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Building Your Brand On A Budget

When you are launching a business, you want to launch it as cheaply as possible. You already have a lot to spend out, and when it comes to your branding, you need to think of ways to have it slick and powerful – without a massive spend, or instead of spending just in the right places.

Photo by Pedro Ribeiro on Unsplash

Let’s talk… 

Use What You Have

There is a big temptation when you are starting a business to buy new things to use. Of course, you want new notebooks, branded pens, and glow in the dark ink… things that you feel will put the fire under you and will give you the big juice on the branding and your business. But, resist temptation. Hold back. 

Use what you have at your disposal right now. If you have a mobile phone, you can take photos and make videos. If you have access to the internet, you can create logos and color palettes. Heck, you can even build a virtual team this way too. A limited budget forces you to get creative to go with it. 

Templates Make The World Go Around

So use them! For sure, you want to be a unique and individual company, and you can’t do that with a template… or can you? Wix, Squarespace, Canva, PicMonkey, and https://www.templafy.com/ have some of the most customizable templates on the market. Meaning that you have simple and practical tools and can create a website, social media posts, and all of your business documents in minutes. Small spend, big perks. 

If you are, however, blessed with excellent technical skills, coding, or the affinity for graphic design, then consider this a way to speed up your own process and something that can be tweaked and molded to exactly what you need. 

Exclusive

If people don’t think they can get something, it becomes something they NEED. FOMO will almost always work in your favor. If you can create a sense of need or even one of curiosity, you are going to do better than 99% of other start-ups. 

The option for early adoption, critical access, a waiting list – all entices people. Not showing all of your cards straight away can be a big deal. 

Collaboration

Who you do business with, will dictate who does business with you. For example, if you are a make-up brand, and you are currently working with companies that test on animals – you’re going to feel the force of losing credibility pretty quickly. 

And, will miss out on being endorsed by millions. However, partner with the right animal charity for the right reasons – and you’ll cement your position in the area you really want to be in. 

When you collaborate, you can maximize your brand awareness and your research pretty quickly. Look for a person or a company that has the same ethos and vision as you to maximize the chances of working well together. 

When you don’t have a big budget, that can actually be a more powerful motivator than being able to pay for everything to be done. So use it. 

How Employee Happiness Can Boost Your Company’s Profits

Should you run your own business, the welfare of your employees should be your priority anyway. What kind of a boss would you be if you didn’t care about their happiness levels? Not a very nice one, we are guessing. On both a moral and an ethical level, you need to treat your employees well. 

However, ensuring your employee happiness will also bring about a boost to your company’s profits. How? Well, consider the following. 

How Employee Happiness Can Boost Your Company's Profits - satisfaction survey image
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

#1: They will stick around for longer

The employee turnover rate is high in some businesses. Many people leave within six months of joining a company, and this is often because of an unorganized and poorly handled onboarding process. Others leave because they don’t feel valued. And some employees leave because little is being done in the way of support for any problems they might be having. 

Should you lose an employee, you will have to suffer the expense of the hiring process again. This will obviously dent your profit margin. You also run the risk of losing your best employees, and this could affect your company profits. 

By ensuring your employee happiness, however, you won’t have to suffer losses associated with employee turnover. To care for them, you should:

  • Treat your employees like human beings and not mindless worker drones.
  • Pay attention to any problems they are having and support them accordingly.

#2: Your employees will be more productive

Low morale is the reason why many employees become unproductive. They might turn up to work late, leave work early, and work less efficiently within the working day. These behaviours are often born through resentment for their employer, but they are also caused by the stressed-out state that can interfere with their daily performance. 

When an employee is unproductive, your business will suffer as a consequence. If work isn’t being done, you won’t meet your targets, your customers and clients won’t be happy, and your bottom line will be affected. On the other hand, the happier they are, the more productive they will become. You will then be happier because of the profits they are making for you. 

To ensure your employees are productive, you should:

  • Give them more break times to ensure tiredness doesn’t set in.
  • Support them in their work, so they are able to carry out their jobs efficiently.

#3: The reputation of your business will be positively affected

With a poor reputation, fewer customers will head to your business, the best candidates will look elsewhere for work, and your business won’t have the opportunity to grow. As a result of all of these factors, your business could fail

And what could cause a poor reputation? Your employees! 

  • They might contribute to business review sites after leaving your company and criticize your business.
  • Their poor performance could cause your customers to use those very same review sites.
  • They might complain about your business to their friends and family face-to-face or on social media, and word might then get around about your company.

To secure your business reputation, treat your employees well, as the only word-of-mouth about you that follows should be a positive one! Your profits will surely rise as a reflection of this.

Today then, consider your employees. Are they happy? To ensure your business succeeds, you might want to check in with them to find out more and take the necessary next steps if they are unhappy in any way. Your business will profit if you do. 

Thanks for reading.

Don’t Relax When It’s Time For Tax

Don't relax when it's time for tax - old school photo NY Public library shop window sign
Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

Tax has long been one of the most frustrating aspects of finances for normal people, with this ancient form of bill dating back thousands of years. Of course, there isn’t much wrong with this sort of payment, and countries simply wouldn’t be able to exist without it, but this doesn’t make it any easier for people to take it seriously. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the challenges which can arise when you don’t pay proper attention to your taxes. It doesn’t matter if you work for yourself or have a job with a big company; you should always be on top of this side of your finances.

Overpayments

Making overpayments on your tax is one of the best mistakes you can make with it, as this won’t result in any nasty surprises. Instead, you’re likely to be able to get the money you’ve overpaid back. Some countries will do this automatically, giving you a lump sum once they’ve figured out how much you need to pay. In other cases, though, you may have to file for a refund, and this will mean that you will have had to do some accounting beforehand. Tax return accountants can be used to help with this, giving you the chance to avoid any errors in your initial payment.

Underpayments

It’s far more common that people will pay too little towards their taxes, with the amount they pay failing to reflect the money they’ve earned. While this is easy enough to do, it’s not worth the hassle, as you will often receive a bill from your government which has to be covered very quickly. If you’ve underpaid by a large margin, this can be a fortune, and will be very hard for most people to cover. You can avoid this by using special accounting software throughout the year, or by taking on the support of a company like HFM Tax to make sure that you don’t get anything wrong.

Failing To Pay

Finally, as the last area on this list, it’s time to think about the most severe circumstances you could find yourself in with your taxes; you haven’t paid anything. This can be a horrible spot to be in, with many governments charging large fines when people don’t take the time to file their taxes properly. Of course, if this goes on for many years and you actively avoid paying your taxes, you could find yourself in much more serious trouble. People have been put in prison for this sort of crime, and this is highly likely if many years go by and you don’t have the money to make up for the tax you owe.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of dealing with your taxes. A lot of people struggle with this, finding it difficult to feel comfortable when it comes to tax season. Of course, though, there are plenty of tools and resources out there to help you, and the support of a professional company isn’t too hard to find.

5 Crucial Expenses Founders Need to Budget for

It’s easy to underestimate how expensive starting your own business can be. Building an industry-leading company requires more than just a great idea or plenty of industry passion, you also need the right finances in place to guide your organization towards success. 

While some entrepreneurs assume that they can simply jump in and tackle each expense as and when it arises, the truth is that planning your costs ahead of time is a far better alternative. Not only will your budget give you the guidance you need to make the right decisions on behalf of your business, but it will also make it easier to apply for a loan or seek out funding from investors too. Everyone who might consider giving your business money will want proof that you’ve thought about the future. 

Here are a few of the crucial business expenses that you will have to consider when you’re building your startup budgeting plan. 

5 Crucial Expenses Founders Need to Budget for - startup founder business image
Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels
  • Equipment Costs

Depending on the nature of your business, your equipment costs may be one of the biggest monthly expenses you have to think about. If you’re running a conventional business, like a brick-and-mortar retail store, or a restaurant, your equipment could include everything from point of sale systems to ovens, refrigerators, storage rooms, and more. 

Even if you’re just running a basic online business from the comfort of your own home, there are still equipment expenses to consider. For instance, you might need a computer that you can use to complete your work each day, a printer for your invoices, and a phone that you can use to make long-distance calls. Remember, you can always save some extra cash on equipment by checking out second-hand options.

  • Supplies and Inventory

Next, you’ll need to pay for the materials required to create the products that you’re going to sell. It will be up to you to figure out how much inventory you need to have on-hand at any given moment. However, remember that an absence of inventory could mean that your customers go elsewhere if you can’t deliver what they need straight away. 

Do your research before you begin building your products, so you can determine exactly what kind of products and materials you need. Don’t be afraid to shop around until you find the supplier that gives you the best deal too! If you need somewhere to store your products, take that warehousing cost into account too. 

  • Human Resources

Although it’s becoming a lot easier for entrepreneurs to launch businesses without any outside assistance today, there are companies that you won’t be able to run on your own. You may need the help of a team of dedicated sales assistants to ensure that you can properly serve your target audience. On the other hand, you might just need a few dedicated specialists to help you out at a few times of the year-  such as an accountant or marketing professional. 

Don’t forget that you can reduce some of your HR costs by considering things like remote working today. Working with contractors over the internet means that you don’t have to pay for physical office space where your team members can work. 

  • Legal Fees

There’s more to keeping your business’s head above water legally than paying for an attorney when someone tries to take you to court. You’ll also have fees to consider when it comes to things like incorporating your company or setting up retainers. Make sure that you know exactly how much it’s going to cost to get your business off the ground, then keep it up and running. 

To protect yourself from overly excessive legal fees, don’t forget to invest in the right business insurance too. You might need to take to a business advisor for insights into the kind of insurance that you need for your type of company. Not every kind of coverage will be relevant to you. 

  • Marketing

Finally, if you want your business to grow, then you’re going to need to set some extra money aside for capturing your audience’s attention. Startup founders need to budget at least some of their cash aside for things like social media marketing, email marketing, website development, and so on. 

The good news is that marketing doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Even some basic investment into social media can be enough to start generating real engagement from your target audience. You can always invest more cash into marketing as your business grows. 

Explaining Business To Kids

Owning a business can be confusing at the best of times, it can be overwhelming at times even for adults, so if we are going to raise a generation of incredible business people, who have all the skills they need to hit the ground running, we need to help them understand exactly what business is and how to manage their money effectively. So how exactly do we help small children understand all about business?

Explaining business to kids - entrepreneurship and family image of young girl at a desk
Photo by pan xiaozhen on Unsplash

Maths

A lot of children may hear the word business and automatically assume it’s all about the numbers and money, and since a lot of children don’t particularly enjoy maths it can be off-putting, but it’s essential to make sure children are enthusiastic about trying business. Many teens are making money currently from using their entrepreneurial skills already, so there’s nothing to say the smaller children can’t start learning the ropes as well, and as long as they know there are tools like corporation tax calculators to help with the tricky finance moments, then there will be less fear around business and what it entails. 

Roleplay

There’s a little bit more about playing ‘shopkeeper’ than having fun and spending £4675674 on a tomato. It teaches kids the very basics of business, it teaches them some skills surrounding sales, and it boosts their communication skills. The next time the pretend shop comes out why not show them how to put a little bit of savings aside for tax and make sure they know their objection handling skills too! Why not help them type a mini CV while you’re at it? 

Do what you love

Encouraging children to try everything they can and find the thing they love the most is a surefire way to put a child on the right path to success, business usually starts with a love for something or a passion, and often that ‘thing’ can be discovered as a child which saves a lot of time and energy later down the line. Of course, there’s no pressure, let them learn and discover new things at their own pace. But It’s also great fun and confidence-building to try new things out! 

Online Marketing

This is a big one, children must know about advertising and the many forms that it takes in 2019, most Youtube videos children watch these days will be making money for a brand or sponsored one way or another, so it’s great for kids to know what they are viewing may not always be as natural as they think, and that companies make a lot of money from toys sold via videos and adverts. It’s also helpful to show kids how that works in business as well, it gives them an insight into marketing, and depending on their age, it helps with realistic expectations too! 

Whichever way you decide to introduce business and how it works to your kids it’s essential to keep it light and age-appropriate, kids don’t need to know about the ins and outs of every detail in business, but they can certainly show an interest and get a good insight from an early age.