5 Things You Must Consider When Starting Your Own Business

b12Starting your own business may involve a lot of headaches. There’s having to find office space, getting permits, hiring people, and more. Aside from those, you also need a business plan. In what direction do you want the business to go? How much money would you like to make five, ten, or so years from now? Those are very important questions to ask, but since you’re still in the early phases of your business, you should also seriously consider these five things.

1. What sector will you be in?

Let’s say you want to be in IT (information technology). It’s a huge, cutthroat industry, with lots of companies, both big and small, competing for market share. It’s a lot tougher for you as someone just starting if you want to jump into the industry as well. So then, you first have to find your niche. What sort of products or services will you specialise in? What can you offer that your competitors don’t have? Don’t just go with the flow. Be unique and offer something really valuable to your potential customers. Ideally it’s something they’re looking for that your competitors just can’t offer them. That way, your business will stand out above the rest!

2. How much will you invest?

Of course, as a business, you need capital to turn your business ideas into a reality. If you don’t pour in the capital, your home business idea will be nothing but a big flop. One important thing to know is how much money your business needs to both begin and maintain itself.

Where would you get the money? You could use your savings, if you have a lot. If not, you could find some business partners and ask them for an investment. Or, you could take out a loan from a bank or a reputable finance group. You could even try crowdfunding like many startup owners do these days. Last but not the least, you can seek professional advice from financial planners, business experts, or business coaches.

3. Who will operate the business?

Managing your small business by yourself is never an easy task. It’s even less easy when your company is already expanding. One way or another, you will need to enlist the help of well-trained people to help run your business. Their knowledge and skills will be great assets to your expanding small business, helping it grow further.

4. When do you expect to make money?

Certainly you would want to make money at some point. How could any business owner not want to make money? With that in mind, it’s good to set a target date for recovering your capital and earning profit. And if you have a goal, you need an action plan. Let’s say you want to recover capital after one year of starting your home business. What actions will you take to achieve that goal?

5. Do you have what it takes to build your own business?

Running your own small business requires a lot of sacrifices on your part. And there’s even the chance that your business idea won’t work out. That’s something you have to contend with. You can’t avoid running into a few (or many) obstacles along the way. But if you’re convinced that running a business is your road to financial freedom, then go on ahead! By all means, do your best!

Should Your Company Use Hot Stamping

b10If you are looking for a unique, yet professional way to boost your business materials then now is the time to begin using hot stamping. This customizable process has been around for many years, and is a popular choice for a long list of businesses looking to stand out from their competition. Like embossing, it can add dimension to any piece of paper thus allowing you to create a custom look for your company logo, mailed items and much more.

The foil stamping process can be either hot or cold and can be used to create gorgeous designs sure to give you an edge and garner your prospective customer’s attention. It is not limited to single colors, or just those deemed as metallic, but can be in a wide range of colors, making it perfect for any image you wish and then applied in a wide range of designs.

What is Hot Foil Stamping?

If you have never heard of stamping, then you may be hesitant to use it, but don’t be! Hot stamping is accomplished by pressing a hot block to brand colored foil to a piece of paper. The finished product is a seamless design that is one with the paper or cardstock to which it was added.

Benefits of Hot Stamping

There are many reasons that companies will choose hot stamping for the materials, but here are just a few of them:

  • There are no fumes or solvent vapors to be concerned about, so they are safe for the environment.
  • Your printed item is completely opaque.
  • The colors gained from hot stamping are of the highest degree of vibrancy possible. Not watered down or muted.
  • The process is perfect for dry, more porous paper and cardstock. These items are often not recommended for usage if you want to use cold stamping.
  • You can combine hot stamping with embossing to create a textured finish, thus making your materials stand out even more!
  • This type of stamping gives you more range for creative details.
  • There are more foil colors and decorative elements available for hot stamping than for cold.
  • It can be used for just a section of the paper or even for the entire page.

Hot stamping is a great option when looking for a way to boost your business, and there are many companies such as those at Larkin Industries, who are happy to provide you with a custom look. So, don’t just think about giving your company an edge, do it. After all, your company deserves to stand out from the crowd and hot stamping provides you one of the tools with which to do just that.

Import Financing Options To Choose From

b11The import and export business is still one of the lucrative types of trades you can get into. However, importing is still a risky business to get into.

If you are still interested in entering the foreign trade industry, one of the first things you have to do is to secure the best available export and import financing solutions. With these solutions, you will have access to the working capital required for your venture as well as enhanced cash flow since you can get the assurance that all pertinent matters are effectively settled with suppliers and payments are promptly received from buyers.

There are different import financing options to choose from today. Businesses can use them on their own or two or three more in conjunction. Below are three of the most popular options you can choose from:

1. Accounts receivable financing. This option pertains to the selling or pledging of your company’s account receivable, at a discount, to a bank, financial institution, or an accounts receivable financing company who may assume a risk of loss. Under this solution, you receive a portion (usually 80% to 90% of the face value of your receivables) in advance of payment from your customers in return for a fee, or interest, which will be paid to the commercial finance company. When the customer pays the commercial finance company, the appropriate fees are deducted and the remainder is rebated to you.

2. Purchase order financing. This import financing option refers to the assignment of purchase orders to a third party, a bank, financial institution, or commercial finance company, who then takes all responsibilities of billing and collecting from customers. Purchase order financing can be used to finance all present and succeeding orders to sustain and improve your company’s cash flow.

3. Inventory financing. Inventory financing pertains to a loan secured by the inventory of your business. This financial solution enables import companies to hold more stock without cash flow strain and to produce more sales. Most of the time, inventory finance is part of a purchase order and accounts receivable financing commercial finance package.

The three types of import financing solutions stated above can enable your business to increase its purchasing capabilities dramatically. With these options, you can accept larger orders and grow your business exponentially.

How To Rate A Company Honestly Without Being Mean

b9It can be very tempting to jump on the latest review site to talk about a company you’ve recently encountered, but you first will want to make sure you’re giving the most ethical review you can. Consumers rely heavily on the company ratings and reviews they see online to determine where they’d like to do business. The consumer rating holds power! So, before you rate a company you’ve worked with, read these important tips to make sure you can give an honest rating without being mean.

The Golden Rule

Treat the business as you would want to be treated in their shoes. The reality is that an ever-increasing portion of online ratings and reviews of businesses are fabricated, paid for, or otherwise tampered with. Because consumers often look at online ratings before deciding to patron a business, it’s important to be truthful in your rating. While it’s easy to get carried away with emotion when rating a company, keeping a rational mind while still remaining truthful will result in an honest review.

Context Matters

Your general feelings about dealing with a specific company are important, but to really paint an appropriate picture, provide ample context about the situation when possible. A non-specific complaint or wide-sweeping praise is less noteworthy than an anecdote. Remember that your review can really help or hurt a local business, so take the time to explain what happened.

Be Opportunistic

It’s always good to remember that companies keep a close watch on their online ratings. Your leaving feedback for a business is one more way to connect over their service. If you leave an honest and helpful review with respectful feedback for the owners, you may be able to participate in a dialogue with that business to address your criticism. That’s an opportunity for the company to improve, and for you the consumer to finally get the customer service you were hoping for.

Keep it Credible

Stick with the more credible review sites when leaving a business rating.
Some sites will allow you to rate a business without first vetting your review. Consumer opinion in these cases can really drive prosperity or disaster for a business, since a mean-spirited review can go unchecked.

Leave Some Positivity

Consumers typically look at business ratings with hopes that they read rave reviews about the company they’d like to work with. A lot of negative reviews may not always give the full picture. Consumers are more likely to describe a bad experience they had than a good one. Similarly, customers are more apt to jump online to give a bad rating after a poor experience. So, when you feel inclined, whip up a review after a good experience too.