Category: Miscellaneous

Why it Pays to Have Your Fingers in Many Pies When You’re Self Employed

freelance moneyThere are so many great benefits of being self employed. Flexible hours, you can work from wherever you want and there’s no superiors to answer to. You can really fit your work around your life, instead of trying to fit your life around rigid work hours. However there is a downside, self employment work can be unreliable and unlike regular employment you don’t have a set paycheck that lands in your bank each month. Things can be a little up and down, which is why it’s so worth having a number of different options available to you for earning money. If you’re having a slow month, you can always pick up one of the others. Here are some ideas.

Run a Business

For most self employed people, their main focus will be running some kind of business. You could be baking cakes, making clothes, buying and selling things online or something else completely. Either way, this is a great way to make money when you work for yourself. However you could experiences peaks and troughs with your profits throughout the year, and if you’re having a quiet few weeks or months, you could earn extra money with the following methods.

Start a Blog

It takes time to build a blog, but if you start one up and publish regular content (even once a week) it will grow. Later down the line, your blog can be a real cash cow– sponsors generally pay well to have their content or links posted on your site and so it can be a quick and easy way to earn some extra money. Plus you can link your blog to your main business, and use it as a promotional tool as well. Blogging brings with it all kinds of opportunities, and so it’s well worth setting one up, even if it’s not your main source of income.

Freelance

It’s always worth signing up to a freelance site, that way if your business or blog is slow you can pick up some extra work. There’s almost always work available, and you can work on it any time you’re free to boost your bank balance. Whether you’re a writer, app or website designer, illustrator or something else completely, your skills will be needed online and freelancing gives you the ability to earn cash from home in a legitimate way.

Stocks and Trading

If you’re interested in finances then chances are you’ve took a keep interest in crypto currency over the last few months. While Bitcoin is still the one you hear most about, there are lots of others that can give you opportunity to earn well. Look at these Ethereum facts for example. While there’s always an element of risk when it comes to investing, as long as you’re smart about it it can be a good way to secure yourself some extra cash.

Don’t risk a slow financial month leaving you in the lurch. When you have bills to pay and other expenses to cover, when you’re self employed it pays to have your fingers in many pies. That way, you can always make up the necessary amount each month in your bank.

Put Your Customers At The Front Of Everything You Do

business customersIf you do absolutely everything with your customers best interest at heart, then you can’t really go wrong can you. Well, hypothetically you can’t, but we all know how awkward customers can be sometimes. They have to be among the most hardest of people to please in the entire world. But how true is that statement. Is it that they are hard to please, or is it due to the fact we aren’t doing enough to please them. Whilst a lot of business owners wouldn’t like to admit it, money is always at the forefront of their minds. Everything a business does is money orientated, even if some like to sugar coat it as caring for the customer. Think of typical adverts such as ‘Tailor made phone contracts designed with you in mind’. No, they’re not designed with the customer in mind, they’re designed to make the most money. So, if you know you’re guilty of this we’re here to change you. Putting the customers at the front of everything you do will completely transform your business, and here’s how you can do it.

Your Website

Your website plays a crucial role in the happiness of your customers, and happiness always equals more sales. Now we’re in an era where most people chose to go to the internet to buy pretty much everything. The internet is now even better than the local supermarket that might be a two minute drive down the road. It just makes everything so much easier, so you better believe that the majority of your sales are going to be coming through your website. So, the more effort you put into it, the better you’re going to be in terms of customer happiness. One thing to think about doing is having a UX agency help to upgrade, or even design you a whole new website. UX is a user experience based website. It puts the customer at first and helps to improve things such as the ease of use, and the ordering process to better suit your customers needs. They have expert knowledge to make sure that the customer is always pleased when using your website. The second thing you need to think about doing is actually getting your website out there for customers to notice. The best thing to do here would be to use a marketing agency to set up the best strategy for your website and business. Different strategies work better for different companies, so going it alone isn’t always the best thing to do.

Your Products

The better your products, the happier your customers. It is a no brainer really, but something a lot of businesses seem to struggle with for some reason. Market research is one of the best ways to make sure you’re always on the right track. It will give you access to vital information such as what your customers like and dislike about your products, and what they expect to see from you. Take the feedback onboard and make sure you’re always improving upon their advice. Our main advice would be to make sure you’re not cutting any corners. We understand you’re in the game to try and make as much money as possible, but poor quality products aren’t going to get you very far, no matter how much money you’ve saved making them. What the people want is high quality, long lasting, and even unique products if you can achieve something like that. It might be worth having a sneak at what your competitors are doing, and how they’re making their products or services so you can have a little inspiration.

Your Sales Strategy

This is where so many business go wrong. A good sales strategy isn’t one that is aggressive and has the aim of reaching out to as many customers as possible. A successful sales strategy is one that waits for the customers to come to it. The last thing you should be doing is things such as cold calling to try and get sales. Nothing will anger your customers more. Gentle sales techniques such as offers and discounts will help to naturally draw the customers in. You can then work your magic either face to face, or over the phone or email. Never be too aggressive, and never try and oversell a product to your customers. Make it sound exciting, but never pressure. There are plenty of guides on the internet that will help you to improve your sales strategy.

Your Customer Service

Bad customer service is being too pushy with things such as sales, as we’ve already discuessed. But something even worse than that is the poor customer service you can give when a customer is actually trying to purchase a product or your service. You should always be polite, attentive, and make sure you’re giving the customer everything they want, obviously within reason. It isn’t just you that needs to nail this, your employees do to. As a business owner we would hope that you already know what is required when it comes to customer interaction, but your employees might not always be so clued up. They’re often the reason why you’ll be getting complaints in the first place. Make sure you hold regular training days and reviews to make sure they’re always giving customer service to the highest standard.

Beat Your Competitors

Finally, if you want to keep your customers at the front of everything you do, you first need to make sure you’ve got the customers. Always stay one step ahead of your competitors, and don’t be afraid to take a few sneaky ideas from them to improve your own business. Make sure you’re checking out their faults, and use them as your own strengths. Just like customers talk about your own business, they’ll talk about your competitors too. This can easily be found online, and it can easily be used to your advantage. Marketing is another good way to make sure you’re always in the limelight with potential customers, therefore keeping you one step ahead of competitors.

Moving Across The World Shouldn’t Cost You The Earth

moving costsAre you planning on moving abroad sometime soon? Whether you are moving for work and a new position or because you just want to try and start a new life in a new country, there are going to be some big financial burdens that could stand in your way. In fact, the cost of moving to the other side of the world can be so big that some families end up spending their entire life savings on the move. But does it really have to be so expensive?

Thankfully, you might not have to take out your entire savings to pay for your new life abroad. There are some ways you can make the transition a lot more affordable. Read on to find out more!

Ask For Moving Costs To Be Reimbursed

If you are moving because you have got a new job or your current firm wants you to relocate, there is a good chance that they will be able to help you with your moving costs. If the company haven’t mentioned anything to you as of yet, it’s worth asking them to find out if they can contribute to the costs. Sometimes, they might pay for your moving company or shipping costs. Even if they don’t cover all of the costs, they should still contribute a small amount as they are the ones making you move!

Hire Specialist Removal Firms

A lot of work and effort goes into packing up your whole life and shipping it to another country. Not every moving firm will be able to help you with this. But there are some international removalists that specialise in long-distance moves. It’s really worth hiring one of these firms as they will have a lot of experience in this kind of thing. They will advise you on the best form of shipping for your belongings, and will be on-hand to help with the practicalities of moving at each end of the journey.

Be Flexible With Your Moving Date

If you can be, it really is worth being as flexible as possible with your moving date. After all, the price of flights will go up and down depending on the time of year. If possible, you should try and wait to move until your destination’s low season. This will be when fewer tourists will be traveling there, so flights should be cheaper than in the high season.

Consider The Best Way To Transfer Money

It’s not just the practicalities of the move itself that could end up costing you big time. There are some hidden costs that you might forget about, such as transferring all of your money into a foreign bank account. Ideally, you need to wait until the exchange rates are in your favour so that you get as much for your money as possible. Even if this means waiting for a few weeks after you transfer your money, it will be worth it so that you don’t lose out on quite as much cash.

Follow these tips and your move abroad won’t be so pricey!

Advice For A First-Time Business Owner

time for businessIf you have entrepreneurial determination then that’s a good starting place for a business. Of course, it’s only one component of many. You need to think about your own experience or expertise regarding the management of a business, how you’re going to fund such a venture, how many other people you might need to hire to help you with this company, and, most importantly, what type of business you’re going to start. Money is probably the biggest worry on your mind but if you focus on making sure all other components of your business are running smoothly then the profits will look after themselves. Here’s some more detailed advice for any first-time business owners out there.

Become a real boss.

You might have an innovative idea and qualifications in a certain line of business but that isn’t going to be enough to transform you into a successful business owner. When you’re the boss of a company, you need to be an all-rounder. For example, if you’re running a legal business then it isn’t enough to simply have a qualification in law. You need to know how to manage finances, marketing, and, most importantly of all, people. If you want your business to get off the ground then you need to learn how to manage your team and fill them with the same passion for the company that you feel. Making that step will transform you from somebody with a great idea into somebody with a great business.

Research the market.

It’s your job to drive the direction of the company. You might have a good business plan at the moment but the market is always changing. You need to update your approach in order to adapt to a changing industry. You need an enticing and widespread online presence in this digitally-driven era of business, as we’ll discuss in the next point, so you might want to look into online companies such as Youi Pty Limited, who deal specifically with buying and selling goods online, for a little insight into their credit ratings and financial situation.

It’s important that you take note from other companies, whether they’re in your industry or not, so as to not only get an idea of what they’ve been doing well but what they haven’t been doing well. The great thing about being the second or third business to dive into a certain industry is that you don’t have to make the same mistakes as the companies that took the plunge first. You can save yourself a lot of money and time by figuring out how to cut straight to “Successville”.

Get your online marketing campaign right.

As touched upon in the point above, you need a strong online marketing approach in order for your business to succeed. You might not be a marketing expert but you should certainly get marketing professionals to help you if that’s the case. The “build it and they will come” mentality doesn’t always work because there’s a lot of competition offering the same products and services as your business. You need to stand out from the crowd if you want consumers to come to you. Figure out how to optimize the content on your website and social media pages so as to climb the rankings on Google and other search engines. That’ll get you in front of your target market.

5 Financial Resolutions For Freelancers

financial azanda for freelancersFreelancing is becoming an increasingly popular way for people to make a living. With the freedom to choose your own hours, who you work with and a bigger share of the profits – what’s not to love?

Many freelancers find themselves struggling to manage their finances, with bad habits that can be hard to break. Want to take control of your self-employed earnings? Here are five new year financial resolutions for freelancers.

1. Prove you’re a professional with a business account

A business account may seem like something that’s unnecessary unless you’re earning the big bucks, but even freelancers on a small income can benefit from having a business account. There are many reasons why you need a separate account for your side job or freelance business, but mostly it will make your life easier. Make it easier to manage your finances by being a professional with your business.

2. You will start keeping better track of invoices and payments

Your earnings can be unpredictable as a freelancer, and while the majority of your clients will pay you on time, there’s always the danger that some will be late with their payments or worse – not pay you at all. Start working out a good cash flow system that helps keep you out of trouble and allows you to manage your income and outgoings better. Get on top of when payments are due and start imposing penalties on those who don’t pay up on time.

3.You’ll manage your taxes better

The end of the financial year can be a dreaded time for freelancers, especially if your paperwork is all over the place. You can keep better track of your earnings and outgoings online. Make the most of tools that are available such as a generator for your 1099 form 2017 that can help make it easier to file your return at the end of the year. When working as a freelancer, you can never be too organized, so make it your mission to keep on track in the new year.

4. Start protecting your earnings

With freelance work, nothing is certain. One month you could have several well-paying clients under your belt and the next you could end up with none. It’s time you started planning for those quiet periods by having a good pot of savings you can dip into if the worst were to happen. There are other ways you can protect your earnings that will help you be more confident in dealing with difficult financial periods and help you to protect your future.

5. Don’t accept less than what you’re worth

When you first start out as a freelancer, it can be tempting to take on jobs that are badly paid, or not even paid at all. This kind of behavior not only hurts you but others in the industry too. You deserve to be paid the fair amount for your services, so start getting into the habit of charging what you’re worth. Always agree payment upfront to avoid any difficult conversations when it comes to billing time.

It’s good to have goals for the new year, and as a freelancer, you should always strive to be better. Give your finances the attention they deserve and start taking better charge of your earnings in 2018.