which make it easy to study while holding down a job. Not only will this make you more effective in your current role, but it will look great on your CV too.

  3. Study past leaders – It can also help to study past leaders. You should compare your leadership style to some of the great leaders to see ways to improve your leadership. Remember, not all forms of leadership are suitable – it depends on who you are leading and what you are trying to achieve.

  4. Think positive – The best leaders are those that think positively. If you have a negative approach, it is going to have a bad impact on the rest of the business. When things are going wrong, it can be difficult to stay positive, but it is important to do so. By doing this, you will inspire your team to work hard to rectify the situation and to learn from the mistakes that have been made.

  5. Get to know your team – You also need to take the time to get to know your team. Learn about your employees. Ask them about things they enjoy doing, their family, and so on. This shows that you care about people as human beings; that you don’t merely look at them like another name on the company payroll. This will encourage team members to work harder for you.

  6. Start to encourage creativity – If you respect your team and show them that you are open to their ideas, it will go a long way. Part of being a good leader is empowering others on your team to be the best they can be. Give constructive advice and positive feedback as warranted.

As you can see, there are many different things you can do to start being a better leader. From taking a training course to challenging your staff, follow the tips that have been mentioned above and you are bound to notice some immediate improvements.

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Sometimes You Simply Cannot Afford Business Mistakes


Everyone knows that a business is equal parts trial and error. You cannot expect to get everything right, especially when you’re new and hoping to strike relevance on the scene. If you’re finding it difficult to get noticed, then it can be challenging to know where to turn. You may feel like taking on additional risks in order to potentially win big and gain maximum exposure or other forms of public positivity to transfer into revenue.

Usually, entrepreneurs utilize risks to become better and grow at an accelerated rate. The world of business is defined by people who are able to become trendsetters, those willing to try and reshape the society to their business idea, and not the other way around. It can be motivating to see such people in action, as the strength of their vision alludes to a much more positive end result. We all love a success story, so we idolize people who are able to make the most of this and strike gold.

However, being overzealous and reckless in your ambition can lead you to neglect the very things that make a firm work. Being too chancy with risk can bite you big time, and this can be completely painful to get wrong. One of the beauties of the free market is that bad ideas are usually priced out of business. If you haven’t the resources to recover after a bad decision or public offering, this can destroy young firms. So, while in general a positive, this free market behaviour can sometimes bite you pretty hard, especially after investing plenty of money trying to get your operation off of the ground.

No matter your need for risk, sometimes it’s best to get down the absolute essentials. Sometimes, you simply cannot afford business mistakes. What those are, and how to avoid them are listed below:

Bad Recordkeeping

If you fail to record a paper trail from human resources, payroll, accountancy, insurance and innovation perspective, you can be sure that the identity of your firm will be lost. To know where you’re going, you need to know where you’ve been. Bad organization is the bitter poison which can take most firms down, and so a lack of keeping the books up to date can truly affect you in the worst way.

Not only that, but good records management is a legal requirement. If you need to prove your operations to an authority of some kind (which you will,) incorrect information or bad etiquette regarding your records can result in you being shut down. You simply cannot afford to neglect the record keeping you have, even if you’re a small firm with little manpower allocated to the task. Litigation demands it, your peace of mind demands it, and your firm’s identity demands it. This should always serve as the bedrock of your firm. Besides, past the considerations of being in legal trouble, losing records such as these can make the history and identity of your firm weaker. This is a tragedy in itself, so be sure you take care of all these information piles.

Bad Working Environments

Bad working environments are the number one reason that staff become demotivated. There are many reasons this happens. It could be through a case of social workplace bullying, a lack of quality human resources, a lack of hygiene in the office, expecting too much from your employees and the list goes on and on. It’s likely you’ve worked in at least one bad environment in your life too. If you have, you know just how draining they can be, and just how hard it is to get work done when you’re continually tense, worried or irritated about a situation that needs improving.

As a boss, you must never let your office or other place of work devolve to this point. You must set up channels of positive communication between you and your employees. You must always be willing to invest in making your business a great place to be. While businesses do exist to make money, if that money is at the cost of a tired, unmotivated and unhappy workforce, you have made your revenue as a tyrant rather than a great leader.

However, it’s likely that with a bad working environment, you won’t make much money. The staff are the most important people in your firm, as they interact with the public and organize the systems that make your entire operation function in the first place. If they are demotivated to the point where an interaction with a member of the public become aggressive or chaotic, your firm’s reputation will plummet. With a motivated and happy workforce, your firm seems like the main place to be, and the main place to buy from.

Great working environments will also attract talent. If you hope to have anyone of calibre working at your firm, you need to make it an enticing place to work. A great place to start is to view and study the practices of those companies who routinely rank high in the employee satisfaction indexes. These places often aren’t afraid to invest in their staff, because they know that long-term worker security is a happy and healthy workforce.

Never Changing

Darwin once said that “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.” This is completely and totally true of your business in the same fell swoop. Your business must always move with the times, lest they become moved by them.

This can be easier said than done. Not only do your products maybe have a complete stock in the current timeline (such as an app that is sure to become outdated in a few years from now,) but trying to innovate can be a costly waste of time and resources when inconclusive.

However, not moving can be just as fatal as moving. You must expect mistakes and plan for them, but on the whole trying your best to innovate, continually upgrading your products or services for relevance, and generally trying to offer that cutting edge distinctive offering your firm is famous for requires a strong vision, and the will to pull it off.

Always keep in mind your R&D, even if that’s simply studying firms you admire as your three man team. Taking the best ideas sometimes requires further research. It could be that in your attempts to future proof, you find things which you could enact now for a huge and progressive leap in the relevance your firm offers people.

Never Making A Mistake

Here’s where this list doubles back on itself. Not making a mistake can be considered a mistake that must never happen. Businesses learn from mistakes. If they continue down a path of repeated success, they never temper themselves. Sure your firm might become the top of the fortune 500 stock market, but if it doesn’t balance this with societal awareness, an undercurrent of well-informed decisions and many other variables, it simply becomes a revenue gathering system. This is why firms such as massive supermarkets with incredible amounts of money always consider the next positive step they can take, to make their business that little more ethically viable, or that little more worthwhile.

Learning how to change comes from identifying flaws in your practice, and seeing them. If you believe your firm can do no wrong, and you never see it tempered and humbled by bad planning (within reason,) then you will never be getting better. It’s always best to have a business with a soul, one which learns and adapts, than one which fosters alienation.

With these tips, your business operations are sure to become that much more wholesome. Balancing acceptable mistakes with the unacceptable will serve as a positive guiding light for your future efforts. Good luck!

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Helping Your Business Beat the January Blues

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Many businesses find January tough. Sales are often down, morale can be low, and many people just find it hard to adjust to normal life again after the hectic rush of the festive period. Once the initial Christmas sales have passed, consumers are much less likely to spend money, and many businesses find themselves suffering from the January blues.

If you’re a big business, this might be ok. A slow month that you’ve forecasted and prepared for can just give you a fantastic chance to organise yourself ready for the year ahead. It’s a brilliant opportunity to set yourself goals and targets, assess your year and do all the big jobs that have been largely ignored for the last few months.

But, for small businesses, these January blues can have a vastly negative effect. It can be easy to get stuck in a rut and find that a period of poor sales and low morale can be hard to escape from. So, it’s important to beat them before they set in. Here’s a look at some things that you can do to beat the blues.

Look at Your Décor

January can be depressing for many reasons. But, a leading cause of winter blues is a lack of natural light. If you employ staff, either in an office or store, you may find that none of you see much light in January. It can quite easily be dark when you get to work, and dark when you leave. This can affect your customer’s mood and willingness to spend too.

If you’ve only got a small window or supply of light, consider increasing it, to let in as much light as you can during the day. A glass roof or large sliding doors can be a great option. Check out Armstrong steel reviews if you are after some help.

Reach a New Audience

January is a great time to focus on finding new customers. Even if they’re not currently interested in spending money, you can make an impression.

Sit down and take a look at your marketing strategy. Any plans you have should be put in place as soon as possible. Especially when it comes to digital marketing. Get on social media, start engaging with your audience and getting yourself out there more.

Have Some Fun

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One of the best ways to boost morale, and potentially business is to have some fun. The internet is a great place to do this. Instead of just sharing your products and services, spend some time coming up with other content. Film some tutorials or advice posts and get on YouTube with them. Post some informative and entertaining blogs and have a go with things like Facebook and Instagram stories. Having fun like this will boost morale, but it’s also a great way to show your customers and clients a different side of your business. Let them get to know you and see what goes on behind the scenes.

Reward Loyalty

Attracting new customers is essential to business growth. But, you should never forget the ones that you’ve already got. Try a loyalty scheme such as a points card, or just offer free delivery to subscribers. Even a small incentive can make your customers feel valued.

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Supply Teacher Essentials [INFOGRAPHIC]

Being a supply teacher is one of the most stressful yet rewarding teaching jobs today. Simply Education created this helpful infographic for supply teachers or aspiring supply teachers out there who want to know all the things that they need to do their job well.

Simply Education helps teachers find good teaching jobs. Their consultants, who are available 365 days a year, are dedicated to help aspiring teachers by matching their skills and experiences to the right schools. They operate through regional offices and cover 9 different counties in the United Kingdom.

They serve both teachers looking for work and schools looking for a reliable recruitment agency.

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The Top 5 Ways to Save For Your Dream Home

Whether it’s a new phone or new car that you’re saving up for, making a big purchase can be nerve-wracking, even for the savviest spenders. That’s certainly true when it comes to home buying; your house is the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, and, for many of us, it seems nearly impossible to save up for the down payment we need. While putting together a generous nest egg can seem like a pipe dream, there are some easy ways to accomplish it ever than you thought possible. If you want to purchase that dream home, start with these easy saving tips:

Use cash: While it can be easy to charge purchase after purchase on your credit card, only realizing how much you’ve racked up when you look at the bill, paying with cash can help lower your spending in no time. Before you leave the house for the day, put a pre-determined amount of cash in your wallet and leave your cards at home — you can’t spend what you don’t have on you, after all.

Set up automatic deposits: While it may feel painful to put cash in your savings account when there are so many fun things you could be buying with it, setting up automatic deposits can have you saving easily in no time. Simply set up a weekly automatic deposit from your bank account and you’ll accumulate a nice nest egg quickly — you won’t even miss the money.

Carpool to work: According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average American will spend nearly $2000 on gas this year. However, if you carpool to work even just a few days a week, you can cut that number down significantly, leaving you more money to use for the purchase of your perfect home.

Sign up for rewards programs: Save money every time you go shopping by signing up for in-store rewards programs. Those little keychain fobs they hand out at the grocery, beauty supply, or houseware store can save you serious money over time, often giving users access to special pricing and early sales. Just signing up could save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to put toward your home.

Negotiate your bills: The amount your asked to pay on your bills is often more up to interpretation than you might imagine. For many bills, from cable to hospital bills, you can actually negotiate the price. In fact, many places that charge heavily for bills, like hospitals, will even offer you significant discounts if you pay them in full.

Owning your own home doesn’t have to be a fantasy. In fact, buying smart and starting early can save you tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime. Before you resign yourself to a life of renting forever, start saving and you might just be buying before you know it. Just a few dollars tucked away today can yield a healthy nest egg that will help you buy the home you’ve always wanted.

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Create A Business Address In Los Angeles Using Global Business Centers

Create A Business Address In Los Angeles Using Global Business Centers

Whether they are looking at a contact page on a website or a business card, the address of your business is one of the first things that a prospective client will see. Here is more on why you want to have your company associated with a reputable location, and how you can set up a business address without paying extensive location costs:

Why Location Matters:  On a global scale, Los Angeles is typically a well-known city and business center. However, some areas of Los Angeles are more reputable than others. For instance, Westwood or Beverly Hills are known to be “high-end” expensive business areas and will draw more positive attention to a new company. After all, a lucrative address is associated with a successful business.

How To Get An Address At Low Costs: While an office in Beverly Hills may cost a fortune in rent, utilities and maintenance, you can get the benefits of the Beverly Hills address without the high costs with a virtual office space. A virtual office will come with a virtual business address in a well-off area and other possible amenities.

What Else Is Available?: Many companies that rent virtual office space offer various bundles such as answering services and conference rooms for rent. Having a professional answering service can help ensure that you never miss an important phone call and that your clients can reach a professional during working hours- though some answering services are also 24/7. Should you need to physically meet with clients from time to time, you can also rent out a conference room for a fraction of the cost that comes with actually owning the room, and you can rent it only for the time of your meeting.

Having a great address can lead to a great business. A bit of planning and research can help you decide whether a virtual address may be right for your company.

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Building Your New Website


When you get to the point of launching your website, it won’t be the last time you edit. Over time you will need to refresh the look, to update your programming and to fix any mistakes. You can stress about all the details before your launch it, but in the end, all you will end up doing is putting off the day when your website is up and running – which slows the process of your business.

There are a few things that you need to get as close to perfect as you can before you let the public see your site.


You need to create a website that represents your business – not you. You might be beautifully vintage, with barrel rolls and red lipstick, but is your business? Chose the right look that will appeal to your target audience. Keep it clean cut and simple and the look will be timeless.


It’s always best to use your own images, but if you’re not the best photographer, or lack the right equipment, then use sites like Pexels and Flickr. Just make sure that the images are available for commercial use, and always credit the photographer. Again, make sure the images are appropriate for your business – a head shot of you on a night out might not set the best tone.


You will be judged from the moment somebody clicks on your website. You need to look and sound the part. Good content is what attracts people to your site. A home page should be short and sweet – or a stream of your most recent blogs. The scroll-down idea is something everyone is used to thanks to social media. Save the history of your business for the about page. You can write the content yourself, or you can hire a professional writer to do it for you.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is where keywords are used in the body of a text to increase the chances of your site being found. The ‘keyword’ is judged on the popularity of the phrase being used in a search engine. If we’re honest, no one moves past the first page of a Google search, if what we are looking for isn’t there, we try searching something else. The more adept at using keywords you are, the more of a chance you have at being on that front page, it is a type of website promotion. Any professional copywriter will know this and use it to benefit your business.

Web Management

You need to decide who is going to manage your site; will it just be you, or will others be able to contribute. Set out a calendar of when you are going to post new content, and when you are going to update anything on your site. If you say on your homepage that you post a new blog every week, then make sure you stick to that. If others can post, then make sure you are keeping an eye on the changes as what they do will affect your business for the better or for worse.

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Best Portable Payment System for Businesses

Many business owners today have forgone the typical storefront or stationary location and opted for a mobile business. This allows business owners to save money on rent and building maintenance, and put that money into bettering their service or improving on their product. Whether you determine that using the Clover Station, which is the largest option for a Clover POS system, is best for your business or decide to utilize the Clover Go, which conversely is the smallest Clover POS system, there is a quality portable payment system available that will enhance the way you do business and complete sales. Older credit card systems are outdated, unreliable, and insecure. New point of sale systems are both easier to use, and more productive for businesses. They can interconnect business by enabling you to check on your business from anywhere, or schedule payments from away from the office. Point of sale systems are easily manageable, and everything can be checked on your mobile phone. It is out with the old and in with the new, and point of sale systems are taking businesses to a more productive and advanced level.

Bring The Service To Them

Have you ever been waiting in line and just wished the store would open up more lanes for checkout or wished you could have called your order in so you didn’t have to waste time in line? Many, many people feel this way, so Merchant Account Solutions created the Clover Flex so businesses have the ability to offer smaller lines and shorter waits to their customers. Have a bunch of people in line waiting to place an order? With Clover, one of your associates could walk down the line and take orders, take payments, and give the customer their receipt before they get to the counter. This could expedite the entire purchasing process for you and your customers. Also, no more need to always print receipts, as customers can choose to have it emailed to them. This technology is making it easier to instantaneously send over orders from one part of the business to another, saving time and increasing productivity. It also frees up space over time, by eliminating the need to keep track of papers, and therefore simplifying organization.

Point of sale systems also offers back of the house processes, such as reports, tracks sales, and if you are already utilizing a Clover device it will easily sync with that device so everybody can be current on what is happening in real-time. Connecting the entire business over multiple devices simplifies tasks and automatically inputs things where they belong, rather than manually inputting the same things into different sections.

The days of manual card machines and needing cold hard cash are over. Businesses now have the capability to close sales quicker and get customers on their way. Be prepared to see your business grow with a portable POS system.

For more information on point of sale systems, visit Merchant Account Solutions.


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If You Don’t Use Them, You’ll Lose Them…

It can be a big fear, that you aren’t simply making the most of your employees. And in whatever fashion, whether you aren’t stimulating them enough, or you’re neither currently increasing nor decreasing revenue, but are staying firmly in the middle, this is the sign of a business that is plateauing. You might be running a startup, but you’re too scared to let your employees move up or sideways in the company for fear of it upsetting the balance, but this is the equivalent of loving something too much. Holding it so tightly that it will end up flying the coup the first chance it gets. So, what are the signs of underused employees, and what can you do to fix this?

Feeling Unstimulated

Now, there is a difference between having an unstimulating day and feeling chronically unstimulated, and can you see the difference in your workers? They may feel every day to do the same work and not be challenged by it, and this can be down to various reasons. But if you’ve kept people in the same role for years, then they’re going to know the role like the back of their hand and have become accustomed to using one set of skills when they are capable of so much more.

Their Responsibilities Haven’t Changed

The importance of growing with a role usually means taking on more duties and expanding your knowledge, making you a better asset to the company, but if everyone has stayed in the same roles for so long, how can they have grown and retained this indispensability? Having new challenges and different things to do, everybody says, is what makes a job interesting. They don’t have to necessarily like the role they’re doing, but if the job is diverse enough so that they feel challenged with an adequate amount of responsibility, this is usually what will keep people invested in a role.

They Rush Their Work

There is a difference between working fast and rushing, of course. And for every business, the hallmark of success is increased productivity, but so people can feel accomplished, they need to face certain challenges. Have you seen people keeping projects on track by being methodical in their work? Or are they always looking for something to do? It’s like in school, you thought that the cleverest person in the class was the one that did their work quickly, which made you rush too. It’s dangerous for people to do their work too fast, because mistakes will be made, and someone will pay the price. It could mean extra time working to rectify these mistakes, and therefore extra money!


They Have Skills You Have No Idea They Had…

And while this is hard to spot from a distance, if you’ve got someone supremely skilled in one area that you may not link to the relevancy of the business right now, but it certainly could be in the future! If you’re not paying attention to your staff, you’re not valuing them enough.

…And They Don’t Have Skills You Want

If your employees don’t have what it takes, do you want to get rid of them and hire a whole new group of people and pay to train them up on the basics? Or are you better off to find a training centre so your employees can get clued up on the skills you need them to have? Soft skills training might sound irrelevant for a lot of people, but it’s the core of getting people to relate and to work together.  

So, What Can You Do?

While it’s important for roles to be fulfilled, if you run the risk of people feeling that they are not being utilised in their skills, you are going to lose them. What’s the solution? Well, it’s all about making your employees feel fulfilment. They demand this, and you need to give it to them. If you aren’t making the most of your employees, you aren’t just doing them a disservice, but you’re doing a disservice to your business. If there’s little wiggle room in a small company due to finances, then you need to find up a way to make it so. Speak to them, ask why they’re feeling stagnant? They will probably feel reticent in telling you because of the awkwardness of the circumstances, but you can put out anonymous questionnaires, and at least you will get a sample of what is bringing the employees down. It could be morale, it could be financial, or it could be personal. But if you have employees that are being underused in one way or another, look for these signs and start to make a change.

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