Learning the Market

If you’re running a business, you have to be driven by success. So much is resting on your shoulders: the expectations of your customers, your ability to provide for yourself and your family, your employees who look to you for pay. Failure means letting down customers who rely on you, who may well see a business arrangement as a personal relationship, it means difficult times for you, your family and the employees who trusted you.

It’s more than clear that success is the most important thing you can shoot for, and every other aim is merely a step on the way. Innovation is a fine thing to value, but only in so far as it helps you succeed as a business, for example.

One thing that you need to succeed is to know your market. You need to know it in all its seasons, all its moods and all its behaviours. You need market intelligence delivered to your desk constantly so you can make the right decisions about what to do in the event of a new competitor emerging, a new product hitting the market, or any change that has the capacity to affect your business.

Without this kind of insight, you won’t even be able to recognise all of the things that could have an effect, let alone react to them effectively. The out of context problem, first defined by sci-fi author Iain M Banks describes a culture obliterated by a problem they don’t even have the understanding to frame effectively, let alone understand and respond to – picture the plight of the Aboriginals in Australia witnessing the sails of ships appear on the horizon, unable to see the relationship between those and their own canoes let alone predict the fatal impact the imperial settlers would have on their civilisation.

Businesses are just as vulnerable to an out of context problem, so it falls on you as the leader to expand your contextual understanding as much as possible to avoid unnecessary surprises. Engage in research that can help you predict long term trends as well as maximising your returns from changes in the short term.

As well as having a thorough research programme, you can also expand your understanding by making sure your hiring is diverse. People from different backgrounds bring new kinds of understanding, so make sure you’re putting them in senior roles. If your executive team all look and think like you, you’re limiting your ability to understand and predict your market and could be wiped out by the next unexpected sail on the horizon.

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Five Reasons Why Renting from a Plant Hire Company is a Wise Choice

Project-based constructions are often done by demand. This means that a contractor may have several projects lined up for a specific amount of time and have several months without any jobs at all. This is one of the reasons why investing in heavy equipment and machinery is not a priority. Instead, contractors look for plant hires to provide them with the needed equipment.

In comparison, buying equipment means you have to pay for the maintenance and storage. A piece of equipment, depending on the model, type, and size can cost a large amount of money. The money used for buying equipment would be better off used as part of the revolving capital of the company.

Furthermore, if the machinery is not being used, it can get rusty and become outdated. Aside from the savings of renting, there are other advantages to consider which makes renting a more sensible option.

Variety of options

Machinery devaluates over time. If you buy your own, you will have to worry about replacing parts and repairing damage just to keep it in good working condition. Renting from companies like Ruttle Plant Hire in Preston, you have a variety of equipment to choose from. Not only is the rental equipment in good condition. Some rental companies even invest in top of the line and the latest models of machinery to suit every type of construction job requirement. You can also choose from a bigger inventory, hence, you have the exact equipment needed to complete a job.

Quality and condition

Plant hire companies specialise in providing machinery for every imaginable construction job. It is also their commitment to make sure that each piece of equipment is maintained to the highest standards. Some companies even guarantee repair and maintenance on site in case you encounter any problems while operating the machine.

Flexible options available on demand

Contractors are unlikely to have the same kind of project all the time. This means that every job requires special kinds of machinery that you may not always have available in your own fleet. Renting gives you the flexibility to have the required equipment on demand. Of course, you also need to book your rentals in advance so that you can pick from the best available equipment in the company’s fleet.

Avoid deprecation

If you invest in your own equipment, it will eventually depreciate in value. This can be a liability to the company in the long run. The cost of maintaining and repairing equipment can rack up over time. Another advantage of renting is that the cost can be included in the company’s tax deductibles.

Convenient and worry-free operation

Renting equipment also means you don’t have to worry about storage and clean-up after the equipment is used. The rental company will take care of the delivery and removal of the machinery as soon as the project is completed. They will also handle the care, maintenance, and clean-up. As long as the machine has not been damaged while in use, no further liabilities are incurred.

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Why the Location of a Crane Hire Provider Matters

One of the most important factors you need to consider when hiring a crane is the location. Generally, the nearer the crane service provider is, the better option it would be. If your project is in Peterborough, it is more convenient choosing a company offering crane hire in Peterborough instead of choosing those in Fenland, Cambridge, Huntingdonshire, or other districts. There are clear advantages in hiring a crane that is in close proximity to your project site, as briefly discussed below.

Faster arrival of the equipment

Obviously, equipment from a nearer location will become available faster than equipment that has to be shipped from a farther away district or city. If you need equipment quickly, it only makes sense getting it from the nearest provider. Depending on the service contract, you may have to pay for the fuel used to bring the crane to your location. You will end up paying more if you have to haul the equipment from a distance.

On the other hand, it will be easier to return the equipment if there is no great distance involved. Bear in mind that some service contracts hold the customer responsible for the equipment before it has been officially returned. Imagine the possibilities of encountering accidents or other untoward incidents on the road. The longer the return transit takes, the more probable an accident. Paying for any damage to the equipment would definitely be an unwanted additional expense. Even if the damage is covered by insurance, it will also be inconvenient having to spend time dealing with the problem.

Faster replacement or troubleshooting

Not everything might go as expected. Even the equipment from the best crane service companies will have issues every once in a while. There will be instances when the crane has to be replaced entirely or will require troubleshooting or repairs. If the company providing the crane you are using is a couple or more cities away, it will take time to have your problem addressed. The worst case is the need to have your crane completely replaced. The crane sent to your site may not be suitable for the project or the terrain. It would be a major inconvenience and waste of time having it replaced.

Permits and licenses

Another very important detail to take into account is the permit as well as the licenses for the equipment you will be needing. There can be complications if you have to hire a crane from a different district. You need to ascertain that the equipment is licensed and you also have to deal with the permit for hauling the heavy equipment. You will also have to worry about getting clearance to pass by certain roads. Oversized trucks with heavy loads (carrying the crane) may not be allowed to pass along certain roads. You will have to find a new route to haul the crane, which can add to the time and cost it takes to get the equipment.

Except when you are assured of clear benefits in hiring a crane from a farther away company, it is recommended giving preference to local crane service providers. Nearer is generally cheaper; unless the cost difference is significant without a difference in reliability (as well as the competence of the operator).

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Why It’s Important For Small Business Owners To Outsource

As a small business owner you will know only too well about how overwhelming this position can be. There is a temptation in the early stages of your business to micro-manage every aspect of the company in order to save money and assert control. This however, is not a sustainable attitude and it is one which will leave you burned out, and the business in an unstable place. The key to surviving in business is learning how and when to outsource various aspects of the business, and here is why doing so is extremely important.

Focus

The biggest reason for a small business owner to outsource areas of their business is so that they can spend their time focussing on what they do best, which is running the business. For example let’s say that you are an excellent restauranteur who has just opened a French Bistro, how well do you think you are going to be able to focus on the restaurant itself, when you are getting bogged down in human resources stuff or the supply chain? The truth is that you cannot and the more time that you spend on areas of the business which don’t need you to be managing them, the less time you can spend on the areas which do require your attention.

Skill

Outsourcing is not just a time saver, it is also about letting experts take the reigns on certain parts of the business. For example let’s say that you start getting bogged down in bookkeeping and accounting for the business, in a effort to save some money. You may very well be able to work your way around the balance sheet, and use free budget templates to see the ins and outs of the business, but the time that it will take is likely to be double that of an expert in this field. The smart option is to outsource and area of the business such as accounting, in order to let the experts complete what for them, are very simple tasks, rather than you spending hours on such an activity.

Time

One thing which business owners want more than anything else is more time, something which is not easy to come by, especially in the early years. When you outsource an aspect fo the company however, one of the best returns on this investment is the gift of time which it will give you. Business owners need to be at their best at all times, so the additional hours in the day can help to keep you more focussed. As we have preciously mentioned, with this extra time you can focus on the right parts of the business where you can be effective, rather than the areas where you cannot.

The idea of outsourcing is to make the business more productive and more dynamic, to offer a higher standard in many aspect fo the company and ultimately to allow you to focus on the important stuff and not the minutiae.

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Choosing the Right Business Premises

You might be a tiny start-up or a more established business that needs to move to a bigger, better place. Whatever your reasons for upping sticks, there’s four things you have to consider before choosing the right dotted line for you and your enterprise.

Your location

Of course, this depends a lot on the nature of your business. If you’re an interior design company, you’ll need a big window with lots of footfall so passers-by can see what you’re all about. If you’re an IT-based company then you might be better off in one of the many offices to let in Teddington or nearby.

You already know that business premises get more expensive the nearer to the city centre they are. However, this doesn’t mean that you should settle for a cheap out-of-town place because the lack of passers-by might kill you off. You also, no matter what your business, need room for customer and employee parking and delivery vehicles.

It’s fine to ask around for advice – solicitors, your business advisor, your associates – but you shouldn’t feel pushed into anything. Your location is, alongside your finances, the biggest consideration, so don’t just jump in.

Your finances

If your ideal location is way out of your budget then you’ll just have to carry on dreaming. Avoid wasting too much time on the “if onlys” by restricting your search to your budget. Your first big decision is whether to rent or buy. These days, rental options are brilliant because there’s a culture of shared office spaces which are brilliant for techy start-ups.

If you’re having to rent a large unit, though, and you’re not planning to move for a good few years, then think about buying premises. Once you’ve pinned this fundamental decision down, look at what your business rates will be, as well as all your utilities, insurance, taxes, maintenance and security costs.

Your look

It’s unlikely that you’ll walk straight into your premises and not have to change a thing. Most of your changes will be cosmetic, probably – don’t go mad making big changes of any kind to start with, as this is a big drain on money. Just make sure that the outside looks presentable and inviting, as well as any interior areas that customers see. You don’t want to deter clients.

Space is also important. Have you got enough room for your immediate growth plans? Can you afford to have a waiting room or reception area? These things matter to clients and suppliers alike – they need to have confidence in you.

Your legal considerations

You also have some legal things to consider. There are several different types of commercial licences and not all premises have the same ones, so make sure your shortlisted premises have all the paperwork you need.

It’s also important that your building is fully compliant with all the legal regulations, like ventilation, fire, space, hygiene and heating.

Lastly, you need to make sure the infrastructure around your place is sufficient. If you’re a manufacturer, is there space to store waste until it’s disposed of? Can your delivery drivers make collections and drop-offs all day or are there time restrictions?

There’s a lot to think about, so talking to a commercial letting agency is always a good idea.

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How to Start a Business After Bankruptcy

One often overlooked advantages of living in the U.S. is the fact that the bankruptcy laws tend to be much more forgiving than other countries. This can be seen when it comes to starting a business as some countries don’t even let those with a bankruptcy open a bank account.

However, there are no such prohibitions in the U.S. and if you are looking to start over by starting a new business, then read on as this article will give you some pointers on how to make it happen.

Don’t Mix Accounts

Granted, you don’t need a bankruptcy to do this but if when you have a business you don’t want to mix your personal and your corporate accounts. Doing so can not only lead to an accounting nightmare but it might make it harder for your new business to establish credit and trade lines.

As such, get started by incorporating. The truth is that it has never been easier to set up a company and the new tax laws make it to your advantage to do so. By doing so, you will make sure that your company can establish the credit it needs to grow without you being the co-signer. Granted, this does not mean that you will be able to get a million-dollar loan for your new business but you will be able to open the trade lines you will need to operate.

Register for a Tax ID Number

Also known as an Employer Identification Number, think of this as a Social Security number for your business. Getting a new number is especially critical if your previous business was involved in your bankruptcy proceedings.

However, you want to keep in mind that businesses, unlike people, cannot be discharged from Chapter 7 bankruptcies. This means that if you reboot the business, then creditors might still try to act against you. While this shouldn’t happen, there is a risk and as such you will want to discuss this with your lawyer. If you are not sure where to start, then you might want to check out this site – https://www.getfreeofbills.com/chapter-7-bankruptcy-attorney/.

Be Prepared

One thing that bankruptcy should have taught you is that things can change; sometimes rather quickly. While this can lead to a sense of uncertainty, you can harness this to your advantage. Part of this is knowing that you need to be prepared when things aren’t going as planned.

When it comes to your business, this means you need to keep an eye on two things. First, what is your cash position? Remember cash is king and having a good handle on where your company stands will be vital to your long-term success.

Second, you will need to have a plan to get small fast. Often this is how companies get into trouble as they assume the good times will last forever, and then live in denial when the market starts to turn. History is strewn with companies that thought they could weather the storm – remember Lehman Brothers.

Creating Financing

Let’s face it, most banks are not going to welcome you with open arms just after a bankruptcy. However, this does not mean that you are completely cut off from getting the money you need for your business; it just means that you need to get creative.

This includes picking a business that does not require significant capital – including a home-based business or some sort of professional service business. You could also look at working as a subcontractor first – at least until your cash flow stabilizes.

Beyond this, you can look for a partner or seek outside investors and then there are always your customers. Maybe some will be willing to pay upfront for your product or service and this will help to offset the cost of getting your company off the ground.

Look Out for Minefields

One way people can get into trouble with your business is by not paying their taxes. Not only can this create problems with the IRS but you could also run into trouble with the revenue department in your state.

Don’t let this happen to you, make sure you keep clean records and that you file your taxes on time. Keep in mind when it comes to income taxes, you can carry forward the accumulated losses from starting your business. As such, it pays to keep track of your taxes.

Be Very Careful of Giving Payment Terms to Customers

It’s a competitive market and customers have choices. However, you want to be very careful of giving payment terms to your customers as this can come back to haunt you – especially if the economy turns. Remember, cash is king and if you are starting a business after bankruptcy having cash in the bank is more important than being owed $1,000,000 from your customers.

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Start-ups: Don’t buy into all of the myths

Over the last few years it would be fair to say that the start-up culture has really come into its own. Whether it was the economic dip, or a completely unrelated reason, we’re not going to speculate. However, start-ups are popping up in all sorts of places, and entrepreneurs are constantly being bred.

At the same time, the surge in start-up culture has led to a lot of misinformation being published about new businesses. Myths have been developed and as the title of today’s post might have already suggested, we are today going to scrutinize some of these misconceptions and reveal the real truths behind them.

Myth #1 – You need too much capital

Once upon a time, this was completely true. After all, most new businesses were started in a bricks-and-mortar form, and this in itself added more costs. However, through the power of the internet there is no doubt that this myth has been reset so to speak, and you don’t necessarily have to have a lot of capital to get going.

Of course, there are exceptions. If a bricks-and-mortar store is going to be at the forefront of your enterprise, you do need some form of funding. However, don’t be put off by the suggestion that items such as point-of-sale terminals are going to hike up your costs – these are low cost, or even free, to install with vendors making their money on small transaction fees (that will barely touch your bottom line).

Myth #2 – Customers will flock to your great store or product

This next misconception is at the other side of the spectrum. A lot of new businesses are under the belief that customers will flock to their new product, under the “build it and they will come” philosophy. Without trying to be party-poopers, this isn’t going to happen. Sure, you may have released the best product of its kind on the market, but if nobody knows about it this is all for nothing.

You need a solid marketing plan in place long before your product hits the shelves. People need to be aware of it and without this awareness, you really will be on a hiding to nothing.

Myth #3 – You can do it all yourself

With funding low initially, this next myth is hardly surprising. However, as much as you might want to carry out every task yourself, we would advise exercising caution. Sure, you’re not going to be in a position to afford full time staff, but the rise of the freelance economy means that there are a whole host of skilled, temporary workers out there who can help you with everything from marketing to product design.

Remember, if you do it yourself you might save money, but by just having one extra pair of hands you can effectively double your output.

Myth #4 – Big companies eat start-ups for breakfast

It can be hard to not be scared by the big competitors in your field, but this should only occur if you can’t differentiate yourselves from them. If your service is the same, you are destined to fail. If you can offer differences, and ultimately an advantage to the customer, this is where you can prosper.

Remember, some customers are just scared and put off by big brands – and this is a unique advantage that you hold in itself. You can give a personal service, which is something that is greatly appreciated in the modern-day market.

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Employee development: The term on the tip of company tongues right now

If we were to wind back the clock a couple of decades ago, we would assume that the term “employee development” did not exist. Even if companies were aware of its meaning, the chances of them implementing its philosophies would be slim to say the least.

However, over recent times there has really been a shift in culture in relation to this. Big companies in particular are happier to invest in the development of their employees, whether it’s through training programs or even just sending them to industry conferences.

Whether or not this is the case for smaller companies, who perhaps have more constraints in relation to budgets, is debatable. However, business education is shifting; whether it’s from single day training courses or online MBA programs.

Following on from the above, let’s now take a look at some of the reasons more companies are getting more comfortable with employee development, and how you might decide to follow the same pathway.

The employee turnover numbers

Any company that has a high turnover of employees is asking for trouble. Let’s not forget that the recruitment business is an expensive game. Positions tend to be left open for long periods of time, leading to unproductivity, while once you do find your star candidate there is every chance that you might have to pay a recruiter fee or something else to guarantee their signature.

As such, training is a means of keeping employees and ultimately making your business a much nicer place to work. It is regarded as a “perk”, and a way of showing your employees that you respect their career. It’s something that will tend to breed loyalty and ultimately, weaken the chances of them jumping ship at the first opportunity.

It becomes easier to promote from within

This follows a similar vein to the previous point we looked at. As anyone who has been involved in recruitment will testify, as soon as you start looking to fill more senior positions the business becomes much tougher. There are far fewer candidates out there, while their higher salaries naturally means it’s a bigger risk.

If someone is trained internally meanwhile, the process can be made much easier. They already know the culture of your company, while you already know all about them so the risk is much smaller.

Employees tend to be more engaged at work

This next benefit works in several ways. Firstly, an employee who is picking up new skills suddenly has a lot more options available at work. They can apply themselves in different ways and this should, theoretically at least, prevent boredom occurring.

Then, there is the training itself. Once upon a time training courses were one of those things that everyone tried to avoid – they were boring to say the least. Now, the outlook has changed, and an interactive way of learning means that employees actually look forward to them, and see them as a positive to their daily routine.

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What is the crack with foundation problems?

What is the crack with foundation problems?

They are one of those areas of the home which are out of sight, but to say that foundation issues are out of mind would be a gross understatement. In truth, they are one of the most important elements of a home and if they fail, you can be left with all sorts of problems.

These problems can result from cracks emerging in the walls, to full-scale flooding that will require emergency water damage repair. In short, it’s a costly affair, and the one expense that insurers are the most afraid of.

To highlight the different types of problems that can impact foundations, let’s take a look at some of them in-detail.

Soil that expands or heaves

One of the big complications about foundations is that they all depend on the type of soil that your property is built on. If we turn to the likes of clay, momentarily, this is something that can be subject to expansion. This is because as soon as clay comes into contact with moisture, it has the habit of expanding.

Clearly, if we’re talking about small amounts of water, this isn’t going to be a problem. However, if your local area is subjected to heavy rain, there’s a chance that this can leak into the soil and make it expand. From that point on, it can cause the soil to heave upwards and ultimately, cause those dreaded cracks that are an insurer’s nightmare.

Soil that consolidates

Whilst clay soil is renowned for expanding, the opposite can be said of other types of soil. There are some types out there that when they dry, they constrict. This means that it starts to pull away from your foundation.

You’ll start to see your house settle if this occurs, which effectively means that it moves downwards. Again, it can cause all sorts of cracks, and even leaks, if these cracks become substantial enough in size.

Large trees growing near to your home

This is perhaps one of the more interesting points we will talk about. While trees are utterly desirable for most people, whether it be for privacy or beauty, from a foundations point of view they can be terribly damaging. For those of you who have filled out a home insurance questionnaire, you’ll have probably stumbled across the question asking if your home is near any large trees, so let’s now delve into the true answers behind this.

As we all know, large trees have large roots. This poses a problem for foundations in particular, as the roots will attempt to consume all of the water that surrounds them. In the case of some soils, that are subject to shrinkage, this can cause settlement.

Some people therefore take it upon themselves to cut the tree down. Unfortunately, this brings even further issues, as the water that was previously used by the roots is returned to the soil. As such, the foundations are provided more water than ever before, leading to even worse foundation issues.

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BUNDESLIGA CHAMPIONS BORUSSIA DORTMUND IN MARKETING PARTNERSHIP WITH GMO TRADING

June 29, 2018 – GMO Trading is proud to announce that it has entered into a partnership with Borussia Dortmund the Bundesliga Football powerhouse for the 2018-19 football season.

GMO Trading is a worldwide investment firm that has created a secure and simple to operate trading platform for traders of all skill levels. The platform meets the needs of clients for a platform that can be accessed anywhere and at any time during the day. Reception to the platform has been outstanding by customers throughout Europe.

From GMO Trading: “We are delighted to be a regional sponsor of Borussia Dortmund, one of the Bundesliga’s finest football teams. As home of the ninth largest stock exchange in the world, Germany is an important trading market and presents a key growth area for GMO Trading. This partnership will help raise awareness of our offering among European business leaders.”

Beginning in August of this year, Borussia Dortmund and GMO Trading will work together to market GMO Trading to markets in Europe outside of Germany.

The partnership will allow clients of GMO Trading the chance to participate in a range of exclusive offers and benefits from the club, and the chance to get VIP tickets and official merchandise.

GMO Trading will use social media and its website to introduce Borussia Dortmund branded initiatives to the market. To discover how you could benefit from GMO Trading’s services, please visit www.gmotrading.com.

For more information, please email Rebecca Wharmby – Rebecca.Wharmby@Threepipe.co.uk

About GMO Trading

GMO Trading brand name of Royal Forex a Cyprus Investment Firm, regulated by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission

The GMO Trading platform offers clients an unmatched trading environment and superior service, allowing them to access global trading arenas with great security and comfort.

GMO Trading puts at its clients’ disposal an unsurpassed variety of account options that can perfectly fit any trader’s requests. Clients benefit from innovative trading tools that delivers them the possibility to turn their trading desires into reality.

For more information, visit the GMO Trading website at www.gmotrading.com or  visit its Facebook at www.facebook.com/gmotrading/.

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