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7 Things You Need for Your New Start-up

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Starting a new business can be both scary and thrilling. You now have your own business that you have worked hard to develop from your initial idea to a working company, but there are still many things you need to do. Just because you have started this venture, it doesn’t mean it will be a guaranteed winner. There are a few fundamental things that you need to have before you can call your start-up truly a success.

Customers

The one thing that every new company needs is customers, and most importantly, customers that buy something from you. You might think that attracting customers is fairly easy, but the truth is it can be a struggle in the early years to get enough sales to survive. That is why so many new businesses fail in the first year. Getting customers is not just about finding them or helping them find you, it is also about having something that they like enough to buy. In some ways, although you need customers to survive, you need a great product, good marketing, and good sales to get the customers to buy. Your initial set-up won’t be perfect from the beginning, but it needs to work well enough to support you until your sales increase.

Your Product

The reason you are in business is to sell your products or services to your customers, which means your products must be something people want. It doesn’t have to be unique or the first of its type, but it needs to be different enough so that customers cannot get it from anywhere else. You need to be completely focused on your product and what it offers to your customers. You don’t want to overly complicate it, or people might get confused about what it does. Keep it simple and tell your customers how easy it is, and how it differs from any other product of its type. For example, cars are all pretty much the same type of product; they get people from point A to point B. However, there are many companies all trying to sell their brand of car, and that is where you need to innovate and choose an area to exploit. It might be that yours has more gadgets, or that it's safer for families.

The Timing of Your Launch

In business, everything is about timing - when to launch a new product, when to start a sale and when to start a business. There is a small window of opportunity when it comes to starting a new company. You need to be there at the right time to capture the public imagination and start a trend. If you arrive too late, then you might find yourself hitting a downward curve that won’t get you many sales. At the same time, you don’t want to be too early, or your product might be too far ahead of its time. That means you have to wait, which many start-ups don’t have the funding to do.

Your Competition

If you want to truly make it in business, there are certain things you have to know before you start, and one of those things is your competition. It is vital that you do as much research as possible on the companies that are selling similar products to you. Even if they are not the same, they are still a possible alternative to your products in the eyes of your customers. It is especially true in the early days when you haven’t yet developed loyal customers that love your products, so you need to tell them why what you offer is better. When determining why your product is better, you need to focus on that area for your marketing. For example, if your product is created from higher quality materials, then tell this to your customers. In the same way, you need to know what your competition is saying about their products.

Finances

Finance is crucial to any start-up, because you need money to set-up your business and develop the products that will generate an income. How you raise this capital depends on the options available to you at the time. You might have to seek funding from family or friends, the bank or perhaps from a company like Bonsai Finance. As well as the money to set up your company, you also need money to keep your company trading until you start making sales. It is this part that often causes the most problems because you need to balance running the company against losing too much money. If you have chosen the right strategy, then this gap between outgoings and incoming will be short.

Your Team

How good is your team and how much can they do for you? You need to be confident in your team and in their ability to fight for your company. If you have limited resources, then this might mean you need to pick your battles wisely and save your money for more appropriate battles. You need to have someone on your team that knows the market inside out and knows how to pitch your product so that your customers are interested. You also need people that can balance your finances to the smallest degree and do the best possible job with what they have available. As well as the management team, you also need to have reliable workers that can produce your products quickly and with precision and that are loyal to your new enterprise.

Marketing

How you appear to your customers is almost as important as how your products perform. Your marketing needs to be targeted at those that are likely to buy your products and remain with your company. You need to find out where your customers are and what they need before you can tell them you have the answer. There are many marketing opportunities out there, and you need to use as many of them as you possibly can.

Starting a new company is something you should be proud of and determined to do well. With the right strategy and team in place, you can turn your small business into something big.

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How To Improve Your Communication Skills

Human communication is far more complex than the simple interpretation of the spoken word. There is the whole area of body language, including facial expressions, which can tell an individual far more about what you think as opposed to the words that come out of your mouth. Like any other skill in life, some people are more naturally gifted and find communication comes easily to them, whereas for others it can be more of a learning process. Add to this the effects of nerves and social anxiety that many people feel in important business meetings and gatherings, and the skills you do have may desert you just when you least want them to.

Understanding human communication

This is a vast topic that can’t be summed up in a few lines, but luckily there are many useful resources available online and in published form so that you can delve a bit deeper into this fascinating subject. Developing these skills is not something that is limited to your work life. Learning about the intricacies of human communication can make you far more aware of what you are communicating yourself, as well as better able to understand others. Find a good introduction to the subject, and you’ll soon become immersed in the intriguing information about what our body language is giving away – and you may become a better poker player too.

Finding your confidence

Self-confidence is the key to feeling relaxed in situations where you are expected to communicate with superiors and strangers. Being well-prepared is a crucial aspect of feeling self-confident, so always make sure you go into any situation of this nature knowing all the necessary facts at the very minimum. It’s even better to have a wider knowledge about the context of the area under discussion, further implications, future considerations and the bigger picture in general. If you know more than you’re likely to need to, you can be confident that you’ll be able to cope with anything that you get asked about.

Social confidence

Being in business can involve a lot of social interactions outside of the office, but although these occasions may not be part of your working day, you can be sure you will still be under scrutiny, and your performance will be noticed. Being able to hold up your end of a conversation is an essential skill in helping you to feel at home in these situations, and one of the best ways of coping with a scenario where you could be talking about any number of disparate topics is to be generally well-informed. For example, the stock market is likely to be a subject of great interest in business circles, so if you understand the stock ratings system and the difference between futures and commodities, you will be able to join in the discussions. Keeping up to date with current affairs and industry topics as a whole is a good idea too, as conversations will often turn back to business in these situations.

Whether you already have excellent communication skills, or they could do with a little improvement, understanding the subject and keeping yourself informed and updated will stand you in good stead during business meetings and events throughout your career.

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5 Reasons To Try Team Building

Team building can sometimes be met with derision by those who don’t quite understand how useful it can be – it can be seen as just time away from work with no real benefit, something that people have to put up with because their boss tells them it has to happen.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth. A team building day, or even just one activity, can truly enhance your way of working, give you new ideas, and can be the ideal way to become more productive. So here are some of the best reasons to try a team building day; you might be surprised.

Networking and Socializing

It can sometimes be difficult to make friends and connections in the workplace – it can be a stressful place, and that means that we don’t always get to see everyone’s ‘real’ personalities. On a team building day where you might be white water rafting, having fun at an Escape Room DC, building dens or paintballing to name just a few you will get to find out a lot more about the people you usually only work with, and you might find that you really enjoy their company.

Learning About Teamwork

Even if you think you already know a lot about teamwork, you might not know exactly what it takes to work in this particular team, so having a useful team building day with them can teach you a lot. You will learn how each person works and how best to use their individual skills, for example, and you will see what makes each person most productive.

Healthy Competition

Having some healthy competition never hurt anyone and can actually be a great way to spur people on to greater things both in and out of work. As long the need to win doesn’t eclipse everything else, and things start to become far too competitive so that the enjoyment factor is gone, competition in the workplace is a good thing, and it can be used to great effect during a team building day.

Team Spirit

Fostering a sense of team spirit makes success even more attainable because everyone is looking out for everyone else. This kind of team bonding that can be started or enhanced on a team day out of the office can increase the effectiveness of the team in general, and that makes the company as a whole a lot more productive and profitable.

Take A Break

Sometimes it’s not about what your team is going to learn on a team building day; sometimes it’s about giving them a chance to get out of the office and try something new and exciting on a day when they would normally be at work. This can be refreshing and re-energizing, giving people who work hard every day the chance to take a break without feeling guilty for doing so. When they get back to their usual work, they will feel much more ready to push harder than before.

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4 Reasons Why You Need Multiple Investments

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The road to wealth and retirement isn’t like the rags to riches stories you see in movies. As the story goes, you go to school, pick a career, have a family and retire. However, every single milestone or event that happens in your life will require money. You’ll need a financial advisor and multiple forms of investment as every life goal requires a lot of saving. This includes funding for education (e.g. college or university), paying off debt, having children, buying and paying off a mortgage, among other things. Here are four reasons why you need to start thinking about a multiple investment plan:

1. Family

The cost of everything that falls under the family umbrella is expensive. It could include wedding fees, having children, health insurance and paying for school. In order to accomplish this, as well as pay for a family vacation, among your other numerous expenses, it’s important to have multiple streams of income.

2.House

Your home is a security blanket. At the end of a long day, you want to go home and take a long bath, make some popcorn and watch Netflix.  Regardless of whether this is what you like to do after a long day; you still require a roof over your head. Buying a home is not something that happens with the snap of your fingers. Whether you choose to buy or rent, you need to have the necessary funds to be able to live there and still do other things. For that, you need to have your ducks in a row and figure out your finances. There are some who even use real estate as part of their investment plan, something else to keep in mind for your financial portfolio.

3.Technological Advancements

Technology is changing the world’s financial systems as we know it. Cryptocurrency is said to be the currency of the future. Many people know or have heard of Bitcoin because the value exponentially increased back in 2017. While the following terminology might sound like something you need to know when cracking the Da Vinci Code, there are many arguing about whether coinbase or kraken is the way to go. Do your research on cryptocurrency and be prepared as the world around us is constantly evolving with technology. By the year 2030, kraken could be what you need to purchase your morning coffee.

4.Retirement

Understanding and having multiple investments is one way to ensure a smooth sailing plan for retirement.  Once you are no longer working, you’ll want to be living a comfortable life. You want to be able to sip lemonade on a beach reading a good book, not sitting at your kitchen table looking at jobs in the newspaper because you are not financially stable.

Carl Fredricksen and his late wife Ellie from the Pixar movie Up had a hard time making it to South America because things kept getting in the way of their saving jar. While stories for kids are not often tied back to financial advice pieces, it’s important to remember that investments are one of the most important things to keep in mind whether you’re young or an adult. Your investment plan affects your everyday life, so do your research and remember their importance.

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How to Increase Your Productivity Without Hiring More Staff

Being a successful company is more than just having the right products and a good marketing campaign. You also need to have a good team behind you, helping you to run the company. However, you might want to grow your company to increase your productivity, but don’t have space or finances to hire more staff. If that’s the case, then there are things you can do to increase your productivity without hiring anyone else.

Assess What You Already Have

The best and most productive companies will usually have the best staff and the most efficient ways of working. Before you can start to increase your productivity, you need to know if there is any slack that you can take in to make things more efficient. You should start with an assessment of all the processes in your company. Only by seeing how everything runs and works together, can you find weaknesses in the process. You should also be looking at the efficiency and skills of your workers. Look to see if any procedures are not needed, or if you have a worker with a talent that you can use in your company.

Communication

An efficient and productive company relies on effective communication. The less delay there is in getting your message across, the more efficient your company is. It is important to look at how you communicate your needs to your employees and how long it takes them to be implemented. Perhaps you need to look at your managers to see if they are relaying the requests effectively. If there are any delays in the chain, then these need to be changed to make them better. You also need to have an efficient way for your managers and your workers to get problems back to you. For example, if one of your machines fails, then you need to know as soon as possible. However, if it is taking an hour or more for this message to reach you or the person responsible, then this is time wasted.

Make Your Staff Flexible

Having employees who are versatile can make a big difference to your company. You shouldn’t rely on only one or two people to do a specific role in your company in case there is a problem, and the role needs to be covered. Try to ensure that you have adequate cover for all the roles in your company and that there are no gaps in the training. You should also have someone that can run the company in the short term just in case you are unavailable. Although it seems extreme, you need to be reassured that things can continue regardless of who is missing from the team. If you aren’t doing this already, then start a program of training to maximize the versatility of your employees.

Consider Your Infrastructure

Although you might be looking to increase your productivity, you need to make sure that your current company structure can cope with this increase. It includes anything that you rely on other companies for such as suppliers. For example, if you are using a company such as Custom Fittings Ltd, then you will need to consult with them about your plans. They will need to know how much of an increase of supplies you will need so they can adjust their output. You should also be looking at the rate of production you currently have, to see if an increase is possible.

Use Technology to Streamline

With technology always coming up with new ways of working, there may be a way that you can streamline your procedures to make them more efficient. You might even be able to automate some of them, freeing up staff to do other roles in the company. One such example is in the office areas; if you implemented new computer systems with expenses software and budgeting applications, you might be able to streamline the workload. Any streamlining and cost savings you make can then be redirected into increasing the production rate. Perhaps there are more up to date machines that can speed up your production rate just by being more efficient.

Outsource Work

If you need to redistribute staff to cope with the increase in production, then you might be able to outsource some job roles to other companies. It will save you money on expenses and may also be cheaper than hiring more staff to fill in those roles. The more popular roles in outsourcing are cleaners, maintenance and IT, though any area of the business can be outsourced.

Set Team Goals and Standards

Once all your workers understand their job roles and where they fit into the plan, you can start to lay down some goals and standards. Goals are for individual team members and are the things they need to achieve to be getting the best out of their job. If they are new to the role, then these goals can be scaled until they fully understand their job. Standards are what the company expects from the workers and what they achieve. It doesn’t just mean the standard of the final product, but the standard of customer service, HR and every other part of the company.

Reward and Recognize Achievements

Once you have set those team goals and standards, you can start to measure the levels of achievement. Your workers will appreciate it if they get recognized for their achievements, and it will cause them to work harder for the company. It might be a nice idea to offer them a reward each month for those that have worked the hardest or achieved their goals. You will also build worker loyalty which can be invaluable, especially if rival companies are looking to build their own workforce.

Increasing your productivity is something that you can do quite easily if you assess your needs first. The important thing, however, is to get your workforce on board as well. If they are happy to work with you, then it will be a success.  

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