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Top Tips For Cutting Business Costs

Whether you are a large business, a start-up or a company that’s been running for a few years you will probably be looking to cut your business costs wherever and whenever possible. It’s not always easy to see and identify what costs you can look into reducing so here are some top tips to help you reduce your business costs.

Cut Supply Costs

If your business is a regular user of wholesalers then you will know that for anything you can cut of the costs you will soon see the benefit in your profits. So reducing the money you are spending on your wholesale stock will help to drastically reduce your overall costs. As a business owner, you should make it a priority to monitor price rises and falls and take advantage of the lower prices when you can. Yes, this does mean a lot of work been invested into shopping around but it will be worth in the long run. It could be worth speaking with your regular suppliers and seeing if they are able to do anything with the current price.

Waste Disposal

Every single business out there will have some sort of waste to get rid of. Whether it’s just general waste, packaging or recycling there are things that you can put into place to help with its management. Using tools such as waste compactors will help you to maintain your waste disposal and will help to reduce the costs for your business. To be will find that you need to arrange waste to be removed a lot less and you will be able to store it for longer and more of it.

Marketing Costs

Having a look at the marketing of your business can be a really easy way to help cut costs. It’s been proven that small businesses can put up to five percent of their revenue into advertising however this doesn’t need to be the case. Nearly every person now has access to the internet and it’s a brilliant way to reach existing and potential customers. Not to mention that there are loads of free advertising methods that you can be used online such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Why not consider offering your services or stock to influencers online for free in return for some reviews advertised online?

Cut General Costs

With your general costs such as electric, gas, office space hire, water, and insurances you can apply the same rules as you would with your home bills to these bills. By this, we mean that you should be regularly shopping around. Don’t just accept renewal prices and always swap to the company that has the best rates at the time. Yes, this can seem like a hassle but if you set aside some time, maybe just on an annual basis to look at all of these then you could help your business to dramatically reduce some of its main costs. Try having a look at some of the price comparison sites to compare the prices.

Do you have any other tips for cutting business costs? Please share them in the comments section below.

 

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Can Looking Back Help Your Business Move Forward?

One of the hardest things about running a business in the modern world is that the world is constantly moving forward. In fact, in the 21st Century, it’s moving forward faster and faster all the time. Because of this, a lot of businessesfind themselves having to adapt to this new world and constantly push themselves into the future. Of course, this is an incredibly valuable and positive thing to do. After all, the last thing you want is to end up getting left in the dust by the competition. However, a lot of businesses fall into the trap of failing to see when it’s actually a better idea to try looking back instead of just marching forward. With that in mind, here are some ways that looking back just might help your business move forward in the most positive way.

Manufacturing

There are those who will tell you that the modern world is one where manufacturing is becoming an obsolete industry. Thanks to the rise of things like automation and the increased digitization of society, it’s treated as something that’s just not that relevant to the modern world. However, that’s far from the case and being able to embrace manufacturing within your business means that you have a great deal more control over your products than if you were outsourcing it. Of course, this means that you’ll have a lot of extra considerations to make from your warehousing to the tools and resources that you need. From forklift trucks to nickel alloy 20, there are investments that need to be made. However, being able to deal with these kinds of things in-house has so many benefits that you would be missing out on if you treated manufacturing as obsolete.

Marketing

Marketing is one of the aspects of a lot of businesses that seem to be built almost entirely on pushing forward into the future. And that’s absolutely true. You need to be constantly adapting your marketing to the world around you. Otherwise, you’re just going to end up getting left behind. But that doesn’t mean that all of the marketing techniques of the past don’t have any value anymore. Whether they’re there to learn from or you find ways to implement them alongside your other marketing techniques, the past always has something to teach you about connecting with customers.

Employee relations

There’s a new attitude among a lot of startups that you should be treating your employees more like your friends. Places like Google have introduced this idea of turning the office into as much of a casual space as anything else. Now, making your employees comfortable is great but it’s not necessarily best for them or your business to focus solely on that. The truth is that your employees want to be treated well, and paid fairly for their work. Don’t let a desire to look like a “modern” business cause you to lose sight of that.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should suddenly throw away everything that makes your business modern or all of the lessons of the modern world in order to return to a more traditional idea of your business. The reality is that it’s about creating the right balance between keeping up with the changes in the modern world without forgetting the valuable lessons of the past.

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Why Your Site Gets No Leads

You’ve prepared the perfect business plan before quitting your job to start an independent business. Your market research is unequivocal; you know your services are in high demand. You’ve identified your audience, and you even know the demographics like the back of your hand. You’re far better prepared than most independent professionals. You’ve invested time and money in developing your way into the market.

So, if there’s one mystery you can’t explain is why your website isn’t driving any lead. After all, you know that your target audience needs someone just like you. You’ve set the bait online long ago, and still, nobody has gotten in touch. If the situation sounds familiar, there’s one crucial question you need to tackle before giving up: What is wrong with your website?

It lacks branding consistency

When you launch your business, you need to create a business image, aka a brand to differentiate your activities from your competitors. Your brand acts as your business identity. If you’ve found a contractor to create a logo, you need to understand that your logo is only one element of your brand. There is more than one factor to consider to create a consistent brand experience for your online visitors. Indeed, keeping the same logo throughout the website is an obvious strategy. But have you considered your color scheme and your style across your platforms? While it’s easy to maintain the same identity for content pages that are created at the same time, you need to ensure that your social media posts and blog articles – which are a continual work in progress – stay faithful to the brand. You might find it helpful to write style guidelines, which you can refer to when you’re working on future content pieces.  

It’s not built to convert

Your website serves one specific purpose; it needs to generate prospects – who can then become clients. Consequently, your site needs to be focused on designed a conversion path to accompany and encourage visitors to get in touch or perform a positive action. However, without the expertise of conversion specialists, such as a CRO agency, it can be difficult to define the appropriate converting funnel. Conversion experts can help you to not only gain a better understanding of your metrics but also transform the design to match your business priorities. When the page isn’t built to take visitors to the next step, your site becomes pointless.   

Ain’t nobody got time for that

A site that takes ages to load isn’t doing you or your visitors any favor. The average attention span online is shorter than a goldfish’s, meaning that is your site can’t load within a handful of seconds; most visitors are going to drop off. When it comes to websites, slow and steady never win the race. Unfortunately, the abundance of DIY platforms and tutorials has given the uneducated amateur access to content management systems, leading to costly mistakes. As a rule of the thumb, a large volume of unoptimized images can slow down your site. Additionally, adding tracking codes in JS can lead to incorrect implementations, which can also affect loading time.

A site that doesn’t convert is too quickly criticized for its content quality. In reality, nobody cares about your content if the site struggles with brand consistency, conversion paths, and loading time. In short, check the site health before you evaluate your content.

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4 Things To Remember When Starting An Event Planning Business

Running an events business can be very lucrative if you know what you’re doing. There are opportunities for work in a lot of different sectors, for example, you can put on marketing events for businesses, fundraisers for charities, or private parties etc. You can charge a good rate if you’re an expert at putting together events and you can create a very successful business.

It takes a certain type of person to be good at running an events business. You’ll need excellent organizational skills because there are so many different things to juggle at once. Good interpersonal skills are vital as well because you need to deal with lots of different vendors and negotiate prices with them. If you don’t have those skills, you’ll struggle to find success in this business, but even if you do have those skills, that doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to make money. There are a lot of different things that you need to get right in order to run a successful events business and beat the competition, as well as some big mistakes that you need to avoid. If you’re looking to set up an events business and you think that event planning might be for you, here are a few important pieces of advice to help you out.

Manage Your Budget In The Beginning

When you’re putting on an event and you’ve got a big vision, it’s easy for the costs to spiral out of control. A lot of people fall into this trap when they’re first starting out because they think that if they put on an amazing, extravagant event, they’ll get more business. That is true and you do need to impress people with your events if you’re going to get more customers, but you also need to make sure that you can keep the business afloat. That’s why it’s important that you run the business on a tight budget to start with. You can still put on great events without spending lots of money, you just need to start small and be realistic about what you can achieve at this point. You should be trying to get the business of huge companies that want big expensive events because you can’t do that yet. Instead, go for the smaller clients and start building a bit of a customer base and a portfolio of your events. Once you start earning a good amount of revenue for these smaller events, you can start using that money to fund larger events and build up the business slowly.

Make Sure You Have A Good Crew

When you’re putting on an event, you need a good crew to help set things up. You need people to put up stages and lights, coordinate security, take tickets on the door, and then pack everything up after the event is over. Efficiency is key if the event is going to run smoothly so it’s absolutely vital that you’ve got a good crew to help you at your events. If you haven’t already, you should look into using Lasso, a great crew app which will help you when you’re trying to source the best people. You can use it to help build contacts and find people with the right expertise. It makes hiring people so much easier and it also has some great features to help you with organizing and scheduling all of these different people so your event goes off without a hitch.

Even though you need to manage your costs during the early stages of the business, it’s important that you don’t try to cut corners with your crew. The best people are going to charge higher rates but you’re going to need that expertise if your business is going to take off, so be prepared to pay more.

Network Effectively

Image From Pixabay

One of the best ways to find new clients for your event planning business is to network effectively. If you’re focused mainly on business events, you should try to attend other events that people are putting on. While you’re there, you’ll meet a lot of business owners that might potentially need your services in the future. If you can start forging good relationships with these people now and leave them with your contact details, they’ll think of you in the future when they’re planning their own events.

LinkedIn is another great networking tool that you should make use of. The majority of business owners will have a profile on there so it’s a good way to connect with people and reach out to them to see if they require your services. If you can build a strong network online and make your brand known, you’ll find that you get a lot more new clients.

Make Sure You Have The Right Insurance

Insurance is important in any business but it’s especially important when you’re running events. If you put on an event and you’ve got a thousand people attending, you’re responsible for the safety of those people. That means it’s important to check that all of the health and safety regulations have been met and the building is safe etc. but even if you do that, there is always the chance of accident or injury when you have that many people in one place.

If that does happen, there is the chance that somebody might take legal action against you. These kinds of settlements can be very expensive and if you don’t have insurance, you’ll be covering the cost of that yourself. Chances are, you won’t be able to afford that and the business will be forced to close. But if you have insurance, that will cover the legal costs and the payout. You also need to consider the chance that the building itself may be damaged in some way. You’ll be liable for the repairs if that does happen so you need insurance to cover yourself there as well.

Setting up an events business can be tough and a lot of people fail to get it off the ground, but if you follow this advice, you can make yours a success.

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Simple Steps For Opening A Shop

If you are looking to expand your business one step further this year and create a physical store for your products, you’ve come to the right place.

A shop in the city center or your local town can be a wonderful step in the right direction for your business and after a long while you may find that it is the best thing you ever did.

Today we are going to have a look at the steps you need to take in order to open your own store this year.

Have a mission statement

Every good business has a reason and a mission that they want to stick to. As a business owner, it can be a great idea for you to think deeply into how you can create a mission statement to pull people in. For example, if you provide clothes made out of recycled fabrics and other items, your mission statement could show that you want to make the world a better place by having less waste. Think about what you want to achieve and why, and this can really help you make a success of yourself.

Think money

In order to build your own store and sell products from it, you will need to have a budget to spend and a target to hit. When creating a store you will need to think of the cost of rent or mortgage, you will want to consider shipping of products, and also payment options in store such as MPOS and card readers. Make sure that you have a clear mission and that it is achievable for you. You might also want to think more deeply about the design factors you want in store so you can plan a budget.

Investigate the space

When you are looking for a new property to use as a store, it is important for you to visit your options in order to walk around the space and get a feel for it. Some of the things you want to look out for is how busy the road is, because the busier the better, and things such as the lighting and the position of the facilities. If you do want to make any changes you will have to make sure that you have a budget to cover this.

Location

The location of your store is the most important aspect of the search, and it is important for you to find somewhere which is easy for people to access and which is full of people all week long. Ideally you will want to find a location which is right in the center of the city amongst lots of other stores, but of course, this can be a little costly so it will depend on your budget. Make sure to explore all of the options you have and make the best choice for you.

Design the layout

When you look at the interior of a store, you will want to take several things into account. First of all, you will ideally want to fit as many products into the space as possible and the way you store things on your shelves will help with this. As well as this you will want to think about a design which looks spacious and where the cashiers’ desk is in easy view for all to see.

Take care of the legal bits

Once you have decided what you are looking to create with your store this year it is important for you to think about the legal stuff too. Make sure that you take care of every bit of paperwork and ensure everything is accurate and in order before you start your work. If you need to, it can be a good idea for you to hire a lawyer and let them help you with it all.

Finalize products

Before you launch your shop and bring it to the community it is important that you take the extra time to finalize your products and ensure that they are the best that they can be. Your products are important when it comes to your store because of course, they will be the star attraction. Think about how you can finalize your products in order to make them fit your theme and show off your talents as much as you can. You can even think about creating a limited edition range of a popular product in order to celebrate opening your store and this will likely pull a lot of people in and make them want to try your other items too.

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10 Top Tips For Running An Online Business

Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

When it comes to running an online business it can be hard to get started, especially if you have never had any experience before. Whether you’re starting an online store or you’re going to be offering services online, you need to be sure you have a strong plan in place to start your business off with a bang. Whilst it may seem impossible, there are lots of tips and tricks you can take into consideration to give you a head start. With that in mind, here are the top ten tips for running an online business:

  • Make Sure You Have A Business Plan In Place

One of the most important things you can do when you’re starting your own business is to make sure you have a strong business plan in place. Whether you’ve put it together yourself or asked for assistance from a business advisor, your plan should detail everything you need to know about your business for at least the next five years. It should include your missions and values, your goals and the methods you’re going to use to achieve your success. For a guide to creating your own business plan, you can visit this site here.

  • Regularly Set Yourself Goals And Targets

Another important aspect of starting an online business is ensuring you are setting yourself goals and targets regularly. Whether this is weekly targets for your sales or yearly targets for your overall growth, having goals in place is the best way to ensure you are motivated enough to succeed. If you are setting goals, especially large ones, you may also want to consider noting down all of the steps you need to take in order to achieve them.

  • Think About Your Five-Year Plan

As well as setting weekly, monthly and yearly goals, you also need to be thinking about your five-year plan. This means thinking about what it is you would like to have achieved by the time your business hits the five-year mark. This will be a much more detailed plan to your standard goals, as it will include all of the milestones and steps you need to reach in order to reach your goal. You will need to plan it out carefully, ensuring you know exactly what it is you’re meant to be doing and when.

  • Consider How You’re Going To Use Social Media To Grow Your Business

For those running online businesses, social media is a great tool. There are so many different things you can to promote your business online, but building a social media following is one of the most effective, especially now that a large proportion of the world’s population uses at least one social media platform. Although it may take some time to put together a strong social media strategy, this is essential if you want to reach your goals. For tips and tricks when it comes to creating a social media strategy, you can visit this site here.

  • Think About Using Video To Encourage Your Brand To Go Viral

If you are going to be using social media to grow your business, you may want to think about using video to encourage your brand to go viral. As one of the most viewed forms of media on the internet, video is definitely something you need to get behind. Whether it’s doing and Instagram live or creating a video for people to share on Facebook, the more videos you’re posting the better.

  • Decide Whether Or Not You Need To Hire A Virtual Team

If you are going to have a virtual business, does that mean you need to hire a virtual team too? As your business starts to grow you may find that you need to bring people in to help you and as you don’t have an office, ensuring they can work virtually is essential. Whether it’s hiring a VA or outsourcing your social media work, building a team is a great step to take.

  • Consider A Virtual HQ For Professionalism

If you want to give a little bit of credibility to your business when people are searching online, you may want to consider having a virtual HQ. Not only will this mean you have a virtual address for your mail to be forwarded to, but it means you will be able to use this address throughout your business communications. For more information about a virtual HQ, you can visit this site here.

  • Think About How You’re Going To Accept Payments

As you’re going to be operating online, you need to work out how you’re going to accept payments. Whether it’s using PayPal, accepting card payments or invoicing your clients at the end of the month, having this clear in your mind before you start will be really beneficial.

  • Create An Email Marketing Strategy To Reach Potential Customers

A great way to push your brand as you’re just starting out is to build an email list. Whether you start building it by running a competition, asking people to sign up on your website or offering something free in return – the more people on your list the better. Once you have a solid email list, you can start sending out promotions, deals, and exclusive one-off offers.

  • Seek Advice From Industry Leaders And Professionals

Finally, if you’re looking for a little extra guidance, you may want to consider following industry leaders and professionals on social media. Not only will they be able to tell you how they achieved their success, but you’ll learn daily tips and advice from them as you follow along with their journey. It may take some time to find the right people to follow, but searching popular hashtags within your industry is a good place to start. Other than that, Googling a list of influential people may also be beneficial.

Are you running your own online business? What can you do to ensure it is as successful as it can be? Let me know in the comments section below.

 

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17 Awesome Accent Wall Design Ideas

Ever since the evolution of the Homo sapiens dawned upon our planet, man soon realized the importance of having a shelter, a place to live. And soon after man began to reside in a home of some kind, be it a cave or a crippled hut made of bamboos and leaves, his desires went towards the direction of decorating his home. From wall paintings in caves to terracotta dolls, archaeologists all over the world have found numerous items and findings that go to show how our need for home decor have originated and evolved from centuries.

Today, we always focus on upping our home decor game and making our humble abodes look as beautiful as possible. Our walls are always decorated with beautiful and striking paints, covered with portraits, showcases, paintings, and whatnot. While all this do help to make a beautiful wall, they’re somewhat becoming old-fashioned. Any home decor expert would now tell you to opt for accent walls as they’ve become the benchmark for stylish home decors now. For those of you wondering what an accent wall is, it is basically a wall designed with patterns and colors mainly, that completely changes the look of your room and instills a sense of the extraordinary in an ordinary space quite easily.

These accent walls completely change the look of the room, don’t they? As you can see in these pictures, having just one accent wall can make your entire room look not only modern but aesthetically pleasing as well. So, let’s not waste any more time and get to discussing some of the best accent wall ideas you can try out today.

1. Painting the Wall

The very basic idea for an accent wall is painting it in a striking or vibrant color which complements the other walls. This kind of wall accent can be done in your bedroom as well as the living room. If you’re tight on a budget, painting a wall in striking colors such as blue or black can very often change the entire look of the room itself.

2. Geometric Accent Walls

Who doesn’t love irregular patterns and lines, right? It is often considered a genius move by architects these days to incorporate such geometric lines into their designs to make the entire look of a room appear more modern. Having a geometric accent wall creates a striking appearance that guests will notice instantly, and also creates a fun design for kid’s rooms as well!

3. Using Wall Stencils

Since patterns have become a sought-after choice for accent walls, a great option is to use wall stencils, through which you can create designs on the walls yourself. The stencils available today in the market are quite beautiful and hassle-free. You won’t even have to repaint the accent wall, just add designs of different colors through these stencils and the wall will look new and better.

4. Use Those Pictures you’ve got!

A lot of us have our phones filled with pictures and selfies, don’t we? Well, they’re also an awesome idea to make a creative accent wall that will definitely catch looks from your guests. This is the time for you to finally look through all those pictures you’ve been storing in your phone and choose the best ones to put up on display. Creating an accent wall with collages of your cherished pictures is a great way to make a low-budget creative accent wall with a beautiful personal touch.

5. Wood Pallets

A lot of us love rustic décor. The visually aesthetic look of wood and blocks often give a rusty pleasing look and that can be used to create a mesmerizing accent wall as well. A lot of high-end homes often have wood pallet accent walls as that also instills sophistication while simultaneously portraying that rusty décor feel which everyone has an eye for.

6. Stone Accent Walls

If a posh and sophisticated look is what you’re really aiming for, that is not only soothing but also gives off a vibe of grandeur, then stone accent walls are probably one of the best choices. Stone accent walls portray an aura of sophistication and calmness and the visual effect is almost unparalleled.

 7. Wall Murals

There’s not much you can go wrong with when you choose a wall mural accent wall. Especially if you’re an artsy person who loves the essence of colors, then wall mural is a win-win situation for you! Everyone loves a good wall mural and a wall mural is a great way to make your room look quirkier.

8. Minimal Accent Wall

Minimalism has become more of a lifestyle choice for many, thanks to aesthetic cultures and Pinterest. Adding a minimalist accent wall is another great way to maintain a calm and peaceful vibe in the room, making it look rich and sophisticated at the same time.

9. Sharpie Designs

Another great budget-friendly way of creating an amazing accent wall is to draw your personalized designs on the wall with sharpies. Yes, that’s going to be exhausting and will require you to purchase *a lot* of sharpies, but it will still cost less than an actual wallpaper and look much better as it’s your own creation.

10. Wallpapers

If you’re looking to dish out the dough and spare yourself the hassle, installing wallpaper is probably the easiest way of having a cool accent wall in your house. Wallpapers of just about any design are available these days and they’re the best way of not making a long-term commitment to the look of your wall. Easy application, easy removal.

11. Staircase Walls

In many houses, the wall next to the staircase is often the biggest one and thus, hardest to decorate as the staircase often blocks the path. However, you can make this your accent wall as well, as it acts as the biggest canvas. Make it vibrant, cover with photos, make sketches, do your thing and voila! You have a cool staircase accent wall!

12. Bookshelves

Bookworms, this one’s for all of you. Built-in bookshelves are another great way to create an accent wall that adds to the sophistication of the room and also gives off a pleasant and welcoming vibe, just like the books themselves.

13. Displayed Art

An accent wall is more about what you do with the wall, rather than the wall itself. Thus, if you have your amazing art pieces lying around, hang them on the biggest wall of your house and instantly turn it into a personalized beautiful accent wall that is bound to turn heads.

14. Mirrors

An accent wall doesn’t have to be all about sketches, patterns, and colors. If you’re willing to go the extra mile to turn the ordinary wall into a piece of grandeur, hang mirrors of complementary shapes and sizes that will help you create a mesmerizing accent wall and a unique one as well.

15. Tiles

If you’re looking to make a striking impression or just create a peaceful vibe in your bedroom, tile up the wall and you’ll have yourself an amazing accent wall that you’ll never get tired of. Peel and stick tiles are available as well, that have an extensive design range and look more stylish too.

16. Chalkboard

A new trend that is on the rise amongst home décor these days is the chalkboard accent wall, which definitely poses as quite the decoration. Having a chalkboard accent wall not only makes things more creative but will also give you the freedom to have new designs and drawings on the wall whenever you want!

17. Textures

If you’re really looking to make your wall stand out in the house, go farther than just paints and wallpapers. Get a textured accent wall with any texture of your choice and in the color that complements the other walls and you’ll have a masterpiece on your hands that creates quite the impression.

What A Portrait – Handmade Paintings for your Accent Walls

Talking about home décor and accent walls, if you’re looking for an easy option to spice up your home with an awesome accent wall, head over to www.whataportrait.com. At Whataportrait, you can customize hand-made paintings of your cherished pictures that cannot only up your home décor game but will also add a beautiful touch to your accent wall.

Sitting in the comfort of your home, you can submit photos and sit back while the professionals do their best with your personal suggestions to create amazing handmade oil paintings, pencil sketches, coal paintings, sketches, etc. This is a great way to make your home décor stand out from the norm of mainstream portraits and pictures that are hung up on walls.

Once the finished product is ready, you don’t have to engage in any hassle. We deliver your personalized hand-made painting to your doorstep. So, what are you waiting for? Visit Whataportrait today and get yourself a beautiful handmade painting that is sure to be a treat to everyone’s eyes.

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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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