Smart Investments for Your Small Business

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Running a small business takes a whole lot of effort. You have so many different areas of operation to focus on in order to keep things up and running and to ultimately make some profit – from market research to product design, manufacturing and development, and marketing. However, once things are sailing smoothly, you can start to focus more time and energy into alternative areas of business progression or outside investments that can be used to generate more funds for your disposal. So, when that time comes, here are a few smart investments that you should seriously consider making for the sake of your company!

A Vehicle

Every small business owner should have a reliable vehicle. After all, you’ll find yourself having a lot of places to be! You’ll have to attend meetings, conferences, trade shows, exhibitions… all sorts. The easiest and most convenient way to get to all of these events? Driving. It’s fast, you can pull up directly outside your destination, and you don’t have to rely on strict timetables. Now, you don’t necessarily have to purchase your vehicle outright. Instead, you can take out a loan through a comparison site like https://auto.loan/ and pay the sum back in regular instalments! Once you’ve sorted out your finances, it’s time to start searching the market for the right vehicle to actually invest your funds into. It should be smart and professional to create a good impression when you arrive to places, but it should also be reliable, safe, and affordable.

Stocks

Stocks and shares tend to either be a personal investment or something that people engage with as a full time career. However, this area of the market is also something that business professionals should engage with too. After all, if you are making extra money in any aspect of your life, you have more cash spare to invest into your company. Now, the phrase “stocks and shares” can be intimidating in and of itself. It’s not a subject that the majority of us are actively taught about during our education, and the figures and graphs that come hand in hand with the topic can make us feel like we could never possibly understand the business without specialist training. However, once you’ve moved past the jargon, you can grow to see stocks and shares as a relatively accessible market and a simple way to make potentially significant amounts of money. Stocks are an intangible purchase. Standard stocks give you a share of a given business. Dividend stocks entitle you to a share of the given business’ profits. If the value of the business you’re investing in goes up, so will your stocks or the payments from their profits that you receive. If the value of the company goes down, so does the amount that you earn. You just need to monitor the market and buy and sell up at the right time. With a little practice, this will come naturally!

These are just two different areas that you should seriously consider investing in if you’re a small business owner! So, consider them and invest sooner rather than later!

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Signs That It’s Time To Hire Your First Employee

Hiring your first employee can be incredibly scary, but when the time is right, you’ll usually know. It doesn’t matter how scary the idea of having another mouth to feed is, you’ll need them there for a number of reasons.

If you’re still fighting with the idea of having an employee on board, here are some signs that it’s something you probably need to do pretty soon.

You Have To Turn Down Work

If you’re having to turn down work, then this is a huge sign you need to hire your first employee. Of course, you should pay attention to the season. There are times certain businesses get quiet, so if you’re in quiet season and you’re still getting a ton of orders, hiring should be pretty safe. Making sure this isn’t just a fluke or a really good week is important.

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You Don’t Have Time To Think About Growing Your Business

If you’re running around so busy that you barely have time to think about growing your business, then you have a problem. You should be able to spend a decent portion of your time thinking about how you’re going to grow your business. If you’re the only one running the show, you can’t grow. Looking at sites like Pure Staff can help you to get the staff you need quickly. However, you can also consider looking at freelancers online so that you have less responsibility if it turns out you don’t need them in the long run.

You’re Getting Complaints From Customers

Complaints from customers mean that something has to give. If you’re so busy that you’re getting orders wrong or skimping on service quality, you need to bring in some help. Making mistakes won’t help your business reputation in the long run.

You Can Afford It

Take a look at your finances. You may need to cut back on a few things, but could you afford to hire? Providing you have thought this through properly, a new hire could help you to make more money in the long run, which is of course what you’re aiming to do.

You Know You Need A Specialist

If you need a specialist, you’re going to have to bite the bullet and hire one. You can teach yourself to do a lot of things online, but it’s unlikely you’re going to be able to teach yourself a specialist skill at the level you need to be at. Maybe you need a developer, or somebody with a lot of knowledge in a certain area.

You Struggle To Have Time Off

Not having time off could lead to mental and physical burn out. If you struggle to have time off, then it’s definitely time to bring in some help so you can have a breather.

Is it time to hire your first employee? Leave your thoughts below. Hiring your first employee comes with a list of responsibilities, but it could help your business to become even better and grow like never before.

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Utilising The Benefits Of Student Business

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It’s no secret that students often have a lot of free time. With long holidays, lots of days off, and loads of time to spend with friends, the work you have to do is hard, but it doesn’t take up everything you have. Most people will use it for entertainment and social activities, and this makes sense. Of course, though, taking a slightly different approach can often yield some very positive results. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the key benefits of running a business during your studies.

Control: Having control over your time is very important when you’re at school, as you will have to be able to drop things to do work when times are getting busy. Most normal jobs won’t give you this luxury, instead dictating when they want you in, and expecting you to respond to the call of duty. Running a venture of your own can give you full control over your time, while also giving you the freedom to work on projects which you enjoy. This makes it a lot easier to focus on the right jobs at the right times.

Early Experience: Depending on the course you’re studying, this sort of approach could give you an excellent chance to get a head start over your classmates when it comes to experience. Employers will be impressed to see someone who has already worked in the industry, especially when you’ve started the business yourself, and it doesn’t matter if the venture failed. There is a limit to this, though, and you should only talk about attempts which lasted for more than a month or two.

Boosted Learning: Along with giving you things to add to your CV, having a small business can act as a powerful learning tool. Not only will it teach you how to run a company, but it will also give you knowledge related to your field, too. A lot of people taking this approach will notice a sharp increase in their grades, despite the fact that they are working long hours, and this makes it well worth it from this point of view alone.

Extra Income: Finally, as the last benefit to consider, earning money while you’re studying could be a big boon, especially for those on limited incomes. Giving you the chance to use companies like Fortis Student Lettings rather than campus accommodation, along with loads of other opportunities, the extra thickness to your wallet will be very noticable. Of course, though, being a student isn’t just about luxuries. This could also be a great help when it comes to affording things like books.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder on the time you put into your student business. An approach like this can often be a great idea when you’re starting out in education, but some people will want to consider giving it a break as they get into their later years and their course gets harder.

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New 3 Golden Opportunities To Help Your Business Look Fantastic

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Businesses are odd things. Not only are they intensely competitive and increasingly try to undercut one another, but they are nothing if not reliant on the impressions that their audience has of them. This strength and vulnerability in equal measure can be quite interesting to reflect on when you take a step back. As a new business stepping onto the scene, it can be very tempting to try and reduce your business vulnerability to a profound degree, as obviously stepping forward with the strongest footing is always superior to the alternative.

There are better and worse methods of doing this. In this article,, we’d like to share with you three golden opportunities to help your business look fantastic. It’s amazing how a little community and customer support can help you in the early days. With this list, taking care of that should be a breeze.

Excitement & The Brand Of The Future

It’s important for your business to seem as though they have the future in mind. When it comes to investing or purchasing from a business, many customers want to know that they are making the forward-thinking choice. This comes from what products you sell to what brands you are associated with. It goes from what exhibition stand contractor you use to custom design your own show at an Expo later this year to what real utility you might have in the long term. positive reactions to both of these increase excitement among your audience and helps you seem like the brand of the future. Not bad.

Care & Social Good

Businesses taking part in social good can not only increase their bottom line, but do well as a result. For example, consider the business that helps children eat with every purchase. This shows you are committed to making the world a better place, and not only that, you put the keys to achieve this in the purchasing power of the customer. It might sound like a relatively scammy and gross method of doing things, but it depends how honest you are, and how transparent you’re willing to be. Even if you’re profiting, so is someone less fortunate than you. In these instances, pays to keep:

Transparency & Future Goals

When you are transparent, you seem confident. People know that they can trust you because you might divulge information about your profitability, and how that affected your good work. It might be showing your future narrative for how the firm will work in the next 3 – 5 years. It might be adjusting your mission statement and ensuring you know what it means, as does your staff.

This also goes for in-house. During intense order loads, it can pay to stay upfront in advance for the need of overtime – this way it doesn’t feel like you’re springing it upon them unannounced. It might be that you continually express how your products will be supported for a time in their life, allowing for trustworthy purchases from the majority of the market.

With these simple guiding opportunities, you can resolve most business PR issues and instead, operate with a healthy audience at your side.

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Are You Trained To Run Your Business?

This might sound a little odd to you, especially if you have been in the business for a long amount of time. But think about it, are you actually trained to run your own business? Do you have what it takes to run it, and are you doing it as you should be? A lot of company owners out there are just ambling by, trying to make a living, but barely breaking even. Then you’ve got the ones that think they know it all, but are leaving a long trail of mistakes behind them. You don’t want to be like these people. You want to be someone who is trained to run a business, and armed with all the skills a business owner could possibly need. Not sure what we mean? Well, here’s just a few skills we think you’ll benefit from having some training in.

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Management

We know you manage a business, but do you know how to manage the people within it? So many of you reading this now will confidently say that yes, you do know how to manage a group of people. But we can guarantee nearly all of you are wrong. Running a business comes with its hardships, and boy do people find that out the hard way. When you have a team of employees under your wing, there’s so many things you need to consider, from their safety, to their happiness. So, if you haven’t had any management training before, we recommend that you book onto a course. Some of them are paid for and ones you do with directed learning, others are ones that you can do on the internet. But whichever one you chose, it’s going to give you that little bit of knowledge to make you a better boss, which should give you better working employees.

Technology

Technology is one of the greatest things that your business can become mercy to. The power of technology can break a business, but it can also make it. What you need to do is focus on the later, by giving yourself training in areas such as office 365 and other services that could benefit your business. Most of the training you’ll find with regards to this will all be online, so it’ll be much easier for you! You could also get yourself up to speed with all the latest marketing technology that can help to boost your exposure, and manage the income you’re making from your marketing efforts.

Finances

Your finances are going to be one of the hardest things for you to sort. To be honest, you’re probably not going to be able to manage them on your own. But what you do need to think of is having the knowledge to know where your profits should be coming in, and when to know if you’re making a loss, and how to fix it. Again, there are plenty of online courses that offer information with regards to profit management, which could help your business in the long run!

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Practical Advice for Your Next Trade Show Appearance

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There are many tips that you can discover on how to get noticed at trade shows. But sometimes you just need a few practical tips to ensure that your time at a trade show goes smoothly. There’s a lot to organise, and it can be hard to keep everything on track and get the outcomes that you want from going to a trade show. If you want everything to go well, you need to get the basics right first. Anyone who struggles even to make it to a trade show on time isn’t going to have much luck getting the right attention.

Take a Modular Display

You’re always going to have some essential supplies to take with you to a trade show. Having a bespoke exhibition stand is a great way to get noticed, and to also immediately set up a strong visual presence. However, if you want to avoid too much hassle, you should make sure that your display has a modular design. Transporting your stand can be difficult, but it’s easier if you can break it into pieces. It might mean the difference between being able to take it in a car and having to hire a van.

Create a Schedule

Being punctual is vital, especially at an event. If you want everything to run smoothly at a trade show, make a schedule of when you need to do each task. If you get a program from the venue, use that as your starting point. Make plans for when you’re going to arrive, how long to spend setting up and what you’re going to do at different points in the day. You might have times when you want to carry out product demonstrations or have some staff circuit the space to engage people or hand out materials.

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Have a Checklist

You should also make sure that you take everything you need. Create a checklist of all the things you’re going to need during your time at the trade show, and don’t miss anything off. You don’t want to arrive and find that you’ve forgotten an essential cable or even turned up without any pens. Even if it seems like a pointless thing to put on your checklist, include it anyway. You can end up having a lot of things to take with you, from tech essentials to promotional materials. Don’t forget to make plans for who is bringing what and whether anyone needs to pick anything up.

Train Your Staff

Before the big day, it’s a good idea to check that your staff knows what they’re doing. Whoever is coming with you to the show, don’t just assume they will know what’s happening and what their responsibilities will be. It’s worth spending some time going over what everyone will be expected to do, and the best ways that they can engage people and spread brand awareness. Work out what your tactics will be and what everyone needs to do during the event to bring your plan together.

Take care of all your practical issues before packing up for your trade show. Being organised will help you to take care of everything else.

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Employers – This Is Where You’re Going Wrong In The Recruitment Process

Are you trying to hire amazing employees to help get your business to where you want it to be, but you just seem to flounder every time? Maybe you get employees on board and you realize they were never right for the role in the first place. Maybe you have noticed that your employees just aren’t rising to the potential that they seemed to have during the interview stages. This could actually be down to something that you’re doing, and not necessarily something that the employee is doing.

If you feel like there may be something that you’re doing wrong during this stage, read on to find out what it could be:

You’re Not Giving Potential Candidates A Great Overall Experience With Your Company

Ok, so one big mistake that many employers make is not making the effort to give all potential candidates a great experience with the company. You should make all candidates feel the same from the minute they enter the building – and that includes whether you think they’re going to be right for the job or not. The experience doesn’t just end when they leave your premises, either. It’s good practice to keep people updated on how the employee search is going and whether they got the job or not. You shouldn’t leave them waiting too long to hear anything back, and you should thank them and send them a sincere message for taking the time to apply for the role. This person may be right for a role you have in the future. Even if they aren’t ever going to be right for your company, do you really want them to tell everybody they know that your recruitment process is awful, that they didn’t feel welcome, and that all they got was a quick email a month later to say ‘no, sorry’.

Treat them like people and make sure you consider how you’d like to be treated. You want to uphold the reputation of your company.

You’re Not Doing Background Checks And Looking At Referrals

Maybe you aren’t taking the time to do background checks and look at referrals. These are essential for making sure that a lot of what you’ve been told by the candidate is truth, and that they really are suitable for the job. You may like the candidate during the interview process, but you should never just give them the benefit of the doubt, as this can lead to big trouble later on down the line.

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You’re Not Willing To Train Your Hires Further

You can’t expect the majority of hires to be ready for the role without some form of training, even if that training is just getting integrated into your company and figuring out how things work. Throwing them into the deep end and expecting them to be able to navigate this themselves is bad practice. Training should be ongoing for all employees, and it’s how your business should stay up to date with a high quality of work.

A formal induction program will help with this. The new staff should appreciate the culture and values of your organisation. The first few months is imperative to new staff as it is during this period when they carry an evaluation of their decision to join the company. It is also during this period when new staff tend to be most likely leave for other organisations or go back to their former employers if they realize they are unhappy or have made a big mistake.

You’re Not Making Sure That These People Fit Right In With Your Company Culture

Maybe you’re looking too much at skills and experience, but you’re not actually considering whether these people are right for your company culture. Personality matters too! Can you see this person getting on with the rest of your employees? If you bring the wrong person on board, it could lower morale and make things harder for everybody.

You’re Trying To Find The Right People For The Role All By Yourself

Maybe the issue is that you’re trying to find the right person for the role all alone and you simply don’t have the time. You could look at HR recruitment specialists, Portfolio Group to see if they can help you get the right people on board. Getting help will cost you a little more, but it’ll save you money in the long run and you could end up with a better employee.

You’re Not Giving Yourself Enough Time To Find The Right Person

You can’t expect to put out a job ad and have the right person on board within a few weeks. This process does take time, so you need to be prepared. Be prepared to go through resumes properly, shortlist people, take your time with the interview process, and even have more than one interview stage.

You Haven’t Set The Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation criteria should be set before the process begins, as this ensures that there isn’t too much subjectivity during the process. It can be tough to narrow down the candidates if you haven’t got this criteria already laid out, so consider what is truly important for the role.

You’re Being overly secretive

Sharing your recruitment criteria openly is so important. This ensures that wrong candidates pull out early! Make sure you’re as open as possible so that employees know exactly what they are signing up for and you only end up interviewing suitable people for the role.

Conclusion:

If you end up hiring the wrong person during this process, there are all kinds of issues this can present. You’ll notice lost productivity in your business, you’ll have to spend more money and time to start hiring process again, and you’ll often notice lower staff morale. The best thing you can do is avoid these things altogether by hiring the right person in the first place. Make sure you take your time, figure out where you’re going wrong in this process and make the necessary changes so that you find the right people from now on.

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Investment Seeker: The Power Of Money In Business

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It’s no secret that money is one of the key components of running a business. In fact, throughout history, the vast majority of companies which have formed have been for the sole purpose of making it. Of course, though, along with making money, businesses often have to spend it, and this can be the hardest part of all. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring the idea of investment, along with the tools which can be used to keep a business afloat when times are tough.

A business is only ever as big as the amount of products it is able to produce, with loads of people finding new ways to make money from this each day. A lot of businesses in this position will have to work hard to stay afloat, as relying on producing something quickly is usually the result of unfair labor, and it won’t be sustainable. This not only gives you the chance to plan current products, but it also gives you the opportunity to understand what will be coming next for your company. Having more money will make it much easier to up your rate of production.

People will only ever be able to work at their best when they have the right kind of space to do it from. Providing this to your employees is a simple matter of dedication, with loads of companies out there offering to do the office space up for you. A renovation will always cost a small fortune, But, having had an investment, you will be ready to spend this sort of cash, and it will be worth it once a sale or two start to come in. When taking this on, it could be worth doing some research to figure out which design elements make for the best workspaces.

Getting your company’s name into the world of one of the hardest parts of running your own business. Not only will this job take a lot of work, but you will also need to learn how to use some of the platforms you have available if you want to successfully market a business. A large part of this job is handled behind the computer. You won’t need to reach out directly, and the most personal connection you will have will be through social media. Marketing effectively will always take some money. You will need to make physical flyers and leaflets, while also paying to promote your own social posts, but this will all be worth it once you have more customers hitting your store.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start looking for ways to fund your business. A lot of companies can benefit from this rot of support, enabling them to grow like never before, while also giving lifelines which the business wouldn’t be possible without. As time goes on, a lot more of your company will be going digital, and it will be a good idea to have someone to deal with all of them when it happens.

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Promotion Perfection: Advertising Your Local Business

We live in a very digital world, as so when it comes to business it’s easy to focus our marketing on online efforts. And while having a good online presence is essential for any company, if you’re a local business who sells products or services in person- it’s important not to overlook other methods too. If for example you’re a cafe, a launderette, a baker or other business that doesn’t sell goods online- it doesn’t make sense to spend a big chunk of your budget on things like Google Adwords, to promote your business across the entire web. You need focused methods that target people in your area who will be the ones using your company. Here are some ideas for advertising your local business.

Flyers, Posters and Billboards

These are considered ‘older’ marketing methods, however for certain businesses they remain some of the most effective. If you’re selling products or services in your local area, it makes sense that you will focus your efforts to being seen by people who live nearby- and flyers, posters and billboards are an effective way to do this. If for example you’re a local cafe or takeaway, how about posting menus through letterboxes of the surrounding streets? If you’re an internet or study cafe for students, how about handing out flyers with your information to university students or posting them through the doors of student accommodation. Billboards in busy areas will be seen by thousands of people a day and could be great exposure for your business. Be sure to show your website link clearly so that people can have a look to get more information if your company has caught their eye.

Events

Hosting an event is a great way to interact directly with potential customers and clients. You could have an open day, hire a bouncy castle for the kids, run giveaways and competitions on the day and even have it catered by a company like abmcatering.co.uk. These are all ways to get people into your store, or all in one place so you can converse face to face. Here you can explain more about your business and give more information and it’s a more personal way to promote your company. If you give away things like pens with your company name on, it reminds people of you whenever they use them and is another way to advertise.

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Social Media

Social media is a fantastic tool for any business. Big or small, local or global- regardless of what you sell and on what scale, you need to be on board with social media. But social media is particularly good for small, local businesses. It’s free, and can really help you get your name out there to the people who are likely to buy from you. Positive interaction from a customer will been seen by their friends, and in turn their friends. Encourage customers to share photos of products they have bought from you, and run sweepstakes and giveaways to get people interacting.

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It’s Time To Start Talking About Money

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There’s a very strange attitude that most of us seem to have in modern society that we are pretty much allergic to discussing the subject of our finances. There’s a feeling that it’s somehow wrong or vulgar to talk about money or that people will judge you because of how much or how little you have. Sure, no one wants to listen to someone else boast about their vast riches, but the problem with that kind of attitude is that it means that many people who are dealing with financial problems end up suffering in silence. With that in mind, here are some things that you can do to finally start talking about money.

Questioning when things are unfair

Here’s a question: do you know how much your co-workers earn? You might think you do. After all, surely they earn the same as you? Well, the fact is that might not be true. In reality, there is often huge disparity between how much different employees make doing the same jobs. Most employees bank on the fact that people won’t want to talk about their income or are scared people will be angry that they make more than them. That way they can keep treating people differently and get away with it. Share what you earn with the people at your work and get them to do the same. Only then can you make sure that you’re all getting fair pay.

Asking for help

Running into financial difficulty can be an incredibly unpleasant thing for anyone to experience. Because of this, they’re often reluctant to talk to anyone about it. However, hiding your head in the sand and keeping your problems to yourself is only ever going to make things worse. Instead, reaching out to friends, family, and even professional organizations like debtconsolidation.loans can be a huge help. That way you’re able to take at least some of the pressure of yourself and finally start dealing with the problem head-on.

Doing what you can

Of course, that’s actually something of a two-way street. A lot of the time people are too afraid to ask for the help they need even if those around them are in a position to help. If you’re one of the people in that position then encouraging your friends and family to be open with whatever financial problems that they’re dealing with can lighten their burden significantly. Of course, you should never put yourself in a vulnerable position, but if you’re capable of helping the people around you, even a little bit, there’s no reason not to talk to each other.

The key is to remember that doing what’s right for yourself and your finances are much more important than worrying about what other people will think of you. Sure, the idea of someone else judging you for how much money you have or don’t have is never fun, but if they’re going to judge, that’s their problem, not yours. The only thing you should be concerned with is that you’re making the best financial decisions that you possibly can.

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