StrategyDriven https://www.strategydriven.com effective executives, efficient employees Wed, 19 Sep 2018 01:22:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The StrategyDriven Podcast provides executives and managers with the strategic business planning and tactical execution tools needed to create greater organizational alignment and accountability for the achievement of superior results. During each podcast, we discuss the best practices that help create a clear, forward-looking strategy translatable to the day-to-day activities of all organization members. Nathan Ives clean Nathan Ives Podcast@StrategyDriven.com Podcast@StrategyDriven.com (Nathan Ives) Copyright 2007-2017 by StrategyDriven Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved. Strategic business planning and tactical execution best practices for executives and managers. StrategyDriven http://www.strategydriven.com/wp-content/themes/strategydriven/img/Base3000x3000-SDP.jpg https://www.strategydriven.com Atlanta, Georgia 2960793 Launching Your Business: How To Organize Your Operation https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/18/launching-your-business-how-to-organize-your-operation/ https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/18/launching-your-business-how-to-organize-your-operation/#respond Tue, 18 Sep 2018 20:00:21 +0000 https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/18/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 […]

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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.

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5 Problems Construction Businesses Will Inevitably Face https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/18/5-problems-construction-businesses-will-inevitably-face/ https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/18/5-problems-construction-businesses-will-inevitably-face/#respond Tue, 18 Sep 2018 15:00:25 +0000 https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/18/5-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 […]

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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.

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What Are the Advantages of Buying Used Office Equipment? https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/17/what-are-the-advantages-of-buying-used-office-equipment/ https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/17/what-are-the-advantages-of-buying-used-office-equipment/#respond Mon, 17 Sep 2018 20:00:40 +0000 https://www.strategydriven.com/?p=42917 When you need office equipment for your business, the temptation is to buy new every time.

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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.

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Why You Should Invest in Tech Stocks https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/17/why-you-should-invest-in-tech-stocks/ https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/17/why-you-should-invest-in-tech-stocks/#respond Mon, 17 Sep 2018 15:00:42 +0000 https://www.strategydriven.com/?p=42915 We are currently surrounded by big technology stocks such as Amazon, Alphabet Inc, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple; with some of these stocks crossing the $1,000 per share mark, they can be (and very much are) an attractive investment opportunity.

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We are currently surrounded by big technology stocks such as Amazon, Alphabet Inc, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple; with some of these stocks crossing the $1,000 per share mark, they can be (and very much are) an attractive investment opportunity. Given that technology is currently shaping our world and everything in it, big technology stocks are only going to increase in price and become more valuable as time goes by, meaning they have the potential to make those who invest in them very rich indeed. Although some of the major technology stocks have climbed to astronomical levels, their current values are only just the beginning.

In the broadest sense, this category of “tech stocks” includes any stocks which are involved in the research, development and distribution of technological goods, services and solutions. So, they include companies which produce everything from computer software and hardware, televisions and even mobile games such as Angry Birds. In 2017, technology stocks offered investors the highest return on investment at an average of 34.28%… not too shabby!

#1: High Returns Does Not Mean Low Risk

Just because there have been strong returns, this does not mean that there are zero risks involved. As we are well aware, technology can change at a rapid pace, often overnight, and companies which are currently leading the way can soon fall behind as new and innovative companies come along and take the top spot. In some cases, technology companies can be forced out of business by new entrants to the market. Although this is unlikely to happen with market leaders such as Amazon, it is not impossible, and this is something which should always be kept in mind.

In addition, investing in emerging companies may appear like an attractive investment opportunity, however, it is not unheard of for companies which were expected to perform well disappear overnight into the abyss.

Although technology is a very exciting investment space that includes everything from smartphones to blockchain, artificial intelligence to streaming services and more, there are inherent risks which you expose yourself to by ploughing your money into technology companies.

#2: Areas for Investment

As mentioned, technology investments are very varied and include a range of companies and products. Once upon a time, tech stocks would have been almost exclusive to computer hardware and software. These days, however, it includes all sorts. In fact, it is hardly accurate to call most tech companies which operate in the market computer companies (think Apple, IBM and Microsoft) because they operate in several other areas such as:

  • Artificial Intelligence where computers perform tasks which once would have only been possible by human beings. AI is one of the fastest growing and most prominent areas for investment, however, this technology still has a long way to go and it is far from perfect.
  • Smartphones, the industry of which is led by Apple and Samsung. There are a lot of other players within the smartphone market producing everything from software, mobile apps and physical mobile devices.
  • Blockchain, something which has gained a lot of publicity in the last couple of years. It is the technology which backs up Bitcoin and other industry-leading cryptocurrencies, however, it has applications to far more than just cryptocurrency.

These three areas demonstrate that the tech space is dominated by far more than just computers, and that there are several investment opportunities available to those who want to get involved. Given that there are so many possibilities, it can be difficult for new investors to get involved in the market.

#3: 4 Tech Stocks Worth Looking At

Although the market is huge and there are infinite investment possibilities, there are four major contenders which are worth looking at.

1. Apple

Apple is by far the world’s favorite consumer tech company, leading the way with their range of smartphone and laptop computer devices. Apple’s stocks usually rest around the couple-of-hundred dollars mark and given the insatiable appetite of consumers for Apple’s products then it is a stock which isn’t going to be decreasing in value soon.

2. Alphabet Inc. (Google)

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is also a very attractive investment opportunity. Google leads the way on the internet by providing several services which we all know and love such as Googlemail and YouTube. The main problem with investing in Alphabet is the fact that their shares sit at around the $1,100 mark. If you can afford it, though, it is worth going for, because this company is going to continue to grow as it focuses on new ventures.

3. Facebook

Facebook is a money-making machine and whilst the recent data scandal has harmed the social networking giant, it is not going to be shutting up shop any time soon and at around the $200-mark, Facebook’s stock is incredibly cheap. It is likely that we will see Facebook continue to grow strongly over time at a rapid pace.

4. Amazon

Amazon is an unstoppable company which is beginning to encroach on our lives in entirely new ways. From Amazon Key and drone delivery to AI solutions such as Amazon Alexa, the company is really pushing boundaries with its innovative technologies and desire to satisfy consumer demand at all levels. Amazon’s shares usually rest around the $1,900 mark which, again, whilst pricing some people out, it is worth spending your money on should you have enough to do it. Amazon’s share price exceeding the $3,000 mark is far from being a far-fetched idea; it is more a question of when this will happen.

Today, tech stocks represent the most valuable of all investments, second perhaps only to gold and other timeless precious metals. As the world begins to demand more and more from technology and new developments occur, having a stake in some of the world’s foremost technology companies is likely to provide a sizeable return on investment in the future, especially if you buy into them now whilst their shares are still relatively low compared to what they could be.

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How to Take Your Manufacturing Business from Zero to Hero https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/14/how-to-take-your-manufacturing-business-from-zero-to-hero/ https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/14/how-to-take-your-manufacturing-business-from-zero-to-hero/#respond Fri, 14 Sep 2018 15:00:05 +0000 https://www.strategydriven.com/?p=42832 There’s no denying that a manufacturing business is one which promises to be profitable, regardless of the industry or sector.

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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.

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How Digitization Can Boost Remote Working https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/13/how-digitization-can-boost-remote-working/ https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/13/how-digitization-can-boost-remote-working/#respond Thu, 13 Sep 2018 15:00:42 +0000 https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/13/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.

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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.

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How to Start Your First Manufacturing Business https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/12/how-to-start-your-first-manufacturing-business/ https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/12/how-to-start-your-first-manufacturing-business/#respond Wed, 12 Sep 2018 15:00:21 +0000 https://www.strategydriven.com/?p=42814 Setting up a new manufacturing business is no easy feat. Not only is it a big financial commitment, but you will need to make sure you hire the right people and embark on the best processes.

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StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship ArticleSetting up a new manufacturing business is no easy feat. Not only is it a big financial commitment, but you will need to make sure you hire the right people and embark on the best processes, which will help you to create as many products as possible to increase your revenue.

While it is a huge responsibility and will require a great deal of time and hard work, you can trust it will be worth all the effort once you start to enjoy the many rewards. For help getting off to the best start, find out how to start your first manufacturing business below.

Secure Investment

Starting a manufacturing business will not be cheap, and you will most likely need to secure either a hefty bank loan or an investment to launch your new venture. Make sure you detail all expenditure within your business plan, so you will know exactly how much money you will need to get started.

For example, you will need to realistically consider staff salaries, transportation fees, advertisement expenditure, material prices, equipment and technology costs, plus more. To secure investment, you will need a detailed plan of how you intend to use the capital you receive, how you intend to pay it back and when.

Choose the Ideal Location

Choose a location wisely when launching a manufacturing business. For example, you must be within close proximity to great public transport links, so your employees can reach your facility with ease. Your premises will also need to be closely located to motorways to make it easier for logistics vehicles, such as dependable Chicago LTL carriers, to gain access to your manufacturing facility.

Pick the Perfect Premises

You might be tempted to pick a cheap manufacturing premise to reduce your overheads from day one. However, your thriftiness could backfire if you do not have enough access to electricity, have no running water, or the building experiences structural damage, as this could slow down or stop your operations.

Hire the Right Staff

If you are running a large manufacturing business with powerful equipment, you will need to hire a wide range of people to help run your business. Not only will you need to employ experienced production operatives, but you will need to find business managers, market researchers, and quality managers. Each person will take some of the pressure off your shoulders, so you can focus on marketing your business and increasing your profit margin.

Seek Support

You are bound to be filled with passion and enthusiasm when developing your first manufacturing business. As a result, you might think you can handle every challenge you will face along the way. However, there might come a day that you are faced with a huge obstacle and are unsure how to overcome it.

Rather than struggling in silence and making a big mistake that could impact your business before it has even started, you must seek support from experienced professionals to save your business both time and money. Thankfully, there are several organisations you can turn to for guidance or grants, such as the Chambers of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses, and UKTI.

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Tips For Starting A Medical Supplies Business https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/11/tips-for-starting-a-medical-supplies-business/ https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/11/tips-for-starting-a-medical-supplies-business/#respond Wed, 12 Sep 2018 00:00:50 +0000 https://www.strategydriven.com/?p=42785 As an entrepreneur, you will always want to look at industries which are always in demand so that your company always has a chance to succeed through constant demand.

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StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship ArticleAs an entrepreneur, you will always want to look at industries which are always in demand so that your company always has a chance to succeed through constant demand. These industries are few and far between, but one which will always be in demand is the medical industry. This means that it is never a bad time to set up a medical supplies business and this could prove to be both a rewarding and lucrative area to work in because there are so many medical professionals that require supplies. This is quite a unique industry and not quite like any other, so here are a few tips for getting started which should help you to succeed.

Identify Target Market

The first thing to do will be to find a target market. There are many medical professionals that require a constant flow of supplies, and it is a good idea to focus on one of these groups so that you can focus all of your efforts on this niche – medical supplies are constantly evolving and changing so it can be hard to stay up to date with all of the different markets. A few good options for a target market include dentists, veterinarians, nursing homes and midwives.

Market Research

Once you have established a target market, you will then want to carry out thorough market research so that you can familiarize yourself with the industry, understand who the competition is and identify any gaps in the market. Identify the products which are high in demand and look at what the competition is pricing these at so that you can set your prices competitively.

Logistics

The logistics will be crucial to success, but this is also the most complex area of the business. Having a suitable warehouse which is carefully managed and dependable shipping will be vital to success. It is a smart move to use medical warehousing and logistics specialists who will be able to provide integrated shipping and logistics solutions.

Business Promotion

As with any startup, it can be hard to establish your brand and compete when first starting out. Business promotion is an important tool early on to make people aware of your brand – in addition to advertising and marketing; you can also use social media, offer deals for new customers and establish authority by posting regular content such as blog posts and newsletters. Additionally, sponsoring healthcare events and getting involved with the local community can have a huge impact on brand reputation and awareness.

Networking

The medical industry is one which can be tight-knit with many opportunities to network and build important relationships. Be sure to attend as many conferences and industry events as possible and meet as many people as possible to grow your brand and increase awareness.

Medical supplies will always be in demand, and this can make it an excellent field to enter as an entrepreneur. It can also be a challenging one to succeed in, but with a little preparation, research and networking you should soon find your feet and start to develop a strong customer base while making a difference to the world.

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Safeguarding Your Business Profits https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/11/safeguarding-your-business-profits/ https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/11/safeguarding-your-business-profits/#respond Tue, 11 Sep 2018 20:00:48 +0000 https://www.strategydriven.com/?p=42780 Having gotten to the stage where the books are in the black and the profits are starting to roll in, how do you make sure that your hard-earned cash is put to best use?

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StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship ArticleAfter all the work and investment that goes into building a successful business, the day you start to realize a decent profit makes you feel on top of the world! The primary objective in running a business is to make money from it – even if that’s not the most important aspect to you personally and you love the challenge and the nature of the work first and foremost, you still need to make a profit to stay in business. Having gotten to the stage where the books are in the black and the profits are starting to roll in, how do you make sure that your hard-earned cash is put to best use?

The urge to splurge

Unless you have a superhuman level of self-control, you’ll probably want to buy yourself and your loved ones a few treats. A special night out or a weekend away, new clothes or hobby equipment, or maybe a luxury purchase for your home are all likely ways that you’ll want to give yourself something back from your business. There’s nothing wrong with that idea, after all, you should be able to enjoy the fruits of your labors. However, there are several considerations you need to make before getting too carried away with your spending spree.

Where is the money coming from?

You obviously know how the profit has been generated, but you need to consider how your business is set up and how you are paid out of the profits. For instance, do you get a salary and a percentage of profits, or dividends? You should discuss the structure of your business with your accountant to make sure it is positioning you in the most advantageous place regarding tax and debt liabilities. If you would have to take responsibility for the costs of the business taking a downturn and be liable for its debts, you need to take account of this, and make sure you are covered for such an eventuality.

Where is the money going to?

Whenever you pay out for anything, it’s worth checking whether your purchase could be legitimately set against your tax return as an expense. That doesn’t mean trying to pass off personal purchases that have nothing to do with your business, but you might be better off leasing a car through your company than buying one privately for example. It’s always worth checking how to gain the best advantage, as long as you stay within the law – if there’s one agency renowned for its tenacity, it’s the IRS!

Clearing debts

When you start to make a profit, your first step before deciding how to spend the money you’re making is to clear any debt that may be outstanding. Depending on how you have structured your finances, your business may be showing a profit on paper, but still be liable for repayments to investors for instance. If this is structured as a repayment plan over a defined period of time, you can still take any surplus profits for your personal use. Or your cash flow may require you to have a reserve fund to cover any shortfall caused by slow-paying customers or other short-term drains on resources. Once your business liabilities are confirmed, look at your personal finances. If you have loans, credit card debts, or lease and rental agreements, make paying these off a priority. It will save you money, in the long run, to focus on clearing debt and avoid paying interest on what’s due. You probably want to make an exception for your mortgage, which is more of a high-value long-term investment; unless your profits are so impressive you can afford to clear it now!

Putting money back into the company

Many business owners choose to reinvest their profits back into the business, and this should be your next consideration. If you want to expand or improve your operations, then reinvesting some of your profits is a sound way to grow your business. The money you reinvest needs to be detailed precisely on your accounts to ensure your tax liabilities are accurate, or you will lose out; so don’t splash out on new tablets for all your staff without the expense being recorded and legitimized.

Investing

Once you’ve checked whether you need a reserve fund, cleared any outstanding debts, and decided how much to reinvest in your business, you can then relax and start choosing how to spend your money. Treating yourself is important, as it will give you a thrill to know that you are splashing out on something you truly desire as a result of your hard work and business acuity. However, if you want your money to work for you, you should consider investments. There is an extensive choice of different types of investment available, from high-risk shares to low-risk long-term assets, property investment, bonds, foreign exchange, cryptocurrencies, and many more. The most reliable returns will be in low-risk stocks, but these can take many years to achieve their full potential. High-risk strategies by definition increase the odds that you could lose your money, but you could try a middle road with swing trading strategies. These are specially selected shares that experts calculate are just about to make a significant swing to profitability, which could gain you better returns over a shorter time frame.

The complexity and intricacies of the financial world need experts to exploit them to their full advantage, and if you try and go it alone without seeking their advice, you’ll lose a lot of time on research, and you could well make the wrong choices. A financial adviser can guide you through your investments and make recommendations to suit your needs and aversion to risk, which is preferable to trying to learn enough to make sound decisions by yourself. Most importantly, your CPA should be more than just a number cruncher. They should be able to advise you as to the most efficient way to structure your business and how to get the best from your financial arrangements.

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How to Simplify Your Business’s Finances https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/11/how-to-simplify-your-businesss-finances/ https://www.strategydriven.com/2018/09/11/how-to-simplify-your-businesss-finances/#respond Tue, 11 Sep 2018 15:00:16 +0000 https://www.strategydriven.com/?p=42776 It might sometimes feel as if your business needs to choose between keeping its customers happy or enjoying healthier finances.

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StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship ArticleIt might sometimes feel as if your business needs to choose between keeping its customers happy or enjoying healthier finances. If you feel forced to pick between the two, your business might never be able to reach its potential, which is why you must find ways to lower your expenditure without compromising on consumer satisfaction.

A few new tactics and tools could provide the solution you have been looking for, so keep reading to find out how to simplify your business’s finances.

Set Financial Goals to Increase Your Revenue

If you want to enjoy a greater annual revenue, you must set financial goals. Doing so will provide both you and your team with targets to hit each day, week or month, which will help to keep your business firmly in the black.

If you fail to meet a target, you can then identify the tweaks and changes you will need to make to your processes. It will help you to stay focused on your income and outgoings, so your business never takes a step backward.

Open a Separate Business Account

Never confuse your personal and business finances again by opening a company bank account. Many banks are happy to provide entrepreneurs with a specific account for a business. It will make it easier to separate your personal and professional income, which will make it much more straightforward to organize your taxes, pay your business expenses, and monitor your revenue.

Dedicate One Day a Month to Reviewing Your Finances

It doesn’t matter if you have the best accounting software or accountant, you must take the time to review your finances. Every business owner must have a firm grip on their income and expenditure, which can prevent costs from spiraling out of control.

A monthly financial review is a must, so set one day aside to review your statements, invoices, and bills. You also should use this day to negotiate with vendors, change suppliers, and find ways to reduce your outgoings.

Setup Payment Reminders and Alerts

With so many tasks to complete and projects to manage, it can be easy to forget to pay an important bill. However, you will soon realize your mistake when your electricity isn’t working, or your water has been switched off.

Never miss an important payment again by setting up an alert in a Google calendar. You will then receive a notification to pay a bill to help keep track of your finances.

Streamline Your Amazon Listings

Do you sell products through Amazon? If so, you can increase both your presence and selling power with Amazon market integration software. It allows you to manage both domestic and international accounts, so you can easily fulfill your customers’ orders to their exact specifications. You can also manage both your availability and pricing to maximize your cash flow. Visit sellercloud.com to learn more about the powerful platform that can increase your finances.

Go Paperless

Companies can often be guilty of holding onto unnecessary paperwork. By doing so, they can over complicate their filing systems. Organize your finances by keeping only the documents and statements you need and then shred the rest. You also should keep transactions and contracts in the cloud if possible and go paperless so that you can access them at any point and on any device.

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