If you donâ€™t have a website for your business, you need to get with the program. In most cases, customers and prospective clients expect you to have a website even if they donâ€™t actively use it or refer to it. It may sound odd, but recent research shows that most people assume that a company with a website is larger and more stable than a company without one.
You donâ€™t need to be a graphic designer to build an effective website. Focus on growing your business while outsourcing your website design to a skilled parent who’ll creates the look and feel of your site.
Website design is one of the most popular outsourcing jobs online today. You can have a new site designed or give an existing site a makeover in just weeks or even days. Just make sure your site is an extension of your corporate identity; youâ€™ll spend money creating it, so be sure it works for you.
That’s right, this blog is officially brilliant. As of yesterday we are a featured blog on alltop.com the most exclusive compiler and aggregator of blogs in the world. We’re now rubbing shoulders with the likes of Seth Godin, Mashable and CNN!! Alltop takes all the best blogs out there on specific subjects and lets you compile them in to your daily read – like your own customised newspaper. Take a look and get your own feed now – it’s completely free – and don’t forget to add us because we’re brilliant.
Firstly I want to draw your attention to an excellent article on starting a business by Kathryn Hopkins at the Guardian website – link below. It gives some excellent advice on the nuts and bolts of taking an idea, testing it and running with it.
What it also draws attention to is the risk factor – what happens if you plough your savings into a business and it falls flat on it’s ass. With today’s economy you can’t just say ‘ah well’ and go and get another job. Saying that – how safe is your job at the moment? Big picture? I’d say there hasn’t been a more ideal time to start your own business in the last 15 years than the present time – but do it safely.
Safely? By its very nature starting your own business isn’t safe – it’s gambling – literally. You take a load of money and place it on your hard work and instincts to win. With luck you succeed and of course there are always safer bets than others. For instance – if you’re an accountant setting up your own firm serving small businesses it’s a good bet – business has always needed accountants, it has a tried and tested structure and as long as you do your research right chances are it will make a profit. However, if your life-long dream has been to be a magician then the whole profit and loss comes down to a wing and a prayer and your sheer persistence and fight. When I went to my bank manager and said I wanted to start a business supplying flexible work opportunities to parents she looked like I’d just pulled a gun on her. It was outside her knowledge base, it was an unknown and so too risky to place a bet on. It was an idea without a triple A rating from a company that the bankers pay to triple A rate things – I’ll stop there before I start to rant.
As it turns out I have that banker to thank for my present circumstances – I am a few weeks away from launching my company with hundreds of parents and companies already in the mix ready to post jobs and fill them – I have absolutely no debt assigned to the company – and a couple of business partners that are as passionate about the company as I am. How did I pull this off? I did it safely.
What do I mean by safely? I mean that I didn’t place a bet, I took the risk out of it and replaced the risk with hours of hard work. For the last year and a half I have been paid to do what I knowÂ – which is small business – and have advised start-ups on every aspect of their structure, marketing and funding. When I’d finished that for the day I went home and built another page or wrote another script for this website. I had cash coming in but at the same time I was slowly building an asset in the background until I was ready to fully commit and press the button. And that’s how you make the break.
Do not make the mistake of just chucking it all in and going for your dreams…your independence. That’s a fools methodology. Take it slow and give yourself a second job and focus on the outcome further down the road when you can go for it with a good foundation. Because you might just lose the bet.
This is where hiremyparents can help. We have all sort of flexible jobs on offer, part-time, job share etc. but we also have hundreds of freelance projects available that could see you through to starting your own business. If you’re in marketing and recently became a marketing parent and want to spend more time at home then apply for the marketing projects on the job board and build a customer base while being paid. When you feel the time is right send all those companies an email with your new company’s logo on it saying you’re open for business as a legal entity. They know you and they know your work so you’re off to a head-start. If you sent them an email without forming a relationship before-hand you’d have been deleted before they read the subject line.
There is no way to start a business with complete safety – that’s not the nature of things – but you can limit the risk by lowering the bet and building a customer base through completing specifically targeted projects in your business to-be’s market and forming relationships with the companies that will be your life-blood in the future.
Let me know your comments on this post and anything you’d like me to expand on. hiremyparents isn’t just about offering the opportunities for parents to work flexibly but also about supporting them in their endeavours. Let us know what you want and we’ll try and deliver the resources you need.
Link to Guardian article
You see this spouted everywhere – legitimate work from home jobs, earn $xxx per day! legitimate work from home jobs, earn from your computer!
It’s got to the point that if you see the word “legitimate” you immediately believe that it isn’t. What do they mean by legitimate? If you take them up on their offer and start to work then by that very act it is legitimate – as long as you’re paid (and not doing the books for the Mob)
Which I think gets to the crux of the matter – whatever it is you decide to do or try to break from the standard 9-5 is legitimate if you get paid – unfortunately most of these offers (if not all) only get one person into profit and that’s not you.
During our beta test of hiremyparents we have had our parents start a bewildering variety of ventures from your standard ‘virtual secretary’ to a high end ‘dog conditioner’ (dog trainer not dog shampoo, should probably talk to her about the title) and all of them have been legitimate because at the end of a working day they were a little bit richer than before.
So how do you make sure you’ll get paid? Well, there is no absolute guarantee. If you start doing a product launch plan for GAP or design the look of a new widget for SONY then chances are you’ll get a cheque – their reputation isn’t worth damaging – especially in todays socially connected world (more on that in a later post). But what if you’re doing the VAT for ‘Cardboard Inc’ a small but profitable company based in Nowhere, Wales. If you do the work how do you know they’ll pay up without any grief? Again, there are no guarantees but a bit of research could save you a lot of hassle down the road.
Below is a list of resources for the US and UK that you can use to check up on the companies that sign your cheques. Unless you’ve pulled off a $1m contract with someone I wouldn’t go too in-depth, just make sure that they’re legit and maybe do a google search for the company with the word ‘complaint’ added to the search box – you’ll be amazed at what pops up (social media again).
All in all I’ve heard no complaints from our beta parents concerning non-payment, and if you do hit a big pay-day maybe you should use an Escrow service or get paid in installments. But remember, most companies will pay up without a squeek but it only takes one idiot to ruin your cash-flow so a little research goes a long way.
Industrial Quick Search
Foster Business Library
Research Guides from the Baker Library, Harvard Business School
Thomas Global Register
Rutgers Library Guide to Company Research
Thorough outline of company research issues and resources.
Yahoo’s Business to Business Directory
D & B Small Business Solutions
Research Guides – Business & Management
Industry Research Desk
I was lucky enough this week to finally have a quick chat with Antonia Chitty, a much respected guide to the ‘work from home’ community and home business advisor. She talks about generating ideas for a home business and how to publicise it. Her links are below:
Click To Hear
www.themumpreneurguide.co.uk â€“ the essential business start up guide for mums
www.prbasics.co.uk â€“ handy tools to help you promote your business
www.familyfriendlyworking.co.uk â€“ a great place to start if youâ€™re looking for ideas on how to combine working life and family