If you regularly embark on business trips to different parts of the world, you will know well that the costs associated with those trips can quickly mount up. If you are lucky, then someone else, such as your company or client, will pick up the tab for your expenses. However, freelancers or people who own their own company usually have to pay their own travel expenses and these costs can end up being extremely high.
The cost of public transportation is constantly increasing and this can be a real problem for business travelers. Although many airlines offer frequent flier reward program, air, train and road travel are far from cheap. In addition, public transportation is often unreliable, which means that business travelers run the risk of being late for meetings.
Dining in fancy restaurants can also be very expensive, especially if you have to entertain clients for business purposes. Even when you are alone, you are still forced to pay through the nose to eat in local cafes and restaurants when you are away from home. No matter how you try to cut corners, the reality is that you will be forced to eat at least some of your meals in restaurants during your business trip and, these days, many establishments add tax and service charges to their menu prices, which can really bump up costs.
The cost of staying at hotels can be huge, especially if you simply stay in the closest hotel to the place where you will be conducting business, rather than taking the time to shop around for a good deal. However, the cost of staying even in cheap hotels can be very high. If you have certain destinations that you regularly visit for business, it might be a good idea to search for alternatives like serviced apartments.
The cost of business travel can really mount up over time and many business travelers find that they need to track down special deals. Here are a few tips on how to save money on business travel.
People who regularly have to fly to different parts of the world to conduct business meetings may be able to save money by choosing to always fly with the same airline or, perhaps, a few select airlines. Many airlines offer special loyalty cards for regular fliers and there are special bonuses available to people who take regular trips, including air miles, which can be exchanged for flights, car hire and a wide range of other goodies.
The cost of car hire can be rather high and hiring a car each time that business travelers need to drive to and from a meeting can be prohibitive. However, investing in a company car can really help to cut costs. Another cost effective way of keeping a company car is to look into signing a long term lease, perhaps for one or two years at a time, with a certain company.
The cost of travel on Fridays and Mondays is generally much higher than other times of the week. It is possible to make large savings by simply avoiding travelling on those days of the week and arranging meetings for halfway through the week instead.
Most of the largest and most prominent offices and business centers are located in the main business area of the city. Business travelers who choose to stay in a hotel in this part of the city will be able to make significant savings on the cost of travelling around the city.
Many hotel chains in big cities offer special deals and discounts for business travelers. All of these hotels offer special business facilities, such as meeting rooms and other business rooms that are fully stocked with technology like phones and fax machines. Many of the leading hotels also offer secretarial services, which is ideal for people who have a lot of work to do.
If you want your company to achieve on-going success and growth, it is important to learn how to manage your business finances. If you are establishing a new company, you will need to do research to find out how much funding is required, where you can get this funding and how you will manage your financial arrangements so that your business can flourish.
There are a several different elements involved in managing your business finances, such as raising the start-up capital that you need, keeping good records, controlling your cash flow and budgeting.
The budget is one of the most important parts of your business plan, as it makes sure that your finances are on target and you do not waste money on unnecessary projects or other elements. Your budget serves as an overview of your projected income, as well as all expenses for a certain period. It should be reviewed and adapted every year, so that it realistically fits the current market trends.
However, many companies prefer to review their budget as often as every month, to ensure that their business is on track to achieve its set goals. Make a plan to effectively manage your cash-flow so that you do not run out of cash when it is time to pay wages or invest in new items for your business.
In order for your business to grow successfully, you need to set aside a portion of your profits each month. How much capital you decide to dedicate to expansion is entirely up to you, but a rough figure would be between 10-20% of your profits. This money can be invested into researching latest innovations in your field, purchasing new equipment and other elements that will put you a step or two ahead of your competitors.
Managing your business finances is critical and failure to do this will have a serious impact on your business. If in doubt, it is a good idea to seek advice from a professional business adviser who will be able to help you make an effective plan and guide you through the process.
Before being ready to start a business of your own, you will need to produce a clear and complete business plan. This business plan is a summary of what you plan to do in order to set up, maintain your commerce and exactly how you plan to do it. A carefully worded business plan can also be used to draw an investor. Making sure that you stay on the right track will guarantee that your business becomes fully operational. Here are a few tips on how to create a business plan:
The business plan should include the main business goals and the strategies that you plan to use to achieve these goals. Anyone who wants to be successful in the business world needs to take the time to think about all of the different aspects of their business, including any possible problems that could arise along the way. By visualizing these possible problems in advance and coming up with solutions, it will be easier to solve them if and when they actually arise. Of course, these possible problems and their solutions should be included in the business plan.
Another important element to creating a successful business is making sure that you have sufficient capital. It may be quite some time before your business actually starts to turn a profit, so having extra funds is essential. Your business plan must include realistic calculations of the capital that is required to set up the business, how long it will be before you start to realize a profit and the rough amount of income that the business is anticipated to generate.
A comprehensive business plan should consist of three main sections, which is the business concept, the marketplace section and then the financial section. Of course, it may take quite a lot of time and effort to complete the business plan, but it will be worth it in the long run.
When establishing a new business, it is important to spend time thinking about the type of office that you want, as well as the location. It is a good idea to work out the type of office that will best meet your needs by visiting various businesses that have recently started up and checking out their premises and set ups. The founders of new businesses are likely to be able to provide you with crucial information like the best places to buy affordable furniture, as well as office supplies.
Selecting the perfect location for your business is essential and needs to be considered very carefully. You will of course want to take a look at several locations before signing a lease and think about all of the different aspects involved. The location and size of the office that you choose will largely depend on what you require.
For example, think about how much time you will actually be spending in the office, if you will do most of your business from the office and if you will be using mobile phones or landline phones. The costs of traveling around your city of choice can be rather high, so it may be worth renting an office that is close to home in order to cut down on transportation costs as well as commuting times.
As well as the office itself, you also need to think about the onsite facilities. Naturally, choosing an office that comes with bathroom facilities is vital, especially if you are planning to spend a lot of time at the office. Business that is conducted from the office with several employees will probably also need a break room and nearby parking facilities.
Sharing office space is a great way to reduce costs when you first establish your business. This is especially profitable if you mainly need simply a desk to work from and a telephone connection. Shared office space is usually advertised in the business section of local newspapers and on various websites.
Business networking is an important way to connect with other business people and share information and advice. Meeting the right people can really open doors, especially for people who are just starting out in the business world or have just established a new company. There are various different forms of business networking, which provide great ways to meet other people face to face and possibly get word of mouth referrals and other benefits. Here are some top tips to follow when business networking:
- Dress to impress – This is your time to shine and show off your professionalism. Dress in your best business outfit and make sure that you look confident.
- Keep it short and simple – Rehearse describing your business in advance to make sure it is short and engaging. Make sure that your pitch is memorable and interesting to listen to.
- Business Cards – Giving out business cards is a great way to make lasting connections. Make sure that you have plenty of business cards with you. You will probably also receive a large number of business cards, so write a few extra details about the person who gave you each card to jog your memory later.
- Follow Up – Those business cards you received are waiting to be put into action. Be sure to follow up any lead you receive no later than four days after a networking event.
- Be Attentive – This is a good opportunity to learn from other business people. Give other speakers plenty of time to talk and you might find that you learn a lot.
- Prepare Interesting Questions – Make and rehearse a selection of questions that you can fall back on any time the conversation falls a little flat.
- Do Your Research – If possible, find out who will be attending the networking event and do a little research on some of the players. This will help you to prepare interesting questions to ask them and show that you have an interest in their business.
Podcasts are types of recorded interviews and audio discussions that can be listened to on a Smartphone or computer. A wide range of business podcasts are available that can help you to keep up with the latest business trends, learn special insider information from the experts and gain top tips. Here are some of the best business podcasts that can help put you ahead of the game.
This informative podcast is hosted by Andrew Youderian, who is the bestselling author of The Ultimate Guide to Dropshipping. People can listen to Andrew Youderian interviewing some of the leading experts in the eCommerce world and learn simple, yet very helpful tips on all areas of starting and developing an eCommerce business.
Build My Online Store
As the name implies, this podcast focuses on creating an online store and is hosted by Terry Lin, the founder of an eCommerce project known as Baller Leather. Terry Lin originally documented this project on his blog and recorded more than a hundred business related podcasts, while another point of note is that he was also one of the first ever eCommerce broadcasters to ever grace the airwaves.
Entrepreneur on Fire
Daily motivation and inspiration is delivered by host John Lee Dumas. He has already released hundreds of exciting Entrepreneur of Fire podcasts, each of which features an interview with a different successful entrepreneur.
Michael Auzenne and Mark Horstman host Manager Tools, which provides interesting advice on running and forwarding your career, as well as handling management issues. Everything that you need in order to successfully manage a business, including people skills, multitasking and tips on the latest time saving gadgets to use can be found right here.
Join business journalist and author Daniel Pink as he uses his connections to contact major business figures and conduct interviews.
In this extremely competitive age, climbing to the very top of the corporate world or even establishing a strong foothold can be rather difficult. It is essential to establish connections and promote your business as much as possible in order to make sure that people know who you are and what you do. Here are a few top tips that can really help to give your business the edge and ensure that you receive the trade and attention that you need.
Provide Staff Training
A business is only as strong as its weakest link, so it is essential to ensure that each of your staff members is fully qualified, trained and works with others in harmony. Sending your staff to conferences and seminars is a great way to keep them up to date with the latest trends while also learning new skills that could prove to be extremely valuable. Special team building events are another good way to teach your staff new skills and how to work together and resolve any problems they may have in a constructive way.
Attend Networking Events
Networking events are excellent times for people from different corporations to meet and mingle to exchange important information and make connections. These networking events usually provide plenty of opportunities for members to meet away from the office. These types of events also offer companies the chance to reserve a stall to showcase their hottest new products and this is another way to win new customers.
Form a Working Relationship with a Law Firm
As you prepare to develop your business, it is imperative to ensure that you stay within the limits of the law at all times. A law firm that specializes in business law can sign off on your latest business ventures and provide advice to help you stay up to date with the latest legal statutes.