A lot of people dream about the concept of being able to go self-employed. After all, it means that they have the freedom as well as the autonomy to be able to work on their very own terms. The growth of the sector alone has been very well publicised over the years and this means that there has bever been a better time for you to take the plunge. If you want to make sure that going self-employed is the right decision for you then you can find out whatever you need to know, right here.
You Know your Product or Service
If you want to go self-employed then you don’t need to have a final or even a polished proposition. You do however need to make sure that you know your product or your service. If you don’t then you may find that you struggle to know whether or not your idea is feasible. You also need to make sure that your product solves a definite pain point, so that you are aware of how best to address your customers.
You’re Ready and Willing
Even though you may be an expert in your field, that doesn’t mean that you can easily deal with all of the other aspects that are involved with running a business. If you want to come out a success then you need to make sure that you are able to deal with your sales, marketing accounts, technology and even legal team. The main problem with being self-employed is that you might not be an expert at everything and you probably can’t afford to outsource either. This is normal, but it does mean that you need to get your head around the basics if possible. If you want to get the best result out of your self-employed experience then eventually it may help you to look into remote onboarding at a later date.
You Want Control
If you are at a point where you feel like your ideas are just not getting the appreciation that they should, then this may indicate that now is the time for you to go self-employed. It may be that you no longer want to be told what to do, or that you just want to be more rewarded for the work that you are putting in. Either way, going self-employed gives you the chance to call all of the shots you need.
You’re Ready to Talk about Money
You have to be comfortable with money if you want to be self-employed. Undercharging is a huge issue for freelancers so you need to make sure that you pitch your services and your products at the right time. Some signs that you need to think about your charges include if your tasks are taking longer than they should be to get done, or if you find that you are continually trying to undercut your competition. It will take some trial and error, but if you take your time then you should be able to set the right prices.
The pandemic has hit millions of businesses around the world, causing them to make major cuts in employment, budget, and for some, permanent closure. If your small business has managed to make it this far, then you’re probably looking for ways to work smarter, decrease expenditure, and appeal to your target audience more than ever. Thankfully, even though the pandemic is still at large, many restrictions are being lifted, which is allowing businesses to continue trading. However, staying smart and vigilant is essential to help your business stay on track. Here are some amazing tips on how to work smarter during the pandemic.
Cutting back costs in 2020 might have been a priority for your business, and if you had to cut back on marketing costs and begin tackling it yourself, you’ll know how much time and effort it takes. However, you can have the best of both worlds! While a permanent in-house marketing team would be ideal, if your budget doesn’t stretch that far then you may run into issues. Outsourcing marketing allows you to let an experienced professional create and run your marketing campaigns - but only as and when you need them! Paying a freelancer say, once a month, rather than for every day of the month will save you money and prevent your marketing from falling down the drain.
Look bigger than you are
One of the downsides of being a small business is that quite often, customers would rather entrust their money with larger businesses because they think larger businesses are more trustworthy. While this isn’t necessarily the case, making your business look like a larger corporation may help you attract more customers. You can do this by:
Sell COVID-friendly products or services
Finally, we’re living in an age where anything to help survive the pandemic is something people will want. Find ways to incorporate COVID-friendly products or services into your niche. Whether it’s a branded face-mask, an app to help cure boredom, or even hacks to help stay safe, people will be interested in buying from a company they know and love. Appeal to the COVID market and you’ll notice a considerable improvement in sales!
If you want to survive and help your business to grow, then you need to make sure that you have a steady stream of business clients. In the old days, this was a case of you simply sending out a flyer or even a postcard. You might have even been able to put your ad in a local paper, but right now, things work very differently. You have to make sure that you adapt to what is around you and you also need to make sure that you are willing to figure out the best way to really get your business on the map. If you don’t then you may find that you end up struggling to get noticed and this is the last thing that you need.
Verify Google Business
If you are running a B2B business, then you have to make sure that you are as professional as the companies you are marketing to. Your Google Business Profile is what gives your business the opportunity to show up in search results. It also shows up when someone types in your company name on the internet. Google is getting better at catering to users all the time and this free listing should always be your top priority. Ideally, you would use your business profile to promote your company, not to mention that it also helps to verify legitimacy. You can do this through your very own Google My Business account. When you are able to verify ownership of your company, you can then optimise your listing. This will help you to show up much higher in the search results and it will give you access to much more advertising options. If you are able to show on Google Maps, then this will help you to really make the most out of your local SEO efforts.
Print Leaflets and Flyers
You may think that this is a very outdated way for you to do business, but this is not the case at all. In fact, printing leaflets and flyers is actually a fantastic way for you to make the most out of your marketing campaign, if you combine it with your other efforts. If you are going down the flyer route then you have to make sure that you incorporate your website and you also need to make sure that you add plenty of digital information. This could include your social media handle, for example. If you want to make the most out of your marketing, then it would be wise for you to use large format printing machines.
It’s one thing for you to promote your company, but it is another for Google to promote your company. SEO will ultimately determine your ranking algorithm, so you have to make sure that you put in the work to boost your ranking. If you want to boost your SEO, then you need to add relevant keywords that are based on your location as well as your industry. You also need to make sure that you add them to specific places on your site too. At the end of the day, if you can produce high-quality content with tagged images then this will help you out in the long run and it will also help you to maintain a solid site that brings in business for years to come.
We all want to work less and earn more, don’t we? It’s the dream, the final step towards that ever-elusive ‘work/life balance.’ And yet, until now, most of us have assumed that it’s a myth. After all, you get out what you put in – everyone knows that!
Unless maybe you don’t. According to recent reports, US workers who put in as many as 60 hours each week were less likely than their peers to have received a bonus in the last three years.
Far from being an injustice, this is clear evidence that you don’t have to work yourself into the ground to get ahead. In fact, doing so could be hindering your earnings, and here’s why.
A focus on quantity not quality
When we push ourselves too far to be productive, we fall into a focus on quantity rather than quality. After all, a sixty-hour workweek might sound impressive, but there’s no way you can produce good work for that length of time. Rather, you’re liable to work like a sleep-deprived zombie trudging towards a deadline. And, your efforts will be as flat as your pulse!
By comparison, employees who stick to the forty-hour standard may well come in and boss it on the quality front, meaning that their shorter timeframe is worth more than your long one. Which begs the question, why would you bother to work more in the first place?
An inability to hand over responsibility
If you’re too focused on being the hardest working, then you’re more likely to take everything on your shoulders. This may seem like a valiant effort, but martyrdom is never good. If you’re juggling product development on top of lead generation, you’re more liable to wear yourself down and drop both balls.
By comparison, outsourcing allows you to hone your time, and clock off at a decent hour. All with the promise of better results. After all, outsourcing managed IT means that you can get cybersecurity right at last while turning to a lead generation company ensures that time you spend converting is time well spent. Far from a failure, accepting that you can’t do it all is fundamental to making the most possible money from your time.
Failure to see straight
It’s also worth noting that, the more you work, the less you can see simple solutions to challenges. And, when this happens, you spend more time developing less satisfactory responses.
Switching your brain off sometimes is the ideal way to solve production dilemmas or close leads at last. Much like when we’re falling asleep, our brains often find answers to these things themselves when left to their devices. By comparison, hunching over a desk and considering things for too long will make it trickier for you to reach satisfactory conclusions, as well as taking ever more of that precious time.
So, you see, it may sound impressive when you state you’ve worked a sixty-hour week, but is it really the right way to earn more? Probably not.
Starting up a business is no easy feat. Expect financial loss, energy exertion, and heavy competition. With that said, it is important to start your business with the best possible chances. These simple steps will guide you towards developing a successful start-up.
1. Consider the market you are going into
Think about any market niche your business applies to. Gaps in the market will generate higher consumer demand, which you can capitalize on. Familiarize yourself with competitors and find out what they are doing, and more importantly, what they are not doing. Carrying out competitive analysis is crucial if you want your business to succeed.
2. Devise a business model
Businesses come in all shapes and sizes. You may aspire to one day expand your start-up into a franchise. You may want to offer a subscription-based service to maintain loyal customers. Or, perhaps you are going for a direct sales business model. Whatever the case, modeling your business will fortify your vision and assist with potential problems. The nine building blocks of a business model are customer segments, key resources, value propositions, client channels, key partners, customer relationships, revenue streams, activities that create value, and cost structure.
3. Consider your employees
Once you have established your business model, think about what kind of working environment it will create for employees and how you can implement systems to benefit them and improve efficiency. For example, if you have lone workers or employees that perform paging and alarm management, Motorola radio rental offers specialized two-way systems and communication solutions.
4. Work on your final product
Many start-ups' common downfall is assuming they can offer a wide range of products from the outset. Doing this will deplete the limited resources you have. Instead, pick one or two products you can perfect. New customers will appreciate your service quality and be inclined to positively review, repeat purchase, and recommend to a friend.
5. Gather customer feedback
After launching your business and getting those initial sales, it is important to review your customer feedback. Positive or negative, it will demonstrate where to alter your business. If the reviews are mostly positive, look specifically at what worked well. Recurring themes in feedback signify consumer habits. Analyzing this data may reveal opportunities for expansion within that area.
6. Carry out market surveys
If you are trying out a new product or service, it is a good idea to collect data from your targeted audience before launching anything. You can do this through online questionnaires like Survey Monkey. You could put the question to online forums. Or, you could organize a focus group. Each method has its benefits. Online surveys and forums can target a wider demographic, while focus groups may offer more in-depth feedback on a product or its branding.
It's a given that start-ups need a fair amount of initial planning. But with savvy preparation and research, there is the opportunity to succeed. Remember: start small, think big.
Many people dream of starting their own business, they want to work for themselves, they have a great idea that they know people would use or want and they want to make loads of money for themselves without having to give it to someone else. If you’re one of these people who dream of starting your own business, then what is it that is stopping you?
The answer is nothing, and while you might be able to think up plenty of excuses to keep putting it off, in reality, the only thing that is stopping you from achieving your dream is you. If this year has taught us anything it is that life is short and you never know what is around the corner. Who could have predicted that 2020 would be spent mostly in lockdown, social distancing, unable to travel and in fear of a failing economy? It sounds like a disastrous time to start a business but in fact, this pandemic is not an excuse and is as good a time as any to start your business.
You have the time
One of the biggest reasons people give for not following their dreams or one of the things that people complain they never have enough of is time. But this pandemic has given us time. Whether you have been laid off, furloughed, working from home or carrying on your job as normal, it has still meant that there has been less to do and far more time spent in the house. While it looks like there is the hope of a vaccine now, it doesn’t mean the pandemic is over so if there are more lockdowns then perhaps it's time to use them wisely to work on your business.
You have the resources
The other thing available right now is a talent as well as other businesses who need work. For example, there are small business owners who could help you out, from electricians to logistics consultants, there are people ready and waiting to get their teeth stuck into something good and help you get your business off the ground. There are also so many talented people who have lost their jobs and are looking for work and could be an asset to your business.
There is a demand
While the world has changed significantly and some things are no longer as important as they once were, on the other hand, there are things such as face masks, PPE, virtual meetings and deliveries which have never been so popular. If your business can help to meet the demand that the pandemic has caused then it's the perfect time to start.
You can adapt
The great thing about starting your business now is that you can adapt to the new world straight away. You won’t need to make changes as you can have the restrictions and guidelines in place from the off. Your business can be something that doesn't just exist in a post-covid world but can thrive and help people adapt to a new way of living.
We all take pleasure when our ideas come to fruition. We’re even more pleased when the ideas have an impact by improving motivation, innovation or productivity, among other areas. The spread of an idea can benefit many, but that popularity can also alter and distort the original. You can read more over at Entrepreneur Europe...
In an age where we have unlimited access to pretty much everything you can imagine, it’s easy to become tempted to learn as much as possible.
Maybe you feel as though becoming an expert in many fields will benefit your career or business prospects? And in some ways, you’re not wrong to think that- having knowledge in several areas will set you aside from the crowd as well as giving you the personal gratification of learning something new.
However, there are several reasons why it’s often good, and not self-limiting to become a hyper specialist.
Here are some of them..
You get to become an expert in your field
One of the best reasons to focus on one or two areas of expertise is that the more you invest in your knowledge the better.
Imagine if an athlete decided that they wanted to spread themselves across more areas of the athletics industry. They decided they want to train, coach, advertise sporting events, and run the ticket desk, too. While all of these things are jobs that are related to the athletics field, the more this athlete does that will take them away from their training and participation in events, the less time and energy they have to focus on the things that set them apart from the others.
It’s the same if you’re in marketing. You decide you also want to try your hand at the web design, content writing, accounts, and sales as well. You’ll be spreading yourself too thinly and potentially missing out on some key aspects of the ever-evolving world of marketing. Staying focused on this one area will mean you get to invest all of your energy in becoming the best.
You can offer something unique
Imagine you’re at a restaurant and the server gives you a 10 page menu to choose your meal from. Not only are you more likely to end up plagued by indecision, but the choice you make may not result in the best quality meal for your time and money. It’s the same in business. If you offer too much, you’re not going to offer the best quality out there.
However, if you head to the sandwich bar three doors down the road who offer one meat, one vegetarian, and one fish option with only three kinds of bread, you know that you’re going to get something a bit more special. This expert specialism is what keeps people coming back. Sure, not everybody wants a sandwich all the time, but when they do, they’ll know exactly where to go.
It can get even more specific than that, even. Medifit Design and Construct are a great example of a business that takes something that people look for (design agency) with a specialism (for healthcare practices). People looking for those particular services may be able to find a company that will do a good job designing their medical practice, but perhaps none as good as one that will be able to deliver the same attention to detail as a specialist company.
This is why becoming hyper specialist isn’t limiting.
Starting your new business is a journey that will take you through many ups and downs. That said, it is exciting and one which is extremely rewarding. Plus, many people say working for themselves is the best thing they have ever done. When starting your business, there are many things to consider: branding, finances to websites, and funding. Below is an overview of a few things you should consider when starting your own business.
Creating your website
Will you be making your website yourself or hire a professional to make one for you? Depending on your requirements, a website will help bring in new customers to your business and allow you to appeal to them in a different way. Before starting your website, make sure you put a plan together of what you will need on it and the type of website it will be, whether eCommerce, or a brochure-like site.
When running your business, it is important to stay on top of your finances. Using an account package, you will be able to track how you are doing instantly through a click of a button. Not only that, but you will also be able to send invoices and keep an eye on your expenses. By using digital accounting, you can easily allow your accountant access to your books without having to visit them in person. This will enable them to log in and see how you are performing without leaving their office to meet you; it can all be done over a phone call.
How will you brand yourself?
Logos, brand colors, and marketing materials should all be thought about before launching your company. Your logo is important, as everyone will see first and give them the first impression of your business. Done cheaply, it can be detrimental to your brand. Brand colors can portray a lot about you; if you are a luxury brand, you may want more gold’s and silvers used instead of bright funky colors. By hiring a graphic designer, they can help you with all of this.
Testing your idea in the real world
If your idea is completely new, how do you know it will work? Before investing heavily in your idea, it’s worth creating some prototypes and seeing how people respond to it. This is a great way to get actual feedback and to get other people’s opinions. Take note of what people are saying is you can use this to develop your idea and make it even better.
Will you need investment?
Will your business plan require you to need significant investment, or can you gradually grow your business? If you need investment, have you considered how you are going to raise funds? Make sure you do your research and put together a solid business plan to explain each step of your journey and how the money will be spent. Angel investors, bank loans, competitions, friends, and family, there are many ways for you to pitch and bring in some funding for your idea.
Financial uncertainty has prompted many to start thinking about a Plan B to help supplement their existing income, while others have spent lockdown pondering whether the career they thought they wanted is right for their long-term future. Entrepreneur Europe caught up with one CEO to find out how she runs her business in 3 hours at night!
Running a business from home certainly has its advantages but without the credibility that larger businesses possess, it can sometimes be difficult to get taken seriously.
Still, this doesn't mean a home business owner can't find success, and this doesn't mean the business won't have the capacity to grow. Just look at Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos, for example, two entrepreneurial luminaries who eventually grew out of their homes and into (for want of better words) the big leagues!
So, if you're working from home, in whatever capacity, here are some tips to help you get taken seriously. You might then experience the growth that those now running multi-million companies have attained or, at the very least, make yourself a tidy income from whatever type of business you are running.
#1: Benefit from a virtual office address
If you are using your home address on your mailouts, your clients and customers might fail to take you seriously. Especially if you are trying to convey a professional image, it will be a direct giveaway that you are probably working from home in your pj's. This is where a virtual address comes in handy as it can give the impression that your business is bigger than it actually is. You can also benefit from a telephone answering service with the services of a virtual office provider, and again, this will do much to convey a more professional image. Follow the previous link for one example, and consider the benefits for you.
#2: Be careful with your video calls
If you're speaking to clients through Skype or any other type of video communication tech, be sure to dress well before making a call. While working from home can give you the opportunity to wear your pj's or slacks, your dress sense will reflect poorly on your image. Dress smartly then, and consider wearing a suit for those you are really trying to impress.
Be sure to make your calls in your home office too. This is far more professional than chatting with your clients in your living room, and it can also convey the image that you're not working from your home. We have some tips on designing a successful home office, so have a read of our article.
And finally, take note of this BBC news interview that was conducted with one esteemed professional. If you want your clients to take you seriously, be sure not to let your children interrupt you when you're having a serious business conversation!
#3: Brush up your brand image
Enlist the help of the professionals if you need help with this regard. A web designer will give you a professional-looking website, a photographer will give you the quality photos you need for your website and other promotional materials, and a copywriter will provide with you the written content you need to give that excellent first impression.
Be sure to ask your customers and clients for testimonials for your website, and ask them to leave reviews on business review sites as well. And have a separate social media account for your home business because your personal account just won't do if you want to be taken seriously, especially if some of the content is for friends eyes only!
By taking these steps, you will improve your brand image and improve your credibility.
We wish you every success with your home business!
If you are in a position where you are starting to think about working from home, that is a great opportunity that you are going to want to make the most of. It could be that you have started a business which you will run from home, or that you are trying to work from home more as a result of covid. Whatever it is, part of the process is going to be designing and building a home office which you can use and which you are likely to enjoy. Let’s take a look at what might be involved in that process.
Find Your Spot
First up, you need to find the spot in the home where you are going to have your office. Ideally, this will be somewhere that you don’t use for anything else. If you have a spare room, a basement, or even a garden shed, any of those could be ideal for a home office. It should be somewhere away from the general hubbub of the home, and where you are not going to be disturbed - or disturb anyone else in the home either. It also needs to be of a decent size, so that you can comfortably work there.
Build A Desk
Chances are, you are going to want a desk to work at. You can build one yourself easily enough. Anyone with even a basic understanding of woodworking can achieve this, and it is one of the easier projects you can hope to complete. Or you might decide that you want to get hold of one premade and simply install it, which can work just as well. In either case, you will then want to make sure that it is ready to work at, which might include fitting out electrics like a mains neon indicator, ensuring that everything is in its right place, and so on.
Although it might not be completely necessary, there is something wonderful about decorating the home office. It helps to make it a more enjoyable place to work, and it generally means that you are going to have a much better time of making the most of that spot. You can of course decorate it however you wish, but it might be worth bearing in mind just how different colours affect your productivity. Do your research on this and you should find that you can make the right decision.
Stock It Up
Finally, you now need to stock up your home office with everything that you will need to do your job well. As long as you have a place for everything, it is going to be much more the kind of place you hope to work, and you should find that it makes a huge difference to how the office feels to work in. All in all, building your own home office is simple enough, so consider doing it if you are thinking about working from home or starting a business to run from home as soon as possible.
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of this website.