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No two businesses are alike even if both belong to the same industry. This is because each going concern has specific requirements and that includes the amount of capital it needs to operate.
So how do you go about determining the amount of capital your startup needs? What should you do first and foremost?
The first step is to come up with a checklist of all items (big or small) required by your business. Use info found on the web or from other reliable sources to have an idea on how much each item costs. Do not skip this step because mere estimating without proper research could lead to disaster. Prospective financiers might pass up on your funding application if they see that the numbers you are presenting are not close to what’s real.
As a startup, you’re understandably cautious about your initial capital outlay. You’ll want to get by with the least amount of capital without compromising your business. Every item you buy must be carefully thought out. Buy the “needs” and put off the “wants” for now.
When starting a business, it’s not unusual for us to have some form of checklist to hand. However, we can often overlook the important on staying on top of business costs, which could mean that the cash flow of the business doesn’t quite go the way we’d like.
There are many types of businesses from small local businesses such as Willsha Pools who offer remodeling services to small local high street retailers, and there’s no cookie-cutter solution in place that will suit every set of circumstances, but there are some solutions available that could be worth investigating further.
When we think of accountancy software, it’s easy to conjure up images of a mathematical software that require some form of qualification to operate, but the truth is that there are thousands of everyday apps and programs available that can be easily used by business owners.
While some apps may be free to use, others could incur a charge. Rather than use a platform that is cheapest, we need to ensure that we’re using apps that are tailored to our requirements.
For example, those of us who have difficulty in retaining expenses will often opt for a program that can scan receipts on their behalf. Similarly, those who are confident in completing details in relation to their income and expenditure can use a program that links to a bank account and carried out all the hard work for you.
Not only does the use of accountancy software ensure that you’re able to get business accounts up-to-date, but also ensure that any further entries are submitted straight away, meaning there is less panic when a deadline starts to loom.
Develop an Effective Invoicing System
Not every company will be using invoices in relation to their business. E-commerce stores will normally complete transactions straight away, as it’s a goods-for-cash operation. However, those who offer services will often issue an invoice that has to be paid within a set time.
Although we shouldn’t be chasing customers as soon as the invoice is issued, we do need to ensure that we’re chasing invoices as soon as they fall outside of the due date.
Of course, there will be times when there is a genuine reason for non-payment, but the sooner we’re able to touch base with a customer, the sooner we’re able to establish the reason and work with the customer.
More often than not, business owners find that the reason for non-payment is simply due to an oversight and is usually paid promptly following a subtle reminder.
However, if we just keep off chasing invoices, the collection of any monies due could be more complicated, especially if come customers can’t recall the initial invoice.
Open a Business Bank Account as Soon as Possible
There is so much to do when running a business, especially at the beginning. It’s understandable that many assume that the opening of a business bank account can wait, but it’s actually something that needs to be done as soon as possible.
If we don’t have a business bank account, then it often means we’re using a personal account, which could cause confusion when it comes to paying the company taxes.
A business bank account not only ensures that there is clarity when it comes to income and expenditure, it can help when it comes to getting your tax demands paid on time.
Traveling for Business Can Become Expensive
There will be times when business owners have to travel. This could be for a convention, or to meet a new client. While it’s important we have somewhere to lay our head, it’s important not to get caught up with the more luxurious elements during the beginning stage of the business.
Although it can be tempting to choose luxury, we essentially just need somewhere to sleep, and any extravagant spending could have a negative effect on our bottom line.
Of course, you will need to be comfortable when staying overnight, just be careful not be drawn into paying more than you need to.
The same can apply to traveling expenses. If you’re traveling by car, then it’s likely any tax relief will be connected to the price of fuel. However, airplanes and trains are methods of traveling that could mean business users will end up sending more than they need to.
Business owners who choose to stay with the basics when traveling for business will find that their profits are healthier when it comes to the end of the tax year.
Is Renting Cheaper Than Buying?
Depending on the niche of your business, there will be times when you need access to specialist equipment. Most would assume that ownership is preferable, but does it make more sense to rent during the early stages of the business?
Of course, you won’t be able to rent every single piece of equipment, but it is something worth investigating if you’re trying to cap outgoing expenses.
There may be times when buying outright is more cost-effective than renting but carrying out the research could mean that a business must spend less when acquiring new equipment or services.
Nowadays, it’s easy to lose track of what a business is spending, with the ramifications only being clear at the end of the tax year. Keeping tracks of expenses and carrying out some research could mean that you business can hold back capital for more important aspects of the business.
When running a business, the concept seems relatively straightforward, and in many instances, it can be. However, there are some factors that need to be checked before officially opening a business.
Also, according to The Callahan Law firm who are bad faith lawyers in Houston, depending on the type of business you run, and the service it offers, there can be many legal requirements that need to be considered, even when it comes to operating as a sole trader or company.
What Type of Structure Will Your Business Use?
To ensue that your business is legally-prepped, the business owners must determine what structure their business will operate on. The structure you choose will influence the type of taxes you have to pay, and what insurance must be in place.
Sole Trader: This can be the simplest form of business, but it does have its limitations. For example, any debts incurred are attributed to the person as opposed to a company. It is also means that the person has to self-finance operations for which they’re not able to obtain credit.
Those who are interested in operating as a sole trader will need to make use of the SBA Locater to find out the legal requirements within their state.
Partnership: As the name would suggest, a partnership consists of two people who will be responsible for the business. Although it may be assumed that no issues will arise with a partnership, this isn’t always the case, so it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the legal aspects.
Both parties should ensure that there is a partnership agreement drawn up that outlines the responsibilities and rights of each partner. It may seem like a lot of legwork initially, but it stops things getting messy further down the line.
Much like a sole trader, and debts are attributed to those running the business. The partnership will also be responsible for locating capital, be it via personal funds or via a business loan.
Company: Unlike a sole trader or partnership, a company is an entity that’s sit separately from its shareholders. In laymen’s terms, this means that the company is recognised as its own entity, as opposed to having a personal attachment as seen with sole traders and partnerships.
The running of a company will generally more income that needs to be dealt with and will often have many employees on board to ensure that the running of the business is a success. As well as contending with the financial demands of the business, business owners will also have to ensure that its payroll is also able to calculate personal taxes of its employees.
Payment of Goods or Services
Depending on whether your business will offer goods or services, you will need to ensure that you have the right legal framework in place to ensure that there is never any difficulty when it comes to payment of an invoice.
Business that offer projects will need to list what will be included for the price the customer is paying, and what should occur should the customer be disatisified. Even the most professional will come across some form of complaint when operating a business. While it can be disheartening, with the right legal safeguards in place, there’s very little reason as to why the situation can’t be resolved amicably, without having a detrimental effect on the business.
A Business Plan Can Aid the Final Decision
Regardless of how simple the concept is for a business, there are many considerations that can be missed if a viable business plan isn’t in place. Not only does a business plan allow you to make amendments for any potential cash shortfalls, it also act as reminder for the direction your business should be taking.
This isn’t to say that amendments can’t be made along the way, but if you have nothing to hand when taking your first steps as an entrepreneur, you could find yourself in some hot water.
Different business plans may need different approaches, but the following are some of the facets you need to look at when preparing yourself for the business world.
- Executive Summary: Gives a snapshot of the business, including its goals.
- Company Description: Explains the outlay of the company what makes it different to others,
- Market Analysis: Will detail competition and recent trends within the industry.
- Marketing and Sales: This section will detail your sales strategies as well as brand marketing should it be applicable.
- Financial Projections: This section is very important, especially if business owners are looking for capital in the guise of a loan or investment.
Should I Consult a Lawyer Before Starting a Business?
The business world is one that consists of many brand and entities, and many have their own way of working. The simple fact is that some will fully-versed about what’s required when it comes to running a business from a legal point-of-view, while others may need a helping-hand.
If you fall in to the latter category, you may be concerned that you will need to invest a small fortune in relation to legal advice, but this really depends on what type of advice you need.
When running a business, it’s better to be prepared legally, then must face the ramifications later on. Regardless of whether it relates to intellectual property, or and accident that has occurred on the premises, your business needs to know where it stands, regardless of the structure being used.
There can be more legal aspects to consider than you think, and although there is a slew of information online, should you be struggling with any concept, it can be advisable to employ the services of a layer that specialises in business. It may seem like an unwarranted cost initially but can be cost-effective when compared to the financial ramifications that could arise.
There are a lot of things today’s business owners needs to take into consideration. With one of the most difficult areas being security, business security is a minefield which is rather ironic when you think about it. But one of the most problematic security concerns of any business is access control, which has led to access control security companies experiencing a sharp rise in popularity.
If you’re reading this thinking “what is access control” or you only have some idea of what it is, then don’t worry you are not alone. One of the biggest concerns about access control is that many businesses simply don’t focus on it as much as they should. So, let’s get right down to it and look at what access control actually is.
What Is Access Control?
While you might not know it by its official title what exactly access control is might become clearer when I explain it. So, access control at the most basic level is a system designed to prevent people from accessing internal systems.
Now internal systems can mean many things it could be your computer databases or restricted areas like staff or storage rooms you use. With access control systems you are essentially controlling who has access to what parts of your business, hence the name access control.
So, when you look at it like that access control seems relatively simple and straightforward doesn’t it? And it can be, in some businesses you might only need a very simple access control system in place but for others, you might need something a little more complex and it’s not unusual to see multiple access control systems in place.
Access Control Systems
Access control systems are the preventative measures you put in place to prevent people from accessing the areas/ systems they shouldn’t. As mentioned previously these can take many different forms let’s look at some examples below.
Locks and Keys
Probably the simplest access control system in operation, locks, and keys might seem simple and easy but they can take many forms. A key card or electronic locking mechanism is going to be more complex than a simple deadbolt isn’t it?
For many of today’s businesses a simple lock and regular key isn’t going to cut it anymore, that technology is old and as such, there is now a lot of ways it can be compromised. Which is why opting for a more complex electronic system is usually the ideal choice for businesses today.
I touched upon these briefly in the previous section, access cards are the most common name given to the more modern, advanced access system in use today. This system most commonly uses a server and database and will log everyone’s movement when they enter specific areas or use certain pieces of equipment.
There is a lot of scope to these access control systems and they can be set-up to work in a wide variety of ways. However, setting up your own and maintaining it can be difficult and expensive, so many businesses opt to use access control security companies instead.
Security guards aren’t an access control system in the traditional sense but in many ways, they work in tandem with them. Security guards can monitor access points to ensure no one either purposely or accidentally gains access to a place they shouldn’t.
Security guards will also be better able to spot anyone acting suspicious and stop any potential threats. So, while they might not be an access system in the traditional sense security guards do so support them and ensure they are kept secure.
Should You Set-Up Your Own Access Control System?
Having some sort of access control system in place is essential to ensure your business premise and employees are safe and secure. Even if it’s just ensuring the doors stay locked and having a CCTV system set-up to monitor the area.
However, for many businesses today a more advanced access control system will be needed and while it’s perfectly possible to set-up your own system it is challenging. One of the first issues many businesses will face is not knowing what exactly they will need to set-up.
With so much variety knowing what systems will actually benefit your business isn’t always easy. You could easily end up implementing an ill-fitting system that doesn’t offer the level of protection your business needs.
Setting up an access control system on your own can also be a very time-consuming process which is why many people opt to enlist the services of access control security companies. These companies offer many benefits and will work quickly to set-up the best access control security system for your business.
The Benefits of Using An Access Control Security Company
Enlisting the aid of an access control security company will get you expert help and assistance when it comes to setting up your business’s security system. They’ll be able to tell you what system is best for your business and then get to work setting everything up.
This will include installing new locking systems, setting up your server and configuring any software. Using an access control security company will allow you to get your business premise safe and secure quickly and they’ll be no risk of mistakes because you’ll be working with experienced professionals.
Best of all many access control security companies will also provide additional support after the system is set-up. And many can also provide security guards as well, so you can cover all risks and make sure your business premise is safe.
Proper access control is essential to the smooth running of any business, no matter the size or industry you’ll need an access control security system in place. And by going to a professional access control security company you can ensure any system you set-up fully covers everything it needs to.
There are so many security risks to businesses these days and a simple lock and key likely isn’t going to be enough to protect you. So, call in the professionals to get a high-quality access control security system set-up.
Making an investment is nothing new. Although the use of technology such as the Elliott Wave Theory has inspired others to make investments with a few thumb swipes, the potential to make gains on a investment has been around since the 1800s.
While the opportunities have been there for some time, not everyone knew they existed, and this is because like most things before the Internet, you had to have experience within a certain field to gain access to it.
The birth of the Internet has meant more doors have been opened in several sectors. For example, those in remote areas can now make a living online because of the connectivity available.
Making an investment used to mean trawling through the stock market and making an investment with the information available to you. While there are ways of getting to this information, you would often find that you were sharing a room with hundreds of others looking for the same information, so dreams of working on Wall Street soon faded.
The smartphone we use today can often be underestimated, especially when compared to the giant computers we would have used during yesteryear. Out smartphone is essentially a computer with the ability to make calls.
Many smartphones will come with a dedicated operating system, normally iOS or Android, depending on your preference. Once you have access to an app store, you should be able to find an app that allows you to make an investment quite easily, but not all apps operate in the same way, although they may offer a similar function.
Invest as You Spend
There are several ways to save money, and one of the most popular ways is to have a savings account that rounds off your latest spend. For example, if you were to spend £2.50 on a coffee, the £2.50 would go to the business, while the other 0.50p would be transferred to a dedicated savings account.
This is a great option for those who may have difficulties in saving huge amounts, or those who don’t have much disposable income to save. As the amounts are very small, the won’t amass a fortune in the short-term, but they can prove to be effective should you ever experience a rainy day.
Now what if you were able to make a return on these amounts rather than the measly interest offered by your bank? Well, a series of apps use this method of depositing funds but will look to invest them in stocks or shares as opposed to placing them in a savings account.
Even those who are new to the world of stocks and shares find that they can make investments with relative ease. While you would need to invest a large amount to see any large returns, these types of apps are ideal for those looking to learn more about the world of investing, without them having to worry about an impact on their finances.
Other Forms of Investing
Although apps are part of everyday life, this isn’t the only method of making an investment in the modern age. While there plenty of commodities to invest in, some will prefer to deal with certain stocks. For example, some may only be interested in currency, whereas others may want to invest in social networks or streaming services.
Fortunately, there are plenty of platforms available that make investments easier to understand, as well as the risks involved. Due to the many solutions available, it shouldn’t prove to find a solution that offers a user experience that suits you.
Peer-to-peer lending is becoming a popular avenue for those looking for credit, but such avenues have to be funded in different ways, which is where the peer-to-peer element comes in.
Rather than investing in stocks and share, you will be supplying funds that contribute towards a loan. The return you make when making an investment can differ depending on how much risk you’re willing to take.
For example, you will make much more on riskier applications, but there is also a greater potential for default.
Like any other form of investment, it’s important that we don’t invest more than we can afford, especially in the learning stages. However, it does showcase how many avenues there are to explore when it comes to making an investment.
The Way We Consume Data
There will have been a time when we had to buy a newspaper or turn on the television to stay abreast of current developments, especially in the world of stocks and shares. While there were plenty of options available to investors, none of the solutions come close to what the Internet can offer, which is real-time updates.
Regardless of the sector we’re looking to invest in, there’s no real reason why we can’t look at some real-time numbers to make a more informed decision when investing.
We can also use software to mould old strategies to meet the requirements of today’s investor. An example of this can be platforms that make use of the Elliott Wave Principle, a theory that is based on the psychology of the market and the way investments are made.
While the initial process behind making an investment remains the same, the way in which we’re able to make an investment makes the concept available to those who may never have even considered making an investment before.
Technology is complicated, I think it’s fair to say that is a statement the vast majority of people agree with. With that in mind can you imagine the complexity involved in setting up your tech business?
Setting up even a small and relatively simple business (if such a thing exists nowadays) is complicated enough. But when you move into an industry like technology it becomes even more complicated.
The list might seem endless and no one sets-up their own business to spend hours filling in forms, do they? Which is why shortcuts are so enticing for entrepreneurs, after all, they make a long job so much easier don’t they?
Rather than spending time setting out everything you need to cover, then getting it checked by a legal professional, making changes and then getting it finalised wouldn’t it be much easier to just use a template or an online service? Well yes, it would be easier and simpler but that isn’t always a good thing.
There’s a lot of dangers to be aware of when it comes to filling out your legal documents, even the smallest error could lead to a lot of potential legal problems. And when you take a shortcut to get your documentation finished the risk of making a mistake increases substantially, this is especially true in the tech industry.
But despite the danger, many entrepreneurs still take these shortcuts, and some don’t even realise they’re doing it till it’s too late. Which is why it’s essential you understand the dangers and know which shortcuts to avoid.
Below Jones Whyte who are solicitors based in Glasgow have outlined the three main shortcuts many entrepreneurs take when setting up their businesses.
While these shortcuts may seem great at first glance when you take a more in-depth look the legal dangers become clearer. So, wither further ado let’s take a look at the shortcuts all entrepreneurs need to avoid.
The Template User
Templates are a very tempting shortcut for any entrepreneur but especially those in the tech industry where additional forms like non-disclosure agreements are more commonplace and frequent. The other issue with templates is that sometimes they do actually work.
That might sound like a strange admission when I’ am talking about the dangers of using shortcuts but to be honest sometimes they do really work. However, the key word there is “sometimes” and an over-reliance on templates is where the problems start to develop, templates will only be a viable option on certain documents as well.
The memorandum of association, for example, is a relatively simple and straightforward document and templates are available for the Direct GOV website. For documents like this using a template is usually fine, however, it also outlines another important factor you need to consider namely the source of the template.
A quick Google search will bring up a wide range of templates for all kinds of legal documents if you do plan to use one or even view one to just get some insight make sure you pay close attention to the site that’s offering it. It’s easier than you think to download an outdated or foreign template for a document without you realising it.
The DIY Expert
Whether you use a template or not nothing is worse than trying to do it yourself! Setting up a business is a complex procedure as I previously mentioned, but that doesn’t stop many people from trying to do everything on their own.
This shortcut also ties into our first because many people will use a template and then edit it to fit their needs. In theory, this might not sound like a bad idea but editing legal documentation especially from a basic template is not easy and in many cases, it will result in a poor-quality document.
To ensure your legal documents are up to standard you shouldn’t try to do everything yourself. You need to work with a legal professional to ensure your documentation covers everything it needs to. If you miss something out or get something wrong, then you could face serious legal consequences.
Doing it yourself might seem like a great way to save time and money, but when it comes to your legal documentation you need to be patient and work with a professional. That way you can ensure everything is right.
Skipping The Final Step
You should get all your legal documentation checked by a professional before you submit it. This might seem obverse but it’s a step that many entrepreneurs either forget to do or choose not to. But it’s imperative that you remember to get your legal documents examined by a professional.
They’ll be able to check to make sure every document is correct and identify any possible mistakes you may have made. They’ll also be able to tell you if you have missed any important documentation, there is no one rule for businesses it can vary wildly from place to place to how much documentation you’ll need.
So, a legal professional will be able to assist you in a number of ways and every entrepreneur should be sure to arrange a meeting with one before submitting any documents. Yes, this will come at a cost, but it is worth it, you can also employ a lawyer or solicitor to assist you with filling out the documentation as well. So, they can help you throughout the process.
Shortcuts Don’t Always Lead To Success
You’ll see many websites and people claiming they have a working, 100% guaranteed shortcut to success but in my experience, these always turn out to be overblown statements at best and completely false at worst.
Which is why when you’re setting up your business you need to do things the right way. Yes, this will often end up costing you more time and in some cases money, but it will give you complete peace of mind.
Dyslexia is seen in the mainstream as a negative condition. Given the issues it raises for those with the reading disorder and how it affects them it’s easy enough to see why, but what happens to those with the condition and how does it shape them as they grow from children into adults? Could the problems it creates for those with this difference actually be used in such a way to turn them into a series of advantages?
The Golden Rule – turning a weakness into a strength
For all entrepreneurs, turning a weakness into a strength is commonplace. So how do those with dyslexia turn what we see as their weaknesses into their strengths?
They already know about living in the face of adversity. They’ve had to learn how to adapt to learning as a bigger challenge than those around them, often needing additional support for basic tasks that the majority perform automatically.
The first step is to know the real differences between how those with dyslexia and those without the disorder operate. Running a business means the dyslexic either has to find a way to perform the same task by overcoming the disorder, or alternatively to find somebody else who can take on the task and resolve it for them. You may also want to see Dyslexia support from companies such as CPD Bytes.
Knowing the difference
The following are a few points into how the dyslexic can overcome an issue and turn it into a strength involved in operating a business.
Someone with dyslexia will often be a slow reader. They will have to learn to pick out the important areas of a text as efficiently as possible. This can give them an obvious edge in analysing information from a body of text, for what the important areas are straight away, instead of getting side-tracked and lost in the padding.
Those with dyslexia have also learned to think on their feet since day one. Overcoming problems that didn’t affect others meant implementing new systems and doing it quickly just to get by. Fast thinking problem solvers in business? They’re going to be the ones to get the job done.
Due to the nature of dyslexia being a reading and a writing disorder many of the current day to day ways of communicating become a hindrance to someone with the condition. In a world of email, online business networking, written correspondence, minutes, notes and memos; these can all cause extra work digesting and understanding a problem, brief, or the basis of the questions being asked.
For the dyslexic the tool to overcome many of these problems can be something as simple as a telephone call or a face-to-face meeting. A simple conversation will be their prime option.
Can you remember far back enough to when we used to have conversations? Before the days of texting, Messenger, WhatsApp, emails and a myriad of cloud based business team communication tools such as Slack, Bootcamp and more…? It’s all very easy to joke about but one simple phone call can outline everything needed to understand and garner immediate responses to an initial request. It’s in these areas someone with dyslexia can shine. They are often much better listeners because talking about the problems that need attention is far preferred to sifting through documents and letters that will cause the very problems they’re trying to avoid.
Asking the right questions
With heightened listening skills it gives those with dyslexia a far better understanding on what the problem really is, how to troubleshoot and problem solve it, and then ask for a response in whether the solution is likely to be an appropriate one.
By becoming better face-to-face communicators (or via telephone) this will build better relationships with clients and suppliers alike. By utilising real conversations over messaging and mail you are building personal relationships in business. These are truly important because people buy from people. Consumers will often buy the person over the product or service. In a world where there isn’t often much difference between a selection of products it can often boil down to who you trust and just as importantly, who you like.
Being more persistent
Growing up with a reading disorder will have given the dyslexic additional challenges to someone of a standard level of reading. They will have been challenged into different ways of learning that could often be more frustrating, more time consuming and inevitably upsetting to a child surrounded by children who glide through the same process without issue. For those who overcome the challenge, not only in that one area but over and over again, it will have ingrained a persistency, and a second nature to not give up when things get hard. Again, a great tool for the entrepreneur. It’s a must if we’re being honest.
Going back to how someone with dyslexia handles themself through their school years, adding additional pressures to studying, taking tests and exams, soaking up information and regurgitating it out onto paper, the whole system seems stacked against them. It makes gaining good and acceptable grades more difficult. The first few knocks will be disheartening at having to work so much harder given the same time constraints and allowances as other students, only to find that the chances of achieving the same results will be a far greater challenge. Learning to handle the constant disappointments of lagging behind and not achieving the same results of others, the dyslexic starts to learn to become comfortable with failure, at least in their own eyes, and being able to adjust and deal with this personal disappointment also makes it easier to face other situations where failure is inevitable; and even when it isn’t, it would instil in them an ability to bounce back much faster, to re-asses and succeed on the second, third or fourth attempt. How many of us would give up at the first hurdle? Certainly not the successful entrepreneur.
Another result of often being segregated or isolated from typical students could cause someone with dyslexia to create their own safe space. A world where they would be comfortable in themselves despite their differences. Being an entrepreneur will often require that same way of thinking; an insular mind-set, away from the mainstream, coming up with forward and different ways of thinking.
Knowing your weaknesses and learning to delegate
Having had so-called weakness pointed out since childhood they will have had to get used to not only understanding but also accepting why they are different and how to cope accordingly. Being able to understand these differences can open them up to seeing other differences, often unassociated to their disorder, and not as a weakness but simply as another problem to overcome.
Spotting our own weaknesses makes it easier to see them as a strength that others posses. Putting a team together means choosing those that have supporting strengths. Delegating tasks to those who will excel becomes its own strength instead of the previous view of a lack of ability, and by learning to trust other staff members are there to help achieve your goals creates better and more positive working relationships – and they’re the foundation of any good business.
Given around four or five per cent of society will experience dyslexia it’s no surprise that many of our high achievers in business have had to not only overcome it but also excel from what it has taught them. They have learned how to keep striving for better not because of it but in spite of it. We can all learn something from those who have excelled in such a manner, and admire them for what appears to be doubling up on their achievements.
To be an entrepreneur, you’ve got to be hard-working and driven. Days can be filled with any number of tasks, from contacting influencers and tracking potential growth, to attending business meetings and ploughing through emails. Keeping on top of so many tasks can be a challenge, and will include a fair amount of stress.
So, what can you do to combat this stress? How can you save yourself from burning out? Here are five easy ways to give yourself a bit of TLC, and keep your business on the right path.
According to Dr Herbert Benson, something as simple as breathing exercises can reduce stress. It works by putting your body in a more relaxed state, where your worries will simply melt away. You’re in a state on involuntary attention, where something is holding your attention but you’re simultaneously able to reflect on things.
Studies have shown that meditation can help by decreasing stress levels as well as boosting emotional well-being, so you’re much more able to deal with stressful situations in the future, too.
There are meditation sessions springing up in cities across the globe, so have a quick browse online to see what’s happening near you.
Alternatively, you can undertake an online course, or even just go through a playlist of guided meditation sessions on Youtube. It’s advised that you meditate at the time of day for each session, so add it into your routine and block out a part of your schedule. You can try meditating first thing in the morning or as you get into bed at night, or even take a break during your workday to reset your mind.
No-one can work non-stop for eight hours at maximum productivity. Instead of trying to power through the times when you feel like you’ve hit the wall, give yourself a small break to rest and recharge.
When you’re busy, the thought of taking a break may cause you more stress as you don’t feel like you have the time to spare. However, a short rest can actually give you a moment to breathe, before you begin ploughing through work once more.
If you’re just looking for a quick break, give yourself an allotted time of the day when you’re allowed to scroll through social media, or to check your personal emails. Or, have a snack at the ready that you can nibble on. Healthy snacks will fill you up and make you feel nourished, so go for something like nuts or a hard-boiled egg.
Having a snack that’s good for you will also involve being kind to your gut. As the gut is the largest organ in the immune system and stress effects the brain and immune system, eating something can further help you de-stress!
For a more substantial break, why not go for a brisk walk or grab a coffee from a nearby café? For entrepreneurs who work alone, a break is an excellent chance to get some human interaction and think about something else for a short while. Even if you do end up talking about work, getting complaints off your chest can help lower your stress levels, anyway.
If you’re in danger of burning out, reset your stress levels with a full-blown pamper session. Treat yourself to a trip to the salon, have a hair treatment or even head to the spa. Massages and facials are great for curing stress, and are also an excellent way to cure any aches and pains or skin issues that are a result of your stress levels.
Numerous studies into human contact have shown that a caring touch can release oxytocin, which counteracts the stress hormones. That means that a pamper session can help you feel more confident about your appearance, while also having a positive effect on the chemicals in your brain!
If you’d rather add a bit of pampering into your workday without leaving your home or office, there are options for that too. Why not buy yourself a foot massager, and let the machine work it’s magic while you plough through your to-do list.
Whether it’s taking some time out of your busy schedule to listen to some music, or performing difficult or repetitive tasks with a playlist blaring in the background, there are multiple ways to de-stress with music. Classical music in particular is known for relaxing listeners, as your heartbeat slows to match the calming music. Meanwhile, a playlist of your favourite songs will have your brain releasing dopamine, giving you a feeling of comfort.
Begin your day with a stress-busting exercise, and find two or three songs that you really enjoy. Then, spend the next ten minutes in the zone enjoying the music and having a little (or big) dance. Some companies even implement a morning music session into the daily schedule, as they understand the importance of keeping employees happy and stress-free. Join the fun and give yourself a morning wake-up dance, too.
Undoubtedly, a large portion of your work is conducted online. With the internet also providing a medium for socializing, you can begin to feel as if you’re tied to your laptop or phone. As an entrepreneur, you may be using technology to cover both of these jobs, as social media often plays a part in an entrepreneur’s daily responsibilities.
However, being ‘plugged in’ for so much of your life may be causing you stress. Soon, you’ll begin associating stress with the use of technology, rather than just the duties you’re performing online. What’s more, it might make you feel like you’re disconnected and missing out when you’re not online, driving you to stay online for even longer.
Giving yourself allocated hours during which you turn off all technology can be great for your mental health. It’ll also give you some perspective, so you can identify the source of your work stresses and find a way to avoid further issues.
The online world has allowed many amateur investors to take their first steps into investment. As well as there being many online platforms, there are also a series of dedicated apps that allow us to play with dummy money, as well as investing in real stock should we want to take the plunge.
The variety of platforms available often leads to the question “where am I best making an investment?” In recent years, Bitcoin has made the ears of budding investors prick up due to the alluring qualities it is able to offer. However, there has been fluctuation in the Bitcoin market that could cause to stray away from the digital currency.
The truth is that any investment is a risk, so it’s important that we are only investing what we can afford. However, if you’re doing your research, then there’s very little reason as to why you can’t benefit from investing in Bitcoin.
How Are You Looking to Invest?
The word “investment” is a broad term, and can relate to several types of investing. For example, you may be wishing to invest in companies that deal with Bitcoin, or are you looking to purchase Bitcoin in a bid to make a profit. It may not seem important in the first instance, but having an idea of what you’re trying to achieve will mean that the process is a made a lot easier.
If you’re looking to invest in Bitcoin directly, then you will not be investing in stock or a company, but a currency. For a currency that doesn’t physically exist, this can be a little off-putting for some. However, it’s important to recognise Bitcoin as a digital currency as opposed to a physical one.
The popularity of Bitcoin can be cited thanks to the placement of dedicated ATM machines. Sure, these aren’t recognised around the world, but it does show just how much traction Bitcoin has made since being introduced back in 2009.
What Makes Bitcoin Investment Worthwhile
Of course, there is no secret algorithm that can be used to determine the future of any currency, as there will always be different factors to consider. While the rise of Bitcoin has been a profitable one, this doesn’t mean it hasn’t dropped in value. In some instances, can decrease in value more rapidly than other commodities. However, Bitcoin has seen a steady, albeit slow, increase in value.
One of the reasons Bitcoin is so valuable is because the masses use it. This alone can add value when investing in Bitcoin, but it can mean playing the waiting game. While a quick profit isn’t impossible, it’s not something that should be relied on.
This isn’t to downplay the popularity of Bitcoin, but we can never truly know what lurks around the corner, especially in the financial world. As such, we should treat a Bitcoin investment like any other, and approach it with care and caution, whilst being sure we’re not placing all our eggs in one basket.
Making an Investment
Those who wish to invest in Bitcoin will be effectively buying currency, and holding onto it hoping it will increase in value. The right time to do this can depend on several factors. The most important factor is timing. If investing in Bitcoin is something that you’re constantly putting off, then you could be missing out on a golden opportunity. Making an investment in any kind of stock or commodity means doing our homework, and knowing the best time to buy and the best time to sell.
When purchasing Bitcoin, it’s important that we only use a reputable exchange. I would always suggest that you visit https://bestcryptocurrencyexchanges.net/ before deciding which exchange you want to use. While for the most part, the Bitcoin community is nothing but welcoming and helpful, there will always be those who try their luck with newcomers. Not knowing your surroundings means that you could be paying over money for a Bitcoins that don’t even exist.
Fortunately, newcomers can avoid such pitfalls by only dealing with a reputable exchange. Depending on the exchange you use, there will often be a fee. The right kind of platform to use can depend on your personal preferences and goals, so it can be worth having a good look online before committing straight away.
You will also need to ascertain how you plan to store the Bitcoins. If you’re new and wish to save some money in the interim, then a paper wallet is for you. This is effectively an online wallet that holds your Bitcoin currency. There are also hardware wallets available, which are essentially physical drives that store the currency.
If exchanges aren’t for you, then there are other options available. If your fortunate to live in an area where you have access to a Bitcoin ATM, then you can use this method. There is also an offline solution in the guise of platforms that pair buyers with those who want to purchase Bitcoin. This approach needs to be used with caution, in that you should only meet strangers in public places.
The truth is that Bitcoin has seen a steady growth that doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. However, you should still carry out research and not carry out kneejerk reactions. Like any investment, how much you make can depend on timing and the quantity you purchase.
When starting a business, there are several avenues we need to consider to ensure that we’re able to make an impact online. While the Internet has allowed a plethora of companies to spread their wings and find success online, this means that there is more competition. As such, a business has to ensure that it’s able to build a brand that consumers can trust and invest in. To be able to do this, a business has to brand its company.
While some assume this means a large investment, there are some steps you can take in the online domain to ensure that your business is striking the right chord with your online audience.
Your Business Needs to be Visible
When trying to appeal to the masses, you will often have to deal with a lot of technical aspects, such as search engine optimisation. However, today’s online world means that there are several methods a business can employ when it comes to building a personal brand.
Networking is one of the most popular forms or promotion a company can undertake. Not only does it allow you for you to become more acquainted with other professionals in your chosen industry, but you could also find that a company is a position to share your business details should a suitable project land on their desk,
Networking isn’t the only way of making your brand visible, even interacting on social media platforms can mean that you’re being introduced to more potential customers.
Don’t Underestimate Social Media
We’ve already touched upon how social media can help your business become visible online, but there’s so much value that social network platforms can offer that make them such a wise investment of time.
If you’re sat on the fence when deciding as to whether you should employ the use of social media or not, it may be worth considering that as of the beginning on 2017, the number of social media users was an astonishing 39 million, with an expected rise of 52 percent.
The most popular social network is Facebook, but this doesn’t mean that your business has to only adopt these platform, as there are many social media networks available, depending on the type of business you run.
For example, if you run a wedding photography business, then why not compliment your Facebook profile with an Instagram profile, which will showcase your past work to users of the social network.
If you regularly engage with your customer, the Twitter can be a great way of stating in touch with customers and letting them know of great deals. You may not notice a lot of activity in the first instance, but once you gather momentum, there’s no reason as to why your brand can’t benefit from social media
Research Your Audience
To be able to make the right kind of impact with your audience, you’re going to have to ensure that you’re familiar with how you audience operates. In some instances, this can be a fairly straightforward process. However, some industries may need to look at more complex solutions.
How you research your audience can vary. For example, those looking to make sales of products online would need to look at what entices them to buy, and what they expect from a transaction. It’s also about research different marketing methods and ensuring that the right customer is getting the right kind of marketing material at the right time.
In the days of old, it would be normal for a business to send standard marketing material to an email subscriber list. While this would have a positive effect, just imagine if you were able to tailor each piece of marketing to appeal to a certain type of customer.
The use of content management systems (CMS) allows business to review their marketing, the kind of impact it has had, as well as allowing for adjustments where they’re needed. A CMS solution can also ensure that you time your marketing material for a greater turnover.
Those who are new to CMS software will evidently need to learn the ropes, but once you’ve managed to grasp the basics, there’s no reason as to why you can’t craft marketing material that makes the desired impact.
Make Your Website Matter
When it comes to building an online profile, a website is an obvious choice. But simply having a presence on the web isn’t enough anymore. While in the past, a series of text and images was fine, today it’s about so much more.
Content has to be craft that appeals t to customers, while still making use of keywords. The most popular form of content offers customers some form of advice or help, or it could even highlight how the product the business is selling can benefit the customer.
When design a website, you should also offer portals to other areas of your online presence. Whether you’re looking to design the website yourself., or call upon the services of a professional who can also provide custom logo design services, there are a series of tools and plugins that can ensure visitors to your website are made aware of other online platforms your brand is engaging with.
Of course, you also need to ensure that your website can be found online, which is more than just about SEO. The modern-day user is often mobile, so will expect to navigate a website with great ease, especially if they’re using a smartphone or tablet. With this in mind, it’s important that your site is optimised for both mobile and desktop users, or you could find that several potential customers choose the competitor instead.
Depending on your goals, the building of an online profile of your brand can be time-consuming, but it something that needs to be done if you’re looking for more brand recognition. Remember, there is no reason t undertake the whole task yourself. If you don’t have employees that contend with the task, then why not consider outsourcing the work to a professional.
Your office is your home away from home or just your home if you have a big job on, so you’ll be spending a good portion of your day there and wouldn’t it be nice if your office actually helped promote a better working environment rather than hindered it? Sure, it would, you’re probably thinking but I don’t have thousands to spend on a luxury office, but you don’t need to.
Many big businesses have amazing offices that go far beyond what the average business today can offer. But you don’t need all those fancy extra-additions to create a great working environment, you just think you do.
Sure, having the budget of Google or Apple would help, but you don’t need to spend a lot of money to improve your office, in fact, you might not to spend any money at all. Because not every way you can improve your office can be done with material goods. So, let’s take a look at ten great ways you can create a better working environment in your office, shall we?
Make Your Office Cosy
All to often is the plain minimalist office showcased and I always wonder why, an office should be comfortable of course that doesn’t mean it should be full of pictures of cushions but there’s got to be some leeway. Simply adding a few nice extra additions like fresh fruit at breaks or some artwork on the walls can make your office feel more comfortable and that will go a long way towards promoting a better working environment.
Get Your Hiring Right
This is important for all businesses but particularly smaller ones because you’ll be dealing with fewer people, so you need to make sure everyone is happy. This isn’t always easy in fact it rarely ever is but that’s why you should take your time, and this doesn’t end once you’ve made the hire either. You need to make sure they adjust to their working environment and feel comfortable.
Talk Regularly With Your Employees
Whether you run the whole business or just a small part of it it’s important that you aren’t disconnected from your team. Everyone as a different style of leadership and that’s fine but if you want a healthy work environment you should at least be recognisable to your employees, so get your face out there and talk to them every so often.
Natural Lighting Works Wonders
No one wants to work in a dank, dark office, do they? Natural light has been scientifically proven to help improve people’s mood, energy, and productivity so it will be beneficial to any office. Now, of course, this might not always be possible but if you have to use more artificial light then do it, it might not be as beneficial, but it will certainly help.
Keep It Clean
A tidy office is a better office? OK, that might not be the best mantra but it’s true all the same if you want a productive and happy office then it needs to be kept clean and tidy. Sure, it may get messy on occasion, but you’ll need to do your best to manage the mess. So, make sure there are plenty of bins and air fresheners on hand as the last thing you want is having to call in a local pest control company such as Pest Control Company in Edinburgh
Plants Are Powerful
Plants have a lot of beneficial properties and just like natural light they have been proven to work wonders in offices. They also help keep the air clean and can make people feel calmer and happier, they are certainly going to be beneficial in a busy office and can even help add a splash of colour to the place. The only thing you need to be mindful of is if any employees you have suffer from allergies.
Breaks Are Essential
The working lunch as unfortunately become common for many people, some people even enjoy it but whether people have their lunch at their desk or not you should make sure your employees take regular breaks throughout the day.
Any office should have a break or staff room, so people can spend some time away from their computer screens. This will help them stretch their legs and reduce neck and back strain but will also help break up the day and give their eyes a rest as well.
So, make sure everyone is scheduled for breaks throughout the day you can either give everyone a fixed time or be a little more flexible about it, the important thing is people do have time to take their breaks.
Praise Your Staff
If your team is doing really well or even if everything is just running smoothly make sure your team knows you’re happy with their performance. All too often office managers will fall into the trap of not bothering to praise their staff and just assuming they know they’re doing a good job.
But praise will certainly help promote a better office working environment so don’t be afraid to give some out. You could do this in person, send a quick email or make it a part of staff meetings there is no right or wrong way it really all depends on the situation.
Keep A Balanced Temperature
This could be really easy or really hard depending on your location, climate and the time of year! But keeping a balanced and cool temperature will really help promote a happier more productive office and make sure you have some heaters and fans ready for those really cold and really hot days.
Don’t Be Afraid To Remove Toxic Workers
This one is without a doubt the most difficult but it’s essential if you want a happy and productive office that you are confident enough to manage difficult situations and employees. I think every office manager will be faced with a difficult employee at some point in their career and it’s important that you act confidentially.
Toxic workers can come in all kinds, some people might not even realise they are upsetting other people, office gossip does have a nasty side to it after all. And dealing with a toxic worker or situation doesn’t always mean you need to fire somebody it’s often more complicated than that.
But you can’t let problems with employees carry on you need to know how to deal with them and act fast and while it’s a worst-case scenario you do need to be prepared to fire people. Ensuring a happy team is the best way to guarantee a happy office after all.