Here’s How You Can Make Your Business More Profitable

Running your own business is very possibly one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll face in your lifetime. However to run your business smoothly and to make as much profit as you can, there are certain things to think about first. From the cost of a new computer to the price of coffee — now that you are a business owner, every little expense should be taken into account and quantified. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

On a serious note, running a successful business gives you full control over your life in a way that nothing else can. You are your own boss; you can work your own hours and sit at home in your pajamas if you like! But to make your business more profitable, there are things to consider.

Make Realistic Goals

At the start of every month, make a list of what you want to achieve and where you’d like to be by the end of it. If you set out to make $100 then you can budget throughout the month in order to meet that target.

It’s all about knowing your limits but not being afraid to push yourself that little bit further each day. It’s simple really. A journal would be a great way to track your progress each month and look back at how much you’ve changed.

Image Credit: Pexels

Plan, Plan, Plan!

No business can work without a killer plan of action. So get up early, boil the kettle or turn the coffee machine on, sit down and plan. Plan what you want to invest in over the next year, what your business aims are, what colour your website should be and even how many staff you want to employ. Refer back to this every time you are unsure of anything.

Use The Right Resources

The key to a smooth running business is utilising helpful resources and software. Things such as CMS (content management system) for your website, business intelligence consultants for data management and even a system to help with your accounts. All of these things will help you to organise your affairs and run much more productively, allowing you to spend more time making profits.

Hire More People

There comes a time for every entrepreneur when you simply cannot complete the workload alone. That’s where employees come in. Consider hiring an extra pair of hands and you can even open up an office space to work from. Imagine the joy of watercooler conversations and a more productive workday. You can’t go wrong really, can you?

Image Credit: Pixabay

Time Management

Time management is the single most important element to running a profitable business. Have you ever thought about the amount of time you could save yourself by writing a to-do list the night before? It will save your caffeine deprived self from fumbling around for the first hour of the day trying to figure out where you last left off.

It’s an essential thing. Make a list every night of what you want to achieve in the morning, this way you’ll never have to come in and take the time trying to get back into the swing of things. But remember, even if you are the boss, make time in your day for a break! We all need to relax sometimes.

4 Tips for the First-time Freelancer

As the world changes, so does the way we work. Professionals can now work from a palm-fringed beach in Sri Lanka or a skyscraper in Tokyo; you can run your business out of a Paris bistro and jet across the world, all while generating an income.

Freelancing is a growing industry for millennials (with 38% freelancing in the U.S.) and young professionals, both full-time and as a means of earning some extra money on the side (aka side hustle).

While freelancing often seems like the dream, and your friend on Instagram who travels the world by the seat of his or her laptop looks as though she is having the time of her life, there are a few things you need to consider before jumping in.

It’s not as easy as it may seem, but if you take good care of your finances, have a good business head and stick to some self-made rules, you have the potential to go far in the freelance world.

Taxes

As a freelancer, you are responsible for your own taxes. Your clients will not hold back a percentage of your payment to cover what you owe at the end of the year, so it will be up to you to set aside around 25–30% of your income yourself.

It is recommended that you put your taxes in a separate bank account which you cannot access so that when the time comes around to pay, you won’t need to worry. Make sure that you are on top of this and that you file your tax return on time.

Although you won’t get the likes of Antonio Horta Osorio (he’s a banker in the U.K.) knocking on your door, you could wind up with a hefty fine if you don’t meet the deadline.

Holiday pay? What holiday pay?

Holiday and statutory sick pay don’t really apply to freelancers, and it’s important to budget carefully so that if you do fall ill or want to take a couple of weeks away from your emails, you won’t be out of pocket or in trouble.

It is good practice to put away a portion of your monthly income for a rainy day (10 – 15% minimum), so that you and your family are covered in the event of sickness.

Time management

With no boss keeping tabs on you, it will be down to you to manage your time well and efficiently. Focus your working hours on when you are the most productive.

For example, if you are an early riser then start your day by cracking on when you wake up and finish early; if you like to lay in in the mornings, start later to allow for snoozing, but work later in the day.

Ultimately, as a freelancer, you have the flexibility to work as much or as little as you want but be sure to honour all contracts and meet deadlines.

Keep updated

As a freelancer, you won’t have anybody sending you on training courses or emailing industry news to your inbox every Thursday morning. It will be up to you to stay up-to-date with best practices and news within your industry! If you’re in graphic or web design, you can follow platforms like Fast Company, Virgin, Millo, The Futur, and others.

Defeat Downtime with These Tips

Downtime is a common problem in many workplaces, but a lot of business owners aren’t very practical in their approach to it. You need to tackle it from several avenues, considering all the things that lead to lost work time. Here’s a quick guide to alleviating this serious productivity problem!

Time tracking and task management

So how much downtime are you having to deal with in your office?

Many business owners know they have problems with downtime, but this is really nothing more that a recognition of a relatively vague problem. Do you keep track of that downtime? If you notice any, make a note of it. Record how long it lasted, as well as the cause. This gives you data that can help you prevent the problem.

Of course, if there’s been a malfunction then you need to make sure the resultant downtime isn’t really downtime at all. Sure, the main task may be blocked, but does this mean you should treat the downtime as an impromptu break? You shouldn’t waste work hours.

Keep employees focused; make sure there’s another task they can shift their time and energies towards. However, don’t just hand out arbitrary tasks.

A coffee machine

This may seem like an odd thing to bring up, but you’d be surprised just how important the provision of a quick coffee dose is when it comes to reducing downtime. Caffeine proves to be a powerful and efficient stimulant that increases energy and motor function.

Let’s face it — sometimes we just need some more coffee before we can face a particular problem to the best of our ability. That or our caffeine addictions start to scream, “MORE COFFEE!” at us so loudly that we can’t concentrate on anything else!

In an office without a coffee maker, this is what happens — employees head to the kitchen. They wait for the kettle to boil. Other employees walk in wanting coffee. The kettle has to be filled more than once and before you know it your employees start chatting. The water cooler break hasn’t even happened as yet!

Sure, these ‘mini-breaks’ can be useful for employee satisfaction, but they can end up being massive time-sinks. Consider getting a coffee maker installed.

An external level sensor switch can help prevent the fluid levels getting to ‘empty’ unexpectedly. With all of this mind, try to think of other time-saving resources for the kitchen.

Reliable problem-solvers

Many would say that the cause of most downtime in the workplace is human error. This could very well be true in certain production facilities, but this isn’t often the case in modern offices. Often, downtime is caused by technical problems.

Internet connection issues, hardware failures, unexpected mandatory updates (looking at you, Apple). If you want to make sure these problems are solved as quickly as possible, then make sure you’ve got a strong and reliable I.T. department!

Of course, what would be even better than fixing the problems? That’s right: if you were able to prevent the problems from ever occurring in the first place. One way of achieving this is to invest in better equipment, but even these need regular maintenance over time to prevent problems.

Better computers won’t help with most Internet issues, though. Make sure you’re working with a reliable ISP (Internet service provider) that can provide high-speed Internet.

Invoice2Go Presents ‘Freelancing Insights for the New Workforce’ [Infographic]

Recently, I collaborated with Invoice2Go (a leading invoice app and resource) to share some tips with new freelancers that examined time management, self-motivation, and social media. The goal was to give some insight that would be used for their next upcoming infographic (see below). You can read my entire blog post below for more details.

Today, I have the opportunity to share Invoice2Go’s completed infographic that looks at “Freelancing Insights for the New Workforce”. My name’s in the “Contributors” section (pretty exciting!) and my tip falls under the “Time Management” section (in the middle).

Read: My Three Phresh Tips for New Freelancers

Since I started my graphic design business almost six years ago, I’ve created a few different invoice templates.

Invoice2Go has just launched a brand new (and free!) invoice template (website link) generator on their website and I liked it so much I’ve decided to share it here.  It makes a great resource for anyone looking to try their hand at invoicing! Take it for a spin. You can thank me later. Also, this is NOT a paid endorsement (though I wish it was).

Here’s the Invoice2Go infographic for those thinking about taking the leap into the world of freelancing.

invoice2go_freelance_stats_x2_v03

If you liked the infographic, leave a comment or a thumbs up. Also, be sure to follow my blog and share across your social media channels too.