Virtual Office Services: The Savvy Entrepreneurs’ Super Strategy for Saving on Business Cost!

Are you thinking of starting your own business but you don’t want to commit to some expensive office space right now?

Does the idea of running your business virtually, operating from wherever you wish, something that is interesting to you?

Then investing in virtual office services is what you should consider.

What Is A Virtual Office?

According to Wikipedia,

“A virtual office provides address (and sometimes communication) services for a fee, without providing dedicated office space. It differs from “office business centers” or “executive suites”, which do provide physical office space and/or meeting rooms.”

The idea of virtual office services developed from executive suites, which offer a full range of office services plus office space. It’s simply a modern invention which combines technology and smart use of resources. However, it must be noted that virtual office companies don’t offer their clients more office space.

Benefits of Virtual Offices

How Does A Virtual Office Work?

When you get a virtual office you’re getting a real business address with a lot of other real office facilities attached. You can put the business address on your business cards, letterheads and other company correspondence.

When prospective clients or customers desire information about your business and they call the dedicated line assigned to you, it will be answered and the message relayed to you.

Benefits of Virtual Office Companies

There are lots of benefits that virtual offices offer to business owners in our today’s world. But for this post we will only look at a few of them.

1. Easily Adapt To Your Company’s Busy Seasons

One of the best benefits of contracting with a virtual office company is the ability to easily adapt to your company’s busy seasons. A virtual office company, such as Solid Cactus, can easily adapt to finishing orders after business hours and on weekends. Solid Cactus, in ensuring that you do not miss any orders, can easily increase the number of hours and personnel assigned to your company.

They can also use ecommerce platforms to fill or fix orders. Using your company’s selected systems, Solid Cactus can easily complete all the paperwork required each day. They are able to provide you with reports on the orders they process for you.

If your business involves making appointments, Solid Cactus can handle this, too. They will schedule any home visits, deliveries or even luncheon appointments with your clients. They answer all telephone calls with a minimum of waiting and greet all customers in a professional manner.

Recommended: How Small Businesses Can Collaborate for Better Results

2. Work From Anywhere

Virtual offices give you the freedom of working from anywhere you choose.

This is great if you have always desired your own lifestyle business  – a business that allows you to travel the world, living the lifestyle of your dream, while you build your business.

This is the dream of many today as they now take advantage of the available technology and run their businesses on the go – without any physical office. So, if you’re a lifestyle business entrepreneur virtual office services are just great!

Work From Anywhere

3. Expand Your Business With Minimal Overheads

Every wise entrepreneur would readily jump at any growth opportunity. This is why many are also taking advantage of globalization, and the available technology, to spread their business tentacles to locations that were before now outside their reach.

Unfortunately, expanding to new locations comes with some extra cost. For example, you need things like office space and new equipment in the new location. But with the availability of virtual office services you don’t have to invest in a physical office space and whatever other material that is needed to run the office.

In fact, a virtual office company, like Solid Cactus as we have seen above, will help you run your business operations in the new location at a minimal cost to you.

4. Grow Your Business With Ease

A virtual office company is also a great way to grow your business. When you move into a new area or launch a new product, you can try it out without making permanent commitments to space and staffing. Using the services of a virtual office company you can pitch your products at your customers to find out if your customers like your product or not, whether they want it in a different color or in a different form.

So, don’t forget to investigate using a virtual office company like Solid Cactus to build your brand. Doing so is missing out on a great helpmate.

Recommended: Want to Motivate Your Employees? Try These 3 Simple Tricks

Some Specialized Services from Virtual Office Companies

Virtual Office Services

While virtual offices were initially about providing a real business office address and some services like receiving business calls and such like, these days many virtual office companies like Solid Cactus now offer business marketing services that will increase your sales. Some of these services include upselling, performing customer calls, and handling credit problems.

Because many business sales these days are concluded by email this has become one of the specialized services that virtual office companies like Solid Cactus also handles. Whatever your business’s email need, they will handle it all. As the owner, you can determine which items to return to you for further action. This way, you are kept abreast of any problems with your business.

Another specialized virtual office service that Solid Cactus offers is echat. This allows direct communication over the internet with your customers and the employees of Solid Cactus. Your customers don’t have to wait to have their questions answered anymore. And this is great for your business as excellent customer service is a known driver of sales to any company.

Recommended: How NOT to Make Life Difficult For Your Customers

Conclusion:

Virtual offices, and the services they provide, are growing in popularity by the day. This is because of the many benefits they offer businesses. This is in addition to the many changes happening in the economy. For example, the rise of internet businesses and the desire of many to work virtually. Used in conjunction with the available technology today they do not only save you money on rent but allow you to access valuable business services at a minimal cost.

So, whether you’re just getting started with your business and you want to save cost or you’re thinking of expanding to new locations, investing in some form of virtual office service is something you should consider.

Best 18 Cheapest Small Business Ideas to Start From Home

Looking to start your ? Do you reside in some remote corner of the world and because of that you’re asking, “what’s the best business to start in a small town like…(your small town’s name here)?” Are you being held back because you don’t have the capital to get started?

If you answer yes to any of these questions then this post is for you. It doesn’t matter if your problem is lack of business idea or its lack of start up capital.  In this post I want to share with you a few you can start today with little or no money.

Small Business Ideas From Home

With the number of layoffs in the corporate world in recent times, it has become clear to many that there’s nothing like job security in our today’s world.  To overcome this many are now thinking of becoming the boss – in other words, they are now more conscious of starting their own business.

Unfortunately, many who have come to this realization are stuck with not knowing what business to start.  Beyond that not many really have enough savings to get started. So, to these ones the problem is how to get the cheapest business to start.

To the later, let me quickly say this, when I started my internet business, I had very little money. In fact, for the first few years I invested virtually nothing (financially) into it! I simply used free tools and resources that abound on the internet to setup and run the business. Today, there are numerous such tools and resources out there you can still use. A simple search on Google for “how to start a business without money online” and you’re sure to get a plethora of results to work with.

Now, it must be clear that there are lots of businesses you can start with little or no monetary investment however, you’ll need to give the business some time to pick up. You definitely shouldn’t expect to make it big right from the very beginning.  But that notwithstanding, you can take the ideas in this post and run with them without much fuss.

So What is the Catch?

Well the only thing that I would even consider a “catch” would be the fact that you will need the skills necessary to complete whatever task is asked of you during business. This basically means do not start up a dog grooming business if you do not know how to groom dogs. The key is finding something that you are truly interested before starting the business.

Maybe you are not worried about losing your job right now but you’ve come to realize that you will never have the chance to advance any further in the company you are working for presently, these business ideas are sure to help you out. So, if you’re ready let’s get rolling.

So, what businesses can be started with little or no money? Here are eighteen you would want to consider right now:

18 Best Business Ideas to Start with Little Money

1. House and Office Cleaning Business

Office Cleaning Business

This business requires little or no money to start, the only thing you will need is the skills to clean (which everyone should have), and the cleaning supplies to do it with.  When you get the first job you can use the cleaning supplies that you already have and then buy more with the money you receive when you are through. In the event that you do not have the cleaning supplies on hand, then you should not have to spend more than about $20 dollars!

Once you have the supplies necessary, advertising a cleaning business is simple. The majority of house and office cleaners simply place an ad in the local paper detailing the area in which they would like to work, and the majority offer free bids. Potential clients will call, and you will take a trip to their house. You will analyze it and give them a bid. You can also use social media marketing to promote your cleaning business. Facebook is a great place to start.

2. Laundry Business

Laundry Business

This one is great because you can take a skill that you should already have, and then put it to good use to the people that do not have the skill, time, or the energy to do it. Offering a pickup and delivery laundry service just means that you pick someone’s clothes, wash and dry them, fold them, and then return the clothes to their house. The only thing you will need is the soap to wash the clothes in (and some laundry companies even make the client provide their own laundry detergent due to allergies and personal preferences).

This business especially tailors to bachelor men, so you will want to advertise in places that would attract this type of person’s attention.

3. Alteration Service

Alteration Service

If you have basic sewing skills, then you may want to consider starting an alteration service. Alteration could mean hemming pants, changing seams, or dying clothes.

The only money you may need out of pocket is to buy various colors of thread, needles, and possibly a sewing machine if you are planning on taking on larger jobs.

Since your main focus will be clothing, you will want to advertise at local clothing shops or department stores. You may also want to consider talking with businesses that supply uniforms to employees. The business can then recommend that mployee to you if an alteration in their uniform is needed.

4. Babysitting

Babysitting Business

This one seems obvious, though many people take it for granted and quickly dismiss it as a “teenage job.” Babysitting may be one of the better options, since it does not require any money to start.

You can baby-sit in your home or the home of the children in which you are babysitting. The choice is really up to you. If you are thinking of babysitting children from more than one family, then you will be required to baby-sit in your home, otherwise on location babysitting will suit you well.

Some babysitters offer to provide meals, while others require the parent to supply a lunch. It is really up to you.

You will want to provide some type of stimulation for the children you baby-sit. The last thing any responsible parents wants is their babysitter to allow their children to sit in front of the television the whole time they are with you. Try to make whatever you do as active and education as possible.

When you begin advertising your business, you will want to focus on places where parents and children would be. Many schools have community boards that would be able to place flyers. You may also considering placing an ad in the local paper or on a website that allows parents to search for potential babysitters.

5. Pet Sitting or Walking

Pet Sitting or Walking Business

Like babysitting, this can be greatly overlooked. People take great pride in their pets, and do not want them to be left alone while they are away.

Some pet sitters only sit when the client is away for long periods of time, or on vacation. Others pet sit on a daily basis while their client is at work. Still others only have to visit the pet once or twice during the day to walk them and let them use the bathroom.

It is important to remember that even the nicest pet can become upset and mean in the presence of other animals. Make sure that if you decide to take on more than one family’s pets then all the families involved should know.

Advertise this business at your local pet store, vet, or along a dog walking path. You may also want to consider placing an ad in the local paper as well.

6. Personal Chef

Personal Chef

Can you cook? Then you may want to consider becoming a personal chef. Many personal chefs are called when the family just simply does not have the time to cook dinner, but does not what to get into the lifestyle of ordering out every night.

Usually, personal chefs arrive before the majority of the family does and begins cooking. Once cooking is complete, then you will set up a table and supply the family with the food.

It is not very often that the personal chef has to clean up after the family is done, however you may offer these services for an additional fee.

You may also consider preparing the meals at your home, and then delivering the food to the client.

The best place to advertise this type of business would be at your local grocery store or in the local paper.

7. Court Paper Server

Court Paper Server

Many lawyers and other legal agencies do not simply have the time to serve papers. This is where you come in. Lawyers and legal agencies will pay to deliver these important documents. The only thing you will need is transportation and the gas required to do so.

You will want to contact the agencies in your local area and discuss it with them.

8. Resume and Document Writer

Resume and Document Writer

You could consider becoming a resume writer, especially if you have a way with words. A resume writer takes the skill, talents, and job references and turns it into an easy to read résumé for potential employers.

[eaa_show_ad ad=”my_in_post_content”] Not only can you charge for writing the resume, but you can also charge how many copies of it as well. The paper and ink it takes to print the resume is the only charge you should accrue.

Advertise this type of business at local job agencies, employment offices, or on your local paper.

You will need to be careful when advertising. Make sure that your clients know that your resume will not guarantee them getting a job, but it will just present them in a more professional manner, which in turn will make them more likely to get a job.

9. Mobile Car-Wash and Detailing

Mobile Car-Wash and Detailing

With a little soap, water, and rags, you will be able to start a mobile car washing and detailing shop.

You will simply need the basic cleaning supplies and a good vehicle to transport the supplies in. Supplies include: car safe soap, rags, buckets, a portable vacuum, and dashboard and tire cleaner. All of this is relatively inexpensive.

Make sure to place a sign on the vehicle you use for the business. Signs can be picked up at your local graphics shop pretty inexpensively. You can also place flyers in various areas.

Once you are somewhat established you will then want to start marketing your business to car dealers, fleet services, rent-a-car places, corporations which supply vehicles to their workers, etc.

10. Power Washing

Power Washing

Oily driveways, accidental spills, mud left over from a rainy season, salt buildup. All of these may be reasons for someone to hire a power washer to clean their road, driveway, or home.

Power washing only requires a strong power washer. The client will supply the water hookup.

Advertise this type of business in your local paper on flyers. Flyers can be placed pretty much anywhere, but you may want to target home stores, or auto parts stores.

11. Tutoring

Start a Tutoring Buainess

Are you great at a specific subject? Are you great at explaining even the most complicated algebra equations? You may want to consider starting a tutoring service, and put your skills to work.

Since the student will supply all the books and materials, all you will need is your effort.

The best place to advertise this type of business is at local schools and businesses geared towards learning.

12. Packing and Unpacking Service

Packing and Unpacking Service

Not many people in the world like to pack or unpack before or after a move, even though their lifestyle may require them to. You can offer your services to these types of people.

Some packers supply the materials including boxes, tapes, protective covers, plastic wrap, plastic peanuts, and so on. If you supply the materials needed to pack the customer, then you will be able to charge a much higher rate than packers that do not.

Some packers and un-packers may even offer to load and unload the items from the moving vehicle. Be sure to look into insurance if you decide to go this route.

One of the best places to advertise this type of business it at places that provide do-it-yourself moving supplies and vehicles (such as U-Haul office or Penske). You may even want to talk with the owners of these shops and work out a deal. Some of your clients will come to you before they decide on where they will be buying their moving materials and vehicles. If you have a referral system worked out with one of these companies they can also recommend you to their clients if they are in need of your type of services.

13. Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping Services

Are you good with numbers and organization? If you are, you may want to think about starting a book keeping business. This business is pretty easy to market since every type of person, and business may need someone to update their business books.

The only thing you may need for this type of job is a program (if you are using a computer) and the necessary paperwork. If you have to supply the paperwork, you can charge additionally for this.

You will want to advertise residually at local tax places or office stores. If you want to target businesses you may want to look into local business directories. If nothing else, you can put an ad in your local newspaper and go from there.

14.

Home Organization

If you are good at organization, then you may want to consider starting a home organization business.

You may want to consider supplying the materials needed for organization such as boxes, labels, shelves, etc. If you provide the materials, then you will be able to charge for it. You may also require your clients to buy the materials themselves. Whatever you decide will work.

Home organization is best advertised at home stores and in your local paper.

15. Language Translation

Language Translation

You will help break through barriers caused by language difference and improved communication. Businesses will call you when they know they will be dealing with clientele that speak a different language, typically in advance. Every once a while, you may be called in an emergency situation. The pay depends on the amount of people you will have to translate for and if you are notified ahead of time or not.

If English is your second language, or you just have a liking for foreign languages, your services will come in handy for local businesses that deal with multi-cultures.

If you do not know a foreign language, but you are still interested in language translation as a career or business, then translation books and programs number in the thousands, even for the newest user. It just takes a little time and energy to learn a new language.

Contact local business, doctor’s offices, and government agencies and ask if they are in need of translation services.

16. Apartment and Rental House Preparation

Apartment and Rental House Preparation

Local real estate agencies that host rental properties as well may hire make-ready-services for their properties. The best thing about this job is the fact that they typically supply all the tools and materials needed to complete the job. Make ready services complete technical services such as cleaning, painting, and small handy work (replacing door handles, light bulbs, etc).

Talk with your local apartment complexes and real estate agencies. You may also consider placing an ad in your local newspaper as well.

17. Restaurant Delivery Service

Restaurant Delivery Service

Restaurant deliverers, take orders by phone for local restaurants, go pick up the food, and then deliver the food to the office or home of the person wanting it.

The only thing you will need is the vehicle in which to transp the food.

You may want to consider a detailed flyer stating the businesses you will pick up from, or a website that contains the complete menus of each. Talk with local businesses about possibly referring you to their customers.

By collecting a delivery charge and tip, the owner makes a substantial amount of money.

18. Valet Parking

Valet Parking Services

Valet parking is simply the act of driving a person’s vehicle to a designated area to save the walk.

Local businesses may need valet parking at different times. You will want to contact then so they know that your service are available.

Businesses that offer event planning may also have an interest in your services and may call whenever you are needed.

Not only will you receive a fee from the business for providing the service, but the majority of people who use valet parking will pay a tip as well.

Just let your local businesses know that your services are available.

BONUS: 11 Small Business Ideas That Are Easy To Start [Video]

If you would rather focus on starting an online business then you may want to check out this video by Justin Bryant. Enjoy!

Conclusion

Our world is changing at a rapid rate. If it is not the economic downturn there is also the issue of easy access to cheap labor through outsourcing, and technology replacing human jobs.  So, starting your own business is something you want to take seriously. I suggest you look into these small business ideas. Pick any of your choice and get started today.

The 4 Common Small Business Mistakes That Could Destroy Your Business

The statistics are alarming, and most times, they could be demoralizing. But they are true all the same. Fact is, not every business idea will see the light of day and for those that get started, 25% will fail within the first year, 55% within 5 years and 71% within 10 years! (Source)

Now, if you’ve had enough of working as a “wage slave” and you are thinking of stepping out on your own by starting your own business, this really is not to scare you but to help you to be better prepared. Of course, it is a good thing that you’ve got a great idea you that want to share with the world by starting a business. Far too many ambitious and intelligent people have such great business ideas, but never pursue them out of fear. For this can-do attitude, I salute you!

However, while launching a company is easier today than it has been in the past, there are still potential pitfalls which could destroy your great idea. It is better therefore that you learn the potential risks that could sink you business boat even before you start so you can do well in avoiding them instead of regretting later on. Here are some of the major ones which you need to avoid.

Common busines startup mistakes to avoid

Small Business Startup Mistakes to Avoid

1. Hiring the Wrong Staff

The first big mistake you need to be aware of is hiring the wrong staff. If you’ve just got out of education and you’re raring to get your business up and running, then this is one of the big ones you have to look out for. Choosing the wrong people to work at your company may be one of the most expensive mistakes new entrepreneurs are capable of. With a bad enough team, you’ll not only throw a lot of money down the drain, but also grind down your overall business morale.

Recently, you may have met someone you share all kinds of opinions and ideas with, and be just about ready to launch a business with that person. Bringing your friends into the venture will make for a pretty pleasant opening period, true. However, in the long run, those very people may end up killing your business.

It’s better to hire someone who’s annoying but professional than your best friend who knows nothing about business. Hire people with varied skill-sets and a common vision, rather than people you get a good vibe off.

2. Picking the Wrong Price

If you’re running a manufacturing business, then one of the biggest mistakes you can make is bad pricing. This is one thing that will destroy a B2B firm faster than you can imagine, so it’s important not to slip into it.

There are a lot of causes for bad pricing, but one of the most common is a poor grip on your business’s costs. From the payments on your merchant cash advance to the materials you need to logistics, the costs never end! You may hate number-crunching, but don’t be tempted to round up figures, or leave anything out. You can’t afford any laziness here!

You need to be taking everything into account and getting an accurate cost-to-markup figure. While you might be able to recover from bad pricing through good luck and perseverance, it’s not the kind of thing you want to risk.

Before you sign off a single invoice, make sure you understand pricing and all the factors in your industry that influence it.

3. Lack of Flexibility

Another common mistake is going into business with a lack of flexibility. If you land on an absolutely brilliant idea, then you may build it up into this perfect image of everything you want your business to be. After some time overcoming financial and personal obstacles, it’s easy to become attached to this idea. Lean too much towards it, and you could end up putting the big launch off for far too long. Remember that the longer you’re not trading, the longer it will take to actually start turning a profit.

If your business idea hinges on a new program or an app, then this is a particularly big danger you have to look out for. A huge amount of techy entrepreneurs start to develop a program, and won’t consider pitching it until it’s absolutely perfect. This leads to a lot of spending, wasted time, and disgruntled investors. In fact, the only people who benefit here will be your suppliers!

This applies even when your product is matched exactly to your vision. You’ll still need to put money into advertising and distribution to make sure your business doesn’t fizzle out. Grind down too much resources too quickly, and you’ll end up with no product and a pretty substantial debt over your head.

4. Failing to Outsource

Failing to outsource when you definitely should is another common mistake. Again, this is tied in heavily with the software and technology niche. You don’t have to know too much of the technical details to be a successful businessperson. Richard Branson, CEO of this little company called Virgin, didn’t even go to university, and yet managed to expand into too many areas for me to list!

However, you certainly need some kind of expertise in your camp, whether it’s from you or from outside sources. Let’s say you have a great idea for a new program. You know exactly what it’s going to do and how you’d like it to look, but you know absolutely nothing about coding or software development.

Some entrepreneurs are fixed on the idea of independence (or at least reduced costs) and will put off outsourcing for as long as possible. This is something you probably can’t afford to do. Either hire some permanent, in-house experts in your industry, or outsource the work to a trusted professional.

While you probably won’t have all that much to worry about after this, it’s also a good idea to become savvy about your industry. I’m not talking about re-starting your whole formal education here. However, if you hire in some specialists who put across a professional image this isn’t necessarily a reflection of their worth. If you’re spending money on a service that isn’t doing anything for your business, you’d want to know sooner rather than later, right?

Conclusion

When you’re trying to take your business from an idea to a reality, make sure you avoid these big mistakes. I don’t mean to alarm you, but this post is only the tip of the iceberg! Starting a business is a very risky move, which can be undone with all kinds of other factors. However, if you keep yourself informed and on top of all your possible risks, you’ll stand a much better chance of success!

Over to you: Of these common mistakes which do you think is actually the BIGGEST? Share with us in your comments below.

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Home Business Ideas and Tips to Help You Thrive Online!

Let me ask you some questions…

Are you thinking of starting your own business?

Or,

Do you already have your own home based business and you want to grow it online?

If you have cared to check you may have noticed that home-based businesses are on the rise lately. Of course, it isn’t hard to see why.

Running a business from the comfort of your own home has a lot of benefits. Top of these are reduced overheads and more flexibility for you running your venture. Besides, if your home based business is online you open up more of these possibilities.

For example, in a world where consumers are increasingly turning their attentions to ecommerce, there’s no need for a shop. After all, an online store opens your doors to a far larger audience – and at a fraction of the cost. So, running your home business online is something you want to consider.

However, as online spending grows, so does the competition. To find your place in the market, you must make the most of all available resources. Otherwise, your customers will turn their attentions elsewhere. So, whether you are just starting your own business or you’re searching for ideas to help you make a success of your home business, follow this advice, and you should be fine.

Home Business Tips for Growing Your Business Online

Home Business Tips That Actually Work

1. Think About the Small Screen

Everyone that uses the internet appreciates the importance of great web design. With so many websites available, most consumers won’t accept a poorly constructed page. After all, it only takes a few seconds to find a similar outlet.

Nowadays, though, we are just as likely to access the internet through our smartphones and other handheld devices. Therefore, ensuring that your site is optimized for mobile is a must. Otherwise, you’re essentially shutting your doors to half of the potential market.

2. Create the Appearance of Success

Inexperience shouldn’t be an excuse for lacking professionalism. Even if you are just starting out, a few simple hacks will give your company the appearance of a hugely successful company. Quite frankly, you’d be a fool not to take them.

Although home-based companies are more common than ever, many customers will be put off by this fact. But having a registered office address will instantly overcome this issue. You’ll have the status of an operation based in a sought after location without the associated costs. Not bad, eh?

Meanwhile, boosting your online visibility by embracing the power of Google will serve you well too. If you aren’t already using SEO as a key element of your marketing strategy, then now is the time to make a change.

3. Communicate

Communication is a fundamental part of business, but it is often lost on the home-based business. Don’t let yourself become the latest victim.

Customer care is vastly underrated in the modern business world. Going the extra mile to build better relationships will bring huge rewards. Use facilities such as social media and email support to keep customers happy and you will not go far wrong.

Meanwhile, networking events are a great way to learn more about the industry and establish important business links.

4. Outsource

Running a business from home can feel like a lonely place. But help is available and you don’t need to be overawed by the sheer volume of work.

Outsourcing has become very popular in recent years and is a fantastic resource for home-based businesses to thrive. Well, you aren’t going to hire employees to turn up at your house each morning, are you?

Many hands make light work, and this is the perfect way to increase workflow without blowing your budget. If you want to take your business to the next level, this can be your secret weapon.

Take Away

Starting your own business have never been much easier. With the opportunities that the internet has opened for all of us today, you have a whole lot of tools and help out there that you can leverage to grow your home business with much ease. Put the above tips to use today and you will see good results from your efforts.

Have some more tips to share with us on this topic? Feel free to do so in your comments below.

Top 3 Financial Issues In Business You Might Face As An Entrepreneur (Solved!)

As an entrepreneur, there are a lot of risks and problems you will likely encounter. Unfortunately, many budding entrepreneurs forget that there are a lot of problems that will present themselves once you own your own business. The reality however, is that these issues are critical to your success as an entrepreneur. It is important therefore that you understand what these problems are so you can avoid them and achieve startup success. If, as an entrepreneur, you fall into the trap of these issues, your business can suffer as a result.

One of the most common problems you’re going to face will be issues with finances. Running a business can be very expensive, and you need to make every penny count. Have a look at the following common financial problems you can expect to face as a business owner and what you can do to overcome them.

Common financial issuess entrepreneurs face

1. Lack of Profits

The biggest one, and the one all business owners dread is the lack of profits. Now, there can be many reasons that might cause a lack of profits. Sometimes it might be the time of year, the weather, or the economic climate. Other times it might be your business approach or your marketing strategy.

If you are suffering from a lack of profits you should hire a business consultant to identify where you’re going wrong. This will help you put an action plan in place to improve business once again.

2. Investment Scams

Because you’re struggling with profits, you might wish to put long-term measures in place. This is essential for looking after the financial future of the company. Making investments that you can cash in on in the future is a great way of doing this. However, there are a lot of dangers and scams in the investment world. And you need to know what things to look for so you can take steps to avoid these scams.

Make sure you research the sorts of scams that are quite common and make sure you’re knowledgeable about what they are. Also, make sure you never invest in any company or commodity that isn’t certified.

3. Tax

Tax is something that everyone is subject to. However, as a business owner you’re going to have to sort your own out. This can be a long and stressful exercise, and you might not know how much you need to pay. An accountant will be able to sort these things out for you. So you need to make sure you budget for accountant fees and keep enough cash saved to cover any tax you might need to pay. Try to remember that business tax is a legal requirement and the quicker you get it sorted, the sooner you can get it out the way.

Last Word

When you launch a startup, you’re going to find a heavy strain on your finances. There will be a lot of expenditure to deal with, and everything is going to cost money. And, on top of that, you need to make sure you look out for any financial problems or issues like the ones in this post. They can have a negative impact on how your company operates. So you’ve got to make sure you fix these financial problems as soon as you can.

3 Simple Steps to Setting up A Successful Business [QUICK GUIDE]

Are you thinking about starting a business? Well many do these days however, what is holding a lot of these people back is the question of, how do I get started? Where do I start?

While these questions are relevant the truth is that you mustn’t allow them debar you from running with your vision. So, if you are thinking of starting your own business but you are still worried on how you should go about it, I invite you to check out the following 3 simple steps to building your own successful business. In this guide I present you with the essential information that will equip you with the fundamentals of how to start your business on the right footing.

If you are ready let’s get started:

How to start a successful business of your own

Step #1: Come Up With a Business Idea

The first step in starting a business is coming up with an idea. You have to come up with something to base your business around. This could be an idea for a new product to sell on the market. Or, it could be an idea for a service that people would want. The main thing is to come up with an idea that people want. Do some research and see what people are demanding, and then supply it.

When you’ve come up with a business idea, it’s time to test it. Organize a few focus groups and pitch your idea to them. See what normal people think of the idea, whether they like it or not. If everyone gives you two thumbs up, then you’re on the right track.

After you’ve tested your idea, it’s time to look for funding. Think about pitching your idea to some angel investors to get financial backing. Or, go down to your bank and apply for a business loan.

Step #2: Find Your Target Market

If you want to start a successful business, you need to have a solid marketing strategy. The key part of any marketing strategy is finding your target market. Your target market will be the people that you promote your business too. They’ll be the primary focus of all your marketing efforts.

But, how do you find your target market? The first thing you should do is look at what your business does. If you’ve followed my first step, you should have a business idea! Take a look at this idea and think about who it appeals to the most. What age range does it appeal to? What type of person would like what you have to offer? There are plenty of questions to ask, to help you zero in on your target market.

Once you’ve got your target market, you can focus on your marketing campaign. Use loads of techniques, both digital and traditional, to help promote your business. All the while, your target market should be in the back of your mind. If you hire an online marketing company, you can promote to your target audience via the internet. This means you’re able to reach far more people than if you stuck with just traditional techniques.

Step #3: Create a Positive Image

Another highly important step is to create a positive image. You want people to hear about your business and think about it in a good way. Whenever someone sees your logo or name, they want to have positive thoughts. You don’t want people associating your business with bad things.

The key to a positive image is professionalism. If your business looks professional, it will have a very good image. Whereas if it doesn’t, people will consider it amateur and won’t take you seriously.

Also, a positive image comes from doing positive things. Think about becoming a green business to improve your image. People will respect a company that cares for the environment.

Conclusion

There you have it, 3 simple quick steps to starting a successful business. Truth is you will need to put in a little effort at the beginning. While this sometimes appears to be tedious and tiring, you must know that nothing good comes easy. Get these fundamentals right and stay the course and you will be sure of building a successful business that will beat your imagination.

Have any questions on starting your own business? Feel free to ask in your comments below.

4 Reasons to Hire Virtual Help For Your Small Business

If you own your own business, it is definite that at some point, you are going to need help. This is because no matter how well vast you may be or no matter how great your ideas are, there’s going to be a time  when running that business would demand more of your attention and time. Of course, when things become this busy there won’t be enough hours in the day for you to keep up.

There are different options opened to you if you need help today. One of such is business services which are ready to help you out. However, if you are thinking of outsourcing as a small business, your first step should be to get a virtual assistant. Right now the internet has so popularized the idea of virtual working that the number of virtual assistants has increased tremendously in recent times. Whatever type of virtual help you need there is never a short fall.

But is the above enough reason why you should hire a virtual assistant? Wouldn’t it just be better to handle things yourself either because of the financial reasons or because you can do things better?

If you’re still wondering if hiring a virtual assistant is worth it, here are four excellent reasons why you should do it:

1. To Run Your Social Media

On the face of it, social media is a very good idea. It helps you interact directly with your customers, and it can even lead to more business coming your way if you do it right. The trouble is; it is hard to manage when you are on your own. There are Facebook and Twitter, for starters. Unless you have a constant presence, there is little point in having one at all. And then there’s Pinterest, and LinkedIn, and Google+, and Instagram…the list is extensive, to say the least. You can quickly get swamped with everything you need to do and respond to, so a virtual assistant can help keep things ticking over.

4 Reasons to Hire Virtual Help For Your Small Business

2. To Take Messages When You Can’t

As a small business owner, you will have two core tasks to concentrate on. They are finding new customers and serving current clients. In the early days, when you don’t have many customers, this won’t be an issue. But, as your name gets out there, it will become a lot harder to field calls and keep up your high levels of service for your customers. So, think about hiring a virtual call handler who can answer your messages instead. They will be able to screen your calls, so you know who to call back when you have time. And, most importantly, it means you can devote your concentration to making your current clients happy.

3. So You Can Focus On Important Things

Time is of enormous importance for any business owner, and the more hours you spend making a profit, the more chance you have of success. For example, if you are a marketing whiz, then you should be spending all of your time spreading your message and thinking about strategy. You shouldn’t be doing the laborious task of entering new customer names into a database. Instead, find a virtual assistant data entry specialist. They will not only do your work in double the time you can but also so it for a small percentage of your hourly rate.

4. To Find New Leads

Lead generation is a vital part of business growth, but it’s yet another thing that takes you away from your core activities. Of course, there is a part you should play yourself – namely making the sale and following up on warm leads. But finding them in the first place? It’s easier to hand over that side of things to a virtual assistant. They can draw up a spreadsheet, make an initial call, or scour social media for potential interest.

As you can see, virtual assistants can be an excellent and cost-effective tool for your business. It doesn’t matter the type of business you are in, getting virtual help is an investment that is worth it. Or what do you think?

Starting Strong: The Secret to Starting Your Own Successful Business!

There is always that feeling of satisfaction when you start your own business and the customers start flooding in. Watching your business finally hit the ‘tipping point’ is a wonderful feeling. Yes, we love that moment when we take on more clients and the money is pouring in steadily. It’s definitely a great moment that anyone would remember as a defining point in their company.

Unfortunately, there’s a long, hard road to this point! Startups and new businesses are like icebergs. There’s an enormous mass of unseen work and dedication hiding under the ocean. Only a tiny peak rises above the sea level. Getting your business off the ground is all about building a huge foundation first. It’s often frustrating, because businesses grow slowly. Most times your efforts feel wasted.

In this article I want to share with you a few start up business secrets that are proven and guaranteed to help any business start strong.

How to start your own business with ease

How to Start a Business Successfully

1. Planning and Research

It’s a well-known fact that most new businesses fail within their first two years. Now, there are all sorts of reasons for this. But, chief among them is a severe lack of planning and research. If you’re going to launch a business, you need to know everything about your market, and your customers. Research the competition, and find that unique niche to capitalize on. Research your customers, and find out exactly who you will sell to. Make a watertight and flawless business plan too.

2. Sheer Hard Work And Passion

Getting your business off the ground requires a lot of unseen hard work. You’ll spend weeks and months working without any immediate reward. It’s disheartening, but you’ve got to look at the bigger picture. That’s where sheer hard work, dedication, and passion come into play. If you’re not loving this process, you’re doing it wrong. Get up early, put the hours in, and make it happen.

3. Find A Partner

You very rarely see a business take off without a strong partnership at the helm. Even when there is one high-profile figurehead, there’s usually a hidden partner – the Eduardo Saverin to Mark Zuckerberg; the Steve Wozniak to Steve Jobs!

Entrepreneurs are typically creative and imaginative. But you need the logical, financial brain to balance it. Embrace your weaknesses, and delegate the work to others. A business partner will help shape the business, and take it to the next level.

4. Initiative

The biggest businesses in the world got their break because they went after it with fierce initiative. They didn’t wait for success to knock on their door. They spotted a gap in the market, and they jumped on it fast. Use your initiative. Follow your instinct. The longer you wait to capitalize on an opportunity, the faster someone else will grab it.

5. An Online Presence

It’s very tricky for any modern company to exist or survive without an online presence. As a small business, it’s your best tool for growing an audience and reaching customers. If it seems overwhelming, visit http://kencourtright.com. Ken is a veteran of the industry, with tons of help and advice for fledgling startups.

Conclusion

Getting your new business off the ground is no easy feat. But trust me, it’s all worth it eventually. The trick is to plan your growth, and not expect overnight success. Work hard, find passion in everything you do, and get a business partner to help you!

What was your startup story like? Was it a challenging one? What are your best-kept secrets? Share with us in your comments below.

5 Amazing Strategies to Effectively Promote and Market Your Brand in Today’s Digitalized Economy!

As a business owner, one of the things you MUST seek to understand is the key aspects involved in running a business in our today’s highly digitalized economy. You must know that succeeding in that business is really not about your product line or target market.  Your primary focus should be on your marketing.

While many are struggling today in the marketplace is because they have not been able to appreciate the tool and strategies available today for promoting and marketing their brands. In this post, I want to share with you some of the best marketing strategies out there that you can take advantage of and make your brand a success. It doesn’t matter your target market, employ these strategies and you will see how powerful they will impact your success.

how to effectively promote and market your brand

Strategies to Promote and Market Your Brand

1. Web Site

All businesses need to have a website for the company. If you don’t have one, you’re not going to be able to attract any clients or customers. A website gives the business legitimacy and professionalism. It’s also a useful ways of informing customers about the brand. When people first hear about you, they’re going to check out your website. And they will make judgements about the company based on the site. So you need to hire a team that focuses on website design and development. This way you’ll ensure you have the best possible site you can.

2. Blog

These days blogging has turned into a hugely successful form of business marketing. Many companies across the world have created their own blog. And you need to do this to make sure you don’t get left behind by the competition. Use your blog to talk about your company and the industry you’re in. You can keep it informative and slightly more informal. You might feel like you want to hire writers to write the blog content for you. Make sure you link the blog to your website so you can help make it as successful as possible.

3. Social Media

Perhaps the most powerful marketing strategy in the business world is the use of social media. This is a free and accessible way of promoting the business. It’s estimated that tens of millions of people use social media sites every day. So that’s a global audience of millions you have at your fingertips. Make sure you take advantage of that fact. You need to make sure you’re active on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Get on there and create strong profiles. Use these profiles to drive and promote the brand. And make sure you follow trends to keep yourself relevant and current.

4. Business Cards

In this digital era, it’s easy to forget how important offline marketing can be as well. And there are few techniques better to use than business cards. These are like a condensed version of your business resume. You can use the cards to detail things about you and the business. Don’t be afraid to inject a bit of flair and personality into the design either. There are a lot of resources online that will allow you to design your own business card. So make sure you get on there and design your own. You’ll want to order quite a few, and carry them with you at all times to hand out.

5. SEO

A lot of people overlook the importance of search engine optimization in business. But in reality, this is a vital part of promoting and advertising your company. SEO is essential for determining where your business ranks in search engine results. The idea is to make sure you rank as highly as possible to drive traffic to your website. SEO is a vital component of your marketing strategy. So you need to make sure you hire an excellent SEO team to help take advantage of this area of the market.

Conclusion

It’s important as a business owner to embrace the influence and power of marketing. You need your business to grow and flourish. And to do this you need to understand the best techniques to use for the company. Have a look at the suggestions on this list, and use them to help your brand thrive.

To your success.

The Smart Way to Starting a Small Business That Yields Results!

Starting a small business is a process full of risks, gambles and, hopefully, rewards. Yes, that dream of owning your business and being your own boss comes with a lot of tears and sweating but if you do not give you can have a big laugh.

Many people dream of starting their own businesses but because of the challenges involved many do not make the move ever beginning. If you have been thinking of stepping out and becoming your own boss with your own business then this is article is for you. There are a few basics you need to get right if you’re going to succeed. But not to worry, it’s doable. Simply follow the guide below and you will see yourself owing your own business in no time!

Smart way to start a small business

How to Start a Small Business the Smart Way

1. Do Extensive Research

Every business starts out as a bright idea in an entrepreneur’s mind. Starting a business is all about taking that idea and turning it into a reality. But you first need to do extensive research on the market. This will let you know whether or not your idea is new and original, and whether there is any demand for it among the public. If your idea has already been done before, you’ll have to ask yourself whether it’s a good idea to go ahead with your plan.

2. Plan Your Costs & Income

If you’re not the kind of person who is very good with numbers, dealing with the company finances won’t be much fun. But it’s something you need to do before the business is even up and running. You will have to plan out your costs and then decide where you are going to get your funds from. You could get a business loan or find an investor to invest in your idea. You’ll also need to plan out where your streams of revenue will come from. For most businesses, this will be from sales. But you’ll still need to make income forecasts.

3. Put Together a Team

You need a solid team of dedicated and skilled employees if your business is going to become a success. Hiring staff can be difficult for new entrepreneurs who have never done it before. You have to strike the right balance between skills and low-waged employees. You do need people with skills, but when you don’t have much money to spend, hiring inexperienced people with potential is a good idea too. Outsourcing to an HR consultancy can help you find the right employees too.

4. Engage with Target Customers

Once you know exactly who your target customers are, you need to think about how you’re going to engage with them. You have to capture their attention and make them think about your business if you’re going to boost your sales. The internet offers loads of way in which you can interact with customers and build relationships nowadays. You can run a blog on your website to give people a reason to visit your website and find out more about your business and what you do.

5. Keep Striving to Improve

You should never stop striving to improve your business once you’ve started it up. The moment you start to stand still and move away from your founding ideas and principles will be the moment you fail. You don’t have to be doing badly to be striving to improve. Even if your business is doing well, you should start thinking about how you can do even better. This is what all the most successful businesses in the world manage to do. No success is ever enough for them; they keep pushing to improve. And that’s the attitude you should take.

Conclusion

I’m sure you can see that you don’t really have any reason why you should not start your own business right now, right? If you will put the above tips to use and work on improving as you go on you can be sure that your business dream will become a reality.