What Do You Need In Your First Year Of Business?


What Do You Need In Your First Year Of Business?

These days, it’s even easier than ever for anyone to be able to launch their own business. With the internet boom, a business can be set up in no time at all. So, it’s safe to say that it’s a smart time for people to launch their own company. However, if you want it to really work out and become something, there are things that you’re going to want to put in place, particularly within the first year. Some of these things are skills, and some of them are a different measure that will help you to run a business. Either way, it’s handy to know beforehand what it takes, so you have the best chance at success.

Grit

To start with, you’re going to find that the best thing you can do within your first year is to develop grit. You’re going to go through ups and downs, and you have to persevere even when you feel like giving up. Grit can really help you to succeed.

Systems

They can seem really boring when you’re hoping that the secret to success is sexy and fun, but systems really do help you to stay on track. When you have systems for all of the little things you need to get done, it’s easier to keep everything organized. Working with a fleet management company, managing your staff, and even keeping track of sales can be hard to do. But when you bring in the right systems and software or even outsource, it can be so much easier for you.

Authenticity

From here, one of the things that you’re really going to find can help you, is for you to be as authentic as possible. It’s easy to think that you need to do what big businesses do or whatever is trendy, but the thing that will help you to stand out and find success is sticking to what’s right for you. That way, you will find your tribe and be able to build a community around your company.

Smart Ideas

The next thing that will really help you within your first year of business is to have really cool and smart marketing ideas. As a new business, you want to stand out and be noticed. But that’s not always easy. You have to really try to cut through the noise. However, when you start to play around with your marketing, you should find that it’s much easier for you to get in front of your audience and really wow them.

Patience

But then also, one of the most important things you can do within your first year of business is to stay patient. You might find that you want to give up when you face adversity, but you have to be patient. Because things will happen for you when you keep going. If you’re not consistent, it will take longer. But putting the work in can really allow you to get results, but it takes time. So, the more patient you are, the better.

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How comparing yourself to others can ruin your confidence


How comparing yourself to others can ruin your confidence

We all have bad habits however some of the bad habits we have can unwittingly slowly ruin your confidence comparing yourself to others is one of those bad habits.

In this video I discuss; How comparing yourself to others can ruin your confidence

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Read more blogs post on wellbeing here.

 

 

Starting a New Business? Don’t Forget These Costs!


Starting a New Business? Don't Forget These Costs!

Have you been thinking about taking the plunge and starting up a new business? There is a lot to consider when it comes to taking the step from being an employee to being your own boss.

It makes sense that you should put your new enthusiasm to work to find out exactly what setting up on your own entails. Do some digging first and make sure you are going into this with your eyes open. Of course, each business is different and depending on the sector you are setting up in, you will need to make sure you are planning and preparing for what lies ahead.

So what exactly should you consider when it comes to starting up your own business? The best place to start is to check out how much you will need to get yourself up and running.

Did you know it is recommended that all businesses who employ staff have enough funds to cover wages for the first 12 months? This ensures you can pay your staff without having to rely on making a profit from day one.

How Much Money Will You Need?

Many startups these days can be done on a shoestring budget. But not all of them. Whether you are looking at turning your hobby into a work from home business, you need to set up an office and recruit staff, or you need to source merchandise to sell. Do your research and find out exactly how much you will need to get started.

There can be many options to consider when it comes to financing your new venture. From using your savings to taking out loans, making sure you know what you will need to hit the ground running before you start or apply for funding is essential.

If you need to apply for funding, you need to come up with a solid business plan so you can show how you plan to build your business and what the market is like for what you are offering.

What Will you Need to Buy? 

Look at materials you will need, any wages you will have to pay, rents, or rentals for machinery or vehicles. If you need a car to get around from client to client or from home to a place of work, then you can look at Vauxhall SUV models at Drive Vauxhall to find something that will not only match your professionalism but also help you get from A to B when you need to.

Factor in costs for bills such as electric, water rates, and all the equipment you need to buy to be able to do your job and run your business. Things such as stationery supplies and any staff training courses you will need to enrol on.

Don’t forget about any insurances you will need, especially if employing staff members or you have a physical building, either an office or a shop, which accepts customers or clients onto the property.

As long as you do your homework and you know what to expect when it comes to how much your new company will cost, you will be able to start as you mean to go on with no nasty surprises.

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4 Ways To Make Your Home Business More Efficient


4 Ways To Make Your Home Business More Efficient

As you already know, working from is rewarding. It’s one of the most amazing ways to become more accomplished at what you are doing for your career as well as what you are doing in life. Working remotely is turning out to be one of the biggest trends in business, but the biggest worries for the companies that are still behind the times when it comes to remote working is whether it will be efficient enough. Fortunately for you, you don’t have a boss: you’re your own boss, and you have chosen to have a home business.

Efficiency is still a big flashing light above your head, though, and you do need to be as efficient a possible to ensure that you are offering a balanced service. You work from home, but that means that you must keep your home and business life separate while they’re in the same space. Still, there are ways and means to ensure that your business is running smoothly, and we’ve put together four ways to be efficient:

Remove Distractions

This is possibly the most difficult thing to do when you are working from home. You have a blurred line between work and life when you work from home, and interruptions can be a problem. So, you need to create a limit and enforce it. When you are working, do so in an office separate from the rest of the family so that you can work quietly and calmly without the distractions of the family. Plan your work around those at home, and you can limit the distractions and make sure that you can keep up with your working day without a problem.

Invest In Software

Efficiency comes down to working as quickly and smoothly as possible, and that means investing correctly in the right software. Whether this is cloud computing or survey software that you need, you should invest wisely. The better the software, the more efficient you can be in your business. Software and technology are big spends as part of your budget, and you shouldn’t skimp on these to save a buck or two.

Set The Scene

The setting of your office is so important for you to be able to work quickly and efficiently. Your desk and set-up should be conducive to a positive working environment. It’s not always possible to have an office space that works away from the rest of the family, but you can still establish it as YOUR space. Your scene should also include things that you do as part of your morning ritual; so, if you always get a coffee and water before work, keep doing that to be consistent and ready for your day.

Embrace Commuting

You may not go further than the bottom floor of the house for work, but you still must create a “commute” to be able to clear your head and get ready for the day. So, get to your workspace and give yourself ten minutes to think and plan your day, or listen to music, or stretch. Get ready for your day and you’ll work far better than if you skipped this step!

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3 Positive Ways to Stay Driven When You Are Your Own Boss


3 Positive Ways to Stay Driven When You Are Your Own Boss

For many people being your own boss is the dream; however, on a day to day basis, there can be times when it starts to feel a little isolating and gets you down. Positivity is the aim for life generally. Still, with so much going on, it is inevitable that sometimes you feel a little downhearted, and occasionally disenchanted with being the head of everything. So how do you stay driven when the daily grind gets you down, and you don’t have a boss to intervene or colleagues in the office to chat to?

  1. Use the Five Minute Rule 

The aim is to get one thing completed on the to-do list in a five-minute window. So, you need to be realistic; this isn’t about rushing your work and making mistakes or doing it badly; this is a sense of achievement task. Doing something that helps you be able to tick a box that completes a task. So, go for something small that has been waiting around. Reschedule that meeting, post that contract, order more business cards. The psychology of a to-do list is two-fold, first, it helps to be able to see everything you need to do laid out in a neat list, but secondly, the list shrinking gives you motivation and the buoyancy to continue.

Recommend book

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action

  1. Keep a Check on Your Goals

I love lists, so whether at work or at home, I use a checklist to store and organise my goals. In the office, I have a yearly overview and a monthly breakdown of where I want to go and what I want to achieve. I reassess them frequently and shift things around when needed. Take time to add notes to help you plot a route from A-B or from dream to goal. It helps to visualise the steps required to get there, so if needs be draw pictures or add some images from magazines and create a goal board. Again like a to-do list, it helps if you can see progress and be able to cross some of these off you will feel like you are going forward and find that driven feeling.

Recommend book

Self Made: The definitive guide to business startup success

  1. Find Daily Inspiration 

Another great way to stay motivated is to draw on other peoples positivity. There are numerous authors who write on the subject of success and offer tips and wisdom. The internet is full of stories of the underdog winning big. Use these to your advantage and allow yourself a short time each day to recharge your positivity. If you aren’t already subscribed have a look at TEDTalks, there is so much wisdom and guidance to be found in these live events, that even watching the recordings at a later day can lift even the flattest of days. If you can ever find one in your area and get a seat in the audience, you will absorb so much upbeat and forward-thinking energy that you will be recharged for weeks.

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3 ways to take charge of your time


When you are a parent and a business owner, it’s often a real challenge to take charge of your time effectively. To try and help remedy this situation, we are going to be taking a look at 3 ways that you can take charge of your time.

In this video, I discuss 3 ways to take charge of your time

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Read blog posts covering time management topics here.

How Much DIY Is Safe When Launching Your Solo Business?


How Much DIY Is Safe When Launching Your Solo Business?

Starting your first business is an adventure that takes you to a new level. Whether you’ve been offering your expertise as a company employee in the past or you’re turning your passion into a side hustle business, solo entrepreneurs understand the importance of doing almost everything themselves. Ultimately, then you’re new in the business world, you don’t have a team to support your progress. Therefore, it’s easy to understand why most new entrepreneurs take a DIY approach to building their business. However, you need to be realistic. Nobody can be an expert at everything. It’s fair to say that there may be many things about running a business that you don’t know. While there’s nothing wrong about learning new skills, you should also be realistic. You can’t always make it work all by yourself. Defining how much DIY is safe for your solo enterprise is a delicate balancing act.

There’s a sense of excitement

Do you remember the days when you would make creatures and shapes out of Play-Doh and clay as a child? Of course, it was exciting! You could build your own world. Running your business taps into the same Pygmalion’s sensation. As such, it’s a wonderful experience and you, of course, want to be the one who makes it happen. With the right tools and tips, you can take control of your brand, such as by creating your designs. Indeed, not only can you ensure that your online presence remains professional – as you can manage every piece of content you share online –, but you get to give life to your ideas.

But excitement doesn’t replace expertise

Admittedly, excitement is no replacement for quality and know-how. While you are likely to get better, you can’t compete against professionals who have the appropriate equipment and training to build a business presence. You can’t build a professional presence online without the input of experts. Mass Appeal, a digital marketing agency, shares a clear message with potential clients; there is no company too small for professional services. More often than not, digital management is the key to secure your position on a crowded market.

When should you consult a pro?

When you’re at the beginning of your entrepreneurship journey, it can be challenging to figure out when you need to ask for support. After all, it is tempting to build your business alone. You’re not only in charge of what happens, but you can also make a tight budget work. However, the DIY approach can only save you money if you know what you’re doing. If you lack the necessary marketing skills, for instance, you’re unlikely to achieve any positive result. Additionally, failing to receive sufficient organic traffic or to drive your sales is a warning sign that you should invest in professional support.

Ok, but how bad is bad?

I’m new here; I don’t know how much traffic is good or bad. Launching a new business is not easy, especially if you don’t have any reference you can use for guidance. However, as a rule of thumb, a business that doesn’t grow is at risk of collapsing. A marketing agency can help you to build growth.

In conclusion, while it can be exciting to build your presence, solo-entrepreneurs need to recognise warning signs of poor DIY. Indeed, your enthusiasm doesn’t replace expert knowledge. As such, you need to be quick to react if you notice a lack of growth or a drop in your sales.

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Mistakes to avoid when starting a business


Thousands of thoughts and ideas for your new business, going through your mind. But unfortunately steaming ahead and rushing can lead to making mistakes, and some of those possible mistakes can be costly. In this video, I’m going to cover 3 mistakes to avoid when starting a business.

Sign up to Create Launch Grow a start-up course for parents here.

Read blog posts covering various start-up topics here.

How Graphic Design DIY Tools Will Make Your Life Easier


How Graphic Design DIY Tools Will Make Your Life Easier

Running a business is a balancing act; on the one hand, when you are focused on your clients and the products or services you provide, you feel confident and in control. On the other hand, when it comes to getting services to help market, promote and run your business, you can feel resentful and annoyed that you haven’t the skills to get everything done. Thankfully there are a ton of tools out there to help you with everything from designing your own website to keeping your personal accounts on track, and even graphic design. 

Eye-Catching Graphics

There is no doubt that having good quality images, from snapshots of your work to professional looking logos can really help when it comes to establishing your brand and getting your name out and about. But if you cannot draw for toffee and have no eye for design, this can be really tricky. Paying someone else to do the job for you might make the most sense, but it tends to eat into the budget and can feel counterproductive. With the explosion of new tools, many of which are free, you can do some serious graphic design work without having to spend a penny.

Things to Consider

The biggest thing to consider is that graphics used in business should be unique, stock images, those are images that are sold or offered for free on the internet are not particularly friendly when it comes to search engine rankings. It is always better to have something unique. Tools like Canva are great because they allow you to combine your own images with extra features like text and graphics to create anything from newsletters to social media posts and everything in between. It is also intuitive and easy to use. There is a lot you can do for free, you don’t have to spend money, but if you choose to subscribe, you can get access to more features. They offer a monthly type subscription which provides a lot more content, or you can work on a pay as you go system where you can purchase images and graphics that are not offered to free users.

Premium Services

So, whether you need a premium service or not is really up to you. The best advice is to explore all the tools on offer and see whether they are going to allow you to create the things you feel would work for your business. Pic Monkey is another similar offering to Canva but with unique features. Adobe Spark offers you the chance to be creative, but as with all Adobe products, there is minimal content on offer without a subscription. Fotor gives you the opportunity to hone your professional graphic design skills without having any experience. There are loads more out there, but if you want to save yourself some money, and brand your company with a professional outlook, then DIY design tools are certainly worth a look before you get the company credit card out to pay an expert.

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The Most Common Problems Faced By Businesses


The Most Common Problems Faced By Businesses

All businesses face some problems at some point, which can be very challenging for a business owner. The difficulties that businesses hit tend to be the same, meaning you can learn from other businesses to help you recover from or avoid some of these classic business issues.

Uncertainty

Uncertainty can cause a lot of problems for any business. Whether there is uncertainty in the economy, in the credit markets, over a competitor or how new technology will impact business, not being sure can cause profits to dry up when you can’t make decisions. If you are unsure of something, you can end up focussing on the short-term. Long-term planning is essential for any business, so shying away from this will cause you issues. The key is to balance the need for reactive focus with long-term strategies.

Technology

Technology is improving and changing at an incredibly rapid pace. While technology improvements can, of course, be a huge asset to a company, keeping up can also be a challenge. You might fall behind a competitor because they’ve invested in next-generation technology before you’re able to. Stay on top of relevant developments, so you know what to invest in and when.

Of course, the technology itself also cause issues, as any business who has experienced any of these top 10 IT support issues will know. Technology problems can bring work to a halt, causing damage to your profits and your reputation.

Globalisation

If your company trades internationally, globalisation might be a concern. If you’re going to work in another country, you will need to understand foreign countries. This allows you to penetrate new markets with existing products, design new products for these markets and recognise emerging competitors. You can solve this problem with information gathering and analysis.

Government Policy And Regulations

In certain industries, a change to regulations can be a real concern. If policies on energy, environment and finances are changing, this can make decision making more difficult. It’s important to keep up with policy, but changes in regulation can also change how your customers feel. For example, the average consumer now wants the companies they deal with to be greener, meaning you have to respond to these demands and show what you’re doing.

Diversity

Diversity is important in a business, but it does bring with it some unique challenges. With a mix of people in the company, it’s likely that you will also get more disagreement, which can make business very difficult. However, a lack of diversity, especially in leadership teams, can lead to a narrow world-view and a stale company culture. There is a balance to be found to keep fresh ideas in the company, without slowing down business decisions.

Complexity

Business has become more complex in recent years, despite the technology that makes some tasks easier. The global economy is more and more connected, creating a larger and more diverse range of customers and suppliers. Manufacturing and services are more often targeted at smaller, more specialised markets, which can make designing business models, processes, products and services more challenging. Prioritise simplifying your business to combat this.

Information Overload

Information is changing fast. A staggering amount of data is created every day, which can cause an overload. A business needs to consume and make sense of a huge amount of information. You need to sift through all this information to find what is useful and needed and use it to make good business decisions. You need a combination of technology and human knowledge to make sense of all this information and turn it into something valuable for your business.

Supply Chains

Uncertainty of demand and the need to slay lean means that most companies carry a much smaller inventory than in the past. Supply chain management can also be made more difficult by uncertainty in supply, changing commodity prices, weather-related disruptions and an increase in competition for raw materials. For small suppliers, there can also be a struggle to get credit, which can make it hard to keep up with demand from larger customers. Your supply chain should be developed to ensure low costs, but also with minimal risk of disruption.

Problem Solving

One big disadvantage for a business can be a lack of a sophisticated approach to information acquisition and analysis. The lack of development of unique insight leaves a company at a disadvantage. Without this, you lack a long-term strategy.

Good leadership means the ability to solve problems, without jumping from one fire to another. You and your leadership team must develop strong skills in strategic thinking and problem solving, or your company will struggle to flourish.

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