Over half of small businesses cease trading after only a year. As a small business owner the learning curve is often steep and the margins for error slim, which is why Kent OPC was born. Based in North Wales, but serving the whole of the UK, we help small business owners, both face to face and online. Our regular events, which are hosted throughout the UK, have grown from strength to strength and with the help of several contributors we are in the process of publishing written guides on every aspect of running a business. We hope you find our website useful and find the time to make it to one of our business events.
How To Start A Driving School In 4 Easy Steps…..
Operating a driving school might be a lucrative business idea, but such a venture requires an intimate knowledge of laws and state rules. If you’ve got sufficient backing and some good capital, here’s how you can kick start your own driving school:
1. Get In Touch With The Driving Standards Agency (DSA)
The DSA or Driving Standards Agency are the governing body for driving in the UK. From the driving theory test to the practical they legislate and set the standards for everything. Contact the manager at the state office for information on guidelines related to commercial driving schools.
Get a clear idea about norms and rules that cover issues such as business and personal requirements for your instructors, location, vehicles, insurers and unions. They have a three part exam, you need to get through that to become an ADI. If you’re unsure about anything, consult a solicitor before proceeding with the process.
2. Lay Down Your Business Idea
Now that you’ve passed the test, draw up a business plan that includes the initial cost, equipment, curriculum and promotion. Also, now would be a good time to get your insurance in place.
3. Hire Quality Staff
You won’t get far if you don’t have qualified staff. First things first, make sure that they’re all licensed and qualified to teach. To further filter prospective staffers, you could design your very own exam.
4. Don’t Forget To Market Your Driving School
Marketing is of the essence for every business in this day and age! Promote your business via print ads, radio and a website. Contact some local schools and find out if you could land a deal or a contract to enrol eligible candidates into your school as well.
5 Steps To Becoming An Electrician
Owning a house is a dream every person has. But who brings light into our house?
This is done by an electrician.
The electrical wiring in our homes, commercial centers, industries or any other place is done by the electrician. He is the man whose occupation is to install, maintain or repair electrical equipment as and when necessary.
An electrician should be very skilled in his work because he is dealing with electricity. A small mistake on his side can prove fatal. He needs to be hard working and dedicated to his work.
Not everybody can become an electrician easily. The most important factor in becoming an electrician is to have interest in this line of work. Only then, you can work with satisfaction. You should also have the technical aptitude.
You should decide your career from school itself. If you are passionate about becoming an electrician, you have to take courses in math and science in school. You then have to enroll yourself in an apprenticeship program. For this, the requirement is a high school certificate with math as a subject, and you should be over 18 years of age.
The following video provided by the guys over at www.stokeontrentelectrician.co.uk take a more in depth look at what it really takes to become an electrician.
You can get training from numerous centers; but you should be careful when selecting these centers. Ensure that the center or school you are planning to join is reputed and that you don’t opt for a diploma course if you plan to reach a high level as an electrician.
You also have the option of joining the Military School Training Programs, State Sponsored Electrician Training Centers, or the Union Trade Schools. Today electricians are in great demand so more and more people are interested in becoming electricians.
Most electricians join apprenticeship programs to learn the trade. Both theoretical and practical training are provided. On-the-job training is given to the students by trained and certified electricians. Tests are conducted in the schools to see if a person is capable.
Since electrical work involves a lot of physical work, physical fitness is tested first. The person will be tested for hand-eye co-ordination, and since he deals with wires, the color sensing capability is also tested. Sometimes the electricians get jobs in construction companies through placement cells, while others may have to find jobs by themselves, or start on their own after the completion of their apprenticeship.
Another important thing is that an electrician should have a license. Most employers ask for a license. A licensed electrician can earn good money if he has thorough knowledge of his work and if he is very capable. If you are good at your job, then there will be no shortage of work and you can earn well.
Electricians are in great demand and a good electrician can easily make from $48,000 to $75,000 in a year. It is quite a challenging job, and since you work in different sectors, you will not feel monotony. Therefore, if you want to become an electrician, go ahead and choose this line of work as your career, you are sure to be happy!
How To Organize A Successful Conference
Networking events, often known as conference, can be one of best ways for businesses, trade groups, churches, parent teacher associations and just about any group you can think of, to help their members to get to know each other and network. The same is true for conference receptions, parties, or virtually any get together.
But how effective are such events? How many times have you been to a social gathering and seen little isolated groups or cliques of people who already know each other, standing together or sitting passively round a table and effectively excluding anyone else who wants to join the group? Surely that defeats one of the major objectives of holding the event or mixer in the first place? The reason that many events are difficult for people to mix at is because of ‘structural’ problems, in other words, problems involving the location, who is invited, and how the event is run.
Why is successful mixing so important?
If you are in business, meeting new potential customers or people who might be able to refer you to new customers is vitally important and directly correlated to the success of your business. Mixing events are simply too expensive and time consuming for you just to nibble on finger food and talk to friends, colleagues or people you already know. For a business, making as many contacts in as short a time as possible is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
How organizers can improve their events?
As with any good event, it all begins with excellent planning. Making sure that you invite the right people to an event is a great start.
Get your invitations right
Personal invitations will always get a better response than an invitation sent by e-mail or in the mail. There is the danger in this of the same little groups or cliques forming each time. A new approach is needed to revitalize the meetings and the attendance.
Personal invitations to subject specific events, segmenting the potential “invitation base” and appealing to a group that will have this subject in common, can be an effective alternative to the general networking event. For example, individuals could be invited to attend a meeting for those intending in the media or industrial products. Members involved in these industries would be invited and a general invitation would be extended to those interested in working with these professionals.
Greeting people as they arrive
A very good way of starting the mixing process is to have someone stand at the entrance in order to shake the hand and meet everyone who enters the room. It’s also a great idea to hire a conference photographer in order to capture the moment
This works best when the person doing the greeting is a fairly senior or important person for the organization hosting the meeting.
It works less well if the person doing the greeting is a junior.
In my experience, the least successful way of greeting people is to employ some sort of professional greeter. I have been greeted by clowns and look-a-likes and it was just plain embarrassing. How much more effective if the CEO of the company could have stood at the door and shaken everyone’s hand – rather than talking animatedly with his cronies by the bar
5 Steps To Opening An Online Clothing Boutique
For some people fashion plays a big role in their life. If you are one of those people, then you should consider opening an online clothing boutique.
By doing this not only will you be able to make some extra money from doing something that you love but you will also avoid other potential fees that you’d have to pay in case you decided to open a retail store, such as the rent and the electricity bills.
In fact, opening an online boutique store only requires five simple steps.
First of all, you should decide what the name of your e-shop will be. Then you will have to build your website and come up with some type of artwork for your brand name, as a good design and a catchy name like stylewe will help your store reach more potential buyers.
Secondly, you’ll have to consider what type of audience you’d like to reach with your e-shop. For instance, would you like to attract middle-aged men and women or teens? What are the fashion trends for the group of people you decided to focus on?
Would you like to have an actual stock of your clothes you’ll be selling? If so you’re going to need some space to store them -like a warehouse- away from pets and kids. However, if you do not want to pay for rent and have a stock of the clothes, you can always consider drop-shipping and that leads us to the next step.
Whether you decided to have the clothes in stock or to stick with drop-shipping, you still will have to find a good supplier. Having an excellent supplier who only cares about quality products and is professional enough is a must and finding one can be tricky. The internet is going to be your best friend for that but you could also call other businesses and ask more info about their suppliers.
Lastly comes a very important factor for your business’s success and that is no other than advertising. For that you will have to place online ads in search machines like Google and in social media sites, by targeting the group of people you’re willing to sell to. Of course you will have to invest some money in that, but at the end of the day it really is worth it.
How To Start Your Own Removals Company
Starting a moving company is not an easy job as it requires a lot of research and planning.
Before starting a removals company, the first thing you need to do is find out which type of moving company you would like to start. You can start a removals company that expressly provides services for residential customers or for moving businesses.
Whatever type of moving business you intend to establish, make sure you do your best in making your service appear different and better as compared to your competitors.
Here are some things that you should set up to make sure you successfully start your moving company that have been provided by Cardiff removals who have been in the removals business for over 30 years.
1.Packing and Moving Equipment
If you get a contract of relocating a house to a new place, your moving company should have all the packing and moving equipment that will be required for transporting the packed items. Hence, you need to spend some time in understanding the kind of equipment you need. A simple way to do this is to check out what equipment are being used by some of the leading moving companies in your city.
2.Regulation and Permits
Before launching your moving company, you should make sure you have the license to establish it. You will also be required to have the appropriate insurance policies and worker’s compensation insurance.
You should hire highly qualified staff who can pack and move heavy and fragile items with utmost care. You will need some staff members to go to the site for packing and moving the items from the old house/office to the new house/office. You will also need some staff members who will remain at the office and take care of all the paperwork. Moreover, you need staff to provide customer support to your clients.
You should make sure that all the packing materials that are used by your staff to pack the items of the clients are safe and sturdy. They should make sure that all the fragile and brittle items are packed safely so that there is no damage done during the shifting process.
You should use different kinds of vehicles such as small, medium and large. Having two or three or more vehicles will help you provide service to different clients simultaneously.
Courtesy of movers and packers
Your moving company should provide the clients with insurance if there is any damage done to his items during the shifting process. The insurance will let him cover the damage. Hence, you should make sure that you provide insurance coverage from a well-known insurance providing company.
Any business is unsuccessful if they do not listen to the concerns of the people and provide them proper guidance. This can only be done by setting up a customer service team that can deal with the issues of the clients through phone and email.
8.Price Quote and Website
You should build a website so that people can visit it and come to know about the services you are offering. Another important thing you need to do is mention the price quote clearly on the website.
5 Essential Tips For Young Entrepreneurs
How do you feel while you see successful people on the spotlight? You assume that I will follow that path too. When you find yourself trying to duplicate their success, it is pretty tough. You could start complaining that you just don’t have enough skills, no knowledge, etc.
Kent OPC would like to thank Mike Bauer for this wonderful interview and these excellent points. Whenever you set your heart to be a solo entrepreneur is to develop emotional maturity, managing your business fear. Ask yourself when you have any fear of starting a business. Here are my entrepreneur’s start up tips, find out how to take care of fear of starting a business:
1.Identify your fear of starting a business. Make a listing of your fear and how you’re going to work or to solve on every of your fear in business.
2. When your negative thought of fear keeps coming, you could have a positive affirmation to replace your fear gradually.
3. Identify your weakness in business. In case your weakness is the root of your worry in business, do something about it, learn the skills. When your skills improve, your business fear will subside.
4. Identify and consider your strength, interest, and abilities that make you are feeling good, confident and be happy with you.
5. Join a community which may offer support. I feel grateful that I find the best community. I receive feedback and support. We are growing together, to encourage, to lend a helping hand and to cheer on someone’s achievement. As a human, we’d like praises and compliments to build our self-worth. The law of association is working; associate yourself with successful, positive or influential folks and they will determine your future.
How To Become A Construction Worker
Working yourself can be a rewarding and satisfying experience, and some people opt to turn this into a full-time job by becoming a construction worker. We would like to thank the guys at asphalt paving who answered our email and were kind of enough to send us this solid advice.
Firstly learn construction work
There are a number of ways to do so, such as you can opt for an educational program at a technical school or you can work under a general contractor. You can find educational and training programs through the National Council for Construction Education and Research.
Before initiating any project, get a contractor’s license
These are handled through the professional licensing division of your state government, although some local cities and counties may have additional requirements for contractors in their municipalities. To get the license, you just have to fill an application form and submit it to a background check with an application fee and pass a certification exam.
Determine if the project will be subcontracted
The guys at Snowman heating and cooling explain that many contractors get construction works, but end up subcontracting a portion of the job or the entire project out The need of subcontracting arises when a person with a specialty is needed by the contractor.
Buy the necessary tools to complete the job
The tools you use will stay the same. Always try to get quality tools that last for a long period of time, since frequently replacing tools eats away at your profits. Some of the common and important tools that you may have to purchase are nail guns, saws, drills, hammers and electric screwdrivers.
Construction work is always team job, therefore hire staff to help you
This will speed up the task as well as will reduce your physical strain to a great extent. You can hire staff by connecting with instructors of training programs to get new graduates or by running ads in your local newspaper. If you hire a staff, you have to get worker’s compensation insurance to cover any accidents on the job.
Finally, as soon as you are established as a construction worker and ready to work, you can start marketing your services and getting jobs. You have the opportunity to work with individuals to build a customized projects, or to bid on jobs of building homes in neighborhoods for real estate developers and possibly, local government. For individuals wanting you to work on their projects, often networking with architects and socializing are two of the best forms of advertising.
Google Play Store For Small Business Owners
Google play store is the official app store for an android operating system. it is the original android market where all the applications produced by android SDK are offered by Google and are ready to be downloaded on one click. Serving as a digital media store it offers music, movies, books and other programs.
Applications that are available on play store are either free of cost or on charged rates. They can be installed with one click on the icon of the app into your android devices. Google play store does not only provides entertainment but it contains many useful apps i.e. educational, informative and business related apps.
Google play store came into being on March 6, 2012, that makes it totally new software. It became popular with the emergence of android popularity; the applications provided by Google play store are targeted for specific customers also like business men etc. The play store offers all the popular apps that have become necessary for living i.e. social media websites like face book and its versions, twitter, and whats app. There are also apps designed by indie developers like Robert Semrad.
Google play store also restricts some kind of apps that are not appropriate. Particularly sexually offensive material, violence, hates speech etc. Most of the android devices have Google play store already installed but if in case it is not installed in the device it can be downloaded from different websites from the device’s browser.
To use Google play store for downloading apps there are a few steps to be taken. The first step to use Google play is to make an email account on Gmail, after the account is made, then only can applications be downloaded.
The main purpose of this Gmail account is to monitor and send you messages about what’s new. Other than that the Google account is used to sync your contacts and other information of your android device if it is somehow lost or one wants his/her information to be transferred in another device.
Google play store provides its users with the best and latest apps available in the market that can highly be used for business and other purposes also.
How Can A Small Business Owner Control Their Finances
Managing money has always been a difficult task for many small business owners. Proper finance management is very crucial in a volatile economy and, you need to take the right decisions at the right time to survive in this highly competitive business world. Here are the best ways for a small business to control their finances:
1) Learn the art of budgeting your spending
As a small business owner, you should have clear cut idea about how much money you require to break even and you should also have proper understanding about the money you need to spend for running the business on a daily basis. The business budget should be classified into four categories and they include prospective income, fixed expenses, variable expenses and paycheck- allowance. You need to understand that the realistic balance between needs and wants is the foundation stone of financial discipline and key to proper finance management.
2) Focus on investments that reap long term benefits
Many small business owners commit the mistake of spending money to gain immediate benefits. It is always advisable to spend your money on things that offer long term benefits and utmost importance should be given to balancing the costs and benefits.
In the video below we spoke to Bryan Butler Of NW Fire Sprinklers North Wales
3) Give utmost importance to proper maintenance of records
You need to maintain records properly and, all receipts and other details should be kept safely. You have to allocate time to organize your documents in the best manner and reliable service providers offer top quality receipt apps to upload your receipts in the best possible manner.
4) Use technology wisely
You can definitely purchase top quality but cost effective software instead of buying highly expensive ones and meetings with clients or business partners can be held using online video conferencing solutions. You can also make use of cloud-based accounting software and all these simple steps always help you reduce the business costs in an effective manner.
Other effective ways that you can follow to control the finance include separating business and personal bank accounts, monitoring and measuring performance consistently and hiring the services of accomplished financial advisors. If you can follow all these steps with utmost commitment and discipline, it can be said without an iota of doubt that the process of managing finance becomes hassle free and result oriented as well.
Does Your Small Business Need A Website?
For some year now the web has changed the world of business, it has unveiled a whole new way of conducting business both for the small and large businesses. The advent of web 2.0 has lead to the development of e-commerce, today buying and selling can happen on the web with ease and securely.
Many people have put emphasis on the importance of a business website, but the question that is left answered or vaguely answered is, do small businesses need a website? If they do, what are the advantages and disadvantages of having one? In this article, we look at the pros and cons of a small business having a business website.
Pros of having a business website
1. its a way to ensure online presence
Many customers after hearing your business will look it up on the web; customers are growing to believe that most legitimate businesses offering quality services can found online and have a website. Having a website means your potential and current customers can easily find you.
2.Helps in operation cost reduction
A business website will offer ways to promote both the business and the products sold. The businesses website will contribute to cut on the marketing costs by availing free ways to promote products to the relevant customers.
3. Improved B2C ( business to consumer) communication
A business website will enable the business to communicate with the customers with ease and at the lowest cost possible. Websites provide real-time communicate between business and its customers; this will allow better service quality tailored to the customer needs.
4.Operation hours extended
Unlike the business, a website is available to the customers on 24/7 basis; the customers could go into the website order fro some products or get relevant information from the business through the website at any time from any place.
5. A wider market reach/ more customers
A website will not respect any boundaries it will be possible to reach a wider market and this means more customers for the business. A business website will enable small business to grow by enabling it to reach new markets at very low costs.
Cons of small business having a website
1. Website cost
The cost of website design and maintaining a website is high for a small business; the cost will include administration and optimization costs (SEO) as the small business will need an expert to ensure everything goes as planned and the website is found by the right audience. These costs might be too high for a small business.