A Loose Lease System — What Can You Get Away with Renting in Your Business?

The one thing that is a big drain on our resources when we are developing our startups is cost. The main issues we have when it comes to cost is the upfront impact of it, if we have to buy a lot of large equipment and supplies that require a one-off payment, this can effect our budget drastically. So what is the best option? If you have to stretch your finances, the best option is to pay for things little and often, in other words, leasing or renting. These are things that can help the business in a moral sense, because of the lack of financial stress. So what are the things that you can benefit from leasing as opposed to buying?

Low Angle View of Slightly Opened Door Structure

A Fleet

The issue with buying a fleet of vehicles is that it can be very expensive to buy equipment that is going to run into the tens of thousands of dollars, money that you don’t have when you’re starting out. There are many fleet suppliers now that lease their vehicles out, such as Flex Fleet, which is very handy when you are running a business that has to deliver items, or you’re working on a building site and need supplies transported safely and quickly.

The other benefit of leasing vehicles in this manner is that the haulage companies will have most up-to-date vehicles. This means that it’s not just safer for travelling because of the safety equipment, such as anti-lock brakes, but it’s also a bit better for your overall image, as people will be able to see that you have a contemporary fleet at your disposal.

Equipment

Again, this depends on the type of business you are running. The main thing with purchasing equipment on a lease is that it will be cheaper upfront. So if you are working in a manufacturing company, it is a great way to keep your costs low in the meantime, but your output at a high rate. Your equipment will benefit from this, as will your employees, and therefore productivity will remain high.

Image Credit: Pexels

Cloud Computing

This is a very common resource that is leased, or outsourced, right now. The overall benefits of upgrading to a cloud operating system is that you can upscale according to your business’s needs, and the cloud provider is responsible for protecting your business. This is a choice that many companies do now, for obvious productivity reasons, but it’s also beneficial for the environment and is a great way for you to streamline processes.

Your Staff

Outsourcing is something that is very popular with small businesses now, it’s a great way to get tasks done quickly, and there is no need for any excess staff. This can result in moral implications for your business in relation to how you liaise with your permanent staff members, but in small businesses, it is a necessary evil if you want to upscale.

Overall, costs do need to be kept down, which is a difficult thing to do, and so as a result, leasing or renting is an easier approach in the short-term, there is less fuss in the grand scheme of things, and it will help you to manage your costs better while having the most sophisticated equipment and processes.

Here’s What You Need to Know If You’re Building a Store

There comes a time in every small business’ life where a decision needs to be made, shall we open a store? If you are running a successful online store and want to step up your game, it might just be the right time to open up your own shop. The thrill of having customers visit and buy your goods is one which any business owner looks forward to. But there are a few things you will need to consider before going in gung-ho.

Location

The first thing you will need to decide when you want to open a store is where you want to be situated. It will largely depend on your budget. However, you want to be somewhere easy to find and in a large retail area to increase the chance of shoppers visiting you. Take a look at a location which allows you to really make the most of your brand and show it off to the world.

Equipment

If you are carrying out the work yourself rather than hiring people to do it for you, you will need equipment. Heavy equipment can be hired from many different avenues, and you can keep all of your information on each piece of machinery, and its supplier in one place, such as Naxt Solution. It will make things less stressful for you and allow you to carry out the work without worry of losing anything.

adult, business, chair
Image Credit: Pexels

Interior Design

The central part of designing your store is deciding the vibe you want to create inside. Will it be light and airy or do you want loud colors and rock music? Make sure you keep it consistent with your brand and don’t go too overboard. If your store looks cluttered, no one will want to look around.

Vinyl and Banners

As with the inside of the store, you want the outside to be inviting to guests. You might not need to go all out and place a McDonald’s style ‘M’ outside the front door (kinda illegal), but you do want to make an impression. Think about the sign which will hang outside and any types of vinyl you want in the windows to show off promos and information. Make sure all the opening times are easy to see too.

Related image
Square reader coupled with tablet makes for an easy payment platform

Finishing Touches

Once you’ve finished playing da Vinci, it’s time to decorate. To finish off your store and turn it into a functioning shop, you’ll need cash registers (or payment platform like Square), shopping carts, and baskets. But if you feel the hipster in you bursting out, hang up some vintage phones and sewing machines for decoration. Because why not?

Employees

Before you get excited and open the store right away, remember that you’ll need people to run it. Of course, you could decide to do it yourself, but then you will need extra hands to help with merchandising and tills. Work out how many people you need and what hours the store will be open — as you may need to switch shifts during the working day.

Are You Using Your IT Properly so Your Business Survives Daily?

There are a lot of things that have changed in the business world over the last few decades, but it’s hard to deny that anything has had more of an impact that the rise of the computer and the internet. Where the use of this kind of technology was once considered something of a luxury, only ever used by the most advanced and well-established companies, it’s now something that your business simply can’t survive without.

Every single business, outside of very small, specific ones, relies on IT almost every single day in order to function. However, despite this, there are a surprising amount of businesses that simply don’t know how to properly utilise IT. They assume that having things in place and having a vague idea of how to use it. However, if you really want to make the most of your business, then you’ve got to be able to make the most of the resources at your disposal. In order to help you do that, here are some ways that you can make sure that you’re using your IT properly.

Image Credit: Pexels

Make sure it’s managed properly

IT is an incredibly multifaceted and complex part of your business and trying to stay on top of it while dealing with everything else can be something of an uphill struggle. Because of that, it’s a good idea to use managed IT services that cannot only make sure that you can focus your energy elsewhere but that your IT services are always running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

It can be difficult to hand over parts of your business to an outside company, but it’s actually a great way to reduce any mistakes that could potentially be made by leaving it in the hands of people with specific expertise.

Keep your equipment well maintained

Far too many businesses fail to keep their IT equipment properly maintained. This is because if something is working, then it’s very easy to forget about it. However, if you do this then things are pretty much guaranteed to go wrong and when that happens your entire business can potentially grind to a halt.

By making sure that you maintain and monitor your equipment regularly, you can save huge amounts of time and money. Sure it might seem like a lot of effort, but it’s nothing compared to the problems that could arrive if you fail to look after your equipment.

Train your employees

In the world of IT, there’s a fairly well-known acronym: PICNIC. It stands for “Problem In Chair, Not In Computer.” When there are IT issues in your business then there’s a surprisingly high chance that the IT itself is functioning properly, it’s just that your employees aren’t fully aware of how to use it properly.

Of course, there’s only one way to solve this problem, and that’s to make sure that your employees are properly trained in how to use it. Whether you deal with this by only hiring those with specific IT skills, or you provide dedicated training to your employees is up to you. But leaving your employees to figure things out on their own is almost always a recipe for disaster.

Drawing Up Plans for a Creative Business

If you have any creative skills, you might simply enjoy doing it as a hobby. However, some people decide they want to use their creativity to start a business. If you make things in your spare time, it could be a business you want to run on the side, or maybe you want to take it full time. Whether you want to sell your things casually or take it more seriously, there are a few factors to consider before you launch your creative business. Even though you’re turning your passion into a business, you still need to take an organised and official approach.

Image Credit: Pexels

Get the Right Equipment

If you’ve been crafting things at home, you might have a selection of equipment to help you. It might range from something as small as knitting needles to equipment like a 3D printer. However, if you want to turn your craft into a business, you might need something that’s capable of doing more.

Perhaps you need to buy a laser engraver that’s more suitable for a small business, instead of just for your hobby at home. You might want to buy a sewing machine that can take on more heavy-duty tasks, or buy a serger to go along with the machine you already have.

Price Your Products Correctly

One of the problems many people have when they launch a creative business is that they don’t price their items correctly. They might look at how others are pricing their things or even how much similar items cost in chain stores. But remember that your products are handmade or homemade, and they’re individual and unique.

You need to take a range of costs into account when you price your items, from the materials you use to the time you put in, to the bills you pay to keep your workshop running. It’s possible you should be charging a lot more than you think.

Image Credit: Pexels

Explore Different Channels for Selling

Deciding where and how to sell your products isn’t always easy. Some people will immediately put their products online, perhaps using sites like Etsy or eBay. It might also be useful to create your own website or have a Facebook page where you can advertise and sell your things.

However, if you own a small creative business, it’s worth considering ways to sell offline too. Some avenues to explore include craft fairs, as well as local independent stores. Some people are also lucky enough to get a studio in a craft center or art gallery.

Build a Brand

You might make beautiful, unique products. But you can almost guarantee you can find other people who are doing similar things. If you want to get your products noticed over other people’s, you’re going to have to do something to stand out.

Building a brand helps you make sure that your products have personality. You should start with things like creating a logo and a name and build your brand by marketing your products and communicating with customers.

If you want to run a small creative business, you still need to treat it like a business. You might enjoy making things to sell, but remember to take care of the business side too.