StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Launching Your Business: How To Organize Your Operation


 
When you have a business idea, it’s only natural that you may sit on it for a while. Maybe you’re frightened of failure, or of going after your dreams and not really getting what you want? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. But if you have always wanted to run your own business, and you love the idea of making it work, then you have to jump in with both feet (or head first!). If your mind still isn’t convinced and you feel held back, then you may want to focus on organizing your way there. Because when you have the right plans in place and you really work to keep things organized, launching can seem so much easier. So here’s what you need to do.

1. Find The Right Location

So first of all, you need to think about your location. And finding the right business location really does matter. If you need a manufacturing unit, you’ll want to make sure that you have enough space, and that you’re in the best possible position to create. You may even want to just start small and clear out your garage space for this. Either way, you need the best possible place to work from.

2. Decide Between Managed Or Self-Service

If you’re setting up an office, one thing to keep in mind is where you want to have a serviced space or somewhere that juts your own. Managed offices mean that you have all of the bills and services included, even the cleaning! But if you rent a space yourself, you may need to set up all of the utilities, internet, and look after the place yourself. So it’s worth considering which will work out best for you.


 
3. Setup The Space

Then, you need to set up the space. Again, if you are going with an office, why not think about going with used equipment to get the price down? Even if you need an industrial or manufacturing space, you may be able to go for used equipment to get a better price too. But just be sure that the quality is where you need it to be to get the job done.

4. Invest In Your Machinery

However, if you do want to make sure that you can do the best possible job from the beginning, investing in the right machinery and manufacturing equipment is just so important. From niche specific unites to counting scales to quality control conveyors, make sure you’re happy with what you have. These are the things you need to run your business and create your product, so they have to be right.

5. Stick To Systems

Finally, one thing you may find, is that systems help you out tremendously here. When you’re working on a large scale and you have products to manufacture, or an operation line to set up, things need to run like clockwork. So, it’s going to be in your benefit to get processes that allow your production to be as efficient as possible, and ensure that you have a good quality control check in place. When this is all organized, you should find that launching is so much easier.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

5 Problems Construction Businesses Will Inevitably Face


 
Of all the business sectors in the world, none are quite so tangible as construction. If you open a construction business, then your everyday life will be governed by a very physical reality. Unlike many modern businesses, which involve moving words and numbers on computers, construction is something that you can reach out and touch – and it’s inherently rewarding as a result.

Unfortunately, the many, benefits of working in construction are often somewhat weighed down by non-tangible, metaphysical problems. Thankfully, there are ways and means of navigating these issues, but you do need to be aware of the almost-inevitability that you will experience them. This is due to the fact that construction business owners may produce work that is inherently physical, but they will face a number of threats that are far less concrete – and it will be your job to navigate each of these situations when they occur.

So, without further ado, let’s examine the theoretical problems that your very practical construction business will inevitably experience at some point.

1) High employee turnover

Unfortunately, the construction industry is infamous for the high rate of employee turnover it tends to produce. There is no single reason for this high turnover rate, but it is a simple fact of life for construction businesses.

It would be wonderful to suggest that there are incredible solutions to ensure your business does not experience high turnover but, in truth, this would be misleading. There are, of course, things you can do to help reduce employee turnover, but these measures alone are unlikely to be sufficient. Instead, it is usually best to opt for a two-pronged approach: improve existing conditions, but also exist in a state of perpetual hiring, continually accepting applications for positions and building a list of potential future employees that you keep on file. Working together, these two measures should allow you to control the problem as best you can, and ensure you always have the staff you need to complete projects.

2) Unsuitable ground conditions

At the beginning of history, construction was incredibly simple: the earth was how it had been for millennia, and construction companies could trust the soundness and cleanliness of the soil. Unfortunately, thousands of years of human habitation has changed that, and modern construction companies will often find themselves facing issues with poor or even contaminated soil.

It is inevitable that, at some point in your time at the helm of a construction company, you will have to deal with problematic soil. Your best option is usually to work with a ground improvement specialist such as those at the Helitech Civil Construction Division and similar companies; these experts have a variety of techniques that can mean even the most difficult of soil can eventually be used for construction. While hiring a subcontractor for this work will lengthen the process somewhat, it can make possible building on soil you would usually dismiss, which opens up your possibilities for future development.

In anticipation of this inevitable issue, it may be worth fostering a relationship with a ground and soil improvement specialist from the start of your business. This ensures that when you inevitably encounter difficult ground conditions, you know exactly where to turn for the expert assistance that can allow you to continue a project as quickly and efficiently as possible.

3) Public discontent

The longer your business is in operation, the higher your chances of working on a project that draws the ire of the public. We have all seen activists demonstrating against the construction of a new building or shopping mall, and it is inevitable that your company will at some point be involved in a project that activists dislike.

In terms of managing this issue, realistically, there’s very little that is within your control. The best bet is to always work on projects that have full authorization and that have passed impact studies with flying colors, and it may also be worth checking social media to see if there is planned opposition to a construction project prior to agreeing to undertake the work.

However, even with these precautions, you may well find that you still find yourself working on a site that is subject to demonstrations. If (or when) this happens, your best plan of action is to leave the matter to the police. Engaging with activists will rarely end well, even if you’re in the right, so advise your employees to refuse to enter into conversations and seek appropriate help from the authorities.

Alternatively, if you suspect that fightback against a project you were intending to work on has become so fierce it will negatively impact your company, then you may want to consider withdrawal. The penalties for doing this will depend on your contract, but it’s worth examining this possibility, especially if you suspect the activists may well have a point – the negative publicity from continuing to work on the project could greatly outweigh the penalties you will face for walking away.

4) Workplace accidents

Construction is an inherently dangerous industry. From people working at height to the movement of heavy plant machinery, the risk of accidents is ever-present – and to an extent, this is something that you will need to accept.

However, accepting that accidents can happen does not mean that you are completely powerless in the situation. You do have an element of control when it comes to reducing and mitigating the risks involved in the industry, and examining your options in this regard can help to ensure your business – and your workers – are fully protected at all times.

First and foremost, prioritizing safety at all times is a must for construction companies. It’s important you trust that workers understand the risks of what they are doing, and that their health and safety awareness and training is also up-to-date. Regular meetings to refresh guidelines is a good way to do this, and helps to ensure that even the most experienced of workers is always aware of the risks of their occupation.

Secondly, it’s worth going above and beyond to ensure that your working practices align with regulatory requirements. Unfortunately, many business owners of all types tend to see health and safety rules as something of a bind, and will satisfy the minimum requirement and then move on. However, it’s worth noting that these rules are there for a reason, and if you seek to adhere to them, the chances are you will have a much safer working environment as a result. Ideally, you should seek to exceed the basic regulatory requirements, and also continually check back to ensure these are being adhered to by workers at all times.

Finally, there is an additional health and safety component that is often overlooked by construction business owners: stress. The more stressed your workers are, the more likely they are to experience an accident – and even the very best health and safety practices cannot help in this regard. It is therefore well worth considering implementing measures that are designed to keep workplace stress at a minimum. This should ideally involve a dual approach of managing stress on-site and also learning to identify the signs of stress in an employee.

5) Theft

Finally, theft is a constant threat in the construction industry. This is largely due to the nature of the work; sites are often left unattended for hours or even days at a time, and contain expensive equipment that is an all-too-tempting target for thieves.

Controlling this problem primarily involves ensuring site security at all times, but this alone is unlikely to fully solve the problem. As we have already discovered, a double-approach is often best, and the same applies to the theft issue: you should seek to protect your site, but also ensure you are fully insured for any losses that you do experience.

Unfortunately, obtaining insurance as a construction company is often easier said than done, and premiums can be incredibly expensive. In an effort to keep costs down, work with a broker to ensure you are only insured as far as you need to be – avoid comprehensive, catch-all policies that may provide coverage for instances that are irrelevant to your business. By ensuring you find the right policy for your company, the cost of the premium should be justified, and you’ll enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that your valuable equipment is protected if your on-site security measures fail.

In conclusion

The issue presented above can be uniquely challenging to a construction business, due in no small part to their constancy and their changeability. This can be difficult for construction business owners to cope with, as so much of their prior working life has focused on physical problems with absolute physical answers. Learning to adapt to more theoretical and conceptual challenges can be far more difficult – but it is, ultimately, well worth doing. Construction is a thriving, essential sector, and if you believe you can navigate the inevitability of the problems as mentioned above, it could be the perfect choice for your entrepreneurial ambition.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

What Are the Advantages of Buying Used Office Equipment?

When you need office equipment for your business, the temptation is to buy new every time. Have you ever wondered whether it’s really necessary? The truth of the matter is that generally, it’s not. The need for new equipment will eventually come to every business. It may be because you’ve redecorated, you’re moving offices, or you’re simply starting from scratch. If you’re looking for ways to save money, buying used or second-hand equipment is a very attractive choice. Aside from saving money, you may be wondering whether there are any other benefits worth considering. Here are a few to get you thinking.

Reliability

Used furniture will have already proved it’s up to the task and in many aspects, it will be flawless. It is often made up of floor models with minimal wear and tear. Anyone visiting your office will struggle to tell the difference between old and new. Buying new office equipment from the internet can be a risky business. There is no way for you to check the final finish and you can’t tell how strong and reliable a piece of furniture is from a picture.

Readily Available

Buy office equipment from a store in your local town or city and you could find yourself waiting weeks even months. This kind of store rarely keeps stock of such items and has to order them in for customers. A second-hand store will have everything available. You’ll be able to walk in off the street, pick out your items and have them delivered within a couple of days.

Better for the Environment

It’s a sad fact that used office equipment often ends up in landfills. It wouldn’t take much for it to be looking as good as new, but this is generally too much trouble for the owner. An easier option is for it to be put out for the trash. When you buy used equipment, you are saving it from such a sad fate. There will still be plenty of life left in it and much of it looks almost as good as new. Certainly much better than anything you’re currently using. Taking steps to do your bit for the environment is always an added bonus, too.

Cost Effective Alternative to Buying New

The price of used equipment is such a big benefit that it’s worth mentioning twice. Expect to pay as little as a quarter of the price. If you’re financing your purchases by taking out a loan, such as the one mentioned here: https://www.crediful.com/personal-loans/best-egg/, you’ll be able to buy so much more for the same money. The items you find yourself buying are often end of product lines, overstock, discontinued lines or office store floor models. They can also come from businesses that have gone out of business.

It’s worth mentioning the downsides of buying new so that you have a balanced picture. The selection of colors may be limited, as well as style and configuration. Identical pieces may be difficult to source if you want to fit out a large office space. However, the biggest disadvantage is that there will be no returns or warranty provided.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

How to Take Your Manufacturing Business from Zero to Hero

There’s no denying that a manufacturing business is one which promises to be profitable, regardless of the industry or sector. There are a wide variety manufacturing businesses, and whether you have chosen to begin in the food sector, selling delicious beverages, or you produce technology parts for the latest smartphones, there are always changes to make to your processes to improve them. From examining your current workflow to making significant changes to the production line, below are three ways you can take your business from zero to hero, and truly make your mark in the industry.

Assess & Analyze Your Workflow

Boosting employee productivity is essential in any business and manufacturing is no different. But how do you do so effectively and quickly? First, you need to assess the current processes you use and analyze your workflow to ensure you know exactly where you need to make changes. For example, if your assembly line is a significant distance from the production workshops, you need to assess how long it takes your products to arrive at their destination, and whether this time can be shortened. If your employees find themselves waiting for their next batch of products, it will drastically reduce their productivity, meaning they may also get distracted, which could increase the risk of injury or damage to the products. Perhaps you are using outdated equipment because it still works, so why would you replace it? This reluctance to upgrade is an obstacle in your workflow and needs addressing.

Automate Wherever Possible

Automation is the future of a vast number of industries, and of course, this includes manufacturing. While many managers believe adopting automation means they will lose the human touch and have to replace employees with machines, this isn’t the case. Automation is a time-saving addition to any business, and it is not created to simply replace human employees. An example of saving time by using automation would be to utilize an automatic bottle capper machine. Ideal for a variety of manufacturing businesses which use bottles, such as pharmaceuticals and beverages, this machine maximizes the efficiency of your staff and your packaging line, allowing you to create more products and reduce human error or damages.

Continue Educating Your Employees

For every employee to perform at their optimal level of productivity, they need the tools to be able to do so efficiently. The first tools are, of course, the equipment needed to complete their roles, but the second tool, of equal importance, is their own education. After all, how can they work quickly and safely without the right knowledge on how to do so? It’s for this reason why you need to continue educating your employees regularly. It may be worthwhile, for you, your employees, and your business, to schedule into the company diary training sessions at regular intervals and arrange training when there is a new improvement in business processes or the technology you use. By addressing any issues and queries within the regular training sessions that your employees may have, you can ensure everyone is on the same page.

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article

How Digitization Can Boost Remote Working

When you are a remote worker embarking on your first freelance adventure, you will need to find ways of increasing your productivity and getting new clients quickly. Doing so means that you will be able to generate both your desired income and the portfolio of high quality of work that will make you instantly stand out as someone to watch. A key element to achieve this is that you will need to look into how to digitize your work effectively, and, in turn, reap the benefits from making the most of modern tech. This handy guide will give you insight into where to start.

Choosing your own work environment

One of the joys of freelancing is that it gives you the freedom to choose where you want to work, and of course, when you want to work. If you have your business digitized and set up online for clients to find you and your portfolio, then the sky is truly the limit for where you want to set up shop. A great idea is to consider using a co-working environment, like those at thebrew.co.uk, as this gives you a professional setting and a proper work base, rather than just sitting at your kitchen table trying to work through your commissions and projects.

Counting the money

Just because you are going to start working in a freelance capacity doesn’t mean that you necessarily have all the training and skills to keep on top of your earnings, costs, and taxes. When you are starting out on a new business venture such as this, the last thing you need is menial tasks getting in the way of your work and progress in the industry. A solution to this is to start using accounting software for freelance work. Using a cloud-based software means you can update your accounts anywhere you have an internet connection and your phone to hand. Another benefit is that accounting software will save you time that can be better spent earning money and talking with clients.

Showing off your portfolio

A final element to making your freelance career a success is getting your work in front of potential clients. The best way to this digitally is to learn how to make a small business website, where people can find you and commission work instantly. By converting your work into digital files, you can have your portfolio readily displayed on your own website, which will make it easier for people to see the kind of work you produce and be more likely to hire you for their next project. Uploading your work onto a digital platform will mean that, not only can people see how good your work is, but they will be able to see how much you have been commissioned for and infer how much professional experience you have. This information will put you on strong footing for getting customers.

Becoming a remote worker is a great way of changing your life for the better and using technology will only make this easier.