Many people like the idea of working from home, and with that comes the opportunity to work for yourself and still get the benefit of family life. It’s striking that right balance and some people love the opportunities it raises to have the best of everything. Of course, starting an at home business may sound like an easy thing to do, but there is still much to consider. With that in mind, here are some of the things you could consider when starting a business from home. Maybe it will provide you with that inspiration to take that first step yourself.
What’s the business idea?
First of all, you need an idea. If working from home is something you are seriously thinking about then you need to have a clear vision and a plan of direction for exactly what you want to do, how you are going to do and how much you can realistically earn from it. It’s important to think about money early on, because many of us have commitments of bills that we need to adhere to. Leaving your job means you lose that consistency of pay, so ensuring that you don’t have the pressure of earning nothing can help you to steer your business in the right direction. Of course, it doesn’t always happen straight away, so having a buffer saved can take the overwhelming pressure away. Research your idea, look into to domain names and social media handles and ensure that your idea and what you offer is different from direct competition.
How will it get from you to consumer?
You have your idea, you know what you want to do, but how does it get from you to your consumer? This is when we are talking about delivery methods. When you offer a service, it is a little different, but if you are selling a product of some description now is the time to think about packaging, your labelling solutions and postal costs and this will help you when advertising online and through your website. Is it something that could be packaged up in a tube such as wall art or quotes that a printed? Or maybe you need something more box like. A quick search online might help you to identify some of the best places to buy packaging from, and then check out your local post office or courier for postage costs to ensure you get the best deal.
How do you separate your work life from your home life?
Last thing to think about would be your home life and working life and finding the balance between the two. It can be hard to separate those loves when you are working in the same environment so it might be worth trying to create a working area where at least you can walk away from work when you need a break or the time comes to spend time with the family. Maybe a home office or a desk in a specified area could be the way forward. Some people choose to go to further lengths and create offices in their gardens or in lofts or cellars. The options are endless but do what feels right for you to ensure that you separate the life. This is so it doesn’t always feel like you are working.
Let’s hope these tips help you to kick start you at home business.
Want to hire the perfect employee? The more candidates you have to choose from, the better your chances are of finding that ideal candidate. There are lots of ways to expand your pool of candidates. Here are just several ways to encourage more applicants so that you’re more likely to hire the right person for the job.
Advertise employee perks, not just demands
A bad job ad could put off the best jobseekers from applying. Often it’s these applicants that can afford to be picky – they have all the qualifications and experience you need and are looking for a company that sells itself to them. In order to appeal to these candidates, you need to make sure that you highlight the perks of working for your company. This could include benefits such as flexible working hours, bonuses or company-paid healthcare. Avoid solely listing demands from candidates as you could find that this only attracts the most desperate applicants.
Don’t limit yourself to local talent
Don’t always limit yourself to local talent. If someone needs to be able to work within your office, then clearly they need to be within good commuting distance. However, there may be some workers willing to relocate – perhaps even from abroad – that could be perfect for the role. You’ll need to swot up on business immigration law, but it could be worth it for expanding your options. There are also lots of jobs that can be worked remotely. For instance, a web programmer may be able to work from any location in the world and may not necessarily need to be someone based locally.
Think beyond job ad boards
Job ad boards like Indeed are great places to attract applicants – but they’re not the only place. There are many other places in which you can advertise and increase the exposure that your ads get, helping you to receive more applications. This could include advertising in newspapers, advertising on social media, attending job fairs at schools and universities or even placing posters and flyers in strategic places. Trying different forms of job advertising will involve more investment, but it could be worth it if you’re certain hire an employee that serves you well.
Use a recruitment agency
You can hire a recruitment agency to help look for talent. If you use a reliable recruitment agent, you should be able to increase the amount of applications you receive. Recruiters may even be able to handle tasks such as interviews for you to save you time.
Allow enough time
It’s also important that you’re not rushing the recruitment process. The longer you advertise for, the more applications you’ll receive. While you don’t have to advertise for months on end, you should make sure that you’re accepting applications for at least a week. Similarly, you should leave enough time to interview multiple candidates rather than just one or two favourites.
The market for licensed cannabis products is growing at an encouraging rate if that is the line of business that you are thinking of launching into and as is the case with any new venture, you will need to have all the angles covered in order to set off on the right footing.
A good starting point would be to create a checklist of things that you need to organize so that your cannabis business is good to go. This will likely include things such as insurance, and you can find help at charlesriverins.com to guide you on the most affordable options, plus you need to understand all about regulatory and taxation issues.
An industry that lacks clear federal guidance at present
A key point to consider is the fact that the cannabis industry is defined by what can be described as a fragmented regulatory landscape.
The fundamental problem is that federal policy relating to the distribution of cannabis products varies across different state lines. Some states have fully embraced the cannabis industry while others are not so welcoming and regulations reflect that.
It is important that you take the time to familiarize yourself with the regulations and understand clearly what you can and can’t do within your state and when dealing with customers across state lines.
Get your head around the tax rules
The tax rules surrounding the sale and distribution of cannabis products can be quite punitive and restrictive in terms of what you are able to claim in allowable business expenses.
The bottom line is that you should expect to pay a high proportion of taxes in comparison to what you would pay if you were selling a product that was fully legal according to the current tax rules.
It would be a smart move to get professional guidance on the tax rules.
Every business needs to have adequate protection against potential claims and losses and it is especially relevant when you are running a cannabis business.
Insurance for running a cannabis business can be expensive if you don’t get help from a reputable insurer who has knowledge of the industry and how to provide the cover you need in the most cost-effective way.
Licenses and permits
A major expense that you will have to contend with if you intend to launch a cannabis business is the cost of obtaining the relevant licenses and permits that are required.
It depends on what part of the cannabis industry you are going to be trading in when it comes to what licenses you might need to obtain and the cost of obtaining all the necessary permissions will likely represent a significant percentage of your startup costs.
If you intend to cultivate or dispense cannabis products the cost of obtaining the right licenses may even appear prohibitive at first glance, but you might take the view that the opportunities that await you make that investment more justifiable.
If you cover all of these major bases when evaluating your cannabis business plan it should clear the path to open the doors of your business and allow you to focus on building a successful and profitable venture.
When did you last check your business credit score? Most business owners know that a personal credit score is important but many have never given their business score a thought. According to Experian, 59% of small business owners have never checked their commercial credit score. And of those that had, 56% had not checked their score within the past six months. Why? Most people do not know what a credit score is or how it works. And with so many ways to improve your credit score (check out this article by Business Credit Workshop to see one way) it’s worth knowing about.
But why is your business credit score important? Read on to find out what your business credit score can mean for your business and why you should improve it.
If your business, like many others, relies or may become reliant on loans or credit cards to grow or maintain cash flow, a good credit score is essential. Your credit score gives potential lenders an idea of your reliability using past loans/credit, they look at how you have been with previous repayments and how probable it is that you might pay late or if at all.
Using this data credit referencing agencies then generate your score using a number (usually between 0 and 999 but this can vary) which generally falls under different parameters of Poor, Fair and Good. Instead of flat out rejecting your application for credit, Lenders can also set rates and terms based on this information, in these circumstances this will done to mitigate risk factors such as late repayment, however, this is not always ideal as these rates (interest) are most likely to be higher. For this reason, maintaining a good credit score will increase your chances of gaining credit in the future with better rates. But that isn’t the only reason to make sure your business credit score is in good shape. If your business garners work through tenders, a good credit score can give you an edge over competitors.
There are many things that can affect your credit score from previous late repayments to having no credit lines at all. But whatever your rating you need to know how to maintain and improve your score, nothing can boost your score overnight but getting started:
- First thing’s first, if you haven’t already, check your business credit score. There are plenty of services that you can sign up to that will give you an overview of your credit score.
- Keep up to date! Depending on the credit checker you sign up to, you may receive monthly reports straight to your email inbox but it’s worth setting a monthly reminder to check your credit score. Take some time to go through any changes in your score, often finding out the issue means you can take the correct action to improve your score.
- Keep your information up to date. You might be surprised to learn that changes in location or business status can affect your reliability if your information is inconsistent. So keep up to date with customers, suppliers and any business registration companies and any credit rating agencies.
- Not already sharing information with any credit rating agencies? Your company data is important for validating any information on your records.
- If your business is in its early days, it is advised that business owners take a look at their own personal data. When little information is available about start-up businesses, CRA may look to the owner to judge whether they are credit-worthy or not.
- Avoid late invoice payments. Because late payment terms set on invoices are a form of credit, late payments will impact your credit score.
- Collaborate with your suppliers: Suppliers can provide feedback on payment records and share data with CRAs which support your credit score.
- On that note, the financial situation of your customers and suppliers can affect your business, keeping up to date with the circumstances of their credit is important for damage limitation to your business in the event that one of those partners go into administration.
- Ensure your accounts and tax returns are updated on time.
- Limit credit applications or ask for a quote. Whenever you submit an application for credit, that lender does a search on your credit background, each search is then added to your record. Credit lenders usually check to see how many credit searches has been recorded on your record in a certain period of time. Too many searches may indicate that a business is unable to obtain funding which will deter lenders from making a decision in your favour.
So whether you want to secure funding for your business soon or further down the road, getting your credit score in line is the most important step. Even if you don’t plan on seeking loans for your business, keeping your credit score strong is a good idea; if not to secure tenders and contracts for your company, you never know whether you might need a little bit of help in the future.
As we all know, offices come in all shapes and sizes. There are some huge companies that still operate in very basic facilities (or none at all) – and have absolutely no plans of adding anymore glamour to them, despite of their huge revenues.
However, there are also some much smaller companies who have invested heavily in their office space. This isn’t necessarily because they just feel the need to work out of snazzy offices, but it’s quite often related to clients. In other words, if they are regularly inviting clients for meetings, they need an office that is fit for purpose. And, fit to impress them above the competition.
So, how can you achieve this without breaking the bank? Today’s article will now investigate some of the ways you can achieve this.
Show off with digital signage
Once upon a time, companies may have left leaflets and other paper evidence of their achievements in the reception area. Suffice to say, technology has taken this over.
Now, bigger things are almost expected by clients. Digital signage solutions from Cenareo certainly falls into this category and if you can show off your business in the most visual form as soon as a client walks into reception, you’ll have done wonders for their first impressions.
Try not to lead them through the main office space
Admittedly, this next point might be somewhat out of your control. However, if your office space allows, try and have separate areas for meeting clients and the space in which the main bulk of your work occurs.
It can be really awkward for clients to tiptoe through the main office space, with all eyes seemingly on them. Not only that, but this is something that also tends to showcase all of the bad parts of your office. Whether its papers strewn all over the desks, or just general clutter, day-to-day working environments aren’t going to do your image any favors.
Provide them a working area
This will differ between industries, but there can be occasions where clients need to work from your offices.
What’s the worst thing that can happen to them in this regard? Being perched on the end of a desk, like a spare part.
As such, have a designated area for clients to work from. Ideally it will be enclosed, and offer them all of the facilities they would have as if they were working from their usual environment.
Sometimes, it’s just offering convenience
We appreciate that budgets are small, and not everyone is going to be able to afford new desk areas, or digital signage. For those of you who fall into this category, don’t discount the power of convenience. From a client’s perspective, there’s nothing worse than not having access to the regular Wi-Fi, or not being offered a hot drink on arrival. These are tiny tips, that won’t cost you much, but can make the world of difference to a client who is visiting.