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Month: May 2019

How To Keep Juggling

If you work for yourself then you’ll know how many balls you’re left juggling at once. You’ll also know how easy it is to drop any number of these balls at any one time. Managing your time and all the daily tasks you have to do is near impossible unless you have some help.

This help might come in the form of recruitment and finding some team members who are going to be on your side. They’ll pick up those jobs that you either don’t enjoy, don’t have time for or don’t have the skills to complete properly. That might be your marketing campaign, your invoice, and accounts or taking on your customer services. Whatever the job, you’ll need someone or something to help you out.

In this article. we will take a look at some of the things that might give you some help. The things we’re talking about here are smart software packages, designed to make your life easier and your business more efficient.

Asana

This software is all about getting you organized and anyone else who works with you. You can use Asana to assign tasks, keep up with how that task is going and adding notes as you go. Share access to specific projects so everyone can see where you’ve got to and never lose track of an important job again.

This clever software will help your office run more efficiently, reminding you of meetings and tasks to be completed and keeping everyone in the loop about what’s going on.

Xero

When you need accounting software that knows your needs even before you do, Xero is going to help you out. This clever kit will help to automate your invoices, pay any incoming invoices and even send out salary each month.

It will allow you to quickly and efficiently get your books in order and keep track of bills and payments. Once set up, Xero will more or less run itself. Perfect for small to medium-sized businesses.

As a small business owner, or entrepreneur you know the importance of staying on top of all the little things as these very quickly mount up. Failing to keep the books up to date one month can very quickly turn into two then six and very soon you’re behind in your tax returns and so on, leading to some serious trouble.

While the idea of splashing out on some new software might seem like an expensive solution, in the long run, it might be just the investment you need to help give you the boost you deserve. Stay on top of your projects and appointments with software that can sort your crazy calendar out for you and remind you where and when you need to be.

Grab software that makes sense of all the numbers and never leaves your suppliers or your workforce, no matter how big, out of pocket.

Invest today for a greater return tomorrow. You and your business are worth every penny.

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Top Tips For Saving Money This Year

Do you find that you are spending all of your cash but don’t have much to show for it? Many people live paycheck to paycheck and find it really hard to save any money throughout the year. Of course, there are easy ways to save more cash if you are willing to make some simple changes in your lifestyle.

Here, we are going to give you some tips on how you can save some money this year. This will include everything from quitting smoking to planning your meals. Keep reading if you would like to find out more.

Meal Planning

One of the biggest costs for many people is on food that they simply don’t get around to eating. This is why meal planning can be one of the best ways to save money as you will only be buying food that you are going to eat. Meal planning is really easy, all you need to do is write down a few of the meals that you are going to have throughout the week and write out a list of the ingredients that each need. This blog post is useful https://www.lifeasastrawberry.com/meal-planning-genius/. With the ingredients at home, you won’t be tempted to order a takeaway and you could save yourself some cash!

Quit Smoking

If you are a smoker then you will know just how much this habit can cost every single week. On top of this, governments are increasing the price of cigarettes to deter addiction and so things are expected to get more expensive as time goes on. For this reason, we suggest that you try to quit smoking to save yourself some money. There are many cheaper alternatives to smoking such as vaping and this can be a great way to get started to help you save money. Check out this article for more information on vaping: https://greyhaze.co.uk/pages/how-vaping-can-help-you-to-quit-smoking.

Walk To Work

Do you drive your car to work or spend a lot of cash on public transport every single day? Our next tip for those who want to save some cash this year is to try walking to work. Of course, this is not possible for everyone but if you live near enough to your office then you might be able to benefit from this. Another way around it is to get off the train a few stops early and reduce your overall fare. This way, you’ll save yourself some money and you’ll even get some exercise while you’re at it!

Use Coupons

Your weekly shopping can take up a big part of your budget but how can you reduce this? Many stores offer coupons and discount codes on their items that you can use to get them for a fraction of the price. Think about buying some of your common household items in bulk and you are more likely to get them for a cheaper price. When you use coupons, you can save yourself a lot of money that you can spend on other important things in your life.

Try A Staycation

Everyone loves to plan a big holiday abroad but how much is this going to cost you? If you are trying to save some money this year then you should think about trying a staycation. This will involve you having a trip to somewhere nearby but still having as much fun. You could rent a house near a local beach or even take a train to a nearby city. Staycations can save you a lot of cash and can be a great experience to have with your family.

Negotiate Utilities

Our final tip for those who want to save some money this year is to try some negotiating. You might find that your utilities are costing you way more than they should be, and this can make a huge dent in your savings. The good news is that many companies who provide utilities such as TV or your internet are willing to reduce the price as long as you are willing to ask them about it. Simply give them a call and see if they will make any changes to your bill. This way, you can save yourself some money this year and start building your savings for the future.

Final Verdict

Sick of seeing your entire paycheck go down the drain every single month? Make sure to follow some of the tips that we have given you in this article and get started on saving some cash. Think about negotiating with your energy and internet supplies and start planning your meals. Once you start saving money, you’ll see just how easy it is to do.

Don’t let your savings disappear before you need to use them. Save yourself some cash today and you’ll see the difference in your bank account in no time at all.

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How to Build Your Brand on a Budget

Many small business owners overlook the importance of building their brand. In the early days of running a business, it can be hard to find the time to get everything done that you need to, let alone spend time creating your brand. However, creating a brand is an essential part of establishing your business and creating awareness of it. The great news is that building a brand doesn’t need to be hard work or expensive. Here are some tips on building your brand on a budget:

Getting Started

Many people think of brands as merely those big household names companies that are well-established market leaders, so don’t believe that branding applies to their own more modestly sized business. The truth is that a brand is a useful asset for businesses of any size. Your brand is the personality of your products and your company; it is your logo, your website, your social media posts, your packaging, and much more besides.

Brands are often spoken about in terms of brand value. Brand value refers to the extra qualities that your brand brings to your product; it is the reason why people should choose your product over another one that does exactly the same thing. In short, your brand is what sets your business apart from your competitors, and what makes your customers want to be seen using your product or service.

Deciding on your branding doesn’t need to be complicated, it’s simply putting into place the look and feel of your business that you envisaged in those early days when you were dreaming of starting your own business. For example, it could be a diner with a retro feel, or a friendly, quirky gift shop.

Make Sure You Have a Logo

Your logo is an integral part of your branding, as you want people to see it and recognize it. Many business owners worry that getting a logo designed will be a big expense, or if they try to do it themselves it will look unprofessional. The great news is that there are logo maker tools out there to help you to design a logo that both looks great and is ideally suited for your business.

Once you’ve created your logo design, don’t forget to use it everywhere to help raise awareness of your products, business, and your brand.

Keep it Consistent

To make your brand recognizable, it is vital to keep it consistent. Keeping your website, social media pages, packaging, etc. all with the same logo, color scheme, and style is much more important than flashing the cash.

Keeping all of your branding consistent will maximize the impact of your brand and speed up the process of building awareness of your brand.

Don’t forget that the tone of voice for your content should stay consistent too, both on your website and social media posts. Keeping a consistent tone of voice will give your brand plenty of personality and will help your customers, and potential customers get to know your business.

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Self-Confidence Takes Small Steps

Let’s be honest. Getting over a fear of public speaking takes small steps. It’s almost like a diet or a fitness program. If you take on too much too fast, you’ll be overwhelmed. It just won’t work – not in the long term.

When I first went out on my own and started this business, building the self-confidence to promote myself as a business owner was incredibly challenging. Speaking in public about myself, my ideas and my own creation to strangers was about as uncomfortable as listening to someone running their fingernails down a chalkboard. But I could easily quiet down a room full of rambunctious kids with one word. Commenting during conferences and meetings was a breeze! What was the matter with me? I was completely out of my comfort zone.

Suddenly I felt like I was transported back in time and back to the super shy, awkward and unpopular middle-school kid I once was long ago. Some kids used to yell “Ugly!” at me when I passed them in the hallway, probably due more to my awkwardness than my actual physical looks. I hated that time! I hated it so much that I decided I was going to watch and learn how to be a popular kid. After all, what did they have that I didn’t have? Nothing. So over the next few years, I slowly learned how to dress, make conversation and basically network my way into the popular crowd. By my second year of high school, I succeeded. I made the competitive varsity cheerleading squad, was later elected to be a homecoming princess and so on. I enjoyed it, but by the time I graduated, I was happy to leave that all behind me.

In retrospect, high school would have been a lot more fun if I had the self-confidence not to be affected by all those social groupings, be myself and develop real friendships. But that’s not the point I’m making here.

My point in telling that story is in making a decision to take on a challenge and then putting in the daily effort to meet that challenge, even if it takes years to do so.

Being comfortable with who you are.

When you get out there to speak about your business, your idea, or your expertise, it’s important to have a basic self-confidence in who you are. Are you comfortable with yourself? Is your product or service compatible with you who are and your values? That’s important for long-term success.

Stop the downward spiral of negative self-talk in its tracks.

First, recognize those negative nagging thoughts that undermine your confidence. Then, identify them for what they are: fear. Replace them with positive thoughts, affirmations or images in your mind. Yes, for some, this can be challenging to do on your own, and I do help my clients work to overcome their negative self-talk.

Build self-confidence with small steps.

With my coaching clients, we break the steps down according to their fear. In other words, the bigger the fear, the smaller and easier the steps should be. We’re looking for long-term solutions. I’ve seen medications recommended and sometimes even prescribed by doctors to people who are nervous before a public speaking event. But those aren’t a good long-term substitute for self-confidence.

Here’s an example of a small step I may assign to a client: tell one new person a version of your elevator pitch every day for a week. Simple and easily attainable.

Take note of your public speaking accomplishments.

It’s so easy not to give yourself proper credit when you do get out there and speak. That’s when many people really let the negative self-talk undermine their efforts. Watch out for that! Remember the challenges you’re working to overcome.

What do you do when a “wrecking ball” comes in and shoots you down?

Sometimes it’s a person you trust – a mentor (unfortunately), family member or “friend” who tells you that you’ll fail, or they’ll say something revealing that they don’t believe in you. We all have people like that in our lives, and sometimes, we’re just stuck with them, at least to some degree.

What you can do is set boundaries. You can change the subject. You can politely refuse to answer prying questions. For example, I’ve been running my business for four years, and one of my siblings just can’t ever seem to remember what my business is about. So, whenever he asks me to explain it again, I just hand him my business card with a smile and invite him to visit my website. Another relative always asks me, “So are you making any money yet? Really? How much?” (I don’t tell them.)

Building self-confidence in any area of life can feel like you’re building a house one brick at a time. But if you have a purpose in life, and you’re ready to get out there and realize it, you’re going to need to do a lot of public speaking!

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Top Reasons to Hire a Franchise Attorney

Top Reasons To Hire A Franchise Attorney

There are many reasons why someone will need to hire a franchise attorney. While some of the reasons may seem obvious, not all of them are. Here are some of the top reasons as decided by experts as to why you will need a franchise attorney.

1. Every franchise attorney knows what matters. As a rule of law, every person interested in buying a franchise must be given the Franchise Disclosure Document. This is a document which the FTC feels is essential to delivering all of the information that the franchisee will need to make an informed decision. An experienced attorney such as suzanne cummings will already know this and will be prepared to help you all along the way.

2. An experienced attorney will be able to help guide your decision in regards as to what kind of company you should form. Some people may be better off forming an LLC while other people may need a C-Corporation to help their business matters. The attorney will be able to explain everything in clear English and in non-technical legalese language that may only serve to confuse the franchisee.

3. As much as nobody wants to admit it, sometimes things don’t work out for the business in question. In times such as this, you will be able to get expert advice on the proper and legal way to shut the business down while inflicting the least amount of pain on yourself. The attorney can make sure that any loose ends are tied up and that there will be no hecticness when the time comes to close the business.

As you can see, there are a great many reasons why a franchise attorney is the best way to handle the current business situation of buying a franchise.

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Busting The Myths Of Marketing And Making It Beneficial To Your Business

Marketing is essentially an important aspect of your business. It doesn’t matter how good your product is, how much people may benefit from the service you provide, or whether or not you can keep up with trade to trade dealings, without good marketing, you are likely to not be attractive to potential customers and clients. It’s a fact! We all respond to advertising in some way. So how do we ensure that we can get this strategy right within the business? Here’s are some of the things that you can consider.

The old methods are still viable

Years ago, the only method of advertising was the billboards you saw whilst stuck in traffic, the press ads you read while enjoying your Sunday paper and the leaflet that got pushed through the letterbox during the week. These days a lot is done online, but businesses are still seeing the power in some of these older methods. This can cork exceptionally well when wanting to focus on the potential customer base within your local community. Customers are now wanting to support small businesses and people who are local so this can be a great way to capitalize on that.

Ensuring you don’t waste marketing budgets

No business has a never-ending marketing budget to play with, so it is up to you to find out what works for your business, what benefits you the most, and to ensure that the people that you are prospecting are viable sources and are not spam. Sometimes taking extra precautions can work in your favor, such as phone carrier lookup. This is when you will be able to ensure that numbers that you are prospecting or sending information to are viable prospects and not spam numbers generated. Marketing budgets can also be analyzed by working out what areas attracted the most revenue in terms of turning a prospect into a sale.

Prospecting customers

Cold calling is often something that businesses like to avoid these days as people are becoming less inclined to take a call when they least expect it. It can infuriate them which means they are less likely to want to use your business in the future. However, prospecting can be done thought people who have given their contact details to you and would be considered as a hot prospect as they have already shown interest. Do you make the most of these in your business?

Influencer marketing

Social media has really taken force recently and so has the rise of influencer marketing. This is somebody who has an engaged audience, that you can then use to advertise your product or service. It is more specific and it can give off great results. There are many businesses who are looking to use influencers online these days, and it can be extremely appealing to the customer.

Humanizing your social media

On the subject of social media, it is also important that you developed the right strategy for your output. Marketing can be extremely beneficial using social media and there are many platforms that you can utilize. The specific ones tend to be the best such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The way you can humanize your business profiles a little more is to consider how you reposed. Making sure that you engage with your audience and also respond to message directly or through the comments. Last of all make sure that the content that you share isn’t always just about your business and sales opportunities. The art of getting an engaged audience is to ensure that you keep them interested in you and your business. This means that you could share things to do with your industry, information, and tips, as well as sales, focused posts.

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Having a marketing strategy in place for physical advertising

Social media may be an essential part of marketing these days, but it isn’t your only option that you should consider. Physical advertising is a still an important player in your marketing strategy, and these include things such as press advertising and leaflets. This can be extremely targeted, to your local area or on a more national level, depending on your budget and the reach you are wanting to achieve. A good mix of traditional forms of advertising mixed with new options can be a great way to really entice customers in from all directions. There will be people out there that still don’t use social media as actively as you may assume.

Keeping things organic online

Your online presence is important, there is no denying that. But at the same time, there is a huge temptation these days to take shortcuts online when building your profile and platform. These days you can use software to helps with likes and follows. You can use bots to help increase your following and you can even buy followers. On the surface, it looks great, but as people delve in it also looks suspicious. It can also be deceiving to people as they follow and unfollow game is rife these days, and this can actually paint your business in a bad light rather than something positive. It is always going to be best to keep things organic. Building your following with an engaged audience and being active within your profile. It may take longer, but in the long term, you as a business will benefit more.

What works for your business?

Have you figured out what works for your business? Sometimes it is worth taking the time to do reports and look at ways to ensure that you actively spend marketing budgets in the right way. Could you say what brings in the most customers when it comes to your advertising?

Making customer service a priority on the back of good marketing

Finally, customer service is an important element, and on the back of obtaining that customer thought good marketing ventures, you now need to ensure that you keep the customer happy and involved through the customer service side of things. Good customer service will help you to generate word of mouth of advertising through recommendations, which is something a marketing budget cannot buy.

Let’s hope these myths help you to make marketing beneficial to your business.

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Testing Facility: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Testing facilities are some of the most exciting places on earth. No, that’s not an exaggeration at all. Truly, testing facilities are the place where every single one of your favorite products goes to be reborn. They might have come into being in the boardroom with brilliant minds willing them into life, but the best products are only allowed to go to full-scale manufacturing if they passed the test. It’s not just durability tests that a testing facility will challenge a product with, but rather the overall design. It’s the first application of a real-world scenario. It’s incredibly vital that your test facility is well-looked after. The premise has to be that, the facility is to be kept watertight. Each time you are testing a product and evaluating the results, you’re looking at secrets that have just been unlocked. Apple or Samsung would pay a pretty penny to someone with reliable information about test results of either’s new product. So of all challenges you’re facing, what are the most in-your-face kind?

Danger from above

It’s not prying eyes that you’ll first have to combat, it’s the weather. Testing facilities are often small, thus they might not use as robust materials as larger buildings might such as for a manufacturing facility or storage warehouse. It’s common for the first iteration of a test unit to, unfortunately, fall short of structural integrity expectations. Many small business owners will find this out the hard way. The danger from above must not be miscalculated, as rain, hail, and wind play a big role in urgent repair needs. You can however always look for a commercial roof replacement which employs modern design and materials. A full examination will be done first to see if there are good points to the initial design, then the team can repair and replace certain parts of the roof. If you want it completely redone due to the damage this is also possible.

 

Keep it classified

Every so often you get a reminder that business and espionage are like oil and more oil. They just mix perfectly as last year we were all feigning surprise as Samsung’s new flexible display was leaked. Obviously this had to have come from within the company rather than someone who was visiting catching a glimpse of a secret project. It completely ruins the element of shock for customers and gives your rivals a warning of what you’re up to. Therefore, make sure that only authorized employees are allowed to work in the testing facility. This will be your top engineers, designers and project leads. Having some safety precautions such as now allowing personal bags into the facility is a good idea. Ban smartphones from entering also as employees looking to do harm can take quick snaps of your products and testing techniques.

A test facility or unit, is by one of the most important parts to any business. It can be considered the beating heart of your innovation and ability to beat out your rivals. There are many things that can go wrong, so plan ahead for stronger structures and security checks.

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How to Make a Brick-and-Mortar Shop a Success

If you are looking to get into business, chances are that you will need to make the most out of your opportunities. Most people will advise you against starting a traditional shop, and tell you that you might be much better off if you built your eCommerce empire. There are, however, a couple of benefits of building long term assets and being able to communicate with your clients in person. Find out more below.

Financial Planning

If you really want to have a physical shop, you will need to make sure that you can afford it. You don’t just have to pay for rent, but also all the services, the staff, and the equipment and store fixtures. You will definitely need a larger budget for starting off, but you will probably spend less long term on marketing, provided that you are doing your research and are choosing the right place and the right type of shop.

Location and Demographic Research

Before you sign the dotted line on the lease document, you will need to do your research and ensure that you are choosing the right location that has enough foot traffic. It will be hard to get people to your shop if there is no parking or no other reason why they should visit the area. You will also have to ensure that the people living nearby can afford your prices and are interested in what you are selling.

Directory Registration

Once you have chosen your location, you will also have to ensure that people get to know about your shop. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is getting your business registered in different directories, such as Google My Business, Yahoo, Yell, and Yelp. This will make it easy for your potential clients to find you, leave a review, and provide information to locals about what you have to offer.

Social Media Campaigns

If you have opened for a while, and registered with directories, and your business still doesn’t grow, you might want to give social media a try. You will need to be hanging out where your audience is asking questions and looking for recommendations. You can use social media sites for branding and marketing, as well as creating awareness of your offers. If you don’t have time or skills to manage your own campaigns, you can find some affordable social media management packages that will help you grow your business.

Finding Your Ideal Niche to Target

Image via Celesteh.com

One of the reasons why the majority of stores fail to make an impact locally is that the owner doesn’t choose the right market and doesn’t know who the ideal clients of the store are. This is why you will have to pay attention to the latest trends, check out the local competition, and find a way to stand out.

Opening a physical store might seem like a crazy idea for many, but it can work well if you invest time and money into planning.

 

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Why Your Business Doesn’t Grow

Starting a business can be quite easy. If you’ve got an idea and it doesn’t need much capital to get going, you can get started from the comfort of your own home with little more than a laptop and a website. Even if your business is based offline and in the real world, you might be able to start with a pop-up store, selling out of your home, or offering your service with a few flyers and some word of mouth marketing.

But, keeping this business going is often much harder than we expect, and growing it even more so. While most companies struggle in the first few months, and it’s completely normal to spend the first year just focusing on keeping going, with growth to come later. But, in a world where new businesses are starting all of the time, and competition from big business is high; eventually you need to grow if you want to stay open. Here’s a look at some of the most common reasons that small businesses don’t grow.

Running it for Themselves

A lot of businesses fail to grow because they spend time creating products that they want to make, or offering services that they enjoy, without thinking about whether or not other people want them. If you’re going to grow, you need to think about what your customers want, and what the market needs, not just what you want.

Failure to Advertise

You might be offering the best product or service in the world, but word of mouth can only get you so far, especially in the early days when you might not have a loyal fanbase. While you could tackle a vast amount of digital marketing yourself, if you want to reach a wider audience and sustain growth, it’s worth investing in professional marketing services, both on and offline.

A Lack of Analytics

Many businesses struggle because they either don’t take the time to read their analytics reports, or they don’t understand them when they do. Easily accessible reporting tools like Google Analytics can help you to see where your website does well, and where it does. It can help you to see who is looking at it, where they are from, how old they are, what pages they spend most time on and what devices they are using. This can be valuable information.

But, monitoring reporting and analytics is time-consuming. Save time and gain greater detail by using rpa contact center for help.

No Proper Plan

Source – https://pixabay.com/photos/hand-business-plan-business-3190204/

Starting a business is easier than it has ever been before. But this means that many people make the mistake of just jumping in as soon as they’ve got an idea. Failure to plan appropriately means that many businesses fail, and those that continue often struggle to grow. Take some time to create a detailed business plan before you start, and update it whenever there are changes, and you’ll be much more likely to succeed.

Complacency

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a good start means things will always be easy. Your business will only grow if you are willing to put in the effort long-term, not just in the beginning.

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Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Business

More people than ever before are starting their own business. Even though global companies like Amazon dominate a wide range of market places, it seems like almost everyone is starting a brick and mortar or e-commerce store. Those that aren’t are starting businesses as freelancers, consultants, influencers, photographers or dog walkers. You probably know at least a few people that have given up their jobs to go it alone, and you might be eager to do the same.

But, many of these businesses fail. Many small business owners and sole traders rush in. They see everyone else doing it and they long to follow. They want to make money for themselves, building a business, doing it their own way and making money for themselves. They fail to plan and prepare, and even if the launch goes well, many of them struggle to grow and make enough money. They stagnate, and after a short time, they have to give up to cut their losses.

If you want to turn your idea or talent into a business that grows and develops over time, it’s worth taking your time to ask yourself these questions first.

Is Your Idea Any Good?

One massive problem many people have is that they assume that because they are good at something, other people will want to pay for it. This, unfortunately, isn’t always the case. If it were, we’d all be making money from our hobbies and interests. Businesses that do well are often less glamorous. Cleaners, dog walkers, window cleaners and other people that offer a service that other people don’t like doing, often make money consistently.

Whether you want to offer a product or service, take the time to do some market research. Look at who else provides the same thing, and ask yourself if your business would be better, different or cheaper? If not, can you expect to do well?

How Will You Fund Your Business?

There are many businesses that you can start with very little cash. But, whatever your startup costs, you also need to budget for things like marketing, website development, staffing, and any loss of income you face while you get going. Do you plan to use your savings? Do you need investment? Will deals like semi truck financing help? The key to understanding what funding you need is a financial forecast and business plan. Without these, it’s almost impossible to know what you need.

Are You Committed?

You might think that if everyone is doing it, it must be easy. You might look forward to setting your own hours and working around your family. But, starting a business is tough. If you want to make it work you need to put in the hours, and the commitment. You need to be prepared to give up your evenings and weekends and give your business your all. To do well, it helps to have a strong support network and an understanding family. Ask yourself if you are willing to give your all and if you’ve got people around to help.

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