Guide to Running A Location Independent Business

Digitization and job mobility are reducing the number of conventional office-based jobs and giving rise to a dynamic new ecosystem. There is a growing number of location-independent entrepreneurs and digital nomads roaming the world, following their dreams and better lifestyle.  They explore the planet and work from anywhere with an internet connection, be it a deckchair in a beach bar or a hotel lobby. Yet, this kind of life is not without challenges and hurdles. It is certainly not a constant joyride. Here is how to make sure you accomplish your goals and have a smooth ride.

A comprehensive roadmap

Location independence can be an utterly rewarding and fulfilling career path. However, to make it work, you need to plan correctly, well ahead of time. You might be eager to escape the tedious corporate world, but you still need structure and organizing skills. This is to say it is crucial to understand the risks of leading such a life beforehand and create measures to mitigate them. One of the main lessons digital nomads have to learn is that the combination of work and travel is a volatile mix. If you fail to strike a fine balance, it could blow up in your face.

Never out of touch

Furthermore, you do not have a steady workforce to rely on. Most likely, you are sort of a one-person-business. Beyond everything else, this means that success revolves around digital skills you have to offer and your commitment to honing them. At the same time, you have to keep in touch with your clients across communication channels like social media and apps like Skype. Finally, establish fruitful relations with complementary professionals and businesses. For instance, if you are in Australia right now, hire a digital agency from Sydney to carry out stellar online marketing campaigns.

Reaping benefits

Let us now address the fact that operating in a gig global economy has some unique benefits. Namely, mobile and agile businesses are able to save a lot of resources on payroll, benefits, training, and office space. You hire on a freelance basis and outsource to experts that would be too expensive to have as regular staff. You work from wherever you live at the moment. This kind of business is best suited for those entrepreneurs who engage in technology-heavy services. Others could struggle to keep up the pace in a fast-changing and competitive landscape.

Online presence

Ensure you have constant access to the online marketplace and a steady stream of work coming your way. Establish a strong online presence and use the right platforms. Showcase your competencies and expertise.  It is a good idea to put together a portfolio website that includes all your past projects and completed tasks. Additionally, use service providers like Upwork and Freelancer to branch out and land more remote work. Always ask for referrals to bring your network wherever you go. Link an inventory of leads to your website.

Location matters

Know that your dream destination may not be the most realistic target right away. Find something that is on the cheaper side and has a good internet connection. Some of the most popular hubs for digital nomads are Buenos Aires (Argentina), Adelaide (Australia), Cape Town (South Africa), Lisbon (Portugal), Vilnius (Lithuania), and Budapest (Hungary). It is preferable to have the locations close to one another: that way, you can minimize travel expenditures. If you are still in the market research phase and you are not sure where to locate your business, consider renting serviced office like this one in Melbourne. Entrepreneurs who are not keen on hiring remotely should keep an eye on the size and quality of the local talent pool.

Money management

Money keeps businesses afloat and it is the main fuel for your globetrotting business escapade. Going broke during a prolonged work holiday is not an option. Therefore, make an effort to assess living costs in the new area every time. Ballpark figures do not cut it— always come up with accurate calculations of your profits and expenses. Make financial projections and forecasts. Bring six months’ worth of living and operating expenses with you. This will act as an emergency fund. Like it or not, when going around the globe, unexpected situations arise.

Hit the road

Office-based jobs are declining and making way for the new mobile, gig-focused economy. You have a chance to embrace a worldwide lifestyle of freedom and build a profitable business in the process. So, embark on a journey of constant learning and growing, both personally and professionally.  Keep tabs on the online market and stay connected. Commit to growing your customer base and maintain cash flow to support your business endeavors and lifestyle. Take your time figuring out your next suitable location. Research and due diligence can take you far.

Guest Author, Raul Harman, s a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing.  While he’s not enjoying travel, football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com.

Starting a Product-Based Business? How to Save Money on Shipping Costs

If you’ve got products you need to ship, you can save a lot of money by doing things the right way. Shipping can be one of the biggest costs of your business so learn how to save money shipping things.

Calculate it Right

Make sure you always calculate the shipping price right. Make sure you charge your customers the right price for shipping so you can get an accurate idea of what you need to ship things the right way. Never offer free shipping unless you’re absolutely sure you won’t lose money on it.

Ship it Yourself

If you think about used trucks from places like Arrow Truck Sales, you can actually save money on shipping. If you have a big business and are selling a lot of products, it might make more sense to ship the products yourself and then have them go to a distribution center. This may not be the best idea for very small companies, but purchasing a used truck can really make a huge difference for the growth of your business.

Consider Shipping Services

There are many shipping services that might help you. Things like Fulfillment by Amazon may help you save money on shipping. You’ll have to pay to ship your products to the center, of course, but you can save money shipping it to your customers. If you’re selling on a platform, always find out if they offer fulfillment services. This is usually the easiest way for you to save money on shipping costs so you can make sure you’re doing everything the right way and doing things that make it easier on your business.

Compare the Prices of Shipping

Always compare the costs of shipping with different companies if you plan on using a shipping company to get your goods out. If you’re going to help people see the things you have and if you’re going to ship directly to everyone, you need to compare your costs. Choose the company that not only has the lowest price but also has the best service for you to try and use.

There are many ways you can get your products to your customers. Think of all the different ways and don’t be afraid to get creative with the ideas for shipping. Always consider all your options and think about combining some of them to help yourself get more from the options you have. It’ll help you treat your customers better while also growing your business.

Always Wanted to Open a Brewery? 4 Steps for a Successful Start

Have you always wanted to open a brewery of your own? Well, before you do, there are a few things you need to accomplish beforehand. Here are the four most important steps to take to open a successful brewery.

Make a Solid Business Plan

The very first thing you should do to open a successful brewery is to make a solid business plan. This will ensure your finances and foals are in place to run your business as efficiently and successfully as possible. Your business plan will also include market research to make sure your business will do well in the area it’s operating in. Additionally, it will also contain a contingency plan in case things go awry when running your brewery. After making your brewery’s business plan, it’s time to follow the rules.

Understand the Rules

Before opening your brewery, it’s important you understand all the local and national regulations your business will have to follow. For example, every community has different wastewater regulations that you’ll have to follow. After all, not everything can be simply poured down the drain. As the business owner of a new brewery, you should contact local officials and agencies about regulations that you’ll need to follow closely. Also, keep in mind, you’ll need to obtain a federal and state license to legally operate your brewery. So, before starting anything, it’s important you fully understand the rules of the trade and keep yourself in check with every single one.

Obtain the Right Equipment

Next, you will need to ensure you have all the right equipment to begin brewing your beer. There is a lot of gear you will need to buy for each step of the process including mashing, fermentation, cooling, cleaning, and packaging. Some pieces of equipment you will likely need include kettles, kegs, boilers, fermentation tanks, storage tanks, refrigeration equipment, cleaning gear, bottling equipment, and more.

Keep It Clean

You will also need a plan to keep your equipment and your facility clean. This is a vital and often overlooked part of getting your brewery ready for business. Otherwise, you may be in violation of some rules. Be sure to have stainless steel overscreens on hand so you can keep unwanted contaminant out of your beer. Purchase the necessary cleaning equipment for the facility as well. Check out Saniclean Strainers for high-quality strainers as well.

There are a number of things you should keep in mind when opening a brewery. From making a solid business plan to obtaining the right equipment, there’s a list full of things you’ll need to do before running operations. Hopefully, with the help of the tips above, you can get a head start on your brewery and run a successful business.

Guest author Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

Bitcoin explained – What it is and where you can buy it

Many serious business people and investors have only a vague notion about what bitcoin actually is. If you ask them, there is a big chance that they will say: It has something to do with those cryptocurrencies that come up like mushrooms after the rain. If you’re reading this, chances are that you are a little bit confused too, so let’s get to the point.

Enabling direct transactions

Bitcoin is the world’s first cryptocurrency. It is entirely digital and not controlled by central authorities such as banks or governments. It was invented back in 2009, by an anonymous person under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. This still unknown person (or a group of people) was driven by an idea to enable sending and receiving payments without involving intermediaries, which is the case with traditional, government-issued currencies.

For example, if you’d like to use your credit card while traveling abroad, you will have to pay a fee to the bank that issued your card in order to make an international transaction. On the other side, bitcoin is absolutely independent of national states and banks and serves as a global currency. Given that there are no intermediaries, the transactions are performed directly, without the need for third-party fees.

Built on an absolute trust

A double-spending problem is another thing that motivated bitcoin founders to create the first decentralized currency. It represents a drawback in the standard monetary system; when the transfer of money is performed digitally, the digital files are used, and they can be duplicated or falsified. What it means is that someone with bad intentions can use this flaw to send or spend the same amount multiple times. Bitcoin is based on a technology that completely solves this problem. But how?

Bitcoin is based on a peer-to-peer technology called the blockchain. When someone sends some amount or buys goods and services using bitcoins, everyone in the bitcoin’s decentralized blockchain receives a copy of that transaction record. All the members of the blockchain then verify the transaction in order for it to be approved. Thus, the bitcoin network allows consensus among the members and eliminates the possibility of fraud or double spending.

The members of bitcoin’s blockchain network use very powerful hardware and software to inscribe these transactions into a digital ledger. This digital ledger contains records of all bitcoin transactions that have ever been made. The records about the transactions are called the “blocks”. In order to merge another block with the existing sequence of blocks, huge computational power is deployed by thousands of members (or the miners) that do it simultaneously.

An economic game-changer

Today we are witnessing a staggering rise in the value of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. Many people use cryptocurrency exchange platforms to invest in them. The value of these digital currencies changes every minute and users of these platforms buy them, wait for their price to rise and then sell them to earn a profit.

One of the best things about bitcoin is that you can use it regardless of the country you’re currently residing in. It can be used for purchasing a wide range of goods and services, such as hotels, flights, or even fast food. The infographic below illustrates interesting facts about bitcoin. It is clear that it will have a huge impact on the economy as we know it.

Bitcoin Infographics Kriptomat

An Ethical Business: Why Your Moral Compass Should Be Facing North, Not South!

In any modern business, many problems will, inevitably, come up. You will find problems with your tech, your employees, and your finances, but one really hot topic now is the problems with your business ethics. The idea of having an ethical business now is as important as the comprehensive marketing processes or the right employees. Having a business that is unethical is career suicide now. But why is it so important to have an ethical business now, and what can you do to implement this further in your company?

Nurture It Through The Culture

Your employees will dictate the office culture in general, but it has to come from you first. A positive workplace culture is as important as the product you sell. To make a workplace environment a positive one, your employees need to be free to raise concerns, and feel free within the company structure. This is easier said than done, but by having employees that don’t feel trapped by the antiquated notions of work, this will translate better to the outside.

Choose Your Suppliers Carefully

It’s all about who you do business with. If you are seen to have contacts with an organization that has shady dealings, this is going to automatically reflect badly on you. Nowadays, you can’t be too careful, because this will lose you custom from every angle. In the food industry, the importance of consumers knowing where their food comes from has such a major impact on who they buy from. This is why finding a global food trade supplier who is ethical and transparent in their dealings is an essential part of the process if you are dealing with the supply of food. If you have various suppliers in the chain (such as if you were running a department store), the potential for dealing with clients who have questionable ethics is more likely. This is why it’s important for you to undertake a comprehensive vetting of every client you deal with.

Shout It From The Rooftops

Are you ethical? Then say so! By making it public and having it as part of your statements, or on your products, this will give your product and your business a leg up. You’ll be viewed as a leading light in your industry. This is something that so many businesses do now, but because there are opportunities to cut corners and to be unethical your processes, now, with the modern consumer having their finger firmly on the pulse in this respect, you can’t not state your intentions if you are ethical.

Keep Your Promises

And the idea of transparency isn’t just something that will bode well when it comes to your client relationships. If you are ethical and you intend to be professional in every aspect of your company, from your marketing, to your product placement, to your efforts, it’s important to keep all parties happy by being clear and to the point. It’s not just for the benefit of consumers; your employees will feel happier working in a business that has a moral compass, and it will naturally transform into a better business.

5 Risk Analysis Tips for New Businesses

The failure of many new businesses is due to neglect of risk management. Managing risk means thinking of the things that could go wrong and ways to reduce those risks without overspending. You want to classify risks based on two factors: the likelihood of them happening and the potential damage they may do. Below are some tips to follow. You may also want to visit a company like CreditRiskMonitor for help.

Prioritize Risks

You must categorize your risks in increasing severity so you know where to apply your resources. Acceptable risk is where both the chance of occurrence and consequences are quite minor or easily remedied, such as your delivery van running out of gas. Risks you can dismiss as mere nuisances are things that are likely to go wrong but not very impactful, such as running out of toner. Some serious risks like injuries or fire can be covered by insurance, so the potential damage is reduced. Other risks, however, are a normal part of business yet can have disastrous consequences if there’s no contingency plan.

Market Risk

Every time you introduce innovation, such as new products, styles, or bold advertising campaigns, you run the risk that the consumer will reject the changes. The failure of “New Coke” is one famous example. However, failure to innovate leads to falling behind the competition and shrinking market share. Successful companies mitigate the risk by doing extensive market research. This takes time and money, but it’s better than investing heavily in something nobody wants.

Operational Risk

Starting a company with a good product or service seems promising, but if it can’t be done profitably, it’s doomed to fail. You have to also master the business processes involved. Your technology, employee management, efficiency, and much more are critical to success. Poor organization and wasteful practices bleed away your profits day after day. Start with building the right leadership team, and present them with a constant challenge to suggest improvements.

Financial Risk

Running out of cash almost always brings an end to your dreams. Non-paying customers, soaring interest rates, or spikes in material costs could pose credit risks. Especially if your business is new, lenders and investors are more likely to turn you down. Make building your credit a priority. One solution is financial statement outsourcing for risk analysis. Then you know where you need to focus for greater financial stability.

Competitive Risk

Your competitors will do anything to protect their own market. This can include poaching clients or employees, stealing ideas, or price wars. Rivals might do anything from upping marketing budgets to outright slander. Know the strengths you can capitalize on and the weaknesses you need to defend. File patents or trademarks on your intellectual property. Spend some time policing your online reputation, and take appropriate steps to minimize the damage.

You’ll never be able to plan for everything, so prioritize. Whatever your plans to mitigate your major risks are, they should be regularly reviewed and updated.

Guest author, Dixie Somers, is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Protect Your Business From Financial Blunders

Have you ever thought about how you’re going to protect your company if your finances take a turn for the worse? Your business is more vulnerable than you think and there are many problems that you could encounter that could send your finances down the drain. If you don’t think about this issue before it happens, you could be saying goodbye to your business a lot sooner than you’d like. Luckily there are ways to get ahead of the problem and protect your business before it gets that far. So, here are some of the best ways that we recommend to save your company from financial blunders.

Get The Right Insurance Plan

finance2 Link To Image

You need to understand that many of the financial difficulties that you could face are not preventable. Consider the matter of a hack on your company. Most business owners would like to think that hacks can be avoided if they invest in the right IT support and put security systems in place. Unfortunately, many cyber threats will occur regardless of the defensive measures you choose to use. That’s why you need to make sure that you have insurance. With business insurance, if a financial issue does rock the foundations of your company, you can at least get the capital needed to stay afloat.

Be aware that you may need at least several different types of insurance in place to fully protect your company. For instance, it is always beneficial to have liability insurance to guarantee that a legal claim does not cost your small business a fortune.

Careful How You Invest Profits

finance3

Image Source

Many business owners will want to invest the profits or revenue of their company. It’s a great way to expand and grow your business funds. However, if you do this, you should think about hedging. An example of hedging would be derivative trading options such as cfds. According to CMC Markets, derivative trading options like this provide companies a certain degree of protection against changes that weren’t predicted or expected. For instance, a sudden rise in the cost of needed commodities or perhaps, currencies. The key message to take on board here is that you need to keep risk under control with business investments.

Fierce Yet Flexible 

finance4

Credit Link

Plenty of company owners are intrigued and excited by the idea of growing their business beyond its current state. It’s true, if your business is going to survive, then it does need to evolve. However, you must work to keep your company model flexible enough so that it can handle sudden changes in the market that will impact your financial situation. Many business owners with expensive costs were caught off guard when the market shifted and ultimately crashed in 2008. Handling the costs and keeping them low will also allow you to fight back against larger competitors who can easily slash their prices and still make substantial profits.

We hope this helps you avoid the biggest financial blunders you can face with your company and guarantee that an issue with capital doesn’t bring your business model crashing down.