5 Tips to Prepare Your Business for a Natural Disaster


5 Tips to Prepare Your Business for a Natural Disaster

Hurricanes, Tornado, Floods, and wildfires are some of the natural disasters that can cause a business loss of up to $ 150 billion. Notice is usually given before there appearances, can your business survive the natural disaster? A good entrepreneur is one who knows how to endure such a crush before they lose everything. That is why with the tips provided below, you can prepare your small business for the next tragedy before it’s too late.

  • Create a response plan

Surviving a disaster needs preparation, a loser will act after the tragedy has destroyed everything including people’s life. Have a written plan that entails all the actions that the company will take in case of a natural disaster. Ensure all your employees are aware of the idea, and for your tactics to work out, you have to ensure there are several meetings for the same if something new comes to your attention. More so, your employees have to be aware of the escape route plans, the usage of the firefighting tools and so on. You can establish a remote system and appoint some employees will work from home if there is a shutdown.

  • Insurance coverage

You have to review regularly your the insurance coverage of your business to be sure of enough coverage. Investing in insurance coverage is the best weapon during a natural disaster. That is why you must have an insurance cover that caters for extended coverage, property loss, business destructions, and business closure. It should cover for all natural disaster in case one of it happens.

  • Create a good communication plan

Since your property is covered and can be recovered after a breakdown, losing your customers will be a loss, that is why you have to have a communication plan. Employees are part of your business, so they should be aware of your communication plan so that after a temporary shutdown, you will be able to win back your customers and clients. The method is efficient if you manage all communications but have some people leading the clients’ contacts, customers contact, and even the insurance company contact.

  • Storage of company’s data

Back up plan is an essential plan for your business. Retrieving customers contact lists and data after a shutdown is easy if stored in the cloud or other database systems. You should have a reliable hard drive, and a copy of it stored in another office at a safer place. Moreover, with the company’s data in the cloud, employees can still access information on important documents, and ongoing projects, thus, they continue working remotely.

  • Build strong relationships with the employees

Employees are your family and relatives when it comes to business. A good relationship eases the recovery process procedure after a loss. You should also ensure clear communication to your vendors and clients after the disaster so that they also be aware. Your small business can face lots of challenges after a disaster like incapabilities of making a delivery. But keeping your clients updated will save you the loss.

Not everybody can prevent the next natural disaster, but with the above plan, it might save you more than you could have lost. The above method can help your business to be back on its feet earlier than you expected, only if you implement it.

Leona Harrison from Specialty Fuel Services

Working from Home | Navigating the Ins and Outs of Starting a Business Venture


Working from Home | Navigating the Ins and Outs of Starting a Business Venture

It may seem intimidating to start a business with plenty of risks to make the decision a difficult one. Yet, starting a business from home can remove some of the risks, and there are ways you can increase your odds of success. There are many benefits to being your own boss and in control of your schedule, if you prepare and plan well.

What Do You Want?

Wanting to start a business is one thing, but what does that entail? How will you balance home life with a home-based business? Is there a particular niche that you wish to pursue? Consulting offers you choices. You may find that your chosen field offers additional options, so consider how nuanced or broad you want your business to be. Think, as well, about your skill sets, how you want to harness the experience and knowledge that you have accumulated over the years. How might you apply them to a consulting business? Knowing what you want is beneficial, as it may give you solid foundations. After all, a crucial part of consulting is presentation, how best you can lay out proposals to prospective clients. This may be central to how confident you are in communicating core talking points, both about what you can deliver and understanding a client’s needs.

Explore Options

You may be undecided about how you want to harness your existing knowledge. In the meantime, you can still earn money while exploring what form you want your main home business to take. Freelancing gives you various options from writing to photography. Pet sitting, for instance, offers a lot of flexibility. There are plenty of websites catering for freelance pet sitters, allowing you to find clients at your discretion. You can set a schedule that suits other commitments, while you can also determine how much you charge clients. Being a pet sitter is all about choice. For instance, if you are most comfortable with smaller dogs or feel that your patience would allow senior canines to thrive in your presence, you can set your own preferences.

Outline Goals

You know what you want to do, but turning that into a viable business requires some planning. You don’t have to create an elaborate scheme, however. At the very least, research what is legally required of you. What licenses are required? Are there zoning obligations? Then ask yourself what pricing structure you will be looking at. Do you want to set yourself a certain income threshold? As well, think about you will grow your business over time. Factor in how you will market yourself, both analogue and digitally. Social media may prove essential to securing clients, all the more so as you will be home-based. Branding, too, will be important, as knowing what identity and image you want your company to have can give your business a confident start.

Create a Work Environment

Productivity is key to growing any successful venture. Working from home sounds great until you find yourself contending with a myriad of distractions. You need to be able to disengage from anything that could disrupt your schedule. If you live with others, remind them that you are not available during work hours. Of course, there may still be distractions, so consider setting up an office to demarcate work and home life. This is a good way to replicate a professional working environment, allowing you to maximize your time and not lose any impetus. It also can let you switch “work mode” on and off, helping you stave off any burnout caused by being constantly on demand. Your efforts can be supplemented with business tools. They may help you organize your schedule, store your work, and even manage your social media. Whatever it is that you need, you are likely to find a tool for it and help your business in the long-term.

By creating a positive, focused work environment, preparing your goals and thinking outside of the norm, you may be well on your way to a successful home-based business. Don’t discount things like pet sitting, as they can be an excellent way to earn an income on your own terms. Know what you want and go get it today.

Amy Collett is the creator of Bizwell.org, a website that helps professionals and entrepreneurs build and strengthen their personal brand. When she isn’t helping clients boost their careers or businesses, she enjoys coaching her daughter’s soccer team and training to become a yoga instructor.

She is the author of the upcoming book, You, Exemplified: The Role of Personal Branding in Your Professional Life.

Best Ways to Get a Creative Web Design


Best Ways to Get a Creative Web Design

As designers, web developers, thinkers, and marketers we make choices based on the understanding of our target customers. Starting up a web design project is one of the hardest parts as it is to pile up the ideas that are swimming in the head and then give it a final look. Many parts are going on such as there are clients with high expectations to get the project done in the best way. A web design project is not a simple design that can be designed in few stages rather it is a complex process and involves multiple stages. The initial phase of a website design is to identify a goal, scope, wireframe, UI design and web content that further leads to testing to make sure if all the parts are in line and functioning well.

Design with a Visual Hierarchy in Mind:

Best Ways to Get a Creative Web Design

With multiple screens such as desktops, computer screens and smartphone and evolving technology, a professional website designer’s job is to make the design look the same and well on all screen sizes. You only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention and tell them what your site is about and if your website does not have a clear and listed hierarchy of your information, then the user will eventually switch off from your site. Creating a clear hierarchy of information with adequate colors, content and page layout, you gain your user’s attention, and the website becomes a clear and a neat digestible piece of content.

Create Unique And Easy Web Content:

Best Ways to Get a Creative Web Design

Readability measures how easy it is for the people to recognize words, sentences, and phrases. The web content is supposed to be readable and informative, so the readers can grasp the required information they need.

Tips to Improve Readability

  • Don’t let your reader struggle with reading your content. The best rule of thumb is to keep the body text 16pt to make it readable.
  • Feel free to play with colors and add contrast to the page to make the content readable.
  • Try using not more than two fonts in the content. Even if you are using too many fonts in the content, make sure to have a harmonious effect and not a cluttered one.

Keep Easy Navigation:

Best Ways to Get a Creative Web Design

Your website supposedly is not a treasure hunt where your visitors will wander. A website with good navigation help the search engine to index your site and makes it readable for the users and thus improves the user experience.

Tips for Better Navigation:

  • Add the link to your homepage on your logo design for user’s convenience.
  • Work on your footer and add all important links there.

Role of Analytics:

The best way to check if the website is doing its job or not is to monitor its functioning. The final design should include functionality to gauge key indicators such as traffic, goals, and conversions. Your analytics will tell you how visitors are navigating your site and you can also track your performance goals, conversions, and other similar metrics.

SEO Savvy & Security:

Best Ways to Get a Creative Web Design

When designing a website, do not ignore the power of optimising your site for search engines along with humans. Create fresh and unique content, add all important SEO tags and prepare your site for search engines. When you are putting in efforts of creating an SEO and mobile optimised website, then do not compromise on security. Get SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) as it creates an encrypted path for the user’s information and protects user data.

In a nutshell,

Never stop looking for inspiration, always looks up for ideas to improve your website’s efficiency. Remember that users are looking for the least resistant way to accomplish their task, so, simply don’t make them think. Bring in all your creativity when it comes to visual design. You may use colors that reflect your brand and blend it with different font combinations and make sure to check the functionality of your website along with the creative visual design.

Loius Martin is a Digital Marketing Manager at Invictus Studio. He has been transforming businesses into brands by connecting all the dots of branding. With a passion for writing, he has covered major areas of marketing and design.

Invictus studio website

Getting Started in the Gig Economy


Getting Started in the Gig Economy

According to a recent government report, 4.4% of the population of Great Britain has worked in the gig economy in the past 12 months. This may not seem like much, but that is 2.8 million people who have taken control over their working hours and earnings, embracing the freedom and flexibility of freelance and gig-based work. Here’s what you need to know if you are thinking of becoming one of them.

Gig Economy Jobs

Many people are curious about the gig economy but are not sure what they can contribute. Some opt to offer freelance services through online portals like PeoplePerHour, in which you can sell a variety of skills. Popular freelancing skills include writing, editing, design, coding, online research, social media management, and translation.

If you do not feel like you have the skills for these jobs, there is plenty of other work available. Love animals? Dog walking and pet sitting are great examples of gig-style businesses. Were you particularly good at a specific subject at school? There are plenty of tutoring platforms online. Have a bike or a motorbike? Become a delivery courier.

Getting Started

The huge wealth of online freelancing and gig-based platforms available means that it is easier than ever to get started. Each gig-based job works differently though, so it is useful to do your research before signing up.

For instance, bicycle courier jobs are quite easy to get started with (you can be up and running within a couple of days), but there may be upfront costs to signing up. For example, bicycle couriers for popular food delivery services Deliveroo and Uber Eats have to pay £100 and £30 respectively for their basic kit.

For freelancing and skill sharing sites, set-up is often free and straightforward – although some do charge commission per project. You are better off spending some time building a good profile and portfolio on the site, as most of these platforms are highly competitive. A little effort goes a long way to stand out.

Your Online Presence

Online platforms are a great way to get your foot in the door when it comes to freelancing, but if you want to make a career out of it you should be looking to build a brand and an individual online presence.

A website and email with a custom domain (e.g: without a “.wordpress” or “@gmail.com”) address are essential, as they make you seem much more professional. Web builders allow you to put together a sleek-looking website with little to no coding skills, and the cost of domain and hosting can be extremely affordable.

Caveats and Warnings

Be careful when using freelancing platforms, as they are a magnet for scams. Do not accept any work that seems illegitimate or sketchy (mailing parcels on behalf of someone is a common one), and make sure to use a payment release system.

If you want to make a career out of freelancing, you may only want to use these sites to get some experience for your portfolio. For most jobs, you are competing within a global marketplace, including freelancers who can afford to charge much less for their service. You will need a combination of cold-pitching and regular old job hunting on sites like Indeed and LinkedIn to find higher-paying freelance jobs.

It is worth noting that in 2016, Uber lost the right to classify its drivers as self-employed within the UK, which has potentially huge implications for the gig economy. The Guardian reported that cyclists and drivers from several prominent courier companies are trying to achieve the same status, meaning the future of the industry could be very different.

Joining the gig economy is a wonderfully flexible way to increase your income. You can do jobs on the side in your free time, or you can decide to become a remote freelancer with the power to work from anywhere in the world. The gig economy is relatively new and uncertain and may change significantly in the coming years, but it is also filled to the brim with opportunity. Be smart, proactive, and savvy, and you can succeed.

Lucy Reed has been starting businesses since she was a kid, from the lemonade stand she opened in her parent’s driveway at age 10 to the dog walking business she started while in college. She created gigmine.co because she was inspired by the growth of the sharing economy and wanted to make it easier for entrepreneurial individuals like herself to find the gig opportunities in their areas.

5 Reasons Co-working Spaces Work Best For Startups


5 REASONS CO-WORKING SPACES WORK BEST FOR STARTUPS

Startup entrepreneurs all struggle with the lack of manpower and financial resources. However, this does not stop them from creating and bringing out a new product/service out to the market. As proven by the likes of Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Steve Jobs (Apple) and Elon Musk (Tesla), establishing a startup company is just the first step towards bigger and better things.

This does not mean however that the journey would be easy. Even though tech billionaires prove that it is possible to grow a startup company into a multi-million dollar one, the success rate of startups in the U.S. is only at 10%. The remaining 90% of startups closed shop just after 3 to 5 years of business.

One significant factor of startup success is the right management of funds. With the very limited resources a startup has, founders should be very careful and smart about where they put their money. This, of course, would involve cost-cutting, and this is how the need for coworking spaces come in.

Coworking spaces give startup entrepreneurs and their team a place to converge and work in. Unlike traditional office spaces, coworking spaces are more affordable – making them the perfect fit for a startup budget. Aside from that, there are more reasons why coworking spaces are best for startups, such as:

  1. Provides a good place for networking

A coworking space is the best place to meet like-minded entrepreneurs and skilled freelancers who can contribute to the growth of your company. You can strike partnership deals and even find mentors who can help you brainstorm new ideas and improve your product or the company itself. You can also find talented individuals there that can become a great asset for your company’s growth.

  1. Improves productivity and creativity

Notice how most coworking spaces have a modern minimalist look? This is because it encourages creativity and focus for everyone who chooses to work there. The usual office cubicles are so uninspiring. Coworking spaces give people a spacious work desk, good lighting and even some artful pieces to get inspiration from. Some spaces also have game rooms, cafes, creche, kitchens and nap rooms where workers can rest and recharge themselves.

  1. Provides all the office amenities without additional costs

The good thing about a coworking space is that, with just a fixed fee, you already get an office that is equipped with all essential tools and furniture in it (such as desks, chairs, fridge, printers, etc.). Thay may also include restrooms, parking spaces and utilities such as water and Internet services. Since these are all provided for, startup entrepreneurs can better spend their funds and energy on improving their business and processes.

  1. Gives legitimacy to the company

Without an office, clients and investors alike may doubt the credibility and future of a company. With a coworking space, startup entrepreneurs can have an official place for meeting clients, partners, and investors who are interested in doing business with the company. It also gives employees an alternative space to work in (if the main arrangement is telecommuting or working from home).

  1. A benchmark for expansion

A coworking space can also work as a temporary office for startups that are transitioning into a bigger company. Most coworking spaces offer a flexible leasing contract where companies or freelancers can just rent a desk on a weekly or monthly basis (no minimum number of years, unlike traditional office spaces and commercial buildings). This way, startup entrepreneurs can save up more funds that can be used for the big transition.

For startup entrepreneurs, renting a coworking space should not be the end goal of the company. Sure, it could mean that your company has a more stable income, but a coworking space only serves best as a temporary office.

It should only be a temporary office because as your company grows, you would need more privacy and exclusivity. Your team eventually needs to hold more frequent meetings, some business processes should be kept private, and you would need more space to accommodate a growing number of employees. These will not do with just a coworking space. By then, you would need to move to bigger and exclusive office space that can best suit the company’s growing needs.

5 Reasons Co-working Spaces Work Best For StartupsGemma Reeves is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business.

Check out her company here.

 

What Colours Say About Your Logo And Brand Identity


What Colours Say About Your Logo And Brand Identity

We all love colours from our childhood to all the times we have spent. Colours bring life to your moments, and no matter how old you become the fascination does not wane with time. Colours convey messages, evoke emotions and add brilliance to everyday things no matter how simple is the thing.

It is a fact that the human minds are more responsive towards visual stimuli and colors are one the major defining factors for creating a response.  On both a conscious and subconscious level, colors convey meaning, and people respond to it.

Logo design of brands has specific colours for some reason that reflects the proficiency of affordable logo designers in conveying the message through the designs. The designers harness the power of colour psychology to bring in connection with their designs. The colour of a brand’s logo design is not your favorite colour or selected because it looks good but rather depends on the message you like to convey through your logo design.

How Important Is Colour In A Logo Design?

The importance of colours cannot be better explained than colours it selves. Here are few logo designs of most famous brands with variations in their colours.

Even though we have not changed the design at all, but a colour change in the logo design has made the brand look something else entirely. So, you get a better grasp of how important colour is to your brand identity. Your brand depicts an entirely new message and a new look with the colour change in logo design. So, messing up with colours is messing up with your brand’s identity.

Blue Logo Designs:

The colour blue in logo design is too common, and we have seen bulk of blue logo designs.

What Does Blue Mean?

  • Trusted
  • Conservative
  • Dependable
  • Honesty
  • Calm
  • Secure
  • Cool

Specifically: Found as a corporate colour and frequently used in online business and financial institutions.

Black Logo Designs:

What Black Means:

  • Sophisticated
  • Luxurious
  • Formal
  • Stylish
  • Expensive
  • Authoritative

Specifically: Black is used for luxurious and sophisticated brands. Often used with white to give a good combination.

Red Logo Designs:

  • Bold
  • Passion
  • Strength
  • Attention
  • Love
  • Excitement
  • Action
  • Aggressive

Specifically:  Red is mostly used in edibles and sporty brands and often found with as a supporting colour in most of the brands.

Yellow Logo Designs:

  • Logical
  • Optimistic
  • Progressive
  • Confident
  • Creative

Specifically: Yellow is generally too bright colour to stand on its own and will require a secondary outline, background or border color.

Green Logo Designs:

  • Nature
  • Wealth
  • Fresh
  • Life
  • Harmony
  • Environment
  • Growth

Specifically: Green means “go.” Used frequently to represent eco-friendly companies and products and thought to be a calming colour.

Bold and bright colours like red and yellow are attention-grabbing colours whereas light colours like green and blue define nature, strength, and calmness. The colour black and purple are termed to be as luxurious colours and represents sophistication and royalty. More specifically, particular meanings are ascribed to different colours in society.

Now, the Cultural Effect of Colours,

Yes, colours do have their meaning associated with them, but these meaning so have some similarities and dissimilarities with different regions. The colours that tend be soft for a region may not be same for another region.

For example, red is considered to be a lucky colour in China, while white is the colour of death and mourning in India. There’s a good round-up of the cultural connotations of different colours in different countries. Make sure your colour choice reinforces and enhances the design of your logo and defines it.

Loius Martin is a Digital Marketing Manager at Invictus Studio. He has been transforming businesses into brands by connecting all the dots of branding. With a passion for writing, he has covered major areas of marketing and design.

Invictus studio website

15 Ways to manage your time wisely


15 Ways to Manage Your Time Wisely

What’s the most valuable asset required by any part of your life? Whether it’s your job, family, personal life, hobbies, or leisure—that asset is time. And it feels like the longer you live, the faster it runs out, doesn’t it?

Don’t worry. You’re not the only one who’s having this feeling.

After finding out what this solution is, it may seem like a no-brainer. But for some reason, people still desperately hope for miracles of any sort, try to multitask (which can sometimes bring even worse results), or just give up altogether.

So here’s the big reveal: Time management is your solution.

Time seems to move faster after a while because more and more routines appear in our lives. We start doing more stuff that we’ve already done before, without facing any new impressions, experiences, or emotions. Life becomes repetitive.

And in the never-ending loop of routine, we become unable to notice the fact that a considerable amount of time is going to waste. We’re too used to established rituals and can’t even imagine any other possible ways of doing things.

That’s where time management comes in handy.

The secret isn’t in doing something to time itself. Unfortunately, we have no superpowers, and science isn’t advanced enough to be able to manipulate time. Otherwise, there would be no need for time management!

The trick here is to take all your tasks, duties, and activities and organize them so that there’s not a single minute wasted. It may seem difficult at first. You might even start thinking that time management itself is an even bigger waste of time.

But don’t rush. Rushing is another reason you might be losing time throughout the day. Proper time management requires a little bit of patience. But once you get used to it, you’ll see that the few minutes you’ve spent planning turn into hours of saved time.

That’s exactly what we want you to do. Spend a few minutes checking out our infographic. We’ve gathered the 15 best tips that will help you with managing your time most efficiently.

It’s up to you to decide whether to try all of what we’re suggesting or just stick with a couple of tips that you think will bring the best results.

The tips provided in our infographic will be equally suitable regardless of what you do. Just try them out, and you’ll see that you’ve made the right decision.

15 Ways to Manage Your Time Wisely

 

Donna A. Norton

Donna A. Norton started writing in school, it changed her life and predetermined her profession. During her studies at Texas A&M University, she kept improving her skills and sought opportunities to get published. Donna is proud to be a writer on the blog and enjoys traveling the world. She has visited many European and Asian countries and has even managed to take a few trips to Africa.
Link to Donna’s Blog