Really Simple Ways To Increase Your Revenue

Increasing your revenue doesn’t have to be really difficult or take years. There are a few simple ways you can increase your revenue without doing that much at all. Want to know what they are? Read on to find out!

Rent Out Space/Equipment

If you have space that you don’t really use in your business establishment or equipment you can spare, why not rent it out to other companies? This stops space and equipment from going to waste and you bring in more money at the same time. It only makes sense if you’re not doing anything with it!

Offer A New Service

Is there a new service you can offer to go with the services you’re already offering? Brainstorm with your employees or get feedback from your customers. This could be one of the quickest ways to increase your revenue if there’s a service you’ve always wanted to offer but haven’t. It makes sense not to offer too much to start with, but once you’ve built up a client base and you know what the people want, it could be a great way to bring in more money!

Teach Staff To Upsell

Make sure your staff know how to upsell where appropriate. You don’t want them to be so pushy that people are instantly put off buying from them, but you do want to make sure they are in the know about complementary products and services. It should be compulsory for your staff to mention other deals and offers you have on.

Raise Your Prices

If you’re getting lots of business, it could be a good idea to raise your prices. Some people price themselves so low that they actually don’t get as much custom as they should be getting. Alternatively, you could lower your prices if you feel you’ve been too high. Make sure you do your research on other companies in your industry so you can make an informed decision.

Get Professional Help

Most companies get professional help when it comes to assessing their business and growing. You shouldn’t feel bad for not doing it yourself. It’s what everybody does! If you’re looking to win more contracts, companies like Executive Compass could be perfect for you.

Look At Shipping And Handling

Shipping and handling can sometimes make or break your business. You have the option of adding shipping and handling costs, which means you won’t get as much client backlash if you raise the price of your products. You can also eliminate the costs altogether if you feel it would help orders move along. Look at what makes the most sense for you.

Communicate With Old Customers

Getting old customers back on board is so much more effective than looking for new ones. Find a way to communicate with your old customers and get them to come back to you. If they worked with you once, they could again.

Hopefully these tips and ideas have given you some food for thought. Come back for more soon!

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The Biggest Risks Facing Your Small Business Right Now

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It’s hard to feel too optimistic about anything right now, in these uncertain times. And, it’s especially down heartening when you are as small business owner relying on a steady income stream to keep you going. And, during times like these, we need to make sure we have robust systems and procedures in place to give ourselves the strength to pull through. In today’s guide, I’m going to go through some of the biggest risks facing your business today. Let’s take a closer look.

The weather

Let’s start with the one thing that everyone in the UK always talks about: the weather. It hasn’t been the best of starts to the summer, and it is causing a lot of uncertainty amongst several industries. Retailers, online or in the physical realm, all report lower sales during bad weather and rain. It’s also an issue for the tourism sector, who rely a lot on those last-minute bookings. Given the choice right now, I would prefer a weekend away on a hot beach somewhere nice rather than a two-week holiday in the UK.

Brexit

If there’s one thing responsible for everyone’s insecurity right now, it’s the political climate. And, it’s fair to lie the blame directly on the doorstep of Brexit. Small businesses will be worrying about international sales, and their ability to grow. Will people still be spending as much as they would have with a remain vote? It’s not business as usual, unfortunately. According to reports, Brexit is also having an impact on hiring employees, too. Clearly, there is a long way to go before we make the split official. I just hope it’s not going to be a messy divorce.

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Cybercrime

You can’t turn on the news without hearing about hackers and online thieves breaking into yet another system. It’s one of the biggest concerns that all businesses share. It’s not just the giant corporations feeling the effects, either. Small businesses are often soft targets for hackers because they don’t have the right level of security. Whatever line of business you are in, make sure you have robust protection to keep yourself safe.

Interruptions

I’m finding it increasingly hard to stay on track these days, thanks in large part to an enormous volume of emails, calls, and messages I have to deal with. Does that sound familiar? Productivity can take a nosedive when you have so much going on, and it can sometimes be hard to see the wood for the trees. There are a few apps out there that can help, however. I’ve been looking around for something that will let me work in peace, and stop all those notifications happening every ten seconds. Let me know if you have any ideas – we’re all in this together, I’m sure!

OK, so these are the problems I think should be high on everyone’s list. I am keen to hear from you guys, too. What are you worrying about when it comes to running a small business? Have I missed anything off the list? Let me know in the comments section below!

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Entrepreneur – How to Make it Your Middle Name

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If you want to become an entrepreneur, you’re going to need to do your homework first. Understand what is involved and work towards that. There is so much competition that you need to work out how you’re going to make your brand stand out. These are some of the best things you can do if you want to make entrepreneur your middle name.

Follow Your Dream

It’s important to have dreams and desires when you plan to start a business. You need to have an idea in mind of who you want to be and what you want to achieve. It’s important to have direction and purpose in your life and do what you can to reach that point. Everyone who decides to become an entrepreneur has a dream about where they’d like to end up with the business. And you always need to hold true to these dreams and do what you can to try to fulfil them

Be Determined

It’s not easy being a new entrepreneur in this day and age. In fact, it’s almost as stressful as taking the job of England manager! You’re going to face a lot of problems and difficulties on your way to success. But, you have to make sure you don’t lose confidence and become demoralised from the process. Failure is okay because it’s part of what leads to success. So, you need to make sure you are determined and driven as much as possible. These are important traits of all successful entrepreneurs. This is crucial to help you develop a strong mind-set and get into the role of business owner.

Do What You Can for Your Business

It’s important to do what you can for your business as much as possible. This means you have to do what’s right by the company. Do whatever you can to try to elevate the business to a level you are happy with. This means you have to look at the best ways of marketing and promoting your company brand. Things like email marketing, search engine optimisation, and social media all play a massive role in this. You might also want to consider some philanthropy to make sure your business receives positive attention.

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Take Opportunities

When you start out as a budding entrepreneur, there are going to be a lot of opportunities. Many of these you will encounter, and some you can develop yourself. It’s important to always take the opportunities you encounter. These are essential for giving you more experience and helping the business grow. One opportunity can lead on to another, and you may find a lot of doors opening for you. It’s very important to take whatever opportunities you can and try to increase your experiences.

Becoming an entrepreneur is something that has proven very popular in recent years. And, you need to make sure you understand what’s involved in being an entrepreneur. If you can ace this, you will be in a good position to develop success. Take a look at the ideas and suggestions on here, and use them to your advantage.

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3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Digital Business

The digital space has exploded in recent years. From being a niche market, it has established itself as the main way we interact with customers. Old forms of business aren’t dead yet, but their days are numbered.

Entrepreneurs now accept that if they’re going to meet their customer’s needs, they’re going to have to embrace new platforms. But incorporating these platforms into a business plan is easier said than done. There’s a big difference between having an idea and actually carrying it out in the digital space. For many firms, it’s the technical difficulties of implementing new systems that are holding them back. But ignoring digital business altogether just isn’t an option. Here’s why.

Most Of Your Customers Are Online

The average amount of time that people spend on the internet increases year after year. A couple of factors have driven this trend. Access has been made a lot easier with the rise of the mobile web. And internet connections have gotten a lot faster, improving the user experience. The bottom line? Customers have an endless thirst for information.

As an entrepreneur, you want to leverage this opportunity. That means that you have to work to integrate your back-end with your website and make the user experience seamless. Once you’ve got a site that works well and feeds through to your CRM systems, you’ll create a far better user experience.

It Makes Your Life Easier

One of the limitations of most small business websites is that they don’t include useful online tools. Take online booking, for instance. Online booking is essential if you want to spend more time making money and less time on admin. But it’s also something that is notoriously difficult to implement well.

Setting up online booking systems, learning apps and so on is rarely straightforward. You’ll probably need the help of a web developer. But once it’s done, the system is automated, and you’re freed up to do the things you are best at doing.

It Has Global Appeal

Finally, digital business has global appeal. Unlike at any other time in history, startup firms can attract a global audience, usually in a matter of months. What’s more, far more businesses have models that are responsive to global audiences. Perhaps you’re an entrepreneur who wants to set up some sort of deep learning business. Well, you’re the perfect candidate for a company that should be embracing the digital space. That’s because your business is based not on geography, but on intellectual capital.

Digital business allows you to connect to customers in distant parts of the world. You’ll be able to launch marketing efforts to any company or consumer with access to the internet. And that means you can grow your business faster.

You’ll also find it a lot easier to source the talent you need. For entrepreneurs setting up niche businesses, having a global talent pool to draw from is a boon. Connecting with people over the internet is the best way to attract new people to your cause.

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17 Surprising Facts About Weddings

Weddings are a fascinating social phenomenon. And like the people involved in them, they’re diverse. Here are some surprising, funny and downright ridiculous facts about weddings.

1. If you know anything about weddings, you’ll know that it’s traditional to throw rice at the newly married couple. But, what if you grew up in Czechoslovakia. Here they don’t throw rice at the newlyweds; they throw peas.

2. In Greece, soon-to-be-wedded wives stow cubes of sugar under their dresses. This is so that they can “sweeten” the resulting marriage.

3. Have you ever wondered if there’s a way of finding out whether you should marry somebody without getting to know them first? Well, the Romans thought there was. Romans studied pig entrails to work out whether a couple was suited.

4. The most expensive wedding ever cost a grand total of $44 million or about £35 million. The wedding was between Sheik Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum and Princess Salama in Dubai.

5. Some wives have found their future husbands wearing their wedding dresses, locked in an embrace with their best man.

6. The average spend on wedding invitations, like pocketfold wedding invites, is more than £400.

7. You might think that weddings today are superstitious affairs. But back in ancient times, things were a lot worse. Both the Greeks and the Romans believed that the bridal veil protected brides against evil spirits. And that tradition continued down the generations. We have that tradition today because Romans brought their weddings with them when they conquered England.

8. Ever since Queen Victoria married Albert, it’s been the fashion for brides to wear white in the West. But Westerners weren’t the first to decide that wearing white was best. No – that title goes to the Japanese, who have been wearing white at weddings for centuries.

9. The James Bond films first popularised the idea that diamonds are forever. And even before, then diamonds have been seen as a symbol of marital permanence. But diamonds are not the only precious stone linked to marriage. According to experts, aquamarine is also associated with marriage. It’s meant to symbolise harmony and ensure that the marriage is long and prosperous.

10. China is the most populous country on the planet, even with the one-child policy. But do you have any idea of how many marriages happen there every day? The number is a staggering 26,000. That means that every month over 800,000 couples tie the knot.

11. Wedding dresses have always been a big part of every wedding, figuratively speaking. But one German bride made her dress a big part of the wedding in the literal sense too. The dress was 515 feet long. That sparked a trend that caught on globally. Just last year a new record was set in the Chinese province of Xiamen, Fujian. The dress measured over 8600 feet long – or more than a mile.

12. Have you ever wondered where the stag do originated? I’m sure you’ll be surprised to find out that its origins are actually to be found in the ancient world. It’s believed that Spartan soldiers first instituted the tradition in ancient Greece. The idea was to have a wild party to say goodbye to single life. Little has changed.

13. Today it’s easy for other people to work out whether the couple-to-be are siblings. But in the past, it wasn’t: and it was a big problem. The reading of the banns was a tradition designed to solve this. It was a Catholic invention, and the idea was to make sure that the bride and groom weren’t somehow related.

14. The month of June has always been a favorite month for weddings. But have you ever wondered why? Well, it’s because Juno was the Roman goddess of childbirth and marriage. Getting married in June is supposed to be good luck.

15. You may have heard about people marrying their cars and their boats. But where did the tradition of marrying inanimate objects come from? One of the first instances of this sort of thing occurred back in 1976. A secretary from Los Angeles decided that she had had enough of looking for a man to marry. So instead she decided to marry a four-stone rock. The two were wedded in front of about two-dozen witnesses.

16. We’ve all heard about best men who are best men at multiple weddings. But have you ever wondered what the most times any individual man has been a best man? It’s 1,000 times, and it’s a record held by a rather popular Malaysian.

17. According to English folklore, Saturday is the most unlucky day to get hitched.

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The Things That Do Create a Productive Office & The Things That Don’t

Every credible business understands the importance of strong productivity in the office. Improving productivity can often be very difficult though. There are so many different factors that can have an impact on productivity levels, and they all have to be factored into the equation. There are some key things that you should do, as well as some things that you shouldn’t, when trying to improve productivity. The advice outlined below should be applied to everyone who works in your office.

Do:

Prepare for the Day Ahead

Preparing for the next day is a good way to save some time in the office. This can be done the evening before, or even during the commute to work if possible. For the higher ranking people in the business, this can make a really big difference. Having a plan in place that you can start following immediately when you reach your desk can be a big help. You can then hit the ground running and make sure that no time is wasted in the office. The managers who have the largest workload should definitely think about doing this. For ordinary office employees, it might not be necessary, but it could still help if they’re productivity levels are low.

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Question the Value of Each Action

Every little thing you do in the office during the working day takes up time. And if you want to improve productivity levels in the office, you need to make sure these actions are worthwhile. If they are not serving any real purpose that advances the business, then they could be wasteful. Getting into the habit of questioning the value of each and every action can have a big impact. Everyone is guilty of doing things that are not very productive during the day. If those kinds of habits can be reduced as much as possible, then productivity levels should start to rise steadily. That’s what really matters, so encourage this kind of activity.

Offer Employee Assistance

Sometimes, the reason for bad productivity levels is down to the fact that employees are not being given the right support. Companies like Health Assured offer employee assistance programmes that might help with this. Allowing your employees access to different kinds of support can give productivity a boost. This support can relate to anything from their general well-being to health support. People will feel more secure and supported in their jobs, and that can only be a good thing for everyone. It will become much easier for problems to be solved quickly, so less time will be wasted on trying to battle difficulties. It’s something that many business owners are now considering, so maybe you should too.

Remove Distractions

Battling distractions can be one of the most challenging aspects of running a modern office. When your entire workforce is hooked up to the internet all day along, the distractions are limitless. They could be tempted to check social media or simply browse the internet. And when people do things like that, the minutes can fly by. Before they know it, an hour has gone by, and very little work has been done. So, you should try to remove as many of these distractions as possible. But how can you actually do that? If the problem is particularly bad for your business, you could filter which websites can be accessed during working hours.

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Don’t:

Leave Employees Chained to Their Desks

Being inactive all day is not a good thing for employees or their productivity levels. When they are left chained to their desk all day, they often become easily bored. Standing up and moving around every so often helps blood flow to the brain. And it gives their eyes and brain a break from staring at a computer screen. So, this means that when they come back from their active break, they will be refreshed and ready to do their best work. So, encourage people to take breaks during the day and make sure that people are active during this time too. Some businesses have even introduced the option of standing desks.

Hold So Many Meetings

Meetings can be important. There are occasions in which they can distract from other important work though. If a meeting is doing nothing other than stopping people from doing work, then it might be a negative thing. So, instead of holding regular office meetings, decide whether to hold them on a case to case basis. That way, you will ensure that meetings are only being held when they are really necessary. On occasions when people don’t need to be in a meeting, they can get on with doing the work that is important. This should cause productivity levels to rise.

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Multitask

There are many myths floating around in the business world. One of them relates to multitasking and the effect it can have on a general work environment. People often assume that by multitasking, they can get more work done in a limited amount of time. But this is rarely ever the case. In fact, many people find that they do much less work. When people multitask, they tend to do multiple tasks badly, rather than doing one thing at a time properly. It has an impact on the quality of the work being done, and sometimes it doesn’t even save any time.

Spend the Day Being Reactive

When you are reacting to other people and events that happen in the office, then you are put on the back foot. Ideally, you want your office to be a place that is proactive rather than reactive. This means that you are pushing forward with what you consider important. This is much better than getting bogged down by phone calls and emails that are coming from outside the business. Sometimes, this means making very hard decisions with regards to your time. You will have to say no to people who are asking for slices of your time. You can still get back to them later, but it’s never good to be hostage to other people’s demands.

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3 Things All Business Owners Hate

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It’s no secret that business owners hate a lot of things. There are many problems and issues that spring up when you run a business. However, some things are far more annoying than others. Here are three things that all business owners hate:

Sales Problems

Easily the number one thing business owners hate is sales problems. Not being able to reach your sales targets is a major issue. It means you aren’t making as much money as you need to. People set targets for a reason; they need to be met. If your company can’t sell any products/services, then you’ll lose money. It’s not rocket science; it’s simple maths! No doubt you’ll be spending a lot of money on various things, so you need some coming in. With sales problems, you’re only going to have money leaving your business. My advice is to rip up your sales plan and start again. Perhaps you can enlist the help of an expert to draw up a new plan for you. They can help you understand the best way to go about things to get maximum results.

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Printer Problems

It’s amazing how many times your printer can mess up! There are so many different things that can go wrong and cause you to become unproductive. Common things include a lack of ink or jammed paper. Most of the issues can be solved by yourself, so they aren’t too stressful. However, if you encounter a large problem, then things can be tricky. Most office printers are made by Ricoh, so you can solve any issues by contacting Ricoh support. Obviously, if you’ve got one from a different brand, then you need to contact their support. Either way, get the problem solved as quickly as you can so your business doesn’t waste any more time.

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Internet Problems

Nowadays, businesses are heavily reliant on the internet. So, they need a strong connection at all times. When your internet goes down, you can be in serious trouble. It can mean you aren’t able to do any work until it’s back up. Most offices have specially designed internet tariffs from their provider. They ensure that lots of people can get online without the connection dropping. However, if things do go wrong, then you need to fix the issue immediately. Contact customer support to get the problem sorted as soon as possible. It might be a good idea to have a backup connection too. For example, ensure your employees can use a mobile hotspot on their phones if the internet drops in your office. This will mean they can get online and carry on with their work. Another idea is to find an office in an area with an open wifi network. So, you could connect to this if your office internet goes down for a long time.

These three problems are the bane of all business owners lives. They cause havoc for your company, and you need to know how to solve them. For any technology related issues, you can call in some support to get things solved in no time.

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The Backup And Safeguards Every Modern Business Needs

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In the modern world, running a business means having to keep many things in check and battling off threats. There will be potential hazards coming at you from every angle. And this has only been perpetuated by the dominance of the internet. Don’t worry though; there are still plenty of things that you can do to protect and safeguard your business. You’ll find all the information you’ll need below.

Smart Entry Technology

The way in which people gain access to your offices has never been simpler to control. Using the latest smart entry technology, you can control who enters the offices and who doesn’t. Anyone who you want to have access to the office, such as employees, will be given a pass. This can then be scanned to allow access. Anyone else will have to sign in at reception and asked why they’re here before being allowed in. This stops potential criminals simply walking in.

Data Storage Measures

Storing data can be a challenge for businesses that have not got to grips with it yet. If you fail to store data in the correct way, it will only make your life more difficult later. That’s because data could then be lost or stolen. Lost data will mean that you can’t access it and use it to the advantage of your business. And when criminals hack and steal customer data, they can even commit serious acts of fraud that damage your customers. That’s something that you will be held responsible for, and you could face a legal challenge over it. Planning how you store data and where you store it could prevent this kind of problem from arising in the first place.

Night Surveillance

When you and your employees go home for the night, your business is left vacant. This is when criminals can strike and gain entry to your business. And if your business’s premises looks like a soft target, then you can expect the worst. It’s simple enough to make sure that this doesn’t become a big problem though. You can install a CCTV system and an alarm. You should also make sure that all the entry points are as secure as they can be. For bigger businesses with bigger budgets, it can be better to hire a guard who can be actively involved in keeping the premises safe at night. It requires investment, but it might be worth it.

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Two-Tier Financial Checks

There should be two tiers of checks when it comes to checking your business’s finances. When one person is allowed free reign over a business’s accounts, things can go wrong. For example, the individual can make basic errors that go unnoticed because no double checks were carried out. This is something that would be easily rectified if the business had someone else to check the accounting decisions that are made. Then there is the threat of theft. Of course, this is relatively rare in the workplace, and assuming the worst is never a good move. But cases of theft are much easier to detect if secondary checks are carried out with regards to financial matters.

Firewall Protection

Every computer system that is operational inside a business needs to have firewall protection in place. Firewalls are important because they stop your private networks from being breached by other networks. Those external networks can be malicious and run by criminals. They might be trying to implant viruses into your system or wanting to access it in order to extract data from it. If this is something that you have never even given any thought to before, now is the time to change all that. You can’t expect your business to remain safe if you’re not putting these kinds of basic and vital safeguards in place. Contact a company who can do the work for you if you don’t know how. You could even let a company provide professional IT support whenever you need it to halt problems quickly when they arise.

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Knowledge of Data Protection Laws

Data protection is something that all modern business have to take very seriously. These days, when a consumer buys from a business, it usually involves handing over their data. So, customers will regularly give you information, such as their email address, phone number of payment details. It’s then up to your business to use this information in a reasonable and responsible manner. That means following the relevant data protection laws that are in place. You can only make sure that your company doesn’t breach those laws if you fully understand what the laws are. So, consult the data protection laws and act in accordance with them to prevent legal problems later on.

Plans for Financial Shortfalls

There are ups, and there are downs when you run a business. Of course, you will have no problem dealing with the times when the business is performing better than expected. But the problems really come when the business starts to perform badly. This leads to financial shortfalls that can be hard to deal with. So, make sure that you have cash reserves that can be tapped into when something like this happens. This should help to tide the business over until things pick up. You could also make sure that you understand the seasonal sales patterns that your business experiences. If you know that your business does worse at certain times of the year, you can plan for this.

Plans for Financial Shortfalls

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Employee Retention

One of the biggest dangers that small businesses face is losing key employees. When you have people in your business who are performing well and pushing the business forward, they will attract interest. You don’t want your best employees being headhunted by the competition or bigger businesses. There are things you can to do to stop that happening though. For a start, you should offer them opportunities for promotion. If they think that they’re stuck in a dead end job, they will be more likely to leave. And you should also pay them what you think they’re worth, rather than what you can get away with. Finally, show them how appreciated their work is.

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Starting Your Own Business? Here’s A Helpful Guide To Get You Started

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Starting your own business is an exciting prospect for any ambitious entrepreneur. It’s your idea and vision finally being brought to life. While an entrepreneur has amazing drive and passion, especially about a product or service they believe in. They can sometimes jump in feet first. So I thought it would be a good idea to offer a simple and helpful guide to getting started when it comes to a new business.

Have a business plan

It’s so important to have a solid business plan when it comes to starting a new business venture. Too often people will skip this step and deem it unnecessary. But it’s a great guide on how you want your business to grow. It can highlight issues or opportunities quicker than you ever could without it. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, you can hire someone to do it for you. But don’t not do it. You will thank yourself later on.

Figure out where you will work from

The next thing to work out would be where you will work from. Can you do it at home or do you require a storage unit or office space? Of course, what you have to factor in is the cost of using premises. But it could also be a cost worth spending if you find yourself more productive or have space to see and do things. Considering places like The Hoxton Mix would be a great thing to start with. Places like that can offer a short term lease and flexible options to suit your needs.

Make sure you are fully aware of any budgets and finances

Another thing to consider that would be a sensible move would be your finance and budget situation. What do you have to work with? Being aware of the costs involved initially and your set up fee’s will indicate exactly what you have to work with to make your business grow.

Outsource services if you need to

You may think that outsourcing things can be a cost you could save by doing it yourself or having someone do it for you. But this can be counter productive. Time is money. If it is something that you only need occasionally doing, then it is worth outsourcing. Another thing to consider would be outsourcing things you may not be clued up on. This could be social media strategies and marketing campaigns to get your brand out there.

Take advantage of free websites to promote your product or brand

While on the topic of outsourcing it is worth remembering that social media sites are free to use. So take full advantage of them. It is your way of getting your message out there to the world. Another great way of marketing things for free is to set up a free website in the beginning. This could mean a little online shop and utilise a blog to talk to your potential customers.

Finally, never lose the passion and ambition to succeed. It is what will drive your new business venture forward.

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