4 Extra Touches to Enhance Your Family Friendly Business

Trying to keep your business thriving in a competitive market is always going to be a challenge. Thinking about enhancement that will appeal to everyone might just set you off on a stronger foot. If you are running a business in the entertainment sector, a museum or any other accessible place for families you might want to think about making a few much needed changed. Having a family friendly business will not only widen your target market, but it will also add value to your company. Just a few small changes can make the world of difference so see how you can add some extra touches today.

1. A Kid’s Playground

When families pay a visit to your establishment, they want to know that their children are going to be occupied and safe. Opening up an outdoor area with professionally laid playground flooring will give your business the upper hand with families. With poured in place rubber playground surfacing you can be sure that this is the most durable and cost effective option out there. Having a safe and enjoyable environment for the kids to be a part of will help your business to appeal to families in the local area.

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2. Make It Educational

Adding a touch of education to your establishment is also going to be incredibly appealing to all of your visitors. Interactive guides and games will help keep children occupied whilst their parents shop or enjoy a cup of coffee in your establishment.

3. Consider Live Entertainment and Special Guests

Why not host a special evening for families at your business location? It doesn’t even need to be remotely related to the product or service you are selling. If you have a large property that is suitable for a family audience then why not make it happen? Themed nights, discos, parties and events could be a significant money maker and it is guaranteed to draw more people into your establishment.

4. Put Food at the Forefront

You should never underestimate the power of food for your business. Many companies are missing a trick when it comes to restaurants and cafes within their store, museum or other entertainment complex. You can make a significant amount of revenue on food too, so this might be a worthwhile investment to make.

Your business has room to grow and thrive alongside your competitors. If you really want to stand out you’re going to need to invest in these changes and consider the positive impacts they will have on your business as a whole. There is nothing stopping you from increasing your appeal to families and creating an even better business than you already have. Use these useful ideas to put one step forward and you will see a noticeable difference right away.

Introduction To Welding For Your Business

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Welders are tradespeople with mastery in their ability to skillfully, and deftly, weld together two materials – generally, these are metals, but it can also be plastic or polymers (thermoplastics) too.

Their number one tool, alongside their iconic face shield, is their welding power supply, which enables them to generate the pressure and, usually, the heat to weld the materials together. There’s more from WO in terms of the different equipment used. From that basic description, it’s easy to think that the skillset is simple to pick up. In reality, experience counts for everything. We’re going to tell you why you need a professional welder for your job.

What Do Metal Welders Do?

Well, that’s really dependent on what needs to be done. It’s thought that there are well over 70 different types of different weld processes! Ultimately, when searching for welders, the vast majority of clients are looking for metal welders to help finish big jobs. Generally, these jobs don’t just require two bits of metal to be fused together; it can also include the repair of metal parts (such as the hull of a ship) or involves other low-temperature techniques such as the soldering and grinding of materials. Ultimately though, as is said above, what a welder does when working is really down to their expertise and experience. So it can be attaching metals together, operating flame-cutting, soldering and brazing equipment; following blueprints to specification and shaping the metal.

There are also certain welders who develop business specialties too such as shipbuilding and repair, machinery and repair, custom fabrication, structural construction, pipes or even aerospace vehicles. They can work everywhere: either in a controlled setting, such as a workshop or a factory; indoors at a specific site; outdoors at a construction site; underwater when repairing the hull of a boat and even in outer space! The latter option is hardly your everyday job… But it has actually been done. These people also require more than just technical skill – they also require a lot of patience and stamina. They can be on their feet for hours at a time whilst they operate their machinery.

What About A Steel Fabricator Welder?

A steel fabricator welder’s job is a little different from just performing a general weld or some kind of maintenance/repair/strengthening. This involves cutting bending and shaping steel alloy to make the final product; so it’s not just about joining two pieces of metal together. It sees many pieces of metal attached together in some sort of predefined shape and size.

This job requires a very skilled hand – someone who has experience in taking these raw materials and components and putting out items of market value at the other end. Due to the amount of materials and labour required, getting it wrong could be extremely expensive – there’s very little room for error. This form of fabrication is used in everything – from construction sites to everyday items. Nearly everyone knows what the classic fabricated steel ‘I-beams’ look like – often seen painted a kind of red – and even ladders and buckets are fabricated in this manner too. It’s a long process that starts with the identification of the materials required and ends with a marketable product of some kind. So in order to get these things right, you need someone with expertise and experience who won’t get the job wrong.

How Small Electrical Equipment Companies Can Beat Large Competitors

Starting an electrical equipment sales business can be very profitable if you get it right. If you can position yourself as the go-to business for all of the local electricians, you’ll get a steady amount of business and the profit margins on the products that you sell can be quite high, so it’s a great way to make money. However, there are already a lot of established sellers out there and it can be difficult to beat them, especially as they’re manufacturing large volumes so they can offer low prices. But there are still ways that you can get ahead and beat the competition, you just need to plan the business properly. If you’re thinking about opening an electrical equipment business, you need to think about what sets you apart from the rest.

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There are already plenty of other electrical equipment businesses out there, so why should customers come to you instead of anybody else? There are 3 main ways that you can differentiate yourself here; price, quality, and expertise.

Price

You can try to undercut the rest of the companies in the area but you’ve got to do your research. If there are some big national stores nearby, you’re really going to struggle. When they’re supplying stores all over the country, they’ll be manufacturing on a large scale which means their costs are going to be a lot lower. If you’re going to manufacture on a large scale to try to beat them on price, you’re going to have to pay for storage which makes it hard to manage your startup costs effectively. It’s usually best to focus on quality and expertise rather than price.

Quality

The big companies can mass produce products at a low price point, but the quality of those products isn’t always going to be great, so you can beat them there. If you’re using more expensive manufacturing processes and investing heavily in things like cu plating equipment so you can create a quality of product that the cheaper places simply can’t offer. The way to market yourself here is to be upfront. Say to customers, yes we are more expensive, but you’re getting a better quality product for the price and that means the work that you do for your customers will be better.

Expertise

The big companies might be able to beat you on price and sometimes quality, but the thing that they often lack is expertise in their sales staff. Larger companies that are operating stores around the country will hire sales staff and give them some basic training, but they’re not going to be experienced electricians. One of the best ways that you can beat them is to focus on hiring retail staff that have a good knowledge of all of the products and how they work in practice. That could be people that were electricians in the past, or perhaps even people that are currently training and are looking for part time work. This means that your staff can actively help people solve problems that they’re having on a job and give them advice on which products are best. That level of expertise is very attractive for electricians when they’re looking for a supplier.

Beating the big companies in the electrical equipment industry is going to be tough, but if you focus on good quality products and expert sales staff, it is possible.

Mistakes Most Small Businesses Make

Starting a small business is easier than it’s ever been before, and more and more people are doing it as every year passes. But, that doesn’t mean that it’s easy or that all of these people are doing it well. Nowadays, it’s entirely possible to start a business from home, using the internet to find customers, market your products, sell and communicate. Because it’s easier, people jump  in. They start up, filled with passion, enthusiasm and a desire to prove themselves.

Then, within a few months, the cracks start to show and unfortunately, a lot of small businesses don’t make it. Many of these failed or struggling businesses make the same mistakes. Let’s take a look at some of the things that small business owners are doing wrong, to help you to avoid the same pitfalls as you seek to start and grow your own business. If your business is already struggling, you can read tips at https://www.exponentialprograms.com/business/blog/tips-to-keep-your-business-afloat-when-times-get-tough/.

Failing to Make a Plan

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Just because you can jump in with barely more than a website and an idea, doesn’t mean that you should. Once you’ve decided to start your own business, you should spend a lot of time planning before you actually get started. Research your ideas, to make sure you know your product or service inside and out. Look at your direct competition, and find out as much as you can about their services, marketing campaigns and products. Research the market, and the economy. Spend as long as you need to, learning as much as you can, and you’ll give yourself a fantastic head start.

During this time it’s also worth compiling a business plan, a long-range plan, a financial forecast, and a marketing plan. Having these plans in place doesn’t just help you to start on the right foot, they’ll also help you to stay on track as you move forward with your business.

Trying to Do Everything Themselves

Many small business owners today try to go it alone, or with a very small team. They try to learn how to do everything for themselves to cut costs in those early days. While this does have some advantages, like ensuring that you have a firm understanding of all areas of your work, you need to admit that you need help and that you aren’t that good at everything. Or you can’t give your business the support that it needs, and you’ll burn yourself out trying.

If you need manufacturing staff but can’t afford it, offshoring can be a great option. But, this does come with its own risks, which you can read about at https://fullscale.io/top-offshore-development-risks-your-company-should-avoid/. If you’re not ready to employ more than a few team members, you can also outsource small projects, like web design, to freelancers and other small firms.

Employing the Wrong Staff

So, we’ve agreed that you need help. Hiring permanent staff can be a great option, but recruitment is something of a minefield. Don’t just collect CVs and employ the first person that you like the look of. Take the time to interview and even trial team members, until you find the person or people with the right experience, knowledge and even personality that will fit in and bring something new to your company. Rushing recruitment and hiring the wrong people can do more harm than good.

Setting Unattainable Targets

Having targets as you start your business is fantastic. It can help you to stay on track, keep you motivated on those hard days and give you something to strive for. There’s nothing wrong with having big targets and aiming high either. But, it’s also crucial that you set small, more achievable objectives.

Just having big goals can be demotivating. It can feel as though you’re not getting anywhere when your goals are still so far away despite all of your hard work. This can be terrible for staff morale, and won’t help to keep you on track.

Adding some small, more achievable targets, that you hit regularly, can keep you going. It can be a big boost to staff morale and your own confidence, and it can make you feel as though your hard work is paying off.

Expanding Too Quickly

So many new businesses have initial success and decide that it’s time to expand. Sometimes, this works well. But not often. Growing too quickly can lead to overspending and a dilution of your market.

Instead, focus on one area at a time. Wait until your success is sustained, before you even consider expanding, and then, do it slowly.

Not Researching Their Target Market

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Most products and services appeal to a specific audience. You might get some customers from different demographics, but most of your customers will come from the same group.

Failing to research your target market means that you can’t give them what they want. You don’t know where they are, so you overspend in time and money, by having to market to everyone, and you can feel lost. Researching your target market thoroughly can make everything much easier.

Succeeding In The Agricultural Business World

There are so many kinds of business you can possibly get into, and sometimes the most fulfilling are those which provide the most for our society. A perfect example of this kind of business is in the industry of agriculture, which is truly one of the solid bases of society, and without which things would be very different indeed. If you are thinking of getting into business and you are not so sure of going the traditional route, then you might want to think along these lines instead. There is something of a surge in entrepreneurs using their skills as attached to an agricultural setting, and if you are keen to do that you might find it is particularly engaging. Let’s look now at what you might need to succeed in this kind of business, and how you can make sure that you will.

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The People

First up, you are going to need to make sure that you have the kind of people who are actually going to make your agricultural business work out well. That means, of course, farmers who know what they’re doing, but also that they have all the help they need on their farms to make it through each season. Beyond that, you will want to think about hiring people in many traditional roles, such as a marketer, a personnel individual, and so on. The more that you have a real team behind the farm, and the happier you are with them, the more likely it is that you can expect your farm to succeed, so be sure not to overlook this at all. If you need to spend a long time finding people, then do so.

The Equipment

The farmers need their work to be as easy as possible, otherwise the productivity is going to be low, and that is the main concern in any kind of agricultural business. The most important way to make sure of this is to ensure that they are provided with the best possible equipment that you can get hold of, and that you have it upgraded or replaced when necessary to keep things moving along swiftly. From finding quad bikes for sale to visiting local auctions for other machinery, you should start keeping an eye out for wherever you might be able to find the necessary equipment that the farms will need.

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The Distribution

It doesn’t matter what crops are being produced or what animals are being raised if there is no distribution service in place to deliver it out to the people who are ultimately going to buy it. The way that you approach this will depend largely on the size of the business, where in the early days you might even just be driving around local towns to markets and so on. Later on, when the business is bigger, it could be a case of a network of lorries doing the same thing. You need to have a strong head for logistics to ensure that this goes as well as possible, and that you are ultimately able to sell the goods.

Great Money-Saving Tips for Startups

Making your way up the business ladder can be rather tough if your budget is limiting you. Still, without a reasonable budget, you risk living beyond your means and might spend much more than your startup can afford which is, of course, a common pitfall that most startups fall into.

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By avoiding this, you’ll have a running chance in the game, in other words, and can even expect to be around for a couple of years. Here is a handful of excellent money saving tips for startups that will still make you look successful. It’s the kind of stuff your competitors won’t be thinking about.

First: Rely on a proper budget

Some business owners bite over much more than they can chew and it costs them dearly, in the end. All that talk about keeping a budget and looking after it like it’s your first born child is for a good reason as this is by far the fastest route to closing your company’s doors before it’s even started to take form.

Think about this long in advance of actually launching your business, if you’re still able to. Most people need to take out a business loan and there’s is nothing wrong with this as long as you know for certain that you won’t miss a single payment.

Finding investors is also a good way to go but many startups struggle with finding interested investors – and they’re often left without proper funding at a follow-up stage.

Next: Make use of your downtime

A lot of business go through long periods of downtime when it comes to customers, sales, and profitability. While some simply roll over and wait for the numbers to pick back up again, others understand that this time can be productive as well.

Find ways to make your least productive sales period one of the most productive ones in terms of planning. There is, after all, a lot you can do for your business even if you don’t have that many customers to serve at the moment.

Use it to work on your business plan, for example, and focus on marketing activities that don’t require that much money such as social media and regular word-of-mouth.

Find cost-effective solutions

When you think about good entrepreneurship, you’re probably picturing someone with lots of great ideas, a healthy dose of enthusiasm, and the drive to succeed. While all of this is true, they also need to have some proper tech tools in place to make all of this happen. Have a look at XBASE Managed Cloud Services, to begin with, and you’ll be off to a great start.

Now you can feel a lot more confident if the market should take a turn for the worse and may even be able to handle a slight decrease in customers.

Important Advice For Businesses That Are Opening A Second Location

If your business is doing well and you’re looking for growth opportunities, you might consider opening a second office location. It’s a good way to increase your reach and break into new markets. However, opening another office does bring a lot of challenges with it because you’ll need to split your time between the two and make sure that you’re managing them both effectively. Often, business owners run into trouble because they dedicate all of their time to the new office and the original location suffers as a result. If you’re thinking about opening a second office, here are a few tips to help you make it a success.

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Finding The Right Space

Your office space has a big impact on employee productivity. If people are working in a tiny office, stuck in cubicles with no natural light, they’re not going to be very productive at all. You need to find a modern office with an open plan layout that you can design according to your needs. When you’re looking for an office space, you also need to consider the location. You need somewhere that is easily accessible for your employees, close to any suppliers that you might need, and near enough to any clients that might need to visit the office. However, you’ve also got to consider the costs because if you pick an office located right in the center of a city, you’ll be paying a premium for it. It’s all about balance, so find somewhere with a suitable location that is in your price range.

Communication Is Key

When you’re in one of your locations, it’s important that you’re in the loop about what’s happening at the other one, which is why communication is so important. If you haven’t already, you need to implement a good voice over internet protocol system (visit http://www.dyrand.com/what-we-do-demo/voip/ for more information on this). A good VoIP allows you to make phone and video calls online and share files easily. You can access it on the go from phones and tablets so you can always check in with the office when you’re not there. You should also have the managers at both locations draw up a weekly report of everything that’s been going on so you can keep track of things.

Consider Moving Employees

When you hire a load of new employees to staff your new location, you’ll need to invest in training. But even then, it’s going to be a while before they’re up to speed with the business and they’re operating at the same capacity as employees in your original location. However, you can speed this process along if you move employees from the old office into the new one. They’ll be able to oversee the new employees and help them with any issues that they might have. Employee location can be a bit difficult but http://www.kenwoodmoving.com/ has some good tips to help it go smoothly.

Opening a second location can be incredibly beneficial but if you don’t handle it properly, it can damage your business, so it’s important that you manage both offices succesfully.

Why Data is So Important for Your Business

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Data can be crucial to ensure that business owners make the right decisions. For many years, it was collected manually, either by phone, email or face-to-face interviews. It then had to be collated to give the business owners the knowledge they need to understand their customers and target the right areas. All of this could be very time-consuming and costly, and often managers and owners would resort to buying information instead of compiling it themselves.

The digital world has made the task of collecting data much simpler, and it has also meant there are other ways it can now be used.

Problem Solving

If your sales are dropping you will want to know why. Trying to find out the reasons with no data could be like looking for a needle in a haystack. The data will help you to pinpoint what is going wrong and how to change the situation. The world of sport is a great example of where data helps teams to perform better. The coaches can see how each team member is playing and where they need to improve their game.

Data will also let you look back to see how similar problems have been solved in the past and this can save you a light of time trying to come up with an answer.

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Improved Performance

Data can assist your business in improving its performance. It could easily show whether new systems should be implemented, or perhaps where automation could make the business more productive.  It can help to provide an insight into the way your systems are working and let you see where improvements could be made.

Security risks may also become apparent from the data, and if you visit this website you will find many solutions to protect your systems from all types of cyber threats. Security is important to all businesses because a breach of systems can ruin a company’s reputation and stop consumers from purchasing their goods.

Knowing your systems are safe can be a huge worry off your mind and will leave you free to work at growing your business instead of trying to protect it.

Better Understanding

Data can help to give you a better understanding of your customer base and market trends. You will be able to tell which areas of your marketing strategy are providing the best results and the most effective ways to invest your marketing budget. For instance, it could be that you expect to get the best results from Facebook marketing, but the data may show that Instagram is producing more customers.  You will then know where you can be investing your marketing budget more wisely.

It can also help with your inventory so that you have the right goods to meet demand and are not overstocked with items that are not selling so well. This can be an important factor where cash flow is concerned, as you do not need to be buying a lot of goods that will just sit on your shelves for many months.

Data is crucial for any business, but you also need to be able to understand what it is telling you. If you cannot follow the information, get help from the experts as this could mean the difference between success and failure.

How to Make Technology Work for Your Business

Running a business is a challenging task for many. You will need to make sure that you are able to increase the efficiency in your organization and make use of the technology available, or you will be left behind by your competitors. There are plenty of things you can now simplify using technology; mobile, cloud, or specific to your industry. Staying competitive in a crowded market is not easy, and that is why you have to dig deeper into different solutions and make your employees’ and clients’ life easier. Below you can find out more about what you can achieve in your business using technology the right way.

Track Your Inventory

Keeping track of your orders and your deliveries individually might be a little bit old school. You want to give your customers instant answers, instead of asking the relevant department and making them wait. There are plenty of great connected inventory management systems that will allow you to get up to date information on what you have coming, when it will arrive, and whether or not your suppliers are going to make the delivery on time. If you connect your own systems with your suppliers’, you will be able to serve your own customers better.

Monitor Your Employees

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It is also crucial that you are able to track the performance of your employees and make sure that they comply with the regulations. As an example, if you are in the construction industry, you will need to ensure that all your workers are doing the job as well as they should and are making progress, without the need to be present on site all the time. While you can appoint supervisors, it is possibly a good idea to allow your workers to report the progress using their mobile systems, so you can monitor the project and identify problems early. Communication is a good way of improving your services and getting rid of bottlenecks in your processes.

Identify Risks

While most companies in the construction or engineering industry are required to regularly carry out risk assessments and update their policies, it might be a good idea to monitor the risks constantly and make sure they are identified on time. As a part of Lean organizational management, you will need to constantly look out for areas of improvement and risks that can cause damage to your business or your clients. From implementing a pressure monitoring system to remotely checking the temperature of different machines, there are several ways you can reduce the risks in your business.

Collaborate Remotely

It is important that you collaborate with your suppliers, but working with a larger team also poses challenges. You will need to make the most out of your technology and ensure that you are able to improve the communication between teams and individual members. Let’s say that some of your staff is working on site, and the client calls the office for an update, or wants to know whether or not they can change the layout of the room you are completing. Instead of spending time and money on traveling, you can share data and even measurements to answer the question immediately.

Improve Productivity

No matter if you run a consultancy firm or a delivery company, you will need to ensure that you are able to improve the productivity of your workers every day. You can implement automatic quality checks and measure every stage of the process to identify bottlenecks. For example, if you have a process map and want to reduce the delivery time, you will have to find out which element is holding you back and improve that area, instead of redesigning your entire supply chain and spending too much time and money

Measure Waste

If you would like to embrace Lean principles in your business, you will also have to focus on waste. You can use an advanced cloud based software that will allow you to measure and reduce waste, so you can save money and make your company more sustainable at the same time. From measuring water usage to monitoring the energy use and the temperature in your premises, there are plenty of ways you can reduce waste; time, resources, and raw materials.

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Deliver Training

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Cloud and internet technology can also be used to deliver staff training and share knowledge. You can sign up for online sites that will allow your employees to learn at their own pace from home or the office, without having to travel to a training venue. Another advantage of delivering training through the cloud is that you will get performance reports, and the systems will highlight your employees’ individual development areas and further training or coaching needs.

Automate Your Social Media

No company can survive the competition without increasing their digital presence. If you don’t currently have a marketing team, and would rather not outsource your content creation, chances are that you will need to find a technology that allows you to automate your updates and distribute your content without having to spend hours trying to brainstorm ideas. Social media automation will help you increase awareness and build a strong brand.

Map New Processes

If you want your employees’ help in delivering better services, you might want to find out more about the it shared services model. It is a great way to encourage collaboration between teams, and can be used when your company is embarking on a journey of mergers and acquisitions. You will be able to create a process map of transitioning different roles and tasks, simplifying processes, and improving the value you are providing for your customers, while reducing your human resource expenses and general waste.

If you would like to make technology work for you, it is important that you first identify the development areas in your business and map the processes to find the bottlenecks that hold your productivity back. Once you have found the problem areas, you can use the above technologies to make your business more efficient.

Building Your Construction Business To Be As Safe As Houses

While most people who are considering the bright lights of self employment think about the freelancing, consulting or small services realms, there’s nothing to say that you cannot take a foray into the world of construction. If you are a highly skilled tradesperson, you’ve been working on building sites for years, and you know a few things about leadership and management, then why not branch out on your own. Being the foreman and project managing construction sites so that they run like well oiled machines is a real talent that requires exceptional organizational skills. If you think that you have what it takes, read on to find out the key things you must consider.

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Legislation

The most important aspect of your business planning will be legislation. Construction is heavily licenced and legislated for obvious reasons. The dangers of working in hazardous environments and with heavy machinery require an element of health and safety provision. Ensure that you have the relevant permits, surety bonds and insurances required to operate legally.

When you consider your health and safety plans, make sure that you set up training sessions for your staff. Ensure that every single person on site is following the same protocol and demand to see evidence of relevant certification. If you are working at height, make sure that you invest in safety railings, warning signage and adequate safety scaffolding. Your sites need to earn a reputation for being safe and well managed so ensure that you have given enough emphasis to this within your business plan.

Funding

As with any business, you need to ensure that you have enough startup funding to launch your startup. You could choose to go to your bank manager and pitch the qualities of your construction firm to him or her. Or you may choose to source a business angel who can aid you financially as well as with their industry contacts and knowledge. Either way, you must create a presentation that convinces them of the worthiness of your business plan. Ensure that you know your financial figures inside out. You must know your gross and net profit forecast for at least the next three years and consider the risks you might face and how you will mitigate them.

It’s vital you have enough cash flow and initial funding before you launch. Without a buoyant cash flow, you may find that your supply chain stalls and jobs don’t get completed.

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Make Contacts Now

If you are already working on building sites, start networking. Get to know the best plumbers, electricians, tilers, decorators and gas engineers. Tell them that you are looking for a well organized and flexible team to complete work to a high standard. If they are busy, then you know they are good! Take their details and hit the ground running when you are working on your first construction project.

Working in a field that you love is a luxury. Ensure that you set your construction company up the right way so that it is as safe as houses.

Using Technology To Improve Your Business

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Every business owner is looking for ways to improve their company and a lot of time these days that will involve making the most of technology. The role of tech in the workplace cannot be underestimated in the modern era of business and with that in mind, we are going to take a look at some of the ways you can make the most of the digital landscape in your company. The ideas discussed here are all centred around the prospect of growing your business and improving working practices.

Marketing

We are going to start by looking at how marketing has been affected by technology over the past few decades and what you should be doing to attract customers and clients. The focus of our marketing section is going to be on making the most of social media and search engines in order to drive users to your website with the lowest amount of expenditure. There are many ways that you can use technology to improve your marketing campaigns including banner advertising and mass production of offline materials. But let’s take a look at the options we have outlined above.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

First of all, we should establish what we mean when discussing SEO. Well, this is the practice of preparing your website or web pages for internet visibility, with a particular focus on appearing in organic search results. In this case, the word organic means unpaid because there are paid options for appearing high in search results, referred to as sponsored posts. However, for the purposes of what we are discussing we are going to look at organic results.

In order to ensure you are optimised for search engines, you will need to research what the current algorithms of the major websites in this field are using. However, some of the must-dos before diving too deep into SEO is to ensure that you have the right keywords appearing on your web page, that the loading time of your website is quick and there is high-quality content enhanced by your reputation via backlinks.

The first of these, keywords, is possibly the easiest to work towards. Using free tools like Google’s keyword planner, you can see what words and phrases are most commonly linked to the product or services that you sell. You then need to make sure they feature prominently on your website so that the search engine recognises you as relevant when a user searches terms related to your business.

Social Media

It can seem like everyone and their dog is on social media these days, and that is because most people are. Whether that means sharing their daily updates on Facebook, engaging with trends on Twitter or sharing their photos on Instagram, there is social media availability for everyone, and that includes business. You should make the most of these free channels to grab the attention of potential customers through engaging content and being part of the conversations that are relevant to you. However, one word of warning when it comes to social media and business is to ensure you are using the networks that are right for your company and industry. A big mistake is wasting your marketing time on social media channels that your target audience are not using.


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Productivity

In the same way that improvement is vital to business, as too is making sure the company is operating at its most productive levels. Thanks to the rise of technology there are now more ways than ever before to ensure your workforce are operating at optimum level and wasting little time – without having to be a domineering manager.

Applications across the board are helping companies get the most out of their teams. Communications software, for example, allow you and your teams to manage parts of the business that were once divided in one simple hub. Apps can give access to social media platforms across an entire team so that you can assign updates to different parts of the company, as well as allow for greater communication via video chat or instant messaging. Where there was once a need to gather teams for regular meetings, you can now provide updates via various apps so that your employees are up-to-date with the goings on of the company, their daily workload and the markets you are working in without having to stop working to converse or be otherwise distracted from the task at hand.

4 Things Not To Forget In Your Business Budget

Starting a business comes with its own challenges, and one said challenge is dealing with the business expenses that you need to budget for when you go for financial assistance. If you took the risk to start your own business, you already know that it takes money to make money, and when you’re starting out, there are a lot of overlooked costs that you will forget to put into your budget.

There are some expenses that are obvious and that are appropriate to business. For example, you can find hospital scrubs at a discount and buy them in for a healthcare business, but you may have forgotten to add these to your expenses list. If you are running an IT business, you need to ensure that you’ve paid enough for support and cloud storage. These expenses are often forgotten as they are supportive and not ‘main’ expenses. There are some other costs that are overlooked and here are some of them:

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Research Expenses. When you start your business, you need to conduct research in the industry and of your customers so that you know that your business idea is a valid one. Research expenses help to pay for the time that you are dealing with consumer reports and knowing who your customers are going to be. If you don’t budget correctly for it, you end up with a business that is lacking in its knowledge and won’t survive.

Business Insurance. It’s something that should be at the very top of your list of expenses, as the number of types of business insurance is fairly big:

  • General liability insurance

  • Medical insurance

  • Worker’s compensation insurance

  • Commercial vehicle insurance

  • Professional liability insurance

General liability insurance protects you from disasters and worker’s compensation covers you for the full-time staff that you have on full time. Insurance can get expensive, but it’s a necessity and you can shop around for the best deals. You can talk to your legal team about the insurances that your particular business will need, and they can advise you.

Borrowing Costs. Even those businesses that go for bootstrapping still require some kind of capital to get them started. There are two ways that you can get more capital for your business: equity financing and debt financing. You can raise capital in exchange for stock in the company and it may be a good idea to attract investors this way, but you have to be willing to let go of some of the control of your business to do it.

Staff Expenses. If you have hired or are planning to hire staff, you need benefits. Wages, bonuses, healthcare, dental, training – all of these have associated costs that add up. If you don’t budget for these expenses, you’re going to find yourself well out of your depth and out of luck when you can’t hire anyone. When you don’t have benefits on your books, you cannot attract the right talent.

Don’t forget these key costs with your business, and you will be able to run a company like the boss you are.

Farm Your Way To A Profit With These Brilliant Tips For Agri-Businesses

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If there is one industry that continually bucks the market trends and expectations, it has to be agriculture. This sector of business wasn’t as hard-hit by previous financial crises as some industries and sectors, and even when farms have gone through difficult financial periods, they’ve always been able to bounce back. Most of that is all down to the perseverance of farmers and their complete knowledge of their profession. However, even if you are one of the most experienced farmers in your region, you might still find that it’s difficult to grow your business and add even more to your profits.

It doesn’t always have to be such a struggle to make your farm even more profitable, though. These tips should help you turnover big revenues in the future.

Invest In Good Tools And Equipment

It will really pay off if you utilize the best possible tools and equipment on your farm. Really good equipment and machinery can help you do a better job in all things practical. That can help you grow better crops and keep all your livestock in better conditions, which will help produce better meat. Don’t worry if you can’t afford to buy good tools and equipment – you can always consider hiring it.

Research The Best Livestock And Crops For Your Climate

You might have noticed that farms and smallholdings in certain regions all tend to produce the same kinds of crops or rear the same breeds of livestock. There’s a very good reason for this – they will find that certain crops and livestock breeds flourish in their region. This is all down to the climate. For instance, Highland cattle won’t be suited to living on a farm in Florida as the weather will be far too hot for them. So, it’s always best to research the best-possible livestock and crops for your year-round climate.

Always Plan In Advance

All of the best farmers out there have planned their crop rotation and livestock care well in advance. If you use a tool like Precision AG by MKC Coop, then you should find that it becomes even easier to plan things like crop rotation. It’s really key to plan this kind of stuff in advance so that you can make sure that your land is always working for you no matter what time of year. It also ensures that you don’t suffer from long fallow periods in which you won’t be making any money at all.

Find Some Hands-On Help

Running a farm is certainly hard work and trying to do it all yourself could leave you extremely stressed and on the cusp of burning out. So, it’s always best to hire some hands-on help if you need it. I’m sure there will be plenty of willing farm hands looking for work in your local area.

Your farm should never be a drain on your bank account. If anything, you can ensure it’s helping you bring in as much cash as possible with all the tips above.

The Ultimate Guide To Agricultural Machinery

All farmers heavily rely on machines. If you are to run efficiently and reap maximum profit, acquiring the right machinery is imperative. There is certainly a lot more to this than meets the eye. After all, there are a lot of tasks that must be complete on a farm, yet you cannot purchase agricultural machinery for each and every one of them. You need to be selective and savvy with your decisions. This post is here to help you do so.

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First and foremost, let’s take a look at some of the most popular machines in the world of farming. Of course, there is only one place to begin, and this is with a tractor – the general machine each and every farmer needs to purchase. Yet, aside from this, what else is beneficial for your business? Diet feeders are extremely popular nowadays. They mix the feed effectively and ensure all animals receive the right amount of nutrients. This helps to guarantee your farm is running as efficiently as possible. It will also aid with the transportation of the feed as well. Aside from this, dual spreaders are extremely popular. They have improved dramatically over the past few years and can be used in a variety of conditions and on the trickiest of terrains. Other popular machines include solid feeder units, composting machines, trailers, and discharge spreader units.

Acquiring the right machinery is not the only decision that must be made, the next thing you need to determine is whether to purchase or rent the machines. A lot of farmers prefer to buy machinery outright so they have something to show for their money. However, not everyone can afford the large start-up costs that are associated with buying agricultural machinery. Because of this, leasing is a more viable option. This grants you temporary usage of the machine over a fixed period of time. This is especially helpful if you only need the machinery for a short lease. All you need is to pay to borrow the machinery and for Red Diesel to power it. You will have to pay the company in question either on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. There is no right or wrong solution. It is all about finding what works for you. There are companies who offer a rent to buy option. In this instance, you would lease the machine, and then after the fixed period, you can decide whether you wish to buy it or not. If you do want to make the purchase, the amount you have paid so far for leasing will come off the price of the machine.

Last but not least, no matter whether renting or buying, there are some key decisions you need to make when obtaining any machine to ensure it is the right one for your farm specifically. You need to make sure the machine is the correct size for your farm. You don’t want anything too big, as you will fail to run efficiently, yet if you select a machine too small you will struggle to cope with the demands of your farm. In addition to this, make sure you purchase from a credible company and read reviews that have been left by previous customers to determine whether they have been happy with the machine in question or not. This is the best way to be certain you are buying a machine of quality.

Fine-Tune Your Business With These Tips

Sometimes we can find that our business can run away with itself. As an entrepreneur and business owner, there always seems to be plates to spin, and with that comes the added pressure of keeping them all balanced just right. But, we are only human, and of course, there will be times when these things are going to slip. So what can you do make things easier? Fine-tuning your business and looking at ways to help take on the burden are just some of the things you can do. Here are some suggestions to help you do it.

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Look at ways to outsource

One of the first things you may want to do is consider looking at ways that you can outsource. As previously covered, you cannot always do it all, and if you do, you may not be able to do it all to the best of your ability. There is only a certain amount of hours in the day, so it could be worth it to you to look at options where you outsource things. Think about websites such as https://www.safebitsolutions.com/services/it-support-consulting for IT support, using social media freelancers to help be consistent and present online, or even hiring help with accounts to ensure that you keep things running smoothly. Outsourcing can free up time for you to focus on the areas that you can make matter.

Run social media ads

Social media can be exhausting, even for the best of us who manage to promote and be online consistently. So why not choose to use the advertising tools available within specific applications? Facebook can run ads across their newsfeeds and on Instagram easily enough, and this can be a great way to promote to people, even when you are not sat on the platform or promoting it physically yourself.

Keep your cash flow in check

One of the best things you can do when it comes to your cash flow, is look at ways to ensure that you keep it in the black, rather than in any debt. Making projections and forecasts of where you want to be is a great idea, but it can also be important to ensure that you pay for things when you need to, and make provisions for any invoices that you may have sent out.

Make goals

Finally, you need to ensure that you have goals for your business. This is so you can work towards them in the new year ahead. The goals can be big ones, and then set yourself targets that are more actionable to help you achieve them. Even though your business may be running smoothly, there will still be ceilings you are wanting to smash when it comes to the success you want for it. So how far can you go? Having the goals helps you to stay focused on what is important for you and your business.

Let’s hope these tips help you when it comes to fine-tuning your business.

Things To Consider If You Want To Open Your Own Medical Practice

Opening your own medical practice can be a rewarding, and profitable, experience. There is arguably nothing better than helping people, particularly when it comes to their health, and knowing that you’re doing the best that you can, and creating the perfect environment yourself, will make you extremely proud of what you have managed to make. However, there are some things to consider before you make the plunge, and we’ve made a list here to help you begin your journey.

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Get the qualifications

Ok, we presume that you wouldn’t be reading this if you hadn’t already begun your journey towards getting your qualifications (or were at least considering it). This can be a drawn out process, so starting your studies as soon as you can is key to getting your own medical practice. Though it takes quite a number of years to secure, it is surely worth the time and hard work, so look into medical schools if you haven’t already.

Get the funding

If you want to open your own practice, you’re going to need quite a bit of funding to get it off the ground, especially if you’re going solo. You can get a small business loan if you’d prefer to, and there are a lot of other companies who will help you with funding if you’re looking for a bit of financial help. Look elsewhere before you go straight to the bank and take out a high interest loan, when you may not need to.

Get the medical equipment

Ok, so you’ve got the qualifications and the money, but you’re going to need a lot of equipment to get the most out of your practice. There is a lot of modern technology now, to help with an easier diagnosis and more efficient medical exams. This ranges from an ultrasound machine to robotic check-ups, and the more technology you can bring in, the more efficient your care will be, so invest wisely!

Get licensed

One of the most important things to do is to get licensed, so that your practice follows the relevant regulations that are in place in your state. This is a no-brainer, or there would be people walking around with botched medical jobs everywhere, and it’s a relief that this isn’t the case. You need different licenses to provide medical assistance and to provide the actual medication – and you even need a separate license if you’re planning to have an x-ray machine – so this can be quite a long-winded process.

In short, there are many things to consider when it comes to opening up your own medical practice, but you’ll be giving so much back to your community that it is undoubtedly a worthwhile endeavour. Get the qualifications that you need in order to begin your career, get the funding, and get all of the medical equipment you need to make your practice a success. And lastly, get licensed. Then your practice will be open for business, and you can get on with helping others. Good luck!

Tips to Keep Your Business Afloat when Times Get Tough

If your business is going through some tough times, then you will understand more than anyone how annoying this can be. You may feel like nothing you do works, and you may be worried about losing everything that you have worked for as well. If you want to try and prevent all of this from happening then there are a few things that you can do about that.

Make Prudent Reductions

When making cuts and reductions, make sure that you don’t cripple your business for the future. You do need to reduce operating expenses but you don’t want to do it to the point where your business can no longer function. Of course, if you need some help then it may be worth talking to a professional accountant. When you do this, you can then feel confident knowing that they can help you with anything you need.

Overtime Pay

If sales are way below budget then you should really not be paying your employees overtime. If you are in a bind then you may need to reduce your hours for your employees and you may also have to ask your team to take a salary reduction for the short-term as well. Decisions like this aren’t easy to say the least, but they are certainly a better option when compared to bankruptcy.

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Look Into your Pension

You may think that you need to reduce your pension payments if you want to save money but this is not always the case. If you only have a few years left of your business then you will want to pay as much as possible. This will give you the boost you need to your income and it will also help you to make the most out of what you have. It may also be worth you looking into fidelity solo 401k as this will really help you out.

Consider Refinancing

Restructuring your debt can really help you to lower your monthly payments. If you can increase the term of your loan, or if you can decrease the interest rate then your monthly payments will reduce. Refinancing any assets that you have can also put some cash in your pocket.  This can really help you out if you analyse the deal that you are going to get so it is well worth taking into account. You might also be able to get some advice on the internet.

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Ask for Concessions

If you have been assessed then it may be worth asking for your penalties to be waived. It is also worth asking to see if you can have some extended terms as well. You really do need to make sure that you don’t hide from creditors. They may be willing to work with you if you work with them and this is especially the case if you are thinking about declaring bankruptcy.  A lot of businesses are worried about their image and this is especially the case if they seek professional help, but this should never be the case. In fact, sometimes it can be the only way to keep your business afloat.

Delving Into Derelict Offices: Bargain Or Bust?

More people are now starting enterprise at their kitchen tables or in home offices. It’s a blessing of the modern age which means you don’t need a fortune to start something new. The trouble is, the time will come when these meager beginnings are no longer enough to sustain you. At some stage, you’ll need to consider employees, and provide somewhere for them to work, too. When this time comes, you’ll need to kiss goodbye to working at home.

You’re then left with two choices. You could either rent a commercial space or buy one. A rental is a tempting option, as it ensures a commercial space for little money. The downside is that it could end up costing you more over time. Buying an office, however, means you can secure your commercial future in one payment.

The issue is, you don’t have much behind you right now. Those swanky new office blocks are so far out of your price range it’s funny. But, that doesn’t mean buying needs to be off your cards. If you couldn’t afford your dream home, you would buy a fixer-upper, right? Lucky for you, there are plenty of derelict offices out there waiting for a little love and attention. Even better, the majority of them have reasonable price tags. Before you get carried away, though, you will need to consider the following to ensure this is the option for you.

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Is the structure sound?

When viewing properties like this, always ask yourself whether the structure is sound. You can cover a whole load of sins with decent interior design, but you can’t paint over structural issues. Look out for any signs of damage here during your viewing. If you’re keen to go ahead, you would even benefit from getting an outside company to do a structural survey. That way, you can make sure you aren’t wasting money on a building which will never serve your needs.

Are utilities possible?

When an office has been out of action for long enough, things like water and gas are usually cut off. In this instance, you’ll need to phone the necessary utility companies. In the best case scenario, those companies will be able to flip the switch to get things going again. Even if no providers are associated to that office as it stands, an easement survey from a company like www.cochraneng.com could show you whether a utility company can gain access later. If neither of these options are viable, it may be best to strike that office off your list.

How much would renovation cost?

Think, too, about the cost of renovation. You may be saving on that initial purchase, but extreme work will still leave you out of pocket. You should head to sites like www.buildingjournal.com to estimate costs before putting an offer in. That way, you can be sure that your profits can cover getting started here. The last thing you want, after all, is a derelict office you can’t afford to spruce up.

Ethical Business Practices For The Modern Firm

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It’s essential for all firms to adapt for the trends of the modern market, but also to look ahead and develop for the needs of the future. This can, in some circumstances, also remain bundled with the universal needs of business, that which is yet to fade and once established will likely remain the norm. In this case, we’re talking about the habit, policy arrangements and developments regarding ethical business practice.

This can help any firm sustain their reputation surely, but also have a positive impact on the world around them. All firms, small and large, have a responsibility to the world around them, particularly in industries that use plenty of resources to generate a product. For this article, we are going to assume your business is moving from a small to intermediate size, and that you wish to handle this growth with the best moralism and practical changes you can make in order to ensure your presence is one that has a net positive effect on the world around you. For this effort, you can only be admired. Consider the following:

Dedicated Staff

Dedicated staff, as in those who are primarily focused on vetting your ethical processes, on inspecting the methods your business takes, and of researching the best ways to go about things can help you avoid missing the important factors when it comes into consideration. For example, using analysis and projected data, an employee might figure out that actually, giving back and the marketing attention that receives can potentially completely offset the cost of doing ‘good thing X,’ and applying that to your firm might become something worthwhile to do. Even if you only have one or two staff members focused on your best practice, this can really help you avoid making any missteps or not quite vetting processes as they are applied.

It’s very well and good to wish to implement an excellent strategy, and it’s quite another to do so in the most informed way possible. Ethical parameters can often be quite ambiguous, and so hiring a practical planner, or giving someone on your team the role of implementing these considerations can help your firm continue to take positive steps forward, and will hopefully mean everything you try has a form of merit behind it. For example, this staff member might feed your marketing team relevant statistics and information about why this move is so important, or look into the history of a charity you’re hoping to support, or figuring out just how much waste you have compared to the competitors in your industry. With just these three considerations alone, it’s easy to see why this might be a full time job. Perhaps a luxury one yes, but one that can work wonders for your PR.

Vetting Suppliers

Suppliers are important to vet. It might be that you have a longstanding relationship with a firm, but you haven’t inquired into how materials are sourced, or you have yet to question just why their prices are lower than anyone else’s. Of course, this is quite an on-the-nose analogy to make, and something that sounds only like the beginning of a thriller movie. But in many different ways, it might be that you wish to consider your suppliers more carefully, or try to cement your relationship with them further.

It might be that a firm has a great product, sourced ethically, with nothing but pure transparency about their methods. But then, through mistake or some other form of idiocy, a racist remark of some sort is posted to their twitter, perhaps even in light jest in response to a customer. Continuing to trade with a supplier like that can show a condoning of that statement, if shoddy context or an explanation is given. This might sound like you simply taking measures to protect your image, but it can be more than that. The suppliers you work with are often seen to be a statement that your firm trusts theres, and that connecting the two is important to do. Again, this example is heavily on the nose, but it suggests that there are matters more complex to consider when vetting your suppliers.

Of course, you might not take issue with every small thing that you find, as your firm might not have the cleanest trading history. But in order to be better you have to connect yourself to better, so this could be a great place to start in the first instance.

Specialist Services

Specialist services can be extremely important to integrate with, especially if they have exceptional processes when adhering to a certain standard. From construction aids such as Eastern Plant Hire to the catering services you use, it’s important for them to submit to the environmental and health protection laws and even take steps to optimize how they stay within legal guidelines. This can help you, during the large expansions and growths of your firm, to continually do so within a smart framework, and to give your firm more breathing room. There’s no reason as to why expanding your firm should only mean you add toxic and wasteful processes to keep it afloat. If you focus, and make deliberate decisions, your firm can become much more streamlined as it grows, causing nothing but potential for all those involved.

Champion Causes

It can be worthwhile to champion causes, ideally those that are affected by your business operation. Of course, ensure that the cause is worthwhile and intellectually sound first. For example, while LGBT causes should absolutely be championed and celebrated, it’s quite an obvious tactic, some might even say exploitative, in order to gain marketing. Consider how many people celebrated and purchased Coca-Cola when it sported the rainbow flag on its bottle. All it took was a day of graphic design to celebrate a massive boost in sales, without much in the way of actual charity or development in any fields. Some might say the exposure was enough to get people talking and accepting, but some might also say this is a predatory method of profiting from the social issues people live through. For this reason, whatever you choose, make sure you choose practical means. Marketing is fine, but it mustn’t be the only intended result.

With these tips, applying ethical business practices for the modern firm is sure to be worthwhile, and keep you in moral business.

5 Ways to Raise Money as a StartUp

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One of the greatest challenges for any entrepreneur starting their own business, whether the business is ‘for profit’ or ‘not-for-profit’, is that of raising enough capital in the early days to turn their idea and vision into a reality.

In many ways it can be likened to how hard it is to first push a huge boulder, the effort required is so much greater to get it moving than to keep it moving, and in this sense the one thing you need to start pushing that boulder and transforming a good idea into a business concept with traction, is capital behind you, as just like a jet taking off at an airport – without jetfuel, you’re simply not going to get very far.

The same is true if you choose to start a nonprofit, you still have the exact same obstacles as a business, and whilst your cause might be greater than that of turning a profit, it can be harder to find people willing to invest in a nonprofit due to the fact most investors are focused on turning a profit themselves… of course, there are many altruistic people out there, that are happy to help – but connecting with these people can be much easier when you already have traction and a track record of getting results.

In this sense, if you are starting a nonprofit, what you will really need is a captivating positioning story that captures the hearts and minds of influential people to back your cause – as when the funds are low, creativity must be higher.

Indeed, setting up a nonprofit or for profit business on a budget can be very helpful in terms of future development and success as “throwing money at the problem” is not the most efficient way to do business, and therefore, it can be a blessing to be struggling to raise money in the early days as you have to adopt the paradigm of ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’.  This builds grit, resourcefulness and problem solving skills – all of which are required to take your concept to the next level.

However, when launching a project, money is a lot like oxygen, in the sense that it is absolutely vital – at least some money.  Therefore, in this article, we’re going to look at 5 ways to raise money as a startup.

1. GET A BUSINESS LOAN

The most traditional route with regard to setting up a business, particularly, a small local business, is that of obtaining a loan from a bank or finance company.  This is usually the most simple and straightforward way to fund your idea, yet it’s also one of the most risky, and is only available to those with ample credit, or equity within their home.

An option some people take is to actually set up their business on a zero percent credit card, as this way, the funds are instant and there’s no “selling” required in terms of creating a business plan and pitching it to the bank manager.

In any event, if you source your own line of credit, the good news is that you keep all the control of your company – unlike having to split profits with external investors – that said, you also shoulder all the risk… and if your business doesn’t work out, but you’ve secured your finance on your home, this can be a very stressful and precarious situation to the point it can lead to bankruptcy – so be very careful in terms of going down this path and make sure you consider all the risks.

2. FRIENDS AND FAMILY

Perhaps the most ideal place to look for financing your dream are the people that know you best; your friends and family.  Of course, if you already have savings, that would be the first place to look, though chances are you wouldn’t be reading this article if that were the case.

The prospect of borrowing money from a wealthy friend or relative can be very appealing, but consider what happens should your venture not be successful – not just financially, but socially… as the amount of strain owing money can put on relationships is enormous and you might want to work out whether this particular relationship can take the strain should things not go to plan… and put something in writing, in terms of what would happen to the money invested should things not go well.

This way, there is at least clarity and a mutual respect gained from the certainty of knowing what would happen if the venture were not to be successful.  This might seem like an onerous and perhaps over-responsible thing to do, in the dreamy early days of visionary success, but it just might save your relationship.

3. CROWDFUNDING

A recent trend in raising startup capital is that of crowdfunding.  This is where you pitch your idea on an online platform and people (often strangers) offer cash to back your idea… either for a slice of the profit, a discounted reward, or to support a noble cause.

Crowdfunding sites are particularly good if your project has an element of social value about it, not that it has to be a non-profit social enterprise… but a sense of “giving back” as people are keen to back projects with a compelling social story.

The core advice, with Crowdfunding, therefore, is to endeavour to focus on the story behind your brand and your mission, rather than just the financial forecasts and unique selling points – as these aren’t savvy investors from Wall Street.  They are average people that like the idea of “giving back” and perhaps getting something back in return for their support… therefore, connect and be human!

4. CONTESTS

There are many contests available for startups with ambitious plans that can provide much needed funding.  In this sense, a business incubator such as Y Combinator is somewhat of a contest – in that you are competing with a number of other entrepreneurial businesses to win a place on the incubator.  Business incubators tend to offer a small amount of seed capital, along with space, contacts and mentorship – indeed, the most valuable aspect of a business incubator is often found in the mentorship you will receive.

Business incubator’s tend to put on an investment event where you are able to pitch to relevant investors and support you in getting more substantial funding; making them a supportive stepping stone that is very useful in the early days.

5. GRANTS

There are a number of grants available for both nonprofits and for profit ventures.  Usually, you have to tie in to a particular theme or tick a few boxes, and therefore shape your grant proposal to the needs of the grant provider; but with a little creativity and hard work, you can certainly find grants.

There are grants for certain causes, within the nonprofit sector, and within the business sector there are grants for particular sectors (e.g. renewable energy and personalised medicine).

The challenge, with the more scientifically focused grants, however, is that they tend to be more academically biased – in that they often go against the grain of many entrepreneurs, but if you come from a research background and are looking to create something particularly innovative, these would definitely be worth looking into.

In summary, the five main options available to you are likely to be found in raising money from friends and family, getting a business loan, crowdfunding your idea, getting a grant, or applying to a business incubator or winning an entrepreneurial contest.

No matter which route you choose to follow, the most important thing to remember is that where there’s a will there’s a way and the more you do the more you get, in the sense that the more doors you knock on the higher your chances of obtaining what you seek becomes.