Category Archives for Entrepreneurship

Alternative Realities – 5 Alternatives To The 9-5 Lifestyle That Are Worth Considering

The idea of quitting the 9-5 grind in pursuit of endless adventure is a dream for many. If you’re thinking of ditching your soul-crushing job for something more exciting and relevant to your talents, you might want to consider the following alternative lifestyles.

  • Start an Online Business

While exchanging time for money can buy you a good lifestyle, it can also rob you of the opportunity to do the things you truly love. The good news is, the internet offers a number of solutions that can give you both time and location freedom.

Once you sift through the get rich quick schemes and scammy programs, there are many unique business models that offer a sustainable alternative (eCommerce and affiliate marketing being two of the most profitable).

In addition to low start-up costs, most online businesses are simple to operate with a laptop and internet access. If you happen to outgrow the home office, serviced office suites are available to hold meetings and provide an affordable change of pace.

  • Join the FIRE Movement

The FIRE movement stands for Financial Independence to Retire Early, and it’s aimed at individuals who are looking to take control of their lives and finances. We’re living at a time when safety nets are disappearing, corporations are promising less and less, and fewer jobs offer pensions or paid retirement anymore.

The FIRE movement posits that with very strict budgeting and extreme measures to reduce expenses, it’s possible to quit stressful jobs and enjoy a fulfilling life. Having accessed all this free time, you can spend your best years pursuing passion projects, from writing a book, starting a blog, or traveling the world.

The key to success with the FIRE movement is to be mindful of your spending and cut out extra expenses that don’t bring you happiness. Focus on increasing your take-home pay every year, and when you do get pay raises, don’t spend the new money you’re earning. Instead, put it into savings and investments and you’ll get closer to early retirement each year.

  • Try The Nomadic Lifestyle

The thing about a vocation is that it affects your entire lifestyle, including your location, your mindset, your circle of friends, your diet, and even the time you spend in traffic.

If you find yourself daydreaming about ocean waves and sombreros while at work, then you might want to consider becoming a nomad. The great thing about the nomadic lifestyle is that you can leverage your existing skills to make a living while traveling the world.

Nomads have been known to take up unique vocations, from harvesting strawberries and bartending, to being lifeguards and scuba diving instructors.

  • Get Paid to Travel

If you have a social media account, then you’ll be familiar with travel influencers who get paid to travel the world. All you need to get started as a travel influencer is a large and loyal social media following and a penchant for taking aesthetically pleasing pictures, and an understanding of how to monetize your photography and social media presence.

Though international travel was halted due to COVID-19, there are still opportunities in the local tourism sector of most countries, and companies are doubling down on digital marketing as a way to stay relevant.

  • Become a Digital Nomad

Unlike regular nomads, digital nomads work for themselves, running successful online businesses or consulting practices on the go.

They’re innovative movers and shakers who seek greener pastures past the traditional 9 to 5 lifestyle, and they want to get the most out of their best years before they settle in any one place.

Which of these 9-5 alternatives is calling your name?

 

What You Should Do Before You Start Your Career

Starting your career is one of the most significant milestones of your life, and whether you are just starting out or are heading on a career change, there are some actions that you need to take to be prepared for whatever your career throws at you. To find out more, read this article for a complete guide on how to set your career up for a good start.

Research Careers

The first thing that you should do is to research the types of careers that are available to you and which align with your interests and the lifestyle that you are looking from. To conduct career research, you should consider taking career assessments or quizzes to get some idea of which careers are open to you and which may suit your personality. You can also conduct research by reading online resources and career-based journals, which can help to profile a range of different roles that may appeal to you.

Stay Updated with Industries

Conducting research about the industry that you are about to enter is paramount, as this can allow you to stay up-to-date with any advancements that are occurring and which could affect your job and the requirements of the roles that you are applying for. You can stay up-to-date by following industry-specific news, reading online industry journals, and joining professional networks, which can keep you in contact with the most significant developments in the business.

Look at the Requirements

You should also keep track of the requirements that are needed to enter the career of your choice, as this can ensure that you are prepared when it comes to applying for a job that suits you. This can include checking the requirements of college courses that are necessary for your career, as each of these demand different GPAS and SATS records for applicants. To do this, CampusReel can give you access to a range of information, including the Denison acceptance rate, which can help you to find the college which can most advance your career in the future.

Create a Resume

Before you start applying for job roles that interest you, and even while you are still at college, you should create a resume that can profile your successes and strengths and encourage employers to want you on their team. You could also couple this with a professional portfolio and a personal pitch to elevate your chances of getting the career that you are looking for. What’s more, you can use social media platforms to create a personal brand that can help to open opportunities to you and link you to employers who may be interested in what you have to offer.

Improve Your Career Skills

Lastly, before you begin your career, this is an excellent time to improve the skills that you will need within your career. This includes essential office and admin skills such as knowing how to send a stellar email, how to prepare an invoice, how to pitch an idea, and how to communicate with clients and your manager.

How To Get A Business Loan Without Security

Although small businesses now have a range of lenders who are willing to lend to them instead of just traditional banks, the problem is that even today, most lenders only consider creditworthy businesses or those who can put up security against the loan.

Arranging security against a loan can be a challenge for small businesses that have limited assets, to begin with, if they fail to repay the loan, they risk losing the only valuable assets they own, resulting in business operations coming to a halt.

Thankfully, several lenders are willing to provide unsecured financing without the need for security. You just have to make your business seem like a safe investment option for them. Here is how you can obtain an unsecured loan for your business:

1. IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT RATING

Although you can get an unsecured loan even with an average credit score, you will have to pay higher interest as a result. The better your credit rating, the higher your chances of securing an unsecured loan at a reasonable interest rate.

How can you advance your credit rating? The fastest method to do it is by reducing your credit utilization, which is the proportion of your available credit limit used. It makes up 30% of your total credit score. If you are using more than 25% of your current limit, you are damaging your credit score. Pay off your debts, close down any credit facilities you don’t need, and make sure your credit report is free from errors.

2. WORK ON YOUR CASH FLOW

If you want a business loan with no money down or security, you need to ensure that you have sufficient cash flow to be able to keep up with the interest payments and also repay the loan. Before you apply, come up with cash flow projections to see whether you have the funds needed to keep up with the loan payments. You are only putting your business’s survival on the line if you choose to obtain a loan you can’t afford to pay off. The lender will also want to see future cash flow projections to ensure that their money is likely to be repaid.

3. HAVE A CONVINCING BUSINESS PLAN

To convince lenders that your business is not a risky investment, you need to put up a business plan that demonstrates this. Create a business plan that includes the vision and objectives of your business, its sources of revenue, and detailed financial statements. You also need to state the purpose for which the loan will use. Most lenders need to see promising revenue generation for at least a year before they approve a loan.

4. CHOOSE THE RIGHT LOAN FOR YOUR NEEDS

Here are some of the most common unsecured business loans:

I. SBA LOANS

These are loans backed by the Small Business Administration to support small to medium-sized businesses. Most SBA loans do not require collateral and even have reasonable interest rates. However, the process is longer than other loans, and you must meet specific eligibility criteria to qualify.

II. TERM LOANS

Many online lenders offer both short and long-term unsecured loans to businesses for a variety of purposes. Application and approval on these loans are often relatively quick and straightforward, although the interest rates may be higher, particularly on short-term loans.

III. BUSINESS CREDIT CARDS

This funding option is known to all businesses, and it is a suitable way to finance the business in the short term. Many business credit cards come with an interest-free introductory period, which can be as long as 15 months, making it a desirable financing option. However, a defined repayment strategy needs to be in place to avoid running into financial trouble due to the misuse of business credit cards.

IV. INVOICE FACTORING

Under this arrangement, you get funding against your outstanding receivables and repay it once your customers pay off their balances. It is a great way to fill a cash flow shortage in the short run.

V. TRADE FINANCE

If you need financing to pay your suppliers, a trade financing loan can be an ideal option. The lender pays your supplier, allowing you to repay the loan within an agreed period, which is usually 120 days.

Trade financing is an excellent way for small businesses to fulfill any large orders quickly, as the suppliers can pay and the necessary inventory procured without any hassle.

THE BOTTOM LINE

To sum up, if you need to obtain a business loan without security, you can easily find several loan options in the market. If you have a decent credit score, sufficient cash flow, and a promising business plan, you should be able to find an unsecured loan that suits your business needs.

Just make sure to consider the terms of an unsecured loan to determine whether it is the best option for the business. Some of these loans come at a higher interest rate than secured loans or require other forms of personal guarantees, which is why you need to be sure that an unsecured loan is what you are after before you opt for it.

 

Main Event – 5 Secrets To Holding The Perfect Corporate Event

Holding an extraordinary corporate event promotes your company and provides an exciting opportunity for business owners and professionals to mingle and make connections. But how do you cultivate the perfect environment for success?

 

Here are five secrets to holding the perfect corporate event:

Get Your Branding Right

Your corporate branding needs to be bold and beautiful so everybody at the event knows who you are. With social media, you can reach even further than the confines of the venue with the use of high-quality banners. Products like media wall banners will allow all of your guests to have their photos taken in front of it, providing beautiful, shareable content for them and your company on the day and long after the event has ended, especially if you promote an event hashtag effectively.

2. Make Your Email Invites Eye-Catching

Statistics tell us that 91% of people check their email every day, and most importantly, 78% of event creators list email marketing as their most effective marketing tool, accounting for nearly 50% of overall sales. Be sure to make the most of the knowledge you’ve gained from this research by including an incredible subject line to get your emails opened. Inside, use catchy copy and talk up any special offers and additional benefits to lead recipients to book or enquire. Don’t forget to follow up emails with a second wave of event marketing to hoover up anyone who just needs a swift reminder to buy their tickets.

3. Partner With Other Business

Your event may require catering, entertainment, management, security, and plenty of other elements. A carefully planned out budget will ensure that all of those things are booked, but you could likely save money by partnering with companies who want a place at your event. B2B events generate over $1.07 trillion in spending annually, and there are plenty of businesses who will want a piece of that action. All you need to do is ensure you pitch the partnership properly, making the benefits so clear the offer can’t be refused.

4. Pick Your Time And Place Carefully

Studies tell us that, on average, every company in America organizes at least 20 events or meetings a year, and the amount of events they are organizing is increasing by about 20% annually. This is fantastic for business culture, but it does also mean you have a high chance of clashing with a competitor’s event and losing potential attendees in the process. This can be especially problematic if speakers who will draw guests’ attention are booked up. Get up close and personal with the biggest events in your industry and when they are likely to be held so that you can organize yours at a time most people will be able to attend.

5. Track What Works And What Doesn’t

Use analytics to track the success of your event so that you can future-proof the next one you hold. Keeping a close eye on factors like email campaigns, social media campaigns, signage, and offline link-building will boost focus. In addition, analyzing their effectiveness is highly beneficial to your business event, both now and in the future, identifying weak points, unnecessary spending, and areas to capitalize on next time.

By following these five tips, and truly keeping your eye on all aspects of your event, you will reap plenty of rewards from your efforts. With fantastic branding, analytics, timing, partnering, and marketing, your corporate event is sure to be a success.

 

Social Strategy – 5 Ways For Introverts To Survive The Intensity Of Networking Events

It’s an age-old struggle: the introvert at the networking event. Luckily, the cards are falling in your favor as there are many tried and tested techniques people have been using for years to network efficiently. While you will probably still feel far from your comfort zone at such events, this can actually be worked to your advantage. Here are five modern methods for getting through a networking event as an introvert.

1. Use Leave-Behinds

Connecting with new contacts doesn’t stop at the networking event. Handing out high-quality corporate gifts is a great way to make a positive impression that lasts as your contacts have something to remember you by. Choose your memento wisely and keep it classy; don’t go for a box of sweets when the event is for the dental health industry, and be sure to choose something small and lightweight. You don’t want your fellow guests to have to struggle around with something heavy or bulky out of politeness. Though, they’d certainly remember you for it!

2. Arrive Early

Being early can seem daunting, but the period before the event starts is actually one of the best times to meet people at any networking function. Everybody is usually a little awkward at the beginning of these things; people are trying to find their places and will look for someone to engage with to help them feel settled. You can easily start a conversation by helping someone find their place. Alternatively, you can be patient and wait for one of the talkers to come to you. This is the time for ice-breaker questions like, “Have you been to one of these before?” and “How did you hear about this?”

3. Join A Group Activity or Communal Setting

An unbelievably easy way to be involved in the group and swap a few names without having to rack your brain for conversation starters is to hang out in an area that’s designed for communal activity. This could be by joining in on a game or going to the area where the food and drinks are being served.

4. Bring A Partner If You Can

Whether it’s a business associate, friend, employee, or your spouse, if you have the opportunity to bring somebody along who you feel comfortable with, you should consider it. The only thing worth noting is that you should be sure your “plus one” is a little bit more open and can help you with introductions or simply be a positive presence. Since you want help in meeting more people, you probably won’t have much luck if you invite somebody who is painfully shy or not interested in socializing.

5. Be True To Yourself

It’s the same advice we give to children who are going into an unfamiliar class for the first time, and you can be sure that it applies to us all in adulthood. Remember the reasons you have for attending these events; are you looking for collaborators? Potential business affiliations? Or tips on working in your industry? Chances are, most other attendees will have similar questions and experiences to you. Nobody is looking for an entertainer, and you do not need to put on a character to connect. Be yourself, remain professional, and be honest in your introductions.

Keep these five tips in mind, and you’ll not only survive your next networking event but thrive. Don’t forget your business cards and a bag or generously sized pockets so you can politely accept business cards from others.

 

Collaborative Coworking – How To Network Effectively In Shared Office Space

 

The idea of networking and putting yourself out there can often be a daunting thought for entrepreneurs and business owners. You might be worried about saying the wrong thing, not saying enough or not looking knowledgable or professional. However, it’s important to remember that networking is really all about talking and being social. If you are a social person in your personal life, networking in a business context will come to you very naturally. On the other hand, if you are more introverted, it might take a little more work but it doesn’t have to be a miserable experience.

Networking, making new connections and communicating with those in your industry, is necessary to get ahead in business and something you need to take seriously to succeed in business. Collaborative coworking spaces are an amazing resource, not only for regular everyday office work but to broaden your network and make more connections. However, there are some things you need to keep in mind when using these spaces, in terms of what is acceptable and what isn’t.

Continue reading to learn how you can network effectively in shared office spaces and make meaningful connections to help your business to be more successful.

Show Respect

Coworking communities are often made up of a diverse group of international people and everyone in the space will have different expectations in terms of how they show respect for themselves and others. To be able to communicate effectively with the other people in the space, it’s important to be aware of these subtle differences. It’s crucial that you treat others as you would want to be treated. This means being aware of personal boundaries, cultural differences, and respecting people’s workspace. No one is going to like someone who invades their space without being invited, so show people respect by keeping the proper distance at the right times.

When you are working in a shared space, you need to make sure you clean up after yourself and that you are respectful of your surroundings, as well as the people you share the space with. Respect breeds more respect and your fellow coworkers will take note of your efforts and be more likely to connect with you when you reach out to try and connect.

Use Online Tools

Premium coworking spaces will have a huge online presence that you can tap into and take advantage of when it comes to building your network. Some of the larger providers have upwards of 50,000 members registered to their online community or social network. These big numbers mean more that there are more networking opportunities within these communities that can benefit your business.

You can utilise these communities to get advice on all things business related, to share your own knowledge, and even create opportunities for joint projects. Access to a global network of like-minded people can open up doors for an up and coming entrepreneurs to expand their reach and grow their business.

Be Friendly and Offer Help When Needed

Networking in business does not have to be an overly-complicated task. Essentially, you just need to be kind to those around you and engage with the people around you in a positive way. Saying hello or offering a hand with a simple task is a great icebreaker for potential networking opportunities. People will see that you are easy to approach and helpful and it will go a long way in helping your social standing in the coworking space. Never underestimate the power of a smile and always be friendly and helpful when you have the opportunity to do so.

Reach Out, Connect And Collaborate

One of the major benefits of a premium coworking space

is to bring people together in the business community, allowing them to work side-by-side and connect in a meaningful way. Networking opportunities in coworking space are abundant but you need to have the confidence to reach out and connect with those that you share the space with. It’s important that you do whatever you can to survive and grow in the business world as competition in the market place is as fierce as ever. Connecting with the right people can help you to find collaborations that can lead to your business thriving in the near future.

Join the discussion on this topic with World Picture News by visiting our contact page.

Ways to Manage Your Online Reputation 

 

person using black tablet computer

You try your best to build your business online through quality ads. You want people to know what you have to offer. You engage with target audiences through social media and other online platforms. Your primary goal is to increase awareness about your brand. You want to tell people that your products are worth choosing.

Building your brand is one thing. The problem is that in the process, you might face fierce competitors. They will not only build their brand but also try their best to pull yours down. As such, it is crucial that you find a way to manage your online reputation. Do not only focus on placing positive words about your business out there, but also prevent your competitors from destroying your reputation.

Hire a full-time reputation manager

You never know when your competitors will attack you by spreading false information about your business. Therefore, it helps if you have a dedicated person who will ensure that the incorrect information will not spread. This person can counter the narrative and correct what is out there.

Another reason is that apart from your competitors, random individuals who do not know your company will also spread false information or negative reviews. You want someone who will deal with the online posts and comments and ensure that they do not continue to spread.

Learn how to apologise

It is inevitable to commit mistakes along the way. If it happens, you need to learn how to apologise if you want to maintain a good reputation. Take responsibility and move forward with the necessary changes. If you are too proud to apologise, many people will feel turned off and decide not to patronise your brand. They are not only after the quality of the products you offer but also the value of your business.

Post regular updates

If you have social media pages for your business, you need to update them with positive information about your business regularly. You can talk about upcoming changes, deals and promotions. You want to retain the engagement level among the followers. It is also easy for them to see you as a reliable company when they keep seeing updates on your pages; otherwise, they might think that you are not doing anything, and your business is going down the drain.

Do not fall for negative advertising 

It is easy for you to retaliate if you are the subject of negative ads. Even if it is tempting, you need to stay focused. No one wants to listen to negative ads all the time in a world where everything seems messy and chaotic. Stick to your values and focus on your own positive ads. If your competitors decide to continue pulling you down, it is their choice, but you cannot stoop down to that level.

For now, you can decide how to craft your message for the next marketing campaign and do not just worry about your online reputation. You can opt for a pop up banner since it is effective and appealing to many people. You can also continue spreading positive information about your business using this method.

To read more on topics like this, check out the entrepreneurship category.

 

4 Amazing Jobs for Digital Nomads

In a world where technology is advancing so rapidly, it makes sense that more and more work is completed online. From ecommerce businesses to social media marketing, you can actually earn a decent salary by working from your computer in 2019. Not only can online work pay for your life expenses, it gives you the freedom to work from home or from across the world.

For these reasons and more, lots of individuals are deeming themselves as “digital nomads”. This term was coined several years ago in the wake of technological advancements and online-based businesses. To be a digital nomad basically means using your computer and an internet connection to earn a living – from anywhere in the world.

Sounds nice, right? As long as you have a computer and a solid WiFi connection, you can start earning money today. Here are some of the top jobs for digital nomads in 2019.

Online English teacher

Teaching English overseas or online can actually be a lucrative position. Depending on your credentials and your hiring company, you could be earning $22-$25 USD per hour. There are tons of platforms for teaching English online, and some of them don’t require you to have any experience at all.

These jobs involve you teaching basic English skills to someone overseas (typically in China). You’ll have one-on-one (and sometimes group) sessions with your student(s) and teach over through your computer screen. The most reputable company for online teaching is VIPKID, but VerbalPlanet and QKids are also popular.

Website developer

This one takes some programming knowledge, but if you have that you can start developing websites to make some cash on the road. If you have basic web developing skills you can use platforms like WordPress to create beautiful sites for your clients. You’ll be responsible for creating the layout, design style, and overall functionality of a site.

Social media marketer

There is no major brand or celebrity out there that does not have a strong social media presence and following. Typically these popular social media accounts are managed by experts called social media marketers. A position like this involves scheduling future posts and commenting to fans and customers.

Basically a social media marketer is responsible for maintaining a brand’s reputation and keeping followers happy. Since this position requires you working for another person or company, chances are you’ll have to apply and interview to show your worth. Check out this resume summary to help you build a flawless resume for a social media marketing position.

Freelance writer

Where do you think all of that writing content on the internet comes from? A good portion of the time it is created by a digital nomad who is working as a freelance writer. Writing content is what makes websites, social media accounts, advertisements, and much of the internet possible.

Many freelance writers are hired as SEO content creators. This means that they write informative articles for a client in order for the brand or product to rank higher on a search engine. SEO is the lifeblood of digital marketing, and the need for SEO writers is constant. Words are everywhere, and someone needs to write them… so why can’t it be you?

How To Make Your Startup Successful

According to Smallbiztrends, 50% of startups fail in the first four years. A business is actualized from just an idea to a reality. The excitement of having a new venture is uncontrollable, and sometimes you want to try everything that looks like a growth factor.

For a business to be successful, it needs a lot of input and cooperation from the owner to the employees.

How do you make your startup successful?

1. Come up with a good business plan

A business plan could either make or break your business. How do you plan to finance your business? Most people have savings intended for their startups. However, you may need extra funding as your capital may not be enough.

A clearly written business plan will help you find financiers. As long as you can demonstrate how profitable the business will, you can get venture capitalists or angel investors willing to fund you.

Funds are an integral part of the business. They are a huge determinant of your business’s success. Inadequate funds could lead to bankruptcy which in turn hurts your credit score. However, there’s a way on how to remove a bankruptcy so that it does not deter you from getting future financing.

2. Consider customer service

According to a survey by PWC, 59% of consumers in the U.S. will stop using a brand they love after a series of one bad experience, while 17% will be after just one bad experience. This shows how much customer service is crucial in the business. Today you could have 1,000 clients, but after the employees talking rudely to them, only a handful will return. And that is the power of customer service.

Customer service is a delicate matter which could see you make over 100% profit or 0% depending on how you treat the clients.

Invest in staff training or merely hire somebody to deal with customer queries.

If you value your clients and treat them right, they’ll keep coming back and referring their friends who will see you grow your client base.

3. Diversify your marketing

Marketing is quite broad, and every business has its own style. What marketing techniques do you use? Email marketing and social media marketing is a great way to promote your products and services. S

Most people nowadays are spending more time online, and they want to find what they need quickly. Coming up with a website for your company is an excellent way for them to find you.

A website is almost a must-have tool that gives your business visibility. Make your site SEO-friendly such as making the loading speed more efficient and ensuring the content on it is relevant.

A great thought-out marketing strategy will definitely see your startup grow.

4. Treat your employees right

Always remember that employees are crucial to making your company grow. From the hiring process to the retention of employees, you need to have the right strategy. Hire people who share the company’s visions and objectives as they are more likely to stay.

Employee motivation should be a consideration all the time as they hold the success or failure of a business. Simple appreciation gestures such as acknowledging when they achieve a set target goes a long way in making them know you value them.

Salary increments once in a while also motivates them to even working harder as their efforts are rewarded.

5. Seek more knowledge

Who are your competitors in the industry? What is that they do differently? What are their loopholes? Identify a few competitors you think they have made it. Scrutinize them and see if there is anything you could leverage on.

Most often, there will be something different which you could incorporate into your business. Find unique ways to relay your new product messages.

6. Keep your finances right

Finances should be something you always have to be keen on when making both long-term and short-term goals. Get a good accountant who can keep all the accounting records for the business. Get to know how the company is fairing on and how much profit you are making. Such information helps you make financial decisions that will propel the business.

7. Be ready to make sacrifices

A business requires persistence and sacrifices. Most times, you’ll have to put in more time than already existing companies especially when starting out. Be ready to spend less time with your loved ones as you create a foundation for it.

Have mentors who’ve been in the same business as yours who will walk with you through the journey. A support system helps you get back up even when you think you can’t.

The growth of a business depends on your input. The above seven tips will help you make the right decisions affecting your business.

The Importance of Having a Business Plan

Although a business plan is recommended for all businesses and entrepreneurs, the reality is that most small businesses only both when they need to acquire funding. Any investor or bank will require a well-researched and thorough business plan, with feasible financial forecasts and (if you’ve been running for a while) all of your existing profit and loss information.

However, a good business plan really should be something you produce even if you’re not actively looking for funding, as it can help you validate your business idea and bring into focus any challenges or difficulties you might encounter.

Similarly, a business plan can help you understand the finances of your business. Whether it’s through a complex Excel sheet with multiple years, forecasts and calculations, or a more informal list of how you expect to spend and make money. Often, entrepreneurs will be surprised by how much money they are actually going to need, and don’t discover this potentially critical problem until they sit down and complete a financial forecast. Just make sure you double check all of your data, particularly if you’re using a spreadsheet – there are numerous examples of businesses losing substantial sums of money due to a minor Excel error!

Moving away from the financial side of things, a business plan can also help you understand your market, policies and guidelines you need to follow, how you will market your product or services and, crucially, who you will market them to. The difference this can make to the overall success of your small business cannot be overstated, and it allows you to move forward with a clear plan of action. Having a roadmap and an understanding of how you will approach your business and any potential problems can be the difference between success and failure, particularly in competitive industries.

So, if you’re running a small business and you’ve never really sat down to complete a business plan, now might be the time to start. Even if you’ve been up and running for several months or years, it’s never too late to think about the future of your business. If you’re struggling, this simple guide will help you understand how to write a business plan and what you should include.