Category

Startups

Category

One of the fastest growing industries around the world is the food business and if you have the skills, creative ideas and resources to start up a restaurant, you might as well go for it. But the big question is – how do you start such an enterprise? There are a lot of things to consider such as the place, menu and most importantly, the food, and ambiance that will make your potential clients come back for more.

WOW With Your Startup

We are living in a world where there are new businesses created every day. People are coming up with new ideas each second, and it’s a race to see who can pitch them first. Getting ahead and being able to get not just new customers but their loyalty to your brand and what you do is something that will see you in good stead for the rest of the time that you’re doing it.

Engage Well

If you’re not engaging with those who you want to sell your products to, you may as well be hiding under a rock with them sealed up in a box. There are so many platforms which are available for free for you to utilise and completely take advantage of. Seeing yourself up a page on Facebook for your customers to like and putting out statuses and photos for them to engage with is just one way of really making your brand relatable. You are able to quickly answer any questions, clear up any confusion that may be arising and most importantly of all, really sell your product! It goes for all of the other social media platforms that are there, too; you just need to know the general rules for operating on each one in order to increase your visibility on these sites. Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube and LinkedIn all offer great ways for you to interact with customers and businesses, both potential and existing, who can help you take your brand even further.

Be Consistent

If you are not consistent with your branding, your relations, your service and anything else that you can think of to do with your business, you will lose custom. It’s as simple as that. People like routine, and they like knowing what to expect from a company or business. It’ll be hard to make your mark in the beginning, but as long as you are firm with what you’re doing and are assuring your customers that this is the way it will be for the long run, they can either like it or lump it – hopefully they’ll like it. Be confident in your abilities to be consistent and deliver every time without fail; it is through doing this that you will earn the trust of those who are investing into your business.

Cover Your Back

It’s not wise really to cut out the middleman – they can be of more help to you than you may initially realise. If you are still relatively small-scale and selling through sites like Etsy and eBay, you could consider researching eBay fulfillment to see if it could benefit your operation. The more time that you are spending getting everything ready to ship up and send off, the less time you have to spend on the important things that need doing in your business in order to progress it. These companies are committed to really giving the best service that they can provide to both you and your customers – that way, you will continue to use them and hopefully recommend them to others. It’s the same for your business, and the way you should be treating it; consider the recommendations and how people will be talking about you and what they will be telling their friends. Try to do all that you can to make sure that it is something memorable for the right reasons, even if you have to go above and beyond with what you are doing to ensure it actually happens.

Be Personable

People like to be able to relate to brands and once they realise that it’s a person behind the face of it all, that’s when they’re more likely to part with their money. Relate your items to your own experiences, or let them know why you’re getting involved in the business that you’re in. If you don’t have a physical item to sell but are selling your skills and creativity, for example in copywriting or graphic design, this is when it matters the most. You aren’t a big company that has been operating for years with the recommendations filtering down the generations – you are somebody who is trying to make their break in the cold, hard world of business. By taking it back a step and going back to basics (learn your manners now if you don’t know them already!), this is how you will succeed. We are living in a generation where we are dominated by social media and the ability to get a hold of somebody quite quickly.

Getting Loans For Startup

The main difference between a business idea and its actualization is the amount of money invested. The amount of capital will play a major role in determining the scope of the business where most big businesses require lots of cash as capital.

There are many ways of sourcing for capital such as the following; using your own personal savings or franchise to finance the business, fundraising from your neighbors, friends, family and other well-wishers or borrowing in the form of loans. The first two options cannot be enough especially when you’ll need continuous financial support or a large sum of money. If you choose to go with the last option, here is what you need to know about getting loans for your startups.

Consider the amount of collateral involved

For every loan you borrow, the lender always asks for some collateral to ensure that you pay back the loan. For your startup, it is advisable to consider a loan in which you can pay 100% collateral. This will mean that in case your business goes under, you will be able to pay back the loan. Collateral can be anything from personal savings, deposit, business inventory and home equity among other hard assets.

Franchising? Make it SBA-approved

If your business involves franchising, always go for the option of an SBA-approved franchise.
This is because using the SBA-approved option will largely streamline the process of approval making it easier and faster for you to acquire the loan. On the other hand, using a franchise that is not SBA-approved will largely lengthen the approval process, and you might not even be approved in the end.

Lease instead of buying

If the option of leasing is available, always go for it instead of buying. This is because leasing is temporary while buying is permanent. Leasing is always a cheaper option, especially for a short-term business. Leasing will also buy you some time before you get enough cash to buy the equipment.

How much do you really need?

How much cash do you really need for the business, and how much do you really need to borrow? Before approaching the bank for a loan, it is advisable that you really do your math to establish the exact amount of money needed. This will prevent you from borrowing too much money or less than what you need. It will also promote accountability and minimize wastage of cash.

Never borrow without a payback plan

How do you plan to pay back the loan in case it is approved? Never borrow a loan without a concrete plan of how you are going to pay it back. You should have a plan of how the money will be paid back (including the interest) no matter the outcome of your business.

Running a B2B? Consider borrowing by “factoring.”

It is easier to get finances for a B2B as compared to a B2C kind of business. This is because writing invoices will make you eligible for advance payments if you “factor” them as you await other cash and incentives. A factor will be able to collect the full amount upon delivery of the product, deduct a transaction fee and then you will receive the remaining balance.

In conclusion, once you have decided to go ahead with borrowing the loan, it is now time to choose the right company. Do a background check on the company (For example, you can search for Best Egg personal loan review) and make sure it is legit. Also, consider the interest rate (choose the lowest rates) and the payment options available.

Start Your Own Business

Are you thinking about starting your own business? You need to know some things about running a successful business. Use the following as a checklist to ensure that you are on the right track.

Offer What People Want

When deciding what to sell, you should offer consumers what they want, not what you want them to buy. Too often, entrepreneurs jump into a business that they have built around a product they think will be successful instead of choosing one that has a proven market. It is better to have a specific niche market with customers than a huge slice without any market.

Get Cash Flow

The lifeblood of any business is cash flow, which is necessary for feeding bottom-line profits. Therefore, you need to come up with ways to jump-start your cash flow. You can do that by asking for deposits on work done then paying the balances on delivery if you run a professional services business.

You can still do the same if you are in retail business. You can also increase the value of generic items by giving them private labels. Of course, the main thing that you should do is make sure that there is a minimal gap between when you pay for inventory or labor and when you are paid.

Keep Costs Low

No matter how much cash flow you have, it is useless if it is not positive. To get positive cash flow, you need to bring in more money and pay out less. This would mean keeping your expenses and costs low.

When starting out, you should consider buying used furniture to furnish your office instead of spending money on new items. Paying a vendor up front will also give you some power to negotiate better prices, which will reduce your negative cash flow. Do your research to find out how vendors are working out deals nowadays.

Underestimate Revenues And Overestimate Expenses

When you are conservative with these numbers, it does not necessarily mean that you are willing to accept them as they are. It only means that you are arming yourself with data that you can work with and improve. This means that you can gauge the types of activities and efforts that you need to put into sales and marketing.

Focus On Sales And Market Well

No matter how good your business appears, nothing will happen until you make a sale. From the start, you need to find the best way to get leads and convert them into sales. You also need to ensure that you get repeat sales from your customers to keep the business going.

Creating a marketing and sales system that you can test and measure is a great way to increase your sales. Most businesspersons usually focus on getting the brand right before they look for leads. This is the wrong way to go about it; instead of wasting money perfecting your brand, you should spend it on finding new customers.

Increase Your Profits Exponentially

In business, five drivers influence profits: leads, conversion rates, average transactions, average dollar sale, and profit margins. If you master these drivers while keeping your costs in check, your business will be successful. You just need to get more leads and convert them into actual customers.

Do Not Discount

Whenever you give a discount, you are taking money out of your own pocket and from the bottom-line profits. Whether you are selling lab casework or food products, you should create added value propositions on your service line or product. No matter what industry you are in, you should increase your margins with low-cost extras.

Image via Pexels

Right Broadband for Startups

Opening a new business can be an exciting venture for sure, and even though there are many people who like to say that 95 per cent of new businesses fail, there’s no reason for yours to go that way if you do things the right way.

You have to know what’s important, and consistently follow through. If your new business is something you’re passionate about, you’re guaranteed to succeed.

The Wrong Broadband Provider can drive you Crazy

When you start a new business, you’ll be needing to partner with other companies to ensure your business can flow smoothly, and then it’s important to select service- and product providers who give you confidence. For instance, choosing the wrong broadband provider can drive you crazy and just cause you problems that a new start-up can well do without.

Today, small business broadband is a critically important business tool because with voice communications and powerful cloud-based applications, a small business can compete with other larger businesses. Standard broadband is the cheapest and maybe this will be ideal for emailing and some browsing, and more so if you don’t need to be transferring huge amount of data.

Connected to a Wifi Hotspot

Broadband is also flexible, and this is important as millions of people are now working from home. It’s worth looking at what your broadband supplier will include, as there are suppliers who offer free unlimited data when you’re connected to a wifi hotspot, and there are millions of these just in the UK alone.

You’ll need to review the different options and source the best ISP within your startup budget. You’ll need to look at the size of your start-up and estimate how much bandwidth it will use. This will provide you with a rough estimate of the minimum amount of bandwidth you’ll need.

Use Comparison Websites

The best broadband deals can be found online and to get the best deal you can use a comparison website. You’ll be provided with a number of quotes and each option will include the cost of the broadband and the cost of the line rental. You’ll notice that the price will vary between the providers.

Also check out the minimum term of the broadband because some new packages have a contract length of between a year and 18 months, and think of this term and how it applies to your new business. Always review your broadband package to make certain that you’re always getting the best deal for your new business. Here are some of the broadband providers which offer some good deals.

When you look at these broadband comparison sites, you’ll likely see –

  • Virgin Media Business among them. Not only do you get fantastic speeds, they don’t ask for a line rental which is a big perk. They currently offer ultrafast business broadband and their 300Mbps, for instance, is £80 per month. The support you get is around the clock every day of the year.
  • Vodafone offers their superfast Fibre Plus with no line rental either. Their 76Mbps might suit a small start up better and is £39.83 a month for 2017. Vodafone has a good deal for businesses who want all their services from one provider.
  • TalkTalk Fibre offers their 76Mbps at £21 a month and with a line rental of £16.95 a month.

As it is your local broadband exchange will determine what business broadband providers are available in your area as well as the download speeds you can expect.

24/7 Support an Important Aspect

One thing is sure, it is very important for any business to have a broadband service that can deliver today and into the future. Carefully weigh up what each service provider offers, simply because the costs and features involved can have a huge impact on the profitability of your business.

Certainly, because technology is so advanced and complex, paying a little extra each month to enjoy 24/7 support might be worth it, especially if your business doesn’t have an IT specialist. With free wifi connections it also means your staff can still work pretty effectively wherever they are, allowing for uninterrupted business, and in today’s competitive world, this is important.

Technology is changing and today a business can do so much more than even just a couple of years ago.

Secret to Having a Great Career

If you study hard, never miss a day at work and volunteer to take on the most challenging projects, you might be named the employee of the year in your great career, but you may also be miserable. Quite a few job types have surprisingly high turnover rates, and it’s not because the work is dissatisfying or particularly difficult for employees to perform. One example includes recent M.S.W. online graduates who have entered the field of social work and immediately pondered what they have gotten themselves into. Social work is challenging and a lot of people are getting overwhelmed, panicking and can end up quitting their jobs before they even get used to them. There’s a way that you can go into social work or any career and thoroughly enjoy your work, and the secret is beginning to get out.

Having a Job You Look Forward to

No one studies for four years just to go into a career that is going to leave them feeling like they’ve made a grave mistake. It can be easy to underestimate the challenges you will be faced with in any career. Social work requires you to put your clients first, always be aware of your actions and demeanor, and strive to do better each time you go through something different. You have to know what kind of social work you really want to do in order to have a great career. If you prefer to work with seniors, taking a job with children won’t help you to feel fulfilled to the point where you really are enjoying your work.

Handling Work Issues Off the Clock

Sometimes social workers can be involved in a really emotionally draining case and not be able to get the details off their minds. Seeing a few young children who are in foster care and need a loving family might make you want to step in, but as a social worker, all you can do is work to find a good foster family for them to be placed with. If you are a social worker who has completed a masters of social work online, you don’t need anyone to tell you that you’re going to be having some sleepless nights. Having unresolved cases can make it difficult for you to get back to your regular life once you have left your place of employment for the day. Remember that your free time is valuable, and if you always remain stressed out you won’t be able to properly service your clients.

Meeting Personal Expectations

Others might have lofty expectations of you but all that matters is that you are making yourself happy. Should you need to adjust your personal goals, don’t feel that you need to explain your life or choices to any outside parties. It’s one thing to study to become a social worker and make assumptions on how your career is going to go, but it is different when you start working full time in the field.
You don’t experience great things professionally without work and sacrifice. The real secret to being happy in your career is being happy, period. If you aren’t satisfied in life, nothing that you do professionally is going to change your outlook. Put yourself first, and being content in your career will no longer be a question.

Starting a Restaurant Guide

Starting any business takes quite a bit of preparation, but especially for a restaurant. There are plenty of building codes and health codes to pass before ever opening the doors. Not to mention the plethora of licenses that need to held before serving alcohol or food. The location of a restaurant is extremely important but so are the trends in food. Having all of these different things click makes it difficult to run a successful restaurant. The following are things you can control when it comes to starting a restaurant.

Starting Relationships With Local Farmers or Food Distributors

The farm to table experience is one that is sweeping the nation. The demand for food that is locally sourced not only helps the local economy but fresh food always tastes better than food that has been packaged and shipped. Establishing good relationships with the farmers in and around the city can be wise. A great tactic is to let customers know where each local ingredient came from. They might go directly to the farmer if they have a vegetable to die for. These relationships only continue to grow stronger throughout the years as small farms love having a regular customer year after year.

Proper Ventilation

Finding a building to open your restaurant that already has the proper kitchen ventilation can help save some money on startup costs. Not having to purchase upblast exhaust fans or makeup air systems right at the beginning to keep the flow of air going through the kitchen can save a restaurant entrepreneur quite a bit of money. An upblast exhaust fan helps take all of the smoke, grease, food odors, and more out of kitchen before it makes its way into the dining area. The exhaust fan like all of the other parts of the ventilation system have to be cleaned regularly. Some restaurants will require multiple exhaust fan systems as they might cook with quite a bit of grease or smoke or perhaps they even serve lots of raw foods.

The fact that many areas require a ventilation system to meet code requirements makes finding a space with it already included that much more appealing. The kitchen is always going to be hot, so mitigate this for your staff with the proper ventilation. Keeping staff and patrons comfortable and safe makes proper ventilation and upblast fans extremely necessary.

Find Your Niche and Target Demographic

The fact that there are no other restaurants in a niche does not mean the restaurant will be successful. There might not be any restaurants in the niche because there might not be an attractive market in the area. Once you have tested different meals on the public with sample tastings, it‘s important to fine-tune these plates before officially opening the restaurant. The numbers will be easy to recognize when a certain dish is extremely popular in a particular market.

Investor or a Loan

Funding a restaurant can be done through a small business loan or by taking on an investor. The advantage of having an investor is that often times they will have business savvy as well as experience in the industry. They can help leverage relationships with a variety of industry contacts. The drawback is that another person gets a say in what happens at your restaurant. The small business loan does come with interest but all of the profits you earn belong to you after the loan is paid off.

Starting a restaurant is going to be stressful, so reduce this stress by proactively taking care of things ahead of time. Restaurants that are considered ‘iconic’ are constantly improving and striving to offer something people cannot get elsewhere. Make your new restaurant a dining icon in your town or city.