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Business

Tips For Choosing What Kind Of Business To Start

May 9, 2018

Do you want to wake up every morning and, rather than taking orders, you get to be the boss? Everyone wants to work for themselves, but many have no idea what sort of business avenue to pursue. What’s most important is knowing yourself. Concentrating on sectors and industry that you’re not interested in or know nothing about won’t help you. We have compiled some tips to help put you on the right track.

Ask Yourself What You’re Passionate About?

It’s recommended that you find something that you’re passionate about and dig in. If it’s something you truly care about then you’re likely to work much harder (and trust us, you will need to work hard to get a new business off the ground).

The internet has made it much easier to monetize your passion. Now that you have access to the whole world as an audience, it’s easier to find people interested in different niches and business types. For example, if your passion is fitness, then you could design a downloadable fitness program, similar to the Handstand App, where users get access to the latest exercises, training plans, and meal plans.

Of course, some passions simply don’t translate into a viable business model.

Consider What You’re Good At?

It’s better to build on your strengths than try to correct all your weaknesses. Everyone has failings, and the key is to manage them well while you utilize what you’re good at.

If you’re terrible with technology, then you’re probably better of building a brick and mortar business rather than an online business for example.

On the other hand, if you’re obsessed with the latest technology, you may want to consider building an app or getting into online marketing.

Determine Which Industries Are Rising And Which Are Falling

If you were to go out and buy a camera store with a darkroom so you can develop photos, then you might have had a successful business model 10 years ago. However, print photography is pretty dead now.

You don’t want to work yourself to the bone to get a business up and running only for it to be surpassed by technology in a few years’ time. Make sure you choose a business that will grow rather than flounder.

Consider The Initial Investment

If you want to start a fashion store, then you may be in for a heavy investment. You will need to rent the location, have items made, hire sales staff, and much more. However, if you were to sell the same items on Amazon then you could skip the real-world store and slash your initial expenses. Make sure what you decide on is realistic and won’t destroy your budget.

Final Thoughts

Once you decide what kind of business you want, the hard work really begins. Expect to put in some hefty work hours to get your company off the ground and actually making a profit. If you can’t stand working for a boss that doesn’t care, then it may be time to leap into self-employment.

Business

Tips For Starting A Small Business

May 3, 2018

Starting your own small business has a lot of benefits, like being your own boss. However, getting started isn’t a very easy process, which is why we decided to provide people interested in starting their own small business a few useful tips they can apply to their business.

1. Have a Business Plan

Trying to start a small business without a business plan is like trying to fly a plane without taking any lessons. A business plan details what you expect your business to be about and how you plan to run it, which means you should have a cash-flow analysis, profit-loss forecast, and a break-even analysis.

It is very important that you have a business plan because it allows you and potential investors to see how the business will run on paper before you open up the business.

2. Figure Out How You Will Make A Profit

The main objective of having a business is to make a profit, which is why it is important that you calculate all your expenses, which include rent, equipment and payroll, then figure out how much of your product or service you need to sell to cover all your costs and make a profit.

3. Protect Yourself

If you don’t want your business to get shut down by the government, it is very important that you keep all your financial records and have an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which is used to identify your business. The EIN is also used for reporting employment taxes. If you don’t know how to go about getting your EIN, or want to make sure you do it right, you should hire an EIN filing service.

Another thing you need to do when registering your business is to protect yourself from liability if your business fails by making sure it is registered as a limited liability company. LLC formation protects your personal assets from being seized if your business fails.

4. Start Small

Some people believe they will make more money if they have more than one business location, which can be true in some cases. However, the people that are successful don’t open multiple businesses at the same time.

Having one location allows you to work through the issues of running your own small business, which is a learning process. When you have gained enough knowledge and made your business profitable, you can entertain the idea of opening up another location.

5. Pay Your Taxes And Bills On Time

When it comes to running a business, it is important that you keep records of all your transactions and pay whatever taxes owed on time. Doing this will keep the IRS off your back, but failure to do so will result in penalties that could end up costing you your business.

Business

The Cambridge Analytica Scandal Explained

April 28, 2018

The Cambridge Analytica scandal has rocked the world and captured the attention of media organizations across the globe. The complicated and tangled web of relationships and deals which have underpinned this whole ordeal makes for a complex story. In fact, given the relevance of the story to all of us in today’s society, it is a shame that more people don’t fully understand what has occurred.

The Quick Version

The most condensed version of events that we can offer is this – somewhere in the region of 87 million Facebook users, as well as an unspecified number of their friends who were not signed up to the service, was misappropriated by a researcher who worked for Cambridge Analytica. The reason that this is so significant is because Cambridge Analytica worked for the Trump campaign as a consulting service.

As well as the unauthorized use of data, there have been hints of other scandals. For example, the CEO of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, reached out to Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks and broad supporter of Donald Trump. Nix offered Assange information about the existence of emails which had been stolen from hacked Democratic National Committee servers.

The entire scandal has made many people more conscious about the security of the data and information that they put online. If you are wondering about your own data in the wake of the scandal, Secure Data have a number of relevant articles on their blog.

The Trump Connection

The consulting firm Cambridge Analytica was founded by the conservative mega donors Rebekah and Robert Mercer, as well as Trump’s ex-chief strategist, Steve Bannon. Upon the firms founding, Bannon was appointed as its vice president and during the 2016 election he reached out to the Trump campaign and acted as the middle man between the two sides.

Where Did the Data Come From?

The big question throughout all of this has been where Cambridge Analytica got its data from, and to what extent Facebook is complicit in the collection and dissemination of that data. Some have suggested that Facebook has known more about events than they have let on.

It seems that in this case, a researcher by the name of Aleksandr Kogan was the one who siphoned off the data and passed it on to Cambridge Analytics. Kogan obtained the data by making a simple quiz for Facebook users to take. Not only did this quiz in fact collect user data, it also gathered data from friends of those who took the quiz.

This has exposed a serious loophole in Facebook’s API, while those who took the quiz initially may have given permission for their data to be harvested, their friends had their data collected whether they consented or not.

What this scandal means for the future remains to be seen. In the short term, at least, it has greatly increased awareness of the importance of data security and of keeping our personal information private. There was a time when anonymity was one of the main features of the internet. Today, people are more than willing to reveal their real identities when online.

Business

How can you use leaflets to advertise your beauty business?

April 27, 2018

When Groupon carried out a study on beauty expenditure, they discovered that an astounding £70,000 is how much women spend on their appearances — that’s £1,352 per year. It seems that there is serious money to be made in the beauty industry — so how do you get ahead and attract customers over your competitors?  

You don’t need to think too technical, cost-effective print leaflets or booklet printing could be beneficial. Here, we’re going to look at why leaflet marketing might be the perfect option to boost profits and brand awareness in 2018…

A cost-effective solution

Printed leaflets are a great way to advertise and maximise exposure without breaking the bank. Despite common misconceptions that claim digital to be a free-of-charge platform for effective marketing techniques, your print material may actually be more effective than anything you could create digitally. A study that looked at the efficiency of print media compared to digital platforms including online banners conducted by research firm, GfK, showed that print ads provided the highest ROI: 120%. Perhaps digital is not as useful as anticipated.

Well-targeted advertising

Understanding your target market is key and the starting point of any successful campaign. If you own a beauty company, women between the ages of 18 and 34 are your largest audience, as they make up the greatest part of the cosmetics market. But, how do you contact these women specifically? Make your leaflet marketing strategy a direct mail campaign! Direct mail is a form of marketing that helps companies send promotional material to a targeted group of current or potential customers. Therefore, you can reduce waste, save on over-ordering at the printer, and increase the chance that your leaflet will reach the right person.

Reach your target market directly through direct mail. To do this, start by either conducting your own target audience research — for example, by using social media or surveys — or purchasing key data, like ages and addresses, from third-party sites.

Marketing by mail

If you operate in the beauty industry, you’ll know that it is very competitive. In fact, the amount of cash that’s in the sector makes it a popular one for start-up entrepreneurs. According to recent data, the global skincare, beauty and cosmetics industry is anticipated to reach a worth of $675 million by 2020. With a value of around £17 billion in the UK and employing more than one million people, these figures show that beauty is a lucrative and attractive line of business. So, how do you stand out?

Don’t feel pressure to go digital. If other brands are keeping their advertising online, go against the grain and invest in print! You probably already have a Facebook page and Instagram account to keep in touch with your clients, as well as an email database to send out deals as you wish. Therefore, opting for a print marketing campaign will allow you to widen your net and reach an offline audience, as well as do something your competitors possibly aren’t.

Studies have shown that print material is a successful marketing technique too. Printed direct mail items require approximately 20% less brain effort to process than digital media, according to research by a neuromarketing firm, which suggests that it is simpler to understand and store in our memories. In a recall test, 75% of those taking part were able to recall the business name after viewing it on a direct mail ad, compared to only 44% who were able to after seeing it on a digital ad. Could it be that beauty brands that put all their ads and offers online are missing a trick?

Make sure your target market knows who you are

Your leaflet must be suitable for all clients. Even customers who visit often may start looking elsewhere, so work to attract and retain!

To maximise your ROI, you want your brand to come to mind when your customer needs something that you offer. Did you know that 45% of people keep leaflets on a board or in a drawer, according to the Direct Marketing Association? While digital ads disappear, you can create an attractive, lightweight leaflet that your potential customer will be inclined to pin on a wall or on their fridge where they’ll have a constant reminder of your services and products.

Let everyone know about your promotions

Everyone should know if you’ve got an offer on! Beauty customers are also bargain hunters, and it could be that your leaflet might be the perfect platform for a too-good-to-miss deal! 57% of shoppers are encouraged to buy for the first time when they are given the chance to redeem a coupon, according to VoucherCloud, and 80% of consumers claim to use coupons regularly. If you’re looking to advertise new cosmetics or attract new customers for a flagging treatment, a leaflet that acts as a voucher can clearly help.

Studies we talked about earlier showed that we can retain more information from print than from digital. So, could your audience gain extra time to act on the attractive discount you’re offering if you place it on a leaflet, rather than a pop-up ad or generic email? Possibly. To help, give a time limit on your offer and highlight this with a bold, coloured font on your leaflet to give your audience an effective reminder to act fast, too!

Your leaflets should be appealing

According to research, you have 50 microseconds to make a good first impression! Consequently, it makes sense to use promotional material — whether it’s a simple leaflet or a chunky saddle-stitch brochure — that creates an instant impact, immediately signals your USPs, and is positively and attractively presented. A leaflet, unlike a brochure or pamphlet that can feature several pages, allows you to condense the very best of your services and products into one, easy-to-read page for maximum effect.

It’s likely that your customers are conscious about their appearance. A Consumer Insights 2017 report by Cosmetics Europe found that 71% of consumers believe that cosmetic and personal care are ‘important or very important in their daily lives’ — this makes offering your customers a beautifully designed leaflet all the more necessary and effective.

When designing your leaflets decide whether you find them attractive. Use complementary colours to create a pleasant aesthetic and high-quality images — nothing pixelated — featuring real people enjoying one of your treatments. According to 3M, a science-based tech company, humans process images 60,000 times faster than text. Therefore, incorporating two descriptive photos in your leaflet is likely to improve how much about your beauty business the reader takes in — which should mean they’re more likely to consider you.

It’s clear to see that one leaflet has great potential! Research ideas and print companies online today to find the ideal leaflet design to enhance and promote your brand in 2018!

Sources:

https://www.digitalprinting.co.uk/blog/7-reasons-leaflets-place-beauty-industry/  

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/220208334_Attention_web_designers_You_have_50_milliseconds_to_make_a_good_first_impression_Behaviour_and_Information_Technology_252_115-126

https://www.directlineforbusiness.co.uk/small-business-insurance/knowledge-centre/getting-started/opening-a-beauty-salon

http://web.archive.org/web/20001014041642/http://www.3m.com:80/meetingnetwork/files/meetingguide_pres.pdf

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/220208334_Attention_web_designers_You_have_50_milliseconds_to_make_a_good_first_impression_Behaviour_and_Information_Technology_252_115-126

https://www.thoughtshift.co.uk/beauty-skincare-and-cosmetics-retail-trends-and-statistics/

https://www.cosmeticseurope.eu/files/6114/9738/2777/CE_Consumer_Insights_2017.pdf

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerdooley/2015/09/16/paper-vs-digital/#10a288fd33c3

https://www.inma.org/blogs/main/post.cfm/cross-media-study-shows-print-advertising-has-highest-roi

https://dma.org.uk/article/what-is-the-response-rate-from-leaflet-distribution

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/danny-wong/what-science-says-about-discounts_b_8511224.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/news/the-staggering-average-lifetime-spend-on-cosmetics-and-grooming-revealed-9709654.html

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/average-british-woman-spend-70000-appearance-lifetime-cosmetics-beauty-products-groupon-uk-a7623201.html 

Business

What influence does print media have on elections?

February 5, 2018

As you’ve probably noticed, we’re living in a digital age. Due to this, print media is often overlooked and is seen as a less effective way to spread a message. But what if we told you that over £15m was spent on print during the 2015 General Election in the United Kingdom?

Direct Letterbox Marketing (DLM), a specialist in door to door leaflet distribution, has investigated further:

Looking back on previous elections

To understand how widespread print media was used, we can look at the spending across the big political parties in the UK. During the 2015 General Election, we found that the Conservative party spent the most money during its campaign — totalling £15.6m.

Labour closely followed by spending £12.1m, Liberal Democrats with £3.5m, the UK Independence Party with £2.9m, SNP with £1.5m, and lastly the Green Party which spent £1.1m.

Of course, some parties had higher marketing budgets than others, but the way they spent was entirely different — each had their own set of priorities that they thought would benefit them in the run up to 10 Downing Street.

The success of print

Research discovered that Labour spent over half of its entire budget on print (£7.4m). This major investment highlights the importance of print media, and the impact it can have on a large audience, and shows that it is still relevant today. One reason as to why Labour spent this amount of money on print media is because 45% of people get their political news from a newspaper — with The Guardian being most popular at 16%.

Was there a reason behind Labour’s lack of focus on digital media? According to YouGov, only 15% of people reported that they received their political news from Facebook and 8% from Twitter — showing that, although the world is going digital, more people trust printed information in comparison to information that is displayed digitally.

In 2017, research showed that Britons trusted the television more than any other media outlet (42%) during the 2017 General Election. Print media came in at 32% whilst social media influenced only 26% of people. With algorithms changing constantly, more people become distrustful towards online social media platforms, as they try to enhance the experience with what they think the user wants to see — not necessarily showing the full picture when it comes to who to vote for. Print media has a duty to be impartial, and give political parties equal space to get their points across — evidently, this isn’t the same case for social media platforms.

The good thing about flyers and posters is that they can be customised to the individual based on where they live. This can help political parties immensely, especially when they’re trying to win seats and help their representative succeed across different authorities. But what are the common methods that political groups use when advertising in print?

Campaigners can create leaflets based on topical local issues. For example, if there was an area in which more schools were facing closure, they would capitalise on this and address it in their flyer, reassuring potential voters about what they would do to fix that issue.

Or, if the party is not currently in control of that area, they could blame the problems on another party. Politics is a difficult game, but influencing an audience can be easy. There’s a huge misconception that print media is dying — but it’s not going anywhere and the influence it has on an audience is recognised by anyone working in business.

Sources:

https://uk.kantar.com/business/brands/2017/trust-in-news/

https://www.instantprint.co.uk/printspiration/marketing-with-print/surprising-statistics-about-election-campaign-spending

https://yougov.co.uk/news/2017/08/04/brits-believe-traditional-media-mattered-more-2017/

http://www.thedrum.com/news/2016/01/20/general-election-2015-ad-spend-conservatives-spent-over-1m-more-labour-facebook

https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/find-information-by-subject/political-parties-campaigning-and-donations/political-party-spending-at-elections/details-of-party-spending-at-previous-elections

http://www.ukpolitical.info/2015.htm

Business

SEO Basics: How to Make Your Website Google-Friendly

January 27, 2018

Having a website does not guarantee your business will be successful or achieve its full financial potential if you don’t have search engine optimization (SEO).

With Google being the most popular search engine, you have to create a high-quality website that is SEO friendly, which in turn makes it Google friendly.

You can make your site Google friendly by following these steps.

SEO Basics

Some people thing SEO simply means using a few keywords a lot, which isn’t true. The first order of business is making sure your keywords fit naturally instead of forcing it.

You should also have a short, attention-grabbing headline that include your main keyword.

Make sure you put your keyword close to the top your webpage at least once. You should also use the keyword a few times in the rest of the page in different variations.

These days, Google’s focus is on useful content that is consistently updated. The content also has to be relevant.

Before Google recommends your website to their users, they need to know that it is a legitimate website with something to offer. Post new content on your website everyday if you want to be taken seriously.

Another thing to remember is that your website is viewed by real people who will also read the content on the page so make sure whatever you put there can be read easily and flows naturally. if your visitors can’t understand what you’re trying to say, they won’t be return to your site, which will impact your business and Google search ranking too. You need to make your content Google friendly as well as people friendly.

Using the Right Keywords

As previously mentioned, using keywords matter with SEO, but you can’t use just any keywords. In fact, if you optimize your website with the wrong keywords, even if it is related to your field, you would have wasted your time.

You will have to figure out how people are searching for information then use it to tailor your website.

Let’s say your niche is MMA, The keyword “MMA beginners” results in just 3,000 to 30,000 searches per month in the U.S, but “MMA for beginners” has 80,000 to 400,000. This shows you that you need to optimize your webpage for MMA for beginners.

You can search for the right keywords using Google adwords.

The great thing is you can do all of this on your own if you don’t want to spend money to hire a professional to do your website design. But if you can afford it, it is always better to let the professionals do the hard work for you.

Business

GDPR and the Legal Sector

January 18, 2018

On the 25th of May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be introduced as official legislation by the European Union. Although Britain has decided to leave the EU, this is a piece of legislation that the British government will likely be adopting after Brexit. It’s important for those operating in the legal sector to have a clear understanding of what GDPR is, how it could impact them and what they can do to prepare for it. For this reason, we’ve teamed up with personal injury experts, TRUE Solicitors LLP, to find out more.

What is GDPR and how will this have an impact in law?

In summary, GDPR has been a piece of legislation that has been in preparation for four years. Only getting the go-ahead in 2016, it sets to create a framework that will determine how data is currently used, as the amount of data we handle continues to grow with the advancements in technology. When this piece of legislation was announced, it was said that it would only impact huge organisations like Google, Facebook and Twitter — but this isn’t the case.

Those working in law will be familiar with the Data Protection Act 1998, however, once GDPR is implemented, this will be suspended. Law firms are controllers and processors of their clients’ data, meaning it is crucial for them to abide by the rules. If businesses do not comply with this new legislation, they can face significant penalties — an example of this would be a monetary penalty of 4% of turnover, something that all firms will wish to avoid.

There will be a definite impact on the legal sector once this new legislation is introduced, and the changes could make or break a firm. This is one of the main reasons why law firms need to prepare themselves for the changes now rather than later — for their own protection and the protection of their clients.

Law firms handle a lot of personal data for their clients, and GDPR makes it an easier process for clients to claim compensation against firms that breach GDPR. This means that law firms should reassess their security policies and update any security systems they have in place to ensure the risk of any data breach is minimised.

How to prepare before implementation

There are many ways that a law firm can be prepared for the introduction of GDPR. This all starts with acknowledging the legislation — even though the UK plans to leave the European Union, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore the fact that we will still be in the EU when this legislation is introduced and that GDPR will likely be adopted by the British government after Brexit.

Firms should carry out regular assessments that will look at your current data protection measures and then come up with ways that will comply with GDPR once it is introduced to make sure that all your data is protected with no risk of any breach of GDPR.

Review your ongoing contracts and company policies to make sure that they are in line with the data protection framework. If you have a third party that helps monitor your data, you need to make sure you outline what they can and can’t do with it. Also inform them that they must notify you immediately of any suspicion of data breaches. Update your staff data protection policies to meet new requirements, too. There are certain organisations that must have a designated Data Protection Officer under the legislation, however even if you do not require one under the regulations you should consider whether your firm should have one in any event in order to protect the company and its clients.  

Training is a key aspect that law firms need to look at when it comes to GDPR. Make sure that staff are aware of the risks, the consequences of breaches and how they can prevent any mishandling of data. It might be useful to do this in one-to-one sessions where you can directly specify how data protection relates to their role within the business.

Business

How to start a home business

January 13, 2018

For many people, working part-time or full-time at home can be an attractive option, whether you’re trying to earn extra money or start a new career. However, starting a home business, as with any other business, requires a considerable amount of planning and personal commitment. You will have to plan your strategy, solve the small details and then strive to succeed. Fortunately, using your home as a work environment, you will avoid some of the costs and difficulties involved in traditional businesses, such as renting a commercial space and meeting certain authorization requirements.

Decide your type of business

Evaluate your talents. Keep in mind that there is a big difference between the talents and the things that you enjoy. Just because you enjoy something does not mean you can turn it into a business. Think of the skills or hobbies in which you are better than anyone else. Your business can also be based on a professional skill that you have developed or in which you have prepared.
Make sure this is also something you enjoy doing. You will invest a lot of time in the creation and direction of this business, so you have to be able to tolerate it.

You must know your competition

If you plan to work at home locally, check out other businesses in the city that offer the same services or products. You’ll have to find out if there’s enough business left for you in your area. If you plan to work online, you have a very saturated market in front of you in most cases, so you will have to find a way to differentiate yourself from the competition. In any case, be sure to check and analyze the prices of the competition. If you can offer the same product for less, you may be able to attract some of your customers.

Understand the needs of the market

Listen to what people say and what they need in the area. If something you mention is one of your interests and you are good at it, you should definitely try it. This applies locally, but also to online businesses. Every good business idea satisfies a need in the market.

Consider some of the most common ideas

If you can’t think of any business idea, think about some of the proven types of home business. Some highly lucrative home business ideas include tutoring, tax preparation, business training, counseling, marketing consulting, accounting, web design, interior design, dance instruction, service of news, the service of revision and the service of writing of resumes. These home business ideas only require your personal skills instead of big investments.

Find out if you can make this business profitable

How much will people pay for your services? Can you get a good income with this business? Many people see astronomical figures in their futures until they take the time to determine their earnings. Make sure to consider how much time you can reasonably devote to your business and how much profit you can get back for your time and money investment. In some cases, a good business idea, in theory, may actually be unprofitable. You can also consider such additional funds and if you have a bad credit history, unsecured loans for bad credit can be considered.