Turning Your Hobby into a Business

For many people, their hobbies are a way for them to relax and unwind from their busy lives. They like spending time doing something they love without the pressure of everyday life. However, for some, their hobby seems like the perfect thing to turn into a business. There is a lot of difference between doing something for fun and doing it for profit, here are a few ideas to turning the hobby you love into a business.

Make a Business Plan

Just like any new business, you need to create a plan to help you decide how you are going to run your new business. It is important that you work out how your hobby will translate into something you can market and sell. You might need to have bigger premises or more equipment to get started, or you might need to employ staff to help you. All of this will need to be addressed before you start.

Funding

As a hobby, you probably buy things as you go along to build up your collection or to make things. However, when you decide to start it as a business, you will need some money to begin. Once you have finished your business plan, you will be able to go and sell your idea to people that may be able to lend you the money. One of the first places many small businesses go is the bank; they might help you if they feel the idea is profitable. Other options are friends and family, or even crowdfunding.

Start Things Slowly

As a new business, you want to take things easy at the beginning, don’t try to grow your company too much because you need to know that you can meet the demand for your products. Doing things for a hobby is much different from doing it as a business, so if you start too fast, you will just overwork yourself.

Marketing

It is important that you sell your new business to your potential customers and tell them that you are there. To achieve this, you need to develop a marketing plan that will target the areas where your customers will be. There are several ways you can do this; you can target social media, pay for some advertising, or use a company like your content shop. Using a company can be an effective way to start as they can get your brand in front of the right people.

Suppliers

When you start running your hobby as a business, you are going to need suppliers. Although you may have previously bought your supplies from stores, this might not be enough to deal with the volume you need now. You don’t want to buy too much in the beginning, but you should have enough to get things started. You may not have dealt with suppliers before, so you should do some research to find out the best way to find good companies.

Hopefully, you can turn your hobby into something that you can share with your customers.

 

 

Setting up a business in Switzerland – key aspects

Many foreign entrepreneurs and companies are interested to start conducting business operations in Switzerland and that is for a reason. Switzerland is considered one of the best European locations for setting up a business and one of the most attractive business locations in the world. With a solid economy, great government policies regarding the business environment, highly developed infrastructure, a favorable taxation system and highly skilled workforce, it’s no surprise that there a many advantages when setting up a business in Switzerland.

Choose a name for your business

When setting up a business in Switzerland, you have to consider that in some case it’s necessary to establish right from the start a name for your business. For example, in Switzerland all companies that are registered as GmbHs must have the word “GmbH” in the ending of the name.

Whichever type of business structure you choose, there can’t be two companies with the same name in Switzerland, and therefore you must check first if the desired name is not already taken. All registered business names are listed in the Federal Registry.

Choose the most suitable business structure

The next step is to decide which type of business structure is the most suitable for your needs. The most common business structures used in Switzerland are the AG and the GmbH.

The GmbH is similar in structure with the private limited company. It can be founded by one or more individuals or legal entities. The founders don’t have to be Swiss citizens or be residents of Switzerland, but they must have a Swiss representative in front of authorities, clients and business partners. For a GmbH, the minimum required share capital is 20,000 CHF, which must be paid up upon the company’s registration. The articles of association of the company must be notarized and the necessary paperwork include identification documents, proof of residence and a bank statement obtained from a Swiss bank after the share capital is deposited. Shareholders are listed into a public registry.

On the other hand, a Swiss AG has a structure similar to a corporation, meaning that it can be used for various business purposes, including commercial activities, company subsidiaries, company branches or multinationals. The founder or founders may be foreign citizens, but half of the company’s board of directors must be formed by Swiss residents. The minimum required share capital is 100,000 CHF, from which 50,000 CHF or at least 20% must be paid up upon registration. The shareholders are not listed into a public registry.

In addition, individuals interested in setting up a business in Switzerland should know that they can also form other business structures, such as sole proprietorships, general partnerships and limited partnerships. These types of business structures don’t require a minimum capital, but the founders or partners have full liability.

Documentation needed for setting up a business in Switzerland

One of the great advantages of setting up a business in Switzerland is the fact that the company formation process involves simplified bureaucratic procedures. The basic documents needed to incorporate in Switzerland are identification documents, proof or residence (usually utility bills no older than 3 months) and a bank statement. To prevent money laundering, the share capital must be deposited with a Swiss bank and the bank may require further documentation regarding the origin of the funds.

The articles of association must be drafted in the presence of a registered Swiss notary. After the drafting of the documents necessary for the newly-established company, an application is sent to the Swiss Register of Commerce, to complete the registration process. In addition, depending on the type of company and business activities, it may be required to apply for VAT.

If your plans for the nearest future include setting up a business in Switzerland, keep in minds to focus on a solid tax planning strategy which can help you benefit from important tax advantages in the country and avoid double taxation.

How To Make A Good Impression In Business Sales

First impressions have a huge impact on how everything that comes after them will go. Therefore, it makes sense to get them right. After all, there is only one chance to make a first impression. First impressions can be formed in as little as seven seconds, so you really do need to do all your preparation well before the meeting or presentation if you want to make that first impression count.

Be Interested

One of the best ways to offer a great first impression in business (or outside of business, for that matter) is to be interested in the other person you are talking to. Heading right in and giving a pitch about how great you and your business are (even if it’s true) is not a way to win the hearts and minds of the people you’re trying to impress. Instead, it will give them the idea that you are hard to deal with, and that you only care about yourself. People enjoy talking about themselves, so letting them do this will make them happy, plus it will give you some insight into their likes and dislikes and enable you to sell to them better.

Be Confident

There is nothing worse than going into a sales pitch and allowing your nerves to take over. If you can’t show that you are confident in yourself, your business, and the product you are pitching then why should the other people in the room choose to buy from you? They need you to be confident so that they can be confident. Engage with people by looking them in the eye and offering a firm handshake. Then speak well, showing that you understand and believe in the product you are selling.

Why Is Better Than How Or What

When you are wanting to make a good impression, telling people why you are in the business you’re in, letting them see your passion for it, and detailing the products with enthusiasm is a much better way to go about things than simply telling them how the product works or what it is. The why is always much more compelling than anything else, because it offers up a human story and a human connection, and that makes selling, and buying, a lot easier.

Don’t Forget The Marketing

Face to face meetings are important, and making a good first impression is crucial, but what about your marketing? If that leaves a bad taste in potential customers’ mouths, then a face to face meeting may not be able to alleviate that poor first impression. Get some tips on how to promote your business well from sales promotions and don’t fall foul of the problems that advertising can cause. Marketing can also help you in your sales pitch; have some promotional products to hand out so that the people you’re talking to will remember you long after you’ve finished your presentation. Plus, you can run your presentation off the back of your marketing to give a cohesive impression your business and how it works.

 

How to Engage Your Audience

Without any doubt, engaging your audience is absolutely essential these days for the success of any business. Believe it or not, around 90% of people would be willing to engage with some sort of brand, so it is a matter of how you engage with them to make things happen. Below I am going to share with you some of the ideas you can use in order to engage better. You can also find a lot of information on the topic on https://www.mppglobal.com.

1. If you haven’t done this already, take advantage of all social media channels. These days, doing so is probably the best possible way to reach audiences in every corner of the world.
2. Once you have your social channels ready, work on your website. On your website make sure that you affix all sorts of social media icons that will take your users to your social media channels and vice versa, on your channels link back to your website.
3. Allow your users to share anything. People like to be able to be part of something bigger. Allowing them to share your content with others is just another great way to spread the word and keep everybody happy.
4. Whatever you do, include a call to action button at the end of virtually everything. This way your readers won’t be left on their own, but they will be instead directed to the right place in order to obtain the right information and the right time.
5. Take care of your existing audience and reward them for their loyalty. People like to get things for free, so why not give them something they might be able to use whenever they feel like it.
6. Lastly, work on your social media accounts constantly. Since social media are your most important way to engage your audience, you need to know how to fully take advantage of them.

How to empower your business with the help of loyalty programs

Rewarding customers is truly important for most B2B companies and that more likely to be important for a majority of business houses. You’re bound to create additional business opportunities by developing a powerful bonding with your prospective buyers besides creating enough ground for cross-selling. A powerful bonding between you and your target audience helps in securing an improved churn rate and improving user experience besides retaining your current buyers for long. That’s one reason why the B2B enterprises find it to be so important.

A majority of the B2B and B2C programs are developed with the same objective. However, a few different methods are followed by the enterprise systems that are used for incorporating these programs.

How to differentiate B2B program strategies from that of B2C?

B2B program strategies are designed to stay focused on a specific target audience and serve things accordingly. For instance, Dental Brands is a good example of a company with a loyalty program in the B2B space. Make sure you also do your research for determining the differences between the audience of each model and know their demands if you’re eager to do business with them.

Factors that contribute towards shaping a loyalty program:

  • Things that remain specifically linked to the buying cycle besides the audience’s buying potential.
  • The right means of relating to the stakeholders by addressing their needs and offering incentives to help them meet their long-term objectives.
  • Chances that help propose new values for the B2B loyalty programs to venture, and scope of launching a new product in the market besides the wide range of products affecting decisions to be taken by vendors.
  • B2B business models, industry activities, and market divisions.
  • You may study the above factors carefully for defining the right loyalty programs for your business regardless of whether you’re in the manufacturing or retail sector. The manner in which you serve your target audience will help you determine which type of program you ought to opt for.

It’s sometimes tough for you to determine which loyalty program you should go in with. A crucial factor that determines an appropriate loyalty program is the bonding between your business and your target audience. All data pertaining to your existing buyers should also draw more emphasis in this regard. That’s certainly a good reason behind so many of the B2C business serving such a large network as compared to their B2B competitors.  Apart from assisting and guiding your buyers, it also helps in being empathetic with them by identifying their real concerns.

How to gain an edge with the tiered systems

In an attempt to engender your customer loyalty, you must resort to tiered systems. This is one thing you must practice for the very first time you commence your business activities. Placing new orders is indeed a pledge towards businesses involved in your partner network. You may offer reward points and air miles to entice prospective customers and sign up for your service. Customers will find the opportunity to redeem reward points besides identifying a real reason to continue with their long-term membership.

4 Reasons To Work With A Financial Planner

Money is a powerful thing. It is necessary to enjoy and sustain a quality life, regardless of whether or not you are working. You want to plan for the future and for any eventualities and life events that might happen along the way. All of this means that you need to have a laser like focus on your money, and that is not always possible to accomplish on your own. You need help. Consider the following four reasons why you just might want to work with a financial planner.

Plan for Retirement

There will come a day when even the most abled bodied individual will want to stop working and enjoy what they have accumulated through the years. For some professions, this day may come sooner than for others. Financial planning for professional athletes, for example, will involve developing a strategy for the future. Money accumulated today may need to last for decades, so it is important to have a comprehensive plan in place that is effective and conducive to one’s lifestyle.

Expect the Unexpected

Even if things are going great for you financially today, that does not mean you are not in for some rocky times ahead. A financial planner can help you by developing a strategy to effectively deal with the unexpected events in your life, such as sudden job loss. This will benefit you and your family in the long run, and help you to weather the storm.

Long Term Investments Accumulate Wealth

You do not want until it is too late to start accumulating wealth. Starting today will allow you to build up assets over time, as long term investments tend to gain momentum at time goes on. Again, a financial planner will help you in the regard.

Develop Financial Literacy

Using a financial planner will help you to develop a better understanding of complex terminology associated with the accumulation of wealth. The more you know, the better the decisions you will make regarding your own financial position. You will also be able to call upon your financial planner when you have any questions.

These are just four of the many reasons why you will want to consider using the services offered by a financial planner. It is important to treat money with the respect that it is warranted. This is how you will better take care of yourself and your family, both now and in the future.

Three Ways to Make Garden a Sanctuary for Native Species

One of the best things that you can do to improve your home and garden, increase your property values, and make your home an environmental success is to build a garden that hosts native species. While this may sound like a big project, it can actually be an easy way to totally transform your space. The good news is that native species already want to be in your yard. You don’t have to spend a lot of money buying exotic or expensive plants or other equipment. You just have to set your yard up in such a way that it attracts the animals that already belong there.

The biggest change you’ll need to make in your yard is to add a water feature. This step is absolutely essential since all animals need access to fresh water at all times. Luckily, it’s easy to install a very simple pond, birdbath, or other aquatic feature. If you don’t want to do it yourself, look for a qualified local professional to help guide you through the process. For example, if you need advice on pond aerators and fountains, talk to a company like Lake Doctors. These experts can help you find the perfect water source for your yard.

Next, make sure that you have native plants throughout your yard. This will attract the insects, birds, and wildlife that are native to your area. For example, if you’re trying to attract the native monarch butterflies to your garden, you will need to plant the appropriate milkweed for your area. Talk to an expert at your local garden center, or read up on native plants at your local library. Most towns and counties also have a nonprofit group in the area that can give you advice on choosing the perfect native plants for your ecosystem. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from experts in your area.

Finally, remove items from your yard that will discourage wildlife from stopping by. That means discouraging your dog or cat from roaming freely in the native area, as most larger wildlife will avoid spots that are home to domestic animals. It also means minimizing loud distractions such as idling cars, stereos, and screaming children. If you can’t get rid of these distractions, move them away from the native plant area. Soon, your yard will be full of life.

How To Be Constantly Improving Yourself As An Entrepreneur

Your job isn’t complete as soon as you become an entrepreneur. In fact, the hard work required to sustain and grow your career is just beginning. Don’t sell yourself short or become too comfortable in one place.

You should always be challenging and stretching yourself, so you develop your skills and abilities as a business owner. Be humble and understand that your work is never going to be over. Your career is a journey, and if you want to be successful, you should work on improving yourself each and every day. Get excited about all that’s ahead of you and that you have yet to absorb.

Learn A New Skill outside of your Industry

Stay sharp by expanding your knowledge outside of what you already do best. For example, learn what it takes to start fixing cars and working with your hands by visiting best-automechanicschools.com. Take up a challenge like this on the side of what you do and see how this type of adventure can truly expand your horizon and allow you to appreciate a completely different trade and career. It’s healthy to have hobbies and interests outside of what you do for your day job.

Proactively Request Feedback

It’s easy to forget that you’re not perfect when you work for yourself. Running the show may have you convinced that you’re managing a flawless business. Step back and decide that you want to get better at what you do by seeking out feedback from others. Be honest with yourself about what you do well and the areas you need to work on improving. Feedback is the best way to get an outside viewpoint about how you’re truly maintaining your company.

Always be Setting Goals

You aren’t going to get too far if you stop setting goals for yourself. It’s human nature to forget about what we set out to do if we don’t write it down. Document your objectives and plans for achieving results. When you meet one goal, set another and so on. This way you’re always working toward improving yourself or a part of your business. Set personal and professional goals to get the most out of this type of exercise.

Socialize & Network

Always remember that other people are great teachers and you can learn a lot from them. This is why it’s so important to socialize and network whenever possible, especially if you’re in a small office all day. Engage in conversations, challenge others and remain open-minded and listen to what those you’re conversing with have to say. Reach out to other entrepreneurs who you admire and pick their brain about how they achieved so much success. It’s always beneficial to expand your mind.

Conclusion

You should never feel like your work or job is complete. Always be striving to improve yourself from a personal standpoint and as an entrepreneur. It’ll be time well spent once you’ve built a thriving business and you notice how much you’ve grown and matured over the years.

Small Business Owner’s Guide to Coping with Natural Disasters

When you start a business, you think about profit and loss, stock control, marketing, and hiring the right staff. Unless you are incredibly well-prepared, the thought of coping with natural disasters won’t be something you’ve spent very long planning. Sadly, homes and businesses across the USA are affected by extreme weather every year and being aware of the dangers and what to do in an emergency could turn out to be a skill you’ll be grateful for.

Precautions

Whatever the cause of your situation, you should follow some basic safety precautions to keep everyone as safe from harm as possible. Your emergency kit should be checked and kept replenished as a matter of routine. You should always be aware of where your employees are and who is on the premises, so you can gather everyone together and do a roll call to make sure no-one is trapped outside and that you are all accounted for.

Floods

Rapidly rising water levels can cause sudden flooding of buildings, and the force of the water can cause a great deal of damage. If you have had a flood warning, listen to your local radio station, check where your nearest emergency shelter is and be ready to leave immediately in case you have to be evacuated. If you have anything valuable or irreplaceable and there is time, you can move these items to a higher level of the building. When the floodwaters approach, keep back from doors and windows and move to a higher part of the building. Don’t let the water touch you if you can help it, as it is likely to be contaminated with sewage and could be dangerous. Don’t try and use any electrical equipment that comes into contact with the flood water, or you could get a shock. If you are in an area that is more likely to flood, industrial pumps could be useful for helping to clear the water.

Hurricanes

If you get caught by a hurricane at your workplace, you will be much safer inside, preferably away from any glass walls, windows or doors. If possible, get everyone into an internal room on the ground floor, or at least into a central part of the building. Keep away from electrical equipment and power sources, and if it’s safe to do so, you could turn off the main power breaker. Don’t let anyone go outside until you’re certain the storm has passed. There could be falling trees or power lines, and even small objects can be very damaging when the force of extreme winds projects them. There is also the possibility of a lightning strike. If it seems like the hurricane is calming, wait until you can be certain that it isn’t just the eye of the storm passing over you. Hurricanes are a primary cause of torrential rain that can lead to flash floods and storm surges, so listen out for flood warnings.

Although unlikely, natural disasters can and do happen, so it’s worth allocating the short amount of time necessary to make sure your workplace is prepared for the worst.

5 Essential Tips for First Time House Flippers

As a first-time house flipper, you may mistakenly consider flipping easy. After all, how many times have you seen some random person on TV buy a house, renovate it, and sell it at a handsome profit? Anyone could do that, right? That’s where you’re wrong.

Remember, even decrepit houses do not come cheap and nor do the loans with which to buy them. Also, you face stiff competition, and renovations sometimes cost more than you thought. Here are a few useful tips for those beginning in the field.

1. Approach the Right Lender

Before you start flipping houses, you have to think about approaching a mortgage lender for a loan. But, as you do, note a few things. On the one hand, traditional lenders always demand a 25% down payment, and this is after checking your credit.

On the other hand, hard-mortgage lenders couldn’t care less about your credit, so they’ll loan you as much money as you need. However, they’ll charge you as much as 10 to 15% more interest. For this reason, before approaching any lender, you should check mortgage company reviews on a site like dollar cents for instance to get a clearer view.

2. Buy the Right House

Once you have access to credit, you can buy the right house. Even though this sounds straightforward, it isn’t. See, when you buy a house at retail price, any improvements you make on it only add to your final retail price. So, what’s the problem with that?

For one, you might struggle to sell the house. And when you eventually do, you’ll make a loss. As a general rule, buy houses selling below retail price, add value to them, and sell them for more for more than you spent on them.

3. Make the Right Estimates

The question now begs: How much value do you add to a house before selling it? To answer this question, you must make the right cost estimates. This means calculating every cost in detail.

Besides the buying price, figure out how much it will cost you to renovate and market the house. Also, throw in the cost of retaining and maintaining the house before you sell it. What’s more, remember to include property insurance, property taxes, mortgage payments, and the realtor’s commission.

4. Get the Right Contractor

Now you’re ready to hire a contractor. Although there are plenty of good contractors out there, you must do your homework before finding one. Before hiring, ask for references and then call these references. And, if possible, also look at the candidate’s completed projects before hiring.

5. Don’t Overdo the Renovations

With the contractor hired, it’s time to get to work, but here’s a cautionary word. Don’t go overboard with the renovations. If you do, your house will cost more than other houses in the neighborhood, making it harder to sell. Instead of expensive additions, add a few special but cheap touches here and there.

Conclusion

If you want to be successful as a home flipper, you not only have to know how to spot a good catch but learn how to deal with financing as well. Make sure you’re well informed about every aspect of house flipping and ownership before you even think about buying your first house.