So, you’re a business owner looking to make some smart choices with your money.
Don’t worry too much about it. We’re all in this position. Running a business can be challenging when you’re not being sensible with how you manage your money.
To make the right decisions, you need some good tips. Luckily, we’ve got just the ones for you. Let’s take a look at some of the best options out there.
Make a Business Budget
The very first trick is just to budget. This may seem quite simple, it may even seem quite obvious, but the number of people that do not budget when they need to is astronomical.
At a very fundamental level, you need to have a business budget. This is a budget where you plan the business expenses, not just the cost of living. It’s probably a good idea to treat your business as a completely separate entity to your other finances because there will be different rules and regulations in place.
Assess Needs and Wants
When looking at how best to spend money, it is probably important to sit down and look at your needs and your wants.
See, every purchase can be broken up into two different categories – a need and a want. It’s all about not getting the two mixed up and giving yourself the breathing room that you need. It’s important to make sure that you start to get the best possible options, and decide if you need or want something – it’ll make a big difference in the long run.
Find the Creative Solution to Problems
It’s pretty important to make sure that you try and find a creative solution to problems where you can. It can be pretty difficult sometimes to try and justify making a big purchase or spending a lot of money.
This is where it really does pay to try and find a creative solution to some of your problems. It’s all about how you can come up with the ideas and options which are going to be cost-effective and solve the issue.
For example, fixing a computer might be as simple as going to get a component repaired instead of buying a new one outright. It’s this kind of sensible thinking which will give you the best kind of options for the future. Get creative!
In conclusion, there’s a lot of different things that you can do to make sure that you manage your money a little better as a business owner. Our first instinct is often to spend, which is crazy. If you’re going to be sensible and pragmatic about things, then it’s easy to get yourself the type of experience that you need. If you’re clever about things, then you can probably come up with the best options possible. If you think before you make a purchase, and budget right, it’s possible to manage your money a lot better as a business. Not every problem can be solved in the most efficient way by simply throwing cash at it!
Inspiration can be pretty difficult to come across sometimes. There are a lot of different instances where people are trying to find the motivation that they need to get on. When you’re a parent business owner, it’s especially challenging sometimes to try and find the necessary steps to moving forward.
That’s why a lot of people choose to create a vision board. This is a way in which you can visualise your goals and create a type of experience that works for you. Let’s take a look at how we do it.
Know What You Want
Okay. The first trick to making a mood board is to know what you actually want. It’s pretty difficult to figure out exactly what your goals are, but it’s kind of a vital start point. You can’t make a vision board if you don’t know what it is you’re trying to realise.
You need to sit down and figure out what it is that you want. You need to try and plot your goals, work out what it is that you want in terms of a quantifiable objective. This will help you to create the beginnings of a vision board.
Build a Basic Structure
Building a basic structure for your vision board is quite easy. You just sort of start to put together the basic concepts, from the outline before you go into the details. You need to know exactly what kind of resources you have, what timescales you have, how are you going to do it, whether it’s achievable at this moment, etc.
Find Your Motivator
Finding your motivator can be quite tricky. Especially when you are a business owner, you’ve got a lot on, it’s quite challenging, so you have to sit down and figure out what it is that you want.
So it’s really important to find your motivator. This could be some words, it could be some images, it could be an important possession. Whatever it is, it will motivate you to really complete the board, and start to fill in the blanks.
Don’t Give Up
As challenging as all this can be, it’s so important not to give up, you need to focus on creating the vision board they will help you to realise your goals, and it can be challenging. You’re going to have moments when you don’t wanna do it, you’re going to have moments where you think it’s a waste of time, but try not to give up.
In conclusion, it’s really important to create a vision board for your goals. As a parent business owner, you’re going to have a lot of goals. Personal ones, professional ones, social ones. It’s just nice to have a board where you can look at all of your goals as a single entity, rather than different parts of one thing. Remember – all of these goals help you to move forward. Even if you don’t necessarily know what you want, it’s nice to sit and think about it.
Lockdown is definitely a challenge for us all. We’re all feeling the pressure when it comes to staying focused and on the ball. We need to all make sure that we are doing our best.
Being able to ditch the distractions and increase your productivity is definitely a challenge for everybody. There’s a lot of different things you can do to make this happen so let’s check out five of the best options here.
As a parent business owner, it can be pretty challenging to get even a minute away from the house and your kids. However, it is sometimes necessary for productivity’s sake to isolate yourself in a small room and get done what you need to get done. Take away the distractions, take away the things that might cause you to not focus, and just get the work done.
Set a Schedule
Ignoring the fact that the schedule is pretty much vital for making sure that you stay on task and on target, it’s important to also make sure that you are putting aside time every day to look after yourself. There will be moments when it’s just you in the house, and these are your opportunities to get as much work done as possible. They are your chances to really put your head down and get on with things.
Be Good to Yourself
If you’re going to cut out distractions, you need to make sure that you are good to yourself at the same time. Self-love and care are the best ways to make sure that you have a high level of productivity throughout your day, so you should make sure that you are sensible with your breaks, rewarding yourself for getting big tasks done, and remembering why you’re doing this in the first place.
Call in Favours
If you have a parent who is just dying to spend more time with their grandkids, then this is perhaps the best way to get your productivity up and cut out the distractions. It’s sometimes worth calling in the favours and asking people to come and watch the kids for just a little while as you catch up on some important work tasks.
Rent Office Space
Okay, sometimes your house is not the ideal environment for getting things done. If this is the case, you should try and aim for looking into office space. If you can find a rented office space, especially one of those complexes where you literally rent a desk out for a day, then you can use these times away from home to really focus.
In conclusion, these are just five of the different ways that you can cut out the distractions and focus on your productivity when you are a parent entrepreneur. It’s a challenge to really get your business up off the ground trying to juggle your family and other commitments, so you have to be ruthless to an extent when it comes to cutting out distractions. Remember to make time for yourself amongst all of this to, as your needs are very important.
Running a business is tough. There is a lot that you need to think about, so many different things that come into play. When you are a parent business owner, it’s even more challenging. You have to combine all of the responsibilities of your business with trying to be a good parent to your children.
So, understandably, having some tips and tricks to help with all of this is a godsend for most parent business owners. We have put our heads together and come up with five strategies for running a business, so let’s take a look at all of them here and now.
#1 – Automatically Updating Software is Your Friend
As a parent business owner, there is a high chance that you are going to be working with a lot of technology. This is the 21st-century after all, and with that comes a lot of incredible leaps and bounds in resources that can help with everyday tasks.
However, finding software which will automatically update for you is highly recommended. You don’t necessarily have time to check a system or update an inventory list every day, but if you can do that automatically with the help of a computer program, you’ll save a lot of time and effort. Thankfully, a lot of programs offer this already.
If possible, use things like Google Docs and Sheets, because they update their content regardless of which device you use. You can go from your phone to your computer and the information is up to date.
#2 – Never Underestimate What You Can Do For Yourself
One of the most significant challenges that a parent business owner will face is money. You are trying to generate an income to look after yourself and your family, and at the same time pay for your bills and expenses. Therefore, you will naturally want to spend as little money as possible to keep your business running at peak efficiency.
There are a lot of things that you can do for yourself to save money. Creating SEO rich content for a website that you’ve made, using social media platforms to promote yourself, marketing your business without the aid of a third-party – these are all money-saving strategies. If you can learn to do something for yourself, then it is a good idea to try.
As a helpful benefit, everything you do for yourself is another skill. It’s good to have when you want to branch your services out.
#3 – Time Management is Critical
Your time is precious. When you are trying to look after young children, your time is even more precious than normal. So you have to be ruthless about how you split your time between the office and the home, and what you allow yourself in the way of time to do menial tasks.
Quite a few entrepreneurs approach their day-to-day routines with a certain lack of urgency. They do what they can, they don’t really have a schedule in place, and this works when they don’t have any other responsibilities. You do, so you need a rough idea of what you have to accomplish each day, how much time you have to do certain things, and making sure that everything in your domestic life has been taken care of at the same time.
It’s all about cultivating that work-life balance and spending enough time with your kids. Expansion is nothing if you don’t have the time for the important stuff in life.
#4 – Have an Expansion Plan
If you are going to grow as a business, and expand as a parent entrepreneur, you have to have a plan. You need to have a goal, a place where you’re trying to get to, a position in your life that you are aiming for, and it has to be realistic, achievable, and have a defined timescale.
An expansion plan is often quite a fun thing to do, simply because you can set whatever goal you want. You can reach whatever height you think is appropriate, so long as it’s achievable and feasible. But you need an expansion plan if you’re going to think about doing anything remotely connected to growing your business as a parent entrepreneur, because it’s so easy to get stuck.
#5 – Network as Much as Possible
As a parent entrepreneur, you are part of an exclusive market comprised of thousands of other people who are in exactly the same position as you. Despite what you might think about rivalries and the cutthroat world of business, this is good. It means that you have plenty of opportunities to network, and to promote yourself to other people.
Now obviously, you have to be careful when it comes to networking. It’s all about picking the right people to ingratiate yourself with, doing things tactically. It’s not a point in going fraternising with another writing service if you’re also a writing service, because you’re just rivals. However, if you go and work with graphic designers, musical creators, marketers, you develop a whole selection of contacts which will help you. You might even be able to do little favours for each other.
Networking is vital. So many people don’t, and then they can’t move forward as a business because they’re trapped in a bubble of isolation.
Growing as a business isn’t easy. A lot of people try every year and fail. But you can do it. You have the focus, the commitment and the drive to succeed. But most importantly, you have strategies to help you succeed.
Everything you do in life needs that all-important direction. You can’t hope to succeed if you aren’t thinking about what it is that works for you. You have so many chances to succeed and so many potential options. Fortune favours those who are prepared to go after what they want with both hands. If you can do that, then you can quite easily move forward. Remember, it’s all for the kids, so if nothing else, do it for them!
Do you ever worry about some of the business pitfalls you could face? Here are a few common problems along with the right solutions.
Hacks are an issue that a lot of business owners think only impacts the massive companies. It’s understandable why you might assume that’s the case. After all, when we hear about hacks in the media, it’s usually on a company like Disney, Sony, or Equifax. But that doesn’t mean that smaller businesses aren’t targeted. They can be, for one reason. Criminals assume that these businesses won’t have the right level of security in place. You don’t want to prove them right here. You need to make sure that you are protecting your company. There are a few ways to do this, but antivirus software is a smart place to start.
Injuries have been causing expensive issues for businesses for years. Indeed, in the UK, there have been debates about whether to change the law so that it is far more difficult to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is due to the fact that UK firms, in particular, are being inundated with claims. The amount that you could have to pay through this type of lawsuit differs. It depends on the extent of the injury and the ramifications it could have for the individual. However, it’s not uncommon for the damages to exceed one hundred thousand.
Now you might think that this is a problem that is really only going to affect large businesses with multiple employees working in a factory or an office. But it’s not just employees that could get hurt. It could also be a customer or client. Let’s say that you meet a client in a coffee shop and they trip over a strap on your bag. If this happens, you are liable. That’s why exploring liability insurance options on a site like https://www.onesureinsurance.co.uk/ could be a smart move for your company.
You may also want to think about issues with reviews in your business. Bad reviews can cripple a company. Particularly when you consider that more than 80% of customers will check reviews before they commit to purchasing a product. If you have bad reviews, it’s important not to leave them to fester. You must take action and ensure that you can correct the situation. Sometimes, this is just a case of responding to the review in question and ensuring that your customers feel as though they are being listened to.
It’s time to pay the taxes for your company, but are you prepared? Do you know how to ensure that you are accurately recording your levels of profits? Do you know the deductions that you can make for your business? These are important questions to ask because if you slip up here, you could underpay your tax. This can leave you in a difficult situation where you suddenly owe thousands. The good news is that you can avoid this as long as you hire an accountant. They’ll take care of this issue for you and keep you on the right track. You can learn more about paying business tax on https://smallbusiness.co.uk/.
Setting up a small business is a major feat. You have to fill a gap in the market, providing customers with something they want or need that will generate sales and help make you a whole lot of money. It’s not all too surprising then that a whole lot of time, effort and thought goes into product development, market research, manufacturing, advertising, marketing campaigns and more. Some areas that are actually pretty important can often slip under the radar. One of these areas that is relatively neglected is the packaging. When you have your product ready and raring to go, you’re going to have to package it to get it out to your customers. Put plenty of thought into this process. It can help with branding. It can portray brand values. It can catch people’s eyes, and it can actually serve as good marketing in and of itself! Here are a few areas of packaging to focus on!
Keep It Environmentally Friendly
Increasing numbers of people are understanding just how much we’re damaging the planet. We’re ruining it for ourselves, as well as all of the other creatures that inhabit it. Commerce has a profoundly detrimental impact on the environment, so it’s important that you do your part and make sure that your packaging is eco friendly. Generally speaking, most packaging has a temporary purpose and will be disposed of. Once customers have purchased a product, they will generally unwrap it and throw the packaging away. This is why it’s so important that you choose recyclable or (preferably) biodegradable materials. Make sure that labelled gives clear instructions on how people can dispose of the packaging responsibly.
Make Sure It Protects Your Products
When choosing packaging, remember its main purpose – to house and protect your products so that they reach your customers in perfect condition. So, make sure that your packaging achieves this. Different options are great from different products. Some products will be best boxed. Some will be great in a flat bottom pouch. Whatever you opt for, simply make sure that it protects the products inside from scratches, marks, dust, or contamination.
Make Sure It’s Branded
Once you’ve got the basics under wrap (no pun intended), you can start focusing on the fun parts – branding your packaging. This is a great opportunity to imprint your brand on customers’ minds. Make sure all packages are branded. Have your brand name, logo, colours and anything else brand associated wherever possible. If your packaging looks particularly nice, people will like to take photos with it and share the images with their friends and others – whether that’s via text or on social media. This is free advertising and marketing that you should aim to take advantage of!
Sure, packaging might not be at the forefront of your mind when it comes to improving your business. But it can really help to generate profits, build brand loyalty and imprint your brand onto customers’ minds. So, never underestimate it. Hopefully, the above information will help you to get your packaging on point the first time around.
Being a parent entrepreneur is a challenge for many. You have to try and juggle the complexities of raising a child with the equally stimulating challenges of running a business. A lot of people want to start down this pathway, but they don’t know what they need for success.
In fact, what a lot of people don’t know is that there are three critical things which people need for success, and budding parent entrepreneurs should definitely make sure they have acquired all of these before they start down the difficult route of running a business. Let’s take a look at them together.
A Stable Career and Free Time
One of the first things that you are going to need is a stable career and some free time. A lot of people recommend that jumping into the world of entrepreneurship is not something you do unless you have a stable plan. As tempting as it can be to quit your job and focus entirely on your business, if you don’t have a good income, you’re going to put yourself and your family in jeopardy. What we recommend instead is that you gradually build an entrepreneurial business over time, while working your other job, so you can continue to support your family while you get the business off the ground. When you can make a similar sort of income from your business, it’s the right time to quit that job.
A Proper Schedule
If you’re going to even stand a chance at successfully running your own business, you need to have a good schedule in place. If you’re going to balance raising kids while running a business, you have to make sure that you have your day planned before you even start. You need to know how are you going to keep the kids entertained while you’re working, who is going to pick them up from school when you will stop work to sort out dinner and look after them. There are so many little considerations that people just don’t think about, and what this means is that there is this unfortunate sense of confusion in chaos which really can play havoc with the lives of budding parent entrepreneurs.
Patience and Discipline!
Being a parent entrepreneur is difficult. This is going to be one of the most challenging things you’ve ever had to do, because not only are you looking after your kids, but you’re trying to support your entire family through a business. You need to have patience and discipline. You have to be disciplined enough to get on with things when you need to, and you need to have the patience for when things aren’t going your way.
Overall, these are just three of the things every budding parent entrepreneur should have. It’s definitely difficult to maintain a sense of balance in your life when you’re trying to run a business and raise kids, but if you’re sensible about it, and you understand what the important things in life are, you’ll definitely see success.
First appearances mean a lot in the world of business. When new clients approach you, they’re often looking for professionalism. This is often a sign that you take your business seriously and that you’re willing to go the extra mile in order to impress the people you work with. In addition, professionalism tends to give your customer and clients peace of mind. This increases the chance that they’ll work with you, and it leads to a better overall experience for the customer.
As such, it’s important to make your business look and feel more professional if you want to appeal to a wider audience, and in this article, we’re going to take a look at exactly how you can do that.
Look the part
While a lot of businesses are completely online nowadays, it’s still important to dress up for the few occasions that you might go to a public event or appear in photographs for press reasons. This typically means dressing up in appropriate clothing for your industry and also working on your appearance so that you don’t scare away potential customers. You don’t have to look extravagant–just somewhat presentable is enough!
Talk the part
It’s also important that you talk like a professional business. This can mean a number of different things, such as using the appropriate language and terminology when speaking to clients, or speaking politely when helping customers with support issues. We think that being professional with your tone of voice is a fantastic way to maintain a good appearance, but it’s also important to be relaxed and comfortable when talking in public.
Get a professional email address
A professional email address will enhance appearances by a considerable amount. A lot of smaller businesses tend to use emails from websites like Google or even Yahoo. While this is fine for most basic purposes, you’ll need to eventually need to upgrade to a proper email address that represents your company. There are many ways to do this, and some email hosts such as Google actually offer a paid service for a custom email domain.
Stop using templates on your website
Many smaller businesses tend to use templates for their website because it’s faster to get something started. However, there are usually only a limited number of templates, and you could pick something that looks exactly like someone else’s website. This can look incredibly unprofessional. It’s also worth getting a custom website design to ensure that it actually fits your needs instead of trying to fit your website around someone else’s design.
Register a domain name
A domain name will ensure that your website looks more professional. A domain name is essentially a website name which most people will already have. However, there are some businesses that might still be using a free or low-cost service that involves a subdomain. This could be something like yoursite.service.com. Instead of being associated with a web host, a domain name of your choice will help to create a more professional appearance.
Dress your staff as well
This is mainly for physical stores that employ a couple of staff members. Having matching workwear is great for a number of reasons. Firstly, it allows your customers to identify who is actually working for you. Secondly, it gives your staff a unified appearance which makes your entire store look more professional. Lastly, it helps give your staff members an identity when they work for you since they’ll feel more like they’re part of the team.
Respond to queries
You should also make sure that you respond to different queries on platforms such as social media where your responses (or lack of) are publicly shown. It’s also important to respond to emails and the majority of private messages, but answering questions on public platforms takes priority given how important it is to maintain a professional appearance.
Stick to your area of expertise
A lot of businesses tend to branch out of their comfort zone. This is a great way to explore new options for products and services to offer, but it can often lead to some issues. Since you’re trying to attract audiences that you’re not familiar with, it can often lead to some embarrassing situations where you demonstrate a lack of experience or knowledge in an area. This leads to some very unprofessional results and can stain your reputation if you’re not careful. Stick to your area of expertise to maintain a professional appearance, or do ample research before you attempt to break into a new market.
Working in retail can be challenging at times but is also a gratifying way to make a living. People need and love to shop, and you’re there to meet these demands. As a business owner, you have a lot on your plate, but you have to know what to focus your energy on the most to succeed.
There’s a lot of competition out there, so you need to be able to stand apart from the crowd and your competitors. Therefore, discover ways to elevate your retail business so you can drum up interest in your business and increase sales. Put in the effort, and you’ll soon notice the rewards that emerge for your time and energy spent focusing on the right elements.
Take Pride in the Set up of Your Store
It’s in your best interest to configure your store strategically so that you can provide customers with a positive shopping experience. Take pride in your store’s set up and pay attention to the small details that will make a big difference. For example, the right female mannequins can provide you with an ideal way to show off your latest styles and merchandise and truly elevate your business.
Train Your Staff
You need to have consistency and offer exceptional customer service if you want to excel in retail. Therefore, take the time to train your staff and ensure that they know your policies and how you expect they treat each customer who does business with you. Training your staff will help you to sleep better at night because you’ll know that each client is receiving the same treatment and will walk away, feeling satisfied with their shopping experience. Focus on providing a personalised experience for each person so that they feel valued. Greet individuals who enter your store and offer your expert opinion and advice if they ask for it.
Reward Your Customers
Customers will likely want to shop with you again when you show appreciation for their business and reward them fairly. Offer loyalty programs or points systems so they can save money the more they shop with you. Host events where your most loyal customers get a sneak peek at what new items are coming or can bring a friend with them and shop and save together. Run special sales and promotions every so often so that customers don’t always have to pay full price for the merchandise.
Be Decisive about Your Merchandise
Another way to elevate your retail business is to be decisive about your merchandise. It means that you aren’t keeping items around that aren’t selling or popular. Pick and choose what’s in your store wisely and carefully so that you can guarantee that you hit your sales goals and numbers. Study the latest trends, network frequently, and be up to date with the recent fashions so that your store carries all the right merchandise that people will want to buy. You want to avoid having items sitting in your store that aren’t gaining any attention or interest over time.
Running a business is challenging at the best of times, but when you have children, it can be even more of a juggling act. Of course, it is also considered the best time by many to start a business, but in order to get that work/life dream, you must learn to overcome the obstacles you will naturally face, and not be scared off. It might not be the easy route, but parent-preneurs everywhere will tell you it is worth the handwork and they never want to return to the 9-5 for someone else.
So, just how do you overcome the challenges?
By all means, write your yourself some plans but don’t expect them to be set in stone. On a good day, you will achieve all you set out to achieve, and on a bad day you will end up with an emergency dash to school or nursery to retrieve a poorly child and end up wondering how on earth you can possibly make this work. Take a deep breath and remember, this too shall pass. Flexibility is the key, so while you might not want to be sending involves at 10 pm, once in a while, this is just how it goes down in the world of small business ownership.
Your network is crucial so build it well. Look for both a parent and business network and things will get so much easier. As a parent networking with others in the same situation gives you a little bit of childcare breathing space if you can take turns to do school pickups and after school care, you both get some much-needed time to work. In the world of business, you can look for mutually acceptable trade-offs, perhaps one of you is a social media expert and the other a bookkeeper? Sometimes a company doesn’t have to be about money it can be about an exchange of services to keep things ticking over.
Balance the Art of Saying No
Strangely so many people have a vocabulary that seems to have the word ‘no’ missing. It is a word that scares people in business, but it is a misconception that companies cannot say no. Sometimes it is far better to say no than fail to complete a task or order on time and get negative feedback. Of course, the skill is learning to communicate with alternatives, so saying things like, while I cannot complete that by your preferred date, I could do it by x. People respect honesty and understand that running a business can sometimes be busy. You must also learn the art of saying no to the business as a while and taking time out to spend with friends and family. It is important you do not always say no and cancel out on your time with in-laws, kids plays, and other events. One day you will wish you had been there, so try and strike some sort of work-life balance while you can.
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