Businesses and Owners Need a Protective Cocoon

Setting up your own business is one of the greatest and most fulfilling things you can do in life. Yet, time and time again, we’ve all seen it come crashing down because the proper precautions were not set in place. As a small business owner, it’s up to you to watch your own back. Entrepreneurship is a complex beast to understand, but essentially ideas are spun out into the real world to see what sticks.

However the merit of the idea may be sound, but the way your business is set up and how it functions can create chinks in the armor. Having a good solid team around you to think about the pitfalls and potential fights with authorities, legal circles and opposing group, is something every business owner, large or small needs to have. But there are many forms in which a protective cocoon can take; people power is just as important as strong legal structures.

The level-headed seniors

As part of your upper management, executives and senior advisors, people you employ can give you their precarious opinions when you need them most. When you’re planning a project, whether it involves planning permission, drawing up a binding terms and conditions agreement, or dealing with other businesses, staff with brilliant minds can look into greater detail concerning any negative implications.

It’s wise therefore to promote voices of reasons in your office where crucial decisions involving money, business image and future projections are concerned. This can only come due to experience. Many businesses these days are all too rapidly hiring younger people because they believe new ideas come from fresh minds. This may be true, but the senior and more maturely aged staff can protect you from going too far with an idea.

Keeping your distance

Having the ability to make a good sales report is a sign of progress and success. You rely on consumers to make continuous purchases from your business to keep going. Realistically, it’s almost like an unofficial agreement that is mutually beneficial. It’s therefore wise to make assurances you have made the proper plans in case you are falsely accused of either damaging a customer or not living up to a perceived agreement.

You should always have on hand experts who are knowledgeable in business law. Business litigation is a big concern for entrepreneurs as they don’t have the big corporate lawyers in the palm of their hands, yet may be subject to one of the most common forms of legal frictions.

Uphold company standards

When you are employing staff and going through the complicated process of interviews and signing employment contracts, it’s imperative you keep in mind what they represent. Ultimately the actions of employees will reflect back on the business.

Your employment contract should clearly state the prohibition of any malpractice, and especially the contractual agreement to uphold any legal standards the business is adhering to. It will take a slow and steady pace to word your contract correctly, but this provides you with an extra safety net.

Businesses are able to stay afloat sometimes, purely because they have the nature of a robust protective cocoon. This includes employees that follow company codes, a great legal team to help you word important consumer agreements, as well as senior staff with good diplomacy skills.

Starting a Business by Brainstorming Ideas When You Don’t Know What Business to Create

Starting a business is quite possibly one of the most nerve-wracking, exciting, stressful, uncertain times in a person’s life. However, thanks to the internet and the many success stories we hear these days, we know that it’s possible for just about anybody to start a business and enjoy some level of success with it. Maybe you have your very own dream of starting a business. That’s incredible! But do you know what business to start?

You’re not alone if, like many others, you dream of being a successful entrepreneur but have no idea what your business is going to be. It’s possibly the most important thing you’ll ever make a decision on, so you need to get it right. This guide will help you if you’re going back and forth with ideas and seemingly getting nowhere.

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Get to Know Yourself

The first step is to know as much about yourself as possible. Grab a piece of paper and a pen — go on, do it now. Then, write ‘things about me’ at the top. Do it in big bubble writing if you want. Add a few doodles. Okay, that’s enough. Now it’s time to write about the things you love, the things you like to do, and the things you’re interested in. Write down anything that comes into your mind. Leave a little room though, as you also need to write down the things you’re not so confident with. What don’t you like doing? What aren’t you as good at? Make sure you don’t overthink anything.

Using your new list, think of around five (5) things that could make your personal life better. This could be your life as a pet owner, a parent, or an avid sports fan. Also take this time to figure out why you want to start a business, and what it is about what you’re doing now that you do not like. Use this to come up with as many ideas as you can. It’s up to you to figure out which one has the most momentum, and which one you’ll likely want to see through to completion.

Everything was once just a simple idea, and many entrepreneurs felt exactly the way you do now. Lost. Confused. Wondering whether it can really work. But you know what? They just went ahead and did it anyway! You need to do the same. Remember, it’s about starting something, and not necessarily ‘the right thing’. Want to know a secret? You probably won’t get it right the first time. But starting is the key to any kind of success.

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When You’ve Landed on an Idea

Once you’ve come up with an idea that you have an interest in and you feel fairly excited about, it’s time to get things moving. You can accelerate your project development with a start up app designed to fast track your idea. It’s also going to be a good idea to look into things like funding. Will you use peer to peer lending, angel investors, or your own cash? Take small steps each day and you’ll end up where you’re supposed to be.

Remember, once you have your business idea, there’s no real ‘bad time’ to start a business. People have money and they want to spend it, and if you have a good idea, your target audience will want to give it to you. Get started; take a leap!


Insight from 7 Influential E-commerce Founders to Transform You into a Creative Entrepreneur [Infographic]

Entrepreneurs are creative by nature. However, there are things you can do if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, but are failing to come up with any incredible ideas. If you want to turn into a more creative person who comes up with ideas like a machine, these ideas can help you:

Treat Life Like a Creative Exercise

Treat your entire life like a creative exercise. How can you show the most creativity and enthusiasm in whatever you’re doing right now? It might be cleaning the house, writing a social media bio, or shopping for a new dress. Have fun with life and expand your imagination as you do so.

Get Outside

Some of the most successful people in the world claim that spending time in nature helps them to focus and become more creative. It might sound a little crazy, but some people believe that their ideas actually come from the plants and natural elements around them! Regardless of what you believe, simply walking in nature can actually have a positive impact on your creative thinking process.

Spend Time in the Right Environment

Create the perfect environment for you to get creative in. Make sure you include the right lighting, noise levels, scents, motivational pictures, and anything else that could inspire you. You might find that using things like aromatherapy in your environment, and playing nature sounds help you to concentrate. Others might be at their best creative selves when listening to Katia Beauchamp rock ‘n’ roll!

Hopefully, these ideas have inspired you. The influencers below have some great tips and insight for you too.

Take a look!  

Infographic Credit: Red Stag Fulfillment

Is Your Business Ready for a Factory?

Business growth is a hard thing to control. You can’t exactly stop customers from buying your products, but it’s difficult to tell whether your business is currently just a fad company or if you’re actually providing products to a growing audience. Whatever the case, your business growth needs to be taken seriously and if you aren’t preparing your workplace and assets for that growth, you could become and irrelevant business within just a short and painful week.

Preparing for a factory

A factory is one of the biggest steps a business can take when moving on from a small startup to a large corporation. First, you need to think about the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing your production as opposed to buying or building your own factory. Then you have to think about advanced machinery, tube conveyor systems to ferry goods around your factory, and even hiring a foreman to help the operation run smoothly. It goes without saying that there is a lot to think about, but there are some simple steps to help you break it down.

First, identify if your business is going through a legitimate growth or if a famous celebrity recently tweeted about your company and you’re just going experiencing a short uptick in social media engagement and popularity. If your products are being sold to a variety of customers and you’re actually providing something useful to your customers, then it’s a safe bet that you need to grow quickly. If you’re just selling your products because it’s a trend (fast fashion, for instance), then you might want to hold off on expanding to a factory.

Switching to a factory isn’t an overnight process and it’s nothing something that can be negotiated within a month, so you have plenty of time to decide if it’s worth the extra work and effort. However, if for that month or so of negotiations you’re unable to cope with orders, then it’s a good sign that you should be expanding your operations.

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Deciding between outsourcing and building your own

Let’s not take this lightly; building your own factory is extremely expensive and you’re going to need a lot of professional help in order to make it work. The only time you should seriously consider making your own factory is if you plan to diversify your products and make something new, or if you need total control over all of your production.

If you don’t need that much control or if you’re only focusing on a single product, then consider outsourcing your production instead. You’ll need to negotiate with the factory owner and you might even run into some logistical problems due to the location of the factory and how you plan to source the raw materials, but it’s a great way to get large batches of a product ready to sell.

Just keep in mind that you’ll need to monitor the production line no matter what option you chose. The last thing you want is to mass-produce your famous product, only to find that the production line has compromised quality for the sake of speed because you might lose more than just a few customers.

Here’s Why The Hotel Industry Should Be Your Next Business Focus

Are you beginning to think about your next business venture? There are lots of different industries you could move into, such as tech, finance, or media. But have you ever thought about going into the hotel industry? Even considering the various financial and market crashes that have occurred over the past few years, the hotel industry is still proving to be a lucrative area for entrepreneurs.

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Still wondering whether setting up your next business in the hotel industry is really for you? Hopefully, these compelling reasons will sway your decision for you.

New Tech Makes It Easy For Hotel Newbies

New technology is making business easier for so many people. These days there are many people embarking on a career in entrepreneurship who probably never dreamed that they would. But thanks to tech and Internet advances and developments, anyone can set up a successful company. And all of this tech is perfect for those wanting to break into the hotel industry. For instance, various software and programs now make hotel management and booking management a lot easier than what they once were. And the Internet is now a great source of help and information. If new hotel entrepreneurs ever run into a sticky situation, they just have to do a quick Google search to find answers.

It’s A Highly Innovative Industry

I’m sure you will have heard about new booking websites, such as Airbnb and Wimdu. These are innovative new sites that allow regular people to rent out their spare rooms and apartments to travelers. Thanks to these sites giving people the chance to make money through hospitality, lots of people are taking their Airbnb rooms seriously and turning them into a full-time income. The hotel industry is constantly changing and developing, making it ever easier for people to launch their cool new business idea.

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It’s Easy To Get Funding

One of the reasons the hotel industry managed to survive the financial crash a few years ago was because it is a very easy sector in which to get funding. If you do decide to launch a new hotel or travel business, you certainly won’t have any trouble finding grants and other types of funding. Governments are very keen to attract tourism to their company so if you set up a business which promotes a certain country’s travel hotspots, it could be very easy to get some funding from their government. Similarly, it can also be very easy to find funding from private equity sources.

There Is A Strong Workforce

You won’t find it too hard to find staff for your business either. Whether you set up a hotel or guesthouse or create a new online booking site, there will always be people fighting to bag a job with you. Travel and tourism is a very attractive industry, something which is all down to the current boom in travel blogging.

If you already work in the hotel industry, I’d love to hear some of your reasons why it’s such a fantastic sector!

3 Clever Ways To Bring In More Customers

It goes without saying that one of your main tasks as a business owner is to bring in as much profit as you can. Of course, there are many ways of doing that, but one of the cleanest and surest methods is to simply attract more customers. This in itself, however, can be particularly difficult to achieve, particularly in the current competitive marketplace. Nonetheless, there are always ways to do just that, and in this article we will look at three of the best. If you are keen to try to attract more customers into your business today, then read on to find out how.

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

One of the major mistakes that many entrepreneurs make is that they fail to take a stand and do something different. If you think about it, this is no way to get anything, not least a sudden influx of customers. No matter how many you are hoping to get on-board, even if only a few, you will probably have to go out of your comfort zone a little in order to achieve it. Chances are, like most business owners you are inadvertently narrowing your focus when you pitch. In order to draw in greater and greater numbers, you need to go against the grain and defy expectations a little. That way, people will be much more likely to be interested in what you have to say. This is something which is much easier said than done, of course, but ultimately it is just a matter of practice.

Make Use Of Records

One really useful way to find more customers is to make good use of publicly available records. There are many such records which you can find which can help you to find the right kind of clients. For example, you might consider using mortgage mailing lists, as with these you can often find people who are likely to be relatively good earners and more likely to listen to you. If you are stuck for somewhere to find names and contact details, this kind of thing can be a great place to start. Of course, if you decide to cold-call, you need to be careful not to rub anyone up the wrong way. Done right, however, this can be an effective way of finding plenty of new people.


Strategic Alliances

One of the most powerful things you can possibly have in any business is a partnership. If that partnership is with a business which can offer you much in the way of resources, that’s even better. And if you want to take it further, you can form a strategic alliance with that other business, and this is bound to help you greatly. A strategic alliance is a situation where two companies who need each other partner up for many years. They offer services which are mutually beneficial, and as a result they often last a long time. These can be hard to come across, but if you partner up with the right marketing firm, this can go a long way towards bringing in more customers.

Business Efficiency is the Key to Greatness

Efficiency is one of the most important parts of any modern company. You have to do as much as you can to make sure your company runs as efficiently as possible. And there is a lot of work and effort involved in achieving this. But, you have to prioritise because efficiency is the key to greatness in the business world. The more efficient and effective you can be, the better it will be for everyone, and for the company.

So, the most important thing to consider is how you can be more efficient. And there are a lot of things you can do that will help you to achieve this. Check out the ideas on this list, and try to use them to boost the efficiency and impact of the company.

Be Leaner

It’s important to try to be leaner as a business, and move towards a better way of doing things. This is becoming much more popular these days and is a great way of making sure you can become a more efficient company. There are so many things you have to think about when it comes to making your company more efficient. And one of the best ways is to take a leaner approach. This is where you utilise fewer resources, materials and personnel to get the best possible business outcome. So it’s something you have to think hard about. This is more achievable than you might think, but you need to make sure you get it right. There are so many things done you need to do to make the company leaner, and it starts with reducing spending.

Choose the Best Machinery

Choosing the best machinery means you can complete projects faster, and more accurately. This allows you to take on more projects and generate extra business revenue. So, look into the different types of machines you’re going to need to carry out your job. It’s worth checking out companies like Pirtek who can offer you hydraulic machinery options. This sort of thing makes it a lot easier to carry out projects and tasks in a quick, efficient manner. You only need to have one go at something as opposed to redoing work because it’s not right. That’s why there are so many benefits to having the right kind of machinery. Make the most of it, and invest in the right sort of equipment and machinery.

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Put the Right People in the Right Places

You also have to remember that efficiency is about getting things done. It’s about putting the right people in the right places. This is something that a lot of business owners seem to get wrong, and it can be detrimental. Focus on trying to out the right people in the right place. You need people who have the right skills and abilities for the job at hand. Otherwise, the quality of the work will not be the same, and you will find yourself having to redo work that’s already been done. Don’t be worried about mixing things up, and changing people around so that you have the right people in the right places.

If you can follow the ideas on here, you’ll be able to help make your company more efficient. And this will help you to make the right decisions for the company going forward. Efficiency is all about spending as little money and resources as you can, and getting the best possible outcome.

Here Today; Here Tomorrow: The Vitals For Giving Your Business Longevity

Nostalgia is the one thing that never goes out of fashion. Pick up a local newspaper and look in its entertainment section. Chances are, there are ads for a local 80s or 90s theme night. Fashions, songs and even drinks that we remember from 20 or 30 years ago. If they’re done right, they rake in money.

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Do you know what was big in the 90s? 60s and 70s theme nights. And in 2036, there will be DJs playing the hits of today. That’s the thing about nostalgia. We don’t have it for things that are still around. You don’t need to make a comeback if you never went away.

Having success is one thing, and a lot of people and businesses (small and large) can do it in the short term. But if you want to really make it, you need to stick. Do you know why 90s artists are playing the comeback trail now? Because they need the money. Short-term success doesn’t sustain an expensive lifestyle. You need always to be looking for ways not to be forgotten.

Do You Want To Be Cameo Or Aretha Franklin?

There is a difference between being known and being remembered. And perhaps the biggest part of that difference is being set to transmit and receive at the same time. If you just put a message out there, you’ll gain some traction. But if you put the word out, hear what comes back and adapt, you’ll keep climbing the ladder.

You see it in the difference between a normal blog post and interactive content marketing. People who feel they are being sold to might buy, once. Individuals who believe they are part of a conversation will become customers.

Identity Is Everything
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Harking back to the 90s again, do you remember how every new group, singer, actor or show was referred to as “the new” something? That’s effective in marketing for as long as it takes not to be new anymore. If a band was the “new Beatles,” then once the initial novelty wore off, people would just listen to the Beatles instead. You have to carve your identity, and that can only happen by speaking to your public. Be social, use Twitter, use Instagram, but do it right.

Some major brands have already embraced this, bringing them bang up to date even if the brand has many years on the clock. For example, Coke have existed since the 20th century, but their modernity is guaranteed with their social network use. They have created an entire “Hub Network” to make sure they stay on pace with trends.

Understand What You’re Working With
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Entrepreneurs today have more tools than ever before to work with, and to establish a business. The ones who do it successfully are the people who know how to use it. It’s not enough to get your business a Twitter account. Are you just reposting your blog posts on there? Then you’re not building a conversation. These days, everything happens on social networks. Be on there reacting to things and engaging. That’s how you establish your voice, but be careful. The list of brands who have made horrible errors in social media engagement doesn’t need another to add to the list.

The phrase “here today, gone tomorrow” can apply to you very quickly if you’re not in control of your story. Don’t be the new anything – be the one and only you. Stay visible and adapt – that way you can be here today, and tomorrow, and the day after too.

Efficiency Management: Analyzing The Key Elements Of Your Business

The pursuit of perfection is the hallmark of a winning entrepreneur, and being organized is a key factor. After all, how can you ever expect to reach your full potential if you don’t have a full understanding of the situation?

Managing a company isn’t easy, so paying close attention to the most important elements is vital. Here are five that will send your hopes of maximized profits through the roof.

Sales Figures

Let’s face it; sales figures are the most crucial element to the company’s growth. Therefore, it’s imperative that you know what items are selling. And if you have multiple stores, you also need to analyze popularity in each location.

Using an advanced retail pos system is essential for the modern business. Aside from allowing you to track progress and alter ideas accordingly, you’ll see other benefits. Improved facilities will set a more professional vibe for customers. Meanwhile, employees should react in a positive manner too.

Online Success

Our reliance on digital communications is unquestionably growing by the year. An attractive website can be one of your greatest assets in business, regardless of whether you actively sell items on it. But how can you truly know how well it is performing.


Image Credit: Pixabay

Checking the traffic hits alone isn’t enough. Invest in a web analytics service that will break down desktop v mobile, conversion rates, and key features. Ultimately, the more you know, the quicker you’ll grow. Simple.

Staff Output

As a business owner, your innovations are the driving force behind any growth. However, every successful entrepreneur should be supported by an equally effective team. Unfortunately, recruiting the right people is only a small part of the process.

Embracing productivity management systems will let you analyze overall output and individual efforts. Furthermore, workflow assistance should result in fewer mistakes and a reduction in wasted time. If that doesn’t help transform your venture for the better, nothing will.


For the business to become truly efficient, it mustn’t only maximize its revenue opportunities. It’s equally important that the operation maintains a tight grip on expenses. All companies will need to spend money, but frivolous spending can eat away at those profit margins. Fixing this issue is key.

Outsourcing jobs and finding other ways to lower staffing and direct production costs will help. But your priorities should lie with getting better deals on insurances, packaging costs, and energy rates. Squeezing more from your budget in these areas will give you more room to be competitive in the fierce arena, and you will see a massive difference.

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If you aren’t using your time wisely, the business will never reach its full potential. Great communication is a crucial element. Upgrading your conference room and embracing video tech can make a huge impact to your venture. Meanwhile, going paperless in the office can reduce wasted time.

Facilities alone won’t generate huge improvements. It’s equally important that your staff are trained to use them well. Meanwhile, changing tactics is key. For example, cutting team meetings down in time will save valuable minutes that can be utilized to drive the company forward at a far quicker rate.

Entrepreneurs Have To Climb A “Wall Of Worry” Before They Make It To The Top

Financial investors know all too well about climbing the “wall of worry.” Stocks keep rising and investors keep spending, even when the fundamentals are weak. Entrepreneurs have to climb their own wall of worry. But their wall is an entirely different animal to your wall. For an entrepreneur, the fear is at the center of everything that they do.

Take Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, for instance. Musk is often asked how he manages to make such daring decisions with vast sums of money. eBay acquired PayPal in October 2002 [for $1.5 billion in stock], earning Musk $165 million. But instead of going and spending the rest of his life on a beach, he reinvested it in two risky business ventures. One of those ventures was an electric car company – madness back in 2004. And the other was a space company – again, complete madness. Commentators assumed that Musk must be made of sterner stuff. He must just have an affinity for taking risks. But in interviews, Musk frequently talks about his intense fear of the unknown and how he nearly lost it all. The moral of the story? Taking risks is difficult, even for the best entrepreneurs in the world.

Here, we’re going to look at some of the major fears held by entrepreneurs and what they can do about them.

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Not Knowing How To Start

Entrepreneurs tend to have great ideas. But the difficulty in entrepreneurship isn’t the idea itself: it’s getting to the final destination. Most entrepreneurs don’t have a clue how to even begin, even if they’re masters of their own product. Here’s a tip: start by looking for local business groups in your area. Sometimes the local government will put on free seminars for startups. And often, business banks will put you in contact with networks and network events where you can find mentors. Find somebody else who did it, and get them to set you off in the right direction.

Not Earning Enough To Keep Cash Flow Positive
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The irony of startups is that they have to spend money like mad while not getting any money in. Marketing, SEO, insurance: it all costs a small fortune. Often the problem is the gap between selling the service and getting the payment. Startups don’t usually have their own credit card reader. Instead, they have to wait days, even weeks, for money to come through via invoice. In the meantime, they can often dip very close to the red.

This is a perennial problem of running a startup, and there aren’t any hard and fast solutions. The best approach here is probably to focus on your own wellbeing so you can continue to drive the business forward. Grab a mentor, and get their emotional support to see you through, even if it all ends in financial ruin.

Not Attracting Customers

The first few weeks and months of running a startup can be a lonely experience. There you are, spending all this time and money on building a business, and the phone is silent. After a few weeks go by, you start wondering whether anybody is ever going to ring.

The trick here is patience and an infectious enthusiasm for what you’re doing. Consistently delivering your business’s message through multiple channels is what will win the day.