Starting Up a Small Business Concerns

Volatility
 
In a previous article I dug a bit deeper into small business volatility but it is worth mentioning again especially in the context of getting a business started. Small business exists because large business has carved out a method to meeting the needs that doesn’t reach everyone in a market place. In other words small business is small business because large business has deemed the pursuit of such market places not worth the effort. Large businesses seek opportunities that exist in well-established mature markets. These would be markets that yield smaller margins but are also less volatile. Consequently this leaves the more dynamic and volatile markets for the small businesses. This is part of why small businesses don’t last long, they compete in an ever changing market place.
 
So, what does this mean for you? It means that the opportunities that will exist for you and the business you aspire to open will be opportunities that require quality and custom solutions quickly. This also means there will be a good deal of work involved in order to gain market share for you niche. Abandon any idea of providing a single product or service, you will need to diversify your products/service, customers, and possibly industries. To combat the ebb and flow of the small market place you will need diversify all aspects of your company.
 
Alignment
 
Ok, now that you understand a little about the realities of the small business market place the next thing to look into is how well your potential business aligns with who you are. In the beginning stages of a business the founder is the business and the business is the founder. To offer the most value the business should be the embodiment of you and you should be the embodiment of the business. The realization of a single opportunity should not be the only deciding metric for starting a business. As an example; A few years ago I had the opportunity to start a frozen yogurt shop in my town that would have been modeled after a profitable model that was doing well in other cities. I did my homework and found that for $40,000.00 I could have everything I needed to open the doors and start selling yogurt. I decided against it for two reasons, 1. I live in a four season’s area and I did not want to have a feast or famine demand and 2. I am not that crazy about yogurt. Now, the opportunity was there, and since then many of these shops have opened, but I didn’t want to invest 80 hours a week into a frozen yogurt business.
 
Market Positioning
 
So you have an idea that aligns with who you are, and you have come to understand the nature of the small business market place, how are you going to position your product or service? How are you going to meet the needs of the customer? The answer is somewhat laid out above, but because of the nature of the small business market place you will need to become a high quality, quick turnaround company. Small businesses have the advantage in small volume custom areas. Your competitive advantage will be your ability to cater to the specific needs of your customer. As a small business you have no business competing on price.
 
Margin
 
You are your business, and chances are you do not have much capital behind you. This means that achieving a positive cash flow situation as quickly as possible is key. Cash is king and without it you don’t have a business. The upside is small volume high quality work demands top dollar. That’s right, by being a small business you are competing in a large margin arena. The mark up on your products and services can and should be high. The market will let you know when you are too far out of range, but a healthy profit margin is to be expected with small businesses. Individuals that fail to understand this begin to lower their prices in hopes of gaining some sales but what they don’t realize is they are diluting the market and putting themselves out of business. So, don’t be afraid to charge for your work!
 
Growth Strategy
 
The last thing I will mention for those looking to start a small business is that a growth strategy is imperative. You need to have an idea of where you are going if you ever expect to make it as a business owner. By nature small businesses should only remain small for a while, if you company is not growing it is dying. Markets mature, customer needs mature, and guess what… your business should also be maturing. Knowing where your business is headed will allow you to take the appropriate measures today to set up for tomorrow’s market. A growth strategy can be vague. You don’t need to define every variable, but you should use your intuition to determine where you should position your company.
 
If you are planning on starting a small business understand it is a lot of hard work and there are no rules. There is no one telling you what to and not to do, you will be responsible for your success or your failure. You must be persistent and willing to invest more of yourself than the next guy in line. If it were easy everyone would do it, but because it is demanding there are only a few to compete with.

Benefits of Taking Home-Business Insurance Policy

Home-based business is the popular choice for entrepreneurs who want to do business with small investments. According to National Statistics’ Labour Force Survey, there are 2.43 million people (Q4 2011) in UK who run a business from home. These self-employed home-workers are the fastest growing part of UK workforce, whose number rose by 28.16% over the last decade.Since home-businesses have small capital, they do not involve huge or costly business assets or workforce. However, like any other large or medium sized businesses, home-businesses too are prone to wide range of risks. Regardless of the size, every home-based business needs to get insured to protect the assets and revenues of the business owner. Let us see why and how insuring a home-based business is profitable.Importance of home-business insurance:
Many business owners assume that they do not require a separate insurance for their home-businesses, as they already have a home insurance policy. But, many renters’ or home owners’ insurance policies do not automatically cover a home-business. Even though your home insurance covers contents in the home, it may not extend to your home-office equipment. Similarly, personal auto insurance policy does not cover vehicles used for business purposes.This clearly means that your home-business is lacking protection. Thus, in order to secure it from any unexpected losses, it has to be protected by taking sufficient insurance policy.Benefits of taking home-business insurance:
Now that we know the importance of home-based business insurance, let us look at the benefits one can get by insuring his business.•Claims of negligence: As most of the home-based businesses include companies that offer professional services, such as consultancy advice, design or financial planning, medical or legal advice, a typical home-based insurance policy definitely includes professional indemnity, which protects business owners from the claims of negligence. May it be a piece of flawed advice or a wrong service, it could result in serious legal claims from the clients. In such scenarios having home-business insurance helps the business owner to meet the expenses incurred in defending himself against the claims.•Revenues and assets: Business property such as contents, stock, equipment, vehicles, furniture, electronics, etc., is very important for any company. Any loss or damage to them significantly affects the profits of the business. Hence, by taking home-business insurance, which offers cover against all minor and catastrophic losses, you can safeguard your business assets and revenues from all unforeseeable risks.•Coverage for third party injuries/damages: Another advantage of home-business insurance is the protection it offers against third party injuries/damages because of your business activity. Anything like a bodily injury, property damage or a manufacturing error could result in hefty compensation claims from the injured. Thus, having insurance policy enables you to run your business without the fear of a lawsuit or losing the business in a legal battle. Besides providing compensation costs, the policy also covers legal fees helping you to continue your business without any interruption.•Medical aid and paid leaves for injured employees: This kind of coverage is optional. If your home-business has workers/employees working for your business, then you can include this cover in your policy, which provides employees with medical care and paid leaves if they are hurt on the job. Thus, this policy relieves you from the burden of taking care of employees’ medical expenses and hospital bills.With many home-based businesses showing interest to take insurance policy, insurance companies have come up with various policies. But, in order to get a tailor made policy which suits your needs and business requirements, you need to approach a reliable and reputed insurance brokerage firm. These firms suggest you with the best policy that covers all the risks associated with your home-business, thus allowing you to make a worthy purchase.

Choosing a Construction Trailer Provider – 4 Factors to Consider

Choosing the right company to do business with can sometimes be a tricky proposition as there are many to choose from, and it’s not always clear which would be the best choice. Below are a few of the factors that you should consider when selecting the right provider for your jobsite trailer.The first factor that needs to be considered is the selection and customization options offered by a company. This may seem somewhat obvious, but if a provider does not have the right product to fit your needs then you need to consider moving on and looking at other options. Depending on the length and type of the project, different sizes and layouts in trailers may be needed. Many companies have a wide selection of sizes, amenities, and designs in their mobile trailers. Options for offices that include bathrooms, conference rooms, and private offices are widely available. Often manufacturers are capable of providing a full line of customizable options such as ramps, awnings, stairs, Internet, phone, and fax capabilities.The second thing to be taken into consideration is the deliverability of your construction trailer. Let’s face it, if the trailer isn’t delivered when you need it, or it’s not positioned properly on the site, then the hassle you will face in working around these problems will likely not be worth any other advantages that company may provide. And, if the company is unable to deliver to your area or to your specific construction site, then you will need to find a provider who is better positioned to meet you where you are at, either because they are located locally, or they have a broad reach and are capable of delivering to nearly any location.Customer service is third on the list, but this is another key piece in choosing the right construciton trailer provider. A poor user experience is difficult to recover from, and usually cannot be made up for with low pricing, giant selection, or all the customizable features in the world. It’s likely you have enough to worry about in managing your construction project without trying to ensure that the provider of your office building is doing their job correctly. Although it’s difficult to predict beforehand exactly what your customer service experience with a particular company may be like, it is possible to use a couple of things as predictive factors in determining what you can expect. Of course, one of the best ways to predict future performance is by looking at past performance, and so reading reviews and testimonials written by previous customers can give you a helpful picture of how this company operates. Another way to get a feel for the company’s service model, which you may not have thought about, is to examine their process for handling requests for more information or price quotes. This initial interaction sets the tone that is likely to continue if you were to go further into the process toward securing this company’s services. If a provider is too busy to get back to you within a day or two, or if they do not have an efficient method for handling these type of requests, then you’re probably right to assume that the rest of your interactions will be delayed and/or handled in the same unorganized fashion. On the other hand, fast, friendly, professional handling of your inquiry gives you confidence that things are moving in the right direction in this business relationship.While pricing may seem of primary importance to some, it has taken fourth place on my list because it is difficult to make up for a lack of selection or needed features, poor deliverability, and an unpleasant customer experience with low pricing. Sure, we all like to save, and finding a good deal on a purchase makes us feel good, but a negative experience in any of the other areas completely undermines this small victory. And with a number of well-qualified companies capable of delivering a construction trailer that completely meets your needs, is where you need it when you need it, and provides a wholly pleasant interaction, there is no reason to settle. Don’t be afraid to do a little comparison shopping and find a company that will provide great service and a good rate.Many other minor aspects may come into play in determining which company will be able to provide the best fit. If you keep these four factors in mind when choosing a service provider for your construction trailer I have no doubt that you will get a great deal on a facility that fully meets your needs and holds up to the rigor of serving as the nerve center for your jobsite.