5 Things You Must Consider When Starting Your Own Business

Starting your own business may involve a lot of headaches. There’s having to find office space, getting permits, hiring people, and more. Aside from those, you also need a business plan. In what direction do you want the business to go? How much money would you like to make five, ten, or so years from now? Those are very important questions to ask, but since you’re still in the early phases of your business, you should also seriously consider these five things.

1. What sector will you be in?

Let’s say you want to be in IT (information technology). It’s a huge, cutthroat industry, with lots of companies, both big and small, competing for market share. It’s a lot tougher for you as someone just starting if you want to jump into the industry as well. So then, you first have to find your niche. What sort of products or services will you specialise in? What can you offer that your competitors don’t have? Don’t just go with the flow. Be unique and offer something really valuable to your potential customers. Ideally it’s something they’re looking for that your competitors just can’t offer them. That way, your business will stand out above the rest!

2. How much will you invest?

Of course, as a business, you need capital to turn your business ideas into a reality. If you don’t pour in the capital, your home business idea will be nothing but a big flop. One important thing to know is how much money your business needs to both begin and maintain itself.

Where would you get the money? You could use your savings, if you have a lot. If not, you could find some business partners and ask them for an investment. Or, you could take out a loan from a bank or a reputable finance group. You could even try crowdfunding like many startup owners do these days. Last but not the least, you can seek professional advice from financial planners, business experts, or business coaches.

3. Who will operate the business?

Managing your small business by yourself is never an easy task. It’s even less easy when your company is already expanding. One way or another, you will need to enlist the help of well-trained people to help run your business. Their knowledge and skills will be great assets to your expanding small business, helping it grow further.

4. When do you expect to make money?

Certainly you would want to make money at some point. How could any business owner not want to make money? With that in mind, it’s good to set a target date for recovering your capital and earning profit. And if you have a goal, you need an action plan. Let’s say you want to recover capital after one year of starting your home business. What actions will you take to achieve that goal?

5. Do you have what it takes to build your own business?

Running your own small business requires a lot of sacrifices on your part. And there’s even the chance that your business idea won’t work out. That’s something you have to contend with. You can’t avoid running into a few (or many) obstacles along the way. But if you’re convinced that running a business is your road to financial freedom, then go on ahead! By all means, do your best!

You may find these questions far too serious to think about, but one way or another you have to answer them. Starting your own business is a major life decision, and as with any major life decision, you have to be absolutely sure before you say yes. The more you know what you need to do to succeed, the more likely you will succeed. Remember that these questions are not here to discourage you from starting a business. Rather, they serve to prepare you for the journey ahead. So go ahead and start your business, for it may change your life forever!

Tips For Working With Your Chosen Video Production Company

Coming up with professional-looking videos to promote your brand, services or products are not something that every business can do. This is because not all companies have a talented in-house video production team. But if you really want to have and promote a video that represents your brand, you can hire a video production company.

Once you have hired a video production company, don’t think that all your hard work ends here. To make sure you have a good video representative of your brand or one that does a good job of introducing and showcasing your products or services, it is essential that you work well with your hired video production company.

Below are some tips you can follow to have a good working relationship with your chosen video production company and achieve your goals:

Discuss all your goals about the project. Identify the goals you want the video to achieve and talk about them in detail with your hired service provider. Be as specific as you can: do you want this video to introduce your new product or service or do you want it to help you achieve brand recognition? If you don’t have a clear set of target goals for your video, you’ll end up with having one that is useless and you will just waste a lot of your time and money.

Set your budget and make sure the video production company knows this. Once you have set a budget for this project, it is important to relay this to your chosen partner. If not, you may end up being surprised with the amount you have to pay for. However, once you’ve figured out what you can spend, you still need to be open with that figure. Make sure you give a reasonable range of budget to work with to help the production team focus on the right content and solutions.

Be flexible. One of the reasons you decided to hire a video production company is to get advice from them and to optimize their expertise. As such, it won’t do you any good if you shut down their ideas and recommendations. Listen to them and be open to the options you’re presented with. In general, creative concepts can be hard to visualize. If possible, wait until for the video to be completed until you judge.

Be honest. Lastly, if you don’t like something about the content or the direction the project is headed to, don’t hesitate to tell this to your chosen partner’s representative. You are the client and the one paying them so they need to satisfy your requirements. Don’t be easily satisfied with the results they give you as well; if you think that the video was poorly made, have it redone.

Let’s Get Real – These Are the 3 Things You Need to Be Doing

While I can talk about the 55+ systems you could implement into your business, in reality, everything boils down to these three things: you need to do work with your clients, you need to get more clients, and you need to make sure the business runs.

Boom. Done. End of story.

Easy, right?

Well, yes and no.

You can do the work. Heck, that’s why you got into this work in the first place. You want to serve. All you want to do is have your schedule filled with ideal clients whom you can provide your service, and possibly even transformation. You could do that all day, every day. Bring it on, right?!

That’s part one.

Part two is getting MORE of those ideal clients. This is where your systems come in. How do you get more of these awesome, ideal clients?

  • Build relationships. You need to meet people and create relationships, above and beyond the hope for a sale.
  • Network. This is a fabulous way to build those relationships. Figure out where your ideal clients hang out and go there. Talk with them. Meet with them. Figure out what drives them and what their challenges are. Connect. All without ANY attachment to whether they become clients or not.
  • Follow up. Email is one way, sure, but it’s not always the best way. Think about it: how much email do YOU get? And how many times do you go, “I’ll respond later when I have more time”? And then days and days and days go by, and you still haven’t responded? That’s what’s happening when you send emails to others. So, pick up the phone and call. Yes, the old-fashioned telephone (or cell phone, not quite as old-fashioned).
  • Track. How is this system working for you? How many touches, phone calls, emails does it take to convert a prospect into a client? For me, it’s 35 (in total). So, I know I need to touch 35 people in some way in order to convert to a paying client. What’s your number?

Part three is making sure your business runs. Because without a business, you aren’t going to be able to do the work. I will be honest… this piece can be much more extensive than the other two. I’ll be short and sweet here, whereas I could go way in depth. Here’s what you need to run a solid business:

  • Marketing. What is your plan for getting more clients? Sure, there’s networking and follow-up, and are you networking online? Do you do content marketing? Are you consistent?
  • Finances. What are you spending? What are you bringing in? What are your money goals?
  • Working on the business. All this is lovely, but if you’re not looking at the big picture, then you’re not really running a business. What are your long-term goals? How are you growing? How are you planning for expansion?
  • Administrative. Boy, is this another big one… This covers outsourcing and having a team. Expansion. Duplicating yourself. Operating in your Zone of Genius and happily delegating all the other zones to other, more qualified people.

I know I’ve asked a lot of questions of you. It’s a lot to consider and do, that whole running a business. And it’s what separates the glorified service providers from true business owners, what I call CEOs of their business.

What are you? And what do you want to be? Do you just want to offer your service and not run a business? No problem. Do that and go find a company who will pay you what you’re worth to do your amazing work.

Or do you want to run an actual business and expand beyond just the service you can provide? Congratulations, you’re a CEO. Now, act like one.

Starting A Party Supply Business

There are many areas you can branch out into if you have decided to start your own party supply business or you can specialise in one area such as the children’s party market. There certainly won’t be a shortage of customers when it comes to kid’s parties because as we all know, they are certainly big business. Parents are looking for something different to add to their children’s party and will search for hours, even days sometimes to find what they are looking for.

Finding your own niche is vital in the party supply business and deciding from the start what you want to supply, you can branch out into other party sectors later on but always start with a firm idea of what you want to supply initially. The children’s party supplies business is a popular industry to enter, but it’s also a very profitable sector and there are many areas you can focus on initially to get your business off the ground.

The most important first step is to choose the area of the Party supply business you are going to enter. If you have chosen children’s parties, start by writing down some ideas and searching what’s already out there on the internet. Parents are the driving force for very young children when it comes to parties so always follow the latest trends and offer them what they want, Frozen party themes are very popular for example at the moment but keep your eye on what else are big sellers and be prepared to offer parents what they want. If you can find a niche in the market and offer something a little different, you will stand out from the rest. Parents are always looking to provide the most unique and memorable party when it comes to their children and if you can offer party supplies that have something a little unique, you may be on to a winner.

The second step is to decide how you are going to market your selling platform and source and pay for your stock. If you have limited funds, you may not be able to provide the outlay for a website of your own but this isn’t the end of the world. There are sites out there that provide you with a selling platform such as Shopify, Amazon and Etsy, these sites are very easy to register on and you can list your products easily. This is a really good way to see what is popular and the best sellers and you can then adapt your supplies accordingly. Always start your own blog and update every day, have your own Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts from the start and link them altogether to get maximum exposure.

The internet and the way we shop has made it much easier for smaller business to thrive and get their products out there. It is also much easier to source products than it once was but this is the one area where you will almost certainly spend the most time. Finding the products you want at the right price is the one most important aspect of your business if you are going to go on and sell at a profit. It is really important initially to source a few products to test the market, if these prove popular, you can source them quite easily. As you become more aware of what is popular, you can add to your stock.

Having the funds to start a party supply business can be the one main worry for people when they start. The first step is to start searching for wholesale party supply businesses where you can source your products, its true that the price for the items will reduce as you spend more but it may not be an option to spend lots of money initially. Always stick to your initial niche area, this helps to reduce the amount of money initially spent. If you try and be too general and provide lots of party supplies for different party genre’s, you are going to spread yourself too thinly. If you have chosen the children’s party supply business, choose the most popular best sellers and look for some different ideas.

The outlay for a children’s supply business doesn’t have to be huge and this is certainly a home business opportunity for anyone initially, focusing your business as an online business will also reduce the amount of initial outlay you spend. Always remember that the best businesses are the ones that don’t give up, the ones that keep moving forward even when it gets extremely hard to overcome the hurdles. It isn’t easy to start a home or online business but if you are prepared to work hard and put the time in, there is no reason why your party supply business can’t be hugely successful.

5 Tips for Starting Up a Clinic

A clinic is a place that can be extremely helpful to people if it is properly equipped and has all the great characteristics. Starting a clinic and progressing through it has never been easy and there are a lot of tips that have to be followed. You surely need to take proper note of all these tips in order to enable people to make the most out of your clinic. Some important tips have been explained as below.

1. Knowledge

It is very obvious that a clinic is a very complicated place and enough knowledge is never going to be harmful. Thus gain as much of knowledge as possible regarding medicines, instruments, patient information and financial support. All this information and knowledge can help you a lot in the long run. Having sufficient knowledge is all you require to function in a clinic. Starting a clinic is never going to be easy let alone making it profitable. There are a lot of challenges involved.

2. Clinic location

The location of your clinic can also be extremely vital. Your clinic can be near educational institutions and residences. Observe the location where you are able to cater to a large number of patients. This will help you to serve and your professional success can also depend a lot on this factor.

3. Economic needs

The economic needs must also be taken into consideration without a doubt. For this purpose, you will have to observe the demands for a homeopath in a particular area or any other factor for that matter. This will help you a lot going forward. Always keep economic needs in mind so that you can benefit from it in the long run.

4. The size of your clinic

The size of your clinic will obviously depend on many factors. These include pharmacy, waiting room, doctor chamber, waiting room, staff and parking area. Patients mostly tend to visit clinics that are large in size and are able to cater to thousands of patients.

5. Equipment and medical machines

There are so many machines that are required for medical care. All these machines should be of very high quality so that they last for long. Apart from this you must give enough attention to other factors like interior designing, reception area and medicines. All these will only be profitable to you in the long run. It is one of the important things to remember.

Two Great Tips To Build Your Business

Two ways to build your business faster

Hi guys, how do you feel about your business today? That is a question you should ask regularly, because if you are not in love with your business how can you possibly interest others.

We all have off days, but they should be the exception rather than the rule, so to cheer you up here are two corking ideas to revitalise your business.

GO PROSPECTING WITH OLD CUSTOMERS

It never ceases to amaze me that so many people spend fortunes on trying to get new customers and never bother to keep in touch with previous happy clients.

Get your old receipt book out and just check how many potential customers that know you, are lurking there.

Dependent on what business you are in, create something that you can offer to these old clients that not only gives them some value but also says HELLO I would love to do business with you again.

You will be surprised at how many will react to your reaching out to them and once they respond, you will have opened a conversation that could well end in more business.

Don’t keep trying to load up the front of the truck, if potential clients are falling off the back.

BE CREATIVE NOT COMPETITIVE

So many people get too involved at being competitive. My suggestion is that you find your point of difference and enhance that. People are looking for solutions to their problems and are time strapped, so if you can point out a problem and offer a solution you are in a field of one and not in competition.

A mistake many people make in business, is to constantly monitor other businesses prices and although this should be loosely monitored it is not so important if you are offering something different.

Once you find out exactly what problems your clients have and offer them a solution, it is amazing how far down the line price becomes a deciding factor.

Have faith in what you are doing and tell your customers with confidence how your goods or services will benefit them.

Business is changing and the more effort you put in to communicating with your customers correctly, the easier your sales will be.

Once you have belief in your business it is so easy to convince others.

Do these things properly and you will notice that you feel different and your business will grow without too much extra effort.

What Makes a Business Successful?

You might exclaim that it is profit! Certainly that is the object and does indicate whether or not the business is successful. However what all determines if the business even gets to that point? Some of the main components of success beyond the obvious things like a good product are mindset, focus and presentation.

There is really a lot to be said for the ‘spirit’ of things. This has to do with mindset and extends to the environment in the business. Is it bright and shiny? Or is it dark and dubious most days? It is obvious that if the atmosphere is one of positivity and hopefulness that it will carry the business a lot farther than if someone is skeptical and just has a negative attitude. This can be about the time, money or duties required to conduct the business.

A positive mindset is so important that steps should be taken to create a positive atmosphere no matter what is happening or not happening. Remember wherever you are focused, that is where you will likely end up. That is why it is so important that you force yourself to be in ‘a good mood’ about your life in general as well as your business. Do not allow yourself to get off into self-pity or create reasons that you know you will fail.

You can accomplish this positive mindset by doing mental exercises whenever you feel a dark cloud hovering over you. Truly know and believe that you can succeed. Do not look at what you can see, but look at what you might not be able to see YET. Focus on what you HOPE to attain and believe that you can accomplish it. Keep telling yourself about that over and over until you actually believe it.

Here is where it is important to keep your goals realistic. Certainly somebody who tells themselves they know they can make a million by Friday is going to be sorely disappointed. Keep it real. Give yourself goals that you can actually accomplish. Don’t be afraid to under-estimate. You can increase your goal each time you accomplish a benchmark.

Another very important component of having a successful business is to be focused on the tasks at hand. It can’t be a half-way thing where you kinda, sorta pay attention to business. Treat your business just like you would a job where you are accountable to someone. In fact you want to be the type of person who ‘exceeds expectations’ – don’t just do enough to get by but do more any time you have an extra 5-minutes to invest in your business. Learn what ‘proactive’ means and go there often.

Strategy for Successful Merger and Acquisition

In order to make a merger work, it is pertinent to have a sound strategic planning so that maximum benefit is taken out from the merger. Before signing on the dotted lines, the company doing the acquisition must evaluate the performance, market position, cash flows, future opportunities, technology, regulatory issues of the target company to fix the right price for the deal. The management of the company doing the acquisition must have a clear and well-defined strategy for their specific business.

It is always advisable to take lessons from the past deals if the company has done in the past, learn from the experience of peers and look into industry benchmarks. This can help in formulating a sound strategy which will pay off in the long run. One must look into the working environment, employees and other cultural issues of the target company so that all misconceptions are sorted out at the initial stage and employees of both the companies know what is in store for them. As the deal has to make sense for both the target and the acquirer, it is important to identify synergy between the two companies.

Most prominently, the strategy must lay out the business drivers of the merger and factor in all the risks associated with the merger. If any major restructuring is required after the buyout, it must be chalked out and shared with the target company. This will surely ensure that all those involved in the merger process like management of the merger companies, stakeholders, board members, investors, employees agree on the defined strategies set by the acquiring company. If the plan gets consent of all these stakeholders, then it will be easy to go ahead with the merger and complete the integration process without much hassle.

At the time of chalking out the merger and acquisition strategies, one must consider the markets of the intended business, market share that the acquiring company is eyeing for in each market, the products and technologies would be required to achieve the target, the geographic locations where the business will operate and the skills and resources that you would require to make the deal a success.

Once the basic strategy is in place, then the acquiring company must look at the finances. Financing the deal can be done from myriad sources like cash, own accruals, debt, public and private equities, minority investments, etc. One must evaluate the cost of the fund depending on the needs and the amount of returns that the deal can fetch in the medium to long-run. Always build a preliminary valuation model by calculating the estimated cost of acquisition and estimated returns from the merger. It will help you in understanding the relative impacts of the acquisitions. Knowing the value drivers of the deal is the most critical element for success of any M&A. The acquiring company must do all due-diligence earnestly and identify the sources of value like intellectual property, people, markets and brand from the deal.

Lastly, one must remember that employee turnover in target company is usually very high in the initial years after the merger. The acquiring company must put in place an effective retention programmes for the key employees who drive growth and value for the company. As a substantial number of M&As fail, one must keep the acquisition strategy ready at the time of signing the deal and reap the benefits later on. It is naive to think of an acquisition as a panacea. The work of integrating an acquired company can take anywhere from 6 months to couple of years, before you begin to realize any benefits. There will always be complications, hurdles and disappointments, but one must keep the focus on the end result.

Strategies For Ensuring Ongoing Industry Compliance

Making sure that you are compliant with the standards of your industry is important for avoiding serious penalties and fines. It is vital to note that industry regulations are designed for keeping people safe and for promoting ethical business practices. Thus, concerted efforts to remain compliant can also bode well for companies in terms of both productivity and their overall commercial images.

It is important to have a clear outline of all the specifications for compliance that your companies must adhere to. You cannot adhere to the regulations of your industry if you do not know what they are. Create an outline of these and all the areas that they encompass and then distribute this outline to all relevant personnel including department managers and safety control officers.

Start shopping for an innovative compliance software that can be integrated with all other programs that are designed to assist with overall operations management. This will simplify the entire process while ensuring that no single area of your operations is neglected and overlooked. It will also establish accountable by providing a platform for tracking all compliance efforts and the parties responsible for implementing and maintaining them

Hire a compliance manager who can oversee these efforts and all the related responsibilities. If necessary, staff your company with two or more of these professionals. This way, your trained talent is never juggling multiple responsibilities and struggling to find the time to handle these efforts.

Make sure that all of your employees have received adequate training, particularly your most recent hires. As your business grows and changes, you must make sure that all adaptations are on par with the expectations of regulatory bodies. This is one of the most common reasons for companies being penalised and fined.

Schedule regular meetings and reviews so that all parties can be made abreast of any areas in which your organisation has fallen behind the industry standard. If problems have arisen, you can address them at this time. You can also solicit suggestions and feedback from workers at all levels of your organization for improving these processes.

Take stock of your supply chain to ensure that any companies you are outsourcing to are compliant themselves. When you outsource as part of your supply chain, you lose a certain amount of control over how compliant your efforts are overall. That is one of the top reasons why it is vital to choose businesses to outsource to with tremendous research and care. If you don’t, you could wind up being responsible for mistakes that aren’t actually your own.

Whether you are using waste water filtration services or mere payroll services to assist in the completion of important and ongoing business operations, it is important to remain cognizant of the impact that these professionals can have on your business and your brand reputation. Failure to comply on the part of these entities can have serious repercussions all around. Thus, you should only ever work with companies that have diligent quality control measure in place and that are just as knowledgeable of industry regulations as you are.

5 Types of Businesses That Need Call Tracking and Why

There are a lot of people who are used to making purchases or orders using their phones. Believe it or not, phone calls are still one of the essential business components for many industries. For many business organizations, calls are the main type of leads and they are usually worth multiple times more than those that came to you by filling in a kind of form. Yet another trend for industries that rely on phone leads is that most of them use paid search ads to drive traffic to their websites, and these are the ones that lead to people making calls.

However, there is a big issue with calls that come from paid searches; they are usually untracked and this greatly reduces the effectiveness of a PPC campaign, especially in regards to conversions and leads. Without valuable call tracking data, professional marketers get stranded in the dark when talking about which ads, landing pages, and keywords are responsible for driving these calls.

This makes businesses unable to make the right decisions in their future PPC strategies. Without proper call tracking methods, advertises and businesses alike risk losing a big portion of phone conversions because they don’t have important information that can help them understand where to focus their efforts and resources. They are unable to channel the extra budget funds into new keywords if they don’t know which ones work the best.

Home services

If you are an expert in home decorating, plumbing, home cleaning, window or door installation, flooring or any other home repair service, then you should include call tracking. No matter what kind of home improvement services you provide, you should expect a lot of of calls each day.

Just imagine that a potential customer needs a new sink installed; he or she will probably search for things like “plumbing services” or “sink services” via a search engine, click on some ads and then call a service that is most convenient.

This is a typical conversion path when it comes to services like this, because the nature of such a service presumes coming to a client’s house directly. This is why people feel that it’s best to give you a call, talk specifics, as well as the type of trouble they are having.

Cosmetic and dental clinics

In most cases, people don’t have their own dentist and they don’t call one until there is an emergency. People don’t even search for a nearby dentist until they start feeling the pain in their mouth or when they beak their tooth in an accident. When this happens, they start searching for local dental services or clinics and they start calling numbers.

Both dental and cosmetic clinics are busy places, especially the good ones, and one always has to make an appointment some time in advance. Alternatively, they can arrange something for the customer in case of an emergency. All of these appointments are made through phone calls, and people can also consult with a specialist without the need to see them in person. These are clear reasons why businesses like these need call tracking.

Real estate businesses

When a person is looking to buy a new home or rent an apartment, he or she is definitively not going to do a quick search on Google and press the “purchase now” button. Not a chance! Real estate is one of the most important aspects of one’s life, and one of the greatest expenses. You probably already knew this; but conversions are definitively not going to happen as often online. They simply won’t.

If a person that searched for a certain piece of real estate online is genuinely interested in renting or purchasing a certain place, they are definitively going to grab their phone and call the number they find online in order to talk to the real estate agent. In a business like this, generating call leads is the foundation for further growth, so make sure that you are ready for incoming calls.

Education

There are many forms of education out there: college, high school, middle school, elementary school, grad school, various courses, private, public, etc. The options to choose from are vast and researching schools can be difficult thorough, especially when it is done by a parent or a guardian who cares for his or her children.

Once again, the whole sales cycle here is quite long and it includes many factors that must be considered. Why is this the case, you ask? Well, simply because education is one of the most important factors for a person’s future and it’s a major life-affecting decision that can make a huge difference. There are many factors in play when someone is seriously considering and educational institution, including housing, tuition, location, professors, courses, price, and the list goes on and on.

This is yet another industry where people need to call and ask certain questions in order to gather all the missing pieces of the puzzle. Furthermore, if someone is looking for a good college, chances are that it’s far away, and they can’t simply go there and see what it’s all about; they need to talk to someone and ask important questions that matter to them.

Legal business

Law is one of the hardest fields you can possibly be in. The competition on SERPs is quite fierce and every single click is quite expensive, meaning that every single phone call has great value as well. Each of these small opportunities can result in getting a permanent client, which can further result in getting a lot of profit for your business.

Most legal services are quite expensive. Now, the biggest problem most law firms are unaware of is that they are not harvesting the potential ROI from paid searches, as they don’t track calls. They feel like they will just waste their money. In most cases, this is not true.

I strongly encourage you to find a professional and reliable call tracking tool that is affordable and that can fit in with your PPC tool. It is very cost-effective. Not only will you be able to increase the efficiency of your sales, but your clients will have a clearer picture of how beneficial your efforts are. One thing is for sure, if your business organization depends on phone calls to go forward, then you should definitively look to implement a call tracking solution. Understand that you are missing out on a lot without it, and that this little investment can pay off multiple times over in the future.