5 tips on how to finance your business start-up


5 tips on how to finance your business start-up

As a parent entrepreneur, it can be difficult to find the time and money to finance a startup business. No business can be run for free, which means that finding ways to finance it are critical. You have to look for the best opportunities and take whatever’s available to you, even if it’s not always clear what route to take. To try and help you with your business, we’re going to be taking a look at a few of the different tips that you can follow to try and finance a startup.

Consider A Loan

One of the easiest and most simplistic ways to get money to finance your start-up business is just to get a loan. It’s not especially complicated in modern society, with many establishments offering loans which are specifically aimed at the startup business. With all the different options available, you can easily find a loan which will work for your specific circumstances.

Crowdfunding/Kickstarter Campaigns

The thing about a lot of startups is that they have some seriously good ideas. However, these new thoughts and concepts are blocked off by a lack of funding. To try and compensate for this, why not consider a Kickstarter or crowdfunding campaign? This means your business will actually be funded by people who are interested in the ideas you have and may even go on to be your customers and clients when you get going.

Angel Investors

Sometimes, you need someone to recognise the potential of your business and agree to help finance it. Angel investors back a lot of startups they provide the funding for an idea, and in return, they get a percentage of your future profit, or a free service, or whatever their terms are. It’s a great method for your startup, so don’t write it off.

Ask Family and Friends

Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to presume that you have to do this alone. Your family and friends might be willing to lend you the money to start up a business. Perhaps this means that you cut them a discount or give them something for free now and then. But they’re a fairly safe place to borrow money from.

Spend Your Own Money

Perhaps as a parent entrepreneur, you do actually have some spare cash lying around. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but it could be enough for an ad campaign or getting started. Make sure that you use it wisely, however, and remember to invest it where it’s sensible.

Overall, these are just a few of the different things you can do to finance a startup business. It’s not always an easy thing to do, but once you get going, it does tend to get easier. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone and that you’ll have people you can lean on in tough times. Remember to have faith in your service or product, because we’re sure it’s a good one.

Do you dream of starting your own business and becoming your own boss?

Have you got a business idea but don’t know where to start? Enrol in Create Launch Grow a start-up course for parents click here to find out more.

 

3 Ways To Cut Costs While Building A Business


3 Ways To Cut Costs While Building A Business

Business building is a difficult task at the best of times. Factor in being full time parents and the business only being a startup and you’ve got your work cut out for you. However, it’s also a very costly endeavour if you’re not properly prepared to do so. Cutting costs for your business is difficult, but not impossible. We’re going to be taking a look at three different ways that you can effectively cut back what you spend and not have to worry quite so much.

Use Social Media Where You Can

When building a business, who wouldn’t want to take advantage of free marketing? That’s where social media comes into play pretty effectively. Often one of the best tools for entrepreneurs, social media offers you a wealth of resources for basically no cost. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. These all offer you a unique way of cutting costs without compromising on marketing and reach.

Get Creative

As parents, you’ve probably had to improvise a situation before. It’s unfortunately not a guaranteed thing that every event will go according to plan. Therefore, a lot of parents will be able to adapt and be creative. This skill set can actually help you to cut down on costs. By getting creative with your business, you can save a lot of money. For example, why spend money on accounting software to track finances when you can work a spreadsheet with the correct know how? It’s little things like that which will really help. You’ll be saving money and also demonstrating a unique and creative approach to problems, which will help you during the life of your business.

Consider Crowdfunding

When you’re trying to cut costs, why not ask other people to do it for you? Crowdfunding is a great way for people to save money on the building of their business. It means that someone else is funding your business because they like the idea of the services and goods that you offer. They’ll often be some of your best customers as well because they’ve seen your idea from the very beginning and support your way of doing things. It’s definitely a good way to reduce your expenses, and can even help you to find entire portions of your business without paying a penny.

Overall, these are three of the best ways for startups to cut costs. It’s not always easy to do, but it is highly recommended because you don’t want to spend masses to get started. You won’t be making any kind of profit until you’re generating more than the startup costs and more than the running costs. Therefore, it’s best to keep these kinds of costs as low as possible. Otherwise, you’ll find that you’re not making enough money to get by, and this can be dangerous. It’s important to try and bring down all of the different costs for your business, and this can be accomplished in a variety of different ways. You just have to stay calm and figure out what’s best for you.

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How to maintain self-discipline daily


How to maintain self-discipline daily

Keeping yourself grounded and disciplined can be difficult when you’re a parent entrepreneur. Parents especially have to manage their own temptations alongside a business and a family. Therefore, it can understandably become very difficult to do so. As people, we’re presented with a lot of different temptations. It’s a very liberal society where not a lot is restricted to you. This can make it really easy to lose track of what’s important and to give into temptation. To try and help, we’re going to be looking at a few ways to maintain some self-discipline.

Remove Temptations In Your Path

It’s hardest to ignore something when it’s right in front of you. People often struggle with temptation the most when it becomes a case of having to maintain yours all the time. Parents will often find that if there’s something there that’s tempting, they’ll be more likely to give in if they have to look at it all day. To try and prevent this, you should endeavor to remove the temptation from your life. This can extend to both your professional and personal life. You want a brand new item for your office, but it’s frivolous? Sign out of sites like Amazon and eBay. You want to just stick a ready meal into the microwave at the end of a long day? Don’t keep them in the house. It’s little things like this that will help you to maintain self-discipline. The more work you have to do in order to get something, the more chances you have to stop and change your mind.

Be Fair With Yourself

When trying to maintain a sense of self-discipline, whether as parents or the owners of a startup, try not to be too harsh with yourself. In spite of all the efforts you may go to, you are still a human being. All the limitations and personal weaknesses that you may be prone to are completely natural. Therefore, you can’t beat yourself up too much or be too harsh on yourself. Remember that motivation is a large part of maintaining self-discipline, so try and reward that motivation. Have a treat, whether it’s going for a nice walk or some chocolate. It’s important to be fair to yourself when it comes to maintaining self-discipline. Otherwise, you won’t be able to keep up whatever you’re trying to do.

Overall, maintaining self-discipline can be tricky, but is an important part of life whether you’re entrepreneurs or mums and dads. It’s not just important for us, but also for our kids. They look to us for guidance on what to do and how to do it, and we’re setting them an example all the time whether we know it or not. Therefore, it’s so essential that you try and look strong for your children, but also to prove to yourself that you can be strong as well. Life is as much about proving things to ourselves as well as anyone else.

How to make the most from twitter hours


How to make the most from twitter hours

Running a business can be a challenging task for the parent entrepreneur. One of the major challenges you’ll face is trying to grow a successful business while raising a family. This means that you don’t have all day to make alterations to a website, or to keep an eye on social media accounts like Twitter. That’s why you have to make sure that you get the most from Twitter hours. To try and help you make sure that you do this, we’re going to be taking a look at what they are and how you can make the most of their benefits.

So, What Is A Twitter Hour?

To begin with, you need to understand what a twitter hour actually is. Imagine an event which has been designed to make the most of Twitter for businesses. With a specific hashtag, you can join in a conversation solely about one thing. It’s a way for people and businesses to showcase their ideas, appeal to customers and clients, and see what the competition is doing.

How Do I Make The Most Of A Twitter Hour?

Reaping the benefits of a Twitter hour is one thing, but fully maximising these benefits is another. You have to be ready to go when the hour starts, and to have a clear plan for what you’re going to promote or what educational value you want to bring to a conversation, how you’re going to promote it, and also how you’ll respond to the queries of customers and clients.

A clear understanding of the area you’re promoting in is also absolutely critical. You should try and work out what will sell. This will also involve making sure that you’re promoting in the right twitter hours. There’s a lot of them on the platform, with the same premise often having multiple hashtags which link to different conversations. You need to find the optimum place to promote yourself because that’s one of the ways that your business can grow properly. You should also take the time to properly engage with other businesses because the more exposure your business gets, the better. If the followers of another organisation see them interacting with you, this raises the possibility that you’ll get more people taking an interest in you and thus improving your business.

Overall, the benefits of a Twitter hour are well worth the effort, but you do have to know how to take advantage of the time you have. It’s important to be ready in advance because this will save you scrambling for content and ideas. Engagement with other companies is also heavily recommended because that way you’re really getting your business out there. The Twitter hour is perfect for parent entrepreneurs because they don’t necessarily have all day to spend on Twitter, checking feeds and interacting with people. Sometimes a short and concentrated burst of socialisation is better than an extended duration. What you will come to find is that people do respond well to the Twitter hour, which allows you to reap the benefits of connecting with potential customers and clients.

 

The do’s and don’ts of starting your own business


The do’s and don'ts of starting your own business

Parent entrepreneur. Unfortunately, these are two words which we don’t hear together as much as we’d like. If you’re reading this, it’s probably safe to assume that you would quite like to learn how to start up your own business, but aren’t sure what the do’s and don’ts are. To try and help with that, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the top things you should both do and not do when it comes to starting a business.

Do take the plunge

First and foremost, it is really important that you take the time to stop and think about what it is that you are worried about when it comes to starting that business. A lot of parent entrepreneurs will tell you that they hesitated at the beginning. However, you’ve just got to be brave and push past the fear. The thing about a startup is that if you’re smart, there’s no need to sink yourself hundreds of pounds into debt. You can easily start a business without breaking the bank, so be brave and go for it!

The do’s and don'ts of starting your own business

Don’t rush in without a plan

Yes, by all means, go for the business that you’ve always dreamed about. But don’t ever go into something without a clear plan of what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it. Being a parent entrepreneur means that you have to try and balance your own ideas and business plans with raising children, and you don’t want to put them at risk. You shouldn’t necessarily throw away a full time and well-paying job for a business that doesn’t have a clear and viable future. It’s therefore important to make sure that you plan beforehand so that you don’t find yourself in any kind of trouble.

Do use social media

As a parent entrepreneur, you might find that you don’t have a lot of money to invest in a startup business. Sure, you might have a few savings that you can use to get started, but trying to promote your business on a budget can be difficult. Therefore, we suggest using social media. It’s a great way for practically free advertising and helps you to promote your startup with friends, family and the internet at large. With more and more people joining social media every day, the chance to promote yourself and get seen more rises.

Overall, these are just a few things to consider when it comes to making your own business as a parent entrepreneur. We know that it can’t always be easy – writing articles for someone or packing orders wasn’t necessarily designed with a child in your arms! However, if you’ve got an idea for a business and a passion for doing so, then, by all means, take the time to develop your startup and make it something incredible.

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

How to Prepare Your Family For Back to School and Business


How to Prepare Your Family For Back to School and Business

Summer holidays are awesome! You get to spend loads of time together with the family creating memories. For the parentpreneur, it can mean you have had to juggle work and spend time with the kids. Back to school can come as quite a shock as you have had no fraught mornings trying to get everyone ready, meals times become fluid, and there is no homework to supervise. So when September comes, just how do you prepare your family for back to school and business?

Start the Groundwork Early

Make sure that everyone knows the routine is about to change again. You will probably have gone shopping for new school stuff, so this is an excellent time to talk about things. If bedtimes have been less rigid then about a week before term starts it is good to put the routines back into place. A calendar is an excellent visual aid that the children can be involved in while you are juggling getting things ready for work and school. Picture cues can be great for younger kids, so it helps them understand that they are off to school again. Get older children to take responsibility for specific tasks and help the younger ones get ready. Have a school collection point in each bedroom so you can easily see if everything is accounted for in terms of clothing, shoes, PE kit, lunch boxes, and water bottles, etc.

Make a List for School

In order to remember everything that needs to happen, or that needs to be purchased, make a list. A large sheet of paper or a whiteboard in the kitchen means that kids play their part. They can add things that they think need to happen and if you agree you can add them to the master list. Prioritise them as you add them into date order. Leaving school shopping right to the end can mean things are sold out, it also gives you less time to sort any problems like new shoes not fitting as well as hoped. If someone has a new pick up point or will be walking a new route add this as a practice item. It can be an activity that everyone helps with; perhaps a good dog walk with the family.

The Business Side

Here is another excellent place to start a list. If you have been on reduced hours in order to spend time with the family, this is a great time to start another list of things you have to do once everyone is safely back in school on the first day. Don’t expect miracles in the first couple days; it is almost inevitable that problems will occur. Lunches left at home to first day nerves, many things will crop up that need your attention. Be realistic with your time planning and leave anything not urgent until the second half of the week, or even until week two of school. Most parentpreneurs will tell you that work, school, and home are the biggest juggling act ever but when you love what you do, so worth it.

3 Simple ways to control your productivity


3 Simple ways to control your productivity

Effective time management can seem an impossible task.  You are trying to work, run a household, look after the kids and act as the frontline for anything new and unexpected.  It is no wonder you sometimes feel like all you do is race around yet the to-do pile remains stacked high, and nothing seems to get done.

Here are three simple ways to control your productivity.

Create a Plan

Make lists.  Lists are the best way to ensure you have a clear plan in your head.  Whether you prefer to have a pen and paper type list or you get an app to control your list for you, the important thing is to use it.  Section tasks into three categories.  High, medium and low priority, as this makes it even easier to see what you need to do next.  High priority tasks should be those that need completing within the day, that really cannot wait, and that have a considerable significance to your work.  Being more organised and structured immediately adds to productivity. Low priority tasks can wait for another day but if you get through everything else you know you can tackle them and get them off the list.  It is quite satisfying to watch the task list dwindle, however, if things do not go according to plan and the workload is still not getting done, instead of beating yourself up, remember that you have done the planning work so tomorrow should be more accessible.

Section Your Day

Once you have your to-do list, you know what order the work is going in.  The next step is to ensure you section your day into manageable chunks.  Bring a parent entrepreneur changes over time so you can subtle tweak your day to get things in. As the children get older you will often find you have more extended time chunks available to work; when they are younger, you will just have to bear with things as they inevitably interrupt you.  By creating work sections in your day, and taking breaks in between, you should find it is more comfortable even with little ones. Breaks are significant as you need to recharge your batteries so continually working through meals times and all other events are not suitable for you or for the business.  Split the day into 30-minute sections and in between make yourself get up, use the restroom, make a drink and walk around for a bit.  If you have children around at that time spend ten mins with them.

 Limited Social Time

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters.  It is all too easy if you work alone from home to find yourself checking in to see what is happening on Facebook.  Make a plan that during your chunks of time you have allowed for working you will also stay off social media.  Take calls that are work-related or emergency child related and leave the rest until you have finished for the day or have taken a break.  Catch up with your social media before you start and if needs be close social browser windows and silence notifications.

We run a productivity challenge sign up for the next one here. 

How to start a business while on maternity leave


How to start a business while on maternity leave

Having a new baby and starting out on your path to parenthood is never easy. Not only do you have to adjust to looking after a small person who is entirely dependant on you, but there are also likely to be some changes to your work life too.

The first one of these is maternity leave. Maternity leave is when you are off work to take care of your baby. For some, this could be a couple of months, while some may get as much as a year. Being on maternity leave will often be the best time. However, there is always the dread that you will have to return to work at some point.

What if we told you that it was possible to make a major change to your life and your career while you are on maternity leave?

Setting up your own business is a big leap at any point in your life. However, when you are on maternity leave, it can seem a whole lot scarier. If you are considering it, why not take a look through our guide to setting up a business on maternity leave.

Remember your job is still secure

We have said that it can be scary, setting up a business while you are on maternity leave it actually makes sense. You are going to be dedicated to your little one, of course, but you are also likely to have more time then you realise for yourself too. Despite being at home, able to think about different things to do with your career and business, you are still being paid by your current employer which means that there is minimal risk to your financial situation.

Talk to as many people as possible

Just like with any big decision in your life, if you are considering setting up a business on maternity leave, then it makes sense to try and talk to as many people as possible. Learn their experiences and their opinions on your plans and take away from them some of their key points. Of course, the decision is all going to be yours, they should never influence what you end up doing, but they may have some valuable advice.

We interviewed Charlotte Wise the owner of Bip Bop Shop she set up a business while on maternity leave check out the interview here.

Take your time to write a business plan

Setting yourself up in business means that you need to sit down and think about what you want to do. Not only the initial idea or spark that puts your business wheels in motion, but also how you think you are going to go about it. You need to think about how you will finance your business and how you will make sure that it is a success.

Get used to working around being a parent

One of the hardest things to get used to when you are a parent and someone who runs a business, is balancing the two. Whilst you can be flexible with the times that you work, you are going to have to make sure that you are still dedicated to both. Learn to work in the evenings, or in the early mornings, as well as learning how to work when your little one has a nap. Once you manage all these things, then you will be well on your way to mastering the two.

Setting up a business on maternity leave makes great sense, so why not try it out for yourself? If you have an idea and you want to put it into motion, the break from work may just give you the opportunity to decide exactly what it is that you want to do.

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

How to Tell Your Children About Divorce and Separation


How to Tell Your Children About Divorce and Separation

Getting a divorce isn’t easy for any member of the party, and it may be difficult to tell your children about the family changes that are taking place. However, telling your children about divorce or separation doesn’t have to be as difficult as you may think.

There are ways to approach telling your children that will still make them feel confident and loved, and here is how:

Tell Them Together

During a divorce, it is common for a child/children to take sides and for one parent to come out of the divorce process worse than the other. By telling your children about the change together, it presents a united front, and it will show that both parents can still be civil and will stop your child getting dragged into any conflict if there is any.

If this cannot happen, then the best option would be to communicate with each other before telling the child, so that you both know what will be said at the discussion. A structured plan of what to say and what not to say will stop the absent parent from being shone in a bad light, and to avoid sadness for the child.

Tell the Truth

Your children deserve to know the truth and nothing less. This process will affect them emotionally, and there is no point in lying about what is going on, especially when it may come out in the future.

While sharing some of these details with your children may be difficult, you want it to be as easy as possible for them to understand and it is the best way to go about this. By telling them the truth, they will be able to ask questions, plus open and share their feelings more. You know your children better than anyone else, so only use simple language that they are comfortable with.

Tell Them Things Will Be Different

There is no point in denying the fact that this separation will have a big impact on your child’s life and it is important to acknowledge that and not brush it under the table. Your children won’t want to hear about all the changes, but it is important that they know how the movement will affect everyone involved.

Mention everything that may change over the next couple of weeks, whether this is in their home life or education, as the divorce may affect their results as well as living arrangements. Parents should really take this opportunity to emphasise everything that will remain the same, as children hate change.

Tell Them You Love Them

One of the simplest points: remind your child how much not just you, but your soon to be ex-partner love them. It is a reminder to tell your children that they are a production of love and that both of you will be there to support your child throughout every milestone.

Listen to Them

Children, especially those that are younger, may have a lot of questions and it is important to answer these questions rather than avoiding them. The process isn’t just about telling your children about the change, but supporting them throughout the difficult time and it is important to listen to their worries and feelings.

Once the news has been shared with your children, sit back and listen to everything that they may have to say about the situation and comfort them in the best way possible. You should encourage your children to share their feelings and help them communicate exactly what they’re thinking.

For more information about all aspects of divorce and family law, speak to experienced divorce solicitors at Howells.

Howells Solicitors

This post has been written by Karis Jones, a solicitor in the family law department at Howells Solicitors. Karis’ main area of expertise is private, and public law children matters although she has also obtained several non-Molestation orders for those that have been subjected to domestic violence. Karis also offers legal surgeries on a monthly basis at the YMCA, Huggard centre, and Women’s Aid.

6 excellent tips to remember when using video chat for customer service


6 excellent tips to remember when using video chat for customer service

Let’s face it: The Internet and connectivity, as well as social platforms, have completely revolutionized customer service. Decades ago, stopping by a physical store or making a phone call were the only ways that customers could reach you. Now, they can email, call, visit, and they can video chat.
There are a lot of things that are advantageous for companies interested in pursuing video chat. First of all, it distinguishes your company from the crowd you stand out and are willing to give people the chance to connect with you on a very human and very personal level. It offers value and community.

There are a number of different ways to think about video chat for customer service. One is to screen share particularly helpful if you’re trying to understand an issue, such as a computer problem, that’s going on. What else should you consider? This graphic explains it.


6 Tips to Remember When Using Video Chat for Customer Service

Author Bio: Kaylee White
Ghergich & Co.
Ghergich.com

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