Tips on How to Make Your Own Business a Reality

Many people throughout their lives will have that light-bulb moment, you know the one, when an idea hits you for an innovation or an enterprise that you think could work. The sad truth is that far too many people don’t follow through with their ideas which can lead to regrets later in life or the possibility that someone else will come along with your idea and make it a success. There are many reasons why people won’t indulge their ideas and turn their dream into reality, whether it is fear, a lack of confidence or simply a defeatist attitude that stops them from doing this. If you fall into the bracket of having a fantastic idea and you’re not sure how to follow it through, then here are some tips on how to make your own business a reality.

Don’t Fear Failure

Almost every business or product that has been taken to the market has suffered setbacks along the way, these set backs are not failures, far from it. In fact, set backs are exactly what you need in order to perfect your craft, business or product and in a way, they should be welcomed. The notion of not trying something out in case you fail is one that should be dispelled from your mind, just go for it.

Research and Plan

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65% of start-up business’ fail in their first year, the reasons for this are usually a failure to understand the market and the competition and an overly optimistic financial forecast. Before you even consider heading into the marketplace, it is imperative that you understand your target customers and the competition that you may face. Spending time on this in the beginning is the difference between failure and success. From a financial standpoint, you should always have a full and realistic plan for income and expenditure in the first year, the best approach in year 1 is to be frugal and sensible with how and where you spend your money. Small business loans are a great idea when you are starting out but make sure that you borrow within your means as if you fail to do so then this will bring added pressure to your business.

Make Friends

Creating a community of support around you is one of the most important things you can do for your business, regardless of what field you are entering in to. Whether it be making contacts within advertising or people higher up the food chain than you, if you create these contacts in then beginning then they will pay you dividends in the future. Remember to offer help and support to others if you wish to receive the same thing in return.

Take Advice

You may well think that your idea is the best thing since sliced bread, while this may be true it is important that you never become arrogant in your decision-making. Always seek help and advice from others who either know you well or know the marketplace well. The wisest businessmen and entrepreneurs out there make the best decisions because they seek counsel and you should be no different, even if you are convinced of a certain path or strategy, you should always bounce it off someone first to see if they can see any cracks or holes in your plan.

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The Growing Importance of Security Guard Service

Today, now more than ever, security is a real priority in everyone’s lives. There are many more threats to the general safety of people in areas that may never have been considered risks before. As a business owner or operator of any type of building, part of your responsibility is to make your residents, employees, customers and visitors feels as safe as possible all of the time. Situations can change in an instance nearly anywhere and it is important that you have the proper security measures in place to help deter potential thefts and other activities. All of this has made security guard service more important than it has ever been before and has more locations looking into using the security officers Houston, TX has to offer.

Security at Many Locations

In the past, it seemed like the only places security forces really seemed necessary were at places like banks and certain office buildings and complexes. Even security at malls and retail areas seemed to be limited at best. Because of all that has occurred over the last fifteen to twenty years, there are many more potential threats that can affect people in areas never considered as security risks before. Because of this, you are much more likely now to see security services at places like schools, government offices and facilities, malls, apartment buildings, places of worship and the like. Security is no longer something relegated to executives or areas that contain valuable or sensitive information. Just having the proper security presence at these places can act as a deterrent to theft, trespassing, potential sabotage and other issues.

Using the Latest Available

Because there is a lot more use of technology today when it comes to potential crimes and illegal activities, security services must be vigilant in learning how to use technology of their own to prevent actions. Security guards today are now highly trained in the uses of a variety of technology and equipment that can help them to do their jobs more effectively. This includes the latest in surveillance equipment and communications and tracking so that they can properly patrol and protect different areas. Because technology can be used in so many different ways as methods of theft and destruction, you need to have the right security systems and officers in place to deal with situations, react and respond quickly and appropriately. The right security service with the best technology will help to detect potential problems before they can fully develop.

With the greater emphasis being placed on security today, it makes it all the more important that you choose the right security company to work with for your own facility. When you are looking for the best security services in Houston, you have to contact Mustang Security and Investigations. They have a great deal of experience in working with all kinds of facilities and industries and have officers that are highly trained for any situation to help you offer the best security possible.

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Tips for promoting your freelance business

How do you promote your freelance business effectively? ... photo by CC user FirmBee on pixabay

Photo by CC user FirmBee on pixabay

There could be any number of things that have led you to this point: eschewing the traditions of an office routine and following the same 9-5 weekday pattern. Maybe you’d like to be sat somewhere hot with a cocktail in hand while creating cool content, or you would like to explore IT freelancing to spend more time doing the things you love.

Whatever the reason, just because you possess the aptitude and desire to be working freelance, it is by no means a straightforward switch, and you may be left wondering how you will make the leap from unknown to in demand, and how to achieve this as quickly as possible. Luckily for everyone involved, there are a number of ways to make the dream a reality.

The best place to begin the journey is with the basics. Once you have a well-defined strategy and an essence of what sets you apart from everybody else trying to make their way in your field, you can commence in earnest. Starting local is never an option to be underestimated. Word of mouth rumors can spread faster than you can imagine, and a good review from a few trusted sources can lead to a huge spurt in business demand.

This helps to build your initial client base, and if you play it right, you can guarantee yourself a starter income to keep you ticking over while you scout elsewhere for further opportunities. If you are aiming to offer services worldwide from a remote location such as your home, word of mouth will only get you so far. Mastering your online promotion is vital to increasing your potential. Explore all of the different social media pages and figure out which ones you think best suit your business. Once you have an idea of your preferred platforms, create a profile and see what interest you can generate.

Social media is not the only tool of online promotion of course, and there are many other websites that may offer a huge client base for you to get in touch with. If you are a budding writer or have other online work you can showcase, it is vital to create a portfolio so everyone can see what you have been working on. Websites are easy to set up these days, with many host sites that do all of the design work for a reasonable fee.

Specialist fields can sometimes be difficult to break into, and there are several companies that specialize in helping to get your name out there to find more work. If you are a contractor, going through an umbrella company can really help promote your business, as they do all the searching for you. This allows you to concentrate on what you do best.

As always when starting a new venture, it is unrealistic to expect these things to instantly click into place, so don’t be too disheartened if there is no immediate uptake. Keep plugging, ensure you retain an element that sets you apart from the rest, and you could have the job you’ve always dreamed of.

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How To Use The Internet To Grow Your Local Business

Ensuring your business is successful no doubt takes up most of your time. Your business is your lifeline; its success affects your quality and way of life, on top of providing you the cash you need to pay the bills, put a roof over the family’s head and pay for food. Making sure your company survives and grows means having a great product or service on offer, offering high-value prices, boasting excellent customer service and standing out in the crowd.

In this increasingly competitive economy, marketing your business is arguably more important than ever. Small businesses may not be looking to get themselves on prime-time TV, but they should be looking to market their business effectively if they want the maximum potential return on investment. Even small, local operations can find themselves increasing profits through online trade and often find a great website can transform a small operation into a national one.

Local Internet Marketing

Utilising internet marketing, in all its forms, should be a top priority for local businesses in the UK. Customers are searching for all types of businesses and when they’re looking to buy, local searches are commonly used. By this, we mean people are searching for specific businesses in specific areas, and that’s why Thomson Local is the go-to place for local business advertising. This company is used by millions of customers in the UK, and they generate millions of online referrals and deliver millions of directories to households and businesses. Thomson’s goal is the same as what yours should be; to attract business from as many potential customers as possible.

Using the Internet to Get Found By Customers

Getting your business onto online directories is a no brainer, but to unlock online sales to the maximum potential and really watch your business boom, you should be utilising numerous channels of internet marketing. If you get to grips with what you need to do and, in time, master the art, internet marketing can be extremely cheap – oftentimes free – but you should always seek advice where you’re not sure to get the maximum return on your efforts.

  • Social Media Marketing – You might be a traditional family-run business that’s been operating just fine for decades, and you might not be an avid user of Facebook yourself, but these days everybody is using social media, including your customers. Many people spend hours browsing through the social media feeds and millions of people check their feeds periodically through the day. If you attract followers to your page, you can share news about products and promotions that will be read by potential customers. Plus, they may share this news to others. You can respond to queries and complaints instantly to bolster your customer service, and if your campaign is a success, you can watch your customer base grow.
  • Having a Good Website – When people are searching for your business online, it’s important that you have a website for them to find. Online directories can help your business get found by local customers, but nowadays, they’ll want to find more than just a phone number and a location on a map – though both of those are completely necessary. They’ll want to take a look at your website and get a first impression of how professional your business looks. They’ll likely want to be able to look at products or have a general read of what your business is about. It’s also extremely likely that many of them will want to buy products from you online. Most of your competitors will be doing it, so having a website nowadays is crucial to staying in the marketplace.
  • Search Engine Optimisation – Just making a website is like putting a drop into the ocean. The internet is flooded with existing websites and new ones are created in abundance on a daily basis. Standing out in the crowd is what will bring your website success, and this is achieved via good search engine optimisation. Google among other search engines have a very complex system of deciding which websites are most relevant to user searches, but you can help your website reach the first page and attract more viewers by publishing content regularly, bearing in mind keywords your customers may search for and making sure they are featured in your text, building relationships with other businesses who can help spread the word of your website, and –as aforementioned – being featured on online directories and running successful social media campaigns.
  • Content Marketing – Many people are now immune to the hard sell. People don’t want salesman knocking on their doors and they don’t want to read articles on a website that focus solely on attracting their custom. People browse the internet at their own leisure, and as such, would prefer to read a more engaging article with useful information. Guest blogging and placing blogs on your own website, which explain things or provide a solution to a problem, can help build trust with potential customers and lead to future sales. Many businesses find success attracting new followers to their social media profiles by sharing related industry news and not always focusing on advertising themselves.

All of the above may be hard to master for new or inexperienced users, which is the reason so many businesses are around to help you market your business locally using the internet. Investing in one of these companies could be a good idea, but getting your business on Thomson Local really is a must. This company’s purpose is to get you found and it works with many partners to do just that, but it’s still important to remember other vital ways to attract new business using the internet. Social media marketing, having a great website that is search engine optimised and producing high quality content will all help you take your business into the future.

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Does Your Small Business Take Identity Theft Serious Enough?

In the world of identity theft (specifically information critical to one’s business), cyber-criminals oftentimes do not care whether your company is large and well-known or just a small business with a handful or workers.

As too many business owners have discovered (especially in recent years), cyber-criminals oftentimes don’t discriminate when it comes to trying to wreck a company. They will strike wherever security seems weakest, hoping to cash-in on a large amount of data.

With that the case, what exactly is your small business doing to thwart the attempts of identity theft thieves from striking your brand?

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Know the Signs of a Weak Business

One of the first things that cyber-criminals look for when trying to steal identities (consumer and company data) is a weak security system.

It is imperative that you test your security system and firewall, making sure it is as close to 100 percent foolproof as possible.

Keep in mind that many cyber-criminals will “test” a company’s system regularly, looking to see where it is most penetrable. If your system is far from perfect, your business stands a good chance of being that company that is hit.

Among the practices you should have in place:

  • Security – Number one on your list should be a secure system that discourages cyber-criminals from hitting your company in the first place. Test and re-test your security software, seeing where your online activities may be the most vulnerable. If you’re stuck on a security software company, look to reviews of providers to see which one gets the highest ratings from industry experts. Also make sure that your server provider has a sound system on their side of things. One way to test your system is by having employees (see more below on their role in your company’s defenses) pose as cyber-criminals, trying to penetrate your security network. If one or more of your workers can get through, just stop and think about what a professional criminal can do;
  • Employees – Along with your security system, your employee are in essence your first line of defense. Their practices alone can oftentimes dictate whether or not someone with evil intentions can crash your system. Just as employees should be your biggest defense backers, some companies have come to discover that inside jobs were what ultimately led to being hacked. Make sure during the hiring process that you only bring in the brightest and most honest workers available to you. Yes, it can be challenging at times finding those individuals (see more below), but taking a little extra time in doing so can save you money and headaches down the road;
  • Outsourcing – More businesses find outsourcing their needs to be the way to go, especially since they don’t have to pay benefits to someone (typically works as an independent contractor) who is not on the company payroll 40 hours a week. Due to this, sometimes company and consumer data can be compromised. It is important that you vet each and every individual you consider outsourcing work to. Even more critical, only share important company and/or consumer data with those you fully trust, not to mention have secure servers at home or in their offices;
  • Travel – It isn’t uncommon for big and small business to ask some employees to travel for work from time to time. As a result, employees will oftentimes take company laptops with them in order to work out on the road. While the accessibility is great, one of the dangers in doing such is the vulnerability to being hacked. If an employee is working from a hotel room or even a café, can they say with 100 percent certainty that the server they are working off of is totally protected? In most cases, the answer to that question is no. If you’re not 100 percent sure the server is safe, don’t work from it and expose sensitive company and customer data. Save such efforts for when you get back to the office, working off of a server you know is fully protected.

At the end of the day, your business communications are at the forefront of lessening the chances of being attacked by cyber-criminals.

Making sure employees, management, and the security system software provider/s you work with are all on the same page makes a difference, especially if you plan on taking identity theft seriously.

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Where do I start with buying shares?

In recent years, buying shares has become an increasingly appealing investment opportunity. In today’s technologically advanced society, there are now all manner of platforms through which you can buy shares, whether it’s over the phone, via post, online or even through a mobile app! However, with all these options on offer, the practice of buying shares can often seem daunting. Here are our top tips on where to start:

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Carry out extensive market research

Due to the fluctuating nature of the stock market and share prices, it is important to carry out extensive research before you commit to purchasing and selling shares. By investigating online and learning about a company’s recent stock market performance, its reputation within its field of industry and the economy as a whole, you can assess the short term and long term risks of investing in particular organisations.

It is also important to consider your long term stock market prospects. Do you want to rapidly buy and sell shares to make a quick profit or are you interested in becoming a minority or majority shareholder within a particular company or organisation? Although the stock market offers rife opportunities for rapid sales and quick profits, becoming a shareholder within an expanding organisation or an established corporation can equip you with the opportunity to benefit from exclusive shareholder discounts, or even to influence how the company is run.

If you intend to become a minority or majority shareholder within a company, it is important that you research the practice of shareholder’s agreements and the Disclosure Letter, UK laws differentiate from other areas of the EU so be careful that you are reviewing the correct information for your locale. Understanding these important legal documents can prove crucial in protecting your rights, responsibilities and long term investment opportunities as a minority or majority shareholder.

Choose a suitable stockbroker 

You have to buy shares through a broker who is registered with the stock exchange. As matters stand there are several stockbroker options at your disposal, including established City traders, the stockbroking divisions of large banking corporations or building societies and financial advisory firms who offer stockbroking services, as well as various online stockbroker companies. It is important that you extensively research the legitimacy, brand reputation and share purchasing processes of these organisations in order to find a stockbroker who is best suited to your particular investment interests.

Create a brokerage account

Now you have a stockbroker you can set up a brokerage account! This is the main account through which you will buy and sell real shares either online, over the phone or via the postal service. When choosing a broker account, you should scrutinise the terms and conditions of each account in order to assess whether it is suited to your investment interests. For instance: will you be charged inactivity fees if you don’t trade regularly? If you intend to rely on your shares for a regular income, how much will the withdrawal fees be? What are their interest rates? You should consider all of these factors before committing to opening a broker account and commencing trading.

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Most Successful Entrepreneurs Under 30

Most Successful Entrepreneurs Under 30

Just because you are young doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. Don’t let your youth hold you back rather embrace it and make it an advantage. Here are some of the most successful entrepreneurs under 30 who have changed the rules and already left their mark.

Tyler Haney
At just 27 seven years old Tyler Haney is the founder of Outdoor Voices an active apparel company that has over 8 million dollars in venture capitol. Talk about a big amount of cash for a young person. Tyler is handling is the responsibility and her education in sports and fashion are proving crucial in her new role, running a company.

Shawn Mendes
Shawn is only 17 years old but he already has a envious amount of success. Shawn is a singer and through self promoting videos on Vine he was able to obtain a manager, a contract, and now even a number one single. It just shows you what a lot of talent combined with a self starter attitude can get you.

Jordan Maron
The 23 year old Jordan Maron has made countless YouTube videos reviewing video games. Skeptics would not see this as a career but they were wrong. Jordan has over 8 million YouTube followers and with that many followers you have advertisers eating out of the palm of your hand. His giant online following will ensure his influence and success for years to come, of which he has many!

John Boyega
 Most Successful Entrepreneurs Under 30
This young actor recently starred in Star Wars the Force Awakens, a record breaking film by all measurements. John Boyega is only 23 years old and is likely on track to be one of the worlds most recognizable faces given the insane amount of marketing and promotional products tied to the new star wars movie. This young actor sure knows how to pick his roles and given the success of this film, he will likely have first dibs on acting roles for the remainder of his career.

Matthew Ramirez
A 26 year old Berkeley English Major, Matthew Ramirez has combined the high-tech with the old-school. He has created an algorithm that analyzes writing and automatically provides feedback and suggestions. His software has already been purchased by dozens of schools and looks like it is gaining some serious traction.
These successful entrepreneurs under thirty all have one thing in common, they shot for the moon. Regardless and because of their age they were able to use modern tools to showcase their talents. What to be like them, well first you need to decide what your talents and skills are. The second step is to market yourself or your company using modern social media platforms. Whether you are thirteen or seventy-three it just goes to show you that anything is possible.

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Millenials: From 30 Year Careers to Freelance

careers to freelance

In previous generations you picked a trade after college or high school and chances are you stuck with it but for many this is changing. Today’s millennials are opting out of this process due to personal preference or the labor market. They are working as freelancers instead of choosing 30 year careers. Like many things, the transition from careers to freelance has it’s pros and cons, lets explore some of them.
careers to freelance

Benefits
Traditional healthcare, dentistry, 401k, and many other benefits have been provided by your employer but this is not the cause in many modern freelance positions. Working as a freelancer you may likely be required to take care of these things yourselves. This is an important thing to keep in mind while you looking at salary in a freelance role. Remember these things are often very expensive but freelance hourly pay is often higher than a salary role.

Job Security
The traditional 30 year career promised job security, though we have found this is not always the case. While it was definitely harder to get fired from a job where you have seniority, it is also harder to find a new if you are. A freelancer is by definition flexible, if you are expecting your job to end shortly, chances are you are ready for the next one. The key to thriving as a freelancer is keeping your skills marketable and current.

Hours
The forty hour work weeks of previous generations, complete with overtime pay are becoming harder to find. Today’s millennials are more likely to have a feast or famine work schedule. It is becoming increasingly common to work multiple jobs at once, logging well over 60 hours for months on end only to be followed by periods of little to no work. For the millennial freelancer it is crucial to be aware of this and like a squirrel, stash away your earnings during the busy periods so you will be okay during the inevitable slow times. The savvy millennial freelancer can also use this to their advantage and plan vacations around these downtime or even take it a step further and spend your life on vacation as a digital nomad.

So the debate rages on whether this transition in work style is for the greater good or not, there is not denying the impact it is having on the millennial generation. Those young workers who are most successful are flexible and constantly adapting to the changing demands of the workforce. They also need to be self reliant regarding savings and benefits. You can no longer count on a salary and career for your life from a single company. The workforce of today and tomorrow will be shaped by freelancing millennials moving from careers to freelance.

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Ways To make Money From Home

Making money from home sounds too good to be true right? While you are right to be skeptical, there are plenty of legitimate ways you can make money from home. So have a look at this list for some tips of you want to make your living from the comfort of your home.
Make Money From Home

Choose Something You Are Good At
Do you know multiple languages? Maybe you would make a good translator. A sports nut? Maybe selling collectibles online would be a good way for you to make money from home. Do you have a history in the medical field? Maybe you could make a good living transcribing medical records from the comfort of your couch. The key is to isolate your skills, what sets you apart from others. With today’s global economy, the more niche your skill is, the more you are in demand and the more you can make.

Do Your Homework
Whether it is asking friends, family, or just about anyone; it is important to ask around to find a way to make money from home that will work for you. Web searches are a useful tool as well. Online forms are a good place to start. Try to find people that are doing what you want to do. Ask them how they got into the field and what advice they have. The more you know, the better. Make sure you have a good sense of the job markets, the salaries, and the required qualifications before you quit your day job.

Use Geography in Your Favor
Apartments cost more in Manhattan than they do in Idaho. This basic principle can be key to being successful making money from home. Just because your client or boss is based out of a city with a high cost of living, doesn’t mean you have to but it likely means the pay will be. So if you are living in a city with a low cost of a living and entry level position in a city with a high cost of living could be very lucrative. You can take this a step further and go the Digital Nomad route, earning an American salary while living a low-cost life abroad

Remember just because you may being working from you couch or in your favorite Sponge Bob pajamas, doesn’t mean you are not working. Don’t expect working from home to be any easier than your traditional day job, in fact it may be harder. When your boss (or clients) are not seeing you face to face, they will be more adamant about seeing your results, so be prepared to work. Keep that in my mind if you are planning to make money from home.

 

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How to Design the Ultimate Home Office

Ultimate Home Office

Are you lucky enough to have a job that lets you work from home? Then you know the importance of a home office. Whether you are remolding your current house or building out a new condo, here is a guide on how to design the ultimate home office.

Ultimate Home Office

Choose the Right Space
Depending on your unique situation you could have a large spare room, an attic, a basement, or maybe just the kitchen table in your studio apartment; no matter your situation once you choose a space you can start getting it ready for work. So pick a space that will have ideal privacy and ideal space. You don’t want to feel cramped and you also do not want constant distractions.

Make sure you pick a place with good wifi and plenty of power outlets if needed. You also want to pick a place that will feel cozy, while you can make an attic or basement work; chances are you will be spending a lot of time in your home office so you want to make it a place you’d like to stay. If you are going to be working from home long term, maybe it is a good opportunity to have AnyWeather Roofing inspect your attic and roofing system for a potential loft conversion. Loft spaces are all the rage nowadays and with adequate use of windows, they provide the perfect amount of natural light.
Get Inspiration
There are plenty of online publications to provide inspiration for your ultimate home office. Whether you are looking for a playful, hip, tech vibe or a classic leather, classy, madmen feel; you can’t find out unless you look. You can also head to furniture show rooms to get an idea for what trends are in and you may come home with plenty of fresh ideas. Also try searching online, once you have your furniture in mind, don’t forget about the decorations! Once you have an inspiration for your style, make it your own. Add a coat of paint and some framed art and your space will show your personal style and get you on the right track to coming up with creative ideas. You don’t wan’t to have a cookie cutter office, there is a reason you left the cubicle remember? So make some unique changes that reflect your style, needs, and your space.
Budget

So you have your space picked out and you have plenty of inspiration for furniture and style. Now it times to determine your budget. Take into account the amount you bring home from your home business and plan accordingly. Maybe the five-thousand dollar leather couch can wait until business is really booming. It is important stay to your budget once you fix it, remember to focus your budget on the most essential pieces, you can add more fun and secondary furniture pieces as you business grows.

What are you waiting for? Start walking around your place and deciding which area would make your ultimate home office. Once you have your space decided, get your inspiration on by searching online or heading out to your local furniture showroom. Don’t forgot the last step, plan your budget; while it it may not be the most fun, remember you are running a home business here. Next thing you know you will be working in the ultimate home office.

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