Planning to retire in the future: Why financial assistance matters

When you work nine-to-five and pursue a standard career path, the process of entering into a pension plan and saving for your future is largely automated. This is because employers tend to take the lead in the modern age, as they are required to opt you in to workplace schemes and make mandatory contributions.

From my perspective as a business owner, however, creating a viable pension plan and saving towards retirement is an altogether more complicated affair. Not only is it difficult to identify the right type of fund, for example, but it is also exceptionally hard to manage your finances and build wealth effectively.

Starting with the basics: Choosing the right fund

Aside from the daily running of my business, I find that my biggest challenge as an entrepreneur is making concrete financial plans for the future. After all, much of my wealth is tied up in my business venture, represented by assets and holdings rather than cold, hard cash. This makes it exceptionally difficult to separate income from profit, unless you afford yourself a fixed and viable wage as a CEO and categorise yourself as an employee of the business.

While this can free up the necessary funds to make regular pension contributions, the next step is to identify the best possible savings vehicle. In my experience as an entrepreneur, your two main options are a self-invested pension plan (SIPP) and a small self-administered scheme (SSAS), both of which share many of the same features. The latter is distinguished by the fact that only company directors are eligible to open a SSAS, while there is also a clause that enables account holders to withdraw funds and invest them directly into their business.

While this appeals to many, it does not help you to effectively save for your future. Similarly, it also affords you little flexibility, in contrast with SIPPs (which are accessible to everyone and can be sustained regardless of the career paths that you follow in the future). Choosing to invest in a SIPP does not restrict the range of assets that you have access to, either, so you can continue to seek out domestic and international options that form part of a diverse portfolio.

Managing your funds and building wealth

As you build your fund, the next challenge is to effectively manage your finances. Sure, you can take responsibility to some degree by minimising spending and creating an expenditure budget, but higher level financial planning requires expert assistance. You could use Tilney to help conceive and implement long-term financial plans, for example, making allowances for your own objectives and desire to save for your children’s future. By using financial experts in recent years, I have also been able to create a legally binding will and make detailed plans for the distribution of my estate in the event of my passing.

This strategy has afforded me considerable peace of mind, meaning that I can concentrate on running my business and optimising my future pension fund while delegating the management of this capital to professionals. More specifically, I can focus on what I am good at and employ those with knowledge of financial planning to help me achieve my goals.

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Contract Packing is More Cost Efficient

In running a small business, the goal is to minimise the costs while maximising income. You can achieve it by delivering the products ordered in the fastest time possible. You want your customers to feel that they are important. Hence, you need to find ways to speed up the delivery of their orders.

If your business is not big enough and you don’t have a lot of employees, there is no point in having a packing department. There would be times when they wouldn’t do a lot, but you would still need to pay them. There might also be instances when there are overwhelming orders and you don’t have enough people in the team to do the job. In some cases, you might even end up doing the job yourself.

The best way to solve the problem is to hire a packaging company to do the job. They will help in packing the order and sending it to the customer. They will also store the items in a warehouse, so you won’t need to rent one somewhere else. This is a more cost efficient option.

Finding ways to minimise the cost

As they are responsible for packing the items, they will find a way so that the packing design will look good without increasing the cost. They will also work within the budget that you have set. You need not worry that the service will be quite expensive, since they will help choose the most suitable delivery option for you.

Speedy delivery

If you notice, most online companies today work really hard so that the orders are received on time. They try to have orders delivered as soon as possible. Promptness in delivery helps retain customers, who hate it if they don’t receive their orders on time. Worse, the package might have been damaged along the way.

A quality packing company will ensure speedy delivery. Again, even if you pay more for this service, it will be worth it. Besides, for other delivery options, you would have to pay a huge amount of money as well.

Read the details

It’s best to call a contract packing company to discuss your specific needs. They will also give recommendations about the best services you should get. Ask for the cost of their service and a copy of the terms and conditions. Read the fine print. Once you are ready to accept the deal, sign the contract and commence the partnership.

With the burden of packing and delivery off your chest. You will be competitive enough to compete against other online businesses. This is a decision you won’t regret, since it will massively impact your business in a positive way.

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3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Overlook the Digital Realm When Promoting Your Business

There are numerous considerations related to marketing your business to current and potential customers. Like many people, you may still subscribe to an older mindset that suggests the most effective ways to spread the word are found in television, radio, and print media. There’s no need to entirely ignore those platforms, but you must be aware that the world is rapidly moving towards digitally available sources of information.

If you need proof, consider that advertising professions predict there will be a nearly 16 percent increase in the amount spent on digital ads this year compared to expenditures in 2016. Even if you are already putting a strong effort into promoting through that method, now is not the time to back off with those techniques.

You’ll Show People You’ve Kept Up With the Times

Go to any highly trafficked city street and notice all the people who are staring down at their smartphones and tablets while tapping on the screens to send texts or browse the Internet. You’ve just seen a tiny segment of the individuals who let digital media define their lives. Many people don’t even consider the option of calling a phone number to get information about a company. They just go to the businesses’ Facebook page or website to find out need-to-know insights.

Without a strong digital marketing presence on all or most of the platforms your customers use, you’ll make them think your company is not operating in ways that reflect current trends. They might also assume your business does not meet the modern needs of the people it serves.

Online Shopping Has Become a Common Activity

Although people from some generations still balk at the idea of shopping online, more than half of all internet users shopped online last year. That’s just one potentially surprising statistic that should make it clear that buying things through the internet is an appealing option that’s continually gaining popularity.

Even if your business does not sell things through a huge shop that contains many categories of products, consider the other possible ways you could generate income online. You might offer e-books, tickets to a webinar or even private video consultations that let other people benefit from your entrepreneurial wisdom. Building a digital platform through worthwhile marketing practices (including e-commerce) is one of the first steps to effectively marketing your brand online and making people interested in it.

You Need to Be Aware of What People Think About Your Business

Hearing honest feedback about your business can be difficult at times, but it’s a necessary part of learning and growing from your mistakes. Plus, because the internet offers an immediate way to offer thoughts about a business, many people quickly share positive and negative viewpoints online. That’s why some companies offer tools that allow you to monitor conversations people have through the internet — including those that center on your brand or products — and adapt accordingly.

Rest assured, some of the opinions you hear may be extremely positive. People may repeatedly say your homepage is among the most informative and user-friendly destinations they’ve seen while visiting other small business websites. In that case, you’ll know you’ve done a great job and built a relevant, useful site.

By deciding not to pay attention to the things people say about your business in the digital sector, you’ll miss out on a gigantic percentage of overall feedback. In contrast, when you’re aware of perceptions about your business on digital platforms, you’ll be able to have a healthier perspective overall and ensure your future marketing plans match with the things voiced by your target audience.

These are just three of the many reasons you cannot afford to ignore what’s happening within digital marketing when launching your business or keeping it sustainable. All-encompassing insights grow your entrepreneurial venture and you can find many of them through the internet or on mobile platforms.

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Is mess and clutter affecting your home business?

Researchers polled 2,000 UK adults and discovered eight in ten people consider tidying and organising to be a real stress buster – whether it be filing away important documents, having a pristine desk at work or labelling files and other items.

As a nation, we spend an equivalent of almost eight days a year getting things in order at home and work – giving things a good sort through 27 times a month. Eight in ten UK adults admit they find mess stressful and 63 per cent don’t feel on top of things unless their items are in the “right place.” But despite this, the research commissioned by Avery UK, also found 72 per cent of Brits would describe themselves as messy.

Fiona Mills, marketing director for Avery UK said: “We wanted to discover how people feel about tidying, and the study has revealed a true love-hate relationship. People feel better for clearing away the clutter, but certain barriers prevent the UK population from cracking on with it. 64 per cent of those polled said that having an organised life helps general health and well-being so we needed to find some simple solutions. This week is National Organising Week and the perfect time to think about ways to be more organised and make sure you stay on top of mess. As well as revealing which Avery products are best for organising and filing, we have teamed up with the Association of Professional Declutterers & Organisers to share organising ideas, advice and inspiration throughout the week.”

Crossing things off to-do lists is the aspect of organising we find most therapeutic, although putting together a to-do list is also a major stress buster. Other things we do to restore calm include tidying our desk at work, sorting out finances, doing personal admin. and organising our storage. Writing things on your calendar, emptying the dishwasher and sorting through paperwork at work feature too.

The biggest barrier to being more organised is simply laziness according to those polled, although having too much work on and lack of time are factors too. Four out of ten said they simply don’t enjoy it. It appears that Brits feel shame when it comes to mess and prefer to keep it to themselves as the time we tidy most is when we are expecting visitors. However, lack of focus and feeling overwhelmed, as well as being quiet at work, can lead to a tidying spree as well.

The survey carried out by OnePoll also found 62 per cent of us wish we were better organised, while 36 per cent revealed they can’t cope when mess becomes ‘too much’ to deal with. In fact, on average we can cope with mess for nine days before it becomes overwhelming. When it comes to the workplace two thirds would like their surroundings to be tidier.

While around one third of those polled said they are more organised at work than at home, one fifth said they are more on top of things at home than at work.

Katherine Blackler, professional organiser, and President-Elect of the Association of Professional Declutterers & Organisers said “When I first meet a client I often see signs of stress from mess or clutter. They usually contact me because they are completely overwhelmed and simply don’t know where to start. Having systems and procedures in place to prevent clutter from building up will save you a daily battle so I help to implement processes that work for my clients. Make sure everything has its place and things don’t start to pile up. If you’re not a person who files as they go, give yourself a small tray or folder for collating documents into, but make sure you don’t go beyond that defined volume before you knuckle down and file it away where it belongs. In an office, you and your colleagues could be wasting valuable time looking for documents or important items, so it really is worth investing the time upfront to create better ways of working together efficiently. If you feel things have got on top of you, there are professionals out there who can help you work through your backlog.”

Commenting on the research findings, Stephanie Davies, CEO at Laughology said: “Stress can happen because of a number of factors in life and some of those are controllable and easy to fix; having a de-clutter and tidy up is one of them. Creating a working environment that works for you will increase productivity and how you engage with your work. This might mean you still have some of your quirky desk ornaments or papers around you, they’re just organised differently.”

For organising and filing advice and inspiration head to www.avery.co.uk/organiseyourlife and follow @UKAvery on Twitter and Instagram and check out www.facebook.com/UKAvery.

THE TOP 30 TIDYING OR ORGANISING TASKS WE FIND MOST THERAPEUTIC

  1. Crossing stuff off a to-do list
  2. Putting together a to-do list
  3. Organising important personal documents
  4. Vacuuming
  5. Tidying my desk at work
  6. Organising your storage
  7. Making your bed
  8. Washing the dishes
  9. Cleaning the bathroom
  10. Dusting/polishing my home
  11. Mowing the lawn
  12. Wiping kitchen worktops
  13. Writing things on my calendar
  14. Filing away documents at work
  15. Ironing
  16. Putting ironing away
  17. Labelling files, folders or storage
  18. Tidying my desk at home
  19. Loading the washing machine
  20. Organising CDs/vinyl alphabetically
  21. Washing the car
  22. Cleaning the inside of the car
  23. Sorting through paperwork at work
  24. Arranging wardrobe by colour, size and/or clothing type
  25. Arranging pots and pans by shape and size
  26. Organising books by genre and/or alphabetically
  27. Creating a filing system
  28. Organising DVDs/blu-rays alphabetically
  29. Clearing the garage
  30. Emptying the dishwasher

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Expand Your Global Reach Without Leaving Your Desk

You probably want your business to go as far as it possibly can. And that means reaching out into new territories and uncovering new possibilities. You might not realise it yet, but you can do this without even leaving your office desk if you’re clever and take the right steps. That’s what we’re going to look at in more detail right now. Read on to find out how you can expand your business’s global reach without even getting up from your chair.

Research Markets

First of all, you need to make sure that you understand the kinds of global markets that you want your company and its products to appeal to. You shouldn’t make the mistake of assuming that foreign markets are more or less the same as the ones you already know because that might not be the case. It’s up to you to carry out this research, and that’s something that can be done in your office.

Start Planning the Logistics of Global Selling

There are many logistical matters that you will need to give attention to if you want to start selling things overseas. It’s important to get these things in order before you go any further. There are so many companies out there that you can outsource various processes to if you need to. It’s a good idea to do that because it will leave you with less to worry about.

Improve Your Approach to SEO

Where your company’s site ranks on search engine results pages will have an impact on how far its global reach is able to stretch. If you don’t improve how you approach SEO, your company will inevitably suffer and struggle to achieve global growth. Find an SEO company with the best reviews if you need help. It’s certainly not something you can afford to just ignore, though.

Build Strategic Partnerships

You don’t necessarily have to go on globe-trotting business trips in order to set up strategic partnerships with other companies. It’s simply not necessary, and you shouldn’t assume that it is. There are so many ways in which you can link up with companies around the world. And these links will make your business better known to people who would never have heard of it before. It’s never been so easy to stay in touch across borders either.

Guest on Blogs Based Overseas

Guest blogging is something that you should definitely be doing a lot of if you want your business to reach more people in an organic kind of way. There are blogs based in every corner of the world, and by having a presence on some of them, you will massively boost brand awareness. More people will be aware of what you’re doing and what you have to offer them. That has to be positive.

As you now know, there are so many things you can do to start pushing your business into new territories, and you don’t even have to leave your office, so make the most of these ideas.

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