| Best To Worst: 8 Methods Of Securing Useful Capital For Your Startup

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

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With the modern, accessible internet age directly on our doorstep, it’s incredible to witness the spawn of so many entrepreneurs culminating in the startup trend. Startups are loosely defined as small, humble business operations with threadbare staff and capital that make use of modern trends to get a leg up in their industries, such as using social media, web communications and accessible IT solutions to organize everything. These days, a shrewd entrepreneur with a stern will can make more growth in a year than established firms.

One of the benefits of running a startup is that you can keep costs low while you establish your operation. This might be as simple as working out of your garage instead of renting an office or fulfilling multiple roles of your small business between you and your partner. There is nothing new about small businesses being creative, but startups are usually defined differently. Startups usually have a unique or original or innovative (or all three) idea that they take a risk on to establish an audience for.

If you are the owner of a startup, it’s most likely that you have an interest in growing your operation to the point that is satisfactory to you and provides you with the most interest. It’s not difficult to assume that taking a risk on a startup should only serve to craft something you enjoy. If you don’t make the decision you want to make, what would be the point? You’ll just be working for a firm you dislike in a higher position, when you could have simply raised a career ladder to get to a higher-paid position in another, more established firm. Doing that would certainly have a lower risk associated with it.

But no, you are a strong spirit, and you have the needs of your startup in your mind first and foremost. You will defeat the risk and expose the business world for what it is, yours for the taking! But wait, don’t get so ahead of yourself there. You’ll need to fuel this operation with the juice it needs.

 

You’ll Require Capital

Money makes the world go round, and a lack of it can mean severe difficulty in getting your operation off the ground. Luckily for you, this following article lists in detail the best methods of securing your funds so you can bestow your new innovative idea on an audience who aren’t yet aware they are thirsty for it.

Without further ado…

 

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding serves two purposes. For one, it is a great way to expose your product to an audience online before you even begin selling it. For a tiered ‘prize’ system to be redeemed once the product is ready for release, consumers can fund your product with an undetermined amount of money in exchange for a paid-in-advance for product when your production process ends.

Of course, this can be set only to be redeemed once someone gives you the requisite amount of money that warrants a free product at the end of it. You may also allow consumers to donate small amounts of cash for no reward, but as a form of goodwill that will hopefully help see your firm develop.

To run a successful campaign, you will need to apply some creative flair to your promotional material first. Great graphic design, a professional video that details your business plan in a rudimentary form, why your product is different and where it will fit in the marketplace are all some of the best methods for crafting an appealing piece of material for potential viewers. Thanks to the integration of crowdfunding with most social media websites, you will easily be able to share new update posts to keep your backers updated on your daily progress.

It’s not unheard of for firms to experience a huge increase in their original crowdfund goal, sometimes popular products that resonate with consumers are backed to 200% or even 300% of the originally intended business costs. What’s more, when you have this money, it is free to do with as you wish, so long as you fulfill your original promise of actually making the promise. This is intrinsically freeing.

 

Business Loans

Business loans can serve as a great way to give yourself that initial boost without publicly declaring your product. Instead, you can begin development with a degree of privacy, and this allows you to make a nuanced marketing product that isn’t reliant on anyone other than the debtor and their terms themselves.

What’s more is that you needn’t rely on big banks to help you find a business loan. There are many investing firms worthy of import that understand what it means to be a new business, and genuinely want to see you succeed in your endeavors. Business loans are a great benefit, because they can often provide you with capital, and an immense amount of it, which might be difficult to make from a crowdfund, as not all are successful. Plus, unless your debtor stipulates, there’s no reason why you can’t make use of both.

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Investors

Investors are similar to business loans but often have more stringent terms of giving you their money, as they are not covered by business loss insurance to the same degree as a firm would be. They’re also likely to have more difficult terms of contract, such as wanting a proportional percentage of the business in exchange for the money. They can work very well for the right firm, but if you can secure a business loan, that might be preferable. However, investors, especially affluent ones, might be convinced to give you an investment of a huge amount of money if they trust your business plan and vision. It all depends on how you present yourself to them.

 

Fund It Yourself

If you can, funding your own business works too. This might take dipping into savings, re-mortgaging using the house as security or simply funding your startup while you run a full-time job. This can be the best way to fund a business thanks to yourself being the only person you have to answer to financially, but a bad investment can also lead to financial loss or ruin. Use this with caution.

 

Join an Incubator

Incubators are quite an interesting process to be a part of. Incubators are firms or investors that act as both potential investors and educating guides, who can help you develop or shift your idea to places even you might not originally think possible. It’s instructive to see businesses that have done well with incubators, as many leave with not only enhanced vision and insight into the operation they want to lead, but also have gained some great exposure for investors looking to place money in the hot new venture. Incubators can serve as one of the best methods for overcoming a difficult or stagnant business process, helping you identify what has gone wrong from people who have a financial or networking incentive to help you out. This can also be the best place to meet other startups, and together you can support each other’s operations in the business supply chain.

 

Shareholders

Shareholders are similar to investors, but there are usually many of them, and it will take you going public in order to receive those funds. Unfortunately, you can’t really expect to make a huge amount of these shareholders thanks to your low business value, but you can make enough to make it worthwhile depending on the success or scope of your long-term planning.

 

Friends & Family

Appealing to your friends and family for your funding source has all the requirements that an investor might have, except with this your investor will have an emotional attachment to your project. If something goes wrong, or you experience turbulence with your operation, or simply don’t make good on the repayments, you can be sure to alienate family members and friends alike.

Of course, this rule shouldn’t be expressly ruled out – part of the reason for running a startup is that you can choose how you operate entirely by yourself – but choosing it without due care can really turn into a negative experience. This should, in all honesty, be your last option, unless you have a rich relative who is willing to be your benefactor. Use this with discretion, and understand that a large proportion of startups will not be suited to this avenue, thanks to the high failure rate of beginner businesses.

The tips listed above, duly followed from top to bottom should be a sure-fire way to retrieve some form of significant capital for your business. Not only that, but they should serve to help you understand just what makes a business so appealing to draw money in in the first place, and even if your first project fails,  you will be armed with this knowledge to do better in the future. Of course, just because the list is rated here from best to worst, it doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to one of them. Try as many as you can contract to allow in order to overcome your lack of funds, and be well on your way to getting to the fiscal place you want to be.

Good luck with all your financial and business endeavors.  If you need help sorting out your financing options give Loftis Consulting a call at (312) 772-6105.

| Why Entrepreneurs Should Jump On The Cryptocurrency Bandwagon

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

Today, nobody would call a computer and “electric computer,” and in the future, nobody will call a currency a “cryptocurrency.” They’ll just call it money. But today, the technology is so new and so few people have heard about it that it still has a special name.

There are dozens of different cryptocurrencies out there, all of which are gunning for specific audiences with even more particular tastes. But by far the most successful of all of them is Bitcoin, the most valuable of all cryptocurrencies to date.

When it comes to bitcoin, entrepreneurs should listen up. The currency is supported by some of the greatest minds in business, including Bill Gates and Google president, Eric Schmidt. Every day the Bitcoin universe expands, and it’s presenting many opportunities for entrepreneurs. The price of bitcoin is going up quickly right now, suggesting that we may finally have reached the breakout moment for the currency.

So how can entrepreneurs like you get involved in the coming Bitcoin revolution?

 

Start Accepting Bitcoin Payments

Want to attract more people to your business? Simple. Just start accepting bitcoin payments, either in store or online. These days it’s incredibly easy to accept bitcoins, and there are dozens of payment processors to choose from. Some of the biggest companies in the world currently accept Bitcoin, including Amazon and Tesla. If they’re accepting this currency, shouldn’t you?

 

Use Bitcoin Services

Did you know you can now get Bitcoin with credit card? Well, you can. In fact, according to Tim Draper, a venture capitalist, the Bitcoin ecosystem is much larger than many business people imagine. For instance, there are plenty of services that help you store your bitcoins. These are usually called Bitcoin wallets, and they function a little bit like a virtual bank account.

There’s an important difference, however, between a bitcoin wallet and a regular bank. Whereas as a regular bank is based on the fractional reserve system, all your Bitcoins stay secure in your bitcoin wallet. Nobody else gets access to them.

 

You Win By Spreading Bitcoin’s Message

The value of Bitcoin depends on the number of people willing to accept it. If fewer people are prepared to accept the new currency, then its value will go down. If more people accept it, then its value will go up. It’s that simple.

So what should entrepreneurs do? If they really want Bitcoin to succeed and to make money from their investments, they should become Bitcoin evangelists, getting as many of their suppliers and contractors to accept it as possible. With a bit of luck, acceptance will snowball, and the value of the currency will skyrocket.

 

Use Bitcoin to Cut Fraud

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If you’re at the helm of a business, one of your primary concerns is fraud. But the cool thing about Bitcoin is that the underlying technology, blockchain, prevents the majority of fraudulent transactions.

For entrepreneurs, this represents an opportunity. Bitcoin makes it easier for customers to transact with you and also opens up new trade opportunities in places where it would not have been possible, for security reasons, in the past.

| Setting Up A Startup Business As A Health Care Administrative Consultancy

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

Many hospitals are short on funds, don’t have enough beds, short on staff and generally run in a bottom-up fashion. Bureaucracy is like a virus and it can come between patient care and office managers. Starting a health care administrative business can be a noble prospect when the goal is to simplify care for nurses, doctors, consultants and surgeons. Working on behalf of medical institutions or health care companies, your business can reorganize and coordinate the services medical practitioners provide. A startup business in this field must finely balance the human touch as well as cutting away unneeded barriers. Your business can thrive in this environment if you stick to a few principals.

 

Be Worthy of the Title

Health care is unlike any other business in the world. Aspiring startups sometimes perceive graduate-level education as the benchmark, but this is incorrect. It’s a fantastic start as you have the knowledge and the understanding of the basics of running a business, but very rarely to entrepreneurs have the medical and legal background in order to set up such a business. With an accredited health care administration degree online you should be able to critically analyze modern health care issues and utilize effective practices to demonstrate sensitive perspectives in the field. Working with a diverse society, you’ll also be acclimatized to remaining vigilant of cultural practices and assess a situation in regard to the American legal system.

 

Applying for Licensing

As a startup, finances are going to be crucial in keeping afloat during the risky first year. Professional institutions like the American Association of Healthcare Administration Management need to know you’re serious and operating from a stable base where you can be relied upon by clients. By joining the AAHAM and the Association for Healthcare Administration Professionals, you can enhance your qualification and outreach. When you become a member of these institutions, you officially register as a viable service on those systems. It will also give you an opportunity to network with medical professionals as well as access industry job lists.

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Hiring Like-Minded Professionals

The next step is to starting hiring professionals with qualifications and a history of working in the industry. Get the most out of your workforce by hiring those who have a proven track record of simplifying how a hospital runs its affairs, a feel for people management whereby they have kept the best qualified and most productive staff, and let go of the unneeded or below average performing individuals. Administrators should be willing to on board feedback from patients as their firsthand experience of how their facility could be run is free yet invaluable.

Image by – CityofStPete

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Searching for Your Needed Assistance

Using the job lists found with the associations or via online health care administrative job boards and career sections on the website, have your staff apply for the roles and offer a free consultancy to the establishment. Doctors want nothing more than to simplify their care and avoid large amounts of staff that potentially slow down the process of resupplying the hospital with drugs, getting the paperwork through to transfer a patient to another ward, or even just to get the go-ahead from insurance companies to operate on a patient. With your services and the degree you have obtained, your understanding and implementation of case studies should give you a firmer understanding of ethics and regulations.

| Forging Ahead On Your Own: Crafting Your New Business Career From Home

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

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With the plethora of modern day businesses that provide wondrous opportunities to grow and develop from the bottom rungs, it can seem against general logic to educate yourself when you might be able to build brand loyalty and benefits working directly for a firm.

However, not everyone can boast this initial business success as soon as they enter the career world. Sometimes people might have already ran businesses or different careers that failed or they were made redundant from, and getting back to a similar pay grade may prove difficult when they aren’t as qualified as they maybe should be for that age.

The modern business world is as exciting as ever, and it’s not difficult to understand why someone might want to join it. Technological advancements now mean that anyone can form a startup or even work freelance and sustain themselves based on their consulting knowledge alone.

Another advantage of the internet is that it allows us access to the sum of human knowledge, and we avoid and neglect using this at our peril. Imagine telling a businessman 50 years ago that in half a century you would have access to a communication network that spans the entire globe, and allows you to gain qualifications in your underwear whilst eating your toast and drinking your coffee. But instead, you mostly use it to read news and watch videos of cats.

They’d likely knock the beverage out of your hand, and you’d deserve it.

To avoid that situation, follow these tips to help you craft your own career prospects online:

 

Kahn Academy

Kahn Academy is a popular resource that can help you take educational courses, largely for free, in STEM disciplines. It can help you with concepts that you didn’t quite understand in high school, giving you that foundational knowledge that you might have needed to brush up on for a decade. This can help you become a more rounded person, and give you that extra weapon in your career arsenal to make your next venture more successful.

 

Leadership Programs

Researching and attending online leadership courses can give you the qualifications and authority you need when it comes to consulting business, learning of organizational systems, or simply going for a business-related degree. This can provide you with a specialized and deep advantage when it comes to applying for your job in future. It’s important that you always use your daily free time in some productive way, and doing this in your own time can greatly strengthen your business acumen.

 

Historical Perspective & Case Studies

As well as accrediting yourself with a range of degree opportunities online, the internet affords you the opportunity to research case studies of successful business; the challenges they faced and how they overcame them. It will allow you to research trends and figure out where the gaps in your potential markets are. It will allow you to gain a more clear understanding of why your past exploits might not have been successful, and you can apply this new knowledge, alongside your new qualifications, to become a force to be reckoned with in your next endeavor.

There has never been a time blossoming with such potential for your future business adventures. Why not start today?

| The Hidden Costs Of Starting Your Own Business

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

When it comes to starting up your own business, there are several costs to think about. You might need some capital up front to get inventory or to rent an office or a factory. There are staff costs, as well as paying yourself a wage. But have you ever thought about the hidden costs of starting up a business? There are several costs when it comes to starting your own business and working for yourself, but some of them aren’t of the financial kind. So here are some areas to think about if you’re looking to take the leap to start out on your own.

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Your Time

Even if you have budgeted in your business plan for you to get a wage, it will work out as very little compared to how many hours you will be putting into the business (to start with at least). But when it is your idea and your plan, you will want to see it through every step of the way (rightly or wrongly). So your time will be used up quite a lot, and you will more than likely find it hard to switch off to start with. So never underestimate how much a business will take over your life, and as a result, take over your time.

 

Your Reputation

If something doesn’t go to plan in your business, or something out of your control happens that affects your business; then your reputation could be the price to be paid. So although working for yourself can give you a lot of freedom, you have to remember that your name is on the door, so to speak. So only sign off on the things that you are really happy to sign off with, and only approve those things that are good enough to keep your reputation intact and your customers happy.

 

Your Ideas

In such a digital day and age, your ideas, content, plans, and information all need to be protected and copyrighted. For someone to hack your website, then they will only need a certain amount of information plus some know-how. But to steal content and ideas that are published, on your website? It can be much simpler. So you need to make sure you are being savvy and not putting too much information out there. You should also look into copyright and making sure you are protected under that. There is also something called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that stops people from stealing your information or copying things from your website. So even if the worse does happen, you do have some form of protection. It is a good idea to learn more about the DMCA so you can take steps and as when you might need to.

 

Your Relationships

When it comes to different relationships, whether that be family, work relationships or romantic relationships, there can be a strain on them when you’re busy starting your own business. You might not be able to work with other colleagues as planned, or might have to choose work commitments over family commitments. Not everyone is going to be happy for you when they see you achieve too. So it is just something that you need to be prepared for, and take steps to deal with it all positively.

| Starting A Business That Suits Your Skillset

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

In this modern age of endless possibilities, it’s easier than ever for somebody to start a business at home through the internet and build it from the ground up. Unfortunately, as with all aspects of the world, something becomes more accessible and then everybody accesses it. So, whilst there are more opportunities than ever for a budding entrepreneur to get started with his or her business model, there’s also much more competition than ever in every industry imaginable. It can seem impossible to stand out or carve a path in such a brutal and competitive landscape.

Most importantly, it can seem impossible to figure out which path you should take in the business world. Maybe you’ve always known that you wanted to start your own company, but you currently find yourself with no ideas as to what kind of business you should start. You don’t want to plunge into the challenging world of freelancing until you have a concrete idea that you’re passionate about. Well, the key is to start a business which suits your skillset, rather than forcing an idea which you can’t carry out to the fullest of your ability. Here are some ideas of different skills that you may have and the types of business which could be grown out of them.

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Linguistic Skills

If you’ve always had a penchant for writing, understanding languages, or coming up with creative, witty, or perfectly-word ideas then there are numerous opportunities in terms of building a business around your linguistic skills. In fact, when it comes to starting a business, being skilled in terms of language is possibly one of the best talents you could hope to have. You need no qualifications; you need only prove to potential customers how good your writing is by… well, showing them a sample. It’s that simple.

You could head down the path of providing advertising services to clients; that might include writing promotional material for them or even emails that they could send out to their own clients. You could even re-write resumes for people trying to apply for certain jobs in certain industries if you know what it takes to build a strong resume. The key is to learn everything you can from books and online resources so that you can offer a skillset that other people either don’t have or don’t have the time to utilize.

 

Graphical Skills

If you’ve always had a talent when it comes to drawing then you were probably told by teachers, friends, or perhaps even career advisors that there are few very jobs out there for creative types. Perhaps you always dreamed of becoming an artist, but there are very few calls out there for the new Van Gogh. Of course, this is all complete nonsense because you need only look at the modern world through modern eyes in order to understand the place of a creative in this new landscape.

In much the same way that aspiring writers may go down the path of writing promotional content to pay the bills (as mentioned in the first point) before they pen their first great novel, aspiring artists have plenty of job opportunities available to them. As suggested over at https://www.entrepreneur.com, you could start a business which designs logos or even entire websites for businesses if you acquire some web development skills (it’s quite straightforward these days). There are always ways to twist your creative talents to your advantage, and this is certainly one of them.

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Tech Skills

Technological skills are so important in the modern age because every business in every type of industry requires them. That being said, you don’t necessarily have to be a technological wizard to start a business built around technology and the internet. This is no longer a realm reserved for the digital geniuses of the world; everybody uses technology these days, given the popularity of the internet, smartphones, and every electronic device on earth. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to monopolize on that. It’s all about providing a service that people need in the long term, and the internet offers those types of opportunities in spades.

You could check out www.wizzhosting.co.uk/reseller-hosting if you have the entrepreneurial know-how and resources to spend money to make money; you could get a bulk amount of server space, resell it to clients, and then charge them monthly or annually for the hosting service you provide. People and businesses are always going to need websites for as long as the internet exists. Being a middleman may not always be glamorous, but it sure does provide numerous opportunities for a good business model if you know how to market yourself and build a client-base.

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People Skills

As mentioned over at http://loftisconsulting.com, the key to running a successful freelancing business is to be a master of communication. You need to have excellent people skills because you’re trying to get your unknown brand onto the map by acquiring a client base; you’re only going to achieve that through knowing how to connect with potential clients. Of course, whilst every freelance business owner needs some element of social ability, your skills with regards to talking to people could actually be your business. If you’ve always been the person who could connect with any person in a room of crowded people then turn this into a business model.

You could start a marketing business because the world of sales is all about people; advertising companies which fail are the ones who don’t understand the human customer at the other end of their promotional material. If you can sell somebody a solution to their problem rather than sounding like a walking advert then you’re probably the perfect entrepreneur to start a marketing or advertising agency for other businesses. You don’t need a product or service to sell in itself; your business model can be that you help other companies sell things, as suggested over at http://www.mytopbusinessideas.com. You should learn about digital marketing because that’s a very coveted skill by businesses (your potential clients) in the modern age.

| How To Protect Your Brand

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

When you’re trying to launch your own business, one of the most important things you can do to ensure its future is to protect it. Whether you are craft beer brewery or a bespoke software solutions provider, your brand will be one of your most valuable assets once your business gets off the ground. It represents your reputation, all the goodwill you have built with your clients, and it’s your company’s entire identity. Here are a few things you can do to legally protect your brand.

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Use IP Protections

Before you even get started, you’ll have an idea for a business, which might include a name, logo, tagline, and even some business guidelines. Unfortunately, having an idea doesn’t mean you own it; at least, not until you acquire some Intellectual Property (IP) protections. These protections can include trademarks, copyrights, and patents. The right IP protection depends on the kind of business you’d like to start. If you’re just looking to start a small website business that is similar to hundred of other businesses out there, then you might not need IP protection. However, if you’re hoping to establish a brand, then you need to take the necessary steps to protect it.

Register Your Trademark

Once you’ve taken the first steps towards launching your business, registering your trademark should be on the top of your list. A trademark gives you the right to exclude others from using similar marks in the marketplace that might confuse consumers. The purpose is to make sure consumers know where the goods and services with specific brand names on them are coming from. Doing this before you fully start can help you avoid infringement if your business name, logo or slogan has already been taken. A licensed trademark attorney like Xavier Morales can conduct a Comprehensive Trademark Search for you to make sure that your chosen company name is not infringing on an existing brand, file a trademark application to register your business, and help you protect your brand and ideas by giving you copyright protection.

Monitor New Trademark Applications

However, even if you’ve registered your trademark, you still have to protect it, or you still risk losing everything you’ve worked towards. If you don’t monitor for potentially infringing trademark applications and fail to oppose the publication of a conflicting business, then it becomes much more difficult and expensive for you to stop them from hitting the marketplace.

Set Up Google Alerts

Google Alerts can help you monitor mentions of your company, track your marketing, and keep up with industry developments. Most importantly, they can help you identify plagiarism. Nowadays, a lot of companies have blogs as a way of engaging their customers with their business and services. Even if you don’t blog, the content on your website is your intellectual property and you have a right to protect it. While you can pay a fee for companies like Copyscape to alert you to thieves, it’s cheaper to type key phrases into Google Alerts.

| Business Startup Ideas That Utilize Your Skills

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

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If you’ve always fancied being your own boss and you think you can handle that entrepreneur lifestyle, you can often spend time wondering what sort of business you’d be good at owning. One of the best ways to work that out is to look at your own skills. Whether you want to go into ecommerce or open a work freelance, or even open a wholesale outlet, you can make it happen if you’ve got the relevant skills. To get your mind going and give you some inspiration, here are a few ideas to get your started.

 

Specialist Consultancy

If you’re skilled in a particular area of business, you could think about becoming a consultant. Whether you’re really great at recruitment and human resources or even a whizz with real estate, you don’t always have to open your own firm. Being a freelance consultant can be a great way to work for yourself. Not only do you have the freedom to work wherever you want, but you can also consult remotely and control your client base.

 

Product Manufacturing

Product manufacturing is largely underrated. In this day and age, everyone wants a quick way to get into business. However, you can still start up the old fashioned way. If you love a certain type of product or even know a lot about one particular market, why couldn’t you start manufacturing yourself? You don’t even need to create the products yourself, you could design them and outsource the actual production (find out more on that here – www.laserlight.com/services/contract-manufacturing/).

 

Blogging

Before blogging was big, many people started a blog as a hobby or to share their love of their topic with others. However, now that you can make a lot of money with blogging, you can start it as a legitimate business from the offset. If you have a particular area of interest, like business, photography, or even writing itself, you could create a reliable source of income from the comfort of your own home.

 

Virtual Assistant

If you’re great at organization or you have a specialist skill set with things like social media or data management, you could think about becoming a Virtual Assistant (VA). A VA is just like an assistant that you would have in a company, but they operate remotely (find out how here – https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2013/nov/25/virtual-assistant-small-business). The great thing about this career options is also its freedom. You don’t have to limit yourself to things like admin and email management if you have other skills. You can even list things like proofreading or contracts drafting on your website and generate business for that too.

 

Outsourcing Your Services

If you’re freelance, or you’ve worked freelance in the past, have you thought about outsourcing your skill set to larger companies? Whether you’re a landscaper or a blogger, you could generate a great source of income and boost your career by taking on subcontract work from other companies. Subcontracting can also give you great experience with international companies and big corporations that can boost your portfolio.

| A Duo of New Business Faux Pas You Need to Avoid

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

The process of setting up a new business is, undoubtedly, a confusing one. There’s so much going on that it can feel you never really have the chance to catch up. In the midst of all the worry and stress, there is also the blossoming feeling of excitement. You’re taking your first steps onto a path of being your own boss and making a success of your ideas. What could be more exciting?

If you pool together all the emotions behind a business beginning, then it’s quite the mix. If it were a recipe, it would probably look something like this:

  • 1 part stress
  • 2 parts paranoia and worry
  • 3 parts excitement
  • 1 part feeling like you have no time

Put it all together and you’ll bake a business – but that doesn’t mean you’re not liable to missing a couple of important ingredients.

The first addition to your recipe is a dull one. It’s the kind of thing we know we have to do when establishing a business, but it’s not going to get you excited. It’s not the thrill of deciding a logo design or the feeling of everything coming together when you finally settle on an office space. Yet, it is essential, and thus it needs to be done.

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It’s the legal side. How much time and effort you put into this will depend on the size of the business that you’re creating. If you’re just going freelance from your own home, then there are going to be relatively fewer hoops that you have to jump through. For example, you’re going to have to check your home insurance covers you for business use and that you are registered as self-employed with the relevant tax office. They’re relatively small things, so set aside a single day and get them all ticked off.

If you’re thinking bigger and setting up a limited company, then there are a few more obligations you’re going to have to meet. You’ll need to ensure you are registered correctly, that you have the relevant permits, and that you meet any safety standards you might be required to meet. It might even be worth calling in experts to ensure you negotiate the path smoothly.

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The second oft-forgotten area is intellectual property. The moment you have an idea that you intend to make money off, you need to ensure that it is protected. Trademarking and patenting can seem like huge expenses for a fledgling company, but this is a world where patent thieves exist. If you don’t protect your company ideas from the beginning, then there’s a good chance someone else will.

Both of the above need to happen before you begin engaging in the nuts and bolts of running a business, such as promotion and bringing in new customers. While they may be dull, they are so important that not taking care of these areas can be the difference between whether your business survives or not. With only one in 10 new start-ups seeing their fifth year of trading, it’s worth ironing these issues out from the beginning.

Image Credits: Legal / Intellectual Property

 

| Building A Business That Won’t Tumble

Posted in Start-up Ventures at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

So, you have an idea for a business? Good for you; you have the starting blocks to build something amazing. But, building blocks aren’t all it takes. You also need to know how to build a solid structure. The best part about starting a business is that anyone can do it. Success is not set aside for those with years of experience behind them. Anyone with a good idea can decide to make a go of things. But, many start-ups fail within their first months. Why? Because people take on the task without considering what they need for success. And, while it’s true that anyone can give it a go, it’s not as simple as it seems. In fact, building a successful business is incredibly difficult. There’s a lot to consider. Have you thought things through?

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The first thing worth mentioning is that you don’t need experience, but it can help. That’s not to say you need to spend years in a career you don’t love. Simply that it may be worth holding back on starting until you learn the ropes. Getting a job in a business like the one you plan to start can help a huge deal. Or, if you want to take things even further, you could opt for something like UAB’s mba degree online. A degree in business administration could take your business from bust to booming. It’ll tell you everything you need to know about running a business the right way. The best thing about a choice like this is that it allows you to learn from home. So, you could do it alongside your business start-up!

It’s also worth mentioning that you need to have some idea about marketing to make things work. You could have the best business idea in the world. But, if you fail to develop an effective marketing strategy, you won’t get far. Too often, people focus on the product and the business itself. So, the way that business appears to the outside world falls by the wayside. In truth, though, successful marketing is nearly as important as your product. It’s what will get the customers coming. The good news is, there’s plenty of information about how to make marketing work. You could even consider hiring a marketing professional to help you out. While it’s important to keep startup costs low, this is an investment well worth your time.

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Lastly, we’re talking tech. No one’s saying you need a computer degree to make technology work for you. But, it can help to know the basics. In the modern age, no business will succeed without technology on its side. From the top production tech, to a website that can help you sell, you need to get on top. Getting technology right will also be a huge help in your marketing ploy. The good news is, this isn’t difficult to learn about. The internet has all the answers you need. So, get searching and see what technology could do for you.


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