When Is It Safe to Grow Your Business?

When you should invest to grow a business

The truth is that businesses should be looking for growth all the time, but there comes a time when you need to decide if investing will help your business continue growing. For example, a small shop can provide a good income for two people, but staying open later or opening earlier will often mean you need more staff. This will instantly place a cost on your business that may not be recoupable until more customers are aware of the new opening hours.

The same principle works for many more businesses and although the example is for extra staff, it could just as easily be more advertising, buying more stock, a business refurbishment or anything that places new costs with expected increased returns. Any investment needs a base in sound financial planning with realistic projections and an understanding of the returns.

Understanding your Business

Expecting profit margins to remain the same is a common mistake and this is why you should work everything out before committing. You may be operating at 10% profit, but that might drop to 8% when you commit to extra investment in staff or advertising. That could be fine if your revenue increases by 15% as a result, but you need to know what these percentages mean to your business in real terms.

There is no hard and fast rule, but there are certain times when you can be more confident than not about your expansion plans. Those affected by the seasons such as a beachfront bar or a gift shop have the summer and Christmas to look forward to respectively. It should be reasonably safe to take on extra staff or spend more on advertising during this period because it’s reasonable to expect a return. Your business could then retract when the season is over for another year.

Spotting the Trend or Identifying a Fad

Some businesses need to rely on good foresight and inventiveness to expand. How many gyms that once offered cardio kickboxing are now offering Zumba or spin classes? These changes happen because of a change in the trend. There would have been a transitional period where people were undecided whether they wanted to change from one class to another, but gyms that were quick enough to get in on the trend early would attract new customers with just a little advertising.

If your gym owners are good at spotting change early on, they will capitalise every time. The gym example is more likely to be a fad and gym owners will know that their base income will arrive from people simply committing to using their equipment or staying with well-established classes such as Yoga.

Trends are different from fads, because fads tend to come and go, but trends are something you can spot if you analyse your historical data. For example, the gym will increase membership after the New Year because many people make resolutions to lose weight. There would be another increase in membership around May because people want to get in shape for the summer holiday. These trends are specific times of the year that justify extra spend on advertising and recruitment because they are peak periods.

Financing the Growth

Extra investment is difficult if you are unsure about the future or you lack enough historical data to know if the boost in sales is a trend, fad or blip in your figures. Your profit and loss account and you cash flow forecast should include any investment and if you borrow to invest, your repayment schedule should feature too. Borrowing to meet short-term needs can be a bad idea if you are tied into fixed repayments; the kind you get when you take when you accept a loan offer; you have no guarantees your business will be able to maintain payments in the future. A business cash advance repayment schedule links to card sales and only takes a fixed percentage of your revenue as repayment so the amount your business repays lowers when your business slows and increases as your business improves, but it remains at the same percentage of your card sales.

What Is the Best Home Based Business To Start in 2013?

The first thing to keep in mind is that the best home business to start is one based on the internet. It is no secret that more and more people are buying products and services online and, as the sales of online business transactions continues to increase, sales in the offline world continue to decrease.

To begin an online business from home you do not need a lot of technical skills or a lot of money to get started out. There is no age barrier, or level of education required, it does not matter about your current internet practical experience or even that you do not have any products to sell.

The best home based business simply starts with no stock. So, how can you have a business without any stock to sell? Basically, you sell products and services on behalf of other people and when you sell them the product owner pays you a commission. This home based business model is called online affiliate marketing.

Unlike a traditional offline trading business, an online affiliate marketer does not have to buy the stock before he or she goes on to sell it. Firstly, you find products and services which are currently popular. This can either be physical products or digital products. Digital products are those which a buyer will download directly to their computer. This may be something like an education course.

Once you have found a product, you promote it to a target audience who would be interested in it. When somebody buys it, you get paid a commission.

For example, you can become an Amazon affiliate (which costs you nothing) and look for a product that interests you and that people are currently buying. Let’s say for example it is camping equipment. You insert an advertisement in an online camping magazine for the latest high-tech tent which you found on Amazon. When somebody clicks on your ad and buys the product, you will get paid a commission.

This is why affiliate marketing is one of the best home based businesses to start. You do not have to worry about shipping the product, holding it in stock, sorting out any returns or any other customer queries.

If you do not want to get involved with physical items and you prefer to have a home based business that sells digital products, you can find a huge selection at Clickbank. This is an online marketplace that deals in thousands of digital products for many different markets. Again, there is no cost to become a Clickbank member.

Keep in mind that your home based business is a business and not a hobby. It will require work and some investment. Whilst the set up costs for the best home based business are a lot less than a traditional bricks and mortar business, it will need financial commitment for such items as a website, hosting, marketing, advertising, mentoring and education.

An online home based business may not appeal to some individuals as they might believe that they do not have the technical skills required to get the best home based business possible. All of the reasons for not setting up a home based business on the internet can be readily overcome if you are prepared to learn and have the determination to build a sustainable and long term business.

Security for Business – What Are the Special Requirements?

Business Security Systems

The components of an alarm system whether it is for a residence or a business are basically the same. There are differences that should be addressed before you purchase a Business Security System.

Similarities between Home and Business Security Systems

Both types of alarm systems will need to have protection for all of the doors and windows that are on the premises. The inside of your business will still need to have a motion detector installed as an addition to your perimeter protection. Most of the differences between the two types of systems are related to the access of the areas.

Business Security Considerations

A business is typically opened to the general public and this is where the similarities end between a residential system and a business alarm security system. There are areas of your business that the public is allowed to roam about and there are also areas that they should not have access to. You also have employees that you would like to consider to be honest but they may also need to be limited to certain areas.

Business Security System Devices

If your business dispenses cash then you will want to have a hold up button installed. This device is connected to the security panel and sends in a distinct signal so that the central monitoring company knows that there is an emergency situation. The police will be dispatched knowing that there is a potential hold up situation. A business can also have theft as a consideration from the general public and employees alike so there may be specific asset protection that should be installed. Asset protection devices can be installed to detect the movement of high cost items. Many businesses have store fronts that have large windows. Burglars can gain quick access to your store by smashing these windows. Glass Break sensors can go a long way in protecting the perimeter. Since these windows do not open the traditional door contact does not provide protection.

Placement of Security Devices

The placement of the security devices can also be different with a business alarm system. Since most businesses are located in an area with foot traffic, care must be taken to ensure that false alarms are not generated by improper placement of Motion Detectors. If you are having a shock sensor installed you must take care that passersby do not set the system into alarm.

Area Access to Your Business

Your business may have multiple areas of access and there may be cases where you do not want all employees to be able to access all areas. Business Alarm Systems can be installed with multiple areas of protection where you can designate particular employee’s access to some areas and exclusion from others. For example you may have a stock room that only designated employees are allowed to enter. You can install an additional keypad at the stock room location and only the designated people will have entry without setting of the alarm.

Business Security System – User Access

If you run a business then you know that there can be a high turnover of employees. This means that you will need to be able to easily add and change access to your business. You must also make sure that the security system has enough capacity to be able to enter all of your employees that are allowed to arm and disarm your security system.