Business Expansion: 5 Concerns When Moving Your Company across State Lines

The fact that your business is growing is good news. However, with expansion comes a new set of challenges. Whatever your situation, here are five concerns to consider when moving your company across state lines.

Regulations

Some states will have fewer regulations than others, or regulations on one thing but not something else that was more heavily regulated in your old state. For example, a product may be required to be made without a certain material or you may now be allowed to sell certain kinds of products. Other important regulations to follow include any relating to employees. Different states have different workplace rules that you must follow as an employer.

Taxes

Taxes may be a significant part of the reason why you’ve chosen to move your business in the first place. Some states have much lower taxes than others, and it can be advantageous for businesses to move where they will be afforded a tax break. In some cases, however, you may be moving to a state with a higher tax rate. It’s important for all business owners to understand their tax burden and properly plan for it. Don’t forget to plan for tax that must be collected on sales across state borders—especially online sales.

Licenses

This is not relevant in every industry but it is important to a number of professions. For example, trade careers, such as electricians and plumbers, are almost always licensed at the state level. Restaurants need to be properly licensed in order to sell food and alcohol. Don’t forget about any local licenses your business may need. Check with your new state to see if anyone on your staff requires a license to perform their job.

Insurance

Due to a number of factors, including different laws and even different insurance companies servicing the area, your company will likely have to obtain new insurance coverage when moving to another state. This includes worker’s compensation insurance, liability coverage, vehicle insurance and more. Check to make sure your new location is not in an area that floods frequently. Flood insurance is not usually included in most policies but can be purchased separately if you have need of it.

Business Registration

You will need to register your business in your new state. This is usually as simple as filling out a form, especially because the business is already likely registered on the federal level. Consult with an attorney for any inquiries about business registration in the new state. While you work to get the registration sorted out, a multipurpose moving company such as Kloke Group Moving & Storage can store your company’s items and then move them when you are ready.

Moving a business across state lines is not as simple as it may sound. There are a number of concerns to investigate, with the most important being listed above. Educate yourself and plan ahead, and your move should go smoothly.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

 

Tips for a Successful Startup: The Importance of Market Analysis

Let’s be perfectly honest with each other. Market analysis is essential for any startup and while some newcomers to the world of startups may be skeptical of this claim, more experienced entrepreneurs testify to the significance of market analysis.

Research the competition

Once you step into the arena of entrepreneurs, you have to know who you’re dealing with. You are more likely to anticipate your competitors’ next move if you learn how to keep track of their actions. This gives you the leverage to go one step further. Digging deeper than just their web pages is always a good thing. Luckily, there are so many tracking tools which will reveal who, when, and where mentions your competition. In addition to this, some of them will simply pinpoint the trends in social media regarding your specific niche.

Customer insights

Obtaining valuable information straight from the horse’s mouth is crucial in this business. Tapping into your customer base will yield results because you will find out about their preferences and needs. Although you may think that your idea is likely to meet their demands, the analysis will show if you’re right or wrong.

You can see if your idea resonates with their needs by conducting paid surveys on specialized sites or simply creating questionnaires on social media. People tend to be rather honest in these surveys because they are usually done anonymously. And if you decide on conducting a survey, try to be concise and insightful with the questions because it is the only way to obtain relevant answers.

Is there a market for your idea?

This is possibly the biggest question. But how and where do you get the answer? Analyzing the numbers which indicate the revenues in the local, regional, and national market can help determine if people spend money on similar services. What’s more, you can see if the market is already saturated or it is growing at a fast pace. This is also a great moment to perform primary market research which comprises data that is exploratory or specific.  Exploratory research involves revealing previously unknown problems. As such, it procures general information to be used in more specific research.

Identifying lead users

Demand validation is likely to happen if you know how to generate the leads for your new product or service. The main reason all startups need to validate their idea before launching it is its relative instability. You may have a brilliant idea but it only exists as an educated guess in your mind. The reality is that it may flunk with customers before you even know it.

After you have identified your focus group, you have to turn them into your leads. This can be done through a unique selling proposition. The customers have a problem and through this value statement, you are offering a solution. At this stage of your market analysis, you can even try and offer your product free of charge.

The components of market analysis

To sum it up, a market analysis has to contain first and foremost a niche description. The industry you are starting in has to be thoroughly outlined. This includes metrics which will show the trends, scope, life cycle, and volatility of your target industry. This point is extremely important if you’re not a sole proprietor but looking for the ways of finding investors or taking bank loans. It shows that take your business idea seriously. Next comes your target market. Just because your product or service is used by almost anyone doesn’t have to mean everyone will buy it from you. This is why narrowing down your target market will show you where to direct your marketing efforts.

Then we come to direct vs. indirect competition. You have to learn and leverage the difference between those businesses that offer almost identical services as you and those who simply offer alternate solutions. And finally, forecasting. The projections of future trends in the industry are essential in order to determine how market share and pricing will evolve during a certain period and what trends they might assume in the future.

Whatever your idea is, never skip market analysis. Not only will it indicate the viability of your business but it will also help you prioritize some aspects of your business you deemed irrelevant.

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Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls, passionate about traveling, marketing and everything tech related. Her motto is: “Live the life you love; love the life you live.”

Entrepreneurial Success – Learn as You Grow Approach

Have you ever noticed how much business people and entrepreneurs love to talk about their success?

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Screenshot from – Entrepreneur Post

The majority of these successful businesses and people barely talk about their failure journeys and struggle phases; for most of them, mistakes are swept under the rug and forgotten as quickly as possible. But do you know something? Mistakes can actually give us a chance to learn the basics for those courageous enough to embrace them.

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Screenshot from – medium.com/@brett1211

I love to interview minded people and when they tell me about their wild success journey and all the profits they’ve made, I often ask them to tell me what and when they did wrong. If they can’t name any of their past mistakes or start to sputter, I know immediately that I can discount most of what they’ve just said.

The Problem Persists in Following Someone Else’s Success

No doubt, success stories actually provide inspiration to me, to you, and to all of the entrepreneurs (locally or globally). The wrong side of the story is; continuously listening to others tell you how innovative or great they are can be a problem. How? You may start to believe that they must know the best way of doing something and whatever they did during the journey, was the optimal success path. When you internalize their way as the “right” way, you begin mimicking them instead of striking out on your own and finding a way to improve things.

In a recent conversation, I came through this question, “What is something you wish someone would have told you before starting your first venture?”

For me, the answer is “nothing”!

It doesn’t matter what anyone asked me; I’m the kind of person who believes in performing A/B split testing at every phase and I love experimenting things. I strongly believe what works for one person or organization might not be as productive for others, and on top of that, I would rather learn from my past mistakes instead of following tired advice from someone who has experienced success with their own ways. This is something I like to call a “learn as you grow approach”.

There is No Exact Formula; Don’t Rely on Others’ Suggestions

Having a “learn as you grow” approach means you never assume that someone has figured it all out. But that doesn’t mean that you know all the answers, either. Once you get started, anything can be improved upon, no matter how organized or widely accepted it might be.

After spending excellent 80 years of trade in natural fibers and wool, the 3rd generation of the Wood family actually wanted to expand into the online clothing segment. Everyone seemed to have their opinions about how they should embark it, but they didn’t care how it was supposed to be implemented. They just wanted to do it the most impactful way.

They combined their online branding expertise, their knowledge of logistics and operational efficiencies to develop their own methods while maintaining the ethics of the company.

It worked. A new extensive shape of business is being established for the next generation of Wood family to expand further in the modern era of British culture. Genie Recycling pays you the best price for recycling your unwanted accessories and clothing quickly and simply!

Bottom Line – Can’t we make mistakes? Yes, we may but we should view every mistake and potential defeat as an opportunity; opportunity to improve. This can give us the requisite flexibility and adaptability, to build an organization’s framework that can be easy to adapt changes and grow quickly.

A Learn-as-You-Grow Mentality Helps You Adapt

The fear of failure (also known as – “atychiphobia”) is the primary reason most of the entrepreneurs stipulate the “safer” way of running and organizing their businesses. They tend to follow so called best practices and tested methods to minimize the chances of failure. The question is – Is this approach make them invincible? NO.

Mistakes are inescapable, no matter which avenue you choose. You know the difference; entrepreneurs who love themselves to be guided throughout the process are less likely to adapt.

Imagine an antelope born and raised in a zoo. He learns from an early age when he will be fed and where he can roam. But what happens when he’s turned loose in the wild? He’s eaten!

People who can’t learn as they grow, who can’t challenge the status quo, show resistance to find creative solutions to the problems they face put themselves at an evolutionary disadvantage. The worst part is – they end up becoming part of the digestive process. Thus, they never reach their full potential and their start-ups are never as strong as they could be.

Conclusion

So, what does this mean? Don’t rely on others to guide you, to tell you how to run your business. Instead, adopt the learn as you grow mentality, and embrace every misstep as an awesome way to improve. This way, you’ll become more productive, more efficient, would be able to adapt anything, and creating solutions that are better than the conventional ones. And do you know something? When people ask you about your mistakes/success journey, you’ll proudly talk about the events that helped shape your start-up into something great.

BIO text – Shyam Bhardwaj is a professional SEO consultant and has worked with A-listed agencies including 4Point Digital, White Rabbit Marketing, and The Website Group. You can follow him on Twitter – @shyam_bhardwaj

What To “Tech Away”? To Build Or Buy Your Computer Infrastructure?

When pushing forward as a dynamic entrepreneur, there are so many different aspects to keep a handle on. For most of us, technology is quite an alien concept, and, because there is such an importance on having the right server package, as well as an inappropriate IT infrastructure in place, it can seem like quite a big expense. So, either the topic of outsourcing comes to mind, or, whether you can harness the appropriate balance in house and build your own IT infrastructure. This is something that lots of people now do to build your own, or is it better, and cheaper, to buy?

To build…

Building your own IT infrastructure, whether it’s a server or a vast system, requires a lot more prior knowledge, of course. But in building your own server, there are many different things you have control over. In terms of how you are building the system, you will have the final say over every aspect of the system. From the circuit board design, all the way up to the data capacity, which is great in terms of wanting to save money. Building every little aspect of the system does require the best people on board. If you have limited assistance at your disposal, you will have to put more money into finding the best people for the job. This can be an expense upfront, but it can be worth it further down the line. In addition to this, by having the appropriate staff members on board that have this finite knowledge, you can utilize their unique skills when you want to expand the business. This does sound quite complex as a startup opportunity, but this is why so many of them outsource to external companies…

To buy…

To buy the server, or even to outsource to an external company, means that you have, to an extent, relinquished control over your IT infrastructure. While so many IT support companies make their living supporting startup companies, this means that you are in capable hands. Lots of these companies provide servers that are scalable depending on the success of your business. They can also provide 24-hour help, which might not be possible if you decide to build a server in-house. And while you are paying for this service, lots of these providers can charge through the nose, but some are cheap, depending on what you want out of your IT infrastructure. This begs the question, what do you want from your server? You have to crunch the numbers, especially if you are after considerable results from your tech.

But, in conclusion, this is why so many businesses decide to outsource in the first place. It’s simply, a solution that they don’t have to deal with in house. But, this does mean relinquishing your control to an extent. If you are an entrepreneur that has the overall vision of everything under one roof, this can be a fly in the ointment. So, you need to ask yourself if you can make sacrifices now to make room for this  infrastructure that is purpose built, or if you need to get the business up to a certain level and so, outsourcing becomes the only option. Budget is always the big takeaway from these issues, and you need to check the figures first.

Prepare For The Hurricane That Is Success

The dream for any business is to explode like a fireworks finale above some capital city on Old Year’s Night and, if you work hard enough, you’ll find the chances of this happening are in your favor. The dream is an exponential rise, the kind that will be written in the folklore of Forbes Magazine.

However, the dream is very different to the reality because, if you don’t prepare your business for this level of success, you’ll see it fall by the wayside thanks to good old instability. Yup, seizing the opportunity to grow requires having everything in place to rock n’ roll with the momentum you’ve earned.

That’s why we’ve pulled together a lost of ways you can effectively grow your business and ride out any and all the brisk changes that crop up on the way up:

  1. No Weak Links

The thing that makes growth possible is a sudden charge of customers running toward your gates. However, if things aren’t absolutely watertight at your end, you’ll find they turn around just as quickly as they came, taking everyone with them. That’s why you need to have everything in check. You need to make sure you are presentable from every direction, have a great online presence and that all your operations are able to run smoothly no matter how many people cue up. Think of this growth as a hurricane; the only thing that will help you survive is a strong foundation.

  1. Have The Resources

This is the balancing act that you need to master in order to make growth possible. You need to have all the resources ready without having any unnecessary overheads. Our advice: utilize technology and make the most of outsourcing. Call ATB Technologies and ask them about their cloud storage solutions so that your IT can withstand the growth, build a pool of trusted freelancers you can call on during peak times so that you don’t put your business or brand at risk of onboarding problems and have automation processes in place so that human error isn’t a burden when the pressure builds.

  1. Hire The Best Talent

Growth is not possible without having the right team around you, which is why you need to make this a priority. These people are a crucial part of your success and will either help big time or hinder you massively. Don’t just pick the person with the best qualifications though. Think about their soft skills, how they will fit in with your culture, the context they have applied their experience in so far, heir ambitions and everything else that makes up their professional personality. Yes, their experience is key, but you want them to be able to roll with the punches and fight for the same goals as you. Dedication and commitment – those are the two defining traits you are after.

  1. Perfect Your Procedures

We’ll keep this one short: you need to have the proper procedures, processes and strategies in place if you are going to seize the opportunity to grow. That means having the right systems, tech, software, workflows and everything else of that ilk. It won’t be possible to succeed without them.

A Beginner’s Guide To Starting A Stock Market Trading Business

The stock market is often seen as this mysterious thing that people throw money at in the hope that they’ll get more back in return. Many people believe that trading stocks is something you do in your spare time, or as a long-term investment on the side. However, starting a business in this industry can be one of the best decision you ever make.

If you look at some of the richest people on planet earth, a lot of them have a history of trading. There are massive companies on Wall Street that trade millions, sometimes even billions, of dollars worth of stocks/shares. They make in one day what a lot of businesses would be lucky to make in a lifetime.

Obviously, you won’t see this type of success right away; every business has to start somewhere and grow to be great. Keeping that in mind, how can you get involved in the stock market, and start your own trading business? If this is something that interests; you, then you’re in the right place. Below, there’s a guide to help you pursue this business idea:

Brush Up On Your Stock Market Knowledge

It would be fair to assume that most people interested in this business idea will already have a bit of an interest in the stock market. As a result, you could already have some semblance of knowledge on this subject. However, it’s well worth brushing up on your stock market knowledge and becoming something of an expert. This will help you learn more about the field you’re going into, and figure out some of the tricks of the trade. A simple bit of research and studying can help you understand basic things like the best times to trade, which stock markets you should trade on, and how much money you should start with. Of course, the more you trade, the more this knowledge will grow. But, it’s definitely worth taking a few weeks or months to properly study the stock market before you start opening your business.

Decide How Much Money You Want To Start Trading With

A stock market business requires you to have a pool of money to kick everything off. This can come from your own bank account, or you may think about applying for a relevant loan to raise the capital. Some people have sold their home and downsized just so they get enough money to start trading with. It’s entirely up to you how you get this money, but it’s not exactly the same as looking for regular startup funds. With many businesses, you have lots of startup costs and overhead expenses. As a result, you can apply for business loans, look for investors, or start crowdfunding schemes. With a stock market business, it’s unlikely that you’ll find an investor or manage to raise money crowdfunding. Your best bet is either your own money or a loan. Regardless, think about how much money you want to start with. This will be your little pot of trading cash, and the key is that it’s never empty. No matter how many trades you make, you should never have a point where there’s no money in your account. The more successful you get, the bigger this pool of money becomes!

Get Your Hands On The Right Software

Trading businesses are pretty much built around the trading software you use. As someone who will devote their life to trading, you need to ensure you have the best tools at your disposal. There are loads of different software offerings around the web these days. Some of which include features that let you run simulations, analyze data and find the best trades to make. For someone starting a business, you need to think about software that allows you to do algorithmic trading. Why? Because this type of trading is automated. The software creates algorithms that let you run so many more trades per day than you could possibly do by yourself. This is how all the big boys make their money; they have computers running the numbers and doing everything for them. It’s an essential part of your business, and you need to make sure you have the best software available.

Slowly Bring In Some Staff

The great thing about this business is that you can start it on your own. You can begin trading from your bedroom and enjoy a fair bit of success. The other great thing is that it’s a business idea that you can grow. Not only that, but growing and expanding your stock market business is much easier than many other businesses. One thing you can do is hire some staff. Bring in some more traders, and you have more heads trading stocks and making money for the company. This is how you go from being a lone trader in your bedroom to a big company in a massive office on Wall Street! Success clearly doesn’t happen overnight, but you can slowly build up to it by bringing in more people as you become more successful. What’s more, the people you bring in can be experts in certain fields. One person could be an expert on the UK stock market, while another could know everything about the US one – and so on. This helps your business as you get more knowledge aboard the ship, which helps you sail towards more successful trades and higher profits.

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Grow your business and get an office like this! Source

Start Offering Trading Services

Another way you can expand your original business idea is by offering different trading services to individuals. Remember way back at the start when I said most people see trading as a hobby or investment opportunity? Well, it’s time to cater your business to them. As well as making your own trades and earning money that way, you can charge a fee to invest for other people as well. Essentially, you act as a broker and help them spend their money in the best way possible. They pay you, and then they end up with profits thanks to your trading expertise. Why don’t you do this in the beginning? For me, it’s better to focus on trading on the stock market to earn money for your business at the start of this idea. You’ll be new to the scene, and you may struggle to find success at the beginning! So, if you took on clients at this time, then you could have a lot of unhappy people knocking on your door after you lose their money. But, as you become more successful, then it only makes sense to branch out and create dual streams of income. Especially as you now have employees to pay as well!

Admittedly, this business idea isn’t for everyone. However, if you want to get involved with the stock market, then it can be a great way of making money. One of the main reasons to start this type of business is that you pretty much control the growth of it. If you want it to remain a one-person operation, and you’re happy with the money you make, then you can do that until the end of time. But, if you want to grow and create a massive company, then there are easy ways to expand and do just that. What’s more, it’s a rare business idea that doesn’t depend on finding customers – at least not until you offer brokerage services. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about marketing your company or reeling in leads, all you need to care about is the stock market itself!

Top Reasons People Hate Your App

It can sound a bit harsh to say someone hates your app, but if you’ve gotten to the point where you feel like it could be possible, it’s time to figure out why. When you have a business, and you create an app, your objective obviously isn’t to have people hate it.

Unfortunately, more often than not that can be the case. If you can identify what elements of your app design or functionality users don’t like, you may be able to fix it without a complete overhaul.

If you’re not sure where to start, the following are some of the top reasons users could be less-than-thrilled with your app in its current form.

Users Don’t Know When Something Is Happening

You’re using an app, you push something, and it seems like nothing happens. There’s no acknowledgment that you’ve taken action.

Is it working or not? It’s extremely frustrating but all-too-common.

When you create your app, you want your users to know that their action is recognized. For example, you can show an icon of movement or that the screen is being refreshed. You want to be able to create a sense of cause and effect for user actions.

Advertising Feels Intrusive

Nobody likes intrusive advertising in any media. We’re at a point in digital technology where people can largely avoid advertising altogether if they choose. So while you may need to drive revenue with in-app advertising, you need to be careful with it.

You don’t want to include super graphics-heavy advertising or video ads that are going to make someone’s phone seem like it’s going haywire every time they use your app.

You also don’t ever want to include any unresponsive advertising. It’s going to be highly frustrating, and even if your app itself is great, it’s probably not going to matter.

Constant Push Notifications

Push notifications can be an excellent marketing tool, but not when you’re bombarding users. If someone feels like their smartphone is buzzing every hour with your push notifications, they’re probably going to uninstall the app.

As with advertisements, you need to be smart, strategic and discerning with your push notifications, so they create value rather than turning off users.

Constantly Asking for Reviews

When someone downloads an app, they do so because they want it to bring value to their life. It’s not about your business getting feedback.

If you’re using every second a person spends in an app asking them to like or share it, they’re going to feel frustrated.

That’s just a big interruption and obstacle in the overall user experience. If someone is trying to complete a task in your app and they keep being stopped so it can ask for a review or a like, it’s a problem.

Of course, in-app feedback can be useful, but it can’t be overdone, or like advertising, it can’t feel intrusive to the user experience.

Finally, be on the conservative side when it comes to how many personal details you’re asking your users for. Yes, your app may ask for some, but it’s important that you do so for a purpose, and you disclose this to users with transparency. Otherwise, they’re going to feel like you’re trying to exploit them or take advantage.