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Management

When Should I Hire Staff?

Hiring staff is always going to be a risk for any business owner. You need to consider whether the potential hire is going to be worth it and if hiring a new staff member will help your company make larger earnings. You might be a solopreneur, in the midst of considering hiring your first employee. If you have reached this stage, you are probably starting to find that you can’t manage all the jobs in your business yourself anymore. If you want to expand your position on the market, you have to be willing to grow and move forward. That means hiring more staff so you can take on larger contracts and increase your market presence. But when is the right time to hire the first members of your team?

‘Sorry, I Can’t Take On Anymore Work’

If you are constantly saying this to potential new clients, you should definitely consider hiring your first staff member. The fact is that if you’re turning down the chance of more work you are losing revenue. You have more demand than you can meet. By turning down work, your business looks weak, and clients will think twice about using a company who can’t meet all their needs.

Of course, it is possible that you want to keep the business small for personal reasons. Perhaps you don’t have the time to run a larger company. If that’s the case, you may still want to think about hiring the right individuals who can help manage the workload. This could give you more free time outside of your company if you choose the right team of staff. However, your workload isn’t the only factor to take into consideration.

More Money, Less Problems

If you think about hiring staff, you need to take a long hard look at your accounts. You need to think about whether you can afford to take on new staff members. Perhaps you have enough revenue that you will easily be able to afford a new team member. Or, maybe, your business hasn’t grown because right now you can’t afford it. You should not take on new staff unless you have the demand to cover the cost.

To get around the heavy cost of a full team, you can consider hiring part-time staff. This will allow you to provide more services to clients and customers while still keeping costs low. Or you can hire workers on a freelance basis. One of the best advantages of this business model is that you won’t have as many responsibilities for your employees. For instance, the employee will be responsible for managing payment of their own taxes.

Potential For Profits

It’s possible that there’s the potential to increase profits in your business if you hire a new staff member. For instance, you might have assessed your marketing and found with an increased focus on content, you can gain new clients. If that’s the case, it would be beneficial for you to hire a content manager or a content writer. These individuals will grow your marketing campaign and provide you new ways of reaching customers that you could never attract without their help. There are lots of areas where businesses can expand, but usually, it requires specialist staff and knowledge that the business owner might not have themselves.

With the right employees on your team, it is possible to take your company to the next level. But you have to hire at the right time. You shouldn’t hire a staff member with the aim to identify further profit potential. Instead, you should identify the area and then use a new member of staff to make it happen.

The Customer Is Always Right

If customers and clients are complaining about your level of service, then something has to give. Complaints and queries from customers can be tools that you can use to make your business stronger and more competitive. But it might also be a sign that you should be thinking about increasing your staff numbers. It’s possible that clients are constantly complaining about missed deadlines and a low-quality output. If that’s the case, you might need more staff to manage the workload that you’re currently undertaking. Continuing on the same path could lead to the permanent damage of your company profile and reduce the chance of positive word of mouth.

You might find that you just need a staff member behind the scenes, dealing with customer queries. If you have the money to pay them, they could be a valuable asset. They will be able to ensure customer complaints are handled more efficiently and free up your time to focus on other areas of the business.

A Role To Fill

If you are considering hiring staff for your business, you need to make sure that there is a role that exists for them to fill. Some business owners make the mistake of hiring employees because they think it’s a required part of making a business successful. But if you hire staff without a role in mind, they’ll just end up sitting around doing nothing, and you’ll still need to pay them. The trick is finding the role and then filling it with the right team member and this brings us neatly to the next point.

Take The Time

A pitfall new business owners always fall into is filling the office with staff as quickly as possible. The desire to hit the ground running is understandable, but if you hire the wrong individual for a position, you’ll quickly trip over your own feet. Don’t forget, not all the candidates on the job market right now are going be a brilliant new addition to your business. Some will be inept, inferior or simply uneducated and untrained. Hiring people like this by mistake will cripple your business potential. Make sure you are taking your time with hires, searching far and wide. The right employee might not even be in the same country as your company.

Taking on your first hire is a big decision, and it’s one that all business owners must make. While there is a right time to hire, if you leave it too late you will just need to take the risk. No company can grow effectively without a strong team to help steer the ship.

Additional Resources

Are Your Business Operations Falling Apart? It May be Time to Hire Staff
10 Hiring Tips for Your Small Business
Hire Your First Employee

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Management

Getting started in business

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When you are thinking of starting a new business, one of the first things you need to ask yourself is what business model your company will adopt. Your business model is your company’s blueprint for making a profit. It explains what product or service your company plans to sell, how you will market your product or service, how much your business will cost to run, and how your business will turn a profit.

The best business plan is the one that allows you to fulfill your clients needs at a reasonable cost, while still remaining true to your company values and objectives. Three good questions to ask yourself in the business model planning stage are:

  1. Do you have a unique value proposition that makes your product or service valuable?
  2. Who is your target market, and do they have a need for your product or service?
  3. What makes you different from your competitors? Will your business model be difficult to copy?

Without these essential elements, you don’t have a way of generating revenue for your business. Some other elements to ask yourself when selecting a business model include: cost structure, key metrics, resources, problem and solution, revenue model, revenue streams and profit margin.

Some of the most popular business models include the manufacturer model, which is utilized by Dell Computers and Hewlett-Packard. This business model sees a manufacturer convert raw materials into a product. Another popular business model is the retailer model. Retailers purchase goods from distributors and then sell them to the public. Stores such as Nordstrom and Target have seen great success in this space.

Even companies that are innovating the business world tend to adopt characteristics from more traditional models. For example, Netflix has transformed the way you watch shows and movies but their company essentially runs on the subscription business model. This model asks customers to pay a monthly fee in order to utilize the product or service. In the case of Netflix, you pay a monthly fee to access their app.

You should start writing your business model in the beginning stages of your business plan. This way, you answer some of the most important questions about your business right out of the gates, rather than realizing at the end of your planning stages that profitability is not an option.

There are twelve main business models for you to choose from. Once you’ve found one that fits your business needs, you can begin to adapt it and make it your own. The right business model for you depends entirely on what you are selling, how much it costs to produce, and who you plan to market it to.

If you don’t know where to start, the visual below details the main business models explained with coffee.

Let me know if you have any questions!

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Management

Hard From The Start: Which Industries Are Best For Female Entrepreneurs?

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Equality in society is something which is always improving. Rights have steadily been becoming increasingly universal as time has gone by, with more and more people being afforded the same level of living standards. Of course, though, there are still some areas which are severely lacking.

The gender pay gap has been highlighted in media very frequently over the last few years, and what we really want to know – is the wage gap between men and women shrinking?

Gender Pay Gap

The gender wage or pay gap is the average difference in pay between men and women. There are a couple of primary reasons for the gap.

Why the pay gap?

Women have chosen to work less hours, they may choose to work part-time so they can work around the school drop off and pick up times. They also take maternity leave and may extend it longer than the standard number of weeks of ‘paid maternity leave’.

There is also another reason, and it’s not voluntary, discrimination in the workplace and the value of a female worker versus a male worker doing the same job. The good news is the gap is shrinking and while it exists from the shop floor to the boardroom, women are fighting back.

Some industries are more male centric and they have been harder to win around with equal pay for equal work. The good news is there is upwards movement for women in all roles in and saying this, what about the most critical positions out there? How many female entrepreneurs make it to executive levels, and which industries are best for this half of the population?

Females In Executive Roles

In 2018, Fortune 500’s companies list only featured 23 female chief executives. Dropping 25% from the previous year, it seems as though the number of women in high levels of business is dropping, though this may not be the case. Sheryl Sandberg is an excellent example of a COO at one of the world’s largest companies; Facebook. Having been at the company for more than ten years, she is living evidence that it is possible for women to achieve positions which men have traditionally held.

To get a good idea of where women seem to do best in this field, it’s best to take a test sample. In this case, we’re going to be looking at an organization which works towards equality in a range of fields, one of which is business.

Where Are The Women Executives?

You can find Involve’s top 100 Female Executives at list link. While this list doesn’t cover all of the women in business, it offers a good range of different people.

We’ve taken each of the women on the list and put them into one of eight categories; technology, finance, retail, infrastructure, politics/activism, business, health, and manufacturing. You can find the results below.

As you can see, finance and business are the clear leaders when it comes to fields with female executives. Technology doesn’t happen too close behind, though, and it’s good to see that so many types of business make a showing. It makes sense that finance is so prevalent here.

Financial companies make up a vast amount of the world’s trade, and you don’t tend to get a small one, making them all need their executives. Some of the companies on the list are massive, while others were started by the lady in question. M62 Vincis’ Nicci Take is an excellent example of this and is someone who pushes for equality in business.

Which Field Is Best For Women?

It’s hard to say which field is best for women, especially when you break it down like this. If you look at success as working for a large company, someone like Michele Evans could be a good source of inspiration, as she heads the $21 billion giant known as Lockheed Martin. This company makes all sorts of machines, with a heavy focus on those with military applications. This isn’t the sort of work a lot of people would associate with a woman, as war is a heavily male-dominated industry, but this shows that the world is getting better at recognizing merit over gender.

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Management

Home Based eCommerce: Solving the Storage Issue

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How much do consumers spend online? According to a 2018 Omnichannel Buying Report, consumers spend a third ($1 in every $3) of their discretionary income online. While Amazon steals the show for the top seller, there are thousands upon thousands of home-based entrepreneurs behind those Amazon numbers. From skincare to books to clothing and other consumer goods, sellers and resellers are not only in the sales game they’re also in the inventory shipping and storage game.

The fact of the matter is, adding storage for an eCommerce business is a common problem that many online entrepreneurs face. Are you facing this issue? If so, don’t stress about renting storage units or renting commercial space if you don’t have the budget right now. If you take the time to make a plan for adding the right type of storage space to your home, you’ll avoid facing hefty storage fees month after month.

Storage Containers, and Lots of Them

The most affordable way to add additional storage to your home is also, thankfully, the easiest: DIY storage containers. If you have a closet that you’re not utilizing, you’d be surprised by how much room you can squeeze out of it just by A) organizing everything, and B) putting everything into a large, multi-tiered plastic storage container. You can find these both on the Internet and at any home supply or container store.

Organized storage containers will enable you to fit more items in the same-sized area, and you’ll also have easier access to inventory whenever you need it. This is the perfect choice for small eCommerce products that have high turnover rates, such as make-up, crafts, or other small niche products.

Convert and Enclose a Patio

Do you have a patio area on the exterior of your home that you don’t utilize? Perfect, you’ve got the makings of a storage room right outside your door.

Get quotes from a few local construction partners to convert and enclose the patio into a usable space. If the temperature for storing your inventory is important, be sure to get a quote for adding heat and AC. If you’re concerned about aesthetics or future use of the room, add windows to give the room a bit of additional lighting.

Once the patio is enclosed, you can follow traditional inventory storage advice or treat it as a garage space and organize accordingly. If you’re keeping resale value in mind as you make changes, Forbes offers a few tips to keep in mind for home improvements that boost value. Although the article doesn’t mention storage, the Mud Room and Smart Features concepts will ensure your investment yields a return.

No Basement? Look Up

Most homes have an attic or a crawl space that is accessible through pull-down stairs or an opening with a ladder. Before you consider this option, call in a handyman or contractor to evaluate the strength of the flooring.

You may have to reinforce the attic floor before you can use it to walk around or store items. There are two main reinforcement techniques available: sistering and engineered floor joists. Sistering involves installing newer, larger floor joists side by side with your existing ones. Engineered floor joists offer an increased level of structural reliability and as a bonus, you won’t have to worry about crowning, bowing or other related problems. When in doubt, call in a professional, as attic storage without proper reinforcement can be a hazard.

If you’re going to be converting your attic into storage, it’s probably best to use it for items that aren’t temperature sensitive. If the space is too good to pass up, you can look into adding extra insulation and heating/cooling options.

Invest in a Separate Building

If you absolutely need additional storage onsite but lack the space in your home, pre-engineered metal buildings are the most affordable way to go.

Even if you’ve only got a limited amount of land, you may still have room for this option. Steel buildings come in a variety of shapes and sizes with many custom options. Prefabricated metal buildings are erected very quickly and can solve your inventory storage problems right away. As an aside, if you require storage for large items, you can also experiment with triple roof structures, carports for covered outdoor work areas, or combinations of the two, depending on your needs.

Regardless of which onsite storage option you choose to explore, it’s clear that you have many options to help you manage growing inventory without paying storage fees to a third party facility. All of these options will add value to your home should you decide to move in the future.

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