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What Are The Advantages Of Operating As A Sole Trader?

Setting up a new business is going to require you to make a number of important decisions, but the very first one has to be how you’re going to run that business. In other words, will you run it as a sole trader, or will you be a limited company? Although both will have their pros and cons, being a sole trader has some advantages that are hard to ignore; read on to find out what they are so you can make an informed decision and then move on to other things.

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Control 

As a sole trader, you are going to have complete control of your business. You’ll be the one making all the decisions and you won’t have to involve anyone else in that decision-making (unless you want to, that is. Sometimes being able to gain advice from those in the know like Barr Rosenberg when it comes to business finance can be very useful indeed). This ‘keeping control’ can be a big reason why a lot of people choose to take the path of sole trader rather than anything else. 

More Personal

Sole traders also tend to have a more personal relationship with their customers. This is something that can drive people to choose to use a sole trader, a smaller business, rather than a larger limited one that can often seem faceless and corporate. The personal touch means a lot, and if it’s the difference between a sale or not, then it’s worth considering. Being a sole trader essentially means you can get closer to the ground when you’re working, and by doing this, you’re showing your customers you’re just like them. 

Easier To Start 

Starting a limited company is not a difficult thing to do, but when you compare it to starting a sole trader type of business, it is more complicated and it will take more time. It can even cost more. For example, a sole trader won’t have to register their business with Companies House (although they will still have to register as being self-employed) and you won’t have to fill in any long, official forms which can be tedious and, if you make a mistake, can cost you time, effort, and money. 

Fewer Regulations 

Sole traders are always subject to fewer regulations and have fewer legal requirements they have to meet. Altogether, as well as meaning that you are much less likely to accidentally fall foul of the law, you will also have less paperwork to do, and when you’re running a small business and trying to grow it, this can only be a good thing; who has time for lots of paperwork? 

More Privacy 

When you run a limited company, there isn’t much privacy around. You have to file all your accounts which can then be looked over by the public if that’s what the public wants to do. This can be uncomfortable, whether you’ve made a nice profit or you’ve suffered a loss. As a sole trader, your accounts are private and no one need ever know if you’ve been making money or not. No one apart from HMRC, that is, of course. On top of that, your personal details will stay private too; the same can’t be said of a limited company director. 

Why Knowledge Is Power In Business

The saying ‘knowledge is power’ is one that is proffered up plenty, but for those who are just starting out, entrepreneurs who are coming to the idea of business later in life, perhaps, the idea that knowledge is power can be a confusing one. When you think about it carefully though, it does make sense; the more you know, the better you can be at running your business, and the more you can grow that business in the future. But there is more to the idea than this simplistic explanation; read on to find out what we mean.

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Knowledge Removes Fear 

Starting a business is not easy, and it can bring with it a lot of worry, stress, even fear. This is perfectly normal, of course, especially if you’ve never done anything like it before. Most of the time, the excitement of what you are doing will help to counteract at least some of the worries, and with a good plan in place to launch and build your business, that fear will eventually disappear. 

The problem is that the longer that fear stays, the less likely it is you’ll want to build your business as you’ll be happier staying at the level you are. The longer that fear stays, the less likely it will be that you want to try anything new which would have the potential for great success. Fear holds you back, so you’ll want to reduce it or eliminate it as quickly as possible.

Knowledge will allow you to do this. If you are knowledgeable about marketing, you’ll be more confident in creating a marketing campaign that will bring you more customers. If you are knowledgeable about your target market, you’ll be more confident in trying new products that you know they will like. If you are knowledgeable in easy restaurant accounting, then you can see exactly how much profit you’re making and decide on what to do next thanks to those figures. The list is endless, and some online study, a night-class, or simply reading up on the subject can be all it takes to give you the knowledge you’re looking for. 

Knowledge Brings Confidence 

To run a business successfully, you need to be confident in what you are doing. This relates not just to the products and services you are selling, but to the way you are running the business overall as well. 

The more knowledge you have about how your business works, the more motivated you will be to let others know, and the more confidence you will have in what you are saying. Therefore, even if you outsource some elements of your business, or you have employees who carry out some of the tasks, it is wise to learn as much as you can about the jobs that you don’t do as well as the ones you do. When you do that, you can truly position yourself as an expert in your field, showing any potential customers or clients that you know exactly what you are talking about and that you are the one they should come to for advice (and purchases). 

Knowledge Gives You Opportunities 

When you run a business, you must always be on the lookout for opportunities for growth and expansion. Whether it’s a new product to the market that you can start selling before your competitors (perhaps even becoming the exclusive license holder), a business partner who can help boost the business or a new method of marketing that is going to help you find the right people to sell to, you must constantly be aware of what is happening and what new ideas are coming your way. 

This requires knowledge. If you don’t have knowledge, you won’t know which opportunities are going to be right for you and your business. If you don’t have knowledge, you might not even spot those opportunities at all because you just won’t know what to look out for. The more you know, the easier it will be to see new ideas and new paths to take. 

Conclusion 

It’s clear that knowledge is, indeed, power in business. Having knowledge about your own business and about the business world in general is going to help you become much more successful and, ultimately, happier. 

Knowledge is something that can be gained in many forms, and applying to take a degree might work for one person whereas listening to lectures from an expert in the industry might be better for others. Once you know the best way for you to gain knowledge you can really start to make a difference in your life. 

How To Effectively Market Your Business During The Pandemic

The pandemic has hit businesses hard all over the world since coronavirus reared its ugly head, and millions of businesses have been forced to close. Subsequently, millions more jobs have been lost because of this, causing financial despair all over the world. However, some businesses have managed to make it this far, and if you’re one of the lucky, then you’ll be looking for effective ways to ensure that your business survives this pandemic. Here are some tried and tested tips on how to effectively market your business during the pandemic.

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Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile from Pexels

Understand how to effectively reach your target audience

We all know that there’s a diverse range of people using social media in this day and age, but not everyone does, and it’s important to remember that. If your target audience is the elderly, for example, you may struggle to hit your demographic through social media as much as you’d like. Instead, opt for mediums of marketing such as adverts in magazines, newspapers and television adverts so that you can reach your target more effectively. Conduct research on your target audience so that you can choose the most effective medium of reaching them.

Save time with a marketing agency

Effective marketing takes a lot of time and effort, and if you’re busy with other operations in your business, you simply might not have the time to do it. However, you can use a digital marketing agency such as Herdl for many of your marketing needs such as SEO, website design, hosting, and email marketing. After all, if you’re going to do something right, it’s best left to the professionals! While hiring a marketing agency might be an investment, it’s one you should seriously consider to help improve your business’ visibility.

Take to social media…

Social media is the easiest, fastest, and most cost-effective method of reaching many people in one go. Create stunning graphics and videos that show what your business has to offer, and post them on all of your social media platforms on a regular basis. You should also include a link back to your website so that it’s easy for potential customers to head straight to the product they’re after. You should also do some hashtag research to ensure you’re going to hit the right people with your content. Remember when posting anything on social media to stick to your brand image so that your business becomes recognisable through colour schemes, fonts, imagery and your logo. You’ll thank yourself in the future!

…and through that use influencers to raise brand awareness

Finally, influencers are more powerful than you think, and could be extremely valuable to your business. Reach out to influencers in your industry to see if they’d be willing to review your products or services in return for a review on their social media platforms. Their followers will naturally click through and buy your products! You may have to pay an influencer too, depending on their following, but it’s an investment that will eventually pay for itself through the sales you make.

4 Tips For Helping Your Business Thrive

Your business is a significant investment of your time and money. If you’re tired of being viewed as mediocre and performing below your potential, then now is the time to implement changes that will turn your situation around for the better.

The following tips will help your business thrive through the ups and downs and get on a path that’s sustainable and rewarding. Let today be the day you take a good look at your goals and how your business is doing overall and commit to making adjustments to your approach. No longer will you have to sit and stress about succeeding because you’ll be well on your way to making this a reality at your workplace.  

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1. Understand & Organize Your Finances

You can ensure your business thrives by understanding and organizing your finances. It would help if you had a clear picture of what money you have coming in and your expenses. Set and follow strict budgets and review your sales numbers to know where you stand and if you need to implement cost-cutting measures. Separate your business and personal finances and enlist the help of a professional if you need assistance with your taxes or bookkeeping tasks. It’s better to have it done right then to encounter errors and surprises.

2. Offer Better Client Service

One tip that will bring about positive changes if done right is your customer service. Offer better and improved client service, so your customers are satisfied and willing to leave you positive reviews online. You’ll be able to build trust in your brand and, in turn, win over more consumers. Set yourself up for success by offering more ways and outlets for customers to get in touch. Check out the best chat room software for website as one solution you may want to try. Many people want answers quickly and want to use online means to do so. Therefore, be prepared to answer their call by setting up this option for them.

3. Communicate Effectively

Poor and lack of communication can be detrimental to your business and how you operate. You and your employees and even your customers must be all on the same page. Commit to communicating effectively by being clear and concise in your delivery. Understand how to prepare emails professionally and hold in-person meetings that are productive and not a waste of time. Delegate appropriately to take some of the work and to-dos off your plate and keep your employees engaged and challenged at work.

4. Monitor Results

Your business will have a better chance of thriving through good and bad times when you monitor your results. It’s vital you have metrics in place and can closely track how you’re performing in cases of client service and marketing, for example. You want to know that your time is being well spent and you have the right resources in place for achieving your goals. Monitor results, so you understand in what areas you’re excelling and what areas you need to pay more attention to and make changes. 

Bad At Sales Or Selling The Wrong Product?

It’s all too easy to get the feeling that you’re bad at something like sales. It can take a long time to develop the ability to sell things consistently, with some people finding this process much harder than others. Unfortunately, though, many people make the same mistake from the very beginning; they try to sell something they can’t make themselves feel passionate about. To help you out with this, this article will be exploring some of the steps you will need to take if you’re going to be successful selling something you love.

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Finding Something You Love

There is a huge market for handmade products around the web, with sites like Etsy providing an excellent platform to sell items that you’ve created from scratch. A lot of people have creative hobbies or pursuits in their lives, providing the perfect opportunity to start making something that can be sold. It’s worth having a look around for some inspiration when you’re taking this approach, ensuring that you’re not choosing something that can be made much cheaper on a commercial scale.

Of course, not all hobbies and interests result in something that can be sold. In this case, you may need to think about the objects and products that can surround the interest in other ways. For example, if you love rock climbing, you could think about selling books and other resources that surround this topic. It can be a challenge to find exactly what you want to sell, but you should know when you feel excited enough to achieve big things with your efforts. Finding something you love can be an excellent way to improve your ability to sell things.

Doing Some Learning

There will always be a bit of a learning curve when it comes to selling, even for people who seem to be complete naturals. For example, you’re going to need to figure out how to talk to people when you want them to buy something from you. There are several different levels to this, with those who sell face to face usually having the waisest time. Selling online or over the phone can be trickier, as you can’t rely on facial expressions to make yourself feel friendly. Thankfully, there are loads of guides around the web that can help with this.

Alongside learning how to talk to potential customers, it will also be very helpful to learn about the methods and techniques used with your specific product area. There could be laws that prevent certain sales tactics, and this is something you need to learn about before you dive right in. Learning how to become an antiques dealer, for example, will involve building an understanding of how auctions work, while also developing a keen sense for a good deal.

Depending on the type of selling you’re going to be doing, you may also need to think about marketing as you go through this process. Marketing a physical business isn’t always necessary, but those operating online will have to put a lot of work into this side of their company. Social media, SEO, and adverts all work together to improve your chances of making sales. This can be a difficult job, and is an element of sales that most people aren’t used to, making it crucial that you do some learning before you start.

Use The Right Tools

Finally, as the last area to consider, it’s time to think about the tools you’re going to be using for this work. As mentioned above, Etsy is a great place to sell products that you have made yourself. There are loads of private sellers on websites like this, and the whole platform is geared towards this kind of creativity. This means that there are loads of options available that can help you to sell more. 

For those selling other products online, it makes a lot of sense to be diverse with the platforms you use. Having your own website will be great, but it could take years before you’re able to dominate searches with it. To start with, you’re far more likely to make money through a platform like eBay or Amazon. 

Selling something is rarely easy, and a lot of people have struggled with work like this throughout history. While this can make it all the more daunting, it also means that there are loads of resources available that can help you to improve your ability to sell. This is only getting easier to manage as time goes on.