10 tips to the top of your career

10 tips to the top of your career

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1.Enjoy it – or why are you bothering?

Enjoy what you do – you don’t have to love your job right away, it’s merely a stepping-stone to where you’re heading after all, but find something about it that you enjoy and work at that every day.

Staying positive will keep you working harder for longer, and being positive is a psychological must. Your subconscious will try and talk you out of so many parts of what you have to achieve. It wants to do this in order to protect you from the fear of failure. So work positive – if you look the part, and feel the part, then you’ll play the part and become the part. You will convince your subconscious brain that this is the real you and in time it will believe that it’s real too.

If you’re not enjoying your job or its challenges then turning up to a job you hate will kill any chance of progression. It’s important to focus on the big goals and how you’re going to achieve them; but the smaller day-to-day battles are important learning opportunities so use them as such and tick each of them off as you climb the ladder.

2. Plan

Consider your career and appraise yourself and your path regularly. Are you winning? Do you still want the same end goals? Is it as important to you as it always was? Use this information to revaluate and decide whether to stick with your chosen path, amend it, or pick a new one better suited to your redefined needs.

Remember what it is that you’re trying to improve in life by climbing the career ladder. The top job isn’t always the end goal; it’s what it adds to your life. It’s only one part of becoming the complete person you strive to be.

Checking your facts are airtight and getting feedback will make you look like a team player and someone interested in details. Accept criticism graciously and turn it into an opportunity to show everyone around you that you’re the person who can always turn negatives into result attaining positives.

It also makes great sense to research how others in your field already rose to the top. Learn from their accomplishments and their mistakes. There’s a true advantage to following a path someone has already taken. It will show you the pitfalls are and how you can avoid them.

3. Continually educate yourself

If you can, utilise a mentor. Always be on the lookout to learn from others. Anyone higher up the ladder will have learnt so much more about the system you’re operating in and will have a greater understanding already. Use them to learn from and to speed up your progress. Listen to their recommendations and show them you’ve acted upon them; you’ll earn respect by doing so and admiration for your new skillsets such as Driver CPC Periodic Training in Scotland.

Alternatively, it can help to offer mentoring too. Sharing skillsets opens doors to different opinions and alternate methods. You’ll learn a lot about working with people, building relationships, how to get the most from others by forging healthy relationships as opposed to running a dictatorship. Your network will grow by being everyone’s go to or friendly face in business – it’s people who open doors after all.

Take time to learn about your market, its audience, your customers and more. Don’t get blindsided by the love you hold for your concept or product but on how you’re going to turn it into a profitable business – concentrate on profit; how the money will come in, where from, and how to maximise profit.

Always keep a watchful eye on new technologies or systems that can save you time and money. We live in a world where technology is king. From cash flow and finance to productivity and project management. Strive to find more efficient ways to perform existing tasks and you can spend the time you’ve saved developing other important areas (or on the golf course!).

Keep an evolving list of goals for your career or business. If you always do the same thing you’ll always get the same results. Educate yourself. Look for new methods, new products, new ways of moving forward in everything you do and you’ll open new doors to new results, greater achievements and further successes. Learn about yourself as much as your industry or marketplace. The more you can achieve, the greater your skills and understanding, the easier your path will be.

4. Don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone

Say yes as much as you can. Saying yes will open new doors that you can always close at a later date if you choose to. Yes is a magical word. Keep using it.

It’s not always going to be easy, in fact, rarely so, so use the failures and fall-outs as a chance to prove yourself and gain a better reputation in spite of them. A lot of career opportunities come about by people who are smart enough to clear up someone else’s messes.

Be heard, be brave, and be your best self. Don’t hide from being noticed however low in confidence you feel, but make sure if you’re going to interject or add to a situation then make sure it’s thought through, concise and relevant. Doing this face-to-face is worth way more than adding thoughts via email, in a group discussion online or in a network or project management app. Face to face is the best way to stand out and be noticed. It’s how we make relationships that will help you climb your ladder.

5. Stay positive

Even if your confidence isn’t as high as you’d like, be persistent and enthusiastic. You can learn new talents in time and you’ll get there faster by working hard. Your drive is a must – new skills can come in time. It will be your tenacity that gets you there in the shortest amount of time. Never give up.

6. Believe

Affirmations, mantras, mindfulness, meditation and more are all psychological tools are that are available to boost self-belief and are all proven to help. Pick the ones you feel will work for you but make sure you give them a proper chance to work. It takes time to establish new healthy brain patterns in order to overcome the old negative traits your subconscious once structured your life by.

Remember – fake it until you make it. Your body language and how you present yourself is the version of you everyone else sees. What’s happening under the surface is your business alone. Walk tall. Talk confidently. Be the noise you want to make. And learn to hear no without it killing your enthusiasm or your passion.

7. Network

Find ways to continually build bridges – network with people everywhere. See everyone you meet as a new opportunity to learn and to show them how great your assistance will be to them. Make sure they remember you and when the time comes for the pay-off you’ll be on the list of people they call.

8. Prioritise

Time management is key. You can often get side-tracked by the wrong tasks. Don’t waste valuable time on something that isn’t as important as the big things on your list just because they’re easier. Consider your goals. Manage your projects by evaluation of task relating to productivity and results. Prioritise always.

Working smarter is so much more effective than working harder. Take a step away from what you’re doing to consider the best way to accomplish it instead of just diving in headfirst and doing it the same way you always did it before.

9. Play to your strengths

Whatever you’re great at, use it. By doing what you’re best at you will soon become an expert in front of everyone else.

You can use your weaknesses to highlight different strengths too. By outsourcing tasks to those who will do a better job of them will leave you to get on with what you do best. People management and project management are two skillsets that are really important to productivity; so if you can, then do, and if you can’t, find someone who does, and let them perform the task and make it shine for you.

10. Make it happen

Always do what you say you’re going to do – from the smallest of actions to the greatest goals.

There will be times of course when this is impossible. In those situations make sure to communicate clearly and in good time to see if you can move the goalposts before an inevitable failure. Creating a fresh plan from a problem situation makes you a problem solver instead of a failure. Give everything you take on a chance to be a winning situation.

Just don’t be the person who gets judged for never living up to their word. Your word is your reputation; so make sure you always make it count.

Knowledge in Loss: Why Do Most Startups Fail?

Knowledge in Loss: Why Do Most Startups Fail?

In the recent years, there have been a lot of small businesses or startups that have been launched. While things looked okay, as a few months went by, they had no choice to pack up and close down. Why is that?

There are a variety of reasons why most startups fail. In our experience, here are some of the most common reasons why:

No Existing Market

In order for a business to survive and obtain profit, they need to have a market that is willing to patronize their services or products. A lot of the time people who want to start their business have an idea that they think is a good idea but do not realize that they need to have a consistent market need for their product.

As a result, after the initial novelty of their startup, they find themselves struggling to pull in customers.

Bad Fiscal Management

Money always matters in the world of business. It takes a lot of money to start a business and takes even more to keep it around. In order to maintain operations, there needs to be a suitable influx of finances AND proper disbursement of funds.

If the one handling the funds isn’t directing the money to where it should be going, the rest of the business will be going belly up sooner rather than later.

Working With the Wrong People

A common issue that most people have with their startups is finding the right people and actually keeping the wrong sort of people around because of some misplaced sense of companionship. When it comes to a business, you should not let your sentimentality override your judgment.

While it is not good to be so cavalier about hiring and dismissing people, you need to look at the bigger picture. Those with failed startups only considered the day to day engagements with their people to see what larger effects were happening because of these people who were the wrong fit for the business.

Conclusion

If you are a startup yourself, you need to be well aware of the pitfalls that may have succumbed to. This will help you navigate through the rough waters and wean out the things that you don’t need. If your business is going to make it, you need to be able to understand how you can rise above the rest of the pack.

In your area, why do most of the startups fail there?

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Top Tips for Organising Your First Business Event

Top Tips for Organising Your First Business Event

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Whether you have been trading for some time or are just starting out as a small fish in a very big pond, there’s plenty of reasons as to why hosting an event may be the key to your future success.  Business events are a great way to not only network with people in your industry and to make important connections, but are also critical in helping you gauge public opinion on your brand and/or product line.  But the crucial question is – where do you start when it comes to hosting that perfect first event?  What are some of the important points to consider when it comes to creating that all-important first impression on such a broad scale?  Here are a few things you should bear in mind before you get started.

Stock Up on Promotional Items

A well-organised and positive event experience will likely live on in fond memory for many people – but an effective way to really make those memories last, and to ensure that your brand and products sustain the maximum recall factor, is to share a few promotional gifts with your guests.  Stationery such as notepads, calendars, pens and the like may not seem too exciting – but they’re a great way to mark your event, and whether you give them out at the start or at the finish, if you brand items that are likely to be used by your recipients on a regular basis, they’ll remember you and your event each and every time they do so.

Simplify Your Introductions

Getting to know people is what good networking and business events should be all about – and you can make it a whole lot easier with clear, effective photo ID cards and lanyards that tell your guests exactly who you are, what you do and who you work for. Digital ID have a great range of options available when it comes to professional ID card printing and making sure that your personnel is readily badged and set to meet your public is absolutely crucial.

Pick the Right Venue

This is inarguably one of the first steps you should be taking when setting up an event of any kind – think about your event surroundings carefully.  You’re likely to want to create an intimate setting if it’s your first event – perhaps nothing too grandiose nor too empty – but you don’t want people to be short on elbow room, either!  Consider the type of venue that fits your brand the best – and the people you’re set to host – and do always consider parking availability, as this will make or break whether or not some guests will be able to attend at all.

Budget Carefully

Once again, this perhaps goes without saying, but if it’s your first event, and it’s virgin territory, you should be extra careful with overhead costs.  Consider exactly what you need from your event – do you need to dress your venue?  Are you hiring any entertainment for the evening?  How much will catering and bar rental cost?  Before you make any phone calls – unless it is to obtain quotes ahead of time – you should have a clear and concise budget mapped out and ready to go.

Go All-Out

You may be tempted to follow one or two event ‘templates’ if it’s your first time hosting, but the bottom line is that your guests and potential clients are going to recall your event and products less if you put on a show that’s like every other.  Don’t make it all about jargon and facts and figures.  Keep things light-hearted – offer attendees a change of pace, a lighter feel to business events that may surprise them – of course, you should always keep a certain level of formality, but the message remains the same – go a little left-field without losing your message or ethos and you’ll impact very positively upon the people you’ve invited.

Ask for Feedback

Yes – even if you’re worried that your event didn’t go exactly as you’d hoped, it’s essential that you approach your guests after everything has come to pass.  Not only will this give you an opportunity to pick up some pointers for your next function, it’ll also help you understand what worked brilliantly – all feedback is good feedback, generally, and it’s essential for growth.  Email your attendees after the function with a short questionnaire or give them the opportunity to share their thoughts – you can then use general consensus to shape all future functions you might hold.

PPC Tips to Writing Strong Text Ads

PPC Tips to Writing Strong Text Ads

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All the dimensions of your PPC campaign are vital to defining your brand’s success in the digital world, yet a few variables have a higher bearing as compared to others. Your PPC advertisement is usually the first touchpoint between your consumer and your brand.

Hence, its first impression must be impeccable and resonate with him. It must appeal to his attention, convey your brand message effectively and get relevant visitors to click on the ad. As the Digital Marketing Manager, you have to achieve all this within format limitations such as the number of permitted characters and such.

With this in mind, here are a few top tips shared by Summon Digital who are one of London’s leading PPC agencies.

  1. Call to Action

The first thing you must do when writing a PPC text ad is to include a call to action within your advertisement. Keep it in line with the objective of your PPC campaign and clearly state what action your target customer is to undertake. Facilitate your prospect by including links, call-to-action buttons or contact forms. Another effective way is to offer free information downloads, free appointments or trial product periods.

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  1. Keyword Header

If you are familiar with the art and science of search engine optimisation, then you may already be familiar with the importance of placing strategic keywords in the header as well as in the first two lines of your PPC text ad.  Remember you must differentiate between the keyword you are bidding on and the search word an internet user types in and is dependent on matching it with AdWords choices. When you add your selected keyword in your ad’s headline, the click through ratio tends to be higher.

  1. Direct Client Feedback

If you are taking on a new client and have to write PPC text ads for them, we recommend that you share a client form with them. Ultimately, this is a questionnaire that will allow you to get to know their commercial venture and brand better.

Request them to fill it out themselves and not copy paste any pre-existing content (such as from their website, brochures etc). When a client takes the time to describe their brand and services himself, it gives you a clear insight into the brand’s positioning as well as marketing goals.

Before writing the PPC ads, scrutinise his terms comprehensively and take out relative phrases for the message within your advertisement itself.

  1. Incredible Offer

To truly attract your target market and to get to click on your ad, you must have an amazing offer that will reel him in. Are you a homebased baker offering free samples? Include that in the text of your ad.

  1. Customer Mindset

Try to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. How does your brand or product provide a benefit and solution to him? What are the issues he is facing? What kind of information would he require about your product before he can make a decision to try it? Thinking from your client’s mindset will help you fabricate an effective PPC text advertisement.

  1. Tone of Voice

Picking up from the preceding tip, the tone of voice of your ad needs to speak to the customer. Thus, you may consider incorporating a conversational, “you”-oriented style of writing. When following this school of writing, you will restrict the usage of words such as “we” and “us.” Such applications can make or break your text based PPC advertisement headline.

  1. Stronger than Your Rivals

Competition is a powerful force that can shift the demand curve to any side. Depending on your field, it is highly likely that there are an infinite number of substitutes for your particular brand and any factor can persuade your target customer to incline towards another product.

You want to avoid this at all costs. How can you do this? Simple. Outline any distinct benefits that your product has as compared to its rivals in the market. Monitor your competition regularly and do your research frequently. See what your rivals are up to- what strategies are they incorporating?

What markets are attempting to penetrate? Is there something that you can pick up or learn from them? You never know and that’s why it is critical to stay on top of your competition.

  1. The Big Picture

Note that it is imperative to think broadly when you compose your copy. Brainstorm in advance and share ideas with your customer from before as to what content route you are considering embarking upon for his PPC campaign. If there is anything he doesn’t like, he can tell you then and there and save you time from constantly having to start from scratch. Feel free to repeat your message within your ad but use it with engaging action verbs.

  1. Proofread

If you are the brains behind the PPC text ad (including copy and concept), then get a fresh pair of eyes to review and proofread your advertisement before you send it off to your customer for final approval. If you want to get more than one proof-reader, go for it as there is no harm in having more than one set of eyes evaluate it.

  1. Awesome Headlines

Your headline is going to be everything. So, make sure you spend a bit of time on it and incorporate your chosen keyword as selected earlier. For paid search queries, headlines are critical. Yes, your URL, your description, and ad extensions will ad value to it, but it is the headline that truly makes a difference in a visitor’s decision to whether click on your PPC ad or not.

  1. Test Away

It is a bit of an effort but will have substantial results: create two or three different versions of your PPC text-based advertisements so you can test them and see which one yields the best outcome. This is a recommended practice from the search engine giant Google itself and we agree with it!

Creating a marketing plan on a minimal budget

Creating a marketing plan on a minimal budget


The marketing world is awash with high-cost options for putting your product or service in front of potential customers – but what happens when money’s tight?

The reality is, money is tight for many businesses – but that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace buy into a decent marketing strategy. In fact, having a limit on your spending can take you down some less-trodden but still very effective paths.

We’ll walk you through some excellent marketing options you can explore, even if there’s nothing in the bank…

Where are you now?

Before you begin batting ideas around your office, it’s important to define what you do – and how that compares to other providers in your marketplace. What’s makes you good, what are your weaknesses, what gives you the edge?

Without some definition about who you are as a company, you’re going to be stepping into a marketplace that can quickly take up enormous amounts of time for very little reward.

Who’s your target audience?

It’s now time to think about who your audience is. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a B2C or B2B business, just start making notes about who’s most likely to be making the decision whether or not to use your service.

When you’ve got a person in your mind, think about their behaviours; what do they consume online? How often do they use a service or buy a product like yours? Where do they live? Are they trailblazers or followers?

They key here is to understand exactly the kind of person you’re going to be targeting.

Where do you want to be?

The next step is to consider where you want to be compared to where you are now. Would you like to double your turnover? Launch a new product? Reach a milestone of users?

Jot down some goals, unless you know where you want to be, you’re unlikely to choose the right route to get there.

What can you use?

Now, here comes the most significant part of the plan – what you’re going to use to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. There’s absolutely no limit to what you can do, but there are some sure-fire winners if you’re on a low budget, including:

  • What do you do? In 10 seconds

Some of the best marketing you’ll get to do is in person – you literally never know who you’re going to bump into.

When you do talk to someone relevant, whether that’s from a sales, networking or partnership point of view, you don’t want to put them to sleep with a 20-minute explanation about what you do.

Work on a 10 second overview of what you do and why it’s brilliant. If they want to ask more, they will.

  • Work with partners

There are almost certainly other businesses out there that you could work with in some regard such as Struan Baird who is an expert SEO In Edinburgh – and when you do, you both become sources of work for the other.

Perhaps you’re a design agency – could you work with a writing service to offer a more complete package for your customers? Working with partners is a great way to double your marketing efforts without doubling your staffing or marketing costs.

  • Write your own content

You know a lot about your chosen field – so why not write about it?

80% of the written media we consume online is produced by our peers – other business owners who are looking to provide valuable content that keeps potential customers coming back.

Write about what you know, even if it’s just the basics – you can guarantee there are people out there looking for that information.

  • Establish your social media

Social media channels give your marketing a different depth. While you can look at a website and not really know whether it’s been updated during the last year – a social media channel is perceived as being a kind of back-door way of looking at your business and what you’re doing.

Opt for the platforms your target audience is most likely to be using and start talking – it can be about anything, what you’re doing in the office, what you’re reading about or working on – or just reaching out and communicating with others about what they’re doing.

  • Customer referrals

Word of mouth marketing is some of the best you can ever hope for – so why not incentivise your customers to do exactly that?

If they’re happy with what you’re doing for them it doesn’t have to be much – perhaps a small financial reward or access to your service for a reduced rate? There are plenty of possibilities – and you’ll find they often don’t get used, people just like to know you value them enough to make the offer.

  • Look for free tools

There are many wonderful marketing tools out there that can be used free of charge assuming you’re not using them on a large-scale basis. Think about services like MailChimp, Google Analytics, Hubspot and Canva – then open them up and see what they can offer.

There’s an idea that something has to be paid for if it’s going to be effective – but in fact, you get access to some seriously powerful tools free of charge, with the hope that you’ll see enough success from them to pay and unlock premium features.

  • Build a personal brand

In this interconnected digital world there’s a very strong possibility that people are going to be able to connect the personal you to the professional you (and your company).

On that basis, it’s really important that you present yourself as the kind of person your customers are going to want to be doing business with. Your personal brand is marketing you whether you like it or not, you should very definitely make it work for you.

  • Network

It costs nothing to talk to people about what you’re doing – and while your product might not be needed by them directly, impressing them with what you do greatly increases your chances of being recommended on to a friend or colleague.

Be networking all the time. Look for opportunities to tell people about what you do – you never know when you’re going to run into someone who’s just one step away from your next big client.

 

 

 

Top Tips to Finding Your first Office Space

Top Tips to Finding Your first Office Space

Congratulations! You have reached a point in your commercial adventure where you can move your start-up business’s operations out of your garage and into your first official working space. You may have hired one or two employees, invested in some office equipment and now need to expand your headquarters.

Yes, it is overwhelming that you are about to truly spread your wings and fly off into the unknown- renting and finding your start-up’s first office can be a taxing process. Let’s go get you your ideal first office! But before you embark on your search for a suitable commercial space, you may want to consider the following few tips which were kindly shared by http://securemoveservices.co.uk :

Budget Parameters

Numbers always speak for themselves and the first thing you must do is to determine your budget. Review your finances and see to what extent you can stretch it. Factor in fixed expenses other then your leasing costs: consider internet bills, electricity, tea, water, technology, and other additional employees you may keep on different working contracts.

For instance, to meet your IT needs, you my employ a part-time IT specialist. What kind of marketing and advertising methodologies do you intend to deploy? What does your budget allow? When you have managed to predict and list down all your costs, then it is time to calculate the level of monthly revenue you need to generate in order to break even. This will give you a clear idea of the amount of office space you can afford, and you can search accordingly.

Amount of Space

Check your district’s requirements in terms of how much square footage is required per individual. Our recommendation is to allocate a thousand square feet for four to six employees. Everyone should be able to fit in comfortably without intruding on each other’s personal space.

Be mindful of your future growth and expansion plans as well. In case you plan to hire more personnel and invest in more resources, it may be helpful to get a lease with the right to do to that.

Current Employee Needs

Since you are just starting out and probably only have a handful of employees on board, you can actually consider what may work for them whilst searching for your first office space. Ask them where they work and how long it takes them to commute.

From there, you can find a space that is convenient for everyone to travel to on a daily basis. Creating such a caring organizational culture from the point of inception will help you retain employees and help build the base of employee loyalty- that is the backbone of truly successful start-up firms.

Make sure there are some parking options available. After all, you may have clients visiting as well and saving them the hassle of parking will earn you some serious brownie points in their eyes.

Once you have determined the above variables, following are the types of working spaces you can consider.

Co-Working Office Spaces

If you have a lower budget and need some flexibility, contemplate going for this working alternative. Not only will you get an incredible value for your money, but you will be around other start-ups who can inspire you further with their energy and motivation. There is a whole world of shared offices out there.

Choose from a diverse range of individual dedicated desks to complete meeting rooms. Here’s an awesome little tip for you: book by the hour, week or month – it is completely up to you and gives you the flexibility to pay accordingly. Hey, if you can find a shared working space with another company that compliments the services you offer – do not hesitate and propose a collaborative campaign.

If you are a photographer and launching your own studio- imagine finding a shared space with an event planning company. The latter can recommend you to be the photographer at events he works and share your details with both proposed and current clientele.

Rent Office Space

As happy as we are to share our tips in the hopes to ease this process for you, do remember that nothing is set in stone and there are other decisional office routes available. Note that specific benefits are attached with leasing your own working space.

As you are solely responsible for your own costing decisions, it will be clear what your share is as well (basically one hundred percent!) and there will be no confusion upon how to divide utility bills. It will also improve your general creditworthiness in the eyes of your bank – in case you need a business loan at a later stage.

Maintenance and property management will not be your responsibility as it will probably be included in your leasing contract. if you realize that the office is too big for your current needs, you will have an exit clause available to you. The good thing is that you will be free from the headache to sell or lease the office space and can leave it up to your landlord or agent.

There may be a time stamp placed on your rented office space and may require you to vacate at the end of it if there is no clause for renewal. Of course, your landlord also holds the right to increase your rent as he deems fit (according to the laws of course). This would have an adverse impact on your cashflow.

Of course, another thing to note that is everything is negotiable. Do not agree to the first rental price your landlord gives you and to your real estate agent. There is always some leeway for negotiation. Depending on the current market dynamics, maybe you can get a free month of rent.

For example, if you are on a two-year leasing contract, then request if you can get one or two months rent free of cost. However, before proposing all this, evaluate your potential landlord’s demeanour and see if he is an open, friendly character who can be approached with such requests.

 

 

Learning from Peers: Why You Should Attend Business Symposiums

Learning from Peers: Why You Should Attend Business Symposiums

When you take on the heavy responsibility of a business, it can be quite overwhelming.  Luckily, one of the best things about our society is that we are all quite willing to share our expertise when it comes to the field of business that we are in.

There are usually meetings or classes which people attend to help them further their understanding of the business field. When those meetings are in a larger scale, these are turned into Symposiums. Symposiums are events which usually last around a few days; wherein each day has a different set of experts come in to talk. If you’re a business owner, here are a few good reasons why you should attend business symposiums:

Networking

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There is nothing like getting support for people in the world of business. While social media can help you keep connected, in order to have those connections to begin with, you need to meet other business owners first.

Symposiums allow for business owners and experts to mix and mingle—promoting the fact that we are all in this together. You never know when the person that you meet can end up teaching you some pretty valuable business lessons.

Learn From Experts

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Symposiums often have panels of experts come in from different business fields. There are people who are the experts of digital marketing, while there are those who are the experts in supply chain and logistics. All of which that you can really learn from and apply in your own business!

A symposium is a great opportunity for you to really tap into the knowledge and expertise of people who spend years being the best at what they do.

Expanding Your Understanding

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When you attend symposiums, you ultimately end up expanding your realm of understanding about running a business. You pick up new tips and tricks on how to maximize your employees and processes. You also get to see how other people manage their businesses.

You get to learn from their failures and harness it for the benefit of your own business.

Conclusion

Symposiums exist because there are a lot of people who do need a bit more help and there are those that make it their business to help. If there is a symposium near you—or even if it isn’t near you—you really should consider going to one. Who knows, you may even be invited to sit at a panel one day!

That being said, why do you think business owners should attend business symposiums?

6 Ways to Raise Funds for Your Start-Up

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Got a big idea that you are ready to share with the world? Prepared to launch your start up and make some moolah? However, before you can make some moolah, you need access to capital for investment purposes.

If you belong to the rare yet fortunate group of people who already has enough cash to commence on his commercial journey, then great! However, if you are like the rest of us and need to raise funds, then let us help you out.

No idea where to start or which doors to knock? Don’t worry, your dream is not destroyed. You may have to work at that soul-crushing corporate job a bit longer, but you will manage to get out of it.

There is only one thing you need (besides access to funds of course): the ability to believe in your own competence and capability. Hold yourself up to a higher standard than ever before and strive to make your dreams a reality.

First thing is first, to kickstart your business of the ground, you need cold, hard cash and lots of it. Do your homework first, craft up a business plan, lock down a partner for additional advice and then take it to the next level: meetings with investors.

How do you convince the investor to allocate his hard-earned money to you? What makes your idea special? These are some of the questions you may have to answer when you apply for a business loan.

Types of funding

Broadly speaking, there are two classes of funding you can consider for your start-up.

  • Debt-funding: As the term suggests, this is a loan format where you have to pay the loan service provider back. An additional amount is usually taken on in the form of interest charges that go along with the principal amount. It can refer to the volume of debt you have racked up on your credit card bills or the loan you have chosen to take out from a bank.
  • Equity funding: Raising funds via an equity option means that you are essentially offering a slice of ownership percentage to the investor in question as per the current market value. This is the preferred medium for investors. Of course, you have to demonstrate that you are a valuable investment and worth the money. After all, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Now the question that arises is: how do you get actual funds for your start-up? Read on to learn what kind of multiple sources you can tap into within your own network.

Business Loans for Small Medium Sized Enterprises

As stated earlier, loans are one alternative funding methodology you can go for. There is a whole world of loan service providers out there – just waiting for you to find the right one.

Traditional financial institutions such as banks have stringent criteria and checks to conduct before approving a business loan. History has been a witness to their reluctance to issue loans to companies that are just starting out in their respective fields. This may be a challenging route to go down. Of course, there are other alternative classes of finance available to you.

You will surely find a to get your money but a severe word of caution: read the fine print thoroughly and never sign anything without reading it. Contemporary finance entities tend to be predatory in nature with the ultimate objective to make maximum profit on their bottom lines. You do not want to be their prey. Check out TopLoanCompanies.com for such listings.

Social Circle: Family and Friends

We do believe in the saying to not mix business with pleasure. However, if the dynamics of your family allow it, then go to them as the first or secondary source of funding. It will be much easier persuading your uncle or your father to give you a loan than it would be to an investor as your relatives and friends will support your dream – not want to help kill it. They will definitely be more willing to help you out.

Bootstrapping

Strap up those boots and take a few pounds notes out from there! That is the concept behind the word “bootstrapping”. You invest in yourself and use your own money to launch your start up business. It could come from your savings, your monthly income, interest loans, credit cards, inherited assets or any other form of income.

Go and obtain a free credit card report card to understand and appraise your fiscal condition. It will help you answer the question of whether you are in the financial position to fund your own idea. The disadvantage, as with most entrepreneurial ventures, is that you could be personally liable and in a lot of debt if your start-up business doesn’t take off. But hey, you are worth the risk! It is an investment in yourself after all!

Remain Employed

Whilst this may not sound encouraging as you are dreaming of working for yourself, flexible hours and being your own boss – you have to be practical. The fact is that perhaps you are earning enough money to pay your bills, support your family and live a good lifestyle.

Our suggestion is to keep that ongoing and not give up your day job so as to have more flexibility in financing options and decisions for your start-up. All good things come to those who wait!

Crowdfunding

Are you a whiz at social media and know how to engage your followers whilst increasing exposure and getting more individuals on board? If yes, then board the crowdfunding train.

You will have to break through the clutter and noise to attract your target market’s attention and explain why you deserve their money instead of other companies competing for the same position.

Trade Equity

Want some copy written on your website? See if you (assume you are a website designer and developer) can barter some copywriting with a potential freelancer in exchange for creating or updating his website. This is the concept behind trade equity funds.

It is not a sustainable kind of funding as you will need cash at some point but is a good way to help you get your business started and operational in its preliminary stages.

Executive Protection Services – Everything You Need To Know

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Executive protection services is quite the mouthful isn’t it? But these services are very important and could serve many business owners and leaders well, although many don’t even realise this kind of protection is available. You will need to go to an security services company to get this kind of protection but before I talk about the benefits, let’s find out exactly what protection services are?

So, what kind of services does an executive security services company offer? In many ways, you can think of the services they offer as an extension of a bodyguard service. But that’s just the beginning they also offer surveillance, risk assessment, and driving services.

Many people incorrectly believe that executive protection services are only on offer to celebrities and fortune 500 business leaders or they might think the next most common alternative, that only the people that fall into those two categories will be able to afford them.

But executive protection services are open to many people and business owners/ managers can benefit from them greatly. Let’s take a more detailed look at the benefits of the services on offer from an executive security services company in more detail.

The Benefits of Using Executive Protection Services

As you know executive protection services encompass a variety of different individual protection and investigation services. Each comes with its own benefits and uses but remember when it comes to hiring assistance from an executive security services company you can customise the level of service you want.

While each service on offer does have its own benefits you simply might not need them all, with executive protection services you’ll only pay for what you need. So, without further ado let’s take a look at the individual services available.

Executive Protection Services

This will likely be the main service and no matter what executive security services company you go to this service will always be available. But what exactly does executive protection mean? You can think of it as a hybrid between the services of a security guard and a bodyguard.

Executive protection services will give you a team of experienced professionals who will work to ensure you are protected. Like security guards, they will survey the area you are in for threats and like bodyguards, they will protect and support you while you are out and about.

Many businessmen use executive protection services when they are attending speaking events or conferences. They provide protection on a closer level like bodyguards but also offer more flexibility and versatility within their role.

Protective Surveillance Services

Another important part of executive protection services is protective surveillance, this can be used in conjunction with the above service or in place of it. Some businessmen prefer a less intrusive level of protection and therefore opt for surveillance instead, however, surveillance can also be used to provide an extra level of protection.

With this executive protection service, professional security will be a bit more low-profile and use a variety of surveillance techniques to ensure you are safe and secure at all times. One of the main parts of executive protection services is identifying and stopping threats which surveillance can certainly help with.

It also offers a bit more privacy, you will still have a team of experienced security professionals ready to help and assist you, but you won’t have to feel like you’re unapproachable either. Many people can feel a little overwhelmed if their security presence is too strong or overpowering so this service offers a valuable alternative.

Executive Driving Services

We know that today’s business leader will rarely be staying in one place for too long. You’ll no doubt have many engagements that you can’t afford to miss which is why another important aspect of executive protection services is driving services.

This valuable service will ensure you get from point A to point B (and beyond) safely without any risk. Security drivers from an executive security services company won’t just be professional drivers they’ll also be highly trained in security matters as well. This means they’ll be more easily able to identify threats on the road like suspicious vehicles to give just one example.

These three main services form the trinity of any high-quality, professional executive security services company. But they will likely have many additional services as well like crisis planning and special events training to give just a few examples.

Whether you opt to use one particular service or a combination of them any business leader/ owner will be sure to benefit from utilising the services of an executive security services company.

So, now you know what exactly executive protection services are all about how do you go about finding the best provider to meet your needs? Unsurprisingly as you might have already guessed executive protection services are more specialist and require highly-trained, experienced individuals to safely carry them out.

So, when searching for an executive security services company what do you need to look out for and who should you go to? Well, there are a few possibilities but by far the best place to go to for executive protection services is a professional security services company.

Using A Professional Security Services Company

So, why should you use a professional security services company when you need executive security services? Well by utilising a security services company you can be sure anyone you hire is professionally trained and experienced.

A security services company will have very high standards which means anyone they employ will be an experienced professional. You can take the backing of a security services company as a sign that you are hiring a professional which as am I sure you know is incredibly important when it comes to executive security services.

You can also be sure anyone providing executive security services for a security services company will receive regular training and be fully licensed. In short, if you want the best standard of protection then going to a security services company is a sure-fire way of getting it.

Tech Companies That Continue To Innovate In The Portable Printing Industry

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Printers play a vital role in our lives. You can easily print important documents all at the convenience of the office. In the past, most companies used to outsource their printed companies which would waste a lot time that could have been used productively.

Also, printers can be used to print out projects for students which save the time that could have been spent having to line up to get their work printed. With the rise in technology, printers have also evolved. This has led to the emergence of the best portable photo printers which have made printing a lot easier.

If you are planning to go on a business trip, you can carry your portable printer to print all your photos and documents. Let’s take a look at the different companies that are at the forefront of creating these gadgets and the new technologies they have incorporated in them.

  1. Hewlett & Packard ( HP)

This is the world’s leading expert when it comes to making the best portable printers. They have made some of the best inkjet printers and photo printers. There are many HP models that have been used over the years but the most effective printers are;

  • The HP OfficeJet 200 Mobile Printer
  • HP Sprocket Photo Printer

The OfficeJet Mobile Printer is very portable, though, it is slightly heavier than most inkjet printers. It has a Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct and USB connectivity that saves a lot time.

It is also equipped with a rechargeable battery and an input tray with the capacity of fifty sheets which facilitates the printing of many documents at the same time. This makes this one of the best portable printers you could ever buy.

As for the Sprocket Photo Printer, it is tiny in size and can therefore be used to print photos from your smartphone or tablets. It does this by connecting to the device via Bluetooth. However, this is also a major setback because you cannot print larger photos.

  1. Epson

This is one of the main competitors of HP especially because their printers tend to be a lot cheaper. Their best printer yet is the PictureMate PM-400 Personal Photo Lab.

This is one of the printers that can print photos of varying sizes such as the 4-by-6 and 5-by7 inch photos. This feature coupled with the high quality of the photos themselves have made this to be one of the best portable printers in the market.

It can also print from a variety of sources such as from the computer, a memory card, a camera and even a smartphone or tablet. Epson have really outdone themselves with these features which has given them a slight edge in the printer market.

  1. Canon

This lens-making company has delved into the printer-making business and has actually created quite a name for himself. It has made some of the best portable printers, which are also some of the cheapest in the market. Here are two examples of portable printers made by Canon.

  • Pixma iP110 Wireless Mobile Printer
  • Selphy CP1200 Wireless Compact Photo Printer

The Selphy CP1200 is the most moderately priced printer, which is just below ninety dollars making it affordable to everyone. It is also compatible to almost every device, that is, Windows, Mac and Android devices.

However, it is slower when compared to other smaller photo printers and it cannot print photos larger than 4-by-6 inch photos. The Pixma iP110 is an inkjet printer which has an input capacity of about fifty sheets and is lighter than most printers which reduces the bulk when travelling. However, it is a touch slower than other portable printers.

  1. Polaroid

This film and camera manufacturing company has now ventured into making portable printers. Their Zip Photoprinter has really created a buzz in the market. It is the only portable printer that has features that almost fulfill every need a person would have from a printer.

However, the only shortcoming is that the color quality of the printed photos. This feature is one of the most important features a person would check when buying a portable printer.

However, if you have no problem with color and focus more on the clarity of the photos, then this is the best portable printer you will ever find. Another setback is that the printed text is not legible even under the best lighting conditions.

  1. Brother

One last tech company that has gotten involved in the printer-making business is the Brother Company. It has portable printers with the most elegant designs.

One such printer is the P-Touch Cube which along with the company’s Design&Print application, which is very simple to use, facilitates the printing of labels which are efficient for marking items.

This makes this printer best for classrooms and workplaces where a lot of items have to be labelled to make them easy to identify. It is also very cheap as it is just below fifty dollars.

Most people would never consider carrying a printer while traveling. They used to be huge and bulky but now they are portable making them easier to carry.

Whether you need to print invoices, labels or photos while on a business trip, just use one of the best portable printers you can find. The popularity of portable has grown mainly because of the growth of the number of portable devices one can use to create and view documents.

When you decide to buy a portable printer, make sure you buy one from these renowned brands. That does not mean that portable printers from other companies do not live up to expectation. They may even be better that the ones mentioned above. Make sure you choose them wisely.

Whether it’s for your business, family-use or for use when on vacation. Make sure you do not spend all your money to buy a portable printer. There are so many portable printers that are cheap and are actually better than the expensive ones. Buy a portable printer today and see the benefits that come with it.