Have You Really Got What It Takes To Run Your Own Business?

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Sometimes, the idea of running your own company can seem really glamorous. You can look at all of these high flying female CEOs and think, yes – that’s what I want. But, they make it look easy. They really do. You see the lifestyle and the cool companies, and that’s what you focus on. When really, it can take a lot of work. Running your own business isn’t something that you can decide to do on a whim. You have to be prepared. And not just to actually set up and run the company, but for all of the lows that go with the highs – which there will be many. So even if this is something that you’ve been wanting to do for a while, it’s time to work out where you’ve really got what it takes!

1. Be A Self-Starter

So first of all, you have to be disciplined. You have to be a self-starter that is going to be motivated, most of the time. Because you’re only human – so it’s only natural that you may have some days that you find it harder to get things done than others. But if you know that you won’t ever be motivated to work on your company, then forget it. Building a business takes work – so you have to be passionate enough about it to start making waves. 

2. Have Initiative

Then, it’s also handy to be able to take more initiative. Just take a look at these Fast Company ideas to find out how you can do that. But if you know that you aren’t an expert in certain areas, you need the initiative to hire people to help you. You need to know that certain things need to be done, and recognize that you aren’t the one to do them. And just make sure that you’re making the best decisions for your company at all times.

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3. Value Innovation

Next, you need to be okay with new ideas and creativity. The world is always moving forward. As seen as a new technology launches, you should be testing it out and bringing it into the business. If you think that you dislike change and don’t want to work with modern technology, then a business may not be right for you.

4. Stay Ahead

Now, as a follow on from the last point, you not only need to embrace change and new ideas, but you need to stay ahead and invent your own! So research the market, look into cool ideas, like the CMC Markets platform, and follow trends. Then come up with your own platforms and ideas that allow you to stay ahead.

5. Care For Your Customers

Now, this final point may seem a little off compared to the rest. So far, you may think that you need to be a ball of energy, a fire starter, a genius. While all of these things can help, if you do not care about your customers, then you have a problem. A huge problem! Because without customers, you have no business. So, you need to really value your customers’ needs, and make sure that you’re giving them what they want with your product or service. Understand this and execute on it – and you will find success.

Expenses 101: Are You Recording Yours?

Budgeting and financial planning are some of the most significant issues for small business owners just starting out. The situation is made even worse by the fact that many new entrepreneurs have no idea what they can list as an expense on their tax bill. That means new companies stand to pay too much tax if they make mistakes, and that can result in a lack of funds for things like marketing and promotion. Considering that, this post will list some of the most common expenses you can record on your tax return. Hopefully, the info will help to make sure you never pay too much tax, and you stand the best chance of success.

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Legal and financial costs

According to HMRC, small business owners are entitled to claim for legal and financial costs when submitting their tax returns. That includes the cost of hiring accountants, solicitors, or surveyors for business reasons. It also includes the premiums you will have to pay for professional indemnity insurance. Listing that spending will help you to keep more cash in your accounts in the long run. If you have any concerns about legal or financial costs; your accountant should manage to point you in the right direction and provide accurate information. If you can’t afford to employ a professional bookkeeper during the early stages of your venture, there are plenty of expert business advisors who can help.

Tools, property, and equipment

Depending on the nature of your operation, there is a chance that you will want to claim for tools, property, and equipment. Let’s presume you’re a plumber who uses 8mm stainless steel tube when fitting showers and other items in the bathrooms of your customers. While you can claim for the cost of the shower itself; you can also place any items you needed to purchase to complete the job on your expenses list. The same goes for people in any other industry. If you run an office and you need to buy new computers; you can knock their price off your tax bill.

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Car, van, and travel costs

The government and tax authorities understand that many business owners have to travel extensively to secure success for their ventures. So, it’s handy to know that all travel costs count as expenses when recording your tax information. That means you can include the price of hiring cars, booking taxis, or anything else that gets you from A to B. You just need to make sure you always ask for a receipt and keep it safe until you arrive back at the office.

It’s possible to record lots of other expenses on your tax forms including clothing, staffing costs, and marketing spending. Now you know the basics; you should be in the best position to ensure you don’t make mistakes or get into trouble with HMRC. If you fail to record all your expenses; you will end up paying more than your fair share of tax. That is a terrible idea because you could use that money to help fund growth and expansions into new markets. You could also use it to relocate your company to a more favourable location. So, get it right!

Making Reports On Your Business’ Financial Health

Some of the most powerful corporations in the world, worth over a trillion dollars, need to have internal talent that is remarkable at reporting the corporations financial status. In the weeds of the mathematics, a bug or hiccup could be lurking, ready to eat a hole into the funds and operations of the business. It’s not surprising at all that reports are made almost every month on the status of the corporation as a whole. Usually, because there are a number of experts tracking every facet of the business, it doesn’t take a lot of mental energy to figure out where the business is headed. If you don’t have the ability to or the talent to realize the situation your business is in regarding financial health, you’re allowing the winds of the market to throw you around. Since you’re a small business, hiring such talent is going to be sparse. You’re either going to attract juniors or graduates. However, even they can form a great team if you can follow certain practices.

Products of promise

It’s much easier to first start by studying where you’re going right rather than wrong. If you have an area of the business where you have been improving, you can incentivize your report staff to form an accurate picture of why and how this is happening. The reporting staff can include any and all of the following roles, accountant, financial planner, executive board members, operations officer, financial officer and any prominent managers. It could be a product that is doing very well and has led to a sharp rise in sales that is leading the charge of your business’ prosperity. The reasons why something fails are just as complex as the reasons for why something succeeds. Both are intertwined but it would be easier to report on why an area of your business is showing promise. You can see the data clearly and with your public outreach team, discuss the reasons why a product has done better than another almost in real-time. Failures do not require knee-jerk reactions most of the time, better to alienate the reasons for success and then apply them to other areas.

Building the report

How you build up your reports is crucial to the ability for them to be understood widely throughout your business. Not everyone is financially savvy but play a key role in the financial report such as the marketing team. Simplifying things while keeping the bulk of the complexity so intricate details can be looked is the best formulation of a report. Which is why, so many businesses use excel to coagulate the figures, statistics and categorize them. At Bespoke Excel you can receive help in financial modelling which is the backbone of commercial strategy. Optimized data management systems store any information you have. Although some data may not be valid for a report at present, you can pluck a piece of collected data out from the system to add into a future report instead. Everything is closer together and kept in one spot making it easier and simpler to write your reports.

The large businesses that we know and love will pay obscene amounts of money to internal talent to be given reports on the financial health of the business. Small businesses can do this at a smaller level if entrepreneurs can employ the right people, the correct practices and technology.

4 Techniques for Increasing Motivation to Grow Your Business

Think of a scenario where you’ve set up a company and everything is on the right track from the start. You are working with new customers who are sharing information about the products and services you are offering. It’s hard to believe that your business is doing so well within the first month. However, things take a different turn in the second month when your customers decide to look for alternatives. Things are no longer working as you expected.

In both scenarios, the success of your business will be affected by your motivation. When the business is doing well, you are most likely to pay attention to every small task that contributes to business growth. On the other hand, your motivation levels will go down during the challenging moments and you’ll probably sit down on your sofa and have a drink as you watch a TV series.

You can easily start a company using a company formation agent, but building a business is not an easy task. One of the best ways to build your business is to stay motivated. Let’s talk about the different ways of achieving motivation to increase business growth.

Manage Your Time and Take a Break

Sometimes it’s difficult to build your business because you have to work long hours, respond to queries, and make the most of new business opportunities. These tasks consume most of your time and affect the quality of your life. For this reason, you might detest the business you once cherished. When this happens, you can stay motivated by taking breaks. The following tips will rejuvenate your body and help you become more consistent as you work hard to build your business.

  • Take lots of breaks in the form of holidays and enjoy “you moments” away from the office.
  • Create reasonable schedules or appointments with your clients.
  • Spend time doing what makes you happy.

Develop Relationships to Share Experiences

Every person wants to interact with other people in one way or the other. Although it’s possible to build your business alone, you’ll definitely need help from other people. For example, you need to build partnerships and employ people to do the things you are unable to do.

The following tips will help you build effective connections:

  • Maintain contact with skilled people and helpful groups to ensure consistent motivation.
  • Share your experiences with highly motivated individuals.
  • Meet other entrepreneurs who are willing to provide the help you need.
  • Learn something from your connections.

Look for Sources of Motivation

It’s hard to achieve 100% motivation, but you can get instant inspiration from various sources. Some good examples of these sources include films, articles, and podcasts.

Here are some useful tips:

  • Have your motivational content ready all the time to help you deal with your low moments.
  • Pay attention to advice from other entrepreneurs who are in the same line of business.
  • Use your motivational content as soon as your motivation levels start to go down. The effects of reading an article or watching a video will surprise you.

Focus Beyond the Business

If you carefully look at successful businesses, you‘ll realize that business is not just about marketing activities, business applications, or the managers and CEOs. Many businesses succeed because they have a clear vision and mission. In simple terms, they have clearly-defined goals and that’s why they have managed to transform the world and help many people.

These tips will help you to see beyond your business:

  • Stay constantly motivated by thinking beyond the money.
  • Focus on changing the lives of your customers.
  • Achieve constant inspiration by creating freedom.
  • Take actions based on clear goals and values.

As an entrepreneur, you certainly want to achieve your business dreams. It’s possible to build a successful business and achieve the desired growth if you are constantly motivated. The four tips described here will help you overcome the low moments you are likely to experience every day. You’ll do wonders in business if you utilize them properly.

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Who Says a Small Business Loan Will Cost You an Arm and a Leg?

For young mothers with an entrepreneurial mind or for those active, go-getters, strongly-motivated moms who may have already invested in some kind of business but may today, find themselves in need of additional funding to expand its operations, hire new people or get a higher-producing equipment … know that a well-planned, well-crafted small business loan is always a big help.

Sure, if you are new to making loans, this could sometimes be intimidating or even cause some anxiety for some businesswomen. It will, after all, mean a strong commitment. But loans are made every day. No need to fret or worry. Just about everybody who’s in business, big or small takes out a loan.

What’s important

The important thing is to plan, map it out well and make sure you do not miss out on any of the crucial elements that will help give you a realistic picture. Tips that should help:

Try to be as specific as you can on what you need, how much you need and what you feel you can afford to pay back monthly. Whether you’re planning on installing new equipment, hiring additional people or moving out to what you feel could be a more productive business location, do a little homework and work out the numbers. Get cost estimates on that new machine. Check out the prevailing wage laws in your locality. Get advanced information on rental costs of that promising site, or project your inventory costs. In other words, much as we hated math and barely made the passing grade in high school, we’ll have to apply a little of it in this project. No big deal. Simple addition and subtraction, a bit of multiplication and division should do the trick.

Once you have gotten the figure on the loan amount, consider adding 5-10% – This is to simply cover those small unforeseen expenses that generally crop up during business start-ups or expansion. No matter how diligent we are, there will be items we might not be aware of or costs might have suddenly increased.

So, how much is this small business loan going to cost you? Check out this useful tool: business loan calculator courtesy of Camino Financial. It will instantly give you the answer. How do you use it? Simple. There are a few blank spaces that you will just need to fill up. It’s easier than changing your baby’s diaper and faster than cooking your favorite Paella Negra.

Here’s how :

Enter your desired loan amount

Click on the number of months you would prefer to pay back the loan (choose from a selection of 24-60 months)

Select the 1% or 2.1% monthly interest rate

Click “Calculate” and Voila! You are in business!

The information that will come out will show you how much your monthly payment will be and the total interest you shall have paid at the end of the loan’s term.

Review this information. Should for one reason or another you feel the numbers are not viable given your present circumstances, you may enter a revised set of data for other options that will best suit your purpose. Simply click Reset Calculator. You can do this till you find the right, figures you would feel comfortable with.

So go with what the management gurus are saying … “Time is money.” Check out this business loan calculator today to help you determine what a small business loan will cost you and rev up your business. What you’re sure to find amazing is that the cost will look like something you would be glad to pay.

Suzanne Llanera

Suzanne Llanera is a writer for Camino Financial, an online lender for small business loans. Suzanne is also a professor of Management, Marketing and Advertising in one of the most prestigious Colleges in the Philippines. She has experience working with top international advertising agencies where she managed the accounts of a multinational bank and a digital, telecommunications company. Suzanne advocates keen creativity in the utilization of marketing and advertising budgets, especially for fledgling businesses.

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