New Year, New Business? How To Start A Business On A Shoe-String Budget In 2013

1. Your New Business Must Fulfil A Need Not A Want 
It's always easier to sell a product or service that cures your customer's pain than just satisfies a want. Thing of what you sell in terms of how it can remove something that they don't want.

2. Utilise Your Best Skills 
Imagine you are a recruitment agent recruiting You. What would they consider to be your best skill, the thing you can earn the most at? When was the last moment you really shone at what you did? What do you really love doing? How do you spend your leisure time? Get a pen and paper and before you know it you will be bursting with ideas.

3. Learn How To Run Your New Business For Free 
Your local library and the internet have huge amount of free business resources. Business Link has an invaluable website Your local Chamber of Commerce requires a subscription fee but has valuable resources such as free business mentoring and networking events. Startup Britain has a free enterprise calendar listing events for entrepreneurs.

4. Make Your New Business Plan Flexible 
It's easy to become disillusioned because you have set your sights too high. Make sure you set yourself realistic targets which will motivate you. Break your marketing plan into bite-sized chunks and 'to do' lists based on ways to get to your targets.

5. If You Have A Job, Keep It 
Start your business in your spare time, and work in evenings and weekends. This will help create the discipline you need to keep the business going once it starts expanding, and if the new business doesn't work out you have something to fall back on.

6. Use Free Resources To Set Up And Promote Your Website 
Domain names are generally really cheap (£10-£15) and once you have decided on yours, WordPress can be downloaded free from Use social media to spread the word. No longer is it true to say 'build it, they will come', but you can help yourself by spreading the word using free accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

7. Turn Fixed Costs Into Variable Costs 
As a start-up, you can't afford to get saddled with fixed costs, but by out-sourcing, you can enjoy benefits at prices to suit your fluctuating cash flow. Examples are hiring meeting rooms by the hour, staff by the day.

8. Do Everything Yourself 
'Meet the Marketing Director, Finance Director, Operations Director and Sales Director' That's You, at least until you can earn enough money to support others. A harsh reality, but the only way to build up cash reserves to grow your business.

9. Use The Resources You Already Have 
Do you have a spare corner at home? Welcome to your home office. Does your local café have wireless internet? Your new meeting room? Is your laptop a bit old? Make do for now. What better incentive to generate those first few sales than the thought of up-grading.

10. Don't Be Shy About Getting Customers To Pay 
If it is normal in your industry to ask for some money up front make sure you do too, but even more important, don't leave doing your invoices until to the last thing on your list. Happy customers will expect to pay for a good job done.
Claire Georghiades, Director of Accounts Resource Limited
If you have a great idea for a new business, and would like some help from people who have been there AND won 'The Best Start-Up Award' at the Richmond Business Awards 2012, we provide a FREE one hour consultation on Skype to help get you started. Get in touch for more information!

Leasing Tips for New Business Owners

Are you planning to start your business in the next few months? And are you looking for equipment leasing tips and pointers that you can use to ensure that your business will turn out to be very profitable and successful? If your answer to these two questions is yes, then we encourage you to pay close attention to the succeeding paragraphs of this short but very insightful article. In the remainder of this piece, we have listed down and discussed practical suggestions that you can use as you try to look for and eventually sign up for an equipment leasing arrangement to acquire the machines, tools and equipment necessary for starting your own enterprise.
Tips for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs
1. Examine which equipment your business needs. Before you approach a leasing company, it is important that you consider first what equipment, machines, tools, furniture, gadgets or components your business really needs. This way, you can easily identify which companies or contractors you can contact to provide you the exact machine or equipment necessary for supporting the day-to-day operations of the business you wish to build.
2. Know the qualifications of a prospective lessor. After identifying the components or apparatus that your business needs, the next thing you should do is look for prospective lessor's. Make sure that you search for accredited or licensed equipment providers and financing institutions. And see to it that you make a short list of companies that have excellent track record when it comes to customer service. This way, you can have the assurance of dealing only with reputable and credible organizations.
After searching for companies, take your time considering the qualifications of each prospective lessor. Contact each shortlisted company and ask its customer service representative regarding the qualifications for leasing business equipment. Aside from this, you also need to inquire about the terms and conditions imposed on the program it offers to business owners like you. In so doing, you can have accurate information that you can use in comparing the features of the leasing programs you intend to apply for. And such information can eventually help ensure that you will be able to obtain a leasing program most suitable to the needs and financial capability of your business.
3. Prepare, prepare, prepare. After finding a credible company and equipment leasing program, what you should do next is prepare the documents and papers that you need to file with your chosen lessor. In most cases, business owners are required to submit finance documents, such as proof of financial capability, business income and bank statements and other related papers. Applicants for leasing business equipment may also be asked to fill out forms and have interview sessions with bank personnel, depending on the requirements of their chosen lease providers. So, business owners are encouraged to prepare not only relevant paper works, but also themselves in case they will be asked to appear for a business appointment with a customer service representative of a prospective financing company.

Hit a Home Run for Your Company With New Business Book

Whether you are a baseball enthusiast, a Little League coach or parent, or a business owner looking to bring your company to the next level, you will find plenty to put new life into your game in Earl Bell's new book "Winning in Baseball and Business."
Earl Bell, businessman and long-time coach to youth baseball teams, reveals the many similarities between baseball and business-including both being games and both needing great coaches-and how Little League principles can be applied to business. Whether or not you have an interest in baseball, you will be surprised to discover how "what it takes to create a winning baseball team" applies so perfectly to creating a successful business.
In each of ten "innings"-Bell's preference for the book's division over the word "chapters"-Bell takes Little League lessons and shows how they can be turned into Major League strategies for your business. Topics include how to define what success means for your team/business, how to create alignment among your team players, how to establish a culture with values, how to develop a strategy and execute a plan, and ways to know what risks to expect and how to manage or insure against them.
While a lot of business books are out there-some even using golf or other sports metaphors-"Winning in Baseball and Business" is the first time I've seen baseball principles applied to business, and using Little League as a starting point really illuminated for me the basic, complex, and even common sense ways to take a business to the next level. More than anything, Bell comes across as a coach-in baseball and business-who cares not only about winning, but about his team-he believes in encouraging his players, in making them all engaged in the game, in enhancing their strengths, and in making sure everyone plays. Not only is he a great coach, but he helped lead his team to a national tournament held in Cooperstown, New York, the birthplace of baseball. For Bell and his team, playing in this tournament was a definite sign of their success.
Just as it's important to Bell that all his youth baseball players feel like they are part of a team with a culture of values, so he believes in developing employees into team players who take pride in and ownership of their work. And he applies the question of what motivates a youth to play baseball versus an adult to coach to understanding how an employee's reasons for working in a business can be different than those of a business owner, and how those differences can be used to lead to alignment within the business' team.
While Bell can't coach every business (although he can be hired as a business coach or consultant), he helps the reader self-coach by providing excellent questions at the end of each inning in a workbook format. These questions allow for thoughtful review of what has been covered in each inning and they ask the reader to consider how what has been learned can be applied to his business. One of the most thought-provoking questions Bell asks is, "What would be the impact to your customers if your company no longer existed?" Finally, Bell offers a scorecard for each inning to help the reader determine how he is doing and what he can do better to lead his business to the Major Leagues.
As an extra bonus, Bell includes profiles of ten entrepreneurs who established their own successful business enterprises before they were eighteen, and he concludes each inning with the profile of a well-known billionaire from the past or present. With each profile, Bell reveals lessons we can learn from the entrepreneur or his or her own personal advice for others who want to achieve business success.
Bell is clearly a great coach for business or baseball; you couldn't do better than to read "Winning in Baseball and Business" and apply its principles to your game. If I had a son in Little League, I'd want Earl Bell to be his coach, and if I were starting up a business, I would want him to be mine.