Tag Archives: business

Should you really be an entrepreneur

Many people jump on the entrepreneurship bandwagon because they think they’ll be instant millionaires and get cushy working hours. But if you become an entrepreneur for the wrong reasons, you’re bound to fail. Starting your own business is hard work and requires guts and making sacrifices. If you’re not willing to understand the markets, have the courage to execute ideas and take risks, you could lose a lot of money as well as your business.

Here are a few ways to help you decide if entrepreneurship is for you.

Talk is cheap

Actions speak louder than words. If you’re a person who’s always focused on “someday” and can’t take initiative, entrepreneurship might not be for you. Entrepreneurs are go-getters who are always doing. They are determined to see their dreams come true.

When the going gets tough

Muhammed Ali, the champion boxer, was quoted as saying, “I hated every minute of training, but I said don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” And that’s how entrepreneurs should approach every difficulty they come across. If you quit easily, then you’ll fail as an entrepreneur. Because in business it’s not a matter of if the obstacles will come but when they come. Will you be able to take the heat?

Fearless

Starting a business requires a person who can take initiative and is courageous. You’re going to face a lot of situations which require you to take a leap of faith. And if you’re not brave enough, you’ll miss out on many business opportunities.

Overnight success

Many people think they’ll start raking in the millions in the first year. But the climb to success isn’t easy and will require a lot of work. As an entrepreneur, you may not see the fruits of your labour until a later stage. Entrepreneurs have to know, in order to get a breakthrough in their business, they need to be persistent and motivated.

Lonely at the top

When you’re the CEO of a business, you’re the one in charge You’re the one who has the final say and the one who is the most invested in your business. So you may find it lonely because no one in the company truly understands the pressures you face. There are few people to share in your failures and to motivate you to get up when you’re down. Being your own boss and working for someone else is very different, as an entrepreneur your business is constantly on your mind.

Focus

You might think your idea is unique, mind-blowing and everyone will be queueing to get their hands on it. But not everyone will buy into it. However, you shouldn’t let this deter you. Colonel Sanders who started Kentucky Fried Chicken was rejected 1009 times before he found someone who believed in his recipe.  In the beginning, some people may not be on board to help you fulfill your vision. And that’s why you should be determined and focused.

Preparation

Luck is when opportunity meets preparation. You have to be ready at all times and have your ducks in a row, otherwise, you could lose out on great business deals. If you aren’t prepared to spend hours studying your industry and looking for other ways to serve your customers, then being an entrepreneur might not be for you.

Capital

Whether you need funds to finance your mining equipment or invest in new property for your business, you need to find clever ways to raise money. You might have to get a business partner or explore crowd-funding. Whatever route you choose to take, it’ll take a lot of hustling to get your capital. And the question is: are you up for it?

Time

Many people have a preconception that they’ll spend their days clocking off at noon to play golf because they have flexible working hours. But the truth is, being an entrepreneur means you’ll have to work harder than anyone in your office. In fact, you’ll find yourself wearing many hats in order to keep your business thriving. You’ll have to eat and sleep your business and often spend the weekend catching up on work. You may also have to sacrifice time with your friends and family during the initial stages of building your empire.

Listen

If you can’t listen to what others have to say, your business could fail. As a business owner, you’ll come across many unsatisfied customers. And if you want your business to prosper, you’ll have to listen to what they have to say in order to satisfy their needs successfully.

Being an entrepreneur is about more than becoming your own “boss”, it’s about loving what you do and providing a product or service which will benefit your customers.

 

All the bits and pieces need for your small business CCTV setup

security guardYour business may be one of the most precious things to you. It’s taken you years to build up, employ staff, and have a constant positive turnover. If you haven’t already, it’s time to think about security for your company in order to protect it.

There a range of security methods to protect your company, from steel gates to anti-virus software. Every bit helps. Two of the most prevalent instances of business theft is that of break-ins or even staff pinching company property. It’s difficult to keep an eye on every aspect of your company 24 hours a day, but with a video security system, you can.

It’s about time you look at installing a CCTV system for your business and the surrounding building. While the initial cost may seem a little steep (depending on the kind of setup you go for), it’s important to make sure every nook and cranny is covered. Here are all the bits and pieces you will need for a CCTV setup.

Storage and recording

At the heart of any video security system is the digital video recorder (DVR). All of your cameras will be connected to this box and it houses all of the footage they record as well. Buying a decent DVR will be in your best interest. And be sure you have VuWall Video Wall Controllers so you can always see your imagery.

When choosing a DVR system, make sure to purchase one that supports external viewing via an internet connection, picture-in-picture view, and digital zoom for inspecting footage. These features are essential for your setup.

If your business is broken into or an employee is stealing from the supply closet, you will be able to keep and view records of everything that has gone on.

Hard drives

There’s a chance the DVR unit will come with a hard drive pre-installed, but these can be lower grade than what you’ll need. On average, DVRs record and store footage around the clock and thus need hard drives that are able to take the constant punishment. Standard hard drives aren’t created for lengthy usage periods, which is why companies like Western Digital created the Purple series of drives.

It will be best to speak to the company selling the DVR unit about which hard drives you’ll require. If your CCTV system is on a timer, you can get away with lower-grade drives, but remember that you can never have enough storage.

You aren’t limited to Western Digital and can inspect Seagate as well, though the former is often recommended by security specialists.

Wired and wireless cameras

You will need to decide if your security setup will benefit from wired or wireless cameras. Both solutions have their own pros and cons, which will need to be considered carefully.

Wired cameras are generally plug-and-play, which requires minimal overall setup. They also offer higher quality when recording footage. The downside is the need to wire them to different spots over the areas you want to cover. You may even need to hire a specialist in order to place and wire them.

Wireless cameras are a more convenient and elegant solution. They can be placed anywhere, as long as they’re within WiFi signal and a power outlet. The downside to wireless cameras is the degrade in recording quality the further away from the network connection they are.

Outdoor cameras

Typically, your CCTV setup will be spread across both indoor and outdoor locations. Though indoor cameras are protected from the elements, those outside won’t be. Cameras placed outdoors need to be weather resistant in order to endure the rain and high humidity. There’s no point in placing an indoor-specific camera outside if it’s going to stop functioning in winter.

Remote sensors

Depending on your company’s security needs, you may not need to have a system that records all of the time. You should take a look at CCTV cameras with motion sensors. These will only record footage if they detect movement, which will limit the amount of footage that needs to be recorded and sifted through if something goes wrong.

How to be an effective communicator

 

Communication is an important skill to learn, whether you’re in public relations or finance. It’s vital to know how to get your point across without upsetting or offending someone else in the process. Being an effective communicator will take you far in life. You’ll need it to ace that interview and land your dream job or influence your employees.

Here are key ways to improve your communication skills in the workplace.

Listening skills

Lisa Kirk, an American actress, was quoted as saying, “A gossip is one who talks to you about others, a bore is one who talks to you about himself, and a brilliant conversationalist is one who talks to you about yourself.” Listening is crucial to communication in the workplace. No one likes to speak to someone who dominates a conversation and thinks their opinions are the only ones that count. We’ve all had experiences with one-uppers, the people who always try to top your story. If your dog can do ten tricks, theirs can do 20. Listen to what others have to say and you’ll likely be able to see things from their perspective.The easiest way to be a great conversationalist is to enhance your listening skills and give your colleague your undivided attention.

Listening is a skill needed, whether you’re starting out as an intern or you’re the CEO of a major corporation.

Constructive criticism

Nobody likes to be criticised, but if it’s constructive it can help you. Criticism can go a long way into making you more productive, enhancing your skills and building your character. Be open to what others have to say and you’ll advance in the workplace. It’s important that when you make mistakes, you learn from them.

Presentation skills

At some point in time, we’ll all have to give a speech in public. It could be at a wedding or at work. And it’s a skill we should try to enhance. Some people are compelling speakers and others need tools to help them become better. Practice makes perfect. When you have to do a presentation at work, make sure you practice your speech in front of others at home first. If you fill your whole speech with um’s and ah’s and you fumble through your notes, it’ll come across as if you’re unprepared and lack confidence. And you may just find yourself wishing the ground would open up and swallow you because your presentation isn’t going as planned.

Respect

You may get into a disagreement with a colleague at some point but, even if you feel the other person is wrong, it’s important to remain respectful to create harmony in the workspace. For example, if you’re a leader and you’re rude and disrespectful to your employees, you’re not likely to influence or motivate them. Yelling and screaming at your employees will only humiliate them and make them less productive. Make sure that your tone is calm and you never raise your voice.

Remove distractions

When someone is talking to you, don’t fiddle with your phone or look around the room. The person you’re talking to could interpret your behaviour as rude. Your body language communicates a lot and may be sending a message you don’t want to convey. For example, if you talk with your head down or cross your arm or legs, you may be sending a message that you don’t want to be there.

Open mindedness

In order to be a great communicator, you have to be open to what others have to say. If you’re not open to listening to what the other person has to say, it defeats the point of the whole conversation.

Appreciation

As a leader of a group, you need to show gratitude to your employees. Showing your appreciation to your employees will motivate them to work harder and give you their absolute best.

Wording

When sending out an email at work, be careful of how you construct it. Use exclamation marks only when necessary and be careful with humour because it can easily get lost in translation. Always respond to emails in a timely manner.

Different styles

We are all unique and that’s why you should learn different styles of communication to cater for everyone’s needs, especially if you’re a leader. There are visual communicators, auditory communicators, kinesthetic communicators and auditory digital communicators. A good leader has to know how to communicate to each person in order to be an effective communicator.

Communication can be tricky because we all come from diverse backgrounds and there can easily be breakdowns in communication. It’s important to develop communication skills as they help build a successful company. Excellent communication skills will help you whether you studied a sales and marketing course or want to make a speech at your sister’s wedding.

 

4 ways to finance your business

Starting your own business is an exciting endeavour. Introducing a new product or service to the market and designing your own future are why many people enter into the startup game. But there are many mundane sides that should be addressed before starting out. One of them being the funding of your business to facilitate growth.

The first step to getting funding for your business is to have a solid business plan. There are specific categories that need to be included within a business plan to receive funding. These categories include the company’s description, market analysis, organisation and management plan, detail on the value proposition and marketing and sales plan. If you’re interested in financing your business with outside capital, a funding request and financial projection should then also be included. And once all the required information is gathered, it’s time to approach a creditor.

Whether you’re looking for startup funds or capital to expand your business, it can be challenging to find finance in any economic climate.

Here are four financing techniques and what to know when approaching them. .

What is factoring?

It’s a finance method where a company sells its receivables at a discount to get money up-front. It’s used by companies with poor credit or businesses such as apparel manufacturers. But this is an expensive way to raise funds. If your company sell its receivables, you’ll generally pay a fee that’s a percentage of the total amount. If you’re, for instance, paying a two percent fee to get funds thirty days in advance, it’s equal to an annual interest rate of about 24 percent. And because of that, the business will have a bad reputation over the years. Businesses are forced to look for alternative financing methods and many big companies are trying to make factoring more competitive. These exchanges will allow businesses to offer their receivables to many of the factoring companies at once.

Make use of a credit card

Startups are likely to use credit card financing to get their businesses off the ground. And that’s because owners of startups don’t yet have business credit. Their own personal credit is all they have. If you make use of your personal credit card to find your business, you’ll be responsible for any debt you incur. 

Making use of a personal credit card for financing your business means taking on a significant amount of risk. If you fall behind on your payment, your credit score will be exhausted. And if you pay the minimum each month, you could create a hole you’ll never get out. But if you use a credit card responsibly, it can get you out of the occasional jam and even extend your accounts payable period to shore up your cash flow.

How about an angel investor?

Angel investors are individuals with business experience who use their own money and invest in startups. They usually invest in companies who’ll turn a large profit quickly. When pitching an angel investor, you should be succinct, avoid jargon and always give an exit strategy.

If you want to win over an angel investor, you should add people with experience to your management team. Even an unpaid but experienced adviser could increase your trustworthiness. Did you start your company because you want to cash in on the latest trend or because you’re passionate about your idea? Angel investors will spot the difference and won’t give much attention to companies interested in get-rich-quick schemes.

You’ll need market assessments, competitor analysis and robust marketing plans if you want success and expect to get anywhere with an angel investor. Even though you’re a startup, it’s expected that you can demonstrate expert knowledge of the market you’re about to enter.

Approach family and friends

If you’re looking for ways to finance your startup, asking family and friends will be the easiest way. But remember when you turn loved ones into creditors, you’re risking their financial future and could jeopardise your personal relationships. A typical mistake is approaching loved ones before a formal business plan is in place. It’s important to supply formal financial projections. And with that, give an evidence-based assessment of when your loved ones will see their money again. It’ll reduce the likelihood of unpleasant surprises. Your investors will also know you’re taking their money seriously.

It’s important that you discuss the possible risks involved. Offer a strong and detailed business plan but make sure they’re realistic about the risks involved.

You should look for creditors offering a wide range of equipment finance packages for companies, regardless of whether they’re in their early stages. There are many other ways you can finance your business, whether you approach an angel investor or family and friends. If you want to build your business up for success, the key is to have a well-detailed business plan.

Tips for making your business’ finances great

There’s no time like right now to start making your business’ finances great. If you’ve been thinking that you could be doing a little better when it comes to business finances and expenses, now’s the time. There really is no better time than the present to put in place good financial habits. You might be thinking that you can wait until next month or, even worse, next year. But it really would be beneficial to put more thought into spending and saving your business’ money.

The only way to really make new habits stick is to become committed to these ideas now. Experts on habits are unanimous on this. If you’re going to make new habits a part of your life, you need to start immediately. Not tomorrow, not on Monday, not on the first of the new month and not on January 1. These are just random future dates. Your habits won’t immediately stick just because you started on those days. Here are some tips to help you really change your habits.

Start planning

You need to have a plan for your business to be successful. You can’t just hobble from one crisis to another, or from one big win to hoping for another. You need to have defined goals for each day of the week, month and year. You need to know what you’re doing and why. Otherwise, you’re just reacting to whatever’s happening around you rather than being the person in control of your business. It’s important that you also regularly assess your goals and make sure you’re still working toward them. Without setting goals, you’ll spend your days running from one crisis to the next. And that’s no way to do business.

Get organised

There’s not much point in doing all that planning if you’re not going to actually make your plans a reality. If you don’t do that, you’ll likely be spending time and money on tasks which aren’t beneficial to your company. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” said US founding father Benjamin Franklin famously. And he couldn’t have been more right.

Set a budget

They have a bad reputation. But they don’t deserve it. And setting one might not seem like the most fun task, but it’s essential. It’s incredibly important that you know what money’s going out and what’s coming in. By creating and sticking to a budget, you can find the line items which can be cut so you can slash your operating expenses. In the same way, by doing this, you’ll know if you need to apply for financing like machinery asset finance.

Hire the right people

You might be tempted, at the beginning, to hire the most affordable employees. But sometimes staff members are cheap for a reason. There’s a very fine line between hiring inexperienced people who won’t cost much and more experienced staffers who are a little more expensive. And there isn’t always an obvious answer about which you should choose. You need to approach each situation individually and see what’ll work for your business.

Trust people to help you

As the company owner, your time is more expensive than anyone else in your company. And that’s why you should trust them to do some of the work. The smaller tasks of the day can be assigned to other, more junior employees. You need to focus your time on activities which bring money to the business. If a task or activity doesn’t do this, it shouldn’t be your priority. Yes, it can be tough to let go of the reins. But, sometimes, that’s exactly what your business needs.

It’s essential that you think carefully about your business’ goals and your habits in making sure they see the light of day. We spend a lot of time talking about personal goals but setting these for business are equally important. After all, goals for your business should have one outcome, its financial success. And, of course, you want that.

So, keep these habits in mind and make them a part of your daily life now. You’ll be thanking yourself tomorrow, on Monday, next month and next year.