Starting a Business

If you’re looking to start a new business, take a look at our useful articles and guides to help you on your business journey.

Forex TradingAccording to a study presented by Forbes, approximately 52.3% of Americans are unhappy with work, which explains the reason why professionals are constantly looking for a change in pace.

Every year, professionals who are tired of their 9 – 6 office hours take a leap of faith and decide that they’re going to earn a living by trading foreign currencies online

Forex trading is an attractive career path for those who are looking for a better life. One glance at the life of a successful trader on Instagram and it’s easy to see why Forex attracts people from all professions. In an article published by The Balance, it was discussed that a veteran trader with a £3,819 ($5,000) capital could earn a potential profit of £3,361 ($4,400) in a month. A veteran trader can make much more with a £15,000 ($20,000) capital.

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Vorwerk Women - Business OpportunityStriking a balance between making time for your children and maintaining a successful career could be considered the ‘holy grail’ for most working parents.

No parent wants to miss their child’s starring role in the school play or cup final – but many might not feel that they have a choice when it comes to their careers.

Nearly a quarter (38%) of women strive for work-life balance – with this being the most popular factor when it comes to enjoying their roles, according to insightful figures released by household appliance maker, Vorwerk.

In fact, well over a quarter of women (29%) have admitted that they have considered changing their roles to achieve work-life balance.

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Sarah Rugg - My VA BusinessSarah Rugg took the leap from successful corporate banking career to freelance VA after the birth of her second child, and admits to having made every mistake possible. More than a decade on she explains how to avoid the pitfalls of starting up your own freelance business.

There’s little doubt that stepping off the corporate career ladder is scary. As a mum, finding your feet as a freelancer may remind you of your own toddler, a few faltering steps followed by a stumble. But as any toddler learns, keep getting back on your feet and you will soon be unstoppable!

When I decided to stand on my own two feet as a freelancer, I stumbled more times than you can imagine, despite spending months preparing for my exit from the corporate world.

I was consumed with questions like: what’s the best business to get into; how much should I charge; what do I do to market my business and – more often than not – can I really do this? The trouble is that every question generated multiple possibilities, and the only way I could find out if it would work was to take the first step and be prepared to fall on my bum! And fall I did – so many times.

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Working Mum The flexibility, freedom and satisfaction of a home business are well known; with low overheads, no commute and less risk, it is a viable option for many aspiring entrepreneurs.

Whether you want to start baking up a storm from your kitchen, dream of dog walking, pet sitting, or becoming a freelance writer, there are many options for a home-based business.

However, there are many things to consider, including legal implications, permissions and insurances. Not to mention personal obligations to acknowledge before jumping head first into your new business venture.

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Untitled design (20)Personal assistants have always been thought of as the backbone of the office, and until recently the idea of having your PA working from home was unthinkable. Technology and flexible working arrangements now make being a PA possible from home and many women have decided to go it alone, working for one or more companies on their own terms.

Research

Your first task will be to research the idea, and find out whether you think it’s feasible for you to work from home – will you be able to get childcare sorted, for example? Although being a VA does take the commuting and stress out of getting to work, you still have to be available for the times you’re being paid for so it’s really not a job you can do if you still have little ones at home.

Get your skills up to date if you’ve been out of the office for a while, so that you know how to use things like Skype, content management systems, social media, scheduling apps and anything else you think you might need to do a PA job in or out of an office.

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Untitled design (79)Copywriting can seem like the ideal business to get into – after all there are very few overheads and you can do it any time of the night or day, all you need is a laptop or computer with a decent Internet connection and word processing software and you’re off. If you want to try your hand at being a professional writer, here are a few tips to get you started.

For brevity, we’ll assume you’ve done the necessary with setting up bank accounts and registering for tax. Once you’ve got the formalities out of the way, you need to work out how to build your business. If you have contacts from past employment, or anywhere else, use them shamelessly to network. Referrals and recommendations are worth more than adverts and self-promotion.

Website and Copywriting blog:

You’ll need a website so that you can showcase your work. If you don’t have any examples yet, start writing a blog. It’s really easy to get a free blog and website all in one, we recommend starting out with a WordPress site as they look very professional and Google loves them. Having a website with a blog attached makes it easy for you to add new content regularly, which in turn helps get you seen on search engines, which is what you need.

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Untitled design (100)As the infographic shows, small businesses are prevalent throughout the entire UK.

In fact, the UK thrives on small businesses, and it is clear that their growth and success impacts our economy considerably. Although the majority of small businesses are situated in the affluent city of London (17.8%) and South East (16.16%),1 overall, small businesses employ 52% of employees across the UK. Many thanks to Everline for providing this useful infographic which illustrates small business distribution in the UK.

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Untitled design (96)Our contributor Heather shares her top 10 reasons to start a home business.

  1. Be the best boss you’ve ever had!
    I’ve experienced working for some great bosses and some not so great bosses in my employed life, however I now have the best boss ever – ME!
  2. You can start immediately
    Most home-based business opportunities offer immediate start-up so you earn an income or commission immediately.  You also have the option to choose whatever business you like, however you have to have belief, honesty and passion for it to be a success.
  3. Low start-up costs
    Direct Sales businesses tend to have very low start-up costs so this is a huge advantage when you are starting up.  Other home-based businesses will also have lower start-up costs, however research should be done on all options before deciding which business to choose.

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Untitled design (97)Websites have become a vital tool in our modern world. They are utilized to share knowledge whether it is for formal purposes, such as business, or informal such as social.

When the Internet first came about, websites were mainly preserved for the few prominent companies or organizations that could afford the costs associated with owning and running a website. The trends have greatly changed today, however, and the process of starting a personal website is constantly becoming simpler and economically feasible. Almost anyone can get a website up and running at a small cost, which has made the web a new frontier for everyone wishing to share information with a large audience.

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Untitled design (98)Don’t wait until your business fails to realise that you got it wrong!  Business planning is a sure way to succeed in business.

It’s a common misconception that your business plan is only necessarily to apply for funding.  This is very far from the truth; in fact I would say that funding is the last reasons for writing a plan.  Your business plan is an essential document that captures exactly what your business is about, what is important to you and how you intend to make your business succeed.  80% of businesses without a business plan will fail within their first 5 years.
Writing something down is the first step toward making a dream a reality but sadly the number one business mistake is to skip the planning phase.  If business owners understood the importance of their business plan, they would spend more time crafting it, fine tuning it, pondering on it and even workshopping it with other business owners.

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