6 Proven Strategies to Sustain Business Growth

Congratulations! Your new business has made it past the 5-year milestone.

And, it is doing amazingly well!

You were actually able to beat the odds outlined by the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy. The organization estimates that close to 50% of small businesses close down within 5 years of opening.

Now that you’ve made it past that first possible pitfall, it’s time to think about how you’re going to sustain business growth and take your company to the next level. You’ll want to add more products and services to your list of offerings and perhaps, capture customers from a more widespread geographical radius, demographic, and markets.

To make sure your company is able to sustain those growth levels, you may want to take a few prudent steps. Here are some of the main factors to keep in mind.

1. Enlist the Help of an Expert Leadership Coach

The wider scope of your business operations may need advanced skills and talents that you may not have. If you intent to sustain business growth, you’re going to need the expert advice and assistance of a one on one leadership coach. To run a larger company, you’ll need to develop certain leadership skills and personality traits. These skills can help you communicate better with your employees and team members. You’ll learn to prioritize tasks and stay organized for the streamlined functioning of your business operations.

Given that a growing business will need you to devote more time and attention towards it; you’ll also need counseling on how to keep a balance between your professional and personal commitments. Rely on your coach to help you maintain focus and stay grounded while you grow your company.

2. Keep Your Finger on the Pulse of the Market

Conduct extensive research to remain connected with the changing trends in the market. Keep close watch on the new and competing products being launched and how the customer is receiving them. This information will help you improve and enhance your own products so your company remains competitive and continues to grow. Like this feature on the Entrepreneur advises, focus on the identifying a particular requirement that you can fulfill and work on developing new solutions for that need. Creating add-ons or peripheral accessories for existing products in the market is also a smart move and can help you sustain business growth.

3. Use the Most Innovative Channels for Advertising – Build Your Brand Name

Every smart entrepreneur needs to be aware of the importance of digital marketing and advertising. In an era where close to 80% of consumers look for the products they need online, you cannot ignore this vital advertising tool if you’re looking to sustain business growth. Develop an interactive website and create on online presence on all the social media channels possible. Talk about your products and encourage dialog with customers so they can offer feedback. Be aware that before selecting a particular brand, customers are likely to read up reviews from past users before making a final decision. Regular posts and reviews will help you develop a recognizable brand that your customers will learn to trust and choose above other products.

4. Build a Dedicated Customer Base

In order to sustain business growth, you need a dedicated customer base that trusts your brand. Study the statistics released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and you’ll find that you have a 60% to 70% probability of selling to an existing customer while the chances of selling to a new customer drops to 5% to 20%. So you see, you need to create a community that is confident of the quality and standards of your company’s products.

And, the one way to make that happen is to go the extra mile with excellent service. In addition to providing the best of customer care by handling complaints efficiently, also focus on offering incentives, points accrual programs for long-term customers, and discounts with bulk orders. Consider Holiday season giveaways or Facebook contests to win popularity or even attract interest in any new product launches.

5. Hire an Awesome Team to Work “With” You

Read this case study on Fast Company and you’ll learn that one of the best open secrets to sustain business growth is to have an excellent team working with you. Hire the best of talent you can afford who can bring in the skills you lack. Use your newly acquired leadership skills to build a team of expert professionals that integrate perfectly for the smooth functioning of the company. Encourage feedback, innovative ideas, and infuse enthusiasm into the company work culture. Create an atmosphere of belonging to the business and making it their own. That’s the reason why the stress is on working “with” you in place of working “for” you.

6. Arrange for Adequate Financing

Now that your business is generating a profit, using those funds for the expansion of your company is the smart way to go. But, you may also want to make sure you have backup sources of funds in case you need them during product development or acquiring new property. Arranging for additional finance in advance will ensure that there are no delays in the company’s functioning in case you do run out of money. Keep in mind that acquiring loans for an established successful business will not only be easier but also economical.

While working hard and using carefully designed strategies is essential when you’re getting your company off the ground, you’ll need to maintain that perseverance to sustain business growth. Avoid the dangers of complacency or you’ll risk getting overtaken by competing businesses. Follow these 6 proven approaches and your company is sure to cross the 10-year milestone of success and progress.

3 Tips To Avoid Getting Sick Near Water Bodies

June 1, 2018

You may often feel that your eyes are becoming sore after swimming for a long time. You may think that it is because of the chlorine in the water, but that is not true. Experts noted that that occurs because of a reaction between chlorine and the sweat on your body. It results in irritation. It can lead to further irritation in your lungs as well if you accidentally gulp down some water. You may have to face this irritation in pools, but chlorine is protecting you from bacterial growth. It may not be the same case when you are in an unregulated water body, such as a lake.

You can get water-based diseases and illnesses due to the untreated water present there. To avoid infections and other medical conditions, you should follow specific prevention tips so that you can enjoy to the fullest at lakes, water parks, and swimming pools. That said, follow these tips to avoid being sick in such places.

  • Avoid swallowing the water

You should follow this tip as much as possible, no matter whichever water body you are in for a swim. While pools and water parks have chlorine in them, lake water is not at all safe to drink. In fact, chlorine water is also not fit to drink as it takes time for chlorine to eliminate the germs. Thus, it is possible that you are swimming in a pool or water park that has polluted water. Therefore, natural or artificial – you should avoid swallowing the water at all types of water bodies to avoid getting sick. You can also check out about the Candlewood Lake Algae.

  • Always shower when you are about to go for a swim

You may have heard this rule when you are at a public pool. Rinsing your body in a shower before visiting a pool helps you avoid getting sick from skin infections, etc. Remember that many people are using a public pool at the same time, which may increase the risk of contamination from one body to another. Thus, to avoid that infection, people are advised to take a shower before and after they swim in the pool. That way, they can not only protect their own body but keep others safe from the contamination as well. Also, if you carry kids with you at the pool, then make sure to ask them for restroom breaks every half an hour later to ensure that they do not urinate in the pool water. This rule applies to adults as well.

  • Keep track of the weather

If you are planning to go for a swim in a lake, stream, or river, then you should monitor the weather condition before your recreational activity. The chances are that the weather will affect the growth of bacteria in these water bodies. Remember to avoid days that are hot or are having a rainfall, as it causes the bacteria to populate even more.

Do note that if you are knowledgeable about such activities in advance, then you can protect yourself and your loved ones from avoiding illnesses in the water.

Four Smart Ideas to Supercharge Your Smartphone While Living Abroad

May 31, 2018

No matter how you slice it, your smartphone is your lifeline to the outside world.

And for those of us living abroad, a supercharged phone is our very best friend.

Think about it. Whether you’re taking epic photographs in far-away lands or are simply sending remittance back to your family, a dependable phone makes a world of difference in terms of staying connected.

And so perhaps it’s time to take your smartphone to the next level. Below we’ve outlined four quick ideas which those living abroad can use to transform their phones into the ultimate all-in-one tool no matter how many miles away from your homeland you might be.

Purchase the Proper Peripherals

Reality check: our devices are only so powerful “out of the box.” While we’re certainly willing to pay a premium for the latest Android or Apple phone, the fact remains that most peripherals are relatively cheap. Each of the following are especially handy for those traveling to unfamiliar territory:

  • Portable chargers: for those times when you’re on-the-go or need to rely on your device for directions, it never hurts to have a backup charger around
  • Geo-specific chargers: not all outlets are created equal, after all
  • Handheld tripods: while selfie sticks might be seen a gaudy by some, stabilized photos and photos can make your camera work seem less amateur 

Start Taking Stellar Photographs

Want to document your journey as an expat? Just taking a quiet stroll through downtown? Either way, your device is the perfect tool for capturing just about any moment during your adventures abroad both big and small.

Smartphones are truly beginning to rival pricier cameras when it comes to photo quality, especially for iOS users. That said, it certainly helps to get a helping hand from developers who understand the limitations of our built-in lenses.

For example, some of the best iPhone camera apps that can help you take better snapshots such as Darkroom, Adobe Photoshop Express and Halide are ideal for giving your photos that high-def vibe they deserve.

Do Away with Deadbeat Apps

Regardless of if you’ve just purchased a new device or have had yours for a year or two now, there’s no better time than a big trip to remove bloatware from your phone.

These nagging apps and programs not only slow down your device, but could be hampering the performance of some of the aforementioned apps. Stick to a rule of thumb that for every new app you download to remove one that’s gathering cobwebs.

Rethink Your Carrier and Mobile Plan

On a final note that might seem obvious, you need to ensure that your carrier and SIM card are good to go prior to travel.

Simply asking your provider isn’t good enough, either: try to read some firsthand accounts (think: from TripAdvisor or Reddit) to keep yourself from second-guessing whether or not your phone is ready to go abroad. If you’re planning for a long-term trip, it might be worthwhile to look into a secondary phone locally.

If you’re living abroad, your mobile device is so much more than “just a phone.” No matter what you might be doing in a totally new country, giving your smartphone a much-needed boost to keep you in the loop about what’s going on at home is key to keeping you connected and comfortable.

 

5 Amazing Tips To Get The Best Photos Of Your Pets

By now, it’s pretty obvious to most pest owners that photographing their pet is much more difficult than photographing their child. That’s because pets naturally have an unpredictable nature; and hence, they have no idea what the photographer is up to.

In fact, most pets shun the camera’s flashlight. While others go as far as getting agitated by the conspicuous camera noises made during the picture shoot.

However, some pets are natural-born models, and completely trust their masters when it comes to facing the camera.

Sure, it might be challenging to get an award-winning shot, but here are some subtle tips that can make the process much easier.

Go down to their level

It makes no sense to photograph a kitten while standing. For starters, the photograph would be captured from a bird’s eye view, which to be honest, are pretty tough to execute

However, when a photographer gets down to the level of the pet, say a kitten, it will provide him or her with the opportunity to get much better angles. Moreover, the photos will tend to look more natural.

Another thing is that a majority of pets tend to fear their master when they are at a higher level than them, but loosen up when the human stoops down low to their level.

Always use the silent shutter

If one’s camera has a silent mode available, then it is best that it is utilized. For example, one can use points and shoots to minimize and turn off the sound, since there will be no mechanical shutter to produce the noise.

Because let’s face it. Wouldn’t a human being also be scared if a big unfamiliar thing was point towards them and suddenly released a peculiar sound? Exactly.

Take advantage of natural light

In photography, the importance of natural light cannot be downplayed. Most pets are in fact, frightened of the flash light camera because they relate it to lightning during thunderstorms.

So don’t be surprised to see the pet taking off after the photo because naturally, it’s used to running away from the thunderstorm.

Focus on the pets eye

As is similar to photographing people, eyes are the windows to the pet’s soul. The only difference is that pets tend not to pose during the process. So it will take quite the time and effort to get their attention.

However, when it does finally focus its vision on the lens, the end result of such a photo can be simply breathtaking.

Be patient with the pet

As the sages have quipped for years, ‘patience is a virtue.’ That being said, the photographer has to understand that a pet will be a pet. Regardless of the situation, the pet is an animal and it will naturally feel lazy, or not interested in the camera.

However, if one is patient, then it will be much easier to keep the creative process going and will soon be rewarded with a great pet photo.

That being said, if one happens to love pets and would like to dedicate their careers in nursing and treating them (oh, and also making them take great photos), have a look at Vet Tech Schools in Kansas for some of the finest veterinary facilities in the country.

World Cup in Russia Set to be a Technological Extravaganza

The 2018 World Cup in Russia will bring together the finest footballing nations on the planet and the event will include a wide range of technological advancements to support proceedings.

Online streaming and the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system are two examples of how technology will feature at the tournament and both have the potential to change the sport forever. Read on as we take a look at both.

Online streaming

Around $1.85 billion will be generated in broadcasting deals over the next two World Cups. Over 190 networks around the world will have live coverage and for the first time in history the tournament will have extensive online streaming on rights holder websites and mobile apps.

FIFA has ensured that most of these are terrestrial (free-to-air) channels, with many of these also showing matches via their online platforms. Although access to online coverage is free, you do need an IP address for the country’s coverage you wish to access.

So if you are in Spain and want English coverage, all you need to do is buy a VPN (cost around $5) and get a UK IP address to access the coverage. Use Harrah’s Casino Online Promotion Code for the chance to win the funds to purchase a VPN.

Similar services are available with Fox (USA), ARD & ZDF (Germany) and SBS (Australia). If you wanted American coverage but are located in another part of the world, you need to buy a VPN and get a US IP address to access Fox just like a person would do from inside the States.

Video assistant referee (VAR) technology

VAR will be used at the World Cup after the International Football Association Board (IFAB), which sets the game’s laws, unanimously approved the use of the technology in matches on a permanent basis.

The system operates on a three-step process of incident, review/advice, decision, and across the four areas of football deemed ‘game-changing’ by FIFA.

VAR is only to be used ‘to correct clear errors and for missed serious incidents’ in those ‘match-changing’ situations. The incidents that can be reviewed are in relation to validity of goals, penalties, direct red cards or mistaken identity for cautions or dismissals.

VARs and other match officials are able to recommend reviews, but the only person who can initiate one is the referee, who will then have the final say on whether their original decision should stand or be changed. They have the option to review footage themselves on a pitch-side monitor before making a final decision.

FIFA’s decision to use VAR at the World Cup is a major sign that the people charged with running football believe the system is here to stay despite it being criticised by many pundits.

7 Nutrients That Will Help You To Sleep Better

May 23, 2018

The common misconception around healthy living is that we think it means a complete diet and exercise overhaul, but if you make small changes on a daily basis, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier, happier life. Survival in our modern world has become a challenge. While people are busy in obtaining the financial resources for surviving happily, they overlook the essence of medical stability. As the result, they are diagnosed with a serious health crisis. Although doctors find a way to cure most of the diseases efficiently, you should put efforts in avoiding diseases. In simpler words, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is of utmost importance. Below are tips of daily healthy lifestyle:


Drink Plenty of Water

One of the major underrated substances present in our day to day activities is water. Water can prevent many health problems of a human being. Either athlete or health-conscious human should drinks not less than eight glasses of purified water to prevent them from diseases. It is scientifically proven that every human being should drink more than 6 glasses of purified water each and every day.

Prefer Organic Food

Organic food is pure from toxic ingredients. Any food that does not lie in this category will therefore contain pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. Although the quantity of the toxic ingredient is a bit low, they sum up to become a major problem specifically the long run.

Exercise Regularly

This is an important part of day to day routine of every health-conscious human being. Exercising enhances your shape, burning of calories and improving cardiovascular function. Every human being should perform exercises in not less than 20 minutes in a daily basis. This exercise varies per the weight, medical stability, sex, flexibility, and the gender of each and every person.

Avoid Toxins

Intoxication destroys your fitness. Whether it is smoking or drinking, all kinds of intoxication are immensely harmful for your health. Smoking tobacco causes cancer whereas consuming alcohol can lead to problems relating to digestive system.

Consume Raw Food

Raw foods contain more fiber than cooked foods. They have high nutritional value and provide sufficient vitamins and proteins. On the other hand, some foods lose nutrients when heated or cooled. Hence, you should consume lots of fruits and salads every day.

Balanced diet

Planning your meals is the first important step in eating right. Therefore, make sure that you plan your meals and know what exactly your body needs. There are some good sites that teach you how to eat healthy, but here are some general tips you can keep in mind. Understand the different categories of food and identify the amount of nutrients you need to consume on a daily basis.

Make sure that the amount of nutrition your body requires is spread across your three meals. Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet and as far as possible avoid processed food.

Being insured

Make sure you are insured so you can take care of all your health, nutrition and medical needs. The cost of medicine is increasing, while inflation is taking more and more out of our paychecks. Therefore, a health insurance plan is a great way to secure a better healthy lifestyle without the constant worry of paying medical bills.

Life insurance should be taken seriously and contributes a great deal to your health and well being. Of course, if you’re unable to afford to pay for health insurance monthly, you can always compare cheap health insurance quotes to find the best deal. Don’t underestimate the power of getting a policy to help you cover for all your medical expenses.

Sleep

You’d be surprised how much sleeping in a comfortable mattress contributes to your health. Sleeping Culture provides information about different types of mattress be sure to visit them. If you didn’t get good sleep, your whole day is off to a bad start. Try other relaxation techniques to help control your stress levels.

If you have trouble sleeping, there are healthy ways to help you fall asleep without taking sleeping aids or sleeping pills. For one, make sure your room is dark, and your clock turned away from you. If you are too stressed out, write your thoughts down on paper and leave it be.

Fitness should be a top priority for every person residing in our present world. Staying fit not only avoids the risk of diseases, but also enables you to focus on your day-to-day activities. Hence, every person should practice the above-mentioned things regularly and make them a part of their lifestyle to stay fit.

Penang Travel Guide For First Timers

Penang, listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage, is world famous as an exotic holiday destination. When it comes to cultural sights and natural scenery, Penang will keep you spoiled for choices. Fondly nicknamed as the food capital of Malaysia, Penang is famous for its soft sandy beaches, temples, and gardens. It is very easy to reach Penang as Flights are readily available. You can travel from Kuala Lumpur to Penang via AirAsia. You can book the AirAsia ticket via Traveloka at an affordable price. Get ready to explore Penang which is a cocktail of Asian cultures living together happily and nature is as diverse as its culture.

Where to stay

Penang includes the island of Penang, and most visitors stay in Georgetown. Penang is a state in Malaysia that includes the island of Penang. For most visitors when they say they are going to Penang, they are going to Georgetown, which is Penang’s liveliest district. One can opt for a range of accommodations options such as comfortable backpacker inns, luxurious heritage hotel or rentals. Chulia Street and Love Lane is the area for backpackers and guesthouses.

Getting around in Penang
Traveling around in Penang is indeed a joy, and there is definitely an easy way to reach your destination no matter where it is. All major touristic spots are well connected and easily accessible. Public buses are the most popular and common transport in Penang, and the public transportation system is a lot better and improved than before. Other than the paid buses, you can also avail of the free shuttle bus or rent a car. A rented car offers you much more freedom and flexibility.

Things to do and explore

The diverse and cosmopolitan Penang is fast developing to an idyllic destination, and there is a steady rise in the number of tourists. George Town, located at its center is a bustling urban city. However, as you move away from the urban area, you will find yourself amidst mountainous jungle and farms, charming fishing villages and palm-fringed beaches. However else can you enjoy the stunning natural scenery as well as the melting pot of culture. There are plenty of hipster cafes, atmospheric temples and other attractions in Penang which offers a myriad of cultural sights and natural sceneries. The best part is that one can easily walk from one attraction to another.

  • Explore the modern metropolitan city of Georgetown known for its mixture of British colonial and Asian architectures.
  • Visit KOMTAR, Penang’s tallest skyscraper in Georgetown and wander around the city to see the temples and museums.
  • Enjoy the festival Cheah Kongsi, when the streets are decorated with lanterns and exude festive vibes during Chinese New Year festivals.
  • Make a trip to Bukit Bendera, the highest hill in Penang and one can easily hike all the way up.
  • Penang is famous for its beaches, and there are lots of beaches for the beach-lovers. Batu Feringghi is popular among locals and tourists and offers horse-riding, fish spa, jet-skiing as well as reflexology treatments.
  • Another famous beach is Monkey Beach in Teluk Bahang where one can enjoy the picturesqueness nature and jungle trek in the Penang National Park.
  • Visit Pinang Peranakan Mansion, which is a nineteenth century mansion now converted to museum and showcases more than a thousand antiques.
  • Penang is also famous for its food that boasts of a great variety. You must try the famous Indian-Muslim food, Nasi Kandar as well as the spicy noodle soup of Peranakan cuisine- Laksa Penang. You will like the bowl of shaved ice, Chendol with chewy green rice and fresh coconut milk.
  • There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes where one can enjoy the Japanese and western cuisine.

 

Surprising Reasons To Read Motivational Quotes

May 21, 2018

Did you know there are several people who read motivational quotes every other day? Well, it is said that you feel good and motivated when you surround yourself with positive people. These days people are very busy in their schedule that they do not get enough time to spend with their dear ones. It is indeed the modern era, and everybody is spending about eight to ten hours in their workplace.

Whatever the schedule they are going through, they still get five minutes to open their Instagram or Facebook account to read some motivational quotes. A question might be popping up in your mind that why people do that? Is not it? Read on to get the answer and know why you should also read motivational quotes.

Encourage, inspire and motivate

It is apparent that by reading motivational quotes one feels motivated and inspired, but there are times when you need such quotes the most. In odd situations, you may lack motivation, feel unhappy, low or depressed. At such times, reading motivational quotes will be the best thing you can do for yourself. You just need to go through some picture quotes, and you will be astonished to see how your mood improves.

Offers hope

No matter who you are, you will face problems as they are the part of life. Well, at such difficult situations, quotes play a role of the key player. Quotes have a power to drive away the depression as well as darkness from your life, and will bring the rays of light in your life. Especially when you feel down or do not know what to do, then you must read motivational quotes. It will offer you a sense of hope.

Makes you optimist

Are you a pessimist or you think that nothing is going right in your life? If you are among those who look at the negative side of life, then you must shift your focus on reading motivational quotes. When you go through encouraging quotes, you will welcome everything that will come your way, whether positive or negative. So, motivational quotes will eventually make you an optimist. It is important to think positive as it will solve many emotional problems in your life.

Opens your mind and change your mood

There is no doubt that quotes are an eye opener, but when it comes to the motivational quotes, they are called as mind opener. When you read inspirational quotes, you will be able to see the problem from different point of view. In fact, you will have a wider perspective. Well, if you are among those who suffer from mood swings, you must count on motivational quotes. Moreover, quotes will expand your mind as well as awareness, and you will be able to embrace everything that comes your way.

The best part is that it does not require much effort. Also, motivational quotes will never leave you in boredom. In the world of internet, you can get numerous awesome motivational quotes that are ready to help you. Now, what are you waiting for! Just go and start reading motivational quotes today.

4 Gardening Gadgets to Make Life Easier

May 14, 2018

Gardening has changed a lot over the last few years, as technology has overtaken the basic gardening tools. Where once there was a modest watering can, today, a modern sensor tells you when to water your plants.

For anyone who doesn’t have much of a green finger but wants to have at least some success in the garden and not look like a complete failure, please read on. These four gardening gadgets will be a lifesaver.

Robot Mower

While a mower won’t make your gardening more successful in a direct way, it takes care of the lawn, so you can tend to everything else. You might not think that will save you much time, but someone calculated that Americans with a lawn mower lose over 65 hours a year just mowing the lawn!

The Worx Landroid is a sleek model that looks more like a mini vacuum cleaner than it does a lawnmower. It’s one of the budget models out there. At the other end of the scale is the Husqvarna Automower, which looks more like a sleek Lotus motor car with all the bells and whistles too.

Water Sprinkler Control

The Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller and Flow Meter is an interesting way to get more efficient with lawn and plant watering. The unit connects to the internet to pull in local forecasts about the rainfall. It uses this information, along with a record of previous watering sessions, to provide the appropriate amount of water that’s needed.

By using a system like Rachio, it’s possible to cut your water bill considerably. Because of this, the cost of the unit is covered over time through the reduced cost of water from your local water utility. Find more gardening facts that ultimately save you money by visiting Lovebackyard.com.

Hanging Hydroponic Farm

If you want to go all NASA, then become an indoor grower by using a hydroponic farm like the space agency has used before. Herbert – as he’s affectionately known – is currently in the production stage for budding gardeners who want to go all ‘hydroponic’.

Plants sit with their roots in a biodegradable foam. The plants grow out of containers fitted to the side of a wall or wooden gate. This provides ideal conditions for strawberries, herbs, and other tasty treats. Expect to produce a bumper crop ahead of other growth methods.

The Herbert project started as an IndieGoGo project with delivery for people who’ve already ordered expected before summer 2018.

Thirsty Plants and Vegetables

There are several gadgets that offer similar sensor functionality to help your plants. We like PlantLink (helloplant makes a good second choice). It comes with a battery that’ll last a full year and accesses your smartphone from a distance over 250 feet too. This affordable gardening device is pushed into the soil and measures the moisture level. There’s a smartphone app to select your plant species, which helps the app inform you correctly when the plant is thirsty again.

Using technology in different ways to optimize your gardening experience is fun even for people who aren’t that tech-savvy. Take the plunge and enjoy tending to your garden far more.

8 Helpful Tips For Planning Your Wedding

Planning a wedding can be one of the most stressful experiences known to humankind. While hiring a professional to help out can lessen the load, for many of us that isn’t an option due to budget restraints – or maybe because we just have the urge to make our special day extra special by doing it ourselves and watching all that hard work come to fruition.

It’s not impossible to plan your own wedding if that is the route you want to go down – it just takes a lot of organization and a little bit of help from trusted friends and families. To get you started, here are eight helpful tips for planning your own wedding.

It’s never too early to start planning

You might have a date set for two years away, but it’s never too early to start planning. The sooner you can nail down the essentials such as numbers and budget, the better.

Set a budget

You might not have the budget to host a wedding like the celebrities on Richest Lifestyle lists do, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put together a memorable do. Don’t spend anything until you’ve set a realistic budget that won’t stretch you too far. You’ll want more money in reserve as you are bound to find additional costs on top of what you’ve planned for such as dress alterations, gifts and beauty expenses.

Get friends and family to help

It’s your big day, but it will go much smoother with a select band of helpers. Get help from people you trust and who you can be honest with – if they come up with a suggestion you don’t like, you need to be able to tell them!

Be selective with the guest list

You don’t need to have 1,900 people attend your wedding like Prince William and Kate Middleton did. Once you’ve set how many people are coming, be selective in who you choose. Cost per head is likely to be the biggest expense of your wedding, so don’t be guilt tripped into inviting second cousins you haven’t seen for 10 years.

Make sure you have a Plan B

The last thing you’ll want to think about is what happens if things don’t go to plan but having a Plan B can spare stress and worry on the day. Plan alternatives for uncontrollable factors such as weather, something going wrong with the catering or illness before the event. You might not need a back up plan, but if you do then at least you have one ready and waiting.

Book the best photographer you can

Memories may fade, but photos don’t. Book the best wedding photographer you can find who understands you as a couple as it will be through their lens that you look back on the happiest day of your life.

Get the food right

Along with how beautiful the bride looked, one of the most talked about parts of a wedding day is often the food. If you are a quirky couple, then why not try some unusual wedding foods? Whatever you go for, make sure your guests are fed and watered as hungry guests are never a good thing!

Most important of all – enjoy it

It’s your day and you should enjoy every moment of it, including the planning. If you feel yourself getting too caught up in it all, take a step back, remember how special the whole process is and what it is all for.