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Archive for the ‘What You Need To Know About Small Business’ Category

4 Ways That Your Business Could Benefit From Hiring A Security Guard

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on November 11, 2019 at 6:21 am

You may not have considered hiring a security guard for your business before, but it’s definitely something that you should think about. A lot of business owners assume that they only need a security guard if they are running a retail store or they are holding stock on site, but that’s not true. All office buildings could benefit from a security guard in a lot of different ways, so it’s a worthwhile investment. These are just some of the reasons why your office should have a security guard. 

Preventing Break-Ins 

The most obvious reason to have a security guard is to prevent break-ins. Your office has a lot of expensive equipment like computers, which are a target for thieves. If somebody breaks in and clears the office out, you will not be able to operate the business until you have replaced everything, and the cost of fitting out your office again from scratch is going to be very high. There is also the chance that sensitive data will be stolen from the office. A break-in is incredibly costly to your business, but a security guard acts as a great deterrent against that, and if somebody does try to gain access to the office after hours, they will be able to stop them. The cost of hiring a security guard is far less than the cost of a break-in, so if you live in an area with a lot of crime, you should definitely think about it.

Preventing Employee Theft 

It’s important to remember that theft isn’t just carried out by professional criminals that will break into the office after hours. In fact, internal theft is a huge problem for a lot of businesses and even though you think that it will never happen to you, it probably is. Sometimes, it might be a small theft, like taking office supplies. But you may also have employees that are stealing money from the company or taking expensive equipment to sell on. If this goes unnoticed for a long while, your business is losing a lot of money. But if you have a security guard in place, it’s a great deterrent and people will be far less likely to try to take things from the office. The security guard can also keep an eye on people that are working late and make sure that there is no suspicious behavior. If you have noticed some inconsistencies with your finances, there’s a chance that you have a problem with employee theft and you should consider hiring a guard. 

Data Protection 

People always think about online security when trying to protect their data, but physical protection is just as important. Layered security is a central concept in data security and if your business does not take this approach, you are asking for trouble. But why is layered security important, you may be wondering? Well, you may be investing heavily in online security to protect your data, but what about protecting the servers in your office or the computers? If it’s quick and easy to access data that way, your investment in cyber-security software is not protecting you and you are still vulnerable, so you need a layered approach that will stop data theft at every level. This is particularly important if you have physical servers that hold your data, and you need to limit access. If your employees can come and go freely, it’s a lot easier for internal data leaks to occur. That’s why you should consider having a security guard stationed on the door so you can be sure that nobody is accessing server facilities without permission. A security guard can also keep an eye on the devices that people are taking out of the office with them, so laptops with sensitive data on them are always kept at the office. 

Customer Service 

First and foremost, a security guard is there to protect your business and its assets, but they can carry out other roles at the same time, which makes it even more worthwhile having one on site. They can act as customer service ambassadors in a lot of areas because they are controlling access. When visitors to the building arrive, the security guard will often be their first point of contact and they can greet people and help out with directions etc. They can also escort customers to their car after dark if they feel uneasy, and people will feel safer in general when they visit your office because they know that there is somebody there to secure the area. 

A security guard isn’t just there to stand at the door and prevent theft, they can benefit your business in all sorts of different ways, so you should consider hiring one. 

This post may contain affiliate links.

Why Getting That Perfect Retirement Beach House Is Easier Than You Think

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on November 8, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Working towards a retirement beach house sounds like a lot of work. Beach houses are expensive to buy and maintain so how can they possibly be easy to get.

In this post, we talk about a simple and easy way to buy and easily pay off the mortgage on your retirement home by the time you retire and enjoy the beach life for the rest of your days.

Before we begin, here’s a disclaimer. We are not really talking about beachfront mansions in Malibu. If you have that kind of cash you are probably not worried about retirement anyways. We are instead talking about regular and small homes in places like Oregon coast.

Turn Your Beach Property into a Vacation Home

Assuming you have a regular 9 to 5 job in a city somewhere, you probably do not have the time to go on beach holidays every month. This creates a perfect opportunity to buy a beachfront property and turn it into a vacation home. The money you earn from rentals should help you fully or partially pay the monthly mortgage rates. Depending on your budget and ability to pay monthly mortgage rates, you can buy anything from a beachfront condo to a 4 to 5 bedroom home.

For the sake of this example, let’s assume you have to pay a $2,000 mortgage for your recently bought beach home.

Now, according to stats an average person renting their property on Airbnb earns $924 per month.

Therefore, right off the bat, you can save almost half the cost of your mortgage rate. However, you can do a whole lot more than average.

To help your beach home reach its full earning potential, it’s best to partner up with a vacation rental service. These companies not only take care of your property and ensure it has all the little amenities people want from vacation homes, but they also help you list and promote your vacation home. While they do charge a commission or a monthly fee, they usually make that up by getting you more rentals. Once you recruit the professionals, people would easily be able to find your listing when searching for beach house rentals online and get great service when they arrive at the property.

Once being managed by a professional vacation rental service, you should set a target of earning enough to pay off your monthly mortgage rate. Remember your goal is to get a beach house for your retirement and not to earn money. Unless your property does supremely well, you are probably not going to make a lot of extra money after paying the mortgage and other expenses.

So, your goal should be to earn enough from vacation rentals to cover the monthly mortgage rate and the expenses of hiring a vacation rental service. Even if you are not being able to fully cover the expenses, at the end of it all you get to buy a beach home at a fraction of the cost.

Things You Need to Do Turn Your Beach Home Into a Vacation Rental

Insurance: While it can be profitable to rent out your home, it can also get damaged by bad weather or drunk guests. That’s why it’s important to get property insurance that will cover the cost of all damages that may happen. Airbnb offers insurance coverage to all hosts to cover the cost of damages. However, you still need insurance for bookings that came through other platforms and damages caused by your staff or the weather.

Toiletries and Supplies: If you partner up with a vacation rental service, then they will take care of the housekeeping. However, if you are doing it on your own, you would need to buy supplies like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrush, and others.

Smart Locks: Getting a Wi-Fi enabled lock is the best way to grant access to your guests remotely. These locks are opened by passcodes, which you can change after the guests leave. This makes managing your home a whole lot easier, especially if you live far away from your beach home.

Why It’s a Relatively Safe Bet

Buying a house may seem like a big deal, but it’s actually safer than a lot of other investments. People often spend thousands of dollars on investments that hold no real value. That means if the investment fails, they lose all of their invested money. This is definitely not the case when you buy a beach house or a home you plan on turning into a vacation rental. Why? Because the house itself is an asset that appreciates in value over time. If things don’t work out after a year or two, you can put the house back on the market and recover your money. Depending on the real estate conditions, you might just earn a nice little profit just by selling your house at a later date.

This post may contain affiliate links.

Is Your Business The Definition Of Insanity?

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on October 25, 2019 at 9:29 pm

 

The definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

The goal of building a successful business is to be…well…successful. But what if you hit a stumbling block that you’re struggling with? Maybe it’s finding the right client base, getting in the right doors to talk to the right people, or solving a technical problem with a product. When do you say enough is enough, I need to make a change? (Hopefully before your business falls apart.) My general rule of thumb is that if you’ve tried something a dozen or so times (sometimes more or less depending on the specific problem), but you aren’t seeing the results you’re looking for, then maybe it really is time to look at the problem from a different angle.

Talk to the Professionals

There are tons of business issues (most in fact) that there is a professional for. A consultant for just about anything can be found, which is great news if you’re having a hard time figuring out your problem. Let’s say that you’re having a hard time getting to the right client base and reaching the right people for your business. Finding someone who can connect you would be very helpful, right? What if that person could also help you refine, and possibly redefine, your pitch? What if that person could help you understand what your core client base is really looking for, what will grab their interest, and what will get them excited about you and your business? What if that person helps you become successful?

Take a Break

There are some business problems that you just need to take a break from. Sometimes walking away and clearing your head will help bring answers you didn’t know you had. This could be a technical issue with a product or even a personnel issue. Has an idea or solution ever come to you when you least expect it, like when you’re at the gym or watching TV? Many times the answers will come when you’re not actively thinking about the problem. Isn’t it great how our brains work?

Get Back to the Basics

Many times a solution can be found when you just get back to the basics. Maybe it’s a challenge with figuring out how to get buy-in on a business idea. Sometimes getting back to the basics of what you want to do can help clarify the best direction to go. Or, maybe it’s an employee challenge where they need extra guidance and coaching on how to capture and keep a sale. Getting back to the basics – Sales 101 – can help clarify concepts and ideas that may not have been set foundationally in the first place.

Research & Modeling

Research is key in making any business successful. Not just research on your product, service, or industry, but also on how others are successful in the same field. Finding someone who has already done what you’re trying to do (or something similar) and learn from their mistakes, model your behavior and practices after theirs, and understand their structure and how it applies to your business.

Be Willing to Change

Not all business models will work the first time you try them out. There is some finessing that usually needs to be done before most business models will work. A business plan is just that – a plan. Plans change. Plans evolve. And sometimes they need to change to meet the needs of business – internal and external customers, suppliers, financially, etc. Sometimes (most of the time) the plan is seen as bigger or worth more to the owner than to outside customers or suppliers, and it should because of the investment the owner has put in. That doesn’t mean that customers or lenders will pay more for the product/service or business just because the owner thinks they should. I once had a student who was attempting to open a mobile coffee shop. He went through the process of building out his business plan and everything looked great on paper. When he went to get financing, he was turned down left and right because the banks did not see the monetary value in his business. He was asking for too much up front. Changing the business plan and scaling the business as needed are ways owners must be flexible.

The bottom line is – don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t be afraid to make changes to your business! If you don’t, you may not see the success you’re working so hard for. Don’t let your business or business idea become the definition of insanity!

Why Custom Car Detailing Is Better Than Standard Car Detailing

In Un-Business Stuff, What You Need To Know About Small Business on October 22, 2019 at 2:08 pm

Some people may find it confusing when they are told to choose between standard car detailing and custom car detailing. What makes one different from the other? Is there a better option between the two?

The reason why confusion is common when a customer is presented with these two options is because these two are very different offerings. Standard detailing services include the cleaning of your vehicle’s interior and other surfaces. Custom car detailing involves so much more.

It includes the polishing and restoration of certain parts of your car to make it look almost like new. These include the restoration and polishing of parts of your vehicle like the bumper, the grill, mirrors, and many more. The amount of detailing you want to have done on your vehicle is where the customization part comes in. You choose from a list of services what is done to your vehicle in terms of detailing and the service provider will give it to you.

Other Things to Expect from a Custom Car Detailing Service

Aside from the standard cleaning and polishing, you can also expect a slew of other services from these providers. What they offer is dependent on the level of expertise that their technicians have. Some of these companies even offer to correct paint problems and flaws that have surfaced on your car over the years. Scratches, discoloration, dull spots, and other problems that can happen to you car’s paint surface can be fixed by these professionals.

As the name suggest, they custom detail your vehicle, so whatever you need to have done to make your car look amazing, they have a service for it. These can include the following:

  • Window tinting – If you want to darken or lighten your window’s tint, custom detailing shops can do this for you.
  • Paint correction – If your vehicle’s paint is fading in spots or some areas of your car’s surface have started to discolor, some custom car detailing companies can help you fix it with paint correction services.
  • Deep cleaning – This is for the interior of your vehicle and can involve the removal of your car’s seats so technicians can clean areas that are normally not reachable by standard cleaning practices and vacuums. Once all areas inside your car are clean, seats and other attachments are expertly returned.
  • Carpet shampooing and stain removal – This is another service that a custom detailing company can offer their customers. This can involve the removal of the carpet or simply steam cleaning it within then drying with a powerful dryer. Removal of odors and deep-seated dirt is also done here.
  • Dry cleaning of interior fabric surfaces – Some vehicles have areas that are covered in fabric which are difficult to remove. These include the ceiling of the vehicle and the covering of the inside of the doors. These can get dirty and will need to be cleaned to restore them to their good-as-new look. Dry cleaning is often the solution for these things.

Aside from old cars being restored and cleaned, custom car detailing companies can also offer to protect new cars from deteriorating. This is done with protective services that help slow down the deterioration of your new vehicle’s surfaces. These include:

  • Ceramic coating – This is applied to the surface of your vehicle’s paint. Aside from protecting the paint, it also adds a glossy sheen to your car so that it looks like a surface of glass is on your car’s paint.
  • Vinyl wrapping – Wrapping your car in vinyl is another choice for protecting the paint underneath. Aside from the added protection, you can also give your car a different color and even add designs to it with this method.
  • Windshield protection – Just like ceramic coating for your car’s paint, protecting your windshield from scratches and breaking can be done using this method.

These are just some of the reasons why custom car detailing is much better than standard auto detailing. Expect to pay more for these services though since these require specialized equipment and trained professionals to get done. These services also take longer than regular detailing so you may be without a vehicle for 48 hours when you choose to have these done.

This post may contain affiliate links.

How Well Do You Know Your Competitors & What Can You Learn?

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on October 20, 2019 at 8:13 am

As a business owner or marketing director, you want your business to grow. It can be tempting to go it alone, especially if your business is new!

However, it’s a little-known fact that getting to know your competitors and their methods is essential to growing as a company.

How? Let’s check out why competitor analysis is important, and how to begin.

Why Should You Know Your Competitors?

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of knowing your competitors. By now, you likely have ample input from your co-workers and reviews from your customers. You may think that worrying about what your competitors are doing could distract you from carving out your own space in the industry. However, it’s important to remember:

Competitor analysis is not a distraction.

Instead, knowing your competitors and comparing their methods to your own can help you better shape your business. By using them as a reference, you will clearly understand your place within the industry – and then carve out an even more unique space!

How Well Do You Know Your Competitors?

Now that you understand the importance of knowing your competitors, let’s talk about how to get to know them.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • Who are your competitors in the industry?
  • What products and services are they offering?
  • How are these products and services similar to and different from yours?
  • What marketing methods are they currently using?
  • What marketing methods have they used in the past, but discontinued?
  • Who are the target audiences that they are marketing to?
  • What needs do your competitors’ products and services meet for their audience?
  • What kinds of reviews are your competitors’ customers leaving on their websites?

Who Are Your Competitors?

Let’s focus for a moment on that first question: who are your competitors? You only have so much time and resources to devote to competitor analysis, so it’s important to narrow the field. How?

Choose the most relevant competitors.

These competitors are businesses in the same industry as yours. They offer products and services that are similar or related to yours. Additionally, they focus on clients similar to your target audience.

However, if you have the time, there are merits to considering businesses that you, at first glance, don’t appear to have much in common with. These are companies with different products and who target different audiences.

Through these companies, you may discover ways to expand your business – adding new services to your repertoire and finding new audiences you never considered marketing to previously!

Your Competitors’ Strengths and Weaknesses

As you get to know your competitors, create a list of their strengths and weaknesses. This can help you better learn from their mistakes, and emulate their good strategies.

Strengths

In what ways are your competitors succeeding? What marketing methods brought them the biggest increase in profits? Which social media posts of theirs have received the most likes and shares?

Knowing your competitors’ strengths can help you identify threats in the industry, as well as opportunities for you to adopt effective techniques.

Weaknesses

In what ways are your competitors failing? What marketing methods have they used or services they provided in the past, but since discarded? What potential target audiences are they ignoring?

Competitor analysis allows you to learn from your competitors’ mistakes, so you can avoid making those mistakes yourself.

When you know your competitors, you are better equipped to shape the future of your company.

This post may contain affiliate links.