Build Or Buy? Finding Your Perfect Office


The time will comes at some point in your business life where you will look to move from your home to an office. Deciding whether to buy an office, rent a space or build your own premises is a decision which can be difficult and will take you a lot of time.


Although renting an office might be the cheapest idea to start out with, you will not have the control over the space so if you ever want to extend you cannot. Buying an office or building one gives you full control over the premises and allows you to make it into your own unique space. But which is better?



It is pretty obvious that buying an office space is cheaper than building one from scratch. When you buy a building you will have to pay fees for solicitors, damage reports, the mortgage and all of the other taxes involved. When you build an office you will have all of these costs plus your construction costs. You will need to pay for the framework of the building, which will either be Armstrong Steel or wood: the electrics and plumbing and then everything else inside. Once this is all paid for you will have a long wait before the building is finished, so if you are looking at cost alone, buying is better.


Your Unique Needs


Although buying a property is much more cost effective for you, the building you buy may not fit your requirements for business so you may end up rebuilding some of the structure anyway. In this case, you may be better off hiring an architect to plan your perfect building including everything you need to run it effectively. It will take longer however you can be sure that you have everything you need for your business to run smoothly.



If you do build your own office, you could benefit from building the premises much bigger than you need for your own operations. Once the building is all done you can rent this extra space out to another business and earn income from the rent they pay for you. It will make the most of the space you have as well as pay off some of the building costs you incurred in the process. You could even rent out small offices to multiple different people and companies to make even more money from rent. This will be a great way to earn extra for your business to grow and develop.


Tax Benefits

Depending on whether you build your premises or buy it, you may be eligible on some cases for certain tax benefits which you would not get with renting. This is due to the fact that the investment you make for building or buying an office building could result in a large number of new jobs for people in the area. The local council will look favourably on this and will likely reward you with certain benefits. It may be worth checking if your local area offers these benefits, as it will affect your decision.

Category: Business

Bringing An Inefficient Business Into The 21st Century


If every business on the planet were eco-friendly, the world would be a better place. Not only that, but the economy would boom as companies tend to save millions in costs. Sadly, some firms aren’t efficient powerhouses in the green industry. Mining companies, power stations, and petrol stations are inherently bad for the environment. Plus, their entire existence is based on extracting minerals from the Earth’s surface. How are they supposed to change now? If you are a leader of an inefficient company, the thought of going green can be terrifying. But, it shouldn’t be because it is feasible as long as you make the right moves.


Start Small

People may laugh this off as insignificant, but nothing is arbitrary regarding the planet. As ASDA says, every little helps and nothing could be truer for the environment. Carbon dioxide pollution is at an all-time high, as is plastic pollution, yet experts recommend recycling at home. If homeowners can make a difference, so can business owners. Changing to energy-efficient light bulbs and lowering energy usage shouldn’t be underestimated. Not only does it make a difference but it also creates a positive mental attitude which may last for the long-term.


Invest In new Opportunities

The old ways may be set in stone, and there is nothing you can do to change the past. But, technology is rapidly changing the future and the way the world does business. Who would have thought oil companies were bothered about the environment? No one, yet Exxon Mobile invested $100 million into biofuel research in 2009. Critics point out it stopped rather abruptly, yet industry leaders such as BP followed suit. British Petroleum is seen as one of the pioneers of low-carbon tech. As humanity advances, so do the opportunities to help Mother Nature.



Use Legit Partners

Don’t forget about the supply chain as a whole. Inefficient companies need the help of others if they want to change their ways. Think about Gas Oil Drums UK for a moment. This company delivers commercial fuel to its suppliers such as petrol and power stations. How can an oil supplier help with the green process? Well, it itself may use eco-friendly measures to reduce the firm’s carbon footprint. Also, the bosses could invest in new tech which aims to phase out potentially deadly methods. The supply chain is like the food chain: as one link breaks, it affects everyone else in the sequence.



As a leader of a non-green company, there will be a perception that you don’t care. To make a point, only the CEO of Shell has stated publicly that both parties can find common ground. By admitting there is a problem and your business has a role to play, it is possible to find a compromise. It might not be enough for some people, but they will never be happy. As long as you commit to reducing greenhouse gases and lowering pollution, the majority should be satisfied.


Do you think it’s possible to turn an inefficient business into a green one?


Category: Business

If Your Business is Stalling, Get Inspired

No one enjoys being in a situation where their business is stalling and failing to hit the heights that they know it’s capable of. If that sounds familiar to the situation you find yourself in right now, the way to get yourself out of it and get your business back in first gear is to get inspired. This might not sound like the most obvious plan of action, but it will get your creative juices flowing and provide you with the kind of motivation you need. Read on to find out more.


Look to All Around You For Good Ideas

Too many business owners make the mistake of thinking they’re better than those around you. Even the most lowly employee can come up with ideas that you would never have thought of, so don’t rule out looking for ideas and inspiration from the people around you. You’ll probably end up being pretty surprised by just how much you learn from them, so keep that in mind.


Head to an Ideas Conference

Conferences come in all shapes and sizes, so they’re hardly uncommon in the world of business. If you want to get some inspiration from people who really do know what they’re doing, don’t rule this out. You can sit and listen to people while you take notes, and you just make come out of the conference energised and excited by the ideas you learned about.



Take Inspiration From the Success of Others in Business

There are plenty of other business owners have found success in their careers, and they’re the people you should probably be looking towards when it comes to finding inspiration. People like Michael Burry often inspire people working in finance. And they’ll be a success story that you can take inspiration from in your chosen niche too, so start giving this issue some thought.


Remove the Things That Are Holding You Back and Distracting You

We all have lots of things around us that distract us and stop us focusing on the things that matter most in our careers and business lives. You should take steps to remove the things that you feel are holding you back and stopping you from filling your full potential. There are no excuses for failing to do this, so it’s all down to you and your actions.


Question Things You’ve Never Really Questioned Before

Assumptions can be damaging if they’re carried forward unquestioningly for too long. It’s not in your best interests to not question things that really ought to be questioned. You could inspire yourself by finally discovering that all the things you thought hold true are not necessarily true at all. It’s these kinds of moments that inspire invention and new ways of thinking.



You’ll be surprised at how a little inspiration can go a really long way to helping you turn a negative situation into a much more positive one. Once you’re inspired and raring to go, nothing will be able to stop you and your business from major successes, so get to work.

Category: Business

Futureproof Your Technology Investments In Three Steps


Technology is supposed to be something that makes our lives easier – but get it wrong, and it can cause untold headaches as well as potentially damaging your business. For under-staffed start-ups, having the right technology in place can be absolute game-changer – pushing up productivity, increasing profit margins, keeping you organized with limited administrative support and allowing you to gain a competitive edge and serve your customers better. But how do you make sure that you give the right decisions when you’re setting up? Technology is the one thing worth investing in – but you need to get it right. Here’s how to do that:


Make a Technology Audit

Start by knowing what tech kit you already have in the business. It may be that you’ve collected in piecemeal as the company has developed and there are lots of incompatible operating systems and pieces of kit. How well is what you have currently serving your business? Could it be adapted for other uses? What gaps are there in the technological capabilities that you now have? You don’t need to replace everything at once. Try categorizing things into ‘works but needs improvement’ ‘not fit for purpose’ and ‘fine for current use.’ Do your research on what new systems for small business are out there – sometimes it’s hard to think about what new solutions you could be using if you aren’t aware what’s available. Think about the processes you do as a business and what could be streamlined or made more accessible to allow you to focus more on delivering excellent customer service and expanding your business. Business areas such as communications, databases, order tracking software and accounting are often where you can make the greatest gains.


Futureproof Your Tech

As a big-ticket purchase, it’s only smart to consider future needs as well as current when paying out for new tech. Use your projections and business plans to get a picture of where you are likely to be in a couple of years’ time – will this current solution still serve you then? How easy is it to upgrade capacity or integrate with new systems? If you have engagements and customer meetings all over the place, is it better to invest in tablet computers and use Wi-Fi to access cloud systems wherever you go rather than paying to upgrade desktop PCs? What systems are there specific to the industry that you operate in that other companies are using successfully? It’s also worth investigating refurbished hardware. A lot of larger companies upgrade every year, meaning you can get nearly-new technology for a fraction of the price of out of the box – check providers such as before buying new.


Get Support and Training

It’s no good spending money on new tech if no one knows how to use or maintain it. Consider hiring in specialist IT support on a temporary basis to troubleshoot any problems and make sure everyone is up to speed on the new systems. Have training manuals produced in-house that can be referred back to in case of any future complications? And make sure you are signed up for alerts on any security patches or upgrades that become available so you can stay ahead of the curve and keep your tech as up to date as possible.


Category: Business

Ruling The Roost – Money’s Impact On Your Business


When you own your own business, you will start to hear about various things that are meant to be “king”. For instance, content has been “king” now for the past couple of years. At least, that’s what people are now saying seeing as content is such a big influencer and is one of the best ways of attracting as much traffic to a website as possible. There are also some entrepreneurs out there who would argue that it is in fact the customer who is king. After all, without plenty of customers, your company won’t be able to make enough sales to break even and go on to make the profits that your company needs to survive.


These are true, of course, that customer and content are both really important to a business’s success. But are they really king? I would argue that there is something much more important in the corporate world that controls a lot of what entrepreneurs and CEOs do. It’s so important that it even dictates various aspects of how a company is run. You’ve guessed it; I’m talking about money. Money is the true king of business and is, ultimately, what rules the roost.


Here are some of the many reasons why money is ruling your business and how it has a huge impact on everything that you do.



Can’t Get Started Without It


First of all, there is no way you will be able to go about setting up your own business without any money behind you. The majority of entrepreneurs and startup founders have some sizeable savings in their bank account that they can use to fund their new company. However, this isn’t always possible for some people. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean that you need to resign your corporate dreams to the dustbin, though. There are plenty of ways you can get the finance you need. You can see about finding an alternative finance provider if you don’t have such a good track record with credit. However, if you think that you will have an easy time getting some credit or financing, you can visit your nearest bank and talk to the bank manager about getting a business loan. If you are feeling really motivated and are completely committed to your business idea, you should consider setting up a Kickstarter campaign as a way to help raise your funds.



Your Budget Is King


When managing your money, it’s really important that you put a budget into place. This will help you get a good overview of your company’s finances and complete financial situation. Sure, your money might be king of your company but this budget is the overall ruler of your cash! Without it, there is no way you would be able to correctly allocate your funds or spend your money in such a way that wouldn’t bankrupt your company. If you don’t have a head for finance, there’s nothing too much to worry about. Just hand your budget over to your financial department or accountant and they will take care of all your cash management for you.


Employees Want Your Cash


You will probably need to employ a team of workers to help you and your company achieve all of your goals and targets. This is especially important when your business is going through a period of growth and development as you will need as many hands on deck as possible to increase the size and productivity of your company. There’s just one problem with employees – they always want your cash! There’s no getting around the huge expense that employees will have on your company, but this is one that you will have to simply take on the chin, I’m afraid. When you do start hiring a team of staff, don’t forget that you will also need to budget for their sick and vacation pay as well as monthly payments into their pension plans.



Investments Prop Up Your Company


Once you do start making a profit, you need to think about what you will do with all your money. You could just leave it in the bank if you want, but that won’t see it grow as much as it could if you invested it. Bank accounts these days have very low interest rates attached to them. That means that your money in the account won’t get quite as much interest added onto it each month as you might like. So, it’s a good idea to look for some investments which will see your money grow a lot more. For instance, you could invest your cash in the stock market or in other business funds. However, it’s always important to remember that investments aren’t always as safe as bank accounts. Sure, there is a good chance that your money will grow and increase in value, but there is also the risk of losing some of your money if the investments lose value. Some investments are safer than others, and you might want to start off with the safer options if you are totally new to the investment markets.



Cashflow Makes Or Breaks Businesses


Once you start receiving payments from clients and paying your own invoices and bills to your suppliers, you will have to manage your cash flow. Cash flow is just all the money that is coming into and going out of a business. In order for your business to keep on top of all the bills that come your way, you need to have a good cash flow. So, you need to ensure that there is always cash in your bank account that you can always use to pay your bills. If not, then these bills and invoices might go unpaid for some time and you could end up incurring fees for late payment. These fees are just excess costs that your company could really do without. If you find that you are struggling to control your cash flow, it’s worth speaking to a corporate financial advisor for some useful tips and helpful pointers.  



Expenses Pin Down Your Profits


All businesses have expenses, there is just no getting away from them. But that is no bad thing. In fact, it’s important to have some expenses on your books so that you can bring down your overall annual profits of the company. This will then reduce the total taxable profit you make. That means that you can then lower your yearly tax bill. In some cases, entrepreneurs are able to drastically reduce the amount that they have to pay in tax each year. There is a whole host of different expenses that you can claim for your business and corporate tax. If you aren’t entirely sure what counts, you should speak to your accountant about it.


There’s Always Room To Negotiate


When it comes to finding new suppliers, you should always try and negotiate a better price for their products or services. Generally speaking, the price that they first offer you isn’t going to be written in stone. Most companies and organizations will be willing to discuss the price that you will end up paying. You should also remember this when you start hiring staff. New recruits might not be happy with the wage or salary that you first offer them, and they might want to negotiate with you. You should be open to these kinds of salary negotiations. Otherwise, you might end up putting off some great recruits from wanting to work at your company.



Never Forget About The Annual Tax Return


Your business will have to pay tax to the tax man each year. This is something that you really can’t forget about. Otherwise, you could end up receiving a very big fine through the post. In some cases, not paying taxes after a few years will result in jail time. So, make sure you always stay on top of your tax return. Thankfully, this is something that can be easily outsourced if you don’t think you can handle all of this on your own. An accountant will tell you all the paperwork and documents that they need in order to file your tax return. They will need to know your yearly expenses as well and will need evidence of all of these. They will then go and do their thing, and in a few weeks or so, they will have figured out how much your company needs to pay to the tax man. It’s also important to remember that you will need to pay your own personal tax on top of what you are paying for your company. Of course, the amount of company tax will have an effect on the final amount that you have to pay personally, as it will affect your personal income.


As you can see then, there are a lot of different ways money can take a hold of your business. But as long as you have a dedicated team of financial advisors by your side, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about.


Category: Business

How Your Financial Personality Can Make or Break Your Business

As leader of a small business, your personality and natural inclinations will influence the whole tone of your company operations. This is true of every area, but particularly when it comes to your business finances.


You may be funding expansions out of your savings, or perhaps applying for business loans or finding investors. But these scenarios can play out very differently. You could be sitting on the fruits of prudent investments, or maybe you’re in need of fast cash now? Figuring out what personality type and inclinations you have when it comes to money could be the key to making your financial operations work.


Some entrepreneurs are predisposed to behavior types that are harder to moderate – these ‘risk-takers’ are usually great visionaries with the courage and passion for making a business idea happen. Then you have more ‘risk averse’ types who will only proceed with caution but often get further than their counterparts. Business success can happen for both types though, with a few adaptations.


Risky Business

Risk takers tend to be found a lot setting up their own companies, as they can be the type of people who don’t follow arbitrary rules set by others very well, or get easily frustrated with the lack of vision and forward thinking found in some more substantial corporate structures.  There are a lot of great qualities for an entrepreneur in this group. But they can also find it harder to stop something once they’ve started, or limiting themselves. Then you have the more risk-averse, who are generally quite good at moderating their impulses and have to work harder to overcome natural caution when making the leap with a decision.


Knowing Which Type Of Entrepreneur You Are Can Help Your Cash flow

If you fall into the ‘all or nothing’ category, it’s going to be more of a challenge to limit or stop financial practices that may hurt your business credit rating. Impactful changes come from understanding where these behaviours come from and working around them. It’s not about having a right or wrong approach – it’s simply about understanding your personal psychology, and the impact that has on your business. You can then create a plan of action that works for your own predilections and finance control.


How To Master Your Financial Behaviour

Being one of the high-risk, all or nothing personality type, tailor your financial resolutions to include things like using only cash for small purchases, to resist snowballing money onto a credit card. Avoid ‘trigger locations’ that tend to make you want to spend, or only go when you have a specific purpose for being there. Make sure you have a cast-iron budget and watertight business finances that are kept completely separate from your personal accounts, so you don’t run the risk of leaking your spending into the business.


If moderation is difficult, learn to get good at saying a flat no to things you don’t want or need or unhealthy behaviors. If you are the risk-averse type, work with that. Don’t try an all or nothing approach, but give yourself flexibility while staying mindful of your overall spending. Create targeted savings accounts, to save up cash for specific financial goals. You may have more trouble committing to one, overall long-term goal, so make sure that you have lots of little ones to reach incrementally.


Category: Business

Statistics Help Inform Business Practice Thoroughly – Here’s Why


If you have any idea of what makes a business successful, then it’s likely you know about the efforts firms go to to generate statistics and analyse them. This is the number one trend in which modern businesses make their decisions, and try to mitigate how they want their brand to be perceived with how it’s actually perceived.


This is becoming the most effective method modern firms use in order to get a grip on the market, and for good reason – it works. But why does it work? The following should explain why:



With the prevalence of the internet, finding these auto generative statistics is easier than ever. You are now able to find on social media dashboards demographic research, national and international exposure as well as what times people viewed your content around. It also allows for advertising campaigns to generate ‘click reports,’ that is the amount of people who  saw your advert vs the amount of people who clicked and learned more about your brand. From social media profiles to the use of a professional SEO Agency, more and more statistical analysis is telling us the mistakes we make. This means that within ten years, it’s likely that ‘blanket advertising’ will become a thing of the past. Businesses are simply so competitive with one another that the battle for minds and eyes will be waged against the surgically targeted demographic, as opposed to a widespread and wasteful exposure to people who block these marketing tactics out.



Learning about your statistics and reach is often free. It often takes no time at all for a business to gain the raw information. Of course, professional analysis can be commissioned and utilized in order to make use of this information in the most effective and practical way, but this can also quite easily be achieved within your office, providing you have the right people to digest it. Still, the mere fact that so much raw data is available for your perusal as a side consequence of the digital means of acquisition would make business leaders in decades past feel you had uncovered a superpower.



The best part about analyzing these stats is that they are present. It doesn’t take weeks to collect this information through surveys or generalized guessing. Almost immediately you can find out how a marketing campaign has performed. If good, you keep doing what you’re doing and hope it reaches new audiences through your content strategy. If bad, then you have an almost immediate capacity to shift your gears and either switch up your demographics or try to repair the issue. The speed of this also means that professional stat analysis can be instant. If you use an SEO service or a social media campaign to promote your wares, then you’ll notice by the hour updates can occur in order to help you immediately fix or redirect where and how your campaign goes. As this gets more refined in future, it won’t be unrealistic to consider the possibility of all marketing campaigns to continually be tailored and repaired form day to day.


If nothing else, we hope this article has persuaded you to pay more attention to stat analysis. TIt could help you more than you think.


Category: Business

Finding New Clients And Customers Is Child’s Play When You Know How

Have you launched a new business during the last few months? Are you frantically trying to promote your brand and attract lots of new clients and customers? Then you should take a moment to read through this post and learn about the most fruitful and useful techniques. There is no need to invest a lot of money in most instances, and you just need to put some of these ideas into practice. With a bit of luck, you will put your business in front of the right people and begin to make a healthy profit within a couple of months if you take this advice. Of course, there is always an element of risk involved.


Showcase your company at trade shows

Regardless of the nature of your operation, there are hundreds of trade shows that happen every year in this country that you should attend. You can pay for a stall, and then employ the services of experts to ensure you create an eye-catching platform for your business. Specialists like Open Exhibitions claim that the display stands you use will play a role in determining your level of success. That is because there are lots of other companies at the event, and so you will compete for time with the attendees in most instances. You just need to create a stall design passers-by can’t ignore.


Invest your time in social media marketing

Almost every person within your target market will use Facebook or Twitter on a daily basis. That means you need to begin utilising those platforms and their marketing potential according to experts like Social Day. Firstly, open a business page and then post updates every single day. Try to use emotional language and ask questions for the best results. Every time someone “likes” or “comments” on your post, its reach will increase. There are also paid advertising tools you can use if you want to grow your audience in the fastest manner possible. All the info you need on how to use them if freely available online.


Learn how to use Google Adwords

You should have a website that showcases your products or services. The issue is that driving traffic to that domain can seem impossible. That is why you need to learn how to use Google Adwords. That is the world’s most popular banner advertising platform, and it’s perfect for driving lots of traffic to your website. You just need to pay a freelance graphic designer to create some imagery, and then you can begin your campaign. There is no minimum investment, and so you can test your targeting options before you spend a lot of money.


Image Credit

As the title of this article stated, finding new clients and customers is child’s play when you know how. There are lots of other techniques and methods you could use to promote your operation, but the ones mentioned on this page will provide you with the best results. You should use them alongside your other marketing endeavours to ensure you always reach the right people and boost your profits when it matters most. Good luck!

Category: Business

Beginning With Outsourcing


Starting a new business comes with a wide variety of jobs that need doing, from naming the company, choosing a colour scheme, and designing a logo, to finding premises, organising your taxes and figuring out the mysteries of accounting. To do all of it, and to do it all well, means that you need to delegate tasks and outsource jobs that can be done equally well, or even better, by somebody else. Letting go of that control cane be hard, but it can be even tricker if left until later on. And where outsourcing straight away does mean a little more money spent in the early days, it can be irreplaceable help later on. A full time employee can cost more than a freelancer, or a contractor, purely because you have to pay for benefits, holiday and sickness. However, as your business grows, you might be able to afford these things and benefit from having someone in the office full time. Just be aware that delegating jobs to other people can do nothing but help you to save time and money, which you can then put back into growing your business.



When it comes down to maintaining content, social media and blogs – it’s a time-consuming task. Add this on top of running your brand new business, and it can become too much to handle. There are two ways to outsource the writing responsibilities; the first is to hire a freelance copywriter to work from your office. Having an in-house writer can be beneficial in that they are immersed in your business, they only focus on what looks and sounds best for one company.

The second choice is to outsource by hiring a freelance writer to work from their home. You can do this through freelancing sites like freelancer or the normal job advertising sites. The main benefit of doing it this way is that you only pay for the work when you need it. A freelance writer is used to changing the tone of voice to match whatever company they are writing for. And can often bring in new ideas from other industries as they have their finger on the pulse of multiple companies at once.



Any business trying to operate in the 21st century has to be involved in IT to some degree. But that doesn’t mean that every person is an expert at developing websites, creating apps and software, and IT support. Which is why going to a second party company like Carden IT Services works so well. You get all the benefits of the top tech, without any of the hassle.



Business finances are boring. There is no other way to put it. Plus they can be incredibly time consuming, so even if you know what you’re doing, it takes valuable time away from other aspects of your business. If you want your business to be successful you need to keep detailed records of your income and outgoings, but that can be where your involvement ends. With an in-house bookkeeper you can be assured that they know every corner of your business finances, they don’t have to work on any other accounts (except perhaps their own) and can advise you, in person, whenever you want. However, there is still the option of outsourcing. A contracted accountant would sort out your financial affairs without you needing to ‘hire’ them.


Category: Business

Setting up a “Success Tracking Practice” by @tobyberesford

Many organisations need a success tracking practice, they just don’t realise it yet.

As any Team Sky cyclist will tell you – it’s great to be able to rely on the Team Sky staff team and the array of coaches on everything from telemetrics to nutrition.

Think about having your own team of performance coaches at work – wouldn’t that be fabulous?

Well some organisations are already well on their way – PwC, the United Nations and others – have set up success tracking programs, initially targeted at social media success. Employees can sign up to the program and they get personalised tracking scores combined with peer networking and coaching advice to help them succeed at social media.

The success tracking approach is one that you can introduce into your own organisation, or as a consultant, you can provide as a service to your clients. All it needs is a blend of coaching and attention to numerical feedback.

Learn more in this slide deck:

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