Turning A Business Dream Into Reality

Many of us will have some form of dream. It might be to travel the world, tick off all those destinations you placed on your bucket list or simply to have a family and grow old with someone you love. It might have been a business idea you had, or even a career change you wanted to make. Many of us go on to live the reality of our dreams, but when it comes to starting a business, some of us are to fearful of the unknown. I wanted to share with you how you can potentially turn a business dream into a reality.

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Start off with a business plan

It is so important to sit down and work on your business plan if you are serious about making this dream possible. It may seem like a pointless task at this stage, but this is your secret weapon when it comes to the later stages of your business launch and the future. You will be able to outline where money will be spent, projections for future sales, and how you plan to launch your business. It can help iron out some of the more difficult hurdles you could face in the future. There are plenty of tutorials online to help you create your business plan from websites like entrepreneur.com however, if you don’t feel comfortable, you can always hire someone to do it for you.

Secure some funding for your business

Funding is a huge part of any business launch, and of course, the upkeep of it moving forward. So it is vital to secure some funding and your business plan can aid you with that. You could choose to find investors who may want a percentage of your business profits. You might also want to look at other options like loans or capital investors like swiftfinancial.com who can advise you on products that might suit your business. If you have the capital, you could invest yourself and use savings or speak with family members. This can often be the point where people seem fearful, but if you have a business plan and are confident, then this shouldn’t be your stumbling block.  

Harness your idea and focus on your unique selling point

Once you have your plan and the funding in place it is simply about fine tuning your idea. This is when you can focus on the brand and distinguish a unique selling point. Perhaps enabling you to outshine any competitors you may have in the industry. Focus on what makes your business model or product different from other options out there on the market.

Have the courage to take a leap of faith

Finally, you may find that the only thing stopping you now from turning your business dream into a reality is you. Don’t let a lack of courage bring you down and take that leap of faith. Doing all the necessary groundwork in advance should help give you the confidence that what you have is a solid business idea. So just go for it.

I hope that this helps you turn your business dream into a reality.

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A Guide To Creating The Perfect Bucket List

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Have you made your bucket list? The process is simple. Basically, it is a list of everything you want to do before you die. Sounds a little morbid, we know, but as we only have one life to live, the bucket list is a great tool to inspire us to live this life to the fullest. One of the most famous examples is this bucket list created by John Goddard. Sadly, he is no longer with us, but he checked off 109 of his 127 goals. Truly incredible. So what about you?

We can’t tell you what to put on your list. It is entirely dependant on your tastes and lifestyle, so you need to take the time and brainstorm, writing down your ideas on a piece of paper or your computer. Admittedly, it’s difficult to know where to start, so consider the following headings.

New experiences – is there anything you have never done before, but would really like to? This may be playing a particular instrument, taking part in a daredevil activity, or driving a fancy sports car around a race track.

Travel – is there anywhere in the world you would like to visit? From sailing the British Virgin Islands to exploring the Australian outback, think about the places you are desperate to see.

Relationships – for many people, getting married often rates highly on a bucket list, as does having a family and making new friends.

Career – we spend most of our time at work, but this can still feature highly on your list. You may want to progress up the career ladder, make more money, or even change your job and work somewhere that has more meaning to you.

Physical endurance – most of us resolve to spend more time keeping fit at the start of the new year, but your list should be more adventurous. You might want to climb a mountain or take part in a marathon, pushing your endurance to the limits.

Don’t be limited to our examples. As we said, you may have ideas of your own, whether they are big or small in scope. However, making the list is the easy part. Many people’s bucket lists go unfulfilled, for one very simple reason. They aren’t achievable. Items such as ‘going to the moon’ or ‘become a famous movie star’ are possible, but not within most people’s reach. You need to make a list of items you intend to do, rather than a fanciful wish list which is mainly fantasy.  Consider the following:

Be realistic – think big by all means, but choose things you actually intend to do, and not a list of daydreams.

Don’t be vague – writing down items such as ‘getting healthier’ is okay, but it is rather vague. Be specific, and include items of relevance, such as exercise ideas or particular foods you want to try.

List your passions – don’t write down anything because you think you ‘should,’ such as reading every play by Shakespeare or watching the entire directorial works of Ingmar Bergman. You want to be excited by the things on your list, and not be put off from doing them.

Don’t worry if your list changes over time. You can add or take away from it as appropriate. Your life will change, which may mean you won’t be able to do certain things, or you may replace items according to your lifestyle as you get older. It doesn’t matter. The key is ensuring you get to achieve as much as you can over your lifetime, living a life where you can be proud to say “I did that” and be glad about it. The rest of your life begins here. What do you want to do? We wish you every success and happiness.

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5 Common Mistakes of Startups

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Running a startup is many people’s dream come true, but unless you know what you are doing before you get started, you will find it much more difficult to find the formula for success. So, it is a good idea to go as much research as you possibly can to put yourself in the very best position. One of the most useful things that you can do is read about some common mistakes that people make so you can avoid repeating them. So, here are five errors that your business startup should avoid.

Lack of Focus

To start off with, your business needs to have a very clear focus that you can define within a single line of writing. Yes, many companies succeed by diversifying over time, but when you are just getting started off, you are much better off having a clear niche. What is it that you can do better than your competitors? Focus on this area and devote your time and energy to improving your overall offering.

Not Enough Motivation

If you have created your startup simply as a way of getting out of your regular full-time job, you are barking up the wrong tree. You need to have a genuine passion for your particular field or you are never going to have the energy to make a success of your business. Running a startup is not an easy option, and thousands of people are trying to do exactly the same thing as you every day. The people who enjoy success are the ones who have bags of commitment, motivation and passion.

Poor Knowledge

We have touched on this at the start of the article, but you can never do enough research before you start your business. How will you be running your business on a day to day basis? Will you be working from home or will you share working space? Who are your direct competitors likely to be? What will be your marketing techniques? All these questions and more are the type of things that you will need to be asking yourself before you actually take the plunge and start your business for real.

Unwillingness to Learn

Of course, running a business means that you can do things your way, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t listen to the experts. You should take in any advice that you hear and factor it into your own company. It is likely that you will be a novice in this field, and you can’t hope to become an expert overnight. Therefore, it is worth listening and learning from the people who have already been there and done it.

Lack of Investment Capital

Finally – and it may be an obvious one – many startups fail because they simply don’t have enough money to invest. So, you should ensure that you know exactly where your money is coming from before you go any further down this path or you could find yourself in real difficulty before you know it.

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Making The Move From Employee To Business Owner

The thought of running your own business and being your own boss is hugely alluring. You’ll be getting up every morning knowing that your ability to implement your business vision will make or break the success of your new venture. No longer will you have the security of a stable job with an excellent salary and amazing career prospects. You have relinquished all of this for the chance to spread your wings and succeed on your own. Take a look at these ways that you can make your transformation from employee to business owner as stress-free as possible.

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Research

Before you even consider resigning from your well paid 9 – 5, it’s vital that you do some research into the industry you want to break into on your own. You may be remaining within the sector that you are currently employed in, or you might be branching out into a new area altogether. Either way, you need to investigate your potential rivals, look at best practice within your sector and work out if there is any legislation that you need to comply with. By putting in the preparation before you hand in your notice, you’ll feel more confident to hit the ground running as soon as you leave your job.

Business Plan

You must have a sound and well-constructed business plan. If you’re planning on following your passion for culinary excellence, then you need to document your premises, food markups and profit margins. If you’re considering a jaunt into the logistics world, you’ll need to take a look at some reputable truck dealers to source your fleet ready to set up your haulage company. After working as an employee for so many years, you will have inevitably generated a list of useful contacts. Utilise them at every opportunity, let them know of your plans and encourage them to spread the word.

Whatever industry you are planning on entering, you need to make sure that your business plan is sector specific so that when you present it to a bank manager or business angel, they are confident that they can invest in your venture and see a return.

Marketing

The dominant means of communication is now social media. Every marketing campaign needs to utilise Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to its optimum. With a nuanced marketing strategy aimed at your target market, you should be able to drive traffic to your website and generate sales. Encourage the expansion of your customer base through promotions, regularly updated social media feeds and high-quality blog content. You cannot set up an all singing and all dancing website, sit on your hands and expect the masses to come. You need to be visible, which is why you need an outstanding marketing campaign.

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Setting up your own business requires hours of effort, time and access to startup funding. The stress that this can generate can be immense, but if you follow this advice, you’ll be more prepared to unleash your startup onto the world. With determination and a commitment to succeed, you can break into your chosen sector and become a market leader.

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What’s Wrong with a Blue-Collar Career? Nothing!

Is that executive, college degree required, corner office position the only goal for a career? The answer is  a resounding “NO!” Though I’ve always known it, that fact was reinforced for me by a segment in the CBS show, “Sunday”, that I watched this morning.

 

Sure, those white-collar positions are important, but definitely not the only thing when it comes to careers. Unfortunately, too many think that only white-collar jobs and careers are important, and look down on blue-collar careers, and the people who have them.

Let’s take a look: White Collar Careers

Sure, those with white-collar careers are important. They make plans, meet with other high level decision makers on projects, decipher all the paperwork involved, and keep tabs on the corporate finances and business dealings.

But, they come at a price, and not all are high paying.

They often require a college degree, which can mean tons of student loan debt and years of school, which leads to the next fact. That college degree doesn’t automatically guarantee a high paying job. Some white-collar jobs start at minimum wage and one must stay there a good long time before they see a meaningful rise in pay. And, given how easily companies, especially large ones, will lay off workers, that can take a while with lot’s of derailment along the way.

But even if you get the high paying job, it can often come with a lot of stress in the forms of long hours, difficult bosses and co-workers, and company rules that oftentimes don’t make sense.

That’s not to say that the white-collar career path is not worthwhile, but, like anything else, there are pitfalls, and, if one is not cut out for this path, they’ll likely have problems.

Also, many white-collar positions, particularly lower level ones, can be, and often are, outsourced or automated.

And for those of you who think you’ll never have to get dirty in a white-collar job, that’s not always the case, depending on the field you’re in and company you work for.

Let’s take a look: Blue Collar Careers

Blue collar careers will more likely involve working with one’s hands and involve more physical work. And it can also mean getting dirty, and, if outside, as in construction work, it means working in all types or weather and temperatures. However, it’s not always the case, depending on the field you’re in and the company you work for. But, overall, you’ll be more likely to be working physically.

Many think that blue-collar work is automatically low-paying. Not always true, in fact, it can be very high paying. Mechanics, plumbers, and electricians often do very well, especially once they reach “Journeyman” level and above. Next time you call a plumber, or electrician, or take your car to the mechanic, and you gasp at the bill, you’ll see what the labor cost is. Oftentimes it’s the lion’s share of the bill, and that will tell you that the plumber, electrician, and mechanic make quite a bit more than minimum wage.

Getting prepared for a blue-collar career also often involves furthering one’s education, but trade schools and vocational schools are often cheaper than formal college. However, you’ll still have to study hard.

Another advantage, because of how people think of blue-collar vs white-collar careers, many blue-collar careers go begging, as do openings in trade and vocational schools and programs.

And, there’s another fact that can be really great. It’s that it’s really hard to outsource or automate most blue-collar jobs, and in many disaster situations, the blue-collar worker can often still find work. Puerto Rico, Florida, and Houston are all in need of builders, electricians, plumbers, and others in related trades for rebuilding. They’re not in need of executives, accountants, and sales managers.

And, you can’t outsource plumbers or delivery drivers. And it’ll be a very long time before these positions can be automated.

Final word: We Need Both

So, next time you’re wondering, take a look at your city or town, all the buildings, infrastructure, and the physical things you see being done every day. Yes, the executives were needed to make the plans and get the deals done, and the attorneys were needed to make sure everything was legal and spelled out.

 

But, it was the blue-collar workers, the builders, welders, electricians, plumbers, drivers, machine operators, food preparers and servers, and others, who all combined to make those plans reality.

So whatever career path you choose, know that it is important, worthwhile, and contributes to the well-being of society.

Good luck!

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Stop It Right Now! What You Need To Stop Doing To Let Your Business Soar

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When it comes to making a choice of career, running your own business may figure quite high in the pecking order of what you what as far as lifestyle is concerned. After all, who doesn’t want to clock in and out, as and when they please? And while there are many apparent perks of the job, if you are running a business where you see it more as a way for you to live a certain lifestyle, this is not going to end well. You may have the best of intentions with your business but if you are making it work for you, as opposed to you working for it, here are some things you need to stop doing right now.

 

Stop Using Business Expenses As Disposable Income

You may feel you have put a lot of money into your business over time, so you feel rightly Justified in dipping into your petty cash to help get you out of a jam, such as paying a household bill. However, as time goes on you will realize that the money adds up here and there and you will soon find yourself in a financial deficit, just in time for a key client to be paid and you will find yourself struggling for the adequate funds. The best way to reset the balance if you are guilty of this is to look at your financing options, smallbusinessloans.co has a list of cash injections that may benefit you in this respect. However, it’s important to note that you may want to take this as a sign to get your finances and spending habits in check. Your business expenses are there for the purpose of the business, not your personal needs. And while a business lunch here and there is tax deductible, this doesn’t give you permission to read the petty cash drawer to fund your lifestyle.

 

Stop Micromanaging

The pet hate of any employee is to have someone breathing down their neck every minute of every day, and if the shoe was on the other foot, how would you feel? The fact of the matter is that if you are micro managing your employees all of the time, it shows that you have little trust or faith in their abilities. This also stops them growing and developing into a self-sufficient member of staff. Have a look at mindtools.com for some tips on how to cut back on this, but what you need to do is to step back and let them find what they can bring to the role that is unique and will benefit your business as well as their confidence. The moral of the story is to have some trust in your employees!

 

Stop Looking Over The Horizon

The big picture is always something to bear in mind, that’s if you are constantly looking at the next big thing rather than focusing on what you are accomplishing right now, whether it is business processes or systems, you are not focusing on keeping the business fluctuating in the here and now. The business leaders that I’ll look into the next big thing constantly, without addressing current issues, which should be the priority, shows that your attentions are laying elsewhere. If your current processes and systems aren’t disciplined and focused, you will never reach the end product.

 

Every business has issues that need ironing out, but if you are taking the time to focus on your own issues that are potentially holding the business back, this is how your business will soar.

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Turning Ideas Into Businesses

Does becoming an entrepreneur sound like a good career choice to you? You’d be surprised at how many people in the world think they would make great business owners because they have solid ideas, but the reality is that it’s harder than you think to turn an idea into a fully-fledged business. There are many steps to take, so in this article, we’ll be outlining the basics on how you can actually turn those ideas into something that generates profit.

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Understand Your Audience

 

Most people think they have fantastic ideas and they try to build a brand or even a concept from those ideas. Sadly, they neglect the fact that their ideas usually stem from their own desires and not the consumer. As a result, they can develop this wonderful idea into something workable with lots of hard work and funding, but if the idea isn’t something that appeals to a wider audience then there’s a chance that it will never be successful unless you’re able to show people why your product or service is important. Check out this article from coschedule.com to learn more about finding your target audience.

 

Secure Your Funding

 

Next, ensure that you have enough funds to start your business. You could always look at services like businesslineof.credit to help you secure the funds to start your business, but just keep in mind that no matter how low the interest rates are, you will need to pay it back. This should be no problem if your idea is successful and seeking these types of companies to fund your business is fairly common. If possible, try and start small with your idea (such as working from home) instead of jumping straight into the deep end by hiring employees and renting out an office. Start small, use remote employees and build up your idea from the ground to reduce the amount of money you need to borrow.

 

Hold Onto Your Cards

 

Most companies show their ideas too early and fail to meet expectations. This is common among companies that lack the resources to make their ideas come to life, and more often than not, other companies will swoop in and pick up the idea and put their own spin on it. With more resources than a startup could ever hope to utilise, these companies will use those ideas to create something much more elaborate and with more marketing power. In short, if you’ve got fantastic ideas, keep them to yourself and don’t overextend yourself—understand your limits and hold onto your best ideas.

 

Never Sit Still

 

If you’re serious about turning an idea into a business then you can’t sit still. You need to be constantly on the lookout for ways to promote your ideas and you need to network with people in order to get more interest for your ideas. Networking is an incredibly powerful tool and it enables even the smallest of choices to get noticed in an industry full of powerhouses.

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