5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Start Out As An Entrepreneur

Going into business is a huge step to take. Whilst working for somebody else has its downsides (and quite a lot of them, at that), you need to make sure that you know what you’re doing before you dive into the world of being an entrepreneur, and there are a few questions that you need to ask yourself in order to be certain that you’re doing the right thing.

We’ve put together five of them here, so that you can go into business safe in the knowledge that you’ve prepared as well as you can for the success that you deserve!

1. Is this person a good business partner?

The likelihood is that you’re going into business with somebody else, and before you sign up to working alongside this person, you need to make sure that they’re the right business partner for you. It’s a good idea to make sure that they have strong values, integrity, and that they will be honest with you so that you can make the business work together. However, a business partner can have all of these respectable traits, but still not be the right fit due to issues with communication. Find somebody who you can talk to, as you’ll need to have important discussions when you’re going through stressful times.

2. Are you going to bring something valuable to your customers?

There are many businesses in operation that don’t start out with the intention of bringing something valuable to their customers, and they have to learn the hard way that a business without passion and values is a lot harder to run. If you wake up every day, and drive to work knowing that you are providing a useful and important service, it will make your role as an entrepreneur a lot easier, and a lot more rewarding. Of course, it’s important to find gaps in the market, but you may be able to find a niche in your field that works because the passion is there, so think about this before you start out.

3. Do you know the fundamentals?

Business is one of those things that you learn about as you go along, but in order to make a success out of it, knowing the fundamentals before you begin is key. For example, do you have the sufficient knowledge about tax, legal processes, contacting an appeals lawyer in case of any issues, and the financial side of running a business? If you don’t educate yourself on these things – or get educated by somebody else – then you could risk seeing your business fail within your first few months as an entrepreneur. Prepare yourself, and learn all that you can about business before you get the ball rolling.

4. Do you have a business plan?

Whatever field you’re going into, however big or small your business is, and whatever you’re hoping to get out of this endeavour, you need to have a business plan. If you’re new to being an entrepreneur, you will soon discover the importance of planning, and you will also see that without a plan, problems are much more likely to occur. Even if you only have a plan to give yourself a sense of security (and the feeling that you’re not at the helm of a business that doesn’t know where it’s going) you need to make sure you’ve got one. Focus on your finances, the direction of your company, and your annual profit expectations.

5. Are you ready to sacrifice?

All successful entrepreneurs have to sacrifice something, whether it is their current job role, their social lives, or the time that they would usually spend with their families. The truth is that if you want to be successful, you have to be putting the hours in, as your competitors are going to be doing this, too. Of course, it’s better to work smart than to work hard if you can do this, but the likelihood is that in your first few months of business, you’ll need to sacrifice some things in order to keep it going. Before you start out, ask yourself whether you’re ready to sacrifice these things for a while.

So, if you’re about to start out as an entrepreneur, you need to ask yourself a multitude of questions, but these are some of the most fundamental ones. Whatever you decide to go into, make sure that you’re not just stumbling into it blindly, and you could be on the road to business success in no time. Enjoy being an entrepreneur!

Using The Laws of Attraction in Your Business Journey

Applying the laws of attraction to your business might seem like a little bit of hoodoo. However, the chances are you have always, in one way or another, dreamed about what you want to do for your career. Where you would like to live. What you see yourself doing finally. If you’re not familiar with the laws of attractions then this is your quick summary:

The Law Of Attraction is the belief that your negative or positive thought will bring the same experiences into your life. For example, if you a constantly in a negative mindset, and talk negatively about others, or always see why you cannot do something – then that is what you will keep getting.

So when it comes to business, thinking positively can change everything for you. Of course, no one is suggesting that positive thought will pay off your creditors for you, but seeing it in a positive light will make it feel very different. Similarly, when driving, you don’t drive around assuming you might need a car accident lawyer, and then suddenly you need one. It is a little deeper than that.

Goal-Digger

When it comes to setting goals, it isn’t enough to say ‘I want to be a millionaire.’ You need to drill that down. How do you want to make that million? What steps will you need to take in the next few years to make that happen? What are the actions that you will take part in to ensure that you are on the right path?

You need to focus solely on the goal, and the positive way you’re going to get there. It is very easy to fall into the negative mindset and only see setbacks. That has the effect that you will focus so much on them, you will achieve them instead. The very opposite of what you wanted to do.

Keep Your Path High

Have you ever met that person who walks around being negative all day? And they really crush your happy bubble. Then, after you leave them, you are also feeling a bit negative? It is a ripple effect that can keep going. So your job is to ‘vibrate higher.’ Think about everything you throw out into the world coming right back to you like a bouncy ball. Think about the joy you’re going to get from running your own enterprise, or the difference it will make to your family. Focus on the positives. Work with positive people.

Intuition

The Law of Attraction focuses heavily on following your hunches. The basic principle here is that your intuition will be signs from the universe that you are on the right/wrong path and you can adjust accordingly. But, you are also meant to do this intentionally. So if you feel something isn’t working, look at why, how you can change it and move forward.

Using some of The Laws of Attraction you can create your ideal business environment and apply some of the theories and fully immerse yourself in the journey that you have mapped out before you, with a little support from the universe.

5 Big Mistakes No Successful Entrepreneur Will Make Again

It may seem like some of the biggest companies out there are being run by people who know everything about the business world. While they may know a lot about it, it doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes. In fact, almost every entrepreneur has made at least one mistake in their career. There’s nothing wrong with making a mistake as long as you learn something from it. And if you don’t want to learn from your own mistakes but you’d rather learn from other entrepreneur’s experiences, make sure you read on.

Not using social media

There’s no need to say that social media is huge right now. Just in New Zealand, there are 3.5 million active social media users and we can expect this number to grow in the future. However, some entrepreneurs believe using social media is a waste of time and decide not to create social media presence for their business. This is definitely something you don’t want to do, especially because people now often turn to social media search when looking for a product or service. In order to make sure everyone can reach you, you need to create pages on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and use them on a daily basis to communicate with your customers directly.

Forgetting to pay themselves

Many rookie entrepreneurs get so excited about running their own business that they completely forget about paying themselves. Even if they do remember to do so, they often decide not to do it in order to leave more money for their company to work with. This can seem like an amazing idea at first but it can seriously hurt both your personal and business finances. If you don’t pay yourself, you’ll soon find yourself with no money on your bank account. Also, you won’t get a clear picture of how well your business is doing and doing your taxes will be more difficult. Those who decided not to pay themselves have learned the hard way that they deserve to receive a paycheck for all their hard work.

Not being formal enough

Running a business is a serious task and only those who take it that way will be able to succeed. That being said, you should try to be formal whenever you get the chance. Let’s say you’re responding to a negative comment from a customer. Instead of arguing with them, you should try to be as formal and polite as possible. This will show your customers that you care about what they have to say, which can be a big plus for your company. When meeting a business partner, renting a vehicle from companies such as Avis Car Rental is a good idea as it makes you look more professional and helps you bring your A-game to the meeting.

Setting unattainable goals

Running your own business sure is great and just like most entrepreneurs out there, you dream of conquering it all. While dreaming big is an important part of success, you can’t just expect your business to do exceptionally well from day one. Many entrepreneurs end up setting unattainable goals for their business right from the start which ends up affecting their operations. In order to make sure this doesn’t happen to you, you need to be extra careful when setting goals for your business. It’s important to start small and adjust your goals as your business grows. We recommend putting your goals in writing so that you could review them every once in a while and make any necessary adjustments.

Taking everyone’s advice

The business world is full of “gurus” who believe they’re the next Mark Zuckerberg or Larry Ellison. Those people will often give you advice in order to help you grow your business. Taking everything they say seriously is a good idea and it could help you take your business to the next level. However, this doesn’t mean you need to do everything they advise you to do. Instead, you need to rely on your own knowledge and instincts. Therefore, every time you need to make an important business decision, you should think about what you want to do and only then listen to what other people have to say. Many of those who’ve taken every piece of advice they’ve got ended up failing even before they got a chance to show what they can do.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. Make sure you don’t make these 5 mistakes and you’ll have nothing to worry about. Even when something goes wrong, fix it as quickly as possible and try to learn something from it.

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in latest business news and new social media trends. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.

How to Organize Your Small Business Finances

Having a brilliant business idea and developing a killer product is not enough for you to succeed. Research shows that financial problems are one of the major reasons small businesses fail. To keep your business afloat, you need to take your money management seriously, reduce operational costs and generate more cash flow and have a solid budget plan to back you up.

Here are a few vital steps to take.

Never Mix your Business’ Expenses with Personal Ones

One of the most common misconceptions among inexperienced business owners is that using the same bank account for their personal and business’ costs will save them time and hassle. There is a long list of reasons why you should separate your personal and business finances.

First off, using your personal accounts may make your business look unprofessional and hurt your brand image. Your target customers want to work with a legitimate business and not the individuals behind t.

Second, managing your private and professional finances simultaneously is tedious. It would take your bookkeeper hours to separate your personal expenditures from your business’ ones and pay taxes on time.

Finally, it would be difficult to take out a bank loan or apply for a government grant for your business when the need arises.

These are just some of the numerous examples why you should separate your expenses strictly. Don’t use your personal funds for your company’s purposes and vice versa and you’re golden.

Secure Funds on Time

If bootstrapping was enough for you to get off the ground,that is great. Unfortunately, it’s usually not enough to maintain a spotless financial health. Namely, your business is constantly growing and, with them,your expenses will be bigger, too. Your priority should be to estimate these costs and secure the right funding options on time.

For example, one of the most common options small business owners choose is taking out a bank loan. Yes, it’s safe, but it’s far from being perfect. First, you will probably have to wait for weeks before your application gets approved. Then, there are huge monthly interest rates which will hurt your small business’ bottom line. Not to mention that it takes at least 10 years to pay off a larger business loan. There is a wide range of simpler, alternative funding options you should consider, such as crowdfunding, finding an investor, teaming up with another entrepreneur in your niche, or even applying for government grants.

Build a Solid Billing Plan

Billing is one of the most significant business operations. Precisely because of that, you need to take it seriously and have a solid billing strategy. Your main goal is to get your customers to pay you regularly and, at the same time, maintain strong relationships with them. Here is what you need to do:

  • Create a clear payment policy that ensures that your visions align with the ones of your clients. This is where you should state when you want to be paid, what payment methods you accept, how you will deal with canceled projects, or what the fees will be for late payments.
  • Ensure your invoices are always sent out on time. Otherwise, your clients may get the impression that you don’t care about punctuality and deadlines.
  • Inform your customers of any late or failed payments.
  • Automate your rebilling strategy. The billing processes mentioned above require investing lots of time and effort. Luckily, you can invest in direct debit services and automate your payment processing and management. No matter if your customer has forgotten to pay you or their transaction failed for some reason, the app will inform them of the problem and help them solve it automatically. Additionally, you will be able to track your cash flow and invoices on one platform, in real time.
  • Reward your customers for making payments ahead of time by offering great discounts, free products, or free shipping.

Learn more about Managing Money

Just because you’re a business owner doesn’t mean you are an accounting wizard. No matter if you’re working with an accountant or using automated software, you need to learn the basics of accounting. Understanding how your business’ cash flow works, you will be able to make wiser money management decisions, predict potential financial challenges and take the immediate steps to prevent them ahead of time. There are numerous online accounting courses for beginners, such as Fundamentals of Accounting, Financing Options for Small Businesses, or Udemy’s Introduction to Small Business Accounting Training Tutorial that will teach you about the different types of accounts, accounting terminology, payroll, and so on.

Pay your Bills on Time

Just like with your personal finances, it’s paramount that you pay your business bills regularly. Loan payment and credit card late fees are massive. The same goes for your utility bills, vendor costs, and taxes that may result in numerous penalties and even serious legal issues. To keep track of your costs and manage them effectively, you should set up monthly reminders or leverage automated bill payments.

Over to You

To survive in this highly competitive business world, you need to manage your money wisely. Do market research regularly to secure funds, learn the basics of accounting, encourage customers to pay you on time, and pay your business’ bills diligently. Above all, you should keep track of the market trends and your business’ performance regularly to predict major cash flow problems and solve them effectively.

How do you manage your small business’ money?

Guest author, David Webb, is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is a regular author at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.

Business Growth: 5 Tips to Meet Demand When Interest Is High

Consumers in today’s fast-paced world want their products as quickly as you can supply them. As a business owner, you need to be agile and ready to make changes that allow you to meet a spike in the demand for your products or services. We’ll provide you with some tips below that may help you satisfy the needs of your customers when everyone is interested in what you have to offer.

Focus on the Basics

Focusing on the core aspects of what you do is one of the easiest ways to keep up with the high demand for your services. It may seem like trying to do more in less time is a way to increase efficiency. However, trying to do things in which you don’t specialize can cause a lot of errors and waste quite a bit of time or money. Offer the basic services you know your company can provide to its customers and use all available employees efficiently.

Use Slow Periods to Get Ahead

Interest in your products or services might be high right now, but it will fluctuate with time. When a customer’s interest starts to wane, you can plan for the next high-interest period at your leisure. You should use this time to stock your inventory or get secondary services ready to provide what your customers need.

Find New Technologies

All industries find big advantages in using technology to meet the high demands of customers everywhere. Technology can help you keep up with demand and even flourish or expand your business. Robotics can help you create better products, statistical data can help you follow trends, and industrial boilers manufacturers can bring meet your energy needs.

Try Scalable Resources

Scalable resources may be able to help your business meet demand when interest is high and help you cut back on costs when that interest shrinks. You may benefit from using an agency that can connect you with extra employees during the busy season or from finding a transportation company that offers flexible shipping options. We recommend looking into affordable ways to store your extra inventory as well.

Try to Gauge Demand

It may seem impossible to gauge just how many resources you’ll need to meet the demands of your customer base. However, you can use your experience, statistical data, and response systems that might be able to give you a good idea of the trends you’ll be looking at during your next busy period.

It is always great to have periods of intense demand for your products and services, but these moments come with their own sets of challenges. You may be able to use some of our tips to prepare for your next busy season and minimize costly errors.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

The Expert Seamstress: How to Run a Successful Fashion Business

If you are an expert seamstress, then it may be very easy to turn your abilities into a money-earning career. There are some steps, however, that you will need to take along the way. Here are some points you may want to consider to turn your fashion ideas into a money-making proposition.

Create a Business Plan

You will want to consider the type of sewing that you want to do for the public. Making a list can be a great place to start. Then, think about the supplies that you will need to carry out each one of those activities like an embroidery machine, a regular sewing machine, thread, fabric, tape measures and manikins. Make a list of the cost of each of your expenses and figure out what you need to charge your customers to make money from your sewing passion.

Choose a Location

Many seamstresses work from their home while others choose to open a storefront. Others choose to meet with their clients at a location of the client’s choosing. Decide on which choice is right for you, but remember that you will need a place to work on projects for clients. Often times, businesses find tax advantages or grants that make one location more favorable over others.

Decide on Marketing

You may be a great seamstress, but unless others know about your skills, then you cannot make money using those skills. Therefore, you will need to advertise. Consider creating a website showcasing projects that you have completed. Spread the word using social media. See if you can write guests blogs on other people’s sites to introduce them to your services. Make sure to claim your Google My Business account and your spot on Google Maps.

Network

Make sure that others in related businesses know about your services. Consider letting bridal boutiques who do not have their own seamstresses know about your services. Join community groups so that you get to know others in the community who might need your services such as putting logos on company shirts. Attend area trade shows where you can interact with local people to tell them about you and your business. Take advantage of these opportunities by practicing your elevator speech beforehand.

If you have the skills of a seamstress, then you can make money using those skills. Use these ideas and your own ingenuity to go into business for yourself.

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

Expect The Unexpected With Your Business Expenses

When you look at your small business, you probably do so with pride. It’s something that you’ve worked hard for, paid for, grafted for and are caring for as gently as you would a baby. Your business IS your baby, in fact, and when it comes to having children, you learn very quickly how expensive they can be. You don’t have to be financially minded to know how much it costs to keep your small business running smoothly. Increasing your profits isn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially when costs are always shifting, decreasing and increasing without much warning.

Typical expenses for your business are a long list. Inventory, supplies, utilities, rent if you’ve got office space; all of these are for you to keep up with every month and this can be fairly stressful! You don’t have to be in charge of the finances to know about the expenses that your business has, but you should be able to keep up with the unexpected ones as they crop up. There are some less obvious business expenses, and here some of them are below:

  • Building a business takes some time and protecting it as it grows is important. Insurance provides a shield for your business against legal issues and financial scares. As a business, you need to have liability insurance at the very least because you need to safeguard your business as much as possible. If you have drivers on your team, then you will need to insure their business vehicles, too.
  • Most businesses need to think about their permits with the state that their business resides. There are many different permits that a business could need, and you can read about those here.
  • Okay, this shouldn’t be a hidden expense; taxes are a given with a business. However, it is possible that if you’re not on top of your expenses you will need to be visiting alexanderlawfirmllc.com to discuss paying an IRS debt. No one wants their business to owe money, least of all to the IRS.
  • When you’re gathering in supplies for your products to make them, you need to consider the costs of every element and account for the additional business equipment that you’ll be buying. Equipment can also add maintenance costs to your business as you ensure that they are kept up with.
  • Sending out invoices in a timely manner doesn’t always mean that they will be paid in the same way. Within your business, you have to ensure that you plan for invoices to remain unpaid for some time. Your cash flow will depend on customers paying invoices on time and if you don’t consider that they may not pay for service on time, then you could be missing out.

Your business is going to take more than a financial advisor on board to tell you all about the expenses that you will incur. It’s about doing your own research; don’t forget to do so.