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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

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 Entrepreneurship Article

How to Start Your First Manufacturing Business

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.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Tips For Starting A Medical Supplies Business

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.